Second Time Today

Not posting, although that too, but second time — not surprising — that the local classical station has run  a chunk of the Messiah. Actually the whole thing, this time. I walked into the living room just as the chorus was bouncing into the inordinately cheerful rhythms of what my father always described as his favorite part: “O We Like Sheep!”

(That was how he always sang it. Just those four notes, and a smirk.)

So it was devastating to me just now, when I looked it up, to realize that the text is actually all we like sheep, which doesn’t parse nearly so neatly.

I think the Choir of Kings’ College, Cambridge, has kind of got the feel of it here though. Or at least YouTube user ABakker307 does.

At this joyful season of the year, in this context, I am glad to note that someone revived a site that for a while ceased to exist: to wit, Adult Sheep Finder. (It used to be based in New Zealand.)

And the Lord hath laid on him…

Crap. The Christmas music will go on for another week, and I’m already starting to babble. I cross to the other side of the street to avoid meeting mothers and infants, and for a month out of the year, the whole nation goes insane singing about them.

I really want to just let music roll over me without having to keep changing CDs, so I tried to tune in an Internet channel called Radio Free Klezmer, which sounded 100% safe,  but there was a problem with the connection. Oh well. Hooray for Youtube playlists:

So this goyish chick can tap a foot, look around this bizarre world we live in, and say with the old Lubavitcher rabbi in the Norman Spinrad story: “You can look at this mishegaas and tell me that the Messiah has already come?”

I’m just counting down.



Eighteen more days of this. I had to do something.

To: WETA Radio Audience Services
From: [Sledpress]

I’ve just snapped the radio off for the fifth or sixth time this week. Please, please, how many orchestral or chamber music arrangements of “Jingle Bells” and all its simple-minded ilk can there possibly be? I am sick to the bitter death of it already, and it’s only the eighth of December. I support and listen (exclusively) to WETA because it’s the only place I can find real, intellectually complex, enduring music of artistic integrity. The Magnificat (or The Messiah, if it isn’t repeated every day) — fine. I DON’T tune WETA in to hear Jingle Bells. If I want to hear that garbage, I’ll go to the mall. Please have some pity on your listeners who actually love music for music’s sake and leave all that nonsense to the other radio stations.

They promise a response within a week, depending on mail volume. [Tearing clumps of pages rhythmically out of the phone book and shredding them into confetti] I wonder how the mail is running.

And The Horse You Rode In On

I just knew I wasn’t going to get through the Most Wonderful Time Of Year ™ without something like this. I usually get my errands well out of the way by the eve of any Stupid Festival like Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s, when people get cutthroat frantic about putting on productions over nothing.  This year, though, the blizzard wiped out three days I could have done it, I had to work nonstop the two after that, and there I was looking at a long grocery list and a shortage of cat food, the day before any store you can stand to shop in will be closed because it’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.

So I got through a terrific workout (I was pacing a big basketball-player type on the counterweighted pullup, though I think he was coasting today), gave myself permission to bail if it looked too bad, and headed to the grocery I favor in a state of controlled dread.  Traffic: heavy but not unbearable; people being courteous and responding to my courtesy. Strip mall lot: crowded but hardly impassable. I waited for pedestrians to get safely past my front bumper, waited for some tomfool in a Hummer to get out of a space just inside a parking aisle, everyone behind me showing commendable patience. I pulled into the spot.

WHOOOONKKK!!!! A big silver SUV driven by a podgy pushy suburban matron braked athwart my stern. WHOOONK! WHONK!

Ah, I discerned, she must have thought the space belonged to her, an easy conclusion because before I was out the driver’s door she was already shouting at me: “Merry Christmas to you too! I was waiting for that space!”

“I thought I was waiting for it,” I said mildly.

“I was waiting right there for him to get out!” She showed no sign of budging.

“And I was supposed to see you through a Hummer?” I suggested.

“You could have waited to see if someone else was waiting for the space!”

Now, you know, if instead of coming at me trumpeting her sense of entitlement and her great big car horn, she had said something like “I’m sorry, but I have a bad back and I was on the other side of the Hummer hoping to get a space near the door,” I would have been ready to let her have it. I opened my mouth to say something like that, but what came out in a bellow of astounding, piercing volume was:


For some reason, she started moving after that.

I stepped out of the store twice while I was throwing cat food and eggs into my basket, just to make sure she wasn’t out there slashing my tires, or something. It took hacking the packed ice off my sidewalk and a big channel to the opposite storm drain as soon as I got home, just to get rid of some of the adrenalin. I suppose I should have gone shopping before the gym, but the sun’s bright enough to heat up cars with groceries in them.

At least one person knows how I feel about The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year ™. No, make that the whole West  Crossroads Shopping Center.

Just. Make. It. Stop.

My only outdoor Christmas decoration. Pass the catnip PLEASE.

With all deference to Az (whose blog has recently featured a series of really beguiling Christmas posts), I cannot wait for this thing to go away.

This store-mobbing, traffic-jamming, schlock-spouting, IQ-lowering thing.

I tried to shop for a few Christmas things today, I really did. I can enjoy giving gifts to people I like, or (occasionally) people who might be lulled into treating me decently by a token present. (You know we all do it.) I had some coupons and there is a World Market nearby whose merchandise I like — cheap, varied, good quality: one of the few places left where you can buy solid wood furniture, for one thing, instead of everything being that comminuted burn-your-eyes-with-the-glue-fumes engineered wood shit. (Not that I’m buying people Christmas furniture, but it got me into the habit of popping in there; there’s some old Ikea around my house that’s seriously prolapsed.)

Fifteen minutes after entering I couldn’t find my half-loaded shopping basket for love or money, since I’d parked it to avoid knocking things down from all the overflowing displays and contraposto-angled aisles, and any attempt I made to recruit my mind was demolished by the PA loudly battering me with the sound of some baby-talking lady crooner drooling “Santa Baby.”

Employees informed me that the music volume was a mandate from corporate HQ.

Corporate HQ can do without my business, I guess.

And it’s going to be like this everywhere I want to do any sort of in-person shopping, right through December twenty-fourth. If not longer.

Just stop it, stop it, stop it.