For all of my years on E2 I have wanted to contribute a Christmas carol. All feeling in tiny words.

I started a story in early November,and I finished a second (or fifth, can't remember) draft recently. I tried to post it as a writeup here on my beloved E2, but alas, it's too long and gets truncated. Yes, a longish story. About 13,000 words.

Because it doesn't fit here on E2, I have posted it on my own website at:

It's called The Internet Christmas Project and it's about what a holiday like Christmas might mean to someone like me in a world full of wars and bad luck.

I tried to make a fish ride a bike in it, but I had to take it out.

I hope you like it. It comes from my imagination, which means you might find it less realistic than you'd like. I like to think most imagination is hopeful. It's what I would like to see happen one day.

I actually think it can.


This morning, I held a dead baby in my arms.

I held him, his little body cooling in my arms, wrapped in a knitted blanket donated to the emergency room, and I couldn't help rocking him, even though I knew he was dead.

I held him, waiting for his family to arrive, not wanting to leave him even though it couldn't possibly matter to him.

I held him while the police kept his parents at the house, suspicious about his death, story not quite meshing with the evidence.

Two and a half hours later, I handed him to his grandmother.

I don't want to hold any more dead babies.

A new, comprehensive smoking ban went into effect today here in Seattle, Washington, and throughout the state. Just a month ago, voters passed Initiative 901, which prohibits smoking inside any public place and inside any place of employment, and within 25 feet of entrances, exits, open windows, or air intakes of such places. This initiative tightens restrictions begun in 1985 with the Washington Clean Indoor Air Act.

I voted against the initiative, because I almost always vote against initiatives. I believe we live in a representative democracy, in which elected officials should make the law, not advocates for a special issue. Advocates write laws heavly skewed toward their interest, while lawmakers have to hammer out a workable comprimise. I make an exceptions when I'm extremely agitated over the specific issue, but in this case the smoking ban seems a little draconian to me.

On the other hand, I am a nonsmoker and worry about family members who can't break the habit. Now that the initiative has passed and has become law, I'm looking forward to the cleaner air in local drinking establishments. Until today, I could count on my left thumbs the number of places into which I could discreetly pop into for a quick pint without my wife noticing the cigarette stink on my clothes.

The State of Washington has a website which explains the new law and provides links to resources to help people quit smoking:

imagine all the people
living life in peace...

25 years ago, John Lennon was shot.

It makes me curious as to why I care so much about this man who was dead for years before I was born-- is it the music? I have raised myself on The Beatles and John's other music, but it must be more than that. It is a feeling, an intimacy shared of his life's experience touching my own in a way that I am beginning to understand doesn't happen often.

The man who shot him, for whom I have only pity, did not kill him. He lives on in my heart.

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