Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Legend of the Pillow Case

Years ago someone told me that she always slept on a new pillow case on New Year's Eve because it was supposed to bring prosperity in the new year. Last year, as part of our crafty new year celebration, I suggested decorating our own pillow cases so we bought plain white pillow cases and fabric paint.

That morning Liz attempted to assassinate me with one of her "fresh eggs" and I missed the party. However, my friends decorated a pillow case for me and I (unlike the others, I believe) used my pillow case. It made me happy to go to bed thinking of all the nice things my friends wished for me. There were three wishes for me from my friends in 2010.
1. Love
2. The absence of a person from my life who caused me a great deal of distress
3. Sell a book.

The first item came to pass almost immediately. The second item came to pass in a very dramatic way as well. I won't go into a lot of details, but I will say that Pat is not allowed to decorate pillow cases any more, despite her effectiveness.

The third thing hasn't happened and probably won't since there's only a couple days left in the year and, more importantly, because I didn't write a book.

I stopped using the pillow case this summer because Chris said it sort of creeped him out. But, I wonder if I had continued would I have sold a book?

Happy/Bitter New Year

It seems that every major media runs their "Year in Review" feature. On the Bitter Train, we constantly review everything, so a full year's worth could be a little overwhelming.

And undocumented.

The most bitter event that I (Lynne) would like to mention is the Jingle Jog. The PSA's promised a t-shirt with jingle bells on it. Jingle Bells! When I brought this to the attention of a couple friends, we all had visions of happy runners making a joyful holiday noise, hopefully covering the cries of pain and heaving gasps of air.

Upon arrival at registration, the absence of any bell sound was deafening. Deafening! No Jingle Bells. None. Fortunately, the three of us wore our Santa Hats. Did I mention it was 1 degree, with wind chill? Soon, I'll post a picture of this happy day.

Fortunately, plarn is still with us. See the Ape? That's where it all began, Baby. Right there in Cave City, KY. I stopped there on my way to Nashville, where the plarn bag had one more adventure. I love my plarn bag - it does fun things and usually I'm along with it.

And what year would be complete without a Christmas gift from Trina? Yes, the same fun gal who brought you the larger-than-life cut out of Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross has a unique eye for cool gifts. Below is this year's "Growme." Look how happy he/it is!

How can one stay bitter with that around?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry/Bitter Christmas

Here on the Bitter train, we talk a lot about being bitter. Most of the time, we're kidding. Bitterness is a choice. Not always a good one. Life is to be embraced. And in that spirit, please enjoy some images of the holidays and a rather poor limerick.

There once was a creepy peeping Tom Santa

Who drank that old soda called Fanta.

But if he only knew, that girl named Sue

Then he wouldn't need so much mylanta.

Sorry, it's the best I could do on short notice.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Random Adoptions

I have several friends who have gone to China to adopt babies. I think that's wonderful. It's a long process, but it should be. Kids are a long term commitment and they're people. Real human beings who need love and care. Filling out a bunch of paperwork and having a criminal background check seems reasonable.

Dogs, contrary to what many think, are not people. However while trying to adopt one recently, it sure seemed like getting a top secret security clearance would be easier. Humane societies and rescue groups now require applications where you have to tell them what happened to dogs you've had in the past. "Under what circumstances would you return a dog to the agency?" was one question. Some won't let you have one of their dogs unless you have a fenced yard. Most require a reference from a vet. One wanted to visit our house first.

While I'm not opposed to these questions, it occasionally seemed excessive. And, since we are simple people, we just went to the pound. Look who we found:

This is Dooley: The guys at the pound were very nice and helpful, but they didn't ask a bunch of questions and no one seemed interested in visiting our house. Within twenty minutes we'd written a check and left as pet owners. That seems reasonable.

There was another adoption this week that could possibly be cause for concern, though for whom is not yet clear. Our church has several "gifts that give" for Christmas which are based on helping others locally, nationally and globally. One of the possibilities was adopting a senior citizen, usually a church member who is not always able to attend services. Lynne and I decided to adopt one together. We continue to maintain our stance that we are not a couple. All we had to do was put our names on a piece of paper and they gave us the name and address of some poor, unsuspecting woman in Lima.

I have a feeling that 2011 will bring more stories about Dooley and the nice woman in Lima and attempts by Lynne and me to be useful to her.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Fantasy

If you haven't noticed, Christmas is on the way. Some people get all charged up about this holiday. I'm not one of them.

My ideal Christmas would look something like this: Christmas Eve would include a nice dinner, a trip to church, and then a quiet evening with family and friends drinking wine, listening to Christmas music, and looking at the lights on the Christmas tree.

Christmas day: A nice breakfast, probably including something decadent like fresh cinnamon rolls. Shane would arrive and maybe other family members. We'd eat more of the cinnamon rolls and open gifts. Each person would give a gift to everyone else---one gift that was thoughtful and creative and cost no more than $25. The gifts would show that the giver had put forth more time than money. We'd have a nice meal and then spend the rest of the day relaxing and playing games. Friends would stop by and we'd just enjoy being together.

And of course, all the time before Christmas would be spent relaxing and enjoying the fact that I have time off from my job.

I was going to write here about what I expect to be my reality this year, but I decided, in a rather anti-Bitter Train sort of move, that I'd continue to hold out hope for my fantasy.

What about you?