The Annual Pelton Holiday Letter - 2009 Edition

Welcome to Christmas, 2009, the year of the uncomfortable pillow cushion. Where public health care is socialism but public education is, well, American. Where trust is just a word on a bank, and where the synonym for cinnamon is spice.

Who dust for art thou?
It was an over stimulating year of excitable expectation for the Pelton family. Keegan and Donovan found video games on where
characters are not ripped limb from limb during the game (it was not easy). Nicole and Brian joined Facebook to hook up with his friend Ben (“Coach” to Survivor fans) and didn’t get any work done the rest of 2009. However, we both know what Starbuck’s drink we would be, what we will be doing when Kanye West interrupts us, joined the group “I rub my belly when I see a monkey shit brown Chevy” and are among 76,000 best friends of Ira Glass.

Another chapter from “A poor man’s shoes”

Angrier than an old man returning his soup at a restaurant is the only way to describe Brian after an old hag/neighbor yelled at Nicole because Pele and Pelota walked on the grass of her front yard. Brian informed the old hag that she would be up the proverbial stream without proper means of locomotion if harsh, unprovoked words spilled from the old hag’s lips again. We did thumb war battles, I beat her 2 out of 3, and we all said Merry Christmas and went on our way! For now……

My left or your left?
Nicole was asked to pack up the stuff she stole from 14 years of semiconductor conferences (including 63 coffee mugs and 36 flashing lapel lights she will never use) and vacate her soul-less cubicle this past February. Except for 8 months of severance and a solar powered calculator, as well as 4 months of paid health insurance, we were left on the side of the road like a full box of Bernie Madoff bobble head dolls.

When in Turkey, don’t try the gumbo

Stumbling down the storm drain of life, the rivulets of water, leaves and candy bar wrappers took us to Salt Lake City, for Brian’s 30th high school reunion (Olympus Titan’s, class of ’79). Also caught in the barricade of leaves, twigs and Sarah Palin 2011 buttons was a week in Dallas for Brian where he helped coach 3 teams to oh-so-moderate
results. After seeing rain, wind, 49 degrees, wind, 85 degrees and more wind, in a city with the greatest number of $10,000 a year millionaires per capita, Brian has yet to experience the paradise of Northern Texas. Nicole visited the Monterrey Bay Aquarium with Keegan and Donovan to see the Sea Otters and have her iPhone stolen. Damn red state tourists. She also got to take the boys to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for gnarliness and hecka-fun, where everything is hella-tight.
Dabbling in Permitted Fruits
In the escort service we call “Escuela”, Keegan and Donovan are fitting in as well as an age-
challenged Jew from the east coast getting the early bird dinner special in Miami. Their Spanish accent is very good and their math and language test scores, taken in Spanish, hover somewhere between la montana and el cielo (the mountain and the sky). They recently joined the Facebook group “Kids under 8 years old smarter than Sarah Palin” and we have the bumper sticker to prove it. When they are playing soccer after school, Keegan’s nickname is “You are great for a white guy” and Donovan’s nickname is “Look out or I will run you over”.

Thoughts from the Witness Stand

Examining the ever expanding horizon of Keegan and Donovan’s soccer and futsal skills has required an escalation of telescopic range and a battle with the physical limits of light wavelength resolution (i.e. they are getting ridiculously good). Donovan scored 95 goals in 9 games with his U6 Blue Monkeys soccer team, while Keegan scored 45 goals in the 9 games he played for his U7 soccer team, the Pooping Hamsters. However, their favorite thing to do is play soccer in the backyard with Daddy, much to the dismay of our neighbors.

Periwinkle Potter, Harry’s Quirky Brother
Another set of books graced our optic nerves this year, begging the question of why people still read Harry Plopper books. The top of Brian’s pile o’books this year was “The 1st American”, Ben Franklin’s autobiography by Brands. Over 700 pages of information on why Ben F. was the best person in the world to invite to your party in the late 1700s. Wahl’s “The Beckham Experiment” was not really well written, but it did reveal a level of dysfunction, angst and mediocrity wrapped with a pretty bow that only massive amounts of money and an I.Q. of a fence post could create. Shalom
Auslander’s “Beware of God” was funnier than a squirrel in a blender and I highly recommend reading this if you like to laugh a lot. With gusto. And bravado. A lot. Another wonderful book with a great answer to the best solution to fight Al Quieda: education. One man’s attempt to bring peace to the region by creating schools is detailed in “Three Cups of Tea” by Mortenson; A sane approach to an insane situation.

Nicole’s blog “styling’s” brought several new books to our door step, for free, courtesy of desperate publishers and the freedom of press act. Her favorites included “Life of Pi” by Martel and “Saffron Dreams” by Abdullah. She got half way through “Ankles of Cinnamon” by Schilling and “The responsibility of a dead squirrel” by L. Retriever, but they were too dramatically inquisitive for her peritoneal cavity. Her favorite book overall is also in the running for the longest title this century: “Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl’s Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?” by Jen Lancaster. Many people need to take a nap after reading the title.

Big Hair, Tight Shoes, Low Center of Gravity

Great music gently floated down to our ears this year like typewriters dumped from a dirigible. From the outstanding melodies from “House” – A Slow Parade by A.A. Bondy and Where Did You Go? by Jets Overhead, to the beautimus “When I’m Gone” by Randy Newman to close out the final episode of Monk. Television is proving to be a great resource for new and old band’s o’music to get their music out there to us. David Gray’s past 2 cd’s “Draw the Line” and “Life in Slow Motion”, as well as Lisa Hannigan’s “Sea Sew” have been exceptional examples of the Irish isle; better than a big glass of low interest home financing options.

Inside the Brain of the Wild-Eyed Child
1.10.09 K: “Coffee cake doesn’t have coffee in it. Try some, Donovan.”

1.30.09 D: “Daddy, you know why the bad guy is losing? It’s because he got a lot of toast on him”

1.30.09 D: [while sitting on toilet, singing] “I don’t want to work, I just want to bang on my drum all day”

8.17.09 D: “That’s not a spider, it’s a moth, and a moth is a kind of bee”

10.22.09 K: “I don’t like green beans because they hurt people they don’t even know”

11.17.09 D: “This ice cube is a napkin killer”

11.27.09 K: “How many bosons would it take to build the Golden Gate Bridge?”

Also, the collective team of Daddy, Keegan and Donovan has submitted 2 inventions for patents: 1] the nose vacuum, and 2] the ear drummer.

The pod is mightier than the sword
The magic of radio has magically been transferred into the bandwidthy of wavelength sorcery known as the podcast, which is short for Precisely Ordered Dialogue Created As Superior enTertainment. As with any medium, some people are able to turn it into an art form, and the ones that we listen to with the
intensity of a black lab-german sheppard-chow mix staring at a used diaper are “This American Life”, “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, “Fresh Air” interviews with Terry Gross, “The Ricky Gervais Podcast”, “I Love Movies”, “Never Not Funny” which is crude but tasteful, and the masterful “The Moth”, with stories told on stage without notes or teleprompters. Exceptional stuff for a time when we could all use a good story…….

Heaven is full and Hell won’t take me
With great sadness, 2009 brought an end to our time with Pele on October 6th. His lung cancer was so advanced that by the time it was diagnosed, we only got to spend 8 more days with him. It was impossible to know how to say goodbye to a dog that was much more than a friend for the past 11 years, so I just tried to spend every waking moment with him. The words, experiences, thoughts and emotions of my life left me terribly unprepared to deal with losing Pele, and I welcome 2010 and the distance from losing the first puppy I could call “my boy”.

Vicodeine, when you need the morning cup of Joe with your painkillers

Hi y’all, Brian allows me one paragraph in his annual Christmas letter and I still have a tough time filling it (and I call myself a blogger). While I would not consider myself “Wii-fit” quite yet, I would say my
greatest accomplishment of the year might be rockin’ a bikini in Mexico at the ripe old age of 41. For those of you struggling with the work vs. not work question, being a stay-at-home mom is, according to “ask Nicole”: Awesome! At least until the bills start rolling in. I was home with the kids for most of the year, and while I never managed to join a carpool or find the cool coffee club, I did get sucked into being a room mom, took the kids to play in mud and water and hotel rooms, and forced them to try new kitchen concoctions.

Merry Christmakkah, Happy Festivus and have a spectacular New Year!


Becca said...

Very nice ... a very full year for the Pelton family! Glad you shared!

Rodger said...

kewl beans man. sounds like one helluva year for you guys. maybe this new internet thing will help me actually keep in touch.

take care!