All stick and no carrot, since ought-three.
今朝郡齋冷，忽念山中客。 澗底束荊薪，歸來煮白石。 欲恃一瓢酒，遠慰風雨夕。 落葉滿空山，何處尋行跡。
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Wed, 24 Dec 2003
It's Christmas Eve, and I've managed to pass the season completely stress free. I've avoided all crowds, all malls, and all Christmas music that I hadn't specifically chosen to listen to. I have conquered Christmas.
My grandfather had a brilliant idea this year, which made this possible. Everyone in the family is paired with one other person, and that's who you exchange gifts with. You're responsible for one gift, and you receive one. Once I passed the age of 12 I realized that all my gifts were going to suck from that point forward, so one gift is just fine. (My family, god bless 'em, has forever labored under the bizarre and horrific misimpression that anything vaguely Chinese-related is guaranteed to please me.)
My solitary purchase was a pleasure to make. I walked down to Sandy's Music, chatted with the guys, played around with some of the fiddles and mandolins there for a while, picked a mandolin out for my sister, plus a nice-looking Kitty Wells LP for meself, don't mind if I do, and walked back home. And I don't watch TV (interferes with XBox time) so that pretty much does it for the Christmas carols.
At least, that's how it was until today, when my family dragged me along to some nameless, soulless strip mall packed with fat over-dressed yuppies driving their shopping carts like their SUVs (cell phone in one hand, lack of regard for the rest of mankind in the other), which is what passes for high culture in McLean, VA. I hate this place more every time I come here. At least Boston has interesting and worthwhile people, even if they all refuse to talk to me.
So the decorations are up, the fire is ready and the ol' plastic tree that we've been using since I was a baby misanthroplet is out. I know the fashion is back to nature with the real trees nowadays, but the smell of that plastic tree brings back more memories than any pine tree ever will.
I go now to prepare my mind for the festivities that lie ahead....
Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good. -- Samuel Johnson