One year for Christmas I got a bunch of cookies and a car charger for my phone. It was a good Christmas. :)
[From time to time I write little stories that have nothing to do with programming or technology; this is one of those stories. So, if you’re only here for the technology stuff, you’ll want to skip this one.]
I’m standing in the kitchen of a friend’s house at a Christmas party, making myself a drink while talking to a friend named Angie. This was nothing unusual; she and I were always talking about something. We became friends during our last year in high school, and we’ve been talking every since.
In retrospect it’s obvious that I have feelings for her, but I guess you could say that I didn’t appreciate her back then. After high school my ambition took me away to college, and then to a series of jobs in different states. By the time I decided to move back home, she was married and had two young children.
While we talked all the time, this kitchen conversation was unusual. I don’t remember how it started, but Angie did ask me about something I rarely talk about: my parents getting divorced in high school.
I was going through old photos recently and found this “Bleeding Heart” drawing that I made on a Buddha Board back in February, 2015. FWIW, Buddha Boards seem to make good Christmas gifts. I got this one as a Christmas gift in 2014.
Found a note today that I wrote on December 24, 2005. I noted that a friend went out of their way to wish me a Merry Christmas, and it was the nicest thing to happen recently and I never wanted to forget it. Reading it tonight made me smile again. Never underestimate the potential effect of the simplest kind word or act.
I had it in my mind that the worst of the mast cell disease (MCAS) side effects didn’t kick in until later in 2015, but I just saw this memory on Facebook from January 3, 2015:
“The day started off with a bad dream, after which I woke up, threw up, and had the shakes for long time. Fortunately it got much better as the day went on, and I eventually enjoyed a belated Christmas celebration with friends and family.”
I remember the vomiting and shakes started long before this – I learned to keep a trash can by the bedside – so those symptoms would have been well back into 2014.
If I manage to send any cards out for Christmas this year, they’ll be these “Starry Night over the Rocky Mountains” cards, which I found in a store on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado yesterday.
A friend bought me some of these USB-powered Christmas lights, and I like using them in the winter months, especially on days when it’s snowing, like today. They’d also be a nice “under $20” gift for one of those White Elephant Christmas gift exchange parties.
Legend has it that Bodhidharma sat facing a wall for nine years. I’m going to sit facing my faux fireplace on my new cushion (known as a zabuton, which was a Christmas gift this year).
I gave myself two gifts for Christmas: A set of new bathroom rugs, and a few guilt-free days to learn the LibGDX game framework so I can eventually rewrite my football game. (Usually I think, “You need to finish writing XYZ,” so “a few guilt-free days” means not having those thoughts, or having them but ignoring them.)
It’s going to be a white Christmas here in the Boulder/Broomfield, Colorado area, ho ho ho.