And so, this is Christmas.
It’s nearly 3 a.m. (now nearly 9), and I tried to pass of a post of finding the light of Christmas joy in the little things. But, I’ve always been honest with you here, right? I know others have it much rougher than I this holiday season, but the rough I know is rough enough.
It’s not just one single thing.
It’s okay for a Christmas to feel blue. I’ve just gotten through the eve part of it, so who knows what the actual Christmas Day will feel like.
Certainly, there’ve been combatants to the blues, such as friends who spring for pizza or for Star Wars tickets or leave candy and cookies at your desk. And this.
I used up tons of wishes on my birthday, but Christmas wishes exist too, right? I’ll take two Ibuprofen and let you know how the morning goes.
Maybe a night of decidedly un-Christmas relief, such as mac and cheese and laying on the floor to watch “Radio” with a fifth grader who likes to hold hands and lay on my back can lead into morning, where chocolate-chip pancakes made with egg nog await.
Could a little more joy and a lot more peace be soon to follow?
1. What’s the dinosaur that lived in the water, with the really long neck?
No dinosaurs spent their lives in water, although prehistoric heavies such as brachiosaurus found life easier on his joints to stay in the drink as much as possible.
Aquatic reptiles millions of years ago weren’t technically dinosaurs. Aquatic reptiles known as nothosaurs, mosasaurs and plesiosaurs all lived in the water and were around way before I was born. Way. Pliosauroids fit your description, with long necks, puny heads and hefty bodies.
Don’t make too much fun of them, though.
Besides being the great-great-great granddaddy of modern-day marvels such as the Loch Ness Monster and Normie, Pliosaurus packed some nasty stats. He had foot-long chompers and grew to 50 feet long.
His bite registered four times stronger than the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
So, why’s that not a dinosaur? To become a dinosaur, one must be an ancient lizard with limbs under their bodies. Flying and swimming reptiles have limbs that stick out to the side. Sorry, guys.
2. Do you like One Direction?
Now that the hysteria (and the worldly shock of Zayn’s departure) has died down, I can look back and appreciate what the lads have produced.
I’d argue this song perhaps tells the story of my life. They’re officially on hiatus, I learned, which is a fancy word for limbo. Limbo is great at office parties but lousy when it comes to something you anticipate. The lads were just coming into their own artistically, perhaps.
One will become a dad in 2016, and it seems the four left remain close.
At this stop in the timeline for the Beatles, their music began to take a turn. It’d be interesting to see where this turn would take a band like One Direction, wouldn’t it?
3. Do baseball players really chew gum?
I sure as hell did – and I was as much a baseball player as R2-D2 (Artoo probably hit for better average than your pop.)
Baseball’s been migrating away from chewing tobacco for years. In three Major League Baseball cities – Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco – you can’t chew in public athletic parks, including homes for the Angels, dodgers, giants and Red Sox.
It’s a great idea. Kids emulate not only their favorite stars’ batting stances, but also what they chew. Bubbles are preferred to tobacco juice. In baseball dugouts, there’s enough spitting going on anyway – even without tobacco or sunflower seeds.
In the late 70s, a couple of pitchers on the Portland Mavericks, an obscure independent-league team, dreamed up the concept of shredded chewing gum in pouches that resembled how chewing tobacco was packaged then. It became a hit that keeps gaining traction.
I remember a TV ad from my youth for Big League Chew. Check it. I always thought it was balsy of that last guy to blow a bubble in his coach’s face! What do you think?
4. Is that real grass at Wimbledon?
It’s genuine grass, the same stuff you play at least 17% of your soccer matches on.
Wimbledon screams fancy.
You must wear all white when you play in the tennis tournament at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, one of four Grand Slam events on the pro tour. The others: U.S. Open (hard court), French Open (clay) and Australian Open (hardcourt).
Fans eat strawberries and cream, a far cry from the fried chicken and Budweiser at a NASCAR race.
The grass is fancy, too. According to the Wimbledon website, 54 million grass plants make up Centre Court. It takes 15 months to grow the grass to Wimbledon’s high standards.
Every two weeks, the blades of 100% rye grass gets a millimeter trim. It’ll check in at 8mm optimum height at tournament time.
5. What if Pink and Eminem got together?
You mean, romantically?
They’ve collaborated on songs on each of their albums. Pink, a feisty rebel of a singer and mom, lent her voice to a duet on Eminem’s “Won’t Back Down.” Eminem, whose conjured his own doses of controversy, agreed to reciprocate in Pink’s song, “Here Comes the Weekend.”
Pink’s married to former freestyle motocrosser Carey Hart. Eminem’s on the loose. He’s a Libra, she’s a Virgo, which, according to charts, means they’d be in for subtle power plays and well-mannered takeover bids. I don’t buy that, though.
If lyrics are any indication, how do you think Marshall Mathers III would deal with Alecia Beth Moore when she wants to start a fight? Would he light the house on fire?
Maybe that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano.