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Doing to “O, Holy Night” what ought to be done to “O, Holy Night” after I’ve heard it fifty or sixty times…..

Have you ever looked up at the summah sky to see big clouds that, with just a few extra torques of energy, could turn into thunderstorms, but somehow don’t?  Robbo’s ideas engine is experiencing that same phenomenon.

♦  Sign-up sheets have now been posted for next spring’s softball season in my neck of the woods.  Ol’ Robbo is mighty happy about that.  Both the younger gels will be playing, most probably on the same team.  And of course, Dad will offer his meager coaching skills for the Cause as well.

♦  In this article about the appalling decline in marriage rates in this country, I noticed the following editorial creep:  “The proportion of adults who are married has plunged to record lows as more people decide to live together now and wed later, reflecting decades of evolving attitudes about the role of marriage in society.”  Evolving?  Project much?

♦  Caught the original True Grit on teevee the other evening and I’ve got to say flatly that I actually like the newer one more.  Not that the original isn’t fine.  Weakest part? Kim Darby as Mattie.  Too much late 60’s gee-whiz about her.  (A not uncommon type at the time, I believe.)  And Glen Campbell hasn’t got a patch on Matt Damon.

♦   Last evening found the younger gels making clay models of historickal items for their class at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method.  The middle gel, rayther ambitiously, opted to recreate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  When she mentioned the Neo-Babylonian Empire, I suddenly had a brain freeze as to who had conquered it.  So I dashed into the library, scooped up my Herodotus and read aloud excerpts about the Persian Cyrus the Great, who was, of course, the man responsible.  To their great credit, rayther than howling with boredom or horror, the gels were actually interested.  Evidently, the nerd side of the Force is strong in them.  Good.   Gooooood.

♦  Somebody from RFEC recently asked Mrs. R if I was a member of Opus Dei.  Whenever that name is brought up, I always bug out my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, and say, “Boogie! Boogie! Boo!

♦  Well I think it’s funny.

♦  Concurrently reading Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers and watching the HBO series dramatization of same, I’m impressed with the very high quality of both.   The only thing I don’t like about the prose of the book is Ambrose’s constant insertion of what I call “Regular Joe” language.

♦  When I am emperor of the world, opera stars who give full-throated, vibrato-laden renditions of popular songs – including, especially, Christmas songs – will be publicly flogged.

♦  Did I mention that the eldest gel’s CYO basketball team won their second game of the season this past weekend?  I don’t have much interest in or knowledge of basketball, but I will tell you this: Seeing the gel, who is a rank novice, drive right down the lane, hit the lay-up, draw the foul and sink the free-throw was a positive delight.

♦  Finally, today is the anniversary of the first day of the Battle of Nashville, fought in 1864, in which Union General George H. Thomas effectively annihilated the Confederate Army of the Tennessee under poor old John Bell Hood.  I don’t have anything illuminating to say about the battle, but instead use the occassion as an excuse to repost a favorite painting of mine:

So there you go.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, today ol’ Robbo must face up to that most dreadful of all employment-related experiences, the office holiday party.  For the past several years I’ve managed to duck it by scheduling travel, but it looks like this year I have no choice but to face the musick.

As you might gather, I’m really not looking forward to it.  In my shop, these things tend to be stilted, potentially dangerous affairs.  The combination of a wildly varying level of social sophistication among the inmates with an intensely polarized and hair-trigger political atmosphere means that unless one is the sort of person who enjoys running through a minefield with one’s eyes closed, one keeps one’s prattle to the lowest common denominator of banality.   And my fellow port swillers, I just can’t maintain that sort of thing for any great length of time.   It isn’t festive, it’s hard labor.

Well, I suppose I will do what I usually do:  Put in an appearance, say a few hellos, make sure that I am seen to be present by the Right People, and then sneak back off to my office as quietly as possible.



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December 2011