Dia de los Floofos

Dia de los Floofos (floofinition) – A celebration of animals with an emphasis on those who have gone over the rainbow bridge, normally celebrated between October 31 and November 2.

In use: “She was always circumspect about observing dia de los floofos, quietly opening a binder with photographs of her fur friends, like little Jojo, a sweetheart if there ever was one, Bumble, who disappeared one night and was never seen again, and Max, her first fur friend, a big white dog given to her as a pet when she was a little girl.”

Today’s Interesting Headline

Seeing this, you ponder the supply chain. And location: China. Do they celebrate Christmas? I don’t believe so, except in Western homes — especially the United States — or places where profits are celebrated.

The time of year of the headline is digested: autumn has just begun. Christmas is three months away. But we know that we’ll soon see Christmas displays emerging at retail sites. Carols and festive music will rock out on radios and public announcement systems before Halloween. We’ll begin hearing about the latest must-have technology, games, and amazing stocking stuffers. Debates will re-emerge about Black Friday and its impact on Thanksgiving and families. The Elf will return to the shelf. And the car deals! Why, there’s never been anything else like it!

It’ll be a FordMercedesBenzBMWChevroletDodgeToyotaKiaVolkswagenJeep Christmas to remember, I’ll bet.

SAFday

I decided that I needed a holiday.

My wife agreed. “It would be great if you went on a holiday and went away.” Falling silent, her expression gained a dreamy aspect. I waited for her to say more, then left to have some coffee. By that, I mean, I went into the kitchen. I rarely go to other coffee shops these days, unfortunately. Our kitchen coffee shop has been out of pastries for a while. Not even crumbs are in there. I looked.

I was serious about needing a holiday, but not about going away. I’ve been intermittently thinking about this holiday since December 22. Back then was the shortest day of the year in these parts. The sunset was like 4:39 PM. It hadn’t been much of a sun, not making a great effort to light the day or warm us. I guess it was put off by the rain and fog. I know that I was.

I enjoy sunshine. I’m a person that’s happy sitting in sunshine, so long as it’s not too hot, I have something to drink and a book (or laptop, I guess), and a little shade (and sunscreen) to protect me from the sun. I’m not a freak. To that end (that is, celebrating sunshine, not being a freak), I thought, I’m going to celebrate when the sun finally sets after 5 PM.

I’ve been diligently tracking the information. Every morning, I rise and say, “Alexa, what time is sunset?” And she answers, explaining information about Sunset, Florida, causing me to yell, “Stop, Alexa! No! Bad Alexa! Bad. No treats for you!” Then she starts whining, and I relent, giving her a treat, because I’m not really a mean person. Although I do wonder why I bother; she never eats the treats. The treats sit there until one of the cats notices it.

Today’s sunset is 16:59 (if you can believe Alexa — she does work for Amazon, and they have this issue with deliveries coming when promised…so, you know…). That means tomorrow’s sunset will be after 5 PM.

Oh, my excitement! There will be a sliver of light (weather permitting) after five PM. How will I celebrate the moment? (Well, probably not with pastries.) More importantly, what shall I call this day? I shall, after a moment of thought, call it SAFday: Sunset After Five day.

Yeah, it’s weak. But it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?

(I wonder how long it would take Amazon to delivery a pastry?)

Saturday’s Theme Music

Called Mom yesterday to exchange holiday greetings. She lives in a suburb east of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania where they’re more or less snowed in. Four to six inches were on the ground and the snow was still falling. The roads had been plowed and salted, and appeared outside her window. But snow still fell and temperatures were low. Those are treacherous conditions. If you don’t need to go out, you don’t.

So she and her fiancée spent Christmas at home alone. They seemed fine with that. Stocked with plenty of food, they know how to entertain themselves and one another. She conveyed to me the news that the governor had announced that Allegheny county, where she resides, had received the Pfizer COVID-19. Residents seventy years old plus would be the first vaccinated. Mom is awaiting word on the schedule and details.

Conversation ended up including food — of course (Mom and my sisters love holiday meal planning, and endless discussions, texts, and emails ensue to make it all happen — which it didn’t, this COVID year) — relatives, and then music. Mom relayed to me that her two favorite songs are “Blue Christmas” covered by Elvis Presley (1957) and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey (1994). “Blue Christmas” has been around a while. In cassette days, one sister always bought her a new cassette for the holiday. Mom would pop it into her Walkman and wear it out as she listened and went about activities.

The Carey song stuck in my head. So, thanks to Mom, your after-Christmas theme music is “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. Whenever I think of this song, it’s lifted from the movie, Love Actually (2003). Enjoy the music, stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vaccine. Happy holiday!

Friday’s Theme Music

Well, this is definitely a redux.

I enjoy Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s Christmas duet of “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” from 1977. I was stationed in the Philippines that year and didn’t see it for over another year. I enjoy the two of them together, legends in their own right, and wildly different. Crosby was 73, and Bowie was 30. Newsweek’s tale of the two is entertaining reading. The banter and setup is true to that television era, and makes me cringe a bit, but their voices blend well.

Happy Christmas to you. Stay positive, test negative, and wear a mask.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Sipping coffee, looking out the window, I was thinking of the season. I’d just asked Alexa about the time for sunrise and sunset today. I’m getting ready for the solstice. I’m not a fan of the shortened period of daylight. I like Ms Sun. She and I go waaayyy back. To me, ocean and sun with a little beach is la perfect combo.

There’s no snow out there this morning but calendar thoughts took me to the notion that Christmas is next week. Kwanza and Chanukah are already in session. Queuing up behind this week is New Year’s, then Biden is inaugurated. The vaccine is being distributed. Did I dare dream that change is coming?

These thoughts ’bout what’s comin’ led me to Three Dog Night’s cover of “Eli’s Coming” from 1969. Took three shakes of a neuron to do a thought mash up, combining Christmas is coming with “Eli’s Coming”. Such an adaptation could be a perfect holiday song.

Everywhere I go, though

Chanukah’s a-comin’ (She walked, but she’ll never get away)
Kwanza’s a-comin’ (She walked, but she’ll never get away)
Christmas a-comin’ (She walked, but she’ll never get away)

Sorry, it was BC, that horrible period of the morning before coffee has reassured my brain. Happy holidays to you. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get a vaccine, and stay sane. Cheers

Santy Paws

Santy Paws, Santy Paws,

where are you?

What holiday mischief

will you put me through?

Are you climbing a tree

that you shouldn’t touch?

Or stalking ornaments

that you think are lunch?

Maybe you’re unwrapping presents

while I’m out.

Oh, Santy Paws, Santy Paws,

come out, come out!

Saturday’s Theme Music

The holiday season is striking the U.S. once again. Technically, we’re celebrating several religious holidays, with secular, commercial spins. Christmas is the biggie, as wish lists and black Friday sales begin in October and run through New Year’s Day. Buy, buy, buy, you know. I have friends and family who had their Christmas decorations up in November this year. SMH, you know?

I always become introspective in holiday periods. This morning’s introspection after Thanksgiving brought up the 2019 Maroon 5 song, “Memories”. My stream was hooked on this verse:

There’s a time that I remember, when I did not know no pain
When I believed in forever, and everything would stay the same
Now my heart feel like December when somebody say your name
‘Cause I can’t reach out to call you, but I know I will one day, yeah

Everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody hurts someday, ayy-ayy
But everything gon’ be alright
Go and raise a glass and say, ayy

h/t to Lyricsvyrics.com

Stay positive, test negative, and wear a mask. Cheers

Recognition

Looking up from his phone screen (where he was flipping through social media) (and nothing was catching fire), thinking about what he wanted to do for lunch (and what friends might be available today), he considered the skies outside the windows. (Well, where else would skies be?)

Classes were out. He didn’t go to college (he’d graduated years ago) but somehow, most of his friends were younger than him and students, and had gone home for the holidays. He didn’t, because Mom and her boyfriend went to Mexico for the holidays, and Dad was already in Europe with his second wife and that family. His sisters each had invited him to their homes but they were their homes. He’d done that before, going to Kendra’s home for the holidays once, but he’d felt like a stranger, and didn’t want to do it again.

(Plus, of course, was the sadder part that he didn’t want to dwell on, that he and his partner of four years had broken up the day after Thanksgiving. He’d been planning the holidays with her. Most of the people outside of the young people that he knew were her friends, because he was the transplant to his valley. Not thinking about all of that made it easier to manage.)

Winter had clearly arrived in the valley. Light rain was falling but cold air was drilling through his clothing (he should’ve dressed warmer but he thought it would be a nicer day). It could snow, he thought, even though the forecast didn’t say anything about snow. Forecasts can be wrong, his father used to say, but that was back when he (and Dad) (and weather modelling) were younger. They knew a lot more about weather modelling and forecasting than they did twenty or thirty years ago.

A woman entered the coffee shop. Recognition flashing through him, he stared, unable to stop himself. She glanced his way but kept going toward a table. She looked just like Ilya. He’d worked with Ilya down in California in a past life. It’d been, what, ten years?

Wow, ten years. They’d been in relationships, so they hadn’t dated. It clearly wasn’t Ilya (because the woman didn’t recognize him) (and she was too young) but everything from the strange, fuzzy auburn hair to the athletic (but hippy) figure to her height, weight, the way she carried herself…wow, it was Ilya down to every detail.

The woman glanced his way (probably because she felt his stare’s weight).

He looked away (because he thought it rude to stare at others) (and only did that when he was drinking heavy, which he no longer did). Yet, he couldn’t help but look at her again when her back was turned. Walking across the coffee shop to the counter, it was just like watching Ilya.

His cappuccino finished and his stomach rumbling, he decided to venture into the day to find food. Passing the woman as she left the counter to go back to her table, he said with a small smile, “I’m sorry that I was staring at you.” They stopped, she with a leery glance. He said, “You just look exactly like a woman I know, except you’re about twenty years younger. But you could be her daughter.”

That would be wild, he thought, and laughed to himself. Then, he said impulsively, “You’re not Ilya’s daughter, are you?” He guffawed at his silly joke.

Her eyes widened. “No, but Ilya is my name.”

“No way. Are you serious?”

“Yes.”

“Wow. It’s just…wow. Well, you look just like my friend, Ilya. You could be her clone.”

Ilya smiled at him. “Maybe I am.”

Was it him or was something happening with them? “Are you in a relationship, Ilya?”

“Not yet,” she said. “Let me give you my number. Maybe we could get coffee.”

“I’d like that,” he answered. “I’ll give you my number, too.”

“Okay, I’d like that, too.”

Outside, afterward, he couldn’t help grinning up at the sky as flurries swirled around his head. Looks like the forecast had changed. Then, although it felt like the temperature had dropped, he took his time as he walked up the sidewalk, smiling at himself, recognizing, something had changed.

Whatever it was felt really good.

 

Wednesday’s Theme Music

For some reason, my mind pivoted through several holiday songs this morning. Then one — by the Scorpions, of course — what other group leaps to mind when you think holiday, right? — lodged in the stream.

It wasn’t so much as the holiday as it was the cold friggin’ air, air that felt it belonged up in Alaska, where a friend mentioned that it was twelve degrees. We weren’t nearly that low, hovering at just under 30 F, with clear skies and sunshine, but that sun was all light and no heat, ya know?

That’s where the Scorpions wiggled into the stream.

Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
Exchange the cold days for the sun
A good time and fun

h/t Metrolyrics.com

So you see how it all worked out – holiday, cold, sun, heat, Scorpions, going away?

I thought you would. Cheers

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