Thursday, February 02, 2006


Happy Holidays!

Well, I am just giddy with holiday spirit, let me tell you. With the smoke barely cleared from the War on Christmas (there was no formal cease-fire, no treaty, no surrender - where's my closure?) We have the rapid succession of the beginning of the year of the Dog, and Groundhog Day. Wow, and I thought having Hanukkah and Christmas at the same time was a bloodbath. Dogs and Groundhogs, living together... mass hysteria! Interestingly, although there was no mention of Groundhog Day at my daughter's school today, the Animist Left is not raising a ruckus about the "War on G-day". Their restraint is admirable. I, myself, am fuming. Another piece of uniquely American culture fades quietly away, just because there is no marketing/shopping tie-in. Meanwhile, get ready for Valentine's Day, Secretary's Day, Buy More Stuff At Chain Stores Day, Mass Market Zombies Day, and the beginning of the Retail Christmas Season, which begins this year the day after Easter. Martha "I crocheted my own ankle beacon" Stewart will show us how to melt down unused easter chocolate to make chocolate Santas which can be used to bribe minimum-security guards, or something.
So I'm in something of a mood, apparently (yeah, everyone is so shocked), and I think I know why. I got the date for the Chinese New Year wrong, so that night I had a small meal, with short noodles, and an over-ripe banana for dessert. In addition to being unsatisfying as a culinary experience, I count 3 ways that I have brought upon myself a short lifespan. I'll probably be dead by Sunday. That, and the rest of the meal probably symbolized sexual inadequacy or something. That's what cultural illiteracy gets you. Gah.
Anyway, the groundhog saw Bill Murray's shadow, so there will be "six more weeks of winter." Right. That makes a ton of sense. Well, it does, as an average. This is the problem with using old Punxatawney Phil for the whole nation's G-day festivities. As a service to the galaxy, I will put the prediction in context for some selected areas.

Boston, MA: Eight more weeks of winter, maybe nine, and they will be real winter, no more of this 50 degrees and sunny nonsense.
Buffalo, NY: Spring will start the same time it always does, on May 10th, about 2 weeks after the winter's last good blizzard.
Orlando, FL: Hasn't had spring since the last ice age, and won't see one for the forseeable future. Will go straight from the mild season to the so-hot-even-the-alligators-are-uncomfortable season
Bozeman, MT: even the best groundhogs have no idea. Most likely, micro-spring will happen 5 or 6 times between now and April, but in a town where it snows in July, spring is less a season and more an abbreviation for "the roads are muddy."

There, now that I've been helpful, I'll just go pat myself on the back while my cat finds new and moister ways to make a nuisance of himself. GET DOWN! EW!

Your Humblest and Most Devoted Servant,

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