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This is my new polo shirt Someone gave me for Christmas.  It is acid pink – a flamingo on crack.  Ain’t it fabulous?  I gave him a pink shirt too. His is more soft/warm/pastel pink. After all, he is a ‘Spring”.  Now we can go out in public as a couple of pansies.

As is my wont, the first word of the new year is “Rabbit”, which is said for good luck.  I think of my brothers, as we have done this since we were little boys.

I will read “The Little Match Girl” this night, as is also my wont.

Someone and I don’t have any NYE plans. I will watch Times Square – 10PM MST – and go to sleep.

I wish Spo-fans the best for 2010. May this new year be something marvelous for us all. May it be the best year ever.

Spo-Reflections had a record month of over 30,000 visitors !!

It sees 350,000 visitors by year’s end.


Thank you!

Most people get festive on New Years’ Eve. I tend to get thoughtful and reflective.  On the plane ride home I reread this year’s journal. I recalled what happened this year.

Each year’s diary conveys a general theme and emotion.

At the conclusion of  reading 2009’s journal, there is a sense of neutrality. 2009 had some pleasant times;  it had some sad ones too. 2009 was a copacetic year.

The year seemed a bit dull, without great growth or revelations.  The year ends with a ‘hmmm’ rather than a ‘wow’ or a ‘phew’.

The year went by quickly. Some of this is the process of aging.  In 2009, Someone and I both showed signs of growing older. There is paradox to neutrality; when nothing happens, time flies.

It reminds me of the following quote from Graham Greene-

“The Accumulation of Memory!

A man without memories may live to be 100 yet feel like his life had been but a brief one”

So where does this put me for 2010?  I won’t try to make 2010 particularly ‘anything’.

I will let it be and see what happens.

This Zen approach sounds right.

Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve I make the annual trek to a bookstore to purchase a blank journal. It is for the new year.  Here are some  from the last decade:

I had a mania yearning to write long before blogs came around. I started keeping a journal in high school. Here is my first journal, 1978.

Entry  12/29/1978 :

“Not much is happening. Got Grandmother at the airport. We had our ‘second Christmas”. I got some sheet music – “Time in a Bottle”, “Man of La Mancha”. I also got some pajamas and a Tolkien puzzle and the Narnia books.  I read all night. I watched TV for once – Monty Python. I drew Aragorn. We received a log maker.”

Keeping a journal was not a regular hobby. For example, I did one every year from 1989 – 1992 . Then in September 1992 I stopped in the middle of a sentence. I did not restart journaling again until 1998. Hence forth it has been continuous.

I started blogging in 2006. My journal entries have diminished both in frequency and amount. Most of my ‘libido’ goes into blogging.

Why do I continue to write a handwritten journal? In some ways I feel I have no choice: I feel a need to write. I guess that qualifies me as a “True Writer”.

My paper journals serve me in three major ways –

Record keeping.

I can consult old diaries to recall events such as vacations, people, restaurants, etc. My old journals remind me which year we went to Costa Rica, when I met this or that Diva, and what days I ate rats in Tewkesbury.

Dumping ground.

I disgorge a lot of negative emotions into my journal.  If anyone should read them, they would be disturbed and/or horrified at some of the contents.  Writing out negative emotions and neurotic anxieties is therapeutically purging. Like a big sneeze, getting the crud out of my head makes me feel better. It also helps me to remember all the things for which I had issue, that never really amounted to anything.

Creative outlet.

I notice this goal has diminished over the years. No surprise here. I write less in my journal as I write more on line.  Still, there is a nice feeling to pick up a pen and write out in long hand my thoughts. By doing so I join a  historical community of writers. This is a nice feeling. I am no Pepys, but it feels good to be doing something similar.

So long as Barnes and Noble puts out blank books, I will continue to write.

Winter Storm; Detroit Metro Airport in Chaos stop

Stuck in Michigan stop

Little internet access stop

Send tea ASAP

I’ll be back into blog-land this late evening – Lord willing !

Ur-spo  Seat #14C

Every year on 25 December I list ‘virtual Christmas gifts” for Spo fans.

This year I decided not to do so – I fear I will miss somebody !

I wish everybody a Happy Christmas. I hope your holiday is lovely, quiet and gives some happiness to you.

This evening I will count my blessings. As I fall asleep I will think of all of you.

I am grateful for having you.


This was my first time traveling at Christmas time. Although the crowds at the airport were the most I have ever seen, the process went without a problem. The Staff at US-Airways are commended for doing good crowd control while being pleasant. I ran into no nasty people or glitches. I was grateful.

We are in Michigan, Land of Perpetual Snow and Ice. There isn’t too much snow but enough to make it ‘white’. For this too I am grateful.

Cripes, it’s cold !!

My mother, bless her heart, is already pushing homemade food and treats on us.  If I don’t watch myself I could gain weight easily.

It will be a pleasure to fall asleep in the “Kiefer bed”. This bed was made by my great great father Kiefer. The bed has been passed down from generation to generation.

Tomorrow Someone and I drive to Ann Arbor, Land of U-M.

I hope all is well with my blogger buddies and Spo-fans near and far.

Someone and I are packing, for we are are off and away hohoho to Michigan, Land of Perpetual Snow and Ice. I want a “White Christmas”  – but not too much white, as we will be driving all over SE Michigan.
Someone and I are in competition with St. Nick to visit as many houses as possible. We pilgrimage to Bronner’s on Christmas Eve Day. I am excited to go home and see the family. We will actually have two Christmases. The 25th is the quiet one with the parents. The 26th is the very loud one when Brothers #2-#4 and their families arrive.

Between little free time and limited internet access, I don’t know how much blogging will occur.  I apologize if you don’t see me much this week. I will make a valiant effort to drop in to my blogging buddies when I can. I have my Christmas post already. I hope Spo-fans will check in on me as well.

In the northern hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It’s officially the first day of winter. It’s officially the first day of winter and one of the oldest known holidays in human history. Anthropologists believe solstice celebrations go back at least 30,000 years before humans even began farming on a large scale. Many of the most ancient stone structures made by human beings were designed to pinpoint the precise date of the solstice. The stone circles of Stonehenge were arranged to receive the first rays of midwinter sun. It’s too bad I am not a Druid, as I revel in old ceremonies.

Seasonal rituals capture the Numinous. The modern Christian paint job applied to these ancient mysteries is barely enough to prevent the pagan parts from poking through.

It is now the darkest time of the year. Many past and present cultures in the Northern Hemisphere mark this week with solemnities and celebrations. Candles, lights, green things etc. were incorporated to welcome the return of the Sun.

On the Solstice I too light some candles. I play Loreena McKennitt’s “To Drive the Cold Winter Away” – one of my favorite holiday CDs.  It is linked in my mind to the Winter Solstice.  I usually make a hot cup of something (mulled wine is best but Urspo-co-co will do). I meditate on the past year and of the pending new year ahead. Where am I going? What am I doing?

In this little ritual I sense my ancestry, going back to its Celtic and Norman/Viking roots. It is a comfort to know I am doing something on this day as did countless generations before me.

Happy Solstice to you.

I am rather fond of Christmas tunes. Over the years I have accumulated quite an eclectic collection, ranging from traditional to contemporary albums.

Most years I get Someone a new Christmas CD as I really want them myself. They are a sort of joke prize, as he never plays Christmas music, nor shows any interest in such.  (One exception; Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”)

This year I put all our my Christmas CDs into an ipod Playlist. It totals 465 tunes.  I am slowly going through them. It is a bit jarring to hear Joan Sutherland bellow out “Joy to The World” only to follow with The Partridge Family singing “Santa Claus is coming to town”.  Bits of “The Messiah” go into “Blue Christmas” sung by Elvis Presley etc.


Here are my ‘current favorite’ CDS –

Partridge Family Christmas Album

A Midwinter Night’s Dream – Lorreena McKennitt

Song of Angels – Robert Shaw Chorale


Christmas Extraordinaire – Mannheim Steamroller

Here are a few that can go into the next garage sale –

Noel – Canadian Brass  ( too jolly)

A Winter Symphony – Sarah Brightman (why is she singing with a falsetto evoking a 6 year old girl?)

The Greatest Christmas Album  (oh what a let down! too many sweet cherubs)


any CD with “The Little Drummer Boy” – (enough said)

What is your favorite Christmas album?
Someone needs a new album this year……

This Christmas tree ornament is only a few years old, but it is one of my favorites.

I found it at Target.

For those of you who don’t know birds, only the male cardinal is bright red.

The female cardinal is brown.

Somebody in Korea put two male cardinals in the same nest.

They’ve made their nest with fabulous trimmings.

I had to grab one quick, before some right-wing fundy realized Target “was promoting the gay lifestyle” and they were yanked from the shelves.

hohoho indeed !

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December 2009

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018