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Friday, December 21, 2007

christmas thoughts on a bullish friday

As I sit here on the Friday before Christmas watching Santa and his mentally deprived elves drag stock prices higher in the long awaited rally, I find myself contemplating a long weekend full of activities, friends, family and general holiday cheer. Tonight kicks things off with the first annual Island of the Misfit Toys celebration, a gathering of the lunatic friends of Kent Island in a celebration of the resort life style we all live here, the times we have had and the friends that we have made over the years. It promises to be quite a shindig filled with great friends and excessive inebriation to the point we decided hiring a car and driver was one of the more enlightened things we could do. Good times, Good friends it gets no better.

Grocery shopping fills the agenda later this afternoon. I have lost count of how many people are coming by for the annual Melvin Christmas Eve bash. The kids and the friends of the kids will be there and a lot of my friends will be by over the course of the night. I will start cooking on Sunday right on through until dinner grumbling and bitching the whole time but loving every millisecond of it. There will be music, stacks of presents; the bar is fully restocked and ready to be emptied once again and there will be enough food to feed a small army. We put a big tree this year, Tommy cleaned the carpets last night and I even hired a cleaning service to shovel the place out for the party. It is one of my favorite evenings of the year and I love how much my kids brag to their friend’s about how incredible Christmas Eve at dad’s house is. Tomorrow’s agenda is filled with package wrapping and stocking stuffer shopping with heavy drinking in the evening around the island. Sunday is of course, the NFL and prepping for the big dinner.

It has been one hell of a year with all the usual ups downs and sideways moment (Including a few inverted but that’s what I get for boating with the tic-tac kid). Reminiscing and ruminating about the year is a subject for next week’s demented ramblings as the year-end arrives. Now is a time to think of all the good things that life has to offer and the things that we celebrate this holiday season. I know its supposed to be a religious holiday but all signs seem to indicate that Jesus was born in the summer and Christmas was realigned to replace the old mid winter pagan festivals that were a celebration of life and harvest. There is family to think off, my daughter now grown so smart and beautiful, earning success in life and in school pretty much on her own drive and talent. She has finally become a bookworm like her old man and I love it; My son, still a bit of a goofball but to my surprise after his record in high school and a hard worker and thrifty as hell. He becomes a little smarter every day and seems destined to do well in whatever he chooses in life. I am incredibly proud of both of them. There are fiends, so many that its impossible to name them all here. Friends form the island, friends form the speculative world, I feel incredibly lucky to have met and become friends with so many wonderful people. The importance of friends was driven home to me last week when one of my childhood friends passed away and it hit me hard. I hadnt seen much of Jimmy over the years in spite of the fact that we live in the same town. I felt guilty for letting life get me so caught up that I lost touch with a huge part of my life. I stopped by his brothers the other night and caught up on the years, swapping stories of the old days and the misadventures we had. We talked of those gone, some to jail, some dead, some just gone. We laughed at the memories of it all and wondered how in the hell we were still alive. Back then the rest of the world looked at us as poor white trash hoods and perhaps we were. But to us, we were king of the fucking world and all we surveyed. Its that rough and ragged background and group that I owe much of my who cares what other people think approach to life and it has served me very well as I have made my through.

This Christmas I shall raise my glass and toast this incredible life we live. Sure it has crappy moments and things do not always go our way. There will be moments of pain when some misfortune or failed relationship will strip away the flesh of our very souls and leave us stunned at how painful it is. For every one of those however, there will be five of a child being born, a first kiss, a sunset of spectacular color and glory, A symphony that fills the hall and the heart with the sounds of Beethoven, Bach and Vivaldi. There will be failures and setbacks. There will be even more comebacks and victories. Stubbed toes and bad trades are going to happen. So are long nights sitting on a friends pier drinking beer and grilling steaks, full blast boat rides and beer soaked Chicago strategy sessions. There will be tax audits and ex wives. But there will also be pretty girls in a Chicago snowstorm and nights where romance and sensuality fill the air.. Life is messy. But it also the ultimate gift of a generous creator, whether that be some deity or just the universe itself. This Christmas I shall raise my glass and toast life it all its messy, shitty, bloody wonder and glory. Amidst the flow of wine, the sparkle of lights, the colorful packages, the roasting turkey and heaps of pies I shall raise my glass and toast life. Standing there with the laughter and chatter of my children surrounding me, I shall toast you my friend. I wish you Life and a Merry Christmas

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