Modern Lovers Christmas Trash

Happy Holidays! Or are we mandated to call it “Merry Christmas” in the Trump Age?

Your local blogger may have a hard time understanding the new dynamics. This bullshit issue is symptomatic of the national condition currently. It is contrived, and it is asinine.

But whatever your process, Happy Holidays.

Now on to the games:

Let us start off with the Vikes at Cheese. This would normally be a laugher, but not this year. I favor the Vikes, because, hey, who would not. But, still, they are the Packers and this is the Frozen Tundra. Were Aaron Rodgers on the field, this goes the other way. Ravens at home versus the Colts? Nope, take the Ravens.

Cleveland at Bears ought to be interesting to see who is more…well, who will win. I will take the Kittehs over the Bungles. And Rams over the Titans. By the way, courtesy of our friend Steph Stradley, did you know the Titans Are Named After Inbred, Defeated Child Eaters?

New Orleans at Falcons seems noteworthy. There is actually something at play there. Cannot take the Dirty Birds in a game like this, if only because they are not home. And the Superdome is home for Drew Brees and the Saints.

Phish at Chefs may be pretty interesting. Miami is far better than they looked, including Cutler, and KC still good, but far more vulnerable than thought. This will be a really good game.

I just do not see how anybody gets excited about the rest. That is a short and succinct trash on a Saturday morning. Do your best and tell me all that I missed!

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.

17 replies
  1. Rapier says:

    Dick Butkus in one of those Youtube videos says, after retirement sometime, “I always thought we were going to win”. He played on some terrible team. 1-13 in 69. On one level it’s noble as hell, the essence of a team player and teammate. On the other hand it’s so Bears. Well, Bearness is hard to put into words but it’s that they do not want stars, except the most noble few, on defense, and on offense only gods allowed, at running back. Any one of the Hall of Fame QB’s of the last couple of decades could have ended up as the answer to a triva question had they been selected by the Bears. As for now, I feel badly for everyone concerned. It’s funny the Bears beat Pittsburgh and Ben looked like a old man.

  2. scribe says:

    Y’know, having decided to say, and mean, “Fuck the NFL” has done wonders.

    I don’t have to pay attention to Skip Bayless any more, nor even tolerate him intruding into my living room, especially when he seems ready to fellate Jerry Jones. As far as I’m concerned, he no longer exists.

    The Draft Meat Market has no relevance to my existence. I can look on it as it truly is – a collection of touts grading the new slaves just off the boat, to see which will fit best on each plantation.

    I no longer wonder what is, or is not, a catch, nor whether it was properly called.

    I have to say, Monday was hard. It was like the last time I quit smoking, finally and for good. Went from a pack a day to nothing and haven’t looked back because I was done with it. A deep psychic shudder and perceptions altered, a new view of the world, senses disconcerted. A day of near hyperactivity as the anger – rage, really – flowed out of my body and mind to be replaced by a calm and even joy that passeth understanding.

    This week I got my presents wrapped and mailed, cards written and sent. Later in the week I decorated my Christmas tree, laden as always with heirloom ornaments, some new and many old. Many of them carry meaning, of Christmases past and of departed relatives. It’s the first tree in several years, having foregone the last couple because of work getting in the way (’14), the November passing of a parent making Christmas not nearly so merry (’15), work again and the passing of a beloved dog (’16). Indeed, last Christmas work had me spending it in a Motel 6 hundreds of miles from home. I think my dinner came from a convenience store. This year I’m home.

    It takes a while to decorate the tree, not because it’s physically hard but because it’s often emotionally fraught. Opening the tubs where the ornaments are stored opens the gates of memory with a flood. This year I had to do it. Not just because I finally have a pause from work, but also because I lost my other parent this past summer. Long time coming, but nonetheless hard.

    The topper is a post-war angel in the printed paper and gold leaf style of Dresden ornaments (cognoscienti will know what I mean) surrounded by a nimbus of glass fiber, identical to toppers which every one of the siblings in my mother’s family had. Must have gotten a bulk discount or something back before I was born. It’s been on our family tree since the 50s. The window wreaths, red cellophane and cardboard, used to hang in the windows of my mother’s parents’ farmhouse. A beloved uncle still with us rewired them to work both off one plug back when. The farm was sold 50 years ago this coming spring for the then-good price of $1000 an acre. It’s McMansions in a sea of McMansions now, the soul-searing conversion of Pennsylvania farmland into suburban sprawl. The vintage glass bead garland – I used only about half of the 80 or so feet I have – and the blown-glass electric-pink flamingo ornament, from an aunt almost 20 years gone. A few of the delicate filigree snowflakes and scenes, cut from sheet brass by some artisan, which I sent home from a German Weihnachtsmarkt in 1983. When not in use they’re now stored in one of the decorative cans which held the Nurnberger Lebkuchen I sent home that same year. These were wrapped in the snippets of old Stars and Stripes newspapers I’d used to keep them separate. The lights are “new” this year, a set of LED lights in little colored globes stuffed with mylar tinsel, giving an effect similar to the old GE “Lighted Ice” bulb sets from the late 60s, which another beloved aunt, long gone now, had on her tree. The “Lighted Ice” sets are long out of production. If you can find them, they are crazy expensive. Her farm, now part of a golf course and the sturdy stone farmhouse where she cooked amazing food and doted on us, bulldozed into its own basement. And on a corner of the tree – near the pride of place occupied by the flamingo and a peacock of similar design – a couple of Steelers candy-cane ornaments I picked up from the discount bin of a salvage store. I had the good fortune that day to pick up three sets of such canes – Iggles, Owboys and Stillers – which I was able to give to two friends, each of them diehards for one of those NFC East teams, and myself.

    This is not to say I will not enjoy an occasional game of football. I just checked 506 Sports so I know what’s on and when. But there is more to life than the Circus of King Roger the Clown, and I’m enjoying it.

    • dakine01 says:

      I have not had a tree of my own for years but if/when I do have one again, I have the paper angel topper that my late sister made in kindergarten when she was five, that topped our trees growing up then her trees over the years until she passed.

      And fuck the NFL, fuck Skip Bayless & Jerry Jones & Roger the Clown. I gave up on them for the most part in the ’90s after seeing a HoF introduction where there were players only a couple of years older than me totally crippled and unable to walk without assistance. North Dallas Forty was based on reality

    • rosalind says:

      beautiful, scribe! immediate thoughts of the old lights with liquid that bubbled inside on our family tree. and visiting the German neighbors to see for myself their tall tree brought to light with candles perched among the branches, my parents shaking their heads in disbelief as we walked home.

      Happy happy, all!

      • scribe says:

        I have a couple dozen of the German-made candleholders, built with spring clips.  I bought the first of them when I was stationed there and more last year when they showed up in a local-to-me Christmas-themed shop.  Ordinarily I don’t put them on the tree, mainly to avoid temptation overcoming safety.  I’m using an artificial tree and live in a frame house.

        I did put them on my natural tree in Germany the year I bought them, with a big bucket of water handy, no other decorations on the tree and nothing near the tree itself.  I lit them for about five minutes with all the other lights off, just to see.  It is quite beautiful to see.  But, fact is, even a dozen of the little candles throw an amazing amount of heat.  Placing them requires a very keen eye for safety.    Lighting them requires constant vigilance while lit, and to make sure they’re out.  I’ve put them on the tree a couple times here stateside without lighting them, but the vast majority of the time they stay in the storage box, getting a look from me as I put up the tree and then a “Naah. Not enough room.” or something similar.

        By way of expert opinion, I think candleholders and candles generally work far better on the spruce trees – Blue and Norway – which are out of favor stylistically these days, supplanted by the Douglas and Balsam Firs. The spruces have branches which are stiffer and less dense than the firs, and far fewer needles. It’s pretty much mandatory to have stiff horizontal branches for the candleholders to work and not flop around or catch something on fire inadvertently. The spruces have that, but they have the sharp prickly needles that consumers don’t like.

        The bubble lights are available.  They’ve been in production a good 15 years or so and, if you look, you can find them pretty easily.  I like them.  They have that funky early ’60s Space Age vibe that’s a lot of fun.

  3. scribe says:

    I am reminded by a fellow Stillers fan that today is the 45th anniversary of Franco Harris’ catch becoming the Immaculate Reception. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gnwiTm4hRQ&feature=youtu.be
    If you watch through the film, you’ll see Oakland taking cheap shots, making horsecollar tackles, and so on, all of which did not stop Stiller victory and, indeed, may have been weighed in the pans of the Football Gods’ scales when the final balancing was struck. I have little doubt that, no matter how much King Roger puts his chubby thumb on the scales, the Football Gods will even it up in the end.

    Fuck the NFL.

    • Ed Walker says:

      I admire this kind of cold turkey quitting. I gave up the Irish after forever, but still watch other teams and the pros. Fandom is hard to surrender.

  4. Peterr says:

    The Chefs have had some kind of bug going around the team this week, and word is that Justin Houston may or may not play. If not, that will be a big hole in the Chef’s D-line. If that happens, the Chefs will have to do a big “win one for Justin” and suck it up, or get run over in a big way.

    I probably won’t even know who won until people start arriving at church tomorrow night, either smiling or shaking their heads in sadness. It’s kind of a busy day for me.

    • bmaz says:

      Merry Christmas Scribe. Also fuck Skip Bayless. He was never worth a fuck anyway. No loss there.

      You are going to hate this, but rumors are Bill Bell and the Pats may sign Harrison. Honestly, I think that would be kind of wrong. But, also, kind of stupidly perfect.

      The NFL is wonderful and horrible.

      • scribe says:

        I am aware of the Harrison-to-Pats rumors.  A lot of them started on the Steelers fan boards.  There, the over-under line seems to be Harrison getting 4 sacks of Ben in the AFC Championship game.

        I wouldn’t put it past the Pats.  It might serve the Steelers right or it might backfire.  Speaking for myself, sadly, I think Harrison is pretty much done.  He hasn’t shown much speed on the snaps he did get, does not appear to be feared by opponents’ O-lines, and hasn’t gotten around the ends to the QB like he used to.

        • scribe says:

          James Harrison paid a visit to the Pats locker room today, in advance of an expected signing.  He posed with Biebs, exclaiming that he finally has an older teammate.  https://www.instagram.com/p/BdLjIUrgQd7/

          Steelers boards are full of people either lining up to commit suicide, or damn Harrison to Hell.  I’m neither.  This is business, the business of football.

          • bmaz says:

            Hey, Granpa Favre played with the Vikings. They wanted him and Pack no longer did. Fine for Harrison to play with the Pats. It really is a business, and a game he still wants to play. Good for him.

      • bmaz says:

        Adding…..Saw them back in either 81 or 82 during some graduate  school in Tucson. Down on the fairly notorious 4th Avenue, but not sure exactly where. But know we ended up at Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow and then at The Shanty that night. Jonathan Richman ripped the place up. One of those acts you have to see live to truly appreciate just how good they are. The J. Geils Band was that way too.

  5. Pete says:

    The (once) Mighty Packers have struck out (again). Good move to not play DiscountDoubleCheck methinks. Heal thyself for tomorrow. If there is an NFL to play in :-O

    I was kinda thinking the Iggles were still the creme de la creme and maybe still are. But the Vikes sure look to be real as do the Rams. Playoffs may have some surprises.

    Excuse the mixed sports reference
    Casey At The Bat – James Earl Jones

    Plus, after the season the Packers have had – no surprise: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-23/mapping-americas-worst-states-binge-drinking-christmas

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