Saturday, December 25, 2010

Beginning report on Christmas book gifts

 I can now talk about some of the books that were received and opened on Christmas Eve.  I think my daughter Ronda was the happiest with the book gift I gave her which was a copy of the book "Women" put together by my nieces, Cheryl and Camille, to sell to the Boulder Heritage Foundation Festival this last summer from submissions by descendants of pioneer women of Boulder.  In fact, other submissions are coming in and the nieces are planning Volume II as soon as they get enough material.  I know she is going to love the book, particularly since she is planning a holiday trip to Utah this coming Monday.  This book is actually a gift from many writers. I was just able to pass on my copy to my daughter, which I had read, studied, and thoroughly enjoyed.  I am trying to give away some of my most precious books in my last years.  I still have quite a collection.
When people die here their books often get passed on to the residents.  I have acquired a lot of books that way.  I gave my son Dan some of those books.  He has an intellectual bent, so I give him books I know nobody else would appreciate.  This year I gave him Kafka's The Castle and Montaigne's Essays, I told him so he could add to the list of books he had read on BBC's 100 book list.  I also gave him a book I became convinced no one else at the Westward Ho would ever read, "The Closing of the Western Mind" which a British author named ? Freeman thinks happened when Christianity took over.  Dan is a born skeptic, so this book would be like meat and drink to him.  I tried to read this book but it was too dense for me, so I have given it to him so he can read it and tell me what it says.
Dante's mother, Angelina, who belongs to a Christian Fundamentalist church, is very wary of my son Dan's influence on their son.  Dante is a unique blend of his mother and dad's personalities.  He is not as blunt or outrageous as his dad, but he is a born tease.  For example, he tried to make me think last night that nobody feeds him where he lives now, he just scrounges around in the refrigerator for scraps to keep him alive.  He was so convincing that I started to get upset, and he started laughing and saying he was only teasing! 
Dan is like Doc.  He appreciates black humor to the max and can always see the ridiculous in the sublime. 
Dante, on the other hand, can go to his mother's church and maintain a respectful attitude at the same time he is saying to me out of the corner of his mouth, I have to go to church in Cali, too, only it is longer and more boring.  Dante has never liked to be bored anymore than my son Dan has liked it.
The preacher who bores him will lose him when he is on his own no doubt, and it will not be Dan's fault.  I hope his mother realizes that.
I do not like boring preachers either, but I still have my faith that we have a spirit and must do good in order to be 'saved.'  Which just means to me, that people who like to do bad will not be the ones who preserve what makes life good.
I don't think you can be an alcoholic and do as much good in the world as you might be capable of doing if you sobered up.  I have seen alcoholics do good when they are sober, but who tended to do so much bad when they were not sober, that was not going to be remembered.  An alcoholic can drive drunk and kill somebody and that's it.  He has destroyed a life.  He destroys his own brain if he does not sober up.
But I also think that a drinker has to be built up in order to quit.  A bad habit that he has acquired over many years is not going to be overcome easily.  Hence I continue to work on Doc's case, hoping to keep strengthening some kind of will in him to quit.  What else can I do? 
Thus I continue my lecturing and preaching about alcohol which Doc asked for and got on video this morning.  He insisted on filming me giving him a good scolding when I found him still half drunk this morning from celebrating Christmas last night.  He will do it alone if nobody else will celebrate with him.  He called me to come and celebrate with him at 9 pm last night as he drank himself into a stupor but I refused. I could tell he was 'buzzed'.
I hope I don't have to edit this video as he wants me to do.  It is one long diatribe against the evils of drink.  I wore myself out.  He thought it was 'great'.  He did not seem to see that I was doing all the heavy lifting.  He hardly said anything worth listening to, he was still so 'hung over'.  People might not realize it but when Doc is too hung over he will not sing and lets me do the singing when he knows I can't sing.  He wants me to make the video, but then lays back and won't sing.  Nothing irritates me more.  I have to say to him now if you don't take charge of the singing I am not making this. But I have noticed the more he does the more vital he seems.  I am convinced that keeping him active is going to prolong his life.
I don't like doing this kind of therapy on an active drunk, but can't see that anything else works.  I would abandon him, but there is nobody better for me to work on.  He is intelligent and talented enough that even drinking he can outdo quite a few.  His alcoholism is a tragedy, but then it is for everyone.  So that is my last word today on drinking to celebrate Christmas.

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