I haven't had a decent Internet connection since I started my vacation, but today I managed to get Airport and our DSL provider to get up to a good speed. No waiting for the spinning wheel of doom up in the corner.
That being the case, I've only got a few minutes to post greetings and wishes before getting ready to go to Larry and Fuzzy Niven's house for a New Year's Eve party. It's a dress-up event and the food is quite good. I just hope I don't fade before it is over.
I had an unexpected expense when I found it necessary to move the Arabian Prince from where he was living to a new barn which is across the street from the very first ranch I kept him at when he came to California in 2001. The new facility has a lovely barn with big indoor/outdoor stalls. He's got as much of a run as he had at the previous barn, but in addition to the box stall, he's got a covered area outside and large uncovered area as well. So he can enjoy the sun or keep dry while it is raining. We're expecting a big storm by Thursday and I will be absolutely thrilled that he'll be able to keep his feet dry when it happens. I just wish I didn't have to come up with a deposit and the first month's board during the Christmas season. So much for a cash cushion! He has settled in quite easily (we moved him on December 26) and he is nicely protected from the awful winds which have picked up again today.
The holiday season has been filled with parties and the company of friends. We did Vigilia with the Bodner-Oleckis who then did Christmas day brunch, presents, and the movies with us. We also went to the present exchange with the Lasfasians on Christmas Eve.
On the Saturday before Christmas, we attended the party which Patric and Maiya Verrone throw every year. We weren't the only ones surprised that Patric would be up to it with the WGA strike in progress, but we were glad they had it. Favorite line overheard: "If they settle in the next three weeks, we'll know we didn't ask for enough money." Probably true, but no sign of a big settlement yet. We are happy to hear about the agreement with World Wide Pants, which agreed to all of the WGA negotiating points. Too bad the rest of the industry is ready to cut off their collective noses to spite their collective faces.
An ad in the industry trades has reminded me that I've had direct dealings with two of the studio heads. Barry Meyer was a Case Western Reseve University School of Law graduate whom I contacted and met with when I was looking for a summer job while in law school. He heads Warner Bros. Michael Lynton (I think I'm spelling that correctly) was Len's boss at Disney Publishing when Len was the editor-in-chief of Disney Comics. He is now the head of Sony Pictures. The AMPTP still hasn't gotten that they are dealing with a very different situation from previous strikes. Picket lines start up again next Monday. I keep hoping we can go to a dress-up picket line for the Golden Globes.
As the world at large continues to go to hell in a handbasket, I can only hope for a change in our government here at home. I really don't care who gets the Democratic nomination because I'll be out working for whomever does. Senator Dodd impressed me with his filibuster just before Christmas. I like that John Edwards has been out on the strike line with our writers and would be labor friendly. I like Senator Obama and I'm really pleased to see how well Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is doing. However, only Dennis Kucinich really sounds like a good liberal on the campaign trail. Isn't that a shame?
So for next year, I am wishing for a change for the better in our government, for people realize there is a reason for the separation of church and state and the separation of governmental powers, and for Congress to remember that the First Amendment and privacy are important civil liberties. I am also looking forward to the day when George the Third and Darth Vadar are hauled off to the World Court to be tried as war criminals, but that may take a little longer. I'll echo Viggo Mortensen on this one: Impeach. Remove. Jail. George Bush, Dick Cheney and their cohorts are criminals of the worst sort and it is now less than 400 days until they will be out of office. Unless, of course, they try some dirty trick to further destroy our Constitution.
On that note, try to have a peaceful and prosperous New Year.