Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Shitty Personal Christmas Story to Conclude the World's F*k'd Up Decade of the 2010s -- But Cushioned With 40-to-60-Year Old Comfort TV Program Viewing

Christmas Eve 2019, and what a shitty one it is.

For starters, naturally in our globally warmed world, there isn't a flake of snow within hundreds of miles of here.

Well, OK, if we look at the above snow cover map, there is a bit of snow on some of the ridgetops of the Allegheny Front and in the Blue Ridge, so that's 150 to as near as 100 miles from here.


More generally, here we are on the eve of the final Christmas at the very ass end of a profoundly fucked up decade, the '10s ("the teens," I guess).

Yes, the'00s were bad starting with George W. Bush and the stolen 2000 election … 9/11 and all that followed to include the Iraq War catastrophe, the Great Recession, and ending with the GOP tsunami in 2010 that permanently stymied the Obama administration.

But the '10s have been much worse with the GOP taking on its current malevolent, degenerate, cult-like form and culminating in this Trumpian authoritarian shit-show -- all of which is an American incarnation of a global phenomenon.

Whatever the 2020s have in store, at least we know where we stand at the outset unlike in, say, 2000 or 2010, and we know how much worse it could get.

However, I have more immediate problems than all that.

For starters, I still look affright and -- when out -- I'm of necessity wearing dark sunglasses (though they contain a pair of 2.0 magnification arcs making them a sort of hybrid (bifocal?) sunglasses and reading glasses).

I've been sleeping a lot -- as in, 12 hours at a time, interspersed with waking up and looking forward to returning to sleep to see what wild dreams I'll have.

I ended up not going to Glen Burnie because my mom was so distraught over my injury (two bad black eyes) and why it happened that it made sense for me to cancel the visit that would have gone badly. However, unlike last year, this year's cancellation was, ultimately, not on bad terms. She is supposed to visit the first weekend of January anyway.

Christmas tree in the lobby of my building earlier tonight


On a more serious note, I actually think I have a mild concussion. I probably should go to my doctor -- but looking at the treatments for concussions (I think this is a reputable website).

Large Christmas tree in Union Station's great hall, Washington, D.C., 12:23 p.m. December 15, 2019


However, I'm not going into any additional details so that Big Y'Eyemah can moo and coo and cluck warmly over my self-inflicted misfortunes while a random gayborhood haters and Shit-Wade monsters that check in here every few months can chortle and cackle.

Rainy night view from Freedom Plaza toward the Capitol building, Washington, D.C., 6:40 p.m. December 17, 2019


My dad sent me $100, which actually came in handy. Despite the fact he is an occasionally-irascible Trump voter in Florida (where one's vote actually matters), this was the best present I had.

P.J. Clarke's restaurant, Washington, D.C., 10:45 p.m. December 18, 2019

(I also went there again last night with Fred.)


You see, Gentle Reader, as usual, I way overspent this pay period and so, despite a decent income by Middle American standards, albeit it middling income by D.C. standards, I'm always running out of money by the end of the pay period and trying to avoid using my two credit cards. (Going to places such as P.J. Clarke's and Joe's Restaurant contributes to this.)

St. Augustine Catholic Church exterior fa├žade, Washington, D.C., 3:19 p.m. December 24, 2019


Earlier this evening, I went to Metro Center Macy's, where I bought some badly needed clothing, including two pairs of pants (one of which replaces the ones totally ruined on Friday night). I then walked over to Joe's Restaurant, where I had a glass of wine at the bar (the place was actually quite busy) and then I caught a well-timed S9 bus the short way up 16th Street to my apartment.

I'm home now watching old TV shows, flipping between MeTV, Cozi TV, and Antenna TV.

As part of its lineup, Antenna TV aired two episodes of Maude. Of note, Bill Macy, the actor who played Maude's husband Walter Findlay, passed away this year (on Oct 17th) at age 97.

Bea Arthur, who along with Rue McClanahan later went on to The Golden Girls fame, died a decade ago (April 25, 2009).

The 8 p.m. Antenna TV showing of Alice featured the episode "A Semi-Merry Christmas."

Sadly, actor Philip McKeon (who played Alice's son Tommy) passed away two weeks ago (on Dec 10th) due to an unspecified lengthy illness. He was only 55. Of the original Alice cast, only Linda Lavin (Alice), 82, and Polly Holliday (Flo), 82, are still alive.

After two Barney Miller episodes tonight -- like all the others, Christmas-themed this week -- I'll flip over to MeTV and watch Hogan's Heroes, Carol Burnett & Friends, and Perry Mason before floating off to bed.

I can't tell if this is a real picture of an actual outdoor setting, a picture of a little model snowy scene, some sort of photo-illustration, or strictly an illustration.


So, this is my Christmas Eve 2019 at the end of this fucked up 2010s decade …

Injured and feeling woozy and groggy, watching TV shows, old comedies and otherwise from the 1960s - 1980s, on one of the aforementioned three digital over-the-air networks. As for my dinner, it was one of those pre-packaged turkey and cheese sandwiches, crunchy Cheetos, and some Schweppes ginger ale from CVS (while wearing those dark sunglasses).

As an aside, I wonder how much lettuce is basically lost every year in the United States by putting a piece on those sandwiches, only to have it wilt into a desiccated bit of blackish-green tissue that can only be thrown out.

For tomorrow, I'm supposed to go to Fred and Doug's place around noon for some lox and bagels. And then later in the day, Aydin and I are supposed to go to dinner -- maybe in Georgetown. Oh, and if I'm lucky, somewhere I'll get to watch A Christmas Story.

OK, I'm signing off for now and until later this week. Merry Christmas. Yeah, right.

Updated 1:14 a.m. 12/25/2019:

OK, I've tuned into the NORAD Santa Tracker website: https://www.noradsanta.org/, which I find oddly soothing. Santa has delivered just over 6 billion gifts so far and, as this moment, is heading for Winnipeg, Manitoba via St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Oh, and the episode of The Twilight Zone was the poignant Christmas-themed one "The Night of the Meek" starring Art Carney, John Fiedler ("How dare you drag me down here at the busiest time of year to look at a bag full of garbage!", and Meg Wyllie. And it's a profound soliloquy Carney's character gives as a drunken, weeping department store Santa upon being fired -- and its done before a diverse assemblage of young people.

Very well done, especially for network television in 1960.

OK, now I'm heading to bed.


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