Monday, December 11, 2006

Back

After using my brain so much on my last five posts, I thought I'd take a couple of days away from blogland. Partly they were enforced, by the fact that we had so much stuff to do, what with Christmas approaching and all. But even so, you can almost always find time to blog, but I just wanted to bask in the glow of those words "Post #500" for a wee while... Sad but true.

What little bit of online time I had over the weekend was largely used in setting up a new blog. A look back over the last couple of months revealed that maybe my movie reviews are getting out of hand. So, rightly or wrongly, I've decided to set up a dedicated blog for these posts. I've made a start with putting up some of the old reviews, and once I get those up to date, I'll start adding some new ones. I may even start adding new ones before I get fully up to date with the old ones, actually, since I saw three films over the weekend... Why not check it out: SuchAsTheyAre.blogspot.com

There's not a huge amount else to write about, really, although I did get to taste my first Sauternes from Château d'Yquem yesterday, from the 1999 vintage. While I'm not a massive oenophile, I do enjoy drinking wine (more so than "tasting" it), and it's always a great treat to try something from one of the biggest names in the wine world. A rare occasion, too. Big thanks to the man who shared this wine with us.

And this morning I've had to make a start on writing Christmas cards, for both family and business contacts. I grew up always giving and receiving greetings cards: birthdays, Easter, Christmas, whatever. But since meeting Red, I have come to see that it is a huge scam. (Like, no shit, Sherlock!) We all spend incredible amounts of money to send bits of paper to people. And after a brief "oh, it's from so-and-so", they sit on a desk or shelf for two weeks before being thrown in the bin (or sometimes recycled).

Most of you who read this blog regularly know I can be a bit of a cranky old curmudgeon at times, but this particular rant is less about being a Scrooge and more about concern for the world's resources. Paper wastage must surely be at an all-time high, despite the fact that we communicate electronically so much of the time. The greetings-card industry is the last vestige of a bygone era. Isn't it time to hammer the nails into the coffin?

16 Comments:

Blogger Tanya said...

I have actually made my own Xmas postcards this year. Friends only. I am not interested in sending to people who I know only on a "hello-howzit" level. That said, though, I am actually getting fed to the teeth with the whole Xmas thing (but don't let Kate know that). I don't celebrate Xmas in my own religion. I tell people not to send me cards, yet inevitably they do. I have my own feelings about Xmas and this time of year. I agree that so much paper is wasted - cards, wrapping... you name it.

I'm not quite as bad as I used to be because of Kate's enthusiasm for this season, but I reckon so much of this time of year seems like a complete and utter waste - not least of all packaging, cards, wrapping and wobbly musical santas.

Bah, Humbug!

11 December, 2006 12:49  
Blogger Milla said...

I am only sending one xmas card, and I have made it myself. Everyone else will either get a postcard from the Balkans (which I would send anyway) or an email.
"It's the thought that counts", someone said, no?

11 December, 2006 13:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a tough question. I am miserable at sending holiday cards, always forget, or leave it too late. This year, Stagg and I actually bought some cards. I haven't actually mailed one yet. I plan to do so "soon"...I wonder if I will...?

I want to, sort of just as a way to send something a hello, a wish a greeting...then Stagg found some of his card collection! He has collaged on old xmas cards and they are so cool. So on the table are about 20 of his collaged cards, and 15 of the box we bought.

I really prefer to recycle...and I think * and Red are correct that's a bit of a scam actually and all the paper used...and the resources used for making and sending cards.

I don't even know if I know anybdy who sends xmas cards anymore. The last is really my grandmothers who practiced xmas cards and also...businesses seem to send out holiday cards too.

Oh the wine sounds so good. I partook in a little wine myself this past weekend! We went shopping on Saturday, and the nicest part was hauling our bags into a bar and sitting for two hours haveing a couple of glasses of wine and decompressing. Chicago downtown was an absolute crowd...people were walking on the sidewalks like a parade or demonstration(we ran into two different demonstrations, one against the war...and one against fur-two hip young folk were sitting in fake fur coats inside cages on the sidewalk!

We enjoyed the demonstrations and we just walked slowly along enjoying the lights and some store windows.

The two glasses of wine and conversation about life the universe and everything were the best part of the day though.

11 December, 2006 14:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a 'taster of the wine' so much either - I tend to lean more toward the drinking of a bottle;-)

I get really cheap cards, you know, the 18 for $2 type, then fill them up with lots of writing. Since I live so far away from my family - lots in California and Washington - I don't really get to see them much, and most aren't into e-mail or blogging, sooooo, they're more snail-mail types. Anyway, Christmas is the excuse I use to finally write those letters I meant to all year long! It gets exaustive, though, I'm sending about 22 this year! Ugh, but I'm at 15....thank-God for boredom at the laundry!

11 December, 2006 15:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooohhh and thank-God for the wine too - but I'm not sure how legible my writing is in some of those cards....;-)

11 December, 2006 15:19  
Blogger a.c.t said...

I've just had a conversation with a colleague about sending Christmas cards. I think it's a waste of time and a waste of paper. Want to wish someone a Happy Christmas? Pick up the phone!

11 December, 2006 15:32  
Blogger Karen said...

I agree with you *A on the whole scam part of it and you're right, it's a huge waste of the planet's resources. However, I know how wonderful it is to open up the mailbox and see that there's something inside other than a bill or junk mail. You could always buy recycled cards...

Not a wine fan myself, although I do have a glass once in a while. I prefer a nice cold cider usually.

11 December, 2006 15:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I decided to send xmas cards for the first time in years (mostly cuz I found a card that I could do something artsy with). I should pick up the phone, but lord, do I hate talking. I'm a total Scrooge.

11 December, 2006 16:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha... i like this post. and while i agree about the greetings cards being somewhat silly, i will say i NEVER throw mine away. i have a trunk into which i put all my cards, wedding invitations, letters, etc. i know that may make me sound like a pack-rat... but i'm really not. i just love to go back through and see who all took the time to remember me on Christmas, my birthday, halloween, etc.

it always brings a smile to my face :)

11 December, 2006 17:05  
Blogger wrinkled weasel said...

I am not sure what Christmas cards are trying to express any more.

Is it friendship? If it is, surely there are less disingenuous ways of telling someone you are a friend?

Is it to remind us of the birth of the Saviour Jesus Christ? I don't think so.

Is it so that we get lots of cards and then visitors think we are really popular? A bit sad, that one.

No *. I think they have had their day.

11 December, 2006 23:42  
Blogger muppie said...

Have you ever visited the four word film review site? Literally you review a film in four words or less. Here is the address:
http://www.fwfr.com/

12 December, 2006 03:02  
Blogger Gardenia said...

I save all my cards to read over and over at different times, or to snip them and make art. Its sacreligious to throw them away. Besides they are getting blasted expensive. Anyway, glad I saved them as I have all the cards my son sent me, so I feel I still have part of him I can touch as I read his writing. Anyway, this year I decided to watercolor all my christmas cards. Did I do it. No. Congrats on the new review blog!

12 December, 2006 04:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an environmental disaster and make no mistake.

All the pointless tat that clutters up our homes and all the shite that people buy for their colleagues and friends such as 'singing reindeers' is nauseating beyond the pale.

Its not about being a scrooge.

Its mindless consumerism and encouraging globalisation and environmental disaster.

12 December, 2006 09:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, these are all really thoughtful comments. I can see each persons views. Like it really is a treat to get something in the mail.

I love homemade cards...and Gardenia, you sound like me, I think I'm going to make all these cards and then shit, I don't get to it. I figure the only way I could do it is if I started in the SUMMMER!!!

I think sometimes, we have gotten so far away from each other, busy and no time to spend with dear friends...sometimes the holiday cards are the only effort we make to reach out to extended family. Often people write a form letter that catches everybody up to date.

Also, isn't it more comfortable to be loving and sentimental at the winter holidays? Can you imagine if we send a nostalgic letter or card to someone outside the holiday season...we'd look like nut jobs. At least under the guise of Christmas or hannukah...we can be a little nostalgic and reach out and BLEND and not look like complete saps.


:)


But if we were able to spend more time having fun with each other, holiday cards would probably disappear and be replaced with an evening and afternoon of company. Damn this existential evil 50 hour work week that tears us all apart and leaves us laying in pathos and regret....


oops, did I say that out loud?

12 December, 2006 14:48  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

cool...a movie review page...

12 December, 2006 21:26  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

It's great that some of you keep them. Indeed, I keep those from Wife, and I even still have things like leaving cards from various jobs. Like some of you say, they can also be used for artwork, collages, etc. And that's all good recycling.

But so much of this stuff just goes straight in the bin. You know?

Recently, Red and I have made a bigger effort on recycling. Where this has made the most difference is in paper. We recycle all of paper and cardboard now. It's collected fortnightly, every other Friday, and we always have a huge stack outside on the appropriate day awaiting collection. Makes me feel good!

But it's also cool to see that several of you agree it's a waste of resources. A real shame. And yet, you go to a greetings-cards shop, and there are ever more "occasions" to celebrate: grandparents' day, for Christ's sake... Where the hell did that come from?! Nothing against nan and gramps, but isn't this going a bit far...?

13 December, 2006 13:21  

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