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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 20, 2006 11:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was You read it here first. The next post in this blog is Yule rock out. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

You said it

I've been combing through yesterday's many excellent submissions to our Comment Contest, and it's hard to pick one as winner-take-all. There were many great reads in there.

For example, Aaron B. Hockley had a great haiku for the day:

Six days left to go.
My shopping is still not done.
I'll cheat with gift cards.
In the limerick category, we had several good ones, but this verse from rr stood out:
The earth has turned on its axis
To a time when giving's a practice
Oh, the feeling that comes
When donating large sums
Is better than paying our taxes
Superinkygirl spoke for all of us when she observed:
Here's wishing you all a season filled with cheer and peace. We'll all start our fitness regimes on January 2nd, right?
Rickyragg got off a good one, with an assist from Betsy. Betsy bemoaned the fact that her household juggles all of the elements of the Judeo-Christian traditions:
We're in the 'if it's Tuesday, it must be Hanukkah' mode here today at the nominally-Christian mother's house. But later this week? My Jewish children will head to their Jewish father's house for Christmas.

Anyone have a recommendation for a good therapist? My kids are sure to need one someday...

To which Ricky responded:

May I suggest a rousing chorus of Oy Vay, Maria.

Speaking of which, Bill McDonald had a suggestion for a charitable beneficiary of our efforts:

[U]nless there's a foundation that can help Ricky Ragg, I'd pick the Salvation Army.
Christy wrote about her most valuable piece of luggage:
I, for one, will be having a very modern holiday. From Portland to Chicago to see dad for 4 days, then to SF to see mom for 4 days. I am 28 and still splitting holidays. One thing remains the same, though: the spirit of giving to those in need and those I love will travel from Oregon to the Midwest to California, undaunted by the airports and the airplanes.
Kevin Allman wrote in from Louisiana, where he sent along some excerpts from a post-Katrina N'Awlins poem about the night before Christmas:
"To all those who took in our downtrodden folks,
Or ferried them out in their flat-bottom boats!
To Tennessee… Texas… Jackson… Atlanta…
Our Baton Rouge brothers … and Lou-i-si-ana!"
I notice no Rudy steps up as their leader,
Yet something unseen guides this flock of believers,
A force that transcends rich or poor, black or white,
A light that can steer this brigade through the night.
In a twinkle they've finished the last of the ale
And they hoist their equipment, their masks and their pails:
"On, Comet! On, Borax! On, on Spic 'n Span!
"Come (Yule) Tide and Cheer! Come, All, let us plan!
Up, Mildew! Off, Mold! Out, out, Toxic Waste!
Come, Shout! Away, Wisk! Come, let us make haste!
To the top of the water mark! Up, past the stair!
Let the City that Care Forgot know that we care!"
Then to Lakeview, Gentilly, Chalmette and the East,
Away they all marched to a Zydeco beat.
Ere they rose past the tarps, I heard a voice say
"Merry Christmas-and Laissez les bon temps rouler!"
Brandon sent in an update from the famous Peacock Lane display in Southeast Portland:
[M]ost interesting and curious of all is a "naughty" display featuring characters from the 60s-era Rudolph stop-motion specials. I don't know if it's intentional or not, but the house's Abominable Snowman has two bright pink lights for nipples and two others for his, er, "boy parts." I guess it was cold out there last night but maybe they should give him a scarf or something to cover those up.
Orbb Taranis posted the lyrics of a song about Christians and pagans coming together to celebrate their respective holidays. Included were these lines:
The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch
Till Timmy turned to Amber and said, "Is it true that you're a witch?"
His mom jumped up and said, "The pies are burning," and she hit the kitchen
And it was Jane who spoke, she said, "It's true, your cousin's not a Christian"
"But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere"...

When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said, "Really, no, don't bother"
Amber's uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father
He thought about his brother, how they hadn't spoken in a year
He thought he'd call him up and say, "It's Christmas and your daughter's here"
He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, saw his own son tug his sleeve
Saying, "Can I be a Pagan?" Dad said, "We'll discuss it when they leave"

Dan Petegorsky dusted off a forgotten verse from "America the Beautiful":

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!
Swankette stopped me in my tracks with this story:
My holiday memory is also a shameless plug for my charity-of-choice.

My older brother is mentally ill and has been, at times past, homeless on the streets of Portland. As such he has taken advantage of many of the social services available in Portland.

One year, when he wasn't homeless but nearly so, I had picked him up for the trek to our parents' house for holiday cheer. He had already made the rounds at a couple of places to fill his belly and get some gifts from the generous people of Portland. He implored me to stop at Pioneer Courthouse Square on the way to Sherwood in order to partake of the Christmas Feast provided by the Girl Scouts. Given that we were on a way to a Christmas feast of our own, I didn't allow it, but that memory stuck with me.

I was both very thankful that there were such services out there for him, and very aware of the fact that come holiday time the services were much more available than at other times of the year. And so as much as I love charity at the holidays, I work hard to make sure it lasts throughout the year.

The one organization that did the most for my brother during those lean times was Sisters of the Road, which is one of the most fabulous grass-roots organizations I know of. So that is where I would ask for the last bit of funds to be directed.

Rosanna Galluccio, who runs a newsletter dedicated to "Holiday Love and Madness," forwarded something that had been submitted to her:

Most of us, when we reflect upon Holiday memories we look in the deep recesses of our mind, and begin to hear the joyous sounds of our childhood, the smells of the Yuletide kitchen, and the sights of family members past. This holiday I am looking forward to Holiday memories yet to be.

This year I am not only spending it with my two children, who have been my "raison d'etre," but with my fiancé and her two children, both infants. This year will be a blended holiday. This will be a Christmas to gap years and generations. You see, twenty years ago I dated the girl who would, decades later, become my fiancé. And now we can share this day of rejoicing with a teenager longing to be an adult, a "tween" caught in between the childhood dreams of Christmas and the commercialism of Xmas, and two infants yet to see the pageantry, majesty and wonder of Christmas.

So my Holiday memory this year is not a longing of Christmases past, but a longing for Christmas yet to be.

The last word came from Ron Ledbury, who wrote of the two "stray men" in his neighborhood, and a person who has given shelter to one of them:

I was wrestling today with the notion that giving was for the benefit of the giver, for their own reasons. I just could not put it into words...

I would of course like to mock non-profits for their claim of offering tax breaks to donors and instead direct any extra to the little lady that has given refuge to Stray Man 1, without the offer of any tax deductibility on donations. Indeed, without donations other than her own. There are some things that the tax man need not know about. Be a rebel; with a cause.

So as you can see, I've narrowed the contest down to "just" 14 entries. Which of these authors should be the winner, and get to designate where $250 of our contributions go? Maybe you can help me decide...

Comments (12)

I vote for Swankette. She had a great comment, and Sisters of the Road is indeed a wonderful organization. More than just providing a warm meal, and a place to pick up mail, they provide community and a place where all people will be treated with respect. Sometimes the chance to sit in peace and feel a little human dignity is almost more important than the warm meal. That in itself is an immeasurable service to the people of Portland.

Agreed, but remember, I'm supposed to be judging the comment, not the cause. Still, Swankette left a good one.

I'm divided between Swankette and Ron Ledury. Each have compelling stories and I can't decide which one to choose. But I can narrow it down that far.

Swankette's the one that gave me a lump in the throat.

Swankette. But then, I'm biased.

As a far too regular visitor, I have to vote for Ron's story. It's theme just seems to better fit the venue here. It's real, it's personal, and it describes actions (Ron's and the neighbor lady) that once were more common. Also, the "non-profit" angle strikes a chord with me.

Nothing against Sisters and the others, but all the organized charities tend to enable us to look the other way when confronted with the Stray Man.

...and Bill, the Salvation Army does help me...

the bells...

the bells...

Joyeux Noel(s)

Here's a vote for Ron.

As pithy comments go, I've gotta vote for "Oy vey, Maria".

But I'm twisted that way. ;-)

I was impressed with that one myself.

Tough call. I'm torn between Swankette and Ron too. "Oy Vey, Maria" is hysterical.


Being digitally challenged (among my other obvious failings), I shortened my screen name to rr one day and have randomly posted over both names. Sorry for the confusion. No sock puppet motivation, though.

The nuns couldn't teach me to type in grade school or high school, and a little industrial accident took out three of my favorite fingers 6 years ago, so now I'm a special needs typist.

that and the drinking, of course...

so thanks from both of us for the comment comments.

You're nuts, and so are you.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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