Coffee heat rising

Bah! El Humbugo! said she…

Mexican Christmas Light

Every Christmas, the neighborhood gung-ho group — who are great, no question of it, and a real asset to the ‘Hood — flogs a busy communal display of luminarias. These are traditional Mexican Christmas decorations made with paper bags and candles. You pour a layer of sand into the bottom of a paper lunch bag; then insert a short candle into the sand. Line the driveway or sidewalk or porch wall with these light them, and voilà! Christmas cheer.

To say nothing of voilà! Fire hazard.

Being a crabby old lady, I do NOT want these things set up along my courtyard wall or driveway. Because yes, I do think they’re potential fire hazards, especially if a wind comes up — as winds are wont to do at this time of year.

In the past, enthusiastic neighbors have brought the things around and set them up along sidewalks and driveways, free of charge. This is very fun and cool…but it kinda puts us humbugs behind the eight-ball. If you don’t light the things, you out yourself as a Scrooge. 😀

This year, bless’em, they’ve decided residents should buy the things, and so they’ve set up a stand in the park where we can go pick them up and pay for them. And that is definitely Service Above and Beyond: it’s colder than billy-be-dammed out there, and threatening to rain.

Some Christmas season, add I to that. Grump!

Adding further: SDXB called an hour or two ago. Canceled our planned excursion, saying he’s come down with what he thinks is a cold. One can only hope that’s all it is! He sounded just awful…but whenever he gets a respiratory infection, he sounds like he’s pounding at death’s door.

He says he taken both the flu and the covid vaccines — and had three shots of covid. So…we’re looking at two possibilities: either whatever he has is neither of those bugs, or the vaccine he got for one or the other of them failed.

WhatEVER. Cold, flu, or vaccine-resistant covid, I don’t want it…so am grateful for his decision to stay home. Though sorry he’s sick…and hope he gets over it soon.

Meanwhile, in the Department of High-Risk Activities, I dropped out of choir soon after the plague began, choral singing indeed ranking among the highest-risk things you can do in time of contagion. This poses a problem of the First Water: I have nothing else to occupy my time and challenge what passes for my mind!

Tried volunteering for something else down at the Cult HQ. Ended up helping to staff the front desk and answer the phones one afternoon a week. All very nice, no doubt — sorta gives you a chance to meet the clergy and staff. Except they ARE busy and don’t have time to stand around socializing. So you sit there for four hours with not one damn thing to do!!!!! The phone, which is bizarrely complicated, may ring once during that time: nowhere near enough to allow you to learn how to operate it.

After the umpty-umpteenth week of brain-banging boredom, I quit.

Interestingly, the church’s accountant also quit at about the same time. She moved over to a church in the East Valley where our former pastor moved.


What is she tryin’ to say to me?

Tried rejoining the choir, but that was a lost cause. Because…I have no formal training in music. When it comes to voice, the best I can do is sing along (actually, I’m fairly good at that). BUT our new choir director (accountant was not the first to flee…) has a taste for music that is wonderfully sophisticated and so complex there’s truly no way I can learn it in the brief time the group has to introduce itself to a piece and practice it a few times. So: out that door.

The church has now completed its addition to the school — already one of the toniest schools in the state. This thing is a good three or four storeys high, as big as the high school I attended in Southern California…which had three thousand students.


It looks suspiciously to me like our venerable, high-society church for lawyers, doctors, and society matrons is planning to go into direct competition with the Catholic schools just down the street: St. Francis (K-8); Brophy (boy’s high school); and Xavier (girl’s high school).  If that’s the case, the church will become basically an adjunct to the school operation. Which is all very nice, no doubt, but….??????

I could follow our perspicacious accountant out to the east side. But…how CAN I count the ways I don’t want to commute halfway to Payson a minimum of twice a week, once at night?

The local Episcopals have what they call a cathedral, smack in the middle of downtown. This is not an area where I would like to walk around at night, I must say. But….neither do I relish the prospect of melting away into a puddle of dead IQ points, which is where MayoDoc fears I’m headed. To survive, I’m going to have to find something to keep the brain functioning.

Which is worse: brained in a parking lot, or brainless in a nursing home?

Think I’ll try the parking lot, thank you.

Planned to go down there this morning, but I was simply too lazy to get up off my duff and fling myself around. Next week.

Meanwhile…what if they won’t let me onto their choir? Which, at this point in the season, they very justifiably may not?

We have two alternatives:

One is to take a course at Phoenix College, a nearby JC, in choral singing. Dunno what the status is now, but that school did have an excellent music and drama program, and one of our choir members/leaders taught there. Wonder-Accountant took a semester of choral singing there, and she was impressed.

Another is to go out to the Episcopal church on East Lincoln and try to weasel my way in there. Whaddaya bet some of our old choir members are already there, hm? It is halfway to Scottsdale, and truly I would rather not drive around this Godforsaken town that much. But hey…any port in a plague, eh?

A benefit to the second scheme is that one of the best Sprouts stores in the Valley resides approximately on the route between here and there. A high-test Safeway is just up the road from that place. So in theory, I could get most of my grocery shopping done on the way home on Sundays. That would be good. I guess.

WhatEVER. One way or the other, I’ve gotta find a way to get off my duff, plague or no plague. As the finest professor I ever met, Byrd Granger, used to say…

You must engage life!

3 thoughts on “Bah! El Humbugo! said she…”

  1. The notion of taking a class in choral singing isn’t a bad one, both for the training itself and for the sake of getting out of the house. For that matter, there are all manner of options for classes, physical or virtual, seriously academic or strictly for funsies, at a variety of price points from $0 on up. Could that be an option for working in a little human interaction and intellectual engagement?

    Either way, I hope you and your son (and Ruby and Charley) enjoy a merry, low-key holiday and a host of good things in the year to come.

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