December is right around the corner, and I'm sitting here in front of my computer with writer's block. My assignment from the boss lady is to "write the Christmas letter" tonight. Piece of cake, right? Just knock off a few paragraphs somewhat akin to my 5th grade teacher's assignment "what I did on summer vacation". Uh oh, now all I can think of is Cheech and Chong's "Sister Mary Elephant" (don't tell me you didn't listen to that when your parents weren't home--"Class...Class...SHUT UP!!! Thank you...").
Beth says it shouldn't be that hard, just look on our calendar, see what we did this year, and write about it. Let's see, what DID we do? Worked, rode bike, watched movies, read books, went out to dinner, went to church, hung out with friends, went to a few concerts. That's about it. Man, that's just about exactly what I did in 1979 when I was a senior. Not much changes, does it really? DOC'S ADVICE: don't wax nostolgic too long about the good old high school days, or you'll never get the stupid Christmas newsletter done.
Well, OK, a few things have changed since high school: my social life improved 1000% since I got married, I'm 1 for 2 against Greg LeMond now (he kicked my butt in a crit in 1977, but [30 years later] I beat him by 6 or 8 minutes this year at Chequamegon), I'm watching and reading different stuff (but not that different--Lord of the Rings is still #1 on the book list), I can afford better than the "golden arches supper club" for dinner, my friends now have much shorter hair than in the 70s (some have very little hair), and I now bring earplugs to concerts (I am an ear doctor, after all--it wouldn't be too good for you to come see me and ask me a question and have me go "huh?").
Huh. After sitting here for an hour, and then spending an hour trying to fix a paper jam in the printer (I ended up digging out an old dusty printer from the junk closet and going online to find a printer driver for it), I'm no closer to starting the dreaded yearly review. When Beth writes it, it becomes a showpiece of accuracy and completeness, cataloging virtually every activity longer than an hour in length that we participated in during the year. Then she prints it in a number 2 font size so it will all fit on a front and back sheet. Then we send it to our 600 closest friends, and every one of them calls us back to find out if it's done on microfilm or what. DOC'S ADVICE: as we age, our ability to read small print basically evaporates, so don't be embarassed, buy the LARGE PRINT EDITION if you need to.
I'm hoping she won't notice that I'm writing it in size 16 font with only 2 paragraphs per side. Side one: what we did during the week (any given week); side two: what we did on the weekend (again, any old weekend). Conspicuously absent from the newsletter (for the 3rd year in a row): our trip to China to adopt a baby girl. Seriously, next year's edition will be all about that, unless we're too busy actually raising her to write a newsletter at all...
Better go, or she'll figure out that I wasted my entire evening procrastinating. DOC'S ADVICE: don't mess with a woman bent on putting up the holiday finery, or she'll do like this Santa.