Monday, December 15, 2008

The rain outside is blowing sideways (!) which is really affecting the readings on my rain gauge. It makes one wonder about all those dire global weather predictions from the windblown Arctic tundra. One assumes the snow blowing sideways affects the research instruments there, too. (One might also assume that their instruments weren't purchased at Home Depot for $2.00.) I have a tree outside that has stubbornly refused to relinquish its leaves for the year. The leaves themselves are clearly dead, altogether wilted things, but the tree holds onto them like those awful National Geographic documentaries where the animals refuse to abandon their dead young. The tree has obviously fallen prey to the enthusiasms of global warming, rebuffing the belief that a wet winter is coming, much less, actually here. "Mother Earth is heating up! We're in a drought!" it bellows in the shivering, wet wind.

The tortoises are bothered by the rain, too, I might add, and clearly miserable. They never get visibly upset, but they do have that quiet look of dismay that only the last of the surviving dinosaurs can elicit. I brought them inside.

Enjoyed a nice Christmas party over the weekend where there were more children than adults. We didn't point that out to them, so as to avoid an uprising, but they did engage in the illicit tactics of biological warfare and infected us with nasty colds. Perhaps we shouldn't have all used the same harmonica, but that was their cute strategy. Anyway, it's all over the moms group facebook pages: "Whose?!" But it was a fine party. My Secret Santa gift was a bottle of wine, though I had my eye on the sample bottle of Patron everyone else was stealing. At the end of the party, as usual, there were the requisite half-finished bottles of beer sitting around, (which always chaps my hide) but this time there were a few half-finished bottles of baby formula -so I guess this is the stage my life is in.

There has been some discussion about this year's New Year's Eve party. Last year's was THE BEST PARTY EVAAR! so it would be a tricky challenge to top. I say it would be a tricky challenge because half of last year's attendees have twice as many kids this year. In some ways the effect of having all these new chillun is that a Very Big Party is altogether more desired, but then that parental shrug and slump kicks in and you trudge off to bed -for perhaps a good night's sleep is more in order to brace ourselves for the coming year of unrelenting toddlerhood.

The past four years I've put together a collection of slideshows and videos to recap the year's events. Some partygoers bring a few, too, and it makes for a nice little friends and family film festival. As tired as I am of 2008's pitfalls and prayer-a-thons, the thought of just blowing off this past year's events just depresses me. I admit that I was tempted to altogether axe the idea of a "Year In Review" party because the year was a "bad" one, until it dawned on me what a losertarian forfeit that would be, shuffling me in with the victims and quitters of the world. In actuality, this was a great year, and I say that as someone who desires to measure the greatness of the year by how well we fared given the circumstances that befell us. If a good year is a collection of happy vacations, then the accountants can decide the good years and classify them based on income acquired, (and this year would not be categorized as a "good" one) but if I desire to be a man of integrity, then a great year will be appraised on the basis of how well one did with what one was dished out. And I happen to think we did pretty well with 2008!

Also, my son was born in 2008, destined to carry on the family name for at least another generation, so he will never hear me say that 2008 was a bad year -ho no, it will be quite the contrary!

So I've been putting some videos together for posterity, looking through the old pics, and I find that 2008 was a wonder, filled with miracles, and thoroughly demands a rich celebration. LET IT BE KNOWN that at this house we are going full throttle with the YEAR IN REVIEW party, and everyone within net-reach of this dumb blog is invited! (Yes, that's all six of you.) So you see, the Ditchman Family are not losers, quitters, or victims, and this is going to be one swell party -and we're gonna do it without that nasty antifreeze that we had in the punchbowl last year! No, we are going to open the best bottles of wine from the rack and we are going to dine on the finest CRAB appetizers you've ever tasted and we are going to do it on paper plates and napkins so no guest will be sullied by the daunting task of doing a million dishes at year's start! We're going to break off all the doorstops! The videos are going to be terrific, and the chidren will bring their harmonicas!

You're invited to bring the kids for a massive sleepover, as these things go, and you're also invited to stay at the nice local Marriot just a few short miles from our house if that suits you better (New Year's Eve AAA rate: $149.99) -but you have to bring some videos or memories of 2008 and the fanciest bottle of wine you can afford. Who's going to be there? Can't say. But I know four people and a giant corkboard who are ready and willing to take on whatever destiny the fates are willing to serve up in 2009!

And if 2009's a bigger challenge than 2008, with more sick nights of worry and successive rainy day marathons, why, the wine will be even better at next year's party, won't it?

See you there (here)! (Email me for details.)