Sunday, December 28, 2003

Bad Dog

There is still no news from the Beagle Mars probe.

Why does it not surprise me that a spacecraft named after a dog is not responsive to commands?

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Bah, Humbug

Five days to Christmas and I have wrapped no presents and sent no cards.

There are no decorations clogging up our apartment. Outside, many of our neighbors have brought out the gaudy lights and blow-up plastic dolls. One such bedecked house I have nicknamed Santa's Old Time Las Vegas Whorehouse. It's a wall of multi-colored lighting and a clusterfuck of holiday figures on its tiny front lawn.

My lack of enthusiasm is partly laziness but mostly indifference to the materialism embedded in the festival.

It's hard to buy presents for me and Ann. We're both at a point in our lives when we have enough stuff. I just want to spend some time with friends and family cooking, eating and talking. Or I would like to just curl up on the couch with Ann and enjoy some of our many unread books and unseen films.

Plus I feel too much pressure at Christmas to enjoy it. There's the desperate ruckus at the stores to find presents that people would want. Then there's the pressure to smile when you open your present on the day and it's not what you really wanted.

So this year I've pretty much checked out of Christmas. I will enjoy spending time with Ann and her family at her mother's house in Hyannis. Together Ann and I will buy a few presents for each other at the stores and on-line. And, with luck, I'll read at least one book of fiction. That's how I prefer to be festive.

Friday, December 12, 2003

The Giving Season

Ann's birthday is December 23rd. I'm going to buy her a present for Christmas as well as one for her birthday. Why penalize people just because their parents got frisky in late March?

The birthday gift is some serious pampering. After a good brunch at a place yet to be determined, we're off to the Linear Aveda salon on Boylston Street where Ann can be girly and I can be metrosexual. I just booked a full afternoon program that includes a facial, a manicure, a pedicure as well as an hour's massage...for both of us.

Neither of has had either set of nails done. I've never had a facial. It should be an interesting new experience for both of us.

For Christmas I've proposed going shopping together. That way we can enjoy each other's company as we each pick out something we really like and then not pay for it. It sounds ideal to me.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

From My Inbox

From: Boston College Alumni Association
Subject: Winter Wonderland 2003 Postponed
To: Simon Billenness

"Due to the severe weather in the Boston area, Winter
Wonderland 2003 has been postponed...."

Yes. You heard it right. Winter Wonderland is postponed due to snow.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Photos From Peru...

...of big Mexican hairless dogs.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Let It Snow...

I swear there was an extra spring in my step as I crunched down the snow-swept sidewalk this morning.

I also wonder if I have reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. I'm sure I feel more cheerful and alive in the cold weather. It's the sweaty sun-beaten torpor of summer that brings me down.

Given a choice, I'd spend the fall and winter in Boston. Then I'd spend the spring and summer on the morning-fog enshrouded Pacific side of San Francisco.

Few people seem to share my winter enthusiasm, except perhaps for my liking for fresh-fallen snow.

So I'm different from most people. Yeah, that rarely happens.