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  • mistermuse 5:41 pm on December 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amish, , holiday season, ,   


    It’s only (almost) Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day, but we’ve already received several Christmas cards at our house, including one with a “generic” Christmas letter enclosed. If past be prelude, that was but the first of quite a few such “catch up” letters, which are welcomed by Mrs. Muse and not unwelcomed by Mr. Muse, understanding that who has time to write individualized holiday missives (though that would be nice) to dozens of friends and relatives?

    Thus, we bow to the same exigency, with she doing the initial writing and me doing the editing, which often consumes as much time as the writing, because I don’t take such tasks lightly. This has me thinking, why should we start from scratch every holiday season? It would save both of us a lot of bother to come up with the mother of all generic Christmas letters and be done with it — a glorified form letter, if you will, which would serve the purpose every year, with perhaps a blank space or two here and there to fill in, if one wishes to be specific about something that happened during the year, such as:

    As you may or may not know, (namedied of (diseasein (month). At least, we assume (name) died, because they buried the old fart.

    Need I add, heed should be taken not to send same to the immediate family of the (assumed) deceased, which shouldn’t be a problem, as there are always a few Christmas cards you set aside where you just write a few words without enclosing a letter.

    Of course, no Christmas letter would be complete without recounting your vacation and/or travels during the year. Unfortunately, Mr. & Mrs. Muse don’t get around much any more, so we may have to embellish slightly our trip to the Amish farm market an hour’s drive away:

    This past summer, we ventured to an agrestal land of bearded men and oddly dressed women whose rustic appearance spoke of a time before civilization came to be. We nonetheless managed to befriend them by giving green paper in exchange for some of the fruits (and vegetables) of their labors. However, as we were leaving, a strange-looking, horned animal took an interest in our bounty and began chasing us. Fortunately, we barely beat the ferocious beast back to our car and escaped with our lives.

    Happy holidays.



    • arekhill1 6:02 pm on December 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Is the old goat in your story symbolic, or did you actually need to escape from a caprine attacker?


      • mistermuse 8:23 pm on December 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Actually, it was the buried old fart, back from the dead with horns lent him by the Devil. The old fart never could take a joke.


    • Don Frankel 7:50 pm on December 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I get it. Instead of the two of you getting taken in by the snake you are running away from an old people who sold you the apple and an old goat who’s trying to eat it. The potential allegories abound. Or is it elegies? You know I didn’t get any religious education.

      Anyway you knew this was coming as soon as you mentioned it. It was only a matter of who. Or is it whom?


    • mistermuse 8:44 pm on December 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I knew if anyone would catch my “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” mention, it would be you. Unfortunately, when I click your link, I get “This video does not exist.” So let’s try this:



    • ladysighs 3:27 am on December 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I notice now the Like Button is missing. 😦 So forced to comment. I don’t do many comments on your blog because the only reason for comments is to prove I can write something cleverer than what you wrote in the blog entry. Never happen on your blog. 🙂
      Yes, the yearly Xmas letters are starting. 😦 I think one friend just recycles the same letter every year. How many trips around the world can one make? And it isn’t even a friend sending the letter. It is an acquaintance of an acquaintance.


      • ladysighs 5:49 am on December 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I just noticed……..several hours later………the LIKE button is here. 🙂


        • mistermuse 7:51 am on December 6, 2014 Permalink

          Thanks for the comment(s). The Like button is still missing, at least on my screen. I don’t know if WordPress did it or the butler did it (or maybe I did something inadvertently to make it disappear). I’m not computer-savvy enough to solve the mystery, so I’ll be looking for help. HELP!!!


    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:52 am on December 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse and Don Frankel, your blog and Don’s comment have cause me to look up 4 new words in the dictionary. Good to do as I like to improve my vocabulary. However, Don, You must be thinking April Fool’s Day instead ofthe yearly holida letter. I did try the video of Nat King Cole singing “Don’t Get Around Any More.” Muse did post another link to that song. Thanks and I wil listen soon. I will listen to that voice singing my tune now as I am often stuck here at home.
      I did get a few holiday letters over the years. They are nice to receive from friends but I feel the urge to write one back. That upsets me since I am not proficient at that sort of commentary. I would end up writing a letter instead of just signing our names.
      Also, I used to get about 30 + cards for the season from family and folks I thought were friends. The number has dwindeled down to a precious few, thankfully. My hands can only write so much before Mr. Arthritis conquers my ability. Last year I only got about 9 cards and I think it silly and wasteful to buy a whole box of holidays cards that all are the same. Much like copying the Xmas letter without the printer. I did hand write one letter and tried to insert each name in the “Dear So and So” blank but ending up changing the details in the letter. That was a Humbug moment and a waste of time. Calling old farts and hags like me and mine. Do not waste your time; just use the dozen free cards I get every year from my charity and be done with it. Ho! Ho! Ho!


    • mistermuse 11:05 am on December 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      As you may have discovered by now, Michaeline, my link to “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” is not by Nat King Cole, but by the Ink Spots, my favorite vocal group of the late 1930s-early 40s. Music trivia buffs of that era may be interested to know that the song was composed by Duke Ellington as “Never no Lament.” Lyricist Bob Russell later added words and it became a big hit in 1942 as “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”


    • literaryeyes 1:24 pm on December 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You are much more patient than I with these letters. We get one every year from a relative who apparently has the most exciting anf HAPPY life. It makes me wonder what she’s imbibing or smoking. And can she send me some for Christmas? Grinchly, MC


    • mistermuse 3:46 pm on December 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      If it were up to me, at our age, we’d give up sending an annual Christmas letter. But Mrs. Muse has a lot more relatives than I, so that’s that….and as long as it’s gotta go, it might as well go not smelling like crap (if you’ll pardon the expression).


  • mistermuse 4:12 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amish, , , , , word of God   


    Hair we go again.  Remember the story which made news back in 2011 of a beard-and-hair-cutting attack by one Amish faction against members of another Amish faction? For shear cut-zpah, this topped everything….at least, by way of religious headlines:


    Because the Amish believe the Bible is the holy, inerrant word of God and teaches, among other things, that hair is sacred, their men grow a beard. Cutting it is regarded as shameful; to do so forcibly is nothing less than a bald-faced assault, as a pun-loving jury found Sam Mullet and his faction guilty of in 2012:


    Since then, Mullet and seven of his disciples have been serving multi-year prison terms while their attorney appealed. Now comes word that, in a split-decision on August 27, a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions. While the government considers its appeal options, the defense attorney will seek to have Mullet and his fellow cut-ups released. If this happens, their victims may well find themselves running for their beards, if not their lives. Of course, horse-drawn buggies are also an option, especially for the slow-afoot.

    Now you may think that if the Bible is the holy, inerrant word of God, it wouldn’t be the Scriptural equivalent of the Elephant and the Blind Men parable at best, and at worst, the Hydra it has become at the hands of every self-delusional head case in history, bearded or other-wise. To say nothing of the Koran. Is there anything man can’t or won’t screw up?




    • arekhill1 4:39 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hair is sacred? Even Donald Trump’s?


    • mistermuse 5:51 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Donald Trump? Speaking of head cases….


    • allthoughtswork 6:52 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thank goodness for atheism.


      • mistermuse 8:14 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I’m an agnostic when it comes to atheism, but I do believe the world would be a much safer place if every religious extremist woke up tomorrow morning no longer believing in God.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 7:14 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I thought the Mullet was a weird hair style. Now you are saying Mullet and his accomplices (surely they think they accomplished something by cutting off beards) are being released by an appeal to a higher court !

      I am glad I got my haircut today and I have not grown a beard cuz I am a girl. Why bring up the Bible, the Koran and neglect the Torah? mistermuse, you are slipping here. Maybe you need a close shave? Or a haircut , too? Ha! Ha!

      You know I am just kidding around here. By the way, can I be an agnostic and believe in some sort of creative energy or force that made our universe? Science has reduced the atom, found the center, the nucleus. They examined the neutrons, went further in and found only “strings and quarks” that is, energies that cannot be explained. They were looking for the “God particle.” They are still mystified, so they are atheists. Just like my better half~~~~


    • mistermuse 8:38 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I would’ve included the Torah, but I thought that’s where Osama bin Laden hid before he headed to Pakistan. Oh, wait, that was Tora Bora – my bad. As for “strings and quarks” and the like, all that stuff is over my head, but whoever God is, he certainly has “hide and seek” down to a science.

      And I’m glad to hear you have a better half, Michaeline….but why have you been keeping it from us all this time? 🙂


    • Don Frankel 5:53 am on August 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hiding behind the Bible or most other things as you violate the penal code doesn’t usually work but it’s just a rationale for abhorrent behavior.


      • mistermuse 7:02 am on August 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Sometimes I think God created the human race so he could look in on us and laugh himself silly whenever he gets bored. It would explain inspiring the writing of the Bible, knowing that every latter-day Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Mullet would do their own inspired take on it.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 12:38 pm on August 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Here I go again with my theology professors. They have done some serious research regarding the approxiate dates when the New Testaments were written. It appears they agree that the four Gospels were written by different authors at about 60 to 70 AD. Most Scolars of theology are mystified by the Revelations supposedly written by John. Many think who ever the author was must have been under the influence of some chemically induced hallucinations.

      That is, to my best knowledge, the theories projected by these dedicated scholors. Of course, they used electron microscopes to determine the age of the orignal parchment or whatever material these gospels were written upon. They also have studied as their life’s work various languages, like Aramaic and Hebrew, to name a few major ones.

      I agree with Don Frankel about “hiding behind the Bible” in order to commit a crime. In Detroit we had a saying: “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” Time, of course, meaning a jail or prison sentence.

      mistermuse, what about “my better half?’ Are you implying I have two different personalities?
      Of couse, I could just say I am a woman and subject to “moods.” Generally, I try to override my moods when I am writing something by staying logical as I can. 🙂


      • mistermuse 2:08 pm on August 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Michaeline, I don’t think this is a Revelation, but I also have two sides: my serious half and my fun (or tongue-in-cheek) half. I appreciate your good nature even when it’s hard to tell which side (or combination of both) is “inspiring” me.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 2:12 pm on August 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      What else would you expect from a woman? I can be inspiring or intimindating. That is just me. Anyway, it keeps my husband on his toes long enough for me to get things done around here in our apartment. We did the grocery shopping this morning and them he took me out to Dunkin Donuts for coffee. He wanted to go to the Mall so I said go ahead. I am happy to stay home and rest.
      By the way, I forgot to mention that one of the Gospels in the New Testament was written in about 300 AD. I think that was a bit of a stretch for any apostle to write unless he got some longevity from Methuselah.
      The thing about breaking down the atom or DNA is science cannot find the source of LIFE. it seems that there is only energy there and I guess that is what “God” is all about. The Creative Energy or Cosmic Force that created and is still creating the Universe.
      As Luke Skywalker proclaimed. “May the Force be with you!”


    • mistermuse 4:43 pm on August 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It would be nice if the Force stayed the course (with us), but apparently we’re only along for the ride to Sooner or Later….Methuselah, of course, being among the latter living Later.


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