The next morning, we are up and about at the juice bar. Who do we find there? Our same crowd of boisterous ExPats, smoking, drinking coffee and laughing. Do these people ever sleep? We order an avocado milkshake with chocolate syrup (a Timorese specialty), a pineapple milk shake, and coffee. A
Inspired by my friend Mercedes Yardley, (you can read her newsletter here) I am posting a realistic Holiday Letter, not to be confused with the mocking one I posted a few weeks, or days, whatever, ago. All-in-all, I think we had a decent year, considering that it was 2017 and all.
The picture above comes from the LA premiere of the latest season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. We always enjoyed the old ones, and when we saw the Kickstarter campaign, we contributed enough to the successful effort to be invited to watch Episode One, Reptilicus, from the VIP section. Reptilicus is possibly the worst movie ever, but of course it is in competition with some pretty awful stuff. If you haven’t already done so, you should check out MST 3000, The Return, on Netflix. Season 14 is coming along, but you still have time to be caught up before it is released.
Tami has been working a lot at her law firm. She has participated in some famous cases, as well as some nobody ever heard of. Recently she was involved with the Wynn v Wynn settlement, and nary a news report about it was seen. Not sure why not.
Steve started driving for Lyft in July. He also keeps plugging away at writing fiction, and coordinating the Las Vegas Writers’ Group. He’s also on the board of Writers of Southern Nevada. He writes a bit. Oh, and he passed the Jeopardy audition, but hasn’t heard from them yet.
We have one animal casualty to report. Bob Katt has bone cancer in his right leg, and the prognosis is not good. He’s a very fine cat, soft as a bunny, and will be sorely missed.
In other animal news, Beauregard Katt grew up and the other cats quit letting him eat first. He was confused, but acquiesced. Georgia had a blood tumor removed from her tummy. Emmy grew into a furry pig after Beau grew up and quit chasing her around. Kitty the Forest Cat managed to avoid being shaved for this year. And Sonny, fka Mister Sunshine, continues to be just about the nicest cat I’ve ever known.
We also visited London in May, wearing ourselves to frazzles in an eight-day trip. We heartily recommend Virgin Atlantic for flying to England. The return trip, especially, was positively enjoyable.
There you go. Why not publish a realistic newsletter of your own? Won’t cost you nuthin’!
Opportunity Village is an organization in Las Vegas, Nevada that provides opportunities for people who normally would not be able to find a job. With training and experience, many of their clients are able to graduate into the “real” job market. They open the Magical Forest every year for the holiday season. Get there early to avoid the big crowds. Ride the train! (That snow is fake, by the way.)
It’s no secret that one of the obligatory things a series author has to do is to produce at least one holiday-themed entry. It’s usually Christmas, but it could be any holiday. Independence Day? Check. Valentine’s Day? You’re kidding, right? Check. New Year’s Day? Check. Even Ground Hog Day? Duh! (Liked the movie.) In the spirit of giving you something else to daydream about while your next big plot development is cooking in the back of your mind, consider how you might adapt your current cast of characters to your favorite holiday? What does a Librarian do on Halloween? Will a Chief ever relax enough to enjoy Labor Day?
Seriously, the holidays present special problems for writers, merely by existing. In my case, I had to finish up a bathroom remodel, and this is the first thing I’ve written in a couple of weeks. And it’s not even fiction! Maybe the way to go is similar to what I do about eating sweets over the holidays: I don’t try to avoid it. I keep it down to as mild a roar as possible, which isn’t always that mild a roar as I dearly love sweets. I also don’t worry too much about production over this period. If it’s something that just has to come out, it will, whether I will it or not. Otherwise, I keep notes and other things to ensure that I can pick up right where I left off, whether it’s the holidays or not. This seems to work out for me, provided that I’m not too fat to fit behind my desk at the end of it all. 🙂
It’s on the drive back from Balibo I decide that, while Pat might take a local bus eight hours into the mountains to visit Nilthon, Leslie Godfrey is not up to the task. By hour two of our three hour trip back to Dili, my arms are sore from clutching Little America’s “Oh Shit Handle.” Bill decides t
We arrive in Balibo and disembark the truck I’m now calling “Little America.” The village is built around one open common space square with a statue in the middle. An older Timorese woman walks down a picturesque hillside, her head wrapped in a skirt of fabric the traditional way. The only sound
“So what do you have planned today?” My mom asks me. For the last hour or two, I’ve been rooted to the same spot on Sonrisa’s salon bench, strategically nestled beneath the fan. Sweat glistens on my upper lip and drips off my chin. My parents are enjoying this view via Facetime. I would go up o
Knowing our sponsor letter for Indonesia would take at least a week, we submitted all the paperwork and then decided to sail to the island just off the mainland to go scuba diving, Ataoru. Part of the coral sea triangle, a visit by marine biologists recently declared it to be one of the most divers
Hello from our family! We certainly hope that this past year has been a good one for you and yours, and that the upcoming year will fill you with blessings, and improved streaming from your chosen ISP!
We are feeling a bit conflicted this holiday season. That’s because not a one of us has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. You know how we like to think of ourselves as on the cutting edge of family life. Grandma gave us all Cabbage Patch Dolls before they got so expensive, and we still have a garden made of Pet Rocks! But, in this, we are sadly behind the times. Although Pa did once tell cousin Lucille an off-color joke. It didn’t rise to an offense, though, because Lucille told him one in return that caused the rest of us to put our hands over the little ones’ ears and blush for shame. The language! Anyway, outside of that bit of embarrassment, which I am frankly glad to have confessed, life has been good to us this year.
Pa, Junior (isn’t that the cleverest name, though?) was cleared to return to playing football after the swelling in his brain went down, and he’s gone on to be the star of the team during his Senior year. He’s so excited about the game that he sort of shivers from time to time, and who can blame him? That City Championship Trophy will look pretty darned good up on the mantle, that’s for sure!
You’d think brother Josh would be jealous, but not a bit of it! He’s working really hard down at the Stash N Save, bagging folks’ stuff for them. Sometimes he carries the stuff out to their car for ’em, and once in a while, he even gets a tip! He’s learned a lot about how a successful business works, as when his boss pointed out that, as a tipped employee, he got less pay per hour than if he were, for instance, a janitor who never got tips. We’re sure he’ll put this knowledge to good use throughout his life!
Sissy is not to be undone by her big brothers. Besides designing the snow creature shown in the picture, she has been learning the best way to apply mascara, so when she gets to high school she won’t look as ridiculous as most of the girls on dance nights. We’re having a little trouble convincing her to drop her interest in electronics and physics and concentrate on more practical concerns, but after all, she’s just thirteen. She has several years yet to figure out how the world really works!
Pa may not be a sexual predator, but he’s one heck of a tinkerer. Last June he bought a 1969 Oldsmobile 442 off of our neighbor over on Claremont Avenue, and he figures that by this next June he’ll be able to use it to drive to Pa, Junior’s graduation! Maybe even let Pa, Junior use it when he takes his girlfriend out to celebrate their new adulthood! Pa says that the car just has a few “bent valves,” whatever that means, and it won’t be any trouble at all for him to fix up good as new! It actually does run right now, but the cloud of smoke it makes gets so thick that he can’t see where he’s going when he tries to drive it. I can’t wait for when we can drive it up and down Main Street, just like Grandpa and Grandma used to do back in those days.
And of course, I’ve been busy lately what with making Thanksgiving dinner for us and all of our cousins (it’s so nice to see the house full to bursting with hungry kinfolk!) And now I’m starting in on the Christmas cookies, bake-ahead pies, gingerbread for the gingerbread houses (Rex the Lab ate them all last year, so I’m putting them on top of the china cabinet this time,) and of course shopping for presents for everybody. I’m having a blast, as you can imagine, and I hope you, too, are enjoying your Holiday Season!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukka, Good Kwanzaa, Happy New Year!
Until next year,
Copyright 2017 by Steven M Fey, including the photographs, also by Steven M Fey
For the last two nights, we have been defending Sonrisa’s innocence. The day we made anchor, our swing room was clear. We looked around the tight anchorage and say an unoccupied mooring buoy a good distance away. Mentally calculating the space around which a normal length boat would swing, we set
Timor Leste is the newest formed nation in the world. The word “Timor” means “East” in Bahasa Indonesian, “Leste” means East in Portuguese. Two words, ten letters, a poetic hint about the history of the most newly formed nation in the world. Andrew and I never intended to sail to Timor Leste. It