Thursday, December 04, 2003


For the first time since I started the weblog, it's snowing in beautiful, scenic Charlottesville, VA. At least three inches of white stuff have fallen today, and two of those inches managed to stick. The view from my living room is a Currier and Ives snowscape, but from the way the cars are slipping down the street, I'm sure I'd hate to go driving right now. Since this snowstorm has also blanketed D.C., our national government will be paralyzed and nonfunctioning tomorrow (as if this were anything new).

I've noted before that when disaster strikes and the majority of government workers stay home, the result is seldom as chaotic as one might expect. Alas, we still have to pay for Big Government, even when we don't get it.

Thanksgiving: I just returned from northeast Arkansas, where I spent a Thanksgiving on the mouth of Hell. It wasn't my parents' fault. (I wonder how often Gay bloggers get a chance to say that.) After years of wavering, my grandmother has finally slipped into irrevocable senility -- and not the peaceful, spaced-out, I-guess-everything's-okay kind, but the pissed-off, paranoid, I-hope-you-die-and-burn-in-hell kind.

Even without Grandmother's tirades, this longest of long weekends would have been one calamity after another. Without warning, my car gave up the ghost; two very distant relations are suffering from acute alcoholism. Other incidents must remain between myself and my therapist, though I'll note that the "nuclear" family is called that for a reason. Well, to paraphrase Elton John, we're still standing. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Did I mention I'm planning to go back to Arkansas for Christmas?

For those of you who wonder why I don't write more about my personal life, now you know.

Christmas Albums: My parents and I exchanged gifts early this year. I gave Mom a few can't-miss Christmas CDs -- Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, and Gene Autry. I've come to the conclusion that Christmas albums are the auditory equivalent of creamed corn: Bland and overdone.

Frankly, gentle reader, both creamed corn and Christmas albums both give me the creepin' fantods. To make me eat creamed corn, you'd probably have to point a gun at my head, and even then I'd have to give the matter considerable thought. Fortunately, there are a few holiday albums I can tolerate. My favorite, if that's the right word, is Gene Autry. Thanks to some bouncy Western-swing arrangements and a straightforward vocal delivery, Autry's holiday tunes sound far less treacly than the norm. Harry "Sweets" Edison even spices up a few tracks with his legendary jazz trumpet. Granted, the result is not exactly a cultural milestone, but it'll do.

Check Out This Guy: Here's a young whippersnapper from Yale who's at least as smart as I am.

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