This month is Fun a Day Reseda. It’s a community event where you pick a creative project (such as painting, poetry, photography, or revising a novel), work on it each day in January, and present your work in a group show, which will be held on February 28 and March 1.
Even though I don’t live in Reseda anymore, I am participating in this event. Why? Because Reseda is where I learned how to be creative.
We’ve come to the time when pundits and prognosticators try to make their predictions for the coming year. Will it be a good year or a bad one? Who will win the upcoming elections? Which celebrities will rise and which ones will fall? Who will win the Super Bowl? These would-be prophets run through all sorts of charts, computer models, and paragraphs of explanations to come up with their forecasts.
I’m not good at making predictions. I certainly couldn’t have predicted all of the unexpected and wonderful things that happened to me this year. I have found one method of predicting the future that is useful, or at least as useful as the other methods available: tarot. Yes, tarot cards can predict the future, but not in the way you expect.
Sorry, folks. It’s year-end parody time again. This time, I’m appealing to the Millennials (whoever they are) by pilfering the theme song of their generation’s Rocky and Bullwinkle, Animaniacs. I liked Animaniacs, including the somewhat naughty references the kids didn’t get. (“No, no, no, fingerprints”? M-m-muh! Good night, everybody!) So, what would Yakko, Wakko, and Dot say about 2013? (And if you want to see them, you can purchase or stream the series on Amazon or watch it on The Hub.)
Rush Limbaugh recently accused the Pope of preaching “pure Marxism” because he spoke out against the “idolatry of money” and said we should “share one’s wealth with the poor.” Let’s set aside the strangeness of accusing the head of a church of backing a philosophy that opposes religion. Instead, I’d like to point out another work that Limbaugh might find objectionable, Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol.” It shows a similar subversive wealth-reallocating philosophy as the Pope’s encyclical. (Add Dickens’ story to the subversive It’s a Wonderful Life, and Limbaugh may have to rethink his whole stand against “the war on Christmas.”)
I still believe in a holiday and a spirit called Thanksgiving. It’s not just an additional day for shopping. In that spirit, I’d like to share with you some of my posts about the importance of giving thanks:
Why gratitude is magic: Gratitude isn’t some wimpy rainbows-and-unicorns sentiment, but something that makes us more satisfied, fulfilled, and successful.
Why bother to be thankful: Even in times of hardship, we still have plenty of reasons to feel grateful.
My mom’s stroke: We don’t always appreciate Thanksgiving with family until we can’t celebrate it.
Blessings when you feel like cursing: We can find reasons to be grateful even when we’re the most frustrated.
I also have a request: If you decide to devote some or all of your Thanksgiving to Black Friday sales, please show respect to store employees who have given up their holiday to support themselves and their families. You may want to consider donating some of the money you save to food banks and homeless shelters to support those who can’t afford a holiday. This way, Thanksgiving can still have meaning whether you sit around a dinner table or stand in front of a discount store.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.