Christmas tradegy narrowly averted

Well, I’m back from my 11 day trip to visit my brother, sister-in-law (SIL), and little nephew way up yonder in northern California. A fine time was had by all. Santa showed up right on schedule and, as always, brought me some wonderful gifts despite my intransigent and glaring presence on the Naughty list. Nephew T, who’s into dinosaurs these days, got enough toy ones to fill the La Brea Tar Pits. He’s on the Good list, no doubt about it.

My Bro, SIL and I rang in the new year in San Francisco, joining 8000 fellow deadheads and motley hoopleheads at a marathon show by 2 former members of the Grateful Dead – Phil Lesh and Bob Weir – and their band.

[Incidentally, for those new to Metaphor, hooplehead is a term often used in the HBO series Deadwood. Like this.

It means a member of the ignorant masses, an uneducated commoner, an idiot, riffraff, the madding crowd, the great unwashed. I’m certain no such persons would – or even could – read this noteworthy compendium.]

The show was great, and an excellent way to traverse the terminal cusp of the year. They played many of our old favorite Dead tunes, did a lot of cool psychedelic improvisational jam, and even covered Pink Floyd.

Here’s a little video I shot that night. It’s just a few seconds, shot in semi-darkness with a phone, 50 feet above the stage. But somehow, for me, it captures a moment of the energy.

There was one tragedy narrowly averted during our visit. On the afternoon of December 29, a few of us were sitting at the dining table. I was eating lunch, Mom was talking on the phone, and nephew T was doing something I don’t remember. The chandelier above the table fell; without warning, as is usually the case with such events. After all, if there had been some warning I would have moved my laptop.

That’s no flimsy fixture, kids. That’s real iron and leaded glass. And it missed the cover/monitor of the computer by an inch on 2 sides. … Wham! …  There are little ceramic animals on the other sideof the light, which T made and was showing to his Nana. And those photo coasters are made of glass. Thanks to God that it didn’t smash my machine or anything on the table. It just fell in the midst of all our stuff, hurt no one, and broke nothing. It just put a decisive dent in the hardwood table, as a reminder that life’s justice is inscrutable and sets its own terms. And as you can see, the chandelier remained lit.

Mom does the crosswords, by the way. I haven’t cared for them since high school, when some teachers used them for homework exercises. Blech.