December 19, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Bah Humbug

I'm breaking through the last wall on this marathon of words. And it's a thick one.

The wall is built out of writer's blocks instead of building blocks. And with each passing day, more of them pile up. Fifteen-hour workdays are the clay that forms these blocks, and stress the heat that fires them. The mortar of sleep deprivation cements them together. Against such a barrier, inspiration is a feather, as incapable of breaking down the wall as the herring used to cut down a tree in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

I bowed to cold reality for the past two nights, choosing sleep over writing. An easy choice. I yearned to do the same tonight, but didn't want "The Daily Strick" to become a weekly when less than fourteen days remain in the year. So here I am, beating my feather against the wall.

I've felt more like Scrooge this year than ever before, ready to shout out "Bah Humbug!" at the slightest provocation. Besides one fun evening at "Christmas on the Prado" in Balboa Park, my only taste of the holidays has been the few late-morning shopping excursions I've made between jobs. Oh, and hearing religious Christmas tunes wafting from the speakers in a theme park that's too politically correct to print the word "Christmas" anywhere. Ah, the irony.

Family is an important component of Christmas, and I'm blessed with a wonderful family. Yet the holiday lost all of its magic for me years ago. Most of my siblings have created their own families, so Christmas for all of us comes several days before December 25 every year. After a bountiful Christmas dinner, the seventeen of us spend eight hours around the tree in an orgy of gift exchanging. I still take joy in the giving of presents, but the unwrapping process for such a large group has reached near-farcical proportions.

Yes, I'm a cynic, sorry to say. I'm sure I'd feel differently if I had a family of my own. There's a sense of renewal one can achieve by looking at life through the eyes of a child. But for now, I'll probably grumble more than I should at the family Christmas, and drink too much wine waiting for my turn to come around. I will likely hit the road on December 25 to get out of the empty apartment.

And I'll hopefully find something to write about.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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December Columns:

12/31: Happy New Year
12/29: Return of the Oscar King
12/28: The Year in Travel
12/26: Trial by Piranha
12/25: Merry Christmas
12/22: Red Squares
12/21: Havasu Falls
12/20: Last Will & Testament
12/19: Bah Humbug
12/16: Newsworthy
12/15: The "Strick" Dialogues
12/14: Animal-Animal
12/12: Old Memories
12/7: Letters to the Editor
12/5: Greed Strike
12/4: Another Day at the Office
12/3: The "Back" in Quarterback
12/1: Sixty-Four
Previous months in The Archive

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