December 23, 2020


(Un)happy Festivus! I hope you've adequately limbered up for the Feats of Strength and have compiled your naughty list for the annual Airing of Grievances. Given the 2020 of it all this year, I imagine we're all packing a fairly extensive list. (I know mine is.)

Kramer is ready for Festivus, too 

The only "miracle" is that this miserable year has come to an end...
not that we have high hopes for the next one.

Not many birthdays to honor today — or historical happenings, for that matter — but what we lack in quantity is made up for in quality.

• First up, happy birthday to Madam C.J. Walker (born Sarah Breedlove), who entered this terrible world on this day in 1867!  Ms. Walker was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first female self-made millionaire thanks to the bootstrapped business she founded, the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, which developed and marketed a line of cosmetic and hair care products for black women. Ms. Walker was also a patron of the arts and was noted for her political and social activism. She was the first member of her family born into freedom following the Emancipation Proclamation. She's kind of a big deal.

• Next, a sonorous baritone "huuupppy buurrrday" to singer, songwriter, and musical icon Eddie Jerome Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III), born this day in 1964! Mr. Vedder is the primary songwriter, lead vocalist, and one of the guitarists in the band Pearl Jam. Over the last few decades Pearl Jam has been a little polarizing within the grunge/alternative/rock community, but the run of albums from their 1991 debut Ten through 2002's Riot Act stands as one of the most consistently excellent stretched in the annals of rock & roll history (even if my dad accurately compared Eddie's singing with the sounds a depressed baritone makes while they're battling a severe case of food poisoning in a reverberating bathroom).

• Finally, a very somber and stake-y birthday to the most lost of boys, Corey Haim, born this day in 1971. Mr. Haim was at the forefront of a crop of massively popular child stars in the 1980s. While his breakthrough role was in the titular role of 1986's Lucas, and his best role (in my opinion) was in the previous year's Silver Bullet, an adaptation of Stephen King's werewolf novella The Cycle of the Werewolf, he achieved mega-star status in 1987 when he starred opposite his BFF Corey Feldman in Joel Schumacher's vampire epic The Lost Boys.

OK,'ve waited long enough. It's link time!

1. Yule log not cutting it this year? How about a dumpster fire instead? 

This is probably the only time in which it will be acceptable to gather the family around a video of a flaming dumpster to close out the preceding year.

2. Crafter Yvonne of Everett, WA needle felts realistic wildlife animals, and it's supremely impressive!

Meredith and I have been engaging in some somewhat more...sinister...craft projects for the office as of late, so stay tuned for those in the coming weeks and months! 

3. In a similar vein, sculptor Brian Mock creates animal sculptures out of reclaimed objects that are stunning. 

I am always extremely impressed by artists that can work in three dimensions. They may as well be magicians, as far as I'm concerned.

4. Finally, some good news for coral reefs!

Despite warming events that killed off neighboring coral reefs, this reef off the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania is teeming with life and is a hopeful sign of the future if OUR species can get its act together. 

5. Lastly, if you're looking to wallow in the cold, enveloping darkness of peak winter with us this weekend, I just updated our Desert Vibes playlist on Spotify and invite you to listen along with Meredith and I as we drown ourselves with nog this weekend.

Meredith visibly cringed when she saw some of these selections because of how personal our own experiences with these songs have been over the last few years, but I figured "hey, mi playlist su playlist."