Monthly Archives: December 2011

Have A Great New Year’s Eve

The movie from which this comes, Get Crazy (1983), alternates between silly and point-blank dumb at times, but it’s still my baseline for New Year’s Eve live music events. I’ll also warn you all that I see no reason why garden shows can’t be this intense, too. You’ll see why if and when I can get the “Manchester United Flower Show” off the ground.

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Have a Great Weekend

And now a summation of 2011:

Have a Great Weekend

I’m living in my own private Tanelorn

Radio silence over the last week, mostly due to having a surfeit of vacation time at the Day Job that needed to be burned off or lost. This meant that, like the protagonist in too many really downbeat novels, I had to face my deepest darkness. Instead of, say, traveling up the Mekong to stop Colonel Kurtz or prevent Tyler Durden from setting off the last bit of Project Mayhem, I went waaaaaaaay deeper. I cleaned out my office.

The basic aspect of sweeping clean the Augean Workspace was relatively painless compared to the sifting. I didn’t realize how many boxes I had that were full of correspondence from the late Eighties and early Nineties, check stubs from companies dead a full 15 years, and holiday cards from people who meant a lot to me half my life ago. That’s not counting newspaper cuttings on subjects that must have had some significance in 1992, but that were completely clue-free today. The local paper recycler loves me, and not just because I’d been dragging around boxes full of obsolete catalogs because “I’ll get around to sorting it one day.” That went double for my once-voluminous magazine collection: when the Czarina and I got married in 2002, I had a full 25 legal boxes full of archived magazines, not counting my separate archive of magazines for which I’ve written. Now, I’m down to two, and one of those is solely a collection of Bonsai Today back issues that are nearly impossible to replace.

Along that line, going through all of that correspondence from my writing days, I’ve made a resolution for 2012. I spent a good four years trying to warn writer and publisher friends about the inevitable implosion of Borders Books, and took nothing but grief for doing so. After about the eighth missive whining about how I was a really negative vibe merchant who was bringing down the entire world for suggesting that Borders employees should get out while they had the chance, I stopped responding “What: like your trousers?” Likewise, going through that two-decade-old mail made me realize that publishing itself, particularly science fiction publishing, hasn’t changed at all since then, other than the names of the big players. You have some new names, and a lot of older names that are now greyer and fatter than they were back then, and a few who became trivia questions about fifteen minutes after their funerals. Because of that, I’m just going to smile and nod concerning publishing in 2012, mostly so I can laugh and point at some of the bigger casualties after the fact. Me, vindictive? Naah. I promise that when I celebrate the demises of several smaller publishers based on their current output, I’ll keep the music down and only pull out the cheap champagne.

On brighter subjects, yesterday marked nine years of marital bliss between myself and the Czarina, and we were promptly informed by a good friend that this was our pottery anniversary. Considering that our day was spent poking through antique stores poring over old pots, planters, and Wardian cases, it fits. Discovering that our next anniversary is “tin” brought forth actual screams from the Czarina, by the way, as I’ve already mentioned that I’m planning to have a party to celebrate the occasion. Costumes for the waitstaff, perhaps?

Anyway, back to the linen mines. Four boxes of old papers remain, and I may actually be finished with cleaning, dusting, sorting, and pitching by next Monday. By Tuesday morning, it’ll be time to get back to gardening preparation, as 2012 is probably going to be as intense in that aspect as 2011. I hope not, but I’m trying to be realistic. In the meantime, get ready for another Joey Box contest: I just sent off Joey and Cheryl’s box for the year (nearly 20 kilos’ worth), and I have a lot of other items that just wait for new homes.

I’m living in my own private Tanelorn

The biggest difference between the Czarina’s family and my family: Christmas dinner. My maternal grandfather, who loved to cook but didn’t like the time wasted on long trips, would have laughed himself sick over this. My paternal grandfather would have thought about this and said “You know, this could work.” The Czarina and her family, though, look at this and just collectively scream in horror. After ten Christmas dinners with me, you’d think they’d be hoarse by now.

Have a Great Weekend

Your choice: the official video on a really old VHS dub:

Or the single:

Either way, Bad News taught Spinal Tap everything they know.

“The holiday horror…the horror…”

For those who haven’t met Mary of Black Walnut Dispatch in your forays across botanical cyberspace, I regret that she isn’t my little sister. Anyone with as much of an appreciation for unmutilated crepe myrtles as she deserves an emergency adoption, and that goes double for discovering the world’s most Lovecraftian Osage orange tree.

Anyway, Mary recently posted her list of TOP TEN GARDENING GIFTS FROM HELL, and I can quibble about only one of these. I happen to be one of the few people on the planet who likes aerator sandals, but not for the stated reasons. Besides having some positive results with controlling June bug grubs, I keep my sandals as a promise to several editors and publishers from my entertainment media days. I swore a long time ago that if their faces caught fire, I’d only stomp out the flames with these sandals, after guaranteeing that the spikes were sufficiently rusty. Other than that, though, she’s right about everything else, particularly those horrible seed bomb bon-bons. Speaking as someone whose spouse and Day Job boss are dedicated chocovores, these are just cruel.

The funny thing about all of this is I’m not worried for about gifts for myself. After all, I’ve already let the Czarina know my very reasonable demands for gardening bliss, and I know she has alternatives if she can’t follow through. (She keeps mumbling in her sleep “A swift kick in the butt doesn’t even need to be wrapped,” and I suspect this is some arcane code for “Paul’s crocodile monitor is on its way”.) I just wonder, considering how insane everyone gets over outre gnome and zombie statuary, if an online catalog for gonzo gardening supplies and decorations isn’t in order. That and a couple of big shows for the horticulturally inclined: referring to it as the “Manchester United Flower Show”, so as to distinguish it from its competition, should work, shouldn’t it?