New Year

Last Day of 2002. It’s been a good one. Now, on to the New Year. We actually set and met most of our goals for the year here in the Clark Household. Time to reflect and pray on new goals, to revisit our vision, and to keep moving forward.

We are getting ready to have a party tonight. Just a game night with a few dozen friends. No alcohol, kids invited — so it’s not the typical New Year’s Eve party setup. But it’s the kind of gathering we are known for. You don’t have to blow a bunch of bucks on babysitting for a night out at the Clarks. Unless you want to, that is. I can totally understand the desire for Child-Free Time. We had an emergency infusion of that ourselves last night with a hastily-called InstaDate.

And, on a relective note. Overflow is coming up on its third birthday. I’ve been blogging/journaling for three years. And I still don’t know what it’s supposed to be. I started out as a Christian-y journal. Then I discovered blogging, which was so, like, the cool new thing. And then I got kind of Futures wonky for a while. Then I came back and got all Christian-y and ended up the year contemplating my metaphorical navel. Overflow still doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up. But hey, it’s only three years old.

A while back, I banished all the Futures Geek talk to another blog, but I think I might bring it back, knitting all the halves of my online personality back together. I have a major online futures project starting this year so I need to consolidate and simplify. Yeah, this is gonna make Overflow seem kinda schizophrenic, but that’s more the real me.

Anyway, have a Happy New Year and stay safe tonight.

It's Still Christmas.

We’ve unwrapped all the presents. We ate the big dinner. All of the out of town guests have returned home. Now I feel like I can truly relax and celebrate Christmas, what with all of the stressful Giftmas details taken care of.

The only remaining gifts I have to give are the ones I wanted to make for people. I still have some of that to do. But those were the ones I didn’t want to be Giftmas presents anyway. Still have a large backyard fort/swingset to finish assembling. We have some gifts to return. We have some Christmas money to spend. (And I simply must get a DVD now that I have this new DVD player I got for Christmas from my wife.)

But we still have a Christmas party to throw and one to attend, so we’re still celebrating. And today is the anniversary of Mr. Freshpants’ adoption, so his arrival in our family will always be a part of our extended Christmas celebration. Petunia’s birthday is coming up on the 6th, so we’ll always end our Christmas celebration with her birthday around Epiphany. We’ve got some built-in ways to celebrate and we’re always finding more.

So, lessee, today is the third day of Christmas, which means we should go to La Madeline and have the roasted chicken. Three French Hens, get it? Oh and last night we went and saw “Bring In The Noise, Bring In The Funk” and skipped ahead on the Ladies Dancing, Lords a Leaping, and Drummers Drumming. Incredible Leaping, Dancing, and Drumming it was, too.

Merry Christmas.

Starting Today

“Stay with us now, O Lord of the earth,
Make of our hearts a place for Thy birth.
Tho’ our cares be great or small,
Jesus the Lord be born in us all.”

So our hearts are the manger, a meager and rude place for the king to be born. But all he asks is a small space there, in our hearts, to be born. Each and every day. Born anew in us.

Starting Today. Have a Very Merry Christmas today. Have a Very Merry Christmas tomorrow. And the next day. And the next…

Stinkin' in Target

So I woke up Saturday morning and thought to myself , “Hey, I’ll take the first kid that wakes up and go hit the stores early and avoid the crowds.” (You gotta take at least one child with you anywhere, that’s the rule. Divide and conquer, you know.) And I had just woken up so I threw on the clothes lying on the floor closest to my bed that had at least a 60% chance of matching. No shower, toothbrush, or comb touched me that morning. I even forgot to grab a cover-up hat.

Hey, who was going to see me? This was a lightning trip. This was Surgical Strike Shopping. In and out. No social interaction planned.

And then she flagged me down. My old High School friend and, surprise!, with her was the girl I took to the prom in my Senior year. She was looking good — pretty, smart, and successful. I was really glad to see her. Really. But…

Well, some forms of embarrassment are so intense that mere prose does not do it justice. So here’s my account in song:

Shopping in Target

(to the tune of “Walking in Memphis”
with apologies to Marc Cohn)

Put on my Dirty Shorts
Put Petunia in my car
Went out in the van with my grungy self
I wasn’t going very far
Thought I’d go to Target for a tiny shopping spree
Hopin’ no one I knew would see me
‘Cause I was as grungy as a boy can be

Then I’m Shopping in Target
Pushing the cart with the wobbly wheels
Shopping in Target
And everyone can hear my baby squeal

Saw a friend from High School
I hadn’t seen in years
She came right up to me in Target
Then I realized my fears
I had on sweatshirt, shorts, and sandals
My pits and breath were rank
She was smiling, looking happy
I was looking crappy
And I reaaaaly stank

I’ve got coffee on my tshirt
I’ve got rat’s nests in my hair
It’s not that I’m not glad to see you
But I hoped no one would see me there
And she saw me there in Target

Now we talked and laughed a while
And the catching up was good
And I tried to keep my distance
But she asked me if she could–
Say goodbye and hug me
But I stank in an awful way
And she thought–
“Tell me, are you a white trash child?”
And I thought “Ma’am I am today”

Put on my dirty shorts
Put Petunia in my car
Went out in the van with my grungy self
I wasn’t going very far
Went out in the van with my grungy self
I wasn’t going very far

So I chalk it all up to preparing for Christmas. I mean, doesn’t being embarrassed to your very core go toward mortification of the flesh? Suppression of the ego? Dying to self? Lots of room for the Spirit now, boy!

In the Stretch…

Wrapping up my Giftmas shopping this weekend. Gonna take the first baby that wakes up with me to the stores reeeal early to avoid crowds and punch those last gifties out.

Yep, Hanna of H-Town Bloggers was my Secret Santa buddy. It was fun, Hope you enjoy the gifts. Still haven’t heard from my Secret Santa yet.

Y’all shop fiercely and keep safe out there, y’hear?

we're everything brighter than even the sun

A Cheerful Poem by E.E. Cummings. I swear this is the last one. I just wanted to end on one of his brighter notes.

if everything happens that can’t be done
(and anything’s righter
than books
could plan)
the stupidest teacher will almost guess
(with a run
around we go yes)

there’s nothing as something as one
one hasn’t a why or because or although
(and buds know better
than books
don’t grow)
one’s anything old being everything new
(with a what
around we go who)
one’s everyanything so

so world is a leaf is a tree is a bough
(and birds sing sweeter
than books
tell how)
so here is away and so your is a my
(with a down
around again fly)
forever was never till now

now i love you and you love me
(and books are shutter
than books
can be)
and deep in the high that does nothing but fall
(with a shout
around we go all)
there’s somebody calling who’s we

we’re everything brighter than even the sun
(we’re everything greater
than books
might mean)
we’re everyanything more than believe
(with a spin
alive we’re alive)
we’re wonderful one times one

What he said…

So after my ramble on the Incarnation below, I get this quote in my Daily Spiritual Seed:

“The Word was in people for this purpose, that it might divinize them
. . . The Word had to become human in Jesus for this reason, that
people both in spirit and in the flesh, from within and without,
behind and before, and in all places might have testimony (of this
goal of divinization).”
    – Hans Denck –

Yeah, what he said.


I am by far not the only person to use the term “Giftmas” to refer to the secular Christmas holiday. And here I thought I made the term up. Nope, I’m just one of a legion of curmudgeons, ranters, and miscellaneous Scrooges to use the term. I wonder if anyone’s copyrighted it yet?