Friday, December 20, 2013

The 12 Days of Gheorghemas: Day 8

On the 8th Day of Gheorghemas, Big Gheorghe gave to me . . .

?????????????????????
Seven Books for Reading
Six cocktails

Five gooooals / things
Four legal mic drops
Three critters and an otter
Two names for naming
And a fat guy in a jer-sey

I had to check the lyrics to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" to see what Day 8 was all about, but in retrospect, I'm not sure why I did this, since the Gheorghemas posts never allude to the lyrics of the original song (Two Names? Three Woodland Animals and a Cool Little Otter? Is the G:TB Staff even trying?)

If you are ignorant like me, the eighth day of Christmas features "eight maids a milking," which sounds kind of sexy, but when I searched "eight sexy milkmaids," I got a whole lot of nothing. I did find one (fairly) sexy milk maid, but she's nothing to write home about and could hardly sustain an entire Gheorghemas post.


Further research revealed that the "eight maids a milking" actually refers to the Eight Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew. "Blessed are the meek" and all that. Total kibosh on my sexy milkmaid post. So I will give up on the busty farm girls, and instead give homage to the Golden Rings (which may either refer to the first five books of the Old Testament-- the Torah -- or to five ring-necked pheasants).

To make things even more ambiguous, in some versions of the song, the eight maids a milking are "ladies dancing" or "hounds a running" or "hares a running," so the lesson here is that it's anything goes as far as the lyrics (and that the G:TB Staff got it right after all).

One thing about the song is certain: Frederic Austin is the guy who came up with the prolongation of the phrase "five golden rings." That is by far the most memorable part of the song. Good job, Frederic.

As many of you know, I am not a big fan of the Christmas season, and I don't think it's because I have a Grinch-like streak. My problem is that if you are a relatively successful American, then every day is Christmas. We have plenty of food and plenty of possessions, and we don't need an excuse to consume even more. If the holidays were truly only about friends and family, then they would be tolerable . . . perhaps even kind of fun (but a bit tiresome for an introvert like me, who is perfectly content to limit my socialization to my Thursday night pub outing and one weekend event, plus a bunch of kid-related shit). But the holidays are NOT simply about friends and family. They are about shopping and decorations and Black Friday and wrapping paper and traffic and full parking lots and guilt over not getting a good present for your wife and driving around like a lunatic to several locations in one day and gaining a bunch of weight because people bake butt-loads of cookies and then bring them to work.


But I'm going to try to forget about the stuff that makes me angry, because there's nothing I can do to stem the tide of this unstoppable wave of unnecessary consumption. Instead, I am going to focus on some things that are awesome in my life right now, day in and day out. Things that make it Christmas every day in my world. And when you say it, don't shake it like a polaroid picture . . . prolong it like Frederic Austin.

Eight Awesome Things . . .

1) My wife.

As the years pass, I keep getting hairier (except for my head, of course). Meanwhile, my wife is still sexier than eight maids a milking, and she's also a great cook. Quite awesome.

2) Playing sports and games with my kids.

Coaching my kids can be torture. The practices are chaotic, and it's better not to watch the games to closely. One of my sons is a space cadet and the other one can be downright mean. But -- and this is awesome-- my boys are always up for doing something athletic and/or competitive: basketball, soccer, RISK, snowboarding, extreme sledding, chess, Settlers of Catan, tennis, catch, throwing a rock at a tree, whatever. You name it, and they'll do it at the drop of a hat. I consider myself very lucky in this regard, because playing sports and games with the kids has become "my department." It keeps me active, and makes parenting tolerable. And my wife usually handles checking the homework (another reason she is awesome).

3) Friends and family at the beach.

Though I'm more mountain person, happy to put on headphones and hike or snowboard, I have learned to appreciate the beach, for social reasons. Most summers I take three trips to the shore -- one with my extended family, one with some good friends, and one to the OBFT. The beach is an awesome place for me because if I ever get sick of interacting with people, it's perfectly acceptable to go swimming or paddle-boarding, or even to sleep or read a book. Plus, I'm fucking awesome at cornhole.

4) Rdio

Pandora is good. Spotify is better. But Rdio has got me excited about music again. It inspired me to do some research and buy an awesome pair of computer speakers (Edifier e10 Exclaim PC speakers). Rdio combines the best features of Pandora and Spotify, and it privileges the album instead of the song/playlist. I'm an album guy. Plus it's got this great little five dot continuum when you create an "artist station" -- you can adjust it from "Artist Only" to "Adventurous."

5) My Kindle

I still love taking out books from the library, because I am cheap, but there's nothing like having a book on the Kindle. If I can't sleep, I can reach into the darkness, find it, open it, and I'm reading. No book light necessary. No complaints from the wife about the rustling of pages. If my eyes get tired from a marathon reading session, I can make the font bigger. And I can bring lots of books on vacation without increasing my encumbrance.

6) Podcasts

I know I'm a bit behind the times, but podcasts are awesome. My favorites are Freakonomics, All Songs Considered, This American Life, 99% Invisible, Dan Carlin's Hard Core History and Radiolab. Podcasts have made long car rides bearable (in fact, I started on my podcast jag on the way to the last OBFT), and they have made me love walking the dog (but not picking up his steaming hot feces).

7) My job.

Specifically, teaching a Shakespeare class. Though I hate plays, I love Shakespeare. While there are plenty of annoying things about teaching -- the early start time, the students, the grading -- there's nothing like getting paid to watch Ian McKellen be Richard the Third. These are tough economic times, and I find it fairly awesome that I have a job at all.

8) Three Way Tie! The Hey Gheorghies Trope, Good Beer, and My Dog!




Any Australian bloke who still says American beer is "fucking close to water" is fucking nuts. There are so many good American beers that I have trouble drinking them all. Although I love Dale's Pale Ale, there are a few that I like even better. I'm a big fan of all the varieties of Southern Tier Brewing Company, and the same with Green Flash. Long Trail Limbo IPA is awesome, as is just about every kind of Smuttynose, and if you can ever get some Switchback from Burlington, buy a case of the big bottles.

Though the Park Pub is a local dive that opens at 7:00 AM, Pete always has Troegs Hopback on tap (along with some kind of Long Trail and something German, usually Spaten). I find this awesome, and so I can usually stay up far past my bedtime on Thursday nights, which leads me to how much I love the "Hey Gheorghies" trope . . . almost enough to tolerate the name of this blog. Not quite though.

And when I get home late from the pub, though the rest of the house is asleep, my faithful dog is there to greet me. Though having a dog can be a pain in the ass -- you can't travel at a moment's notice and picking up chunks of shit in the dark in sub-freezing weather is nobody's idea of a good time -- but there's nothing like taking a nap on the couch while your loyal companion guards you from all threats . . . and though the saber-tooth tiger has long been extinct, you know that your dog doesn't know that, and that he's ready to defend you from whatever dangerous mega-fauna rears its ugly head, and that is an awesome thing.






64 comments:

zman said...

You worry about mega-fauna a lot.

rob said...

dave's the best

rob said...

for you relegation fans, fulham v man city on nbcsn right now. dempsey in craven cottage to watch his once and future mates.

Marls said...

Wow...This is what a mega-hangover feels like.

rob said...

dave, what are the odds of you bringing some heady topper to obft this year?

Mark said...

'Next Girl' by the Black Keys is a quality song. It still pales in comparison to Gangstarr's 'Ex Girl to the Next Girl' though.

Dave said...

heady topper is awful! i will get rob to bring some down to jersey, or i will get it my next time there and bring it to obft, and you will agree. it tastes like a pine cone. so much hype for such a gross tasting beer. switchback is much better, i brought a case of big bottles back when i was there over thanksgiving and i've almost finished it.

rob said...

it may be awful, but my beer snob c.v. is incomplete without tasting it. and if anyone comes across some pliny the elder, i'd be much obliged if you'd grab me a bottle of that, too.

TR said...

Tremendous Day 8, Dave. Strong delegation skills by me to let you handle that.

I am enjoying a Leinenkugel Berry Weiss, watching VCU-Hampton on NBC Sports. Stan "Hedgehog" Van Gundy is doing color. Tough fall for him - from NBA coach to commentating on Hampton U games.

TR said...

VCU s/b JMU.at least they get VCU - VTech next.

TR said...

Fresno State - USC in the Las Vegas Bowl is gonna be one of the best bowl games of the year.

zman said...

I came >>this close<< to breaking my wrist today. That will teach me to exercise before an Xmas party. Right now my thumb is so jacked that I'm less evolved than a panda and maybe a raccoon.

rob said...

clean and jerks, z?

rob said...

and what's tr's husband drinking?

zman said...

I don't think I want zdaughter to play hockey.

http://youtu.be/wJmJcHOrwGs

zman said...

I ate it playing tennis and fell backward. I put my hand back to brace my fall. Unwise. Tr's husband (tiara) is drinking all of Danimal's suggested libations.

TR said...

Screw you guys. Berry Weiss is tasty. Super-hoppy beers suck ass. Tastes like I am sucking on wet kind bud.

Mark said...

Nice call on USC-Fresno, TR. I took USC -5 parlayed with the under on 65.5. Starting to get a little worried about the under.

I've successfully avoided Christmas parties all month. Until tonight where I'll be attending a neighborhood party. It will be full of very nice people. All of whom I have no interest in talking to. Being an antisocial dick can really be a bummer sometimes.

rob said...

we're hosting our second annual ugly sweater party. as i refuse to defile this temple with ugly clothing, i will wear a gloriously tacky blazer. last year's party was a drunken shitshow, replete with adult puking, questionable advances made on wives (not mine, thankfully), and blackouts. can't wait.

zman said...

Mark are you going to my neighborhood party tonight? I'll look for you.

Mark said...

On my way, Z. I'll be dressed like Rakim on the cover of Paid in Full.

zman said...

Sweet! I'm going as KRS-ONE from tr cover of Criminal Minded.

Mark said...

Something that may only be interesting to me: Two of USC's best three offensive players are from Florida.

Mark said...

I win my bet by a .5 point. Nice start to the bowl season.

Clarence said...

Dave, good post that resembles my annual Day 12 post. I may just reuse it.

Marls said...

Dave hates your day 12 post along with everything else in December.

Mark said...

I hate Jack Daniels. It's terrible.

zman said...

My neighbor did the worm to It Takes Two. Very unexpected turn of events.

Mark said...

The worm takes a lot of effort.

TR said...

I can do the worm a bit. I can also pop rock for about five seconds. None of that happened at the party featuring 50-something white people I attended last night. But they did have artichoke dip, guacamole and buffalo chicken cheese dip. I went to town. I ate out that fiesta.

rob said...

still hammered here. anyone up for a two-day holiday bender?

Mark said...

Greg is in town so that's probably on the agenda for me whether I like it or not.

Dave said...

sorry clarence, i thought of the resemblance once i was done writing it -- but you can't have too much awesome appreciation around the holidays.

learned a valuable lesson last night: don't get drunk and talk politics with my very conservative brother-in-law (who claimed that 90% of americans have no health insurance and refused to believe any stats on the internet, because the internet is a liberal conspiracy). otherwise a great guy, and very handy with tools.

Dave said...

zman, was there a tonka truck on the court?

Clarence said...

Last night I went caroling in the neighborhood with about 25 families, spreading good cheer like . . . well, you know. I was asleep by 11. I think this might be a turning point in Clarence's life.

Just kidding. The night before I was up until 5 after hitting 11 different bars/parties/concerts over 16 hours. Today/tonight promises to be similarly decadent, kicking off with Skins/Cowboys and going deep from there. Stay tuned, Gheorghies.

Clarence said...

Chris Cooley just called the Skins special teams the "most prolifically bad" in the history of the NFL. I wish he were exaggerating.

zman said...

No tonka truck. Just a clumsy hairy Hungarian.

zman said...

I've learned that it's hard to wipe my ass left handed.

Mark said...

I broke my right thumb in college. That's when I learned the same lesson, Z. Godspeed.

Mark said...

Despite playing in possibly the best high school football programs in Florida, Giovanni Bernard wasn't recruited by any of the big three Florida college football programs. I'd say that was a miss.

rob said...

breaking: bad things are happening to my fantasy football squadron. bad things, man.

zman said...

Can you still wipe your ass though?

Clarence said...

Sonny Jurgensen is more hammered than I've ever heard him.

rob said...

jesus, the redskins

Marls said...

jesus, the saints

rob said...

the saints blew a two-score second half lead to their arch-rival by allowing a score on 4th and goal from the 12 and fell to 3-12? damn, that's a hell of a coincidence.

Marls said...

Actually, with a chance to lock up a first round bye they let Cam Newton go 70 yards on 5 plays in 32 seconds for the game winning touchdown with 23 seconds left. If I was a huge Saints fan, I'd be pissed.

Alas, I root for the giants who suck.

zman said...

I love it when the bills beat the fish but all this win does is screw up their draft position. Even wins bum me out.

Marls said...

That implies the Bills will do something smart with the pick

zman said...

True. But I haven't lost all hope. Just most of it.

Mark said...

The Falcons are the Saints' archival. Not the Panthers.

Mark said...

Never mind. Rib wasn't saying that. I'm stupid.

Mark said...

Rib! Not quite Daniella but still good.

Danimal said...

It's Daniela. Just one L.

TR said...

This Giants-Lions is horrendous. A tie seems inevitable if Eli doesn't throw a pick-six.

T.J. said...

who else is at work today?

this blows

Danimal said...

this guy

Danimal said...

I got 2 words for ya teej that may brighten your day....

Beef.
O'Brady's.

Get some....2pm EST!

rob said...

in case you need something to root for this evening, i need vernon davis to go for 120 yards and 4 touchdowns while the 49 defense does nothing.

at least the guy who's gonna beat me is a good guy (it's @gansettcrooks, marls).

Danimal said...

Eating lunch w Steve Melnyk. Well, not with with but close to. Former Gator golf great Mark.

TR said...

Not meant to be sexist, but Holly Andersen is Grantland's weak link. Not sure why she needs to try be so darn cute with her college football writing.

mayhugh said...

Beef O'Brady's Bowl was pretty entertaining even though BOB commercials all end with "See you at Beef's " (they couldn't come up with anything better?)

I'm sure if you watch highlight-type shows tomorrow you will see pretty much the most athletic catch a QB will ever make. ECU ran a halfback screen/throwback to QB that was double covered and the ECU QB went up for the ball like he was Megatron.

rob said...

did a beer tasting with some local friends at a german joint this afternoon. not generally a big fan of the deutscher brews, but had a couple of samichlaus offerings (at 14% abv) that were both tasty and powerful, followed by a rauchbier that tasted like nothing so much as smoky bacon. jawohl!

TR said...

Berman's hair is a new level of ridiculousness tonight.