The Christmas Missives


Christmas 2009

Dearest Family and Friends!

What a year 2009 has been!  Where oh where to begin?!?  I guess first off is we didn’t get married again this year.  Not a huge surprise there… someone needs to be on the bottom of the heap and it’s still our turn.  We did go down to Washington, DC in October for the National March For Equality.  It was fun.  A waste of time, but fun. We picketed outside of the HRC dinner where the President was giving a speech, did a bit of street theatre in front of a bunch of bullhorn-wielding Fundamentalists, and marched through the streets of Our Nation’s Capital wearing a flowing pink boa—compliments of the breast cancer walkers who were also in town that day.  If it weren’t for the politicians there, Washington would actually be a great place!

Let’s see…  we also didn’t go to Europe this year.  Instead, we put a new roof on the house.  Okay, we didn’t put a new roof on the house, Russell Roofing put a new roof on the house—we just paid for it—to the tune of our next 5 or 6 European vacations.  It’s a good roof.  And we had to have masonry work done on the Pennsylvania Bluestone chimney.  Then we had to deal with some dry rot.  That was another vacation down the drain.  And since we had all that new wood, it had to be painted—which meant we had the whole house done because… well… it all had to match. Besides, we really didn’t like the color it was.  It looks great.  Plus we did some landscaping.  Someone in the area kept calling the police about our pussywillows blocking a stop sign or some such nonsense, so we finally just had them dug up—which caused no end of excitement in our little enclave.  It seems an awful lot of people really liked our pussywillows and are sorry to see them go.  We had a real, live landscaper come out and do the work and also had him draw out a plan of what he would plant out front.  We didn’t have the thousands (and thousands) of dollars he wanted to do the work, so we did it all ourselves.  We got some great deals at our local nursery and it all came out great.

So while our elected officials were busy bailing out all those huge corporations who are raping and pillaging the Earth, we were busy doing our part to keep local businesses afloat.   2009 was definitely the year of the house.

We did have our fun, however!  We flew to Seattle to see friends, and then to Portland for Tim’s sister’s wedding.  (Oregon at least allows Domestic Partnership!) It was great being back west and seeing everyone.  Alas, there wasn’t enough time to do another cross-country train trip.  (Maybe we can do Amtrak next July when we head to Omaha.)

And speaking of Amtrak… We went back to DC for our 15th Anniversary.  It’s a quick train-ride and DC really is a fun town—and infinitely less expensive than New York.  Our trip to NYC to see South Pacific at Lincoln Center was our last for a while.  We paid more for a single hotel night in NYC than we did for our entire DC trip.  They have priced themselves right out of our wallets.  Oh well.

In Washington, we were upgraded to a suite in honor of our anniversary and saw a great production of A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre.  Ford’s Theatre is a great, intimate venue and the show was much better than the production we saw at The Geary Theatre in San Francisco—and the seats were a hellava lot more comfortable!  We also played tourist, saw Julia Child’s kitchen at the Smithsonian, and just had a really fun time.  15 years.  Seems like yesterday.  Seems like always.  Seems like perfect.

Politically, we’re both stepping back from the fight.  We are no longer donating money or time to any political group or organization and no longer placing any political signs in the yard. We’re both pretty tired of being used politically for money and votes, and then being told that the time just isn’t right to end discrimination, to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act or to even speak out against discrimination.  Tim is so disgusted with the current administration and congress that he has reregistered as “not affiliated” after being a card-carrying Democrat for 39 years.  It is also very likely that he will not be voting at all in 2010 or 2012.  Victor, being much more level-headed, is equally disgusted but keeping his options open.

Work-wise, Tim is still filling those little paper cups with little pieces of food, and Victor is still helping those aforementioned corporations save money on their travel.  Tim is also still playing with the web design stuff.   It all helps pay the mortgage.

Cybil Shepherd has now been with us over six of her seven years.  She is smart, fun, and a joy to have around the house.  And she’s still manipulating Daddy Means It and Daddy Marshmallow.  It’s probably a good thing we stopped at dog and fish.

2010 is just around the corner. And 2011 just around that.  There are a lot of things we’d love to do next year—mostly travel and visit with friends and family.  We have a Dineen Family Reunion being planned for Omaha in July and there’s at least a dozen museums in Washington we haven’t seen, yet.

We shall see.

In the meantime, if we don’t get to see you in 2010 it’s not because we don’t want to—it’s just that, sadly, there are just so many days of vacation in a year.  We do, however, have a very nice guest room—complete with a Guest Room Computer—so if you happen to be in the vicinity of Valley Forge, please stop on by.  We promise a fun dinner.

And speaking of dinner—especially you relative-types—the recipe website has been reworked and the Family Reunion Cookbooks (and all the other ones) are easier to access.

Have a great Christmas, Chanukah, Solstice, Eid ul-Adha, Festivus, Kwanzaa, New Year, Whatever.

Love and Kisses!

Victor, Tim, and Cybil