holidays

All posts in the holidays category

Have A Very Goopy Christmas, Take Two 

Published December 20, 2015 by April Fox

I posted yesterday about my new blog, Math Makes Me Poop, but apparently I was still suffering from Almost-Christmas-Break Teacher Brain and the link I tried to post didn’t actually work. So let’s try this again: here’s a post from the new blog. I hope you like it. 

Have a Very Goopy Christmas  | Math Makes Me Poop

https://mathmakesmepoop.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/have-a-very-goopy-christmas/

Happy Holidays (Operative Word: Happy.)

Published November 30, 2015 by April Fox

I used to work with children at the local Jewish Community Center. When I first started there, a little guy who was especially, let’s say, spirited, was leaving at the end of a particularly challenging Friday. He was a smart, sweet little boy, intent on testing his boundaries with the new teacher, and had given me a pretty killer headache by the time his mom picked him up. He had just gone out the door, the last kid to leave, when he poked his head back in the room and said, “Shabbat Shalom, Miss April!” Twenty minutes earlier he had been calling me a poop and refusing to put the scissors away. And now here he was, wishing me well, even though I was undoubtedly a great big meanie scissors-controlling poop.

I’m not Jewish. I don’t celebrate the Jewish Sabbath, or any Sabbath. The words “Shabbat Shalom” by themselves mean little to me. They are words from a language I don’t understand. But when they were spoken by a little boy in the spirit of love and friendship, they were priceless. When my coworkers said those words at the end of the week, I returned them, because I meant them: Have a safe weekend. Have a happy Friday. Peace. Love. I wish you well.

All of this Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas nonsense is a matter of pride and semantics, nothing more. There is no war on Christmas. Nobody is trying to snatch the Christmas tree out of your front window, or waiting by the mailbox with a Sharpie, ready to steal your Christmas cards and replace your greeting with “Happy Holidays.” Santa’s not going to put coal in your stocking if you smile at someone and return their greeting, even if they didn’t phrase it just the way you would.

The world is a really big place, with a lot of really cool people in it. Some of them celebrate the same holidays you do. Some of them have the same skin tone you do. Some of them call their God by the same name you call yours. And some of them don’t. That doesn’t make their words of love, peace, and hope into something malicious and ugly.

When someone chooses to use their words to share a message of joy with you and you take offense to the words rather than appreciating the message, when you slap away a hand held out in friendship because of a minor linguistic difference, you are the offensive thing. You are the one spreading a message of ugliness and despair. As long as the words are given with love, it’s one message with dozens of beautiful translations.

So with that being said-Happy holidays to you, from your favorite great big meanie scissors-controlling poop. It’s been a beautiful year.

* If you’re looking for the snarky, rotten, profanity-laced version of this that I published a few years ago, it’s right here, you cranky heathen. Merry effin’ Xmas, yo.

Why Saying “Happy Holidays” Proves that You’re a Child of Satan

Published December 5, 2012 by April Fox

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You know what sucks?

People wanting you to be happy, but not expressing it in exactly the way you think they should. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than exchanging cursory pleasantries with another person and having them wish you well in totally the wrong way.

It’s that time of year, folks. Peace and love, joy and hallelujah, all that mess and egg nog too. (Which, by the way, makes me vomit, so please don’t try to convince me that it’s delicious and I’ll like it and I should really try it again, for real, it’s great. It’s not great. It smells precisely the way it did when I puked it all over my grandma’s breakfast bar when I was 3, and I’m quite certain that it tastes the same, too.) Anyway, by peace and love and joy et cetera, what I really mean is a bunch of crazy people fighting over the latest battery-operated hunk of trendy obnoxiousness and getting pissed off because other people–and corporations, even–have the audacity to spew disgusting profanities such as… wait, wait. Herd the children out of the room, folks, and if you’re faint of heart, you might want to quit reading because this is some SERIOUS LANGUAGE… are you ready?

Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you: People are out there telling other people–in public!–“Happy Holidays.”

That’s right. “Happy Holidays,” rather than “Merry Christmas.” How fucking offensive is that? We celebrate Christmas in America, not “holidays.” Next thing you know, you’ll be trying to tell us that Christmas is a holiday, like those other days with all the candles and the multiple days and the Anti-Christ and such. From there, it’s not a far stretch to saying that “Merry” and “Happy” mean kind of the same thing. And from there, folks, utter chaos. We live in a country where it should be assumed, without question, that every single person we encounter is of the Christian persuasion, or if not Christian, they at least have the good sense to celebrate Christmas and not one of those ungodly other days. One of those damn holidays, as they like to call them.

I know in some places, folks would be happy to hear a pleasant greeting, regardless of semantics. People might actually mistakenly assume that “Happy Holidays” meant something nice, something kind, something along the lines of, “Hey, whatever you celebrate, I hope you’re happy doing it.” And that, dear friends, is just WRONG. Around here, complaining about someone saying something nice to you doesn’t make you look like a big jackass, no matter what anyone else says (all those heathens with their “logic” and “compassion,” am I right?). It makes you a fine, upstanding American, a good Christian who knows that neither of those things have a got-damn thing to do with diversity or kindness.

Everyone knows Jesus is the Reason for the Season (no really, it has nothing to do with the Earth’s tilt on its axis or anything, you know, scientific like that) and Jesus was all about forcing everyone to acknowledge the holiday that his esteemed followers jacked from the Pagans, slapping his name on it like some cheesy “NEW AND IMPROVED!” sticker on a bottle of cheap detergent. I’m pretty sure it says in the Bible even (right after the part about God hating homosexuals and being down with protesting funerals) “thou shalt not patronize a discount store in which the employees speaketh such sin as ‘Happy Holidays’.”

So for all of you like-minded folks out there, I wish you the opposite of this nasty phrase: a most unhappy holiday. And for those of you with a bit of sense about it, I wish you happy holidays, merry Christmas, blessed Yule, happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and whatever else you might choose to celebrate in this month of–yes, I’m going to say it–holidays.

Silver Machine’s Night of the Living Dead is Here.

Published October 20, 2012 by April Fox

Silver Machine’s soundtrack to the classic Night of the Living Dead has arrived.

For all of you who have been eagerly anticipating the release of Silver Machine’s new soundtrack to the classic Night of the Living Dead (which they’ve also restored to the highest quality ever on DVD), details are here, in a post I wrote for our local Asheville blog. If you’re into zombies, space rock, psychedelic rock, or just great film and music, check it out. (God, I sound like a fucking commercial. Sorry.) Anyway it’s awesome. Dig it. Even if you’re not local, you can order the CD and DVD from their web site, silver-machine.net.

Enjoy!

 

Roses are Red, Booty Haiku.

Published March 20, 2012 by April Fox

I’m making the minions-I mean the kids-write Springtime haikus today. I hated being told to write a certain way when I was in school, so of course I have to inflict the same torture on them. Baby girl decides to write about catching butterflies and sticking them in a jar.

I peek over her shoulder and see “I like to” written on the first line.

“I like to what?” I ask.

“Catch butterflies,” she says.

“Is that going to fit?” I ask. “Count it out.”

She holds up a finger for each syllable: “I-like-to-catch-butt… oh.”

“Yeah,” I say. “This isn’t the time of year for that, I don’t think.”

Baby girl considers that for a minute. “Mom,” she asks, “Is there ever a good time of year to catch butt and keep it in a jar?”

The kid has a point.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss.

Published March 2, 2012 by April Fox

my beau likes to call me his star-bellied sneetch
a thought borrowed from seuss; o, the things he can teach
about tolerance, love, and even tattoos
about fun and about things like fish, reds and blues
today is his birthday, this seuss friend of mine
so go out and celebrate, sparkle and shine
live like you’ve stepped out of one of his books-
be happy, be you, and ignore all the looks
from the people all stuffy and rotten and mean
they don’t know, do they? -the wonders we’ve seen.

happy birthday, dear seuss, wherever you are
your words may be small but they’ve traveled quite far
the one thing you’ve taught us that’s truer than true
is that nobody, nowhere, is you-er than you.

On Love and Writers Block

Published February 13, 2012 by April Fox

Us, waking up

I’m supposed to be writing about Valentines Day. I need to write about it so that Google will love me and people will read me and I’ll become popular and pretentious and rich as a mofo and never have to work again-but I can’t come up with anything to say. You know the usual arguments against the holiday, so I won’t bore you with those. I don’t buy the conspiracy notion that the holiday was created to make single folks feel bad about themselves; unless you’re gay and they’re a politician, nobody really cares whether or not you’re getting laid. I do like the idea of having¬† a day officially dedicated to love when there’s so much negativity in the world, but what else is there to say about that? Nothing, at least not at two in the morning when I’m wishing that I was eating leftover manicotti and snuggling with my beloved rather than staring at this damn computer, trying to come up with something to say about love.

It should be easy, writing about love. I’m surrounded by it every day. We’ve lived together for a while now, long enough that people act surprised that we’re not bored or fed up or complacent with our relationship. I get the same little flip in my stomach when he walks through the door at night and asks what I want to watch on Netflix that I did when I saw him twice a week and he’d ask me where I wanted to go when we went out. There is something about his presence in my doorway-our doorway, now-that’s always made me feel safe and comfortable, lucky to be not just here, but here.

There is no question that this is where I belong. I joke about enjoying the domestic life, but there’s truth in that. I’m still surprised that I don’t feel trapped in this. I’m still surprised that we’re here at all, but it doesn’t feel like I ever could have been anywhere else.

This makes no sense, but it makes perfect sense.

The beginning of us was like a John Hughes film for grown-ups. He was the handsome, scruffy musician on stage in a silly hat; I was the obligatory quirky girl in the audience half-wishing I was somewhere else. I had to talk to him; I was writing a story about the band he was in with a couple of my friends, so I emailed them all. He split his reply off from the others, and that cursory, polite message that I sent turned into months of conversation. He hates the phone, but we talked for hours. I hate crowds, but I went to see him play again. We were both a little gun-shy and cautious, but there was a blanket and a glass of wine and I fell in love with his hands the first time that I held them.

In the beginning

There was no possibility of this happening. And now, there is no possibility of this ever not happening.

We are the way I wake up with his feet on mine every morning, and the way I can’t get up without him trying at least once, in his sleep, to keep me there. We are finding which stars we’re under, just because we need to know; slow kisses at the STS9 show; smiles from the stage reassuring me that I’m okay there watching him, even with all the strangers there. We are a house divided, boys playing games in the living room, girls painting nails in the bedroom, laughter overlapping and taking over the house. We are silence and knowing without saying exactly who we are, and where, and why.

There are a million little things he does that make me love him, and I kind of want to keep those close for now. Someday-when we’ve been married fifty years, maybe-I’ll tell you what they are.

And I don’t understand why, with all of this love around, I can’t think of anything to write. Maybe next year.

Happy Valentines Day.

My favorite recent photo of beloved

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