Book in a Year #242

Have a drinkWhen I was a kid, Christmas was one of the times when family and friends would make an extra effort to meet up and spend some time together.  It wasn’t like we wouldn’t see each other the rest of the year, but at Christmas there was that little bit of extra time to make it happen.

As a kid, the bonus here was that you would always get extra treats, goodies and maybe even gifts.

That wasn’t me being greedy or self-serving. That was me being a kid.

Which, now that I think about it, is kinda one and the same.

Of course, there was always the chance that if you visited in the days after Christmas, a cousin might well have gotten that really cool thing you had been yearning for… nay, dreaming of your whole life… right from the first moment you had seen it… in their hand… 30 seconds after you arrived.

But those were fleeting moments, as I was lucky enough to have cousins who would share… and there was a more than good chance they were feeling the same jealous pangs about whatever I’d received.

Fast forward to today.

Where I live a 3500 miles away from most of my family.

And the majority of those miles are the wet kind, so it’s not like I could set off super early and make the drive.

In years past I’ve had family even further away and friends I went to elementary school with go all the way around the world.  

Full disclosure: On some level, in the part of my head that’s still the little kid who would get excited about going over to see cousins, in the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, this concept still blows my mind.

I have friends across the globe.  Old friends and family still in the UK.  New friends close at hand and some spread across the continent I now call home.  I have friends I’ve met through work or socially, in person and online.  Friends who are so far away they will start their celebrations almost a day before I do.

And yes, with that time difference I’m even taking into account the fact that No.3 Son will likely be awake at an ungodly hour to see if Santa has been yet.

The thing that brought me so far away from the place I was born and raised is the thing that helps me keep in touch with them now.  The interwebs.

So I’ll use that technology to send out this message.

Wherever you are, and however we know each other, be that relations, friends new and old, or you’ve stumbled on something I’ve written and decided to stay around to see what I come up with next (if you’re in this group, thanks for reading), I wish you all the happiest holiday season.  I hope it finds you with the ones you care about, and if you have to spend time with some of the less liked relations…

Y’ know, like cousin Morty, with the bad comb-over, weird cabbage-like aroma and wandering hands.

…that time is short and cushioned by alcohol… or candy canes… or a chance to use that new app on your phone that will fake an emergency call.

However you celebrate this time of year, wherever you are, have a great time and have a drink for me.

‘Cos I’m gonna be having one for you.

Possibly two… because I care.


Project Status Updates

Book in a Year #224

Nelson MandelaI know with the recent casting of Wonder Woman in the next Superman movie happening… and then the first official trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2 coming out… and a half dozen other things that are of major importance to the maintenance of a free world, it’s easy to miss smaller stories that happen somewhere else.

Of course, on occasion, even things that happen in other places make it into the news.  So in all likelihood you have seen this.

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela dies in Johannesburg.

Being that this IS something that happened somewhere else, and that I likely have readers who have no idea of the history of the man, I’d encourage you to check something the BBC put together here, about Mandela’s life.

Now when someone like Mandela dies, it has an impact, and in the world of politics this is just the kind of event one can hitch a name to and gain some exposure from.

Whether it’s appropriate or not.

So I wasn’t at all surprised to see things like this….

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 11.49.41 AM

….popping up on my Facebook wall today.  

This is just one example, and I’ve seen variations on a theme, usually aimed at right wing politicos, both here in the U.S. and back in the U.K.

That kind of political hay-making is tacky.  It is hypocritical.  It’s even out right obnoxious.

But I would suggest that anyone who feels the urge to lay down some righteous fury at those who are exploiting this situation; aiming hate and vitriol where it might well be deserved.  I’d suggest those people consider the example of Mandela himself.  Are you behaving in a manner that personifies the person you’re attempting to honor?

I’m not defending the political hacks who will doubtlessly say whatever they feel portrays them in the best light to achieve their personal ambitions, merely trying to value a better example.

Just a thought.