Christmas is nearing, and I thought it might be necessary to remind those of you who are getting up in years how to unwrap any gift you might receive this weekend. This lesson comes complete with visual aids, complements of my godson Bradley.

Step 1
Get as close to the package as possible. The less space between you and your target, the better.

Step 2
As quickly and haphazardly as possible, remove all packing contents, wrapping paper, etc. Worry not about the displacement of contents found inside the box, as an older person will be along later to recover said objects.

Step 3
Discard gift and spend the rest of the morning playing with the box and ignoring the gift until you're completely exhausted and fall asleep under the Christmas tree.

Always keep a bit of the child in your heart... you'll be much happier for it in the end.


You know, it's interesting to reconnect with a person who knew you in a different time and place, and for them to see the changes that the passing of time has caused. I mention this because it's been happening recently between myself and a fellow musician I attended college with my first few years. "And we thought you were the quiet one..." Aye, I'm the quiet one, until you get to know me. And then the sarcasm and dry wit emerges. Watch out!

At any rate, it's nice to be able to go back and tell the people who influenced you such a great deal that they made all the difference at that point and time. Though thank you's are in order, they just never seem to be enough.

In other news, I've been driving all over Lake County. At the end of last week, I took my godson out to see more Christmas lights, because it's pretty much the only thing to do here in the evenings. On the way to the "huge trailer park display" in Tavares, I nearly hit a dire raccoon. The road was dark, sandwiched in-between a lake on the left, and a wooded area on the right. I watched as the vermin darted from the left side of the road about 10 feet from the car tires, and thought to myself "I hope you make it, buddy." I took my foot off the gas, but didn't swerve or hit the break. The 20lb monster from the blue lagoon (and I kid you not about the weight) missed the right front tire by two inches according to my passenger. Horrible, horrible fat dire raccoon.

Is it bad that I've not purchased one Christmas present for my family yet? Ah well, there's always Christmas eve, right?


Ah. The good life... ?? I think. At least the air is clean in Florida. I open my windows and what do I hear? The wind blowing in the trees. No sirens, no alarms, no car horns. Hell, people here don't even know what the horn on the car is for, and if you do use it, people act as though you've just shouted obscenities about their mother out the car window.

Since returning, I've seen a rat snake that was about three feet long in my backyard, I've put my resume in with the local elementary school, and I've witnessed two old people get into a car accident at Walgreens. I've also begun a bit of Christmas shopping. A gift for my friend Jason was needed, as he did drive 1000 miles in 14 hours or less for me.

I've taken my godson around town to see all the Christmas lights, and we even spotted Christmas dolphins in one yard. Only in Florida, you know. Hopefully, sometime in the near future, I will go car shopping so that I can be independent again. One step at a time though. Patience young grasshopper.

That is all. You are dismissed.


Here's a nice pic from my final NYC tour (as a NYC resident at any rate) yesterday. Jason and I wandered all over the city snapping pictures and seeing whatever there was to be seen. We didn't run into too many psychos and only encountered one very, very, smelly man on the subway train.

The shot above was taken from South Ferry at sunset, which is where you catch the boat to visit the Statue of Liberty. It was about -39 degrees (okay maybe I'm exaggerating a bit there, but I was near death from freezing) and in many places throughout the city, there were frozen lakes and blocks of ice in the river. The ducks seemed to be having a great time swimming between the icebergs though. They're not the brightest creatures, you know.

The top of the Empire State Building was frigid, but not unbearable. I was numb by then anyway. On our way down from the observatory we ran slam into King Kong. He was there scaring this poor child, whose parents thought it was hilarious to hold him in place next to Kong and watch him scream in terror. Jason thought it was pretty humorous, too. I, on the other hand, wanted to snatch the little boy up and run him to safety. That poor child is now scarred for life.


And what to my wondering eyes did appear? But a city full of snow, and eight tiny reindeer! I am such a child at the first snow of the year. I will miss this horribly. I despise the snow after it's been on the ground a few days and gets disgustingly dirty, but it's this moment, when the snow first falls, that makes me realize how beautiful nature can be when it so wishes.

All those Floridian years when I was little are screaming to run and build a snowman. I will refrain though, as building a snowman by yourself in no where near as much fun.

630am December 4th, 2005