Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Legend of the Christmas Bat

A friend of mine reminded me of this lovely Christmas legend which she has been regaling me with as long as I've known her...and that's a long time. It's adorable and totally appropriate for the season!

The Tale of the Christmas Bat

Okay. This is how it goes. Long ago, when organization had been invented, but before stockings really caught on, Santa was developing a pattern. He would make toys all year, with his helpers, they'd all work like crazy just to get everything done. He'd take a couple days off to relax, and then off he went on his sleigh, delivering presents. But some always fell through the cracks.

You know the ones I mean--the little ones. Holiday earrings, rings in padded boxes, the tiny little trinkets that sometimes mean so much. Holiday ornaments, small glass animals, teensy little stuffed and jointed bears. Later on, gift certificates, gift cards, pens, pencils, and erasers--all were falling away. Few made it through.

Santa finally decided he needed to do something about this.

So he looked around, looked high and low, for someone to help him with the little things. He pondered in the snow fields and he pondered in the kitchen. He pondered in the stables and he pondered in the barn. And while in the barn, he saw the bat. The lowly little bat, quietly sleeping, brown in the rafters of the barn. Santa pondered. Santa pondered the bat.

"Hmm," Santa said. "That little bat can fly. And I bet if I ask him, he could carry the little presents for me. I bet if I asked him, he could help me in my nightly task. He is, after all, nocturnal."

So he asked the bat, and the bat said yes, and thus, the Christmas Bat was born. For it is he, the little Christmas Bat, who's responsible for the little things. It is he who flutters down the chimney or in through the mail slot to tuck gift certificates in bright red envelopes under the tree. It is he who flaps through the house, dropping gelt into stockings. It is he who struggles with the holiday mandarins, one per child, and he who flies in candy cane, and holiday chocolates, and rings and necklaces and bracelets.

It's just, sometimes he's a little absentminded, and that's why the little stuph sometimes arrives late.

[So, for those wondering...I still don't know where I got this from. My mother tells me I first related the story of the Christmas Bat to her Christmas morning, 1969. Yeah, I was two. But it's been a family tradition ever since.

[Feel free to spread the tradition, if you like. I know that would make the Christmas Bat very happy.

This story is by my friend Jeanne, who also goes by Pirate Jenny and sometimes by Kelandris. And on LJ she's Nematoddity.

Batty Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It might be the cabin fever but this article pissed me off

When this article first appeared in the NY Times, back on Dec 9, I didn't pay a lot of attention to it because it didn't seem relevant. In fact, I didn't read it all the way through. But then I heard the author interviewed on "Hardball" (I blame cabin fever) and I realized that she is the reason I sometimes deny being a feminist.

...But today, women constitute about 46 percent of the labor force. And as the current downturn has worsened, their traditionally lower unemployment rate has actually risen just as fast as men’s. A just economic stimulus plan must include jobs in fields like social work and teaching, where large numbers of women work.

The bulk of the stimulus program will provide jobs for men, because building projects generate jobs in construction, where women make up only 9 percent of the work force.

It turns out that green jobs are almost entirely male as well, especially in the alternative energy area. A broad study by the United States Conference of Mayors found that half the projected new jobs in any green area are in engineering, a field that is only 12 percent female, or in the heavily male professions of law and consulting; the rest are in such traditional male areas as manufacturing, agriculture and forestry. And like companies that build roads, alternative energy firms also employ construction workers and engineers

She goes on to suggest that "human capital" is "most important infrastructure" and that is where women have the majority of jobs, like social workers, child care workers, teachers, and librarians. She posits that for the jobs creation program Obama is proposing to be fair, he needs to give added weight to those kinds of jobs.

Some of you may see her point and agree. I don't. If there aren't enough women in the fields of construction, engineering, agriculture, manufacturing, etc, WHOSE FAULT IS THAT? No, I do not accept that fewer employers accept females in those roles. It's just not true. If nothing else, they had the same equal opportunity laws to work with as the libraries and pre-schools had. Not to mention, affirmative action has been pushing women into those fields whenever possible. I think the problem is that women like this one encourage us to see "clean" jobs as being more feminine. (The exception is that she includes law in her list of male jobs, and how often do lawyers allow themselves to become visibly dirty?)

Even though I work in a a traditionally female job, I resent being told that I need special consideration because so-called male jobs are getting better treatment. If that's the case, then we need to make the traditionally male jobs less traditionally male. Women need to get into them.

Lots of my friends have little girls (and some not-so-little girls.) They can become anything they want, INCLUDING construction workers, engineers, you-name-it. If they are encouraged at any step along the way to go into the more female jobs For Any Reason, I charge their parents to intervene.

When Megan and Zoe take over the world, with Rainy and Hazel as their loyal staff (and chairing the loyal opposition and designing skull covered ball gowns and taekwando uniforms for everyone) I want to hear that this attitude has been abolished!

But it could just be cabin fever. My boss just called. We're closed again tomorrow. That makes it a week since I've been to work and two weeks since I was in with a full department. Sigh!

I think I'll go drink more tea and then watch "Countdown," and Rachel Maddow and the like, then maybe sew or bake or something. I'm teaching myself intarsia, at least I'm trying to, while watching news and so on.

Speaking of none of that, it appears my baby cousin Andrew has found something to occupy his time while unemployed. Unfortunately, his publisher seems to leave something to be desired, IMO. Yay, Murdoch. I'm so proud.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let's try this again

Apparently the Fraggle Rock video I posted yesterday disappeared almost immediately. So here is another version of the same song and I hope this one lasts longer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The right song for the right season

Here's the right song for MY season!

Idiots living in the past

There's the website/blog/blathering called which purports to be "Monitoring Air America Radio [TM] so you don't have to."

I went back through the beginning of November. They talk about two--and only two--AAR personalities: Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo. Who have both long since left AAR: Franken in the spring of 2007 and Garofalo in the summer of 2006. Last mention of Randi Rhodes (also no longer heard on AAR) was last September. Mike Malloy? July of 2007.

I could go on if I chose to but I didn't go any further back. This was all I needed to see. These people really DO live in the past.

By the by, if you haven't yet discovered a wonderful AAR invention, check out Maron v Seder. It's an online only program. I'm in love! I can't usually watch live, so I've been grabbing it as a podcast to watch the following morning but since I've been sick (and then today on a snow/ice day) I've been able to join in the chats and it's great. This is a good idea and I'd like to see more like this. Of course, I'd like to see it at hours when I can watch it, of course...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

In case anyone reading this is in Raleigh, NC or nearby

I have been asked to cross post this but instead will just send you to the link

This way if you lives in Raleigh, NC or near enough to make it feasible for you to have seen anything about this missing child, you can click and get the info for yourself.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008