Welcome to December -- 12/01/06

Okay, here we go with entry number one -- Hey, this will make one in a row! A brief introduction....
A brief introduction to anyone who wanders in here from the Holidailies site -- I'm a middle-aged (*cough* okay, 63, but I don't look a day over 62) guy who lives in Rhode Island with my wife Nancy (a middle-school math teacher), daughter Gillian ("Jill" -- 24 yr old college student), son Jeremy (21 yr old college student), and Tiger (senior citizen cat). Eldest child Adam lives in New York City with his wife Leah and our grandson Sam. I'm a former programmer/systems analyst who got into doing software training and currently works from home doing quality assurance and editing on course material for both classroom courses and Web-based training courses. I've been writing this online journal since 1996.

A rainy day in Rhode Island... and temperatures are still on the very mild side... so it does not feel that we have reached December, let alone that it is the Christmas season and we should be stringing lights on the house and getting a Christmas tree.

How can it be December with a predicted high in the low sixties (16° C)? I wore shorts -- outside -- yesterday! It's not that I'm looking forward to shoveling a foot or two of snow (nor paying winter heating bills) but I like the look of snow on the ground. I'd like to get a foot of snow on November 30th and have the temperatures stay in the upper twenties throughout December (so the snow doesn't melt) with a couple of inches of extra snow perhaps once a week (just to keep things looking fresh and white), and then some more snow on Christmas Eve -- not a lot, just enough to take a nice refreshing walk around the neighborhood in the brisk winter air, looking at the lighted houses through the falling snow.

Of course I'm good for about the first week or so of January and I'm thoroughly sick of winter and want spring to come as quickly as possible.

I guess that's what I want -- a nice old-fashioned snowy winter that starts the day before December and lasts for about five weeks. A decorative winter...

The long range forecast says we may have some snow in a few days, but most likely it will be the type of snow that is all too common here along the coast -- snow mixed with rain. Yeah, all the miserable driving but without the beauty.

Last night I went over to the Prout School (local college-prep Catholic high school) with my sister-in-law Janet and her husband Tom to see Sister Nancy Murray (O.P.) performing a one woman show as St. Catherine of Sienna. She portrays St. Catherine... plus St. Catherine's mother and father and several of her siblings and various priests, and popes and nuns, and townspeople. She also briefly turns various members of the audience into characters in her performance -- ranging from inviting some children on stage to be her nieces and nephews as Catherine-the-young-girl teaches them to dance the tarantella (with the audience clapping rhythm) to asking me to raise my feet off the floor as she is twelve-year-old Catherine mopping the floor. Her performance is not confined to the stage; Sr. Nancy moves about the entire theatre, on the stage, off the stage, up the aisles, through the audience. She is very talented actress -- and if you wondered about her surname, yes, she is Bill Murray's sister.

She was amusing and entertaining -- at times laugh-out-loud funny. Must also admit, however, that at almost two hours in length without a break, there were times when the

Came home and as soon as I saw Nancy's car in the driveway (instead of in the garage) and extra cars parked on the street and realized that Jeremy must have some friends playing beer pong in Nancy's half of the garage. (The other half of the garage is filled with trash cans, bicycles, a couch, our freezer, garden tools... What? You didn't think a two-car garage could actually hold two cars, did you?)

Interestingly enough, when Jeremy asked my how the show had been and I explained to his friends where I had been, they immediately asked if she was Bill Murray's sister... and then when on to mention other Murray siblings -- Brian Doyle-Murray and John Murray and Joel Murray.

Here's Jeremy's beer pong set-up. That's him on the left, chatting with his girlfriend on his cell phone while waiting for one of his friends to toss the beer pong ball.

Yes, I think that drinking beer is the point of the game.

Actually, it would appear that eating is also involved since a couple of pizzas were devoured, along with all of the remaining mac & cheese. (I had made a large pan of macaroni and cheese the other night -- and I must say, it was quite tasty.)

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