The end of the calendar year: a time for a rambling look back at what was and wiping the blackboard clean for the scribbles of a new year. It’s been thirty years (and some change) since I moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. That was roughly half my life ago.
I realize the former is a city while the latter is an entire state, but L.A. is so much a place unto itself (call it a state of mind) that I really do think of the move that way. It took years to shed my West Coast cloak — that Los Angeles state of mind — but now I’m a full-on Minnesotan.
Looking back, those three decades form three distinct acts.
Well, it’s that time of year when WordPress generates our Annual Report and we find out how many sold-out Sydney Opera House performances we earned. My first full year (2012) as a blogger I didn’t even rate one! That year visitors were compared to Mt. Everest climbers, and I’m sure there was no intended connection with oxygen deprivation.
This year — identically to last year — I managed to fill the House “about” five times. That’s page views; I’m up just shy of 500 views from last year (not quite a 4% increase). Visitors is another matter. Over 2,000 more visitors stopped by this year (a 140% increase).
But I really wanted to write about the posts…
Countdown reaches zero; engines start; the duodecad comes to life. We have Christmas Lift Off! (“The partridge is in the tree.” Repeat: “The partridge is in the tree.”) Christmas has launched! Today is the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas. On your mark, get set, go!
Two years ago at this time I was reeling from being Freshly Pressed. To this day no other post has so many readers or comments. (Just another irony in a life where they’re as common as Tribbles.) The final Way-Back links are to Christmas Thoughts and Christmas Afterthoughts (the latter of which has the poem I wrote about being FP — the former is about lefse and lutefisk).
Now here’s some music for Chillaxmas Day…
It’s Christmas Eve Day! When I was growing up the evening consisted of the special family dinner and dessert, a Christmas lesson, opening the presents under the tree, all capped off with a midnight church service. Christmas morning brought stuffed stockings of trinkets and candy, but the Eve was the Big Night.
The Way-Back link is to the 2012 Christmas Eve post when I’d just learned that my Santa: Man or Woman post had been Freshly Pressed. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the poem I wrote to commemorate the discovery.
Now the Christmas Eve musical selections…
The Countdown continues; Christmas is getting closer! Today I have, not one, but two poems — both “politically correct” parodies of familiar seasonal icons.
The first Way-Back link is a new look at the The Night Before Christmas and Santa’s woes in a consumer-aware world (worse than his woes with physics). The second picks up the next day with The (Politically Correct) Twelve Days of Christmas. (Both are neolithic email “shares” from the ghost of Christmas Past.)
And now fun — and funny — Christmas tunes…
Some of you are back to work today; some of you took the week off to relax or get ready. Time is short, so get any last minute requests to Santa before it’s too late! (For the record, I have never written a letter to Santa. My parents never played the Santa Trick on me or my sister.)
The theme is Dear Santa (I Want), and the Way-Back link is to another neolithic share. This one containing two missives for Mr. Claus, one from a Ms. Barbara “Lawyer Barbie” Mattel (of the South Beach Mattels), and one from a Mr. Kenneth “Doll” Mattel (of the less well-to-do Redondo Beach branch).
And now, a set of secular seasonal selections…
Whoo-Hoo! Did you feel that? We just went around Darkness Corner. Not that circles have corners, but — zipping along at 67 thousand miles per hour — we just swung past the point of longest night and shortest day.
For those of us north of the equator anyway.Those of you below it must regret the days starting now to get shorter. My condolences. (If it’s any consolation, the Earth’s speed is 107 thousand kilometers per hour.) Naturally the Way-Back link is to the 2012 Winter Solstice post.
This empyrean reason for the holiday demands extra-special music…
After an analysis of Santa’s physical parameters, we’re still curious about the Claus. Does Santa, in fact, have claws? They would certainly help with chimneys. A question of quite some interest is: Does Santa have sex (in the biology class sense)? If so, ♂ or ♀?
The Way-Back link is to Santa: Man or Woman? It’s my only small claim to fame on WordPress — it’s the only post I’ve had Freshly Pressed! (How ironic it wasn’t a piece I actually wrote. It’s another fax or email “share” from the neolithic era of technology.)
And now, more music…
Back in the days when fax machines were cool, “sharing” was a tiny trickle compared to the raging river of today. “Images” were black and white (not even grays) and 8.5″ x 11″ paper-sized. “Texts” were also that size, came in a variety of “fonts.” Both usually looked like something that had been photocopied 500 times.
Then as now there were gems. Here’s (a link to) one of them: Santa Claus: Fact or Fiction? It’s a trenchant treatise on the putative physical reality of Santa Claus. It considers some of the numbers involved, but I’ve never verified them, so be warned (38.5% of statistics are made up on the spot).
And now, today’s musical selections:
At this point in the season, various versions have already aired more than a few times, but tonight marks the first time for me to sit down and popcorn out on A Christmas Carol (by any other name). And sometime this week I’ll read the online version at Gutenberg. It’s one of my all-time favorite stories!
Today also marks the beginning of the one-week Christmas Countdown. Each day brings a short controversy-free, technology-free, gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free, chemical-free free range Christmas post with a link back to a post from the Christmas Cycle in 2012. Considering the viewing schedule tonight, the link can only be to A Christmas Carol. (You can watch the Mr. Magoo version there!)
And each day, below the fold: Christmas Music!