Monthly Archives: December 2009

Memories of Christmas Trees Past

I don’t know where my family got their Christmas trees when when I was very young, but once I was a teenager — and possibly earlier — my mom and dad used to bundle my brother and me up and take us to a Christmas tree lot run by their friend. We’d arrive after dark and the owner would usher us into his heated shack where we’d sit on wool blanket lined benches in the welcome heat. The owner would pour my parents cups of Glögg. I don’t remember if my brother and I were offered any refreshment. I’d like to think we were offered hot chocolate or eggnog, but I suspect not. After a few drinks we’d head out and find a tree which the owner would sell to my dad at a reduced “friends and family” rate.

I spent one Christmas in England and Jeremy and I brought the Christmas tree home on a bus. I clearly remember sitting on the bus, holding our tree close to us (granted it was tiny, compared to the trees I was used to) while other riders did the same.

I don’t remember where Dean and I purchased our Christmas trees before we had kids, but once they could walk we began our “over the river and through the woods” trek to cut down a tree in Virginia. We’d do this every year on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and stop in Leesburg, Virginia for lunch before we got the tree.

This year we didn’t go to Virginia to get a tree Thanksgiving weekend. We talked about it but none of us were interested in making the trip. Clare had to go back to college on Sunday, so Sunday was not an option. I think I had a lot of work to do, so wanted to work on Saturday. We talked about doing it on Friday, but it didn’t happen.

So yesterday Dean and I drove up to Home Depot in Rockville and picked out a Balsam Fir (my favorite that we could never get at a cut-your-own lot) in 4 minutes. While I paid for the tree Dean brought the car close to the tree area and he and a Home Depot employee proceeded to Saran wrapped it to the top of the car. Not what we were used to, but we now have an incredible smelling tree in our living room.

Dan Bern – Still the Messiah

Dean and I saw Dan Bern at Jammin’ Java last night. I think its been a year since the last time I saw him. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen him perform, but it is probably somewhere around 30. Last night’s performance was a good solid show — not particularly noteworthy except that he seemed in a good mood the entire performance.

He played lots of his old and recognizable songs including Tiger Woods, Black Tornado, Suzanne, Chelsea Hotel, God Said No, & Jerusalem. He played a couple of songs from Two Feet Tall, his new CD intended for kids: It Vibrates and Hen Party.

He played The 5th Beatles which always makes me laugh. I guess I’ve not heard it enough to remember all the jokes in it. He also played a song I’d not heard before. The first line was “God is a concept by which we measure our own pain”.

I like sitting near appreciative new-to-Dan folks and seeing / hearing their reaction to some of his lyrics — last night we sat near a table of them. They laughed at all the right places: “I’ve got big balls…” “I am the messiah…”

He also played his Christmas song which I’ve embedded below. It might not be safe for work — so play at your own risk.

The icing on the cake last night was running into a friend I’d not seen in years. It felt a little like old times again.

Nightmares of tagging

I’ve been dreaming about tagging for the past few nights. Twice in the past week I’ve been awakened by Dean shaking me in the middle of the night because I was screaming. The tagging I’m talking about is not this kind of tagging:

Tagged by funkandjazz
Tagged by funkandjazz

[photo courtesy of funkandjazz on]

Or this kind of tagging (which looks like fun):

Playing Tag by Mikey aka DaSkinnyBlackMan
Playing Tag by Mikey aka DaSkinnyBlackMan

[photo courtesy of Mikey aka DaSkinnyBlackMan on]

Or this kind of tagging:

Screenshot of tags on
Screenshot of tags on

Or even this kind of tagging (although these nightmares will be coming soon):

Holiday Gocco Gift tags by Sarah Parrot
Holiday Gocco Gift tags by Sarah Parrot

[photo courtesy of Sarah Parrot on]

The kind of tagging that is giving me nightmares is the tagging I do anywhere between 4 and 12 hours a day, 7 days a week:

PDF tags
PDF tags

In the dream I’m in an endless loop of tag, tag, tag, tag, save. Tag, tag, tag, save. Tag, tag, tag, save and then something jumps out of the tags which scares me and I scream. It may be partly because I’ve been watching Dead Like Me while I tag. Maybe I’m waiting for the grim reaper to take me away from all this tagging.

I think I need a new profession. Any recommendations?