When you can’t think of what to write….just republish some old shit – works for Hollywood

I’ve had a lot on my mind as of late and thought it was time to write a blog and share my feelings about the whole take a knee controversy and my thoughts on patriotism but I just couldn’t seem to find a good starting point (or middle part and ending for that matter)….then the Las Vegas massacre happened and I felt maybe I should turn my attention to my beliefs on gun control/mental health/second amendment/downfall of society and such and ran into the same problem. And then I made the mistake of going down the rabbit hole of Facebook and reading every post, meme and tweet from everyone on these subjects until my brain was ready to explode.

After “cleansing my palette” with a heavy dose of cat videos and super hero movie trailers I had a realization – I had nothing of merit to add to the discussion! On top of that I also found out my “friends list” had truly become what I wanted – a true melting pot of philosophies (what this country is supposedly meant to be). I have a great collection of people with vastly different opinions and views and when I took the time to read them all – especially the ones I disagreed with – I had a better understanding as to why things are so fucked up in the world. So many of us (myself included to a great deal) see the world from just our perspective and decide that is it – and if you disagree then you are WRONG so I’m going to just shout louder and repeat myself until I can’t hear your blasphemous opinions anymore.

So what to do? Well – I decided to take my own advice and re-read some of my past blogs and I was able to remind myself of my New Years’ resolution for 2017. I’ve also decided that if I return to this blog I’m going to try and take a page from my good friend J.T. and start just “writing” instead of preaching or pontificating over world events – there are plenty of other much more intelligent folks for that kind of shit.

So without further ado – I present to you, in true Hollywood fashion:

“The Year of No Fucks Given – the Reboot”

It seems that with a new year it is customary to have some sort of resolution to commit yourself to for the next 365 days, or as the case usually is, for the next week- week and a half until you realize losing that 25 pounds, quitting smoking or even being a nicer more tolerant person actually takes effort and really – “Who has time for that shit? I’ve got more important things going to do – like forwarding this great meme on Facebook or posting a witty comment on my friends’ Instagram shot of his plate of humus and cauliflower. Wow – that was one long-ass run-on sentence. Maybe my resolution should be to work on my grammar and sentence structure skills – my Mom would be ashamed. Anyway – I digress (as usual). My point is that resolutions are silly, pointless and ultimately non-productive – so of course I will now explain what my new years’ resolution is.

This year I resolve to NOT GIVE A FUCK! “Just what do you mean by that, Curt?” you may ask – and, as with most of my ramblings, the answer is probably pretty vague, incoherent and makes sense only to me (but if that’s good enough for the President, then it’s good enough for me, right?) So I will try and explain the best I can since what would be the point of writing a blog anyway if I wasn’t trying to impart some sort of wisdom to the reader – actually there really is very little “wisdom” here, it’s just my way of performing a “memory dump” on my brain to keep “the voices” at bay – but I digress (again).

In order to better explain why I’m undertaking this philosophy I need to also explain my upbringing and my past insecurities. As most of you know (especially if you read my blogs I probably sound like a broken record on the subject) my family and friends mean everything to me and because of that I never wanted to do or say anything to jeopardize those relationships. This has been a huge struggle for me most of my life because my opinions on many subjects differ a great deal from many of my closest “people” and I’ve been afraid my voicing of anything contrary to the “collective norm” would cause a rift or even cost me a friend or loved one. And now in this day of Facebook, Twitter and such we’ve all witnessed this shit happen over and over again (especially during this past election fiasco…er, I mean season). This, compounded by a deep lack of self-esteem and fear of conflict throughout much of my life, really has caused me to “swallow my feelings” for far too long.

It’s hard to pinpoint one particular reason for this shift in psyche for me – maybe it’s the fact I’m in my 50’s and the grumpy-old-man-in-socks-and-sandals-yelling-at-the-damned-kids-in-my-yard genes have finally kicked in, some spiritual “awakening” has taken place, or perhaps I’m just tired of having my stomach tied up in knots over stupid shit. Whatever the reason – I just don’t give a fuck anymore. I finally have come to the understanding and the belief that I’m a pretty decent person and I tend to surround myself with pretty decent people so logically we should be able to be open with each other and respectful of our differences because that is what decent people do – and if you can’t fit in with that then I guess I was wrong and you can just fuck off and go about your business without me because I don’t need that baggage around my neck.

Now this doesn’t mean I’m going to start going on a tirade of angry posts or tweets about the downfall of society because of Trump, “the media”, religion, saggy-pants, “violent video games”, gluten-free-locally-sourced-noGMO-veganism or any number of subjects “the kids are into these days”. The other side of the no fucks coin is that I’m also trying to simplify my life, clear the clutter and not add to the mess whenever I can. One of my favorite filters to use when thinking about saying or posting something is “will this make me happy or will this make me money?” – if the answer is no then why bother. Also at this point in my life I’m pretty set in my views and beliefs and anyone’s clever Facebook meme or passive-aggressive twitter comment isn’t going to change me or make me “see the error of my ways” – and conversely my comment to your post (which I might disagree with) isn’t going to change you so why waste the key strokes. If I like or agree with your post I will respond approvingly – if not, I will scroll past it and get the fuck on with my life.

Now, I’m not saying I won’t answer a direct question about a subject – I will – I’m just saying I’m done trying to tailor my response to match your beliefs. If it really matters to you what my political beliefs or religious convictions are (spoiler alert – I don’t believe in either) I’m sure you can figure them out by getting to know me. But also know that if those subjects really do matter to you as a determining factor over whether or not you can be my friend then don’t bother because you are not the type of person I need in my life. If you voted for Trump or Hillary or Herambe or if you worship Jesus or Allah or the flying-spaghetti monster I don’t care – if you are a decent person and respectful of my views I will return the favor or if we can’t see eye-to-eye on a subject then we can just switch the subject and concentrate on the real important things in life like who makes the best beer or why do people still think a steak should be prepared any other way than medium-rare.

So now that you’ve read this I hope we are still friends and if that is not the case then have a nice life and don’t let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.

Peace.

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Goodbye Buddy – Wish I’d Known You Better

joshI’m getting pretty tired of using my blog as a tribute/obit page. If cancer could just stop taking away my people that would be great. This week the “Big C” decided it was time to claim another undeserving soul in my life and prove to me once again how cruel and random the universe can be sometimes. It also has really made me stop and think about how important, and unfortunately sometimes fragile, our connections to the people around us can be.

Josh was the guy who sat at the desk beside me for 8 years. He was one of the nicest and sweetest souls you could ever hope to meet. He was smart and witty. He never complained about the fact that he was the guy who always did the jobs none of us wanted to do. He was just “that guy” who you could always count on when you just couldn’t figure it out on your own – and now he’s gone. FUCK!

I have found that along with the obvious sorrow and sense of loss we all feel when someone in our lives dies there is always a specific “lesson” to be learned. With Josh my lesson was to be more engaged – more aware – more open with the people around me. As I said, I worked with Josh for 8 years but in all that time I never truly got to “know” him – a fact that really breaks my heart as I reflect on it, especially when I realize that I’m not alone in that club. In chatting with the other folks at work and reflecting on Josh we all have a similar story – what a great guy to work with – wish I knew more about him.

We all have people in our lives that you meet and within 2 hours you know their entire life’s story and we have others that are in our lives for years and you might be hard pressed to tell someone what their last name is – Josh (Joshua Matthews by the way) was one of the latter. Josh was just one of those quiet, unassuming guys who just didn’t share much about himself but didn’t have a problem sharing when asked – and now I’m REALLY sad I didn’t ask more often, because I’m pretty sure I missed a big opportunity to learn what he had to offer.

As I stare at the bicycle in the shop that he left behind, because he just didn’t have the strength to ride it to work anymore, I can’t stop myself from wishing I’d had just one more conversation, given him just one more ride home from work, shared just one more beer with him on the roof. We often talked about Josh when job opportunities would come up that seemed like a good fit for him or would help him to move up from his part-time status but something always would get in the way. It would be easy to assume he “lacked the motivation” to better his work situation but in retrospect I believe it is far more likely that he enjoyed the simple life he led. So many of us are so caught up in the constant need to fill every part of our world with stuff it’s easy to lose sight that the simple things in life have the most meaning. And I think Josh had that perspective.

So Godspeed to you my friend – please forgive me for being too caught up in my world to get to know more of yours. Peace brother.

Note to Universe….ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

10380671_10154766633460002_644219849383720608_oI’m at a loss – a loss for words, a loss for emotions, a loss for understanding. As the reality of the death my Aunt Rose has begun to sink in to the family, the universe has decided to “bitch-slap” our clan once again and take my Aunt Carolyn from us.

Now depending on your particular vision or belief system you can try and make sense of this all by saying “It’s God’s plan”, “It’s the natural order of things” or the tried and true “She’s in a better place” – but in reality – IT JUST FUCKING SUCKS! I’m sorry – Carolyn wouldn’t want me to be angry or use such language as I spoke about her leaving us but I’m nowhere near as great a person as she…and I am pissed off! Maybe my anger will help keep the tears at bay for a while…but I’m afraid that won’t be the case.

One of the only downsides to having such a tight-knit family as we do (with cousins, aunts and uncles treating each other like siblings and parents) is when we lose someone it hits hard and it hits deep. And then when you lose 2 within a few weeks you might as well just rip our hearts out of our chests and stomp on them. I still can’t quite fathom how anyone could believe there is some grand master-plan that would need to have 2 such loving, beautiful women suffer and die while so much ugliness and hatred in the world goes on seemingly unpunished. But then again I’m no theologian or great philosopher – I’m just a guy trying to deal with the fact I won’t be able to sit down and have a conversation with a couple of my most favorite people in the world.

Luckily I was able to have a nice chat with Carolyn a couple of weeks ago when she was still “herself”. She spoke very matter of fact about her fight with the cancer and how she still had lots to do in this life and wasn’t about to throw in the towel. She told me they were going to try a treatment on her (the same treatment that had worked for Jimmy Carter) and it was either going to work or she would just go and visit Rose. There was not the slightest bit of anxiousness or fear in her voice – this was just how it was and whatever was to happen she was perfectly ready for it. THAT was Carolyn – like I said, a far better person than I and probably the strongest person I have ever known.

If you were to meet Carolyn on the street you would have no idea how much love, compassion and faith could fit inside such a small package – she stood all of 4 foot nothing but her heart would fill a football stadium. I remember visiting her and my Uncle Bill one time when their youngest, my cousin Andy, was still in high school. I was sitting in the living room at lunch time when the front door opened and several kids I had never met just walked in and headed to the kitchen, then a few more and a few more and then Andy came in with a few more. They just started milling about when Carolyn joined them and started making sandwiches. I came to find out that this was a daily occurrence – the kids would skip the cafeteria at school and head on over to the Curtis house for lunch. And Carolyn LOVED it – she was the Mom to the whole high school and she wouldn’t have it any other way!

Carolyn was also a master seamstress – I doubt there’s not a single person in Benton City who doesn’t have a blanket or comforter or bag she made for them as a Christmas or birthday or graduation present or just because God told her (in one of their lengthy conversations) that they were cold and needed something warm to curl up in. In fact I’ve slept beneath one of her masterpieces for the better part of my entire life now and I’m sure tonight it will feel just that much warmer and comforting.

I love you Carolyn. Thanks for being my Aunt. Thanks for being my inspiration. Thanks for being you. Say hi to Mom and Rose for me.

A Rose By Any Other Name………..

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This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write. Partially because it’s hard to see the screen through the tears in my eyes or type because of my shaky fingers but mostly because there are no words in any language that can properly describe my Aunt Rose. How can you eulogize someone so important and inspirational or sum up the life of someone whose life has been so full and impactful to so many? In short – it’s impossible. To say that Rose was a one-of-a-kind person would be so much an understatement as to be ridiculous.

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Rose was so many things to so many people. She was a beautiful southern belle, a loving wife, a doting mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, a fierce and loyal friend, a devoted woman of faith and one the most noble and finest people to EVER walk this earth. She was much more than just my “Aunt Rosa” she was my second mother and the hole in my heart left by her passing is profound.

As I have written and said so many times in the past, my family is everything to me and no one in that family is more important than Rose. The pantheon of The Curtis Clan is rife with stories of Rose. So many stories that I’m sure they will fill a highly entertaining book someday (once we convince one of my cousins to put them down on paper). I could write for hours relaying my favorite tales of how Rose would pack a lunch with her whenever she left the house after moving to Lake Oswego in case she got lost trying to find her way home or how she would sit on the back of a motorcycle and read a book as she and my Uncle Bruce would head off on one of their expeditions. But my favorite story, and one that has the most meaning to my brother and I both took place about 13 years ago when we lost our parents.

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It was early the next morning after my brother and I had received the news of the accident. The family had all been called and told the news and Tom and I were just starting to come to grips with what had happened when Rose arrived. As soon as she had heard what had happened she packed a bag and called my cousin and they hit the road from Portland to Spokane because “her boys needed a mommy right now!” She and my mother had a special bond that was more than just from being sisters-in-law. They were the sisters that neither of them had ever had and the loss of my mother and my father was nearly as devastating for her as it was for Tom and me. But she was there for us – holding us close, sitting beside us as we made arraignments, letting us cry on her shoulders – being our Mommy! It is a love that can never be matched and a debt that that can never be repaid what Rose did for us and what Rose meant to us.

These past weeks have been hard on us all as the reality of the inevitable has set in. And through it all, as the family gathered and stood vigil around Rose as she spent her final days with us on this plane of existence, her smile never faded and her love never waned. My greatest solace through this is knowing that because of the constant strength of her family and her unyielding faith she left this earth with nothing but peace and love in her heart and a song on her lips.

I love you my dear Rose – your work here is done – keep dancing and give Mom and Dad a kiss for me.

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Hello My Name is Curt…….And I’m A Pussy

OK – full disclaimer here. It’s late at night, I can’t sleep and I’m a bit emotionally drained so I’m not sure where this post is going to go or if it will make any sense…I’m sure I’ll regret it in the morning. Although I have managed to stay sober so I’ve got that on my side……wait, maybe I SHOULD have a drink.

I’ve tried VERY hard lately to stick to my promise and stay as non-political on Facebook as I can. I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking, reading and researching to try and get a better understanding of my friends and family whose political or religious views are not like mine. I still have my own biases and beliefs of course but I’ve really struggled to make sure I give everyone as much respect and “benefit of the doubt” as possible.  One of my greatest points of pride has been not blocking anyone or un-friending anyone because of their views because even if I don’t comment, repost, hit the smiley face or like someone’s post I still want to be able to read it and decide if it has merit and requires some research on my part or if it’s the greatest cat video I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately that may have come to a halt tonight.

Tonight I got called out on my own page for being a pussy. A friend posted a video on my page and tagged me in it. The video was about the violent protests at the Portland airport and I was called out to denounce the actions of these people. I happened to be out playing trivia at the time and was getting ready to put away my phone when I saw I had been tagged. I have many times said how I in no way condone violence or property destruction in anyway while trying to exercise ones constitutional rights and didn’t want to further advertise those actions on my page so I untagged myself and went about my evening. A couple of hours later I get a strange text from my niece asking me “Who is this ….. guy?” At this point I check Facebook and find that the friend that had tagged me had now updated the post and called be a pussy for untagging myself and not “being a man” by denouncing publicly the actions of these assholes at the airport in my own backyard. And if that wasn’t bad enough my daughter had seen these comments and lashed out in my defense in fine and fiery fashion. By the time I entered the fray several volleys of insults had been lobbed and the shitstorm was in full effect.

Now this person who started this is someone I haven’t known long but have always considered him to be a fine person and a person of great intelligence and integrity. He has opened his home to me and we have shared some really great times together. I also knew from his postings that he did not share my views on the current political scene but I never gave a shit about that because I don’t judge someone by their politics or their religion because that is how you end up all the shittiest stuff happening in the world and you miss out on what’s really important. Besides – I grew up in a conservative family and though I tend to be more “left-leaning” in my societal views I also agree with many thoughts from “the other side” so I know that just because you voted for Trump doesn’t mean you’re a racist, Nazi, war-monger just as if you voted for Obama doesn’t mean you’re a lazy, welfare taking pussy. I have a son who fought and was injured in a war I didn’t necessarily agree with but could not be more proud of him for his commitment and sacrifice for what he believes in. And I have a daughter who should have probably been born in the sixties with a peace sign tattooed on her forehead who I am equally proud of for standing up for her ideals as well. Both – apparently – have bigger spines than I do.

Wow- that’s a lot of back-story. My mind is really wondering. Sorry. Now what was the point I was trying to make, besides expunging my brain of all this ugliness? Oh yeah – I’m a pussy. Yep – guilty as charged! I’m been doing a lot of thinking tonight and a lot of remembering. I think the last time I was called a pussy was when the neighborhood bully would push me to the ground on the way to middle school and laugh at me when I didn’t fight back. I never did fight back. Not with my fists – only with my words (I was a smartass) which, of course, only got my ass beat even more.

It’s true, I’ve never been a fighter. I have always tried to avoid conflict as much as possible my whole life because I suck at it and have never known conflict to lead to anything good. Maybe I should have been the one born in the sixties with all this peace and love bullshit…oh wait, I was. And if that somehow makes me less of a man then okay then. I have never asked anyone to apologize for my actions (or lack of action) or to fight a battle for me. I own my mistakes and take my triumphs in stride. That’s enough for me and if that’s not enough for you, well, that’s on you.

Okay – I just re-read the previous paragraphs and I’m sure this is not going to make any sense tomorrow. I really haven’t addressed the initial “incident”. So let’s wrap this up with a response to my lack of response to “he who shall not be named”.

You are right my friend – I should have publicly denounced the actions of the misguided protesters at the Portland airport. So to the folks at PDX – Being unhappy with the actions taken by a man out of fear and hate should not make you respond with fear and hate as well. Lowing yourself to the level of such a person only fuels the fires against you. Harming other people who have done you no harm simply makes you as bad as those you oppose!

And on a side note to my “friend” who called me out. You can think of me as a pussy if you like – I’m fine with that. But if you ever again question my abilities as a father simply because you don’t like having my daughter call you names for “bullying her father” then maybe it’s time for boxing lessons. FUCK YOU.

2017 – The Year of No Fucks Given

no-fucks-to-give-back-in-the-day_o_2377767It seems that with a new year it is customary to have some sort of resolution to commit yourself to for the next 365 days, or as the case usually is, for the next week- week and a half until you realize losing that 25 pounds, quitting smoking or even being a nicer more tolerant person actually takes effort and really – “Who has time for that shit? I’ve got more important things going to do – like forwarding this great meme on Facebook or posting a witty comment on my friends’ Instagram shot of his plate of hummus and cauliflower. Wow – that was one long-ass run-on sentence. Maybe my resolution should be to work on my grammar and sentence structure skills – my Mom would be ashamed. Anyway – I digress (as usual). My point is that resolutions are silly, pointless and ultimately non-productive – so of course I will now explain what my new years’ resolution is.

This year I resolve to NOT GIVE A FUCK! “Just what do you mean by that, Curt?” you may ask – and, as with most of my ramblings, the answer is probably pretty vague, incoherent and makes sense only to me (but if that’s good enough for the President-elect, then it’s good enough for me, right?) So I will try and explain the best I can since what would be the point of writing a blog anyway if I wasn’t trying to impart some sort of wisdom to the reader – actually there really is very little “wisdom” here, it’s just my way of performing a “memory dump” on my brain to keep “the voices” at bay – but I digress (again).

In order to better explain why I’m undertaking this philosophy I need to also explain my upbringing and my past insecurities. As most of you know (especially if you read my blogs I probably sound like a broken record on the subject) my family and friends mean everything to me and because of that I never wanted to do or say anything to jeopardize those relationships. This has been a huge struggle for me most of my life because my opinions on many subjects differ a great deal from many of my closest “people” and I’ve been afraid my voicing of anything contrary to the “collective norm” would cause a rift or even cost me a friend or loved one. And now in this day of Facebook, Twitter and such we’ve all witnessed this shit happen over and over again (especially during this past election fiasco…er, I mean season). This, compounded by a deep lack of self-esteem and fear of conflict throughout much of my life, really has caused me to “swallow my feelings” for far too long.

It’s hard to pinpoint one particular reason for this shift in psyche for me – maybe it’s the fact I’m in my 50’s and the grumpy-old-man-in-socks-and-sandals-yelling-at-the-damned-kids-in-my-yard genes have finally kicked in, some spiritual “awakening” has taken place, or perhaps I’m just tired of having my stomach tied up in knots over stupid shit. Whatever the reason – I just don’t give a fuck anymore. I finally have come to the understanding and the belief that I’m a pretty decent person and I tend to surround myself with pretty decent people so logically we should be able to be open with each other and respectful of our differences because that is what decent people do – and if you can’t fit in with that then I guess I was wrong and you can just fuck off and go about your business without me because I don’t need that baggage around my neck.no-fucks

Now this doesn’t mean I’m going to start going on a tirade of angry posts or tweets about the downfall of society because of Trump, “the media”, religion, saggy-pants, “violent video games”, gluten-free-locally-sourced-noGMO-veganism or any number of subjects “the kids are into these days”. The other side of the no fucks coin is that I’m also trying to simplify my life, clear the clutter and not add to the mess whenever I can. One of my favorite filters to use when thinking about saying or posting something is “will this make me happy or will this make me money?” – if the answer is no then why bother. Also at this point in my life I’m pretty set in my views and beliefs and anyone’s clever Facebook meme or passive-aggressive twitter comment isn’t going to change me or make me “see the error of my ways” – and conversely my comment to your post (which I might disagree with) isn’t going to change you so why waste the key strokes. If I like or agree with your post I will respond approvingly – if not, I will scroll past it and get the fuck on with my life.

Now, I’m not saying I won’t answer a direct question about a subject – I will – I’m just saying I’m done trying to tailor my response to match your beliefs. If it really matters to you what my political beliefs or religious convictions are (spoiler alert – I don’t believe in either) I’m sure you can figure them out by getting to know me. But also know that if those subjects really do matter to you as a determining factor over whether or not you can be my friend then don’t bother because you are not the type of person I need in my life. If you voted for Trump or Hillary or Herambe or if you worship Jesus or Allah or the flying-spaghetti monster I don’t care – if you are a decent person and respectful of my views I will return the favor or if we can’t see eye-to-eye on a subject then we can just switch the subject and concentrate on the real important things in life like who makes the best beer or why do people still think a steak should be prepared any other way than medium-rare.

So now that you’ve read this I hope we are still friends and if that is not the case then have a nice life and don’t let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.

Peace.

Merry Christmas – Please Don’t be Offended

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Christmas 1968

Well it’s the holiday season once again. A time to gather together and join in our most sacred of traditions – watching Clark Griswold dig up the perfect family Christmas tree, seeing Ralphie almost shoot his eye out, cheering as Hans Gruber takes his fatal plummet from the Nakatomi Plaza or bitching about the Starbucks barista handing you a cup with snowflakes on it and wishing you “Happy Holidays”.

First off let me start off this blog by stating very clearly – if you are offended by someone telling you “Merry Christmas” – then fuck off and get over yourself. And guess what? If you are offended by someone wishing you “Happy Holidays”, “Happy Hanukkah”, “Joyous Yule”, “Merry Kwanza” or even “Great Festivous” – fuck off and get over yourself as well! I am so completely done and sick to death of hearing about “The War on Christmas” or how we need to get back to the real “reason for the season” and why our children are being destroyed by commercialism and greed. If your little Johnny or Suzie throws a fit because Santa didn’t bring them the Ultra-Mega-Super-Robo Battle Bot or Enchanted-Fairy-Pixie-Whore Barbie they wanted it’s not because they were brainwashed by the evil retail industry and their multi-billion dollar advertising machine – it’s because you are a shit parent and haven’t done your job of teaching them REAL values!

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Well, that was a super cheery holiday message wasn’t it? Sorry – just feeling a bit ranty – or maybe I’m just suffering from the Christmas Blues or Holiday Blahs or whatever else bullshit psycho-babble  “condition” we like to use to label people who get fed up with people trying to tell everyone how they should feel or act or worship this time of the year. (kinda like I’m doing right now with this blog) Hey, if there’s one thing you can always count on me for is that I’m quite comfortable and consistent with my hypocrisy.

Ok, time to calm down and get to the real meat of why I am writing this particular blog. I LOVE Christmas! I LOVE the Holiday Season! If I had been brought up Jewish I’m sure I’d be equally ecstatic about Hanukkah as well. For me, with all due respect to my Christian friends and family, the “reason for the season” is way more than the birth of one middle eastern child in a barn, the dedication of a holy temple, celebration of African American heritage, a rebirth of the seasons or even receiving presents from a happy over-weight home invader in a red suit. The reason, I see, is woven throughout how we ALL celebrate ALL the different holidays this time of year. The reason is togetherness, the reason is love, the reason is community, the reason is peace and joy and fellowship with our fellow man. And guess what? You don’t have subscribe to a particular religious affiliation or be a member of an ethnic group to “be a part of the celebration” – you just have to be a human being and open your heart up to the possibility that you are not the center of the universe!

Though my point of reference is Christmas, since those are the traditions I was raised in, I believe my thoughts and feelings are pretty universal across most holiday celebrations. And even though I am quite secular in my views I have absolutely no quarrel with or reason to discount anyone’s spiritual beliefs as their personal interpretation of the universe we all inhabit. This particular Christmas has many in my family a little down for a variety of reasons whether it’s a loss of a loved one, the knowledge that this will probably be a “last Christmas” for some or some personal turmoil or burden that is weighing heavily. And it’s because of those reasons it’s even more important to embrace our core values of love and family and celebrate even more enthusiastically.

So get out there and drop some money in a bucket, buy a gift for a loved one, light a candle in remembrance of someone, build a gingerbread house, dance naked under the moon – just do it with joy in your heart and love on your mind.

Merry Christmas you filthy animals!!

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“Shitter was full!”