Category Archives: Christmas

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to bang out this short post to tell all my interweb friends to have a happy, wonderful holiday season. I’ve been holding off on posts while I figured out what sort of internet presence I’d like to have and I’ve got a few New Year ideas in mind.

Once the holidays end, I’m planning a five-week interactive short story which will happen here and will also post on my facebook page for others to read. I’m thinking of something like the literary version of improv comedy; I’ll start off with an opening paragraph and readers can comment with verbs and nouns that hint towards where they’d like to see the story go or try to back me into a writing corner by giving me the worst possible scenario they can think of. I will not be able to argue, back out or whine, and the first five or so responders’ noun and verb must be included in my next installment. The story will continue for five installments, and end, hopefully, with some sort of satisfying finale.

The second thing I have on the agenda is a mega-flash fiction drive on my twitter page where I will post 120-character fiction at least once a week. Anyone can play along, just RT your own story.

So, that’s what I have planned for the future. But, for right now, I’m going to go bake like June Cleaver on crank and enjoy my house, my kitties and my man–and then later enjoy my family, friends and my yearly trek to Florida. So, look for the fun to start the second week of January.

Until then, be healthy, well, and happy, my friends!

Meet the Krampus

Were you one of those children bored with the saccharine goodwill oozed by corporational profit-driven Christmas ad campaigns? Was the threat of getting a lump of coal and a couple of sticks not nearly enough to deter you from accumulating a hefty tally of pre-holiday misdeeds? Did you ever just look at that big, red sleigh and know something was missing? If so, allow me to introduce you to the Krampus.

Yep. That’s a baby in his bag, and he ain’t deliverin’ it, either.

The Krampus is a companion to Santa Claus in some European traditions. He’s the yin to the yang, the devil to Nick’s savior. He’s the enforcer, the allocator of punishment. The Bad Ass. In many traditions, the Krampus is more mischievous than wicked, laying down a single silver branch in lieu of presents to represent the offending child’s misdeeds. But, in other traditions, he carries a bundle of sticks for kid-whipping. In some instances he goes so far as to drag along chains, rattling out the rhythm to which he will later pummel the little ingrates. He even has a night, December fifth (or sixth, depending on where you look). Because loud, obnoxious boys like to be loud, obnoxious drunks, the holiday has been taken over by inebriated young men who dress up in their Krampiest best and take to the streets, beating the crap out of people with sticks for the hell of it. Apparently, it’s not a good night to be a young woman and need anything from the local store.

Despite his spiraling decline into an excuse to get drunk (ring a spiked, eggnogish Christmas morning bell to anyone?), I find the Krampus fascinating. Not only does this mean–oh happy day–that Santa hauls around his very own nasty demon, it also means the Krampus’ existence removes all vindictiveness from the Jolly Man’s shoulders. And I like that. Santa can forever remain the symbol of unconditional generosity, and the Krampus will deal with the putting of boots up tiny backsides.

Knowing the Krampus is wandering out there, ready to smack me in the head with a fistful of linked steel has indeed inspired me to rein it in for the next few days. Maybe even lay off the “f” word. Well, at least cut it down to every two words, or so. In case you’re still disinclined to be good, for Krampus’ sake, here are a few more images:

Thanks once again to my suitably nefarious friend, X, for turning me on to the wonders of the Krampus. Happy Krampus Day, X, and the same to all of you.

Happy to be Back

Well, that was the most eventful Christmas ever. The Architect and I shared Christmas with my family. One of my nephews hurled all Christmas day, supposedly too excited about Santa to keep his food where it belonged. The Architect and I woke up at four (we didn’t really sleep, so I guess the technical term would be ‘got up’). We made it on the road by five and drove sixteen hours, stopping only for bbq in Georgia. We arrived at my brother-in-law’s house around nine o’clock that night. I, too, must have been overly psyched about Santa’s arrival, because I promptly started to hurl and didn’t stop for ten hours. Let me tell you, there’s not much worse than defiling your nephew’s private bathroom in a brand new, upper six figure house and then having to take his Big League Chew stash out of its storage bucket so you can continue hurling in that when you’re too weak to get out of his bed. The next morning, he said, “Avery, was that you?” I supposed he thought it was the Architect making that god-awful noise. Or, maybe a Yeti mystically sucked into his bathroom, trapped and unable to work the door handle.

I recovered after a day or so and we set off on adventures to St. Petersburg and Tampa. We picked vegetables and fruit from my brother-in-law’s fields (he owns a produce company) and hung out with some friends of his on New Year’s Eve, drinking somebody’s homemade blackberry wine, which, happily, did not cause blindness or more upchucking.

We left for Orlando New Year’s day and the warm weather departed with us. It was forty degrees with high winds two of the four days we were there. The parks were packed with people and there was no getting on any of our favorite rides. My appetite had returned somewhat, so we found some really good dinners, our favorite being at Todd English’s Bluezoo. We did manage to see the dancing Christmas lights at Disney MGM. Although the fake snow they blew into the streets was less a novelty and more a reminder of just how cold it was (especially since it had been eighty just a few days earlier).

The drive home Saturday was long and torturous, mostly because of the impending drive up the Eastern Shore of Virginia once we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. In the daytime, the bridge/tunnel is a beautiful sight–a serpentine structure grazing just above the water for twenty miles, vanishing here and there as it dips underwater. But, at night, it’s just a stretch of dark, surrounded by denser blackness on all sides. In the distance its string of lamps halt as if you’re about to reach the end of the world, and it’s only when you’re right on top of it you realize there’s a tunnel ahead. Once on the other side, there are two painful hours of fifty mile-an-hour nothing to navigate, the drive permeated by the stench of chicken farms and punctuated only by a handful of one-light towns with twenty mile-an-hour speed limits and loads of bored cops just waiting for your speedometer to creep a single notch above the posted limit.

Still, despite the numerous pitfalls, we managed to have a good amount of fun. And now all I’ve got to do is shake this cold my Florida niece was generous enough to send back with me.

Speaking of sharing, I’ll put up some of the better photos of our trip in the next day or so, once I feel well enough to mess around with Photoshop. In the meantime, I’ll be making the rounds, checking out how your own holidays went.