How is everyone

I know there is a virus thread running, but hopefully there is other news or just something you want to say.
One daughter was directly exposed and tested…negative… (whew) Another one got called back to work at the major hotel she has worked at for 4 years…While on furlough they kept her on their insurance for 9 months and added the days she was off into her seniority. It is still a small crew, but everyone is glad to be back
I am still kinda laying low as I have 4 of the things combined with the virus that will lead to really bad reults…Whole immediate family will do Christmas , even with social distancing.
well that is normal life for me right now. 2021 wont comment on…I know the bb gods are lurcking.


My 85 year old mom has had 21 surgeries in her life. She has had breast cancer and lung cancer. She has one kidney. She’s not allowed to go out in the front yard, has to stay in the house or back yard. My 89 year old dad only occasionally makes trips to the grocery store–where they load the groceries he ordered online in his trunk. He has had bladder cancer, is diabetic and asthmatic. I pretty much live in seclusion and have decided I’m safe to give in to their desire for a visit from me. So I’ll go to Ft Worth to have Christmas with them.


You’re a good son. I suspect any risk is worth it to them.

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Good for you, Sphinx.


Low-key Christmas for me us usual. I’ll be at my daughter’s (Elizabeth) house early for Christmas with her and her two kids (she divorced in Sept; good riddance). We’ll have mimosas, pigs in a blanket, and open presents. She will have a couple of friends and maybe her mom over mid-day. Dunno about former in-laws or ex-husband. I will be gone before anyone else gets there.

Then, Christmas with Mark (and Buster!) that night. Mark will cook, we’ll drink some good beer, and open presents. Mark is an excellent cook, and I always look forward to that aspect of Christmas.

We have done Christmas this way for a number of years, and it works well. I am able to spend Christmas with both kids, which is very important to me, and I avoid any drama. Mark usually comes to Elizabeth’s house while I am there and stays for a bit after his mom and others arrive, but this year COVID makes him and me stay away from gatherings indoors.

Merry Christmas, y’all!


We were one of those families that took music as seriously as anything we did. We all read, we all sang, and my sister could read at the piano like I read a newspaper. A lot of Christmas Eves we’d read through carols with her playing and family and friends singing the parts. We’d read straight through 20 carols in traditional Protestant 4-part and end with the Hallelujah Chorus.

We won’t be together Christmas, so we’re going to try to sing carols by Zoom. I suspect it’ll be a mess, but I also suspect it’ll make us happy. Merry Christmas!


I’ll be at my momma’s. We were going to go to a cousin’s for a tradition that we’ve been doing for as long as I remember but not this year. I’ll stop by their house for a little early visit then spend the evening with my mom at her house.

Christmas Day will be me, mom, and my sister’s family 7 in total. The sister’s family has been quarantining and being extra cautious because her mother-in-law had brain surgery a couple weeks ago and they are staying safe for if/when they get the opportunity to visit.

Since it is such a small group for Christmas, I decided I didn’t want turkey, so I’m going to make braised lamb. Wish me luck!

Merry Christmas all.

Oh, and I didn’t send cards this year.


Our kids are home from school. Christmas day, we will have a zoom with my brothers and my mom and dad. I will drive over to their house to be tech support. The Thanksgiving zoom ended up with us getting close ups of mom’s ear as she was trying to hear better.

We will go see my father in law after Christmas. He is 83. 4 1/2 year ago, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and told he had 6 months to a year to live. He feels like any time he has now is gravy and he isn’t going to spend it in isolation from his loved ones. He isn’t taking crazy risks but he isn’t playing it safe either.

Let me encourage everyone, if you are able, to support your favorite causes at the end of this year. Many non profits get a large % of their giving during December. How December goes will determine how 2021 goes for them and the populations/causes they serve.


I am going to say, although you will not listen, Fauci advises strongly to not have large family gatherings indoors with folks not in your household. I care very much about all of you.


My wife and I will celebrate Christmas, just the two of us. Like we did Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Easter. We will FaceTime and Zoom with family. My elderly parents are none too happy about it, and it’s hard, but the rest of my family just does not take this seriously, despite most of them already having had COVID-19, my niece the nurse pleading with them to be more disciplined and her husband having spent two weeks in ICU near death from it. Doctors said the only reason he lived was because he was 29 years old. Had he been 50, he’d be dead. My parents say they’d rather die than not see people. I am not that cavalier, and while I understand my parents are not going to live forever, I am not interested in hastening the circle of life. And so it goes. We will certainly spend New Year’s Eve and Day the same way.


We are almost halfway through 12 days of quarantine so that we can get together maskless with my parents and sisters on New Year’s Eve.

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This year will be the first year ever that we have not had the forever kids all be at home or come home (from school or their new homes) ever since we started fostering over 20 years ago. We’ll have zero kids home. So odd. We’ll instead have a small dinner (roast leg of lamb, rosemary mashed potatoes, parmesan & balsamic roasted brussel sprouts; yum!) then a big Zoom call with all who are not working Christmas day. Two are nurses working in covid wards that day.

I’m so done with 2020.


We’re doing a rack of lamb! Just the nuclear family staying home. I’m sure there will be face time with various relatives throughout the day. We never travel for Christmas anyway as in our view it’s nice to be home and for the kids to be able to enjoy the anticipation of the gifts building up under the tree and then waking up in their own beds on Christmas morning.

The most significant difference this year is we won’t be going over to the in-laws for Christmas dinner.

It was missed, but we thought of you anyway!


Brad probably wasn’t available for the photo this year anyway. (That is still the greatest Christmas card I’ve ever seen.)

Good luck with your lamb, and Merry Christmas from both of us!


I am doing smoked prime rib again, along with blue cheese mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. That is Christmas Day. Christmas Eve is the traditional tamales and chile con queso, with margaritas, made the right way with top notch tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice.


This Christmas I’m recovering from open-heart surgery. I thought about writing a whole piece about it, but this seems like a good place. Thank you Fredia for starting the thread.

So I’ve been having abnormal stress tests and angiograms throughout my 50s, and before this year I had already piled up five heart stents, including one that opened a 99% blockage in my Widowmaker. I had another bad angiogram in August, with new blockages, and this time there was nowhere to put more stents, so the cardiologist recommended bypass surgery. Actually, four bypasses.

So that’s what I got. Four fucking bypasses, plus a bonus “maze procedure” where they CAUTERIZE a maze pattern into your heart muscle to interrupt the bad afibrillation signals, or something. I may have details wrong, there was a lot of morphine.

That’s also how I had the surreal experience of watching the Astros eliminate the A’s from a cardiac hospital bed, with about 90 tubes and monitors and bullshit going in and out of me. And some tubes were coming from holes that weren’t there before the surgery. And one big tube was coming from my you-know-what.

Until I was watching Game 4, when the big male nurse came in and said it was time to take out my urinary catheter. And when he yanked it, even though I knew it was coming, it was still a big surprise. So I was concentrating on the baseball game, because that seemed like a good idea, and just as the nurse counts “1 … 2 …” I looked up again … and Ramon Laureano was making that pussy pouty exasperated face he does. (Honestly with that pouty face I think he’s destined to be a Cub, calling it now.) And that’s when the nurse yanked my hose.

So from now on, whenever I see Ramon Laureano’s pouty face, my dick is going to burn with the heat of catheter removal. (And it does burn a little.) I’m also proposing that Laureano’s OWA nickname be “Catheter” from now on. I’m open to improvements.

Anyway, I spent a week in the hospital and I’ve been holed up at home ever since. I’ve started doing cardiac rehab, and should be back up to strength by Opening Day.

And now on a serious note, I have to mention that, in a tragic way, this site helped save my life. Because I remembered when Mihoba died of a heart attack, and the symptoms he described.

Because I’m adopted, I’ve never know my family medical history. A few years ago, I started having very mild angina symptoms, barely noticeable. I had some mild nausea and my shoulders tingled when I raised my arms to wash my hair. My right arm (not left) tingled a little sometimes. I got short of breath, but I have asthma so I’m always short of breath.

But I remembered Mihoba, and I mentioned the symptoms to my doctor, and he sent me for a stress test. And then they found my Widowmaker plugged tighter than Sosa’s bat.

Don’t ignore any weird symptoms, no matter how small. Ask your doctor for a stress test; they aren’t that hard. Especially if your family has a history of heart disease, get a fucking stress test. (Well, after Covid, you know.)

I’m spending Christmas at home with my wife and our cats. I have a huge awful scar down the middle of my chest.

But you know what I don’t have? A fucking heart attack. Thank you, Mihoba, may you rest in peace.

Merry Christmas everyone. Get a stress test.


My daddy had that scar twice. I was sure that was the way he was going to pass, but it ended up being pneumonia. I’m thrilled you are doing better and trusted your instincts to ask your doctor. I would really miss you if you were not here.

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Thank you, it’s been a long process but I’m going to be ok. I sure don’t want to do it twice. Now I just have to avoid Covid until I can get a vaccine.


Thanks for sharing. Glad you’re doing well.

Merry Christmas.

I hope The Catheter strikes out 200 times next season and continues giving impromptu pitching lessons.

Video or it didn’t happen!