Friday, December 24, 2010


If you didn't get this or you received it and didn't get it, I apologize. Here below is the 2010 Christmas letter:

Another Christmas letter! How time flies, although time is apparently upset with the TSA for what it considers unseemly groping. Maybe if they could rig those backscatter XRAY machines to kill any bedbugs you picked up in your hotel room they’d be popular. It’s ALL marketing.

You know you are lonely when you go through a TSA feel-up “just to make new friends.’
I think the solution to the full body pat downs is to hire Hooters girls for the guys and Chippendale guys for the women, though some guys might have trouble when they later try to buckle their seat-belt.

Our only ‘pro’ sport here in Austin is University of Texas sport and after a pretty unimpressive football season, as I write this, I am listening to the game on streaming radio. When you can put over 100,000 people into the stands, you are pro, officially or not. Of course when they lose, many people stay home. Average ticket price is $70. Plus parking. Plus food and beverage. We’ve been spoiled by great teams until this year. The rays blasting from the huge Godzillatron in the end zone apparently will grow artificial grass.

Friday I received an email from an old high school buddy who was ‘thinking of me’ when he spotted a Beech Staggerwing airplane in (ready?) Cambodia. I took him flying once, in a much cheaper plane, from Phung Dien Pennsylvania to Bien Tem New Jersey. He may have seen me stagger at one of his frat parties.

In April I went back to working for the man. Back to banker-controlled-radio, but not in management – this time in production (of commercials.) I still have the home studio, but wanted to be around people more; however, without the stress of driving the bus. Of course this is radio in 2010, so, after a few months, my boss was fired. Not because of me. Something about his zipper, they say, and someone’s chin. As for me, I say things like “located at...” “today and tomorrow only!” and “a sale you can’t afford to miss.” Sadly, there isn’t much creativity. I did manage to get a duck quacking into a New Year’s Eve hotel commercial (“you can sit home with cold duck... OR...”)

Our housing development (not our house) went into foreclosure, and was purchased by a bank, said to be ready to churn it. There was an interesting ‘meet the new owners’ meeting which only lacked torches and a march to the bank-castle by the villagers.

Through the station I have met some ‘stars’ on the country music scene, one of whom has 6 Grammys, - awards, not extended family - he went to a competing high school in the Philly suburbs. We hit it off really well and I thought maybe a new friendship was happening. This guy (Ray Benson – look him up) was the ‘station voice’ of one of the stations I work for. He’d be in to record every once and a while and I felt I might actually have a new buddy there. But the new manager fired him.

The GRAMMY office is right next to the radio station, and they have one on display – I went in and asked if I could take a picture with me “listening” to it. The receptionist went nuts – “Only winners can be photographed with a Grammy!” I wanted to say, “or what? Will the Grammy police sing me to jail?”

Offering our best wishes to the economy, Terri and I are buying new computers for Christmas. This will be followed by a period of lost files and repurchased software in versions that will take advantage of the blazing speeds at the edge of the state of the art. Our home computer is 7+ years old. Yes, it does run on electricity. But only when it wants to. We’ve taken advantage of a sale and Terri has her spankin’ new Toshiba now. I am shopping, trying to find the best most reliable one.

Last Winter, much too late to make it to the Christmas Letter, we went on a sailboat charter out of St. Martin or San Maartan – an island with two names, because one half of the island is Dutch and the other side is French. Wooden shoe = Dutch. Jimmy Choo = French. We traveled to St. Barts, too, which is short for St. Bartholosomething. The streets are paved with wealth. In the harbor - yachts in packs – all over 200 feet long! We saw one which was almost 400 feet long (costing almost $400 million!) St. Bartholosomething usually vacations with St. Ostentageous, patron saint of the u*berrich... (*no umlaut on this old computer, German students.)

In July. we shuffled back to Buffalo for a surprise party for Terri’s mom’s 90th birthday. It was a real surprise since it wasn’t her birthday yet! Amazingly, the family came together and she had no hint. Family, friends, tears, hugs, smiles. St. Buffalo is the patron saint of snow.

I can’t remember if this was in the last letter but late last year we both got new cars. Now we can look good doing 20 mile-an-hour runs out of the development to enjoy single-lane slowdowns where the road is being widened. Eventually the endangered salamanders which are said to live under the old bridge were aced out of a three year long EPA study for the widened bridge. St. Salamander is patron saint of the EPA.

As the development holds its collective breath awaiting new owner/s, construction on the 8000 sq foot home beside us has again accelerated. It was said to have been sold by the initial builder to some other entity which is pouring money into the project. At this moment they are laying grass. St. Grass is the patron saint of Irrigation Sprinklers.

On the other side of us – the only undeveloped lot nearby, we found new owners squatting on the dirt. We introduced ourselves to this family of five. Dad was ‘in women’s shoes’ in San Diego, we learned (as Terri nearly snapped a neck-something on her way to hyper-attention.) Apparently that was a profession, not a lifestyle choice. Anyway, as the story goes, too much pressure took the whole darn family to the south pacific for 2 and a half months to chill out, in the heat. (Try to explain that sentence to a non-english speaker!) So they searched the world, could apparently live anywhere at all, and chose the lot next to us. That says something. What palace will appear remains to be seen as they have yet to have the home designed. It seems to take a year or so to actually build most of the homes we’ve seen in the neighborhood, so when the first bulldozer arrives, the clock will start ticking. St. Bulldozer is the patron saint of Diesel.

Boy, this annual writing has mellowed from the forces of age, wifely approval, and to whom we send this letter. There’s not enough edge for my taste, but you can still get a pretty good paper cut with it if you fold it just the right way, so there’s at least some sting left.

Allow me to pimp ourselves? Voicework: Loans:

Terri and I wish you the very best Christmas and let’s go for a much improved New Year for all!

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