Thursday, December 29, 2011


As I always do every Christmas, I received a couple of gift cards from family for a large nameless retail bookseller. $50 worth, to be exact.

Needless to say, I am very excited.

Like a groom who abstains from relations with his espoused for an extended period before the wedding. That’s how excited I am, and yes, I realize how weird that makes me seem.

Way back before Thanksgiving I promised the wife no more books until the new year. As a matter of fact, I bought a pair right after I got the job I’ve been at for seven weeks now, and nothing since. Heck, I’ve only been in a library twice in that period. And to top it off, I’ve been kinda bogged down in War and Peace for over a month, though it’s not Tolstoy’s fault (it’s this damnable cough of mine that makes reading difficult).

So – what to buy, come January 2?

Oddly enough, I’m not leaning towards books.

I mean, on the shelf behind me, I have a stack of about thirty or so in my on-deck circle. Twenty SF paperbacks, and a dozen nonfiction: physics, philosophy, religion, check, check, check. So I’m not really lacking in the written word department. I feel no special passion at the moment, so no need to go on a spending spree.

What I have been doing lately is listening to a lot of music. Music that I haven’t really listened to in years. Decades, even. Everything from Jimi Hendrix and Jethro Tull to the Screaming Trees and the Presidents of the United States of America. Additionally, I’ve been listening again to classical music. Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Bruckner, and Copland. Might be time to buy a coupla CDs to meditate to via headphone.

I don’t know. Decisions, decisions, and indecision.

The wife decided to make it a DVD Christmas for me. Got the Alien Quadrilogy (of which I watched a bit already with my pal – more on that later in the week) and a set of a half-dozen classic movies from the 40s and 50s. So considering my normal response to “What do you want for Christmas, Daddy,” being “a book, a CD, and a DVD,” the video angle of my simple pleasures is fulfilled.

This will require some thought, some quiet-time thought, driving to and from work or laying in the dark in bed at night. I never spend money frivolously, no matter how frivolous it seems to my wife and family. Everything I buy is carefully considered. The two $25 gift cards I have will be money wisely spent. There is a method to my madness.

I guess I want to say that I’m open to suggestions. I’ll be cultivating responses from the people who know me best. And even from those who think they do, or just plain don’t. I welcome feedback on topics such as these.

Worse comes to worse, I can always manage to pick up seventeen – yes, seventeen – SF paperbacks for the $50. And that’s about two solid work-weeks of escapist fun!

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