Sometimes, after being stuck indoors with The Heinous Dreaded Holiday Cold of 2011 for a few days, you just have to just go on walkabout to take pictures of stuff…of anything…if only to remind yourself that there really IS a real and tangible world out there. It’s not all just Facebook and Twitter, Flipboad and Tumbler. Yep…time to slap on the pit-stick, swish some Listerene, lace up the Dr Martens and hit the neighborhood pavement. Besides, I desperately wanted a mimosa and there was not a drop of orange juice in the refrigerator!

Hello, favorite local grocery…long time no see!


The cruel fallacy that are flowers in winter…


A plethora of olives: No one can eat just one


A local favorite: caught, cooked and ready to eat…pass the drawn butter, please!


Let them eat CAKE! 🙂 Sweets for the sweet…and for good luck in the new year…


Time to pay The Piper…


Aaaannnd…Ta-DAH! We emerge victorious, mission accomplished.
(Note: Doesn’t Darling Daughter look cute in her hammy pose? LOL)


All photos copyright D. Kessler 2012. Unauthorized use strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

I’ve been in a funk. No…that’s putting it very mildly. I’ve been full on in a foul mood this weekend. No money, no holiday goodies or gifts, no family close by, a toothache, a headache…did I say no money? Yeah, whats to be merry ho-ho-f#cking-ho about, right?

But this morning…Christmas morning…I got the best present from my favorite Aunt: a huge-laugh-out-loud Christmas memory that I’d all but forgotten.

What better way to wish a Merry Christmas to the world than to share this awesome Christmas Morning email? If you have kids…or remember what it’s like to be a kid…it’s especially funny. Or maybe I’ve just finally fell off my rocker. LOL


Dear Miss Banana,

Merry Christmas !
I have a “…Christmas when Dyanne was a little girl…TRUE story” for you.
You were about three and a half and your mother and I took you to Santa Barbara in search of Santa so you could tell him your list. Your mother wisely had me scout santa first to make sure that a child as smart and precocious as you were wasn’t disappointed by a sub-par, and therfore phony Santa Claus.
Well, we started at Sears. Your mom distracted you while I checked Santa out. About 18 years old, 6 foot 4, and weighed about 120 pounds. Whew, that was a close one! So then we went to Robinson’s. Not bad, but when I got closer to him, his beard was of poor quality and you could easily see his clean-shaven face. Nope, not that one. We went a couple of other places only to be disappointed.
Meanwhile, you were getting impatient with us. We wound up downtown at the old JCPenney”s, I began to feel almost desperate,but went downstairs to check out santa while your mom again took you around the store to look at stuff. I went downstairs and there on a glorious throne of gold and red velvet, with tons of candycanes and xmas decorations, sat THE coca cola Santa Claus!!! An obviously real white hairline, rosy cheeks, cherry nose, rimless specktacles, thick luxurious white beard, beautiful red velvet/white fur costume authentically filled out by many years of too many xmas cookies…gosh he was just gorgeous! I ran upstairs to tell your mom that “THIS IS IT!”
You were so excited to see him and easily climbed up on his lap and looked into his very merry face. He leaned down and sweetly said in a a very high and distinctively woman’s voice, “And so, little girl, what would you like for Christmas?”
Your mom and I were stunned…I remember feeling the blood drain from my face because you were way too young to have that fantasy crushed. You were very quiet for what seemed like an eternity to us but was probably just 3 or 4 seconds. Then you turned and gave us a hooded “what the.?.” look. You told Santa what you wanted and then slowly walked back to us. Your mom and I didn’t know what to say, so we didn’t say anything…just waited for the crash.
But, as usual, you were way ahead of us. You looked up into your mom’s eyes and slowly asked, “Mommy, do you think maybe that was MRS.Claus?”

Merry Christmas, Dyanne. I love you

Auntie M’reen

HeeHaaw and Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Only 10 days until Christmas…Seven until Yule! You ready? 😉

Here’s a bit of Holiday Sparkle, from the TheSlaveBox Lobby, Seattle…


Tonight we sup on simple savory: Creamy neufchâtel, Cougar Gold White Sharp Cheddar (from the WSU campus in Pullman, Washington), French camembert, medium cheddar from Tillimook, Oregon, Italian dry salami, rye crackers, Fresh Hot House Roma tomatoes & spicy green olives. Mmmm…wash it all down with some holidazey Woodchuck Amber Hard Cider. Oh, and the Michael Bublé Christmas Special. Yeah it’s Felízidades hoy!


For some reason, I had it in my head that I could not fail.  That I, by sheer will and fortitude, would succeed.  That despite a new job, the resulting reduced time to myself at home with my own ‘puter, and the exposure to a plethora of new and untold germs/bacteria/viruses that my new workplace allowed me to access…I would be unwavering in my task.  That, despite the impending Holidays and the flurry of baking, cooking, planning, wrapping (and drinking!) that normally precedes and accompanies such events…I would be impervious to distraction and would soldier on!  In the words of Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart:  “Never give up! Never surrender!”

But alas, and alack!  I have failed.  I am apparently NOT full of paranormally abundant levels fortitude, stick-to-itive-ness, or of whatever else it takes to get through 31 days of December without missing more than a day of writing.   All it took was a few little germs I wasn’t used to, a whole LOT of snow (for Seattle), and a sidetracked step or two in the direction of Hearty Good Cheer (aka holiday drinks in a warm bar!) and we just plumb up and put our writing cap on a top shelf somewhere in the back of a closet along with the hidden gifts and didn’t apparently want to be bothered to look for it or to climb up to get it later.

Yes…I got a cold.  Then, when I got better, I got cabin fever.  And with what little time I had at home to myself after that, it seemed like a preposterous idea to ask myself to sit and type at a computer…as that’s what I’d been doing all day every day at work, but for someone else!  Then, there were cookies to bake for Christmas (Oh boy, these are melt-in-your-mouth-wonderful!), little-somethings to find and wrap for unexpected-but-very-loved guests, a Mimosas & Waffles Brunch to plan/prepare, a  Mexican feast to get lost in (both the prep and the consumption of!)…my gosh, I don’t know what happened!

So, now it’s been many days since the little bug-like figures that are the English alphabet have been freed upon the page…and sadly, all that I have today is this meandering apology slash holiday play-by-play. 

But, aside from getting a cold, I’ve been having fun…mostly…and I am starting to get used to having a normal work schedule, little by little.  So, I’m pretty optimistic that after the Hubbub of the Holidays winds down a bit, we’ll get our stride back.

Well, either that, or I’ve absolutely GOT to find out where I can enroll in some Discover Your Super-Human Self!-type classes!

© 2008 D. Kessler

christ_crucified_w saints I am forever amazed how many people aren’t familiar…nay, are downright  ignorant…of their own religion.  I mean all of it…the history and how it came to be, what influenced it and how it has evolved over however long it’s been around into what it is now, why they beliefve certain things and why they do whatever rituals, ceremonies or prayers…even what its actual formal doctrine and/or dogma is.  How can one say this or that is their religion if they don’t even know what that religion is and how it functions??

You would think this lack of familiarity would give them some pause, keeping them from attempting to argue points about which they feel strongly with non-believers, or partial-believers, or alternate-believers (it does seem that most people do profess to believe in something).  How in the world can one really truly expect to be able to pull this off and be taken seriously if the persons with whom they are debating…or worse, trying to “convert”…know more about the damn belief system and its history than they do?!  I just don’t get it.

The part that really gets me is when Party A (Mr/Ms Ignorant) is confronted with the additional/correct information from Party B (whom Party A is attempting to convert or sway in some way to their thinking).  Reactions from Party A vary from blandly discarding whatever info/tidbit/discrepancy has been provided…a reaction akin to fingers in the ears, singing la-la-la-la-la to crowd out the sound of the offending information…all the way up to flat-out anger and/or fire-and-brimstone sermon tactics, complete with self-righteous indignation.  It baffles me.  It humors me.   And then I get pissed off.

I mean, I don’t like to usually get into religious discussions with anyone.  This is something that I deeply feel is the ultimate personal space and an area that any discussion really should be only between an individual and whatever Higher Power they feel they subscribe to…and possibly, from time to time, with one learned in that chosen belief system, should the person feel the need for assistance and guidance.  However, with “The Holidays” upon us, there seems to be some discussion throughout certain areas of the blogosphere regarding the Christmas Controversy, or War on Christmas, or what have you…and it’s evolved into there being all manner of persons going off on others about what’s what, what’s wrong or right or about the sanctity of the holiday and the birth of Christ and such…it’s actually got me a bit upset.

Now if you subscribe to the Holy Virgin Birth Theory, then fine.  I don’t but that’s great if you do and it works for you.  But doesn’t that mean that you believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would have you Love One Another and promote peace and harmony and do for others as you would wish them to do for you?  Isn’t that the whole idea to those folks that celebrate Jesus’ birth this time of year?  So, why all this animosity about whether there’s a tree or an angel or a Santa or a menorah hanging out for all to see?  Or not getting well-wished in the way you want it?   We used to call that looking a gift horse in the mouth.  Who Menorah_mosaic cares if someone says Happy Holidays to me…I have a holiday this time of year, too!  It’s not the one they were probably thinking of, but so what?   Do I care if they call out Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah to me?  Well, no, not really, because it’s the idea behind the sentiment that counts.  Hell, I’d be okay with someone wishing me a Happy Kwanza…though I don’t even know exactly when that is…because damn it!  That’s their version of their Winter Holiday. 

And there’s another thing…I’m sorry, but the Christians do not have a monopoly on December 25th as a holiday.  In truth, they stole it from the pagans…you know, those peoples that used to abound throughout the world…including throughout the Roman Empire…with many different gods for different purposes and each one had their own feast day?  (Sounds like the Saints to me, but that’s another topic for another day…)

So, let’s discuss the Ancient Romans, since they celebrated Saturnalia from December 17th through the 23rd…and boy was it a doozy of a time!  Feasts and parties and games and gifts and…hmm…sound familiar?  Yeah, well they also had animal sacrifices and the parties were pretty famously full of debauchery.  So much so that more that one Emperor even tried to shorten the festival days from seven days to first three (Augustus), then five (Caligula), but to no avail!  Nope…the people loved their festival.  Over time it eventually evolved into Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, “the birthday of the unconquered sun”, which was celebrated on December 25th, and although  the feasting days were now fewer (they still had another feast day on Dec 19th), the revelry continued unabated. 

Somewhere along the line, the Christians started getting better press…Constantine converting was a huge help with that…and because of the popularity of these very pagan celebrations, the Church eventually felt it best to declare Jesus’ day of birth to coincide….how convenient!  The idea is so that the masses would be able to more easily adjust to to incorporating Christian modes into their lives, and do away with the old pagan rites.  Well…good on paper, but not necessarily so in action, at least not at first.  A great deal of the pagan rites and practices just migrated over to the new holiday.  The Tree, the Yule Log, the abundance of extra candles (normally a very wasteful and a costly thing), the holly and mistletoe (both green with berries, they were and are symbols of life in the “death” of Winter), the giving of gifts, the plethora of sweets and heaps of feasting…all pagan in origin. 

So…who’s desecrating who’s holiday with adding a babe in a manger, a supernatural “star” in the sky, and a few astrologers/magicians stopping by with gifts (a little late) a few weeks later?

WICCA_L See, but the pagan way isn’t like the Christian way.  We don’t say “Our way or the highway”  (or rather, “Our way or the flaming stake”!).  We go…”Sure, whatever.  Just don’t mess what with we already got going good here and I don’t really care what name you put on the day”…’cause we all know what day it really is.  That’s our motto:  “An ye hurt none, Do as ye will.”  We didn’t really mind the Christians changing the names of a bunch of our deities and putting “St.” in front of the new names. Whatever…we know who they are, they haven’t changed.  Just different words…a rose by any other name, I say.  But then, over the centuries…and with the help of some menacing threats from the Church causing us to start keeping things closer to home and even under wraps…well, it all just eventually blended together…into one “new” religion…and into the one Winter Holiday.  A big showy mass for the baby Christ…Christmas. 

Kinda silly if you ask me, because anyone that knows any Roman history would know that the census was always taken in the Spring and that’s why Mary and Joseph supposedly had to make a road trip to Bethlehem.  That, and the fact that shepherds don’t now nor ever have tended their flocks in the field in Winter…

And I didn’t even get into the whole correlation with Mithras

© 2008 D. Kessler

So. I’m sitting here in my best friend’s apartment watching stupid silly Christmas movies like Christmas Vacation et al.  We’re doing the girl thing:  cheap bottle o’ red wine, a few cigarettes, her boyfriend has gone to bed to get away from us.  It’s Grrl Time.  I’m thankful for Grrl Time, but that’s not what this post is about, really.

Do any of you have furry friends?  You know…those things with four feet that do funny and annoying things that spike your life to make it worth living?  Yes, well, I have one, I call it my husband.  No, really, seriously…I was actually talking about our cats and/or dogs this time.

Mr Hank is 10 years old this year.  For Thanksgiving, we told all our guests to bring him a cheap cat toy or can of “wet food” (ala Fancy Feast or Friskey’s Select for some such) for dinner in lieu of a side dish because it was really “Hanksgiving” and we really had all the human food dishes covered.  As you can guess, he’s kinda spoiled.  But Oh…he is the sweetest cat, all 15 pounds of him and his little Mike-Tyson-Meow (those of you who have read any of my NaNoWriMo story, the character of Lix is based on Mr Hank).

Anyway…spoiled much, this Hank?  Yes…just a tiny bit.  But that’s okay because it never really is a problem.  Mostly, he just acts out sometimes in ways that are more cute than annoying.  Case in point, this picture:

Hank In Jade Plant, Dec 4, 2008

This is Mr Hank showing off.  He thinks it’s so very cute to defy Mommy Kirsten and Auntie Dy and dig down in a 10 year old jade plant…oh, it looks like it smells so good, doesn’t it?..while we yell at him to get out, BAAD KITTY!…etc.  I tried really hard not to laugh, but I had to take a picture, which fueled him on more.  This is the same cat that likes to have his picture taken in a grey coat and hat we gleaned from the Goodwill.  He’s a total ham.

So, that’s what I got today.  I’m thankful for Mr Hank. The cat that plays dice.  That begs for a cigarette and a glass of whiskey when we have it.  I swear he was a pimp in another life.  And now we get to cater to his every whim…well, mostly.  I’ll be damned if I’m gonna give him wet food when I come calling.  He is  Kirsten’s cat after all…I’m not “mommy”.  I have my own feline fiend to worry about!

© 2008 D. Kessler