But Will I Be Impacted?

If anyone is wondering whether I work for a stoopid company…HugeCorp Building

…check this out. HugeCorp issues “General Field Bulletins” from time to time, to keep us all alerted to the latest wacky plans they come up with. I downloaded one at random this morning, just for a laugh:


To communicate to all users that the Log report section has been re-architected. Instructions will be provided to guide the user through the training and implementation of the new reports.


The Log was re-architected primarily to speed the running of the reports and to provide a more user-friendly interface. Additionally, a need was identified to provide dynamic reporting to better serve the requirements of all users.

That’s right. They’ve “re-architected” the Log. Because, apparently, “…a need was identified…”

Does this give any of you a headache? Because it does me. I’ve spent my whole life trying to save the world by making my bed every morning, keeping the nouns and the verbs in their separate pens and sending the intransitive constructions to the Parts of Speech Rest Home.

And now this. And I’ll bet the people who did the re-architecting don’t even know what’s in the Log.

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My main computer at home is farkled, so I have to work on that when I can, instead of blogging.

It has been a rough couple of months at my crummy job, and I am worn out from the stress. I don’t feel like fixing this computer. I feel like going out and buying a new one, but the screws have been tightening at work, and now it’s a close call as to whether I will get fired or quit pretty soon. So I have to conserve my money, which means I will have to geek around with the computer until I get it working again, which means I may not be writing for a little while.Under Stress

Being in this position at my job makes me feel like a loser. I’m smart and educated and I’ve worked all my life, a much longer time frame than I even want to admit right now, and all I have to show for it is a crummy job from which I will never have the wherewithal to retire, part of a corporation that doesn’t have a clue, in an industry that makes most of its’ money doing things that would be illegal in a just world, under the thumb of a swaggering, big-mouthed egomaniac who in a battle of wits would be unarmed.

I try to let the shit roll off me, and considering my underlying attitude I guess I’ve been doing that pretty well. I try to tell myself that being there is like going through the looking glass into an upside down world, and that my real life starts when I walk out each day, but the corporation is so in my face lately that it’s getting too difficult to forget about it when I’m not there.

I wish I were earning my living doing something I loved. I have said that I would play blues in a corner bar for hot dogs, but I really can’t do that. I don’t want to go into the whole mess right now, but I have responsibilities and as bad as the crummy job is, it gives me a regular — albeit minimal — paycheck and health benefits.

So I have become the gray, plodding, broken man that I mocked when I was a brash youth, and I owned the world. Sorry, Dad. I didn’t know how life can beat you down, how you can get hooked on the money, trapped into doing things you loathe, running as fast as you can just to stay in the same place.

And feeling the knot of fear in your stomach when you realize you’re not even staying in the same place. You are slipping behind.


I’m OK. Maybe what I wanted to say is that, while I’ll be busy working on the hardware for a bit, 2007 will be a big year for revision99, so stay tuned. As always, my heart skips only for you.

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Ersatz Party

Last night I was stuck at the tackiest “Christmas Party” ever.

In lieu of a real party, we closed the doors at work (at 4:00 PM, big deal) and had a dinner onGifts the premises. There was no music. There were no decorations. We didn’t have Secret Santas. There was no indication that we were celebrating anything, or observing any ancient tradition.

“Gifts” had been extorted from our various vendors, and were distributed by means of raffle tickets and a drawing. Yes, that’s right: We called the businesses that supply us and told them that we expected them to donate stuff to our Christmas party, or else we would have to rethink our relationship with them in the new year. And yes, we are a Fortune 500 company.

Gifts. You know – things you give to others, people you love or want to impress or for whom you want to do something nice. I understand that certain holidays, most notably Christmas, have created a sort of ritualized gift-giving frenzy, whereby we feel that we must give to certain friends and family and associates. But still, at least we know who’s getting the presents, and the giving bears some resemblance to the real thing.

Our event last night was fully disconnected from the entire concept of giving. The “gifts” were from people who didn’t want to give them, to people they didn’t know. A bald guy got a hair curler. The 19-year-old receptionist got a jug of Johnny Walker Black. The guy who got the golf balls was trying to trade them – for anything else.

I didn’t want any of the tainted booty. I knew it would be cursed, so I threw away my raffle ticket and stayed in my office. In the end I was forced to put in an appearance, and I must say that the food was fantastic. One of our employees, a guy from New Orleans, operates a family catering business on the side, and he cooked up a phenomonal cajun feast for us all. He spent the whole day on the meal, and it was worth it. About half of it was still here in the morning, so all I have done all day is eat.

Except for the gumbo and the sausage and the crawfish, this event was easily the low point of the worst year of my professional career, and helps keep me focused on getting the fuck out of this gig. I hope I am able to do that.


On a much happier note, Blue Girl and Neddie Jingo have recorded a Christmas song, collaborating long distance on a sweet little masterpiece for the holiday. Blue Girl is in my Reciprocity blogroll, and Neddie Jingo is someone I’ll be reading a lot more in the new year. Some of you may recall that I did something like this with y’all last year on a protest song, but they have taken the collaboration idea to a new blog level, and it is wonderful. If your computer can play music, click here to hear the song.


Finally, I might be talking to God this weekend, so let me know if you want me to ask anything.

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HugeCorp Blues

I really, really, really need to get a new job.

It’s Friday night, approaching midnight, and I feel like I have just finished a week of running in front of the bulls at Pamplona. I don’t want to complain abut this too much — after all, at least I have a job. It’s a steady paycheck and subsidized health insurance. But since we were bought out by HugeCorp things have gone from bad to worse. I have tried to maintain some sense of balance, and after almost fourteen years at this place I have seen a lot of self-annointed bigshots come and go and I know that no matter how bad things get it’s just a job and my real life starts when I walk out of there each day.

But money touches everything and HugeCorp, like all corporations, exists only and purely to make as much money as possible, and it is like a giant machine, whirring in the basement (or the penthouse), grinding out new schemes and initiatives and procedures, blissfully unaware of what it’s like to be me, trying to implement them and still find time to get some work done. Some of the schemes make some sense in theory, or at least it’s possible to discern the good intentions behind them. But when they are brought into the workplace and start bumping up against reality all their flaws are exposed and eveything the planners didn’t think of takes place and there is chaos, anger and frustration.

I usually like chaos, but I am angry and frustrated because I am starting to see that I am a square peg and I will never fit into any of these HugeCorp round holes. For years we could both ignore this incompatibility, because they paid me and I efficiently did their work. But they are losing interest in getting work done. What they want now is to seem to be getting work done, so investors are impressed by the prospectus and the stock value goes up.

Another thing investors like is cost-cutting, so this week all the office supplies were moved to a warehouse a block away from the building where they are used, where they are being cataloged and shelved. This started without warning or explanation a few days ago, and by today most of our day-to-day stuff we need to work was gone from our premises. So when I was in the middle of a print job on the main laser printer and it ran out of paper, there was no fucking paper anywhere in the building. I asked the woman who had previously been in charge of supplies, and she told me to go to the other building and ask for a ream.

Really. Do I need more of a hint than that? Not only am I getting reamed, but now they want me to ask for it.

OK. I get it. It’s a huge corporation and they want to be as efficient as possible. They want to enhance the bottom line by saving money on supplies by making people accountable for what they use. But because of the stupid, arrogant, thoughtless, haphazard way they went about doing it, I – and the other twenty people who use that printer – had to stop everything and wait for someone to hike down the street and ask for a ream.

It was me, of course, and I didn’t ask. I took four reams of paper and hiked back to the office. I loaded the printer and asked the former supply-woman where she wanted the rest of the paper, and I asked her to call the warehouse and let them know how much paper I had taken, since no one had been there when I arrived. Just helpful Jones, trying to keep all the wheels turning.

For this rogue behavior I got to have a special, ten-minute closed-door meeting with the (new) general manager and the (new) controller, who together have worked there a total of six months. I won’t go into the grisly details of my reprimand, except to say that even though neither of them could refute my logic that I was just trying to get the whole fucking office back to work and ensure that another such delay didn’t occur in a couple of hours, they insisted that I had to play by the new rules (which had never been revealed to me, but that didn’t matter), that there could be no exceptions and it was too fucking bad if I didn’t like it. And, oh, yeah, neither of them was responsible for the new rules – they just happened spontaneously. (I actually used the word “spontaneously” in our conversation, and it appears that neither of them know what it means.)

So, to summarize:

  • Stoopid rule.
  • Productivity suffers.
  • Circumventing the rule and actually working gets you in trouble.
  • No one is responsible.
  • I really, really, really need to get a new job.
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Writer’s Blahk

I haven’t written in more than a week,

because I haven’t felt like writing. A whole bunch of life is happening to me, and it’s going by so fast that I can’t find time to blog it. This will be the gap when I’m old (OK, when I’m really old) and I’m trying to remember what I was doing just before I spent that mad year in Rio, with that crazy, crazy redhead from that goofy modern dance troupe. I will try to refer to my blog, because I know that blogs are forever, and all that I write will remain here for me and the world to read for all eternity, or until the ozone layer is completely gone and the entire human race has departed for another star system, lush green and yellow and silver planets that beckon and welcome, hiding their deadly secrets until all of the spaceships have been dismantled and beaten into plowshares…

But long before the Great Exodus, I will be a doddering old geezer yelling “URL, schmoo-R-L! Just find that blog!” And the great great grandchildren with their Intel Argos Brainchips will call up Google and frantically search the database of over 50 trillion blogs and vanity web sites for some record that I ever wrote anything at all, much less described the goings-on of June, 2006 but instead they will keep getting sidetracked by pictures of Paris Hilton going down on Jenna Bush, the future First Lady and President of the United States, before the Last Election, in 2032.

But I haven’t felt like writing, and so nothing will be found. I feel bad about this, although I know I’ll get over it before I am a doddering old coot. I feel bad because I keep thinking this would be a cool opening sentence – and then I could go on to show how this is a good example of… but right about then something else swoops into my mind and washes that idea away, and I’m not telling you what idea it was because I have no fucking idea, because I can’t concentrate on anything long enough to remember it five minutes later.

It now occurs to me that perhaps these are symptoms of already being a doddering old fool, much as the overuse of italics could be seen as a sign of a decreasing facility with language and thus a need to resort to ever more typographical tricks to make one’s writing seem vibrant and relevant, emphasis callously and frivolously superimposed over meaningless text in a pathetic effort to fool you, the reader, whom I love desperately. I know, you’re thinking “He’s saying that because he knows he’s the reader, and of course he loves himself, the narcissistic fool.”

Ah, but do I love myself? Maybe I loathe myself. How would you know, really? Notice how you only have to replace the “v” in love with “ath” to totally reverse the meaning? Merely a coincidence? I think not, and you’d think not, too, if you just thought about it.

So, what’s everybody doing for summer vacation? I’m planning to catch up on the laundry, maybe shellac a few picture frames. I could come over if you need some company. I’m a little eccentric, but I totally hide it in public, so you wouldn’t be embarrassed. I could bring some killer weed. I don’t have any, but I’d get some if you wanted it. We could pitch a tent in the back yard and stay in it all night, and tell your parents not to come and check on us no matter what.

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What Ethical Dilemna?

I seem to write only about my crummy job lately.

Not to belabor such an admittedly unimportant issue, but this happened today at work and I am still scratching my head over it.

I was walking by an office, and a member of our highly paid, friendly and knowledgable sales staff – let’s call him “Albert,” shall we? – was sitting in there and staring at a blank computer Meditationscreen. He wasn’t meditating. He just didn’t know how to log in. I see this as a good thing, because once they get logged in the trouble starts.

Sensing me near his door, he called my name, not taking his eyes off the screen. I thought about acting like I hadn’t heard him and just strolling on past, but it was early in the week and I was still filled with good will from taking Monday off, so I went in.

“What’s up, Albert?”

“Hey Larry. I’m trying to [use the computer to perform a function that is against state and federal law as well as company policy, and which could violate my customer’s privacy and compromise his financial information and leave him open to possible identity theft], but I can’t figure out how to get this computer working. Can you help me?” Those were not his exact words, but that’s what he was trying to do.

“Sure, Albert. I know your manager’s password. Let me just log you in. And… there you go. All set.”

“Thanks, Larry. We’d never get anything done around here without you.”

“No problem, Albert. Have a good time.”

I walked on, musing that Albert will probably remain logged on to that computer until the next power failure.

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Jones Is A Shithead

I may have mentioned my crummy job in the past.

It’s wrong for me to be so disrespectful of it. It pays my bills and keeps me out of that large group of Americans who don’t have health insurance. Without it I wouldn’t have this fine, fine computer, with which I blog. And, as noted here in the past, every Monday I am full of resolve to make the best of it, to be friendly and helpful, to keep it light, to solve problems rather than create them.HugeCorp

Maybe it’s the corporate ownership. My company has been absorbed by HugeCorp, a company whose only purpose is to own other companies (and extract the cash). It was created just a few years ago, so no one working at HugeCorp has been around as long as I have, or most of my immediate colleagues, for that matter. They know nothing about the actual business we’re in – that is, the part of the business that generates the revenue. So their “management” abilities are purely theoretical, and as a result the orders we get from them are arbitrary and, well, pointless. And stupid.

This has caused morale on the ground to disintegrate. Everyone’s upset because they are following orders, rather than getting the job done. You spend most of your time following orders, and then when you can fit it in, you get the job done, almost as an afterthought, and certainly not as a result of the orders from HugeCorp.

As part of the takeover, HugeCorp made it clear that it was their way or the highway. I stopped counting how many documents I have signed saying that I understand that I serve only at their pleasure and can be discarded at any time for any reason. The good news was always that I could quit if I wanted to (as if I couldn’t do that anyway). I wonder if they really think anybody swallowed that. In any case, these documents always arrived with our paychecks, as if to remind us that there was a linkage between getting paid and agreeing with everything they wanted.

The progression of my attitude has been: first, I tried to be a good employee, so I could keep my job and continue to get paid. Then, I saw how things could be improved and I moved to do so. Next I found myself having to fix problems that wouldn’t have happened if the company had brought me in to the decision-making earlier. I got a little sour about that.

After a while I made proactive suggestions to increase efficiency and streamline procedures. These were either ignored or rejected, only to be resurrected verbatim by somebody higher up the food chain and presented as their own, often to me! Around the time of the takeover I began to realize that I was not a member of the family, and would never be allowed to sit at the table. I was only greased when I squeaked really loud, and I got pretty fucking sick and tired of that. At some point I just stopped trying to help.

I have a rotten attitude. If I worked for me, I’d fire myself, except I might not be able to replace me without paying myself a lot more than I’m getting now. Also, I might sue myself for wrongful termination, if such a crime exists. The only way to get rid of me might be to kill me, which is why I have an assistant start my car each day when I leave the office.

The other day somebody’s father-in-law died. Your wife’s dad. Terrible news for your wife, no doubt, but just a bummer for you. Nonetheless, I wanted to sign the card that was circulating around the office, let the guy know I sympathized (I’ve never even met his wife). But I couldn’t catch up with the damned thing, and it ended up in the hands of someone I can’t stand to talk to, a know-nothing, do-nothing, pompous jerk who, in my opinion, only works here because he couldn’t manage the deep fryer at McDonald’s. Every time we need each other we both get angry and frustrated. My fault, as much as his.

So I didn’t sign the card, and my empathy became the victim of a toxic work environment that has got me divided from the very people I should be working most closely with – if we were trying to run a good company instead of just trying to keep our heads down and get by with the least amount of friction, so we can go home at the end of the day and start our real lives.

I wonder if this is some kind of new management-by-confusion technique that they are teaching in business school these days. So anyway, I’m a shithead. I can’t take full credit for it. In fact, I’m sure someone somewhere at headquarters is getting a promotion and a raise for it right now.

In other news, last night I ate a rotisserie-cooked chicken with my bare hands. Just tore it apart and devoured the flesh like an animal predator. Got it all over my face and shirt, and didn’t have no stinkin’ salad, neither.

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Another Friday Night

My life is interfering with my blogging.Surfin'

It’s bad enough I’ve moved my site off Blogger. I don’t get the drive-by’s that I used to through the “Next Blog” button. I’m not sure if I ever made any new bloggin’ buddies that way anyway. Well, maybe I found bloggin’ buddies that way, but nobody ever found me and made me one of their bloggin’ buddies. But at least it pumped up the traffic a little. When I think someone is reading it makes me feel better somehow, although God knows why it makes any difference.

That’s bad enough, but then I have to go and write political stuff half the time, and I guess I know that turns a lot of people off. There may at one time have been conservative readers who were just friendly and curious about my thoughts and my soft-core pornography, but I must have pissed them off and sent them packing long ago. I have no good way to keep track of this kind of thing, of course, so all this is in my mind anyway, but in my mind I am rocking softly in a corner, alone and afraid.

I have been alienated in my real life lately. My job, usually known here as “my crummy job,” has taken so many turns for the worse that I just wouldn’t even know how to explain it in writing, not in anything less than 300 pages. As I’ve probably written here before, it’s just a job I fell into, not a career that I sought. I’ve never been proud of it, but as I keep doing it longer, I have come to resent it. I’m surly with most of my coworkers. Sure, they’re stupid and flaky, for the most part, but they’re just as exploited as I am, so why not be nice to them? Every Monday morning I make some kind of resolution to be more cheerful there, help people when I can, keep it light, but by noon I have turned evil again and I just can’t shake the badness. I need to manufacture a better attitude, but I keep thinking “I hate this place, I hate this place, I hate this place…” and that just overwhelms my good intentions.

And while I am there, making the big bucks, developing ulcers and high blood pressure (maybe), what might have been Real Life is taking place somewhere else, some place where I am not. I am not wearing Dockers in a happy pizza joint with my friends, I’m not driving my new Cadillac and playing basketball, I’m not watching the leaves change in New England in autumn, I’m not playing guitar anywhere, not in a studio, a garage, a bar, not anywhere; I’m not stalking Gwyneth Paltrow or snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, and I’m not keeping up with my blog.

I’ve had a web site since before there were blogs. As soon as such a thing was possible I did it. i sensed that somehow it would be a way to connect with the world in a bigger way than I could do in person, and at the same time in a more intimate way. When I started this blog 19 months ago, I actually began to “meet” people. It was somewhat interactive, but low-key and non-threatening. For the record, I have never felt threatened. I mean it must have been non-threatening to others, because of the anonymity, which is kind of strange because so many of us reveal so much about ourselves in these posts.

But I have become a Bad Blogger. I write once a week or less, and at least half of that is outraged political ranting, which no one wants to read. I don’t get around to comment on others’ blogs, either. So I’ve kind of dropped out.

But so have a lot of my early bloggin’ buddies. I went back through some of my archives yesterday, and let me tell you it was a nostalgic trip. Nineteen months and already nostalgic. Huh.

The nostalgic thing was reading the comments of people who are no longer around. I mean no longer blogging, or no longer in my circle of friends. Maybe they got tired of blogs, or tired of me. I didn’t believe blogging was a fad, like CB radio, but maybe it was. It was geeky enough when “everybody” was doing it. How much of a dork will I be when I’m still writing here and everybody else has moved on?

Anyway, I miss those people whom I never actually met. Adrian, Melissa, Holly, MPH, Red, Kayten, that hispanic chick in Denver, all the rest – you know who you are.

What the fuck. I have issues. Are you saying you don’t?

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It has occurred to me…

that one of the big differences between working in a mom and pop setting and working for a huge corporation is that your boss in a huge corporation is really sort of a “compliance manager.” His main gig is to satisfy the requirements of the corporation, immutable edicts often handed down by faceless officers in another city whom he will never meet. They say what they want. He has to get it done for them.

Thus, he turns to his people, whoever works for him, and, if he’s good, makes them do whatever the hell the corporation thinks it wants that month. He will be held accountable if the job isn’t done. Knowing that, he can’t waste any time or pleasantries in handing out the chores. Explaining things would take too long, and failure will bring harsh consequences – for him. His fear is transmitted to the staff, who don’t know exactly what’s going on or why. They grow restive and crabby.

The owner or manager in a small operation must take care of his workers, because they are the ones who take care of him. He sees them as coworkers, and they really are. The orders don’t come in emails or bulletins from a distant land. They usually come from down the hall, or the next cubicle. There is a chance to discuss how a program should be implemented, if it should be modified or even if it should be dumped altogether. The people who must carry out the orders are actually involved in the reasoning behind them, or at the very least they are there to observe first hand their genesis. The workers have a sense of being at least a little bit in control, so, to the extent one can feel good about trading their precious time for money, they feel good.

My office has a new manager, one sent from The Corporation to replace the one who retired. The retiree had fifty years of experience in the industry and had done every job. She was efficient but not brutally so, and she cared for her workers like a stern but loving great aunt. The new guy is in his thirties, with The Corporation for 18 months, an advanced degree in accounting. He takes literally the orders from headquarters, does not not understand passive resistance, thinks everybody who works for him has equal abilities and aptitudes and so anybody should be able to handle any task handed them. In his effort to comply with corporate mandates he has made abrupt changes, giving only cursory explanations or none at all. They are turning out balance sheets and reports as required, and morale has never been worse.

Virtually everyone is looking for a new job somewhere else.

Most of this affects me only peripherally, since for some time I have been gradually reducing the amount of actual work I do around there, and at this point I am down to about thirty-five minutes per hour. Plus, I have been there longer than all the bosses, and all of them think I work for someone else. So I can stay under the radar pretty much. although I know The Corporation will find me eventually, and fire me or give me something to do and, God forbid, someone to report to.

In the meantime, I am watching the show with some alarm. The Corporation has no clue how to manage people or what to do to correct course when things aren’t going well. This disruption in the office, caused by them, is likely to be dealt with through some ham-handed management school method, which, taken to it’s extreme, could spell the end of my job.

To paraphrase another blogger ” I don’t want to get fired, but I don’t want to be there, either.”

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Round and Round for the Holidays

Kids, when you grow up and buy radio stations, as I’m sure you will,

whatever you do don’t let a computer program your Christmas music! I mean this, kids. Computers are have no clue how to do this right. They will play the same title back to back, several times a day, and they will think it’s OK because the recordings are by two different artists. They will not, as a good human program director would, warn you when you have limited the play list to too few songs. For example, thirty songs. Or thirty tracks, because really there are only twenty songs but some of them are by two different artists. And because of their diligent adherence to your wrong-headed choice of only thirty tracks, they will cause your on-air talent to become surly on the telephone, knowing that, even though it is the holiday season, they cannot fulfill your innocent holiday music requests, unless you happen to be requesting one of the songs on the stupidly abbreviated playlist, but why would anyone do that, since those songs are already playing incessantly?

I’ve been listening to a radio station in Los Angeles (KOST 103.5 FM, if you must know) that is playing nothing but Christmas music throughout the holidays. At first the orgy of sentiment was satisfying and fun – cheerful, uplifting holiday songs playing in the background while I worked, picked persimmons, did the dishes, drove around in the car. Good times, really. Gradually, the music faded from my consciousness, and my life was simply imbued with the warmth of the holiday season, as if a chipper and loving Victorian angel were riding on my shoulder, whispering words of acceptance and good will in my ear.

But, as with all stories of this type, soon I detected trouble in paradise. A nagging irritation began bubbling to the surface of my mostly empty mind. It was Burl Ives singing Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas, like twenty times a day. Are there not enough Christmas songs? Do they have to play this one more than, say, once a year? Apparently, computer says “Yes!”

Not only that, but once I became aware of the repetition I started to hear a lot of it, and I mean a lot of it, including the maudlin Christmas Shoes by Newsong. I think the computer is fucking this up, for me and everyone who likes music. KOST is owned by Clear Channel, a corporation which owns 1200 radio stations around the country. You think it’s a bit of a challenge to make a mix tape for your girlfriend/boyfriend? Try programming 1200 radio stations with 24/7 music. I’m not saying this is a good idea, I’m just saying that they couldn’t do it without computers. Probably Steve Jobs should get involved and donate some of those super-creative Apple computers with i-Tunes connections and “golden ears,” because those big Unix mainframes, the ones Clear Channel must be using, are just not hip enough.

So I’m back to my CD’s. I have a friend with whom I have been exchanging cheap Christmas CD’s for ten years now. The rules are: one CD per year, bought at a grocery store or a pharmacy, and costing less than five bucks. I give her one, she gives me one, every year. Sometimes we break the one-disk rule when we find some really cheap CD’s, like in January (then we buy a few and hold them until the following Christmas – can’t give Christmas music in Superbowl season).

In this way I have accumulated…

  • Elvis’ Christmas Album
  • Nat “King Cole, The Christmas Song
  • Tony Bennett, Snowfall
  • Bing Crosby’s White Christmas
  • the ever-popular Drug Emporium Traditional Holiday Favorites Volume 1

and a stack of generic collections of original hits and remakes by Hall and Oates, Brenda Lee, Bobby Helms, Burl Ives, Judy Garland. Pat Boone, Amy Grant, Chicago, Mary Hart(!), Lou Rawls, Don McLean, Donna Summer and more, more, more! I’m on a thirty-day binge of musical holiday cheer!

I’m still looking for The Beach Boys Christmas Album and Phil Spector’s Christmas (mono version). I have them on vinyl, and they’re all scratched from frequent rum- and egg nog-fueled playings and shufflings, plus they don’t work in the mp3 player. Not hearing these two classics is making me contemplate holiday self-mutilation, so please help. If you have one or both of these CD’s, for God’s sake burn me a copy! I’ll swap you my Drug Emporium compilation.

As always at Christmas time, my heart throbs with holiday good will for each of you.

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