Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Today marks the second of the "high holidays" for Christians everywhere.  Interestingly, the first, the birth of Jesus, would be meaningless without the second, the death and resurrection of Jesus.  I find this interesting, because Christmas gets way more attention than Easter.

I chalk this up not to the difference in the religious meaning behind each of the holidays, but to the fact that a jolly old elf circumnavigating the globe with flying reindeer to deposit elf-made toys in people's houses is way more exciting than a giant bunny leaving a basket of colored eggs.

By the way, am I the only one that noticed that since our migration from hand-made toys to plastic creations with "made in China" stamped on the box, the whole elf-made bit should have collapsed on itself?  Thank goodness for the simple trusting nature of children, at least for a time.

As a child I never fully believed in the Easter bunny; what did he look like?  A real bunny, or a giant mix between a rabbit and the abominable snowman?  How did he get into the house (certainly not through the chimney) and why did he come at all?  Am I the only one who doesn't find it sanitary to have an animal handling my food?  Probably, but that doesn't make me wrong.

Aside from all of this, the underlying reason for the holiday can get lost, even for those who purport to celebrate it.  At least Christmas has some great carols about the birth of Jesus.  There's not really a large storehouse of great Easter songs to sing.  Maybe the best way to truly enjoy this aspect of the holiday is to just quietly reflect on what it means that God loved us so much that he came into our world (complete with our crazy cultural expressions) not to be revered and adored, but to be rejected and abused, and ultimately to pay the price on our heads so we could be made right with him.  That's even more amazing than flying deer or candy producing rabbits.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bark All Night, Sleep All Day

I, like most people, enjoy sleeping around 8 hours a night. I normally wake up around 5:30 in the morning on work days, while sleeping in until closer to 7 on week ends.  In recent days,however, I have gotten an early wakeup from our neighbor's dogs.

There are two of them, and they never bark, except when they are awake.  Then they bark non-stop.  That's not really fair.  Each of them stops barking, often for intervals as long as 3 seconds (I counted - not as effective as counting sheep it turns out).  I'm pretty sure they take turns making staccato status updates to the neighborhood, so neither of them gets tired.

I don't know what time they start, but generally I wake up around 2 - 3 in the morning to the sounds of their yapping.  At a rate of around 100 barks per minute, I have found I can handle about 800 barks before I literally can't take it any more and just get out of bed.  Fortunately they wrap up their session around 8 in the morning, so at least they only bark when human beings are trying to sleep.  Apparently after barking at the wind all night they are exhausted and crash for the day.

I don't know if their owners have sound proofed their house, are heavy sleepers or are working the graveyard shift.  I've never been so tempted to buy a big juicy steak and lace it with cyanide.  Not sure where I would get that, nor how I would get my neighbors to eat it.  I guess I'll just have to create some ambient noise to cover the sound of the hounds, by turning on a fan or perhaps letting the vacuum run next to the bed all night. I always took for granted that I would be able to sleep through the night until I got old enough for my prostrate to grow to the size of a small melon, forcing multiple trips to the bathroom.  Now I'm really looking forward to moving in a couple of years.