First of all, this page has nothing to do with the Highlights Magazine. Sorry for any confusion this might have caused. I decided to create a page of snippets from my Christmas letters of what I think are the most witty thoughts I’ve gotten around to document since the mid 90s.
1995: Getting back to me, I am planning to graduate on May 10th ish 1996. Everyone is welcome to come and see it provided that I in no way incur any financial responsibility and that you leave when I grow tired of your company. Hope to see you there.
1996: Saxe Inc. is a very liberal company. So liberal, in fact, that all the employees are gay transvestites running around with pitchforks. No, wait a minute. I am thinking of the classic cult film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
1997: (on the Indy 500) I don’t understand why they built one of the world’s largest racing facilities in a climate that on average receives more precipitation during the last weekend in May than the entire Amazon Basin gets all year.
1998: (on software conventions) It was kind of sad to see people who make a good living as computer programmers going from exhibit to exhibit begging for cheap pens and crappy T-shirts.
Six Months in Amsterdam: Occasionally a lost tourist from a neighboring country will accidentally drive into town. The desperate search for a parking space ends when their fuel supply runs out and they are forced to stop in the middle of the road. When this happens, the angry taxi drivers and tour bus operators stuck behind the vehicle work together to push the car out of the street and into the closest canal.
1999: December has been a pretty busy for me as I have been feverishly preparing for any and all Y2K issues that might arise at the end of the year. While most people are checking flashlight batteries and chopping firewood, I am busy watching a lot of TV.
2000: I wish only the best for everyone in 2001. Everyone, that is, except for Jar Jar Binks– I wish only bad and evil things for that computer generated monstrosity. I fantasize about him being pummeled to death in the next Star Wars movie by the Ewoks after some wacky misunderstanding during his gratuitous vacation scene on the third moon of Endor.
2001: The idea of finding another computer programming job just was about as appealing as a “Three’s Company” television reunion special (likely plot line: Chrissy isn’t pregnant—she’s menopausal.)
2002: I’m not sure exactly how [an Atomic clock] works on the inside, but I suspect the heart of the device utilizes a government operated cesium powered chronometer, encoded radio signals, and a genetically designed race of miniature gnome slaves. What I do know is you enter your time zone and whether or not your township or local municipality follows daylight savings time and suddenly POW! Radioactive gnomes fly out of the clock in an effort to enter your ear canal and take control of your higher brain functions. STRIKE THAT– WE ARE NOT CONTROLLING YOUR THOUGHTS OMAR. STRIKE THAT– GNOMES DO NOT EXIST, YOU, I MEAN I, JUST MADE THAT PART UP.
2003: September 25, 2003 marked my one year anniversary working at UPS. I’m not sure why, but I expected the day to be kind of special. Nothing too fancy– maybe a nice bottle of wine or some flowers. You know, just a little something to make me feel like I’m important to UPS. But no, UPS just went on like it does every day, completely oblivious to my feelings.
2004: To my surprise, the movers were on time, friendly, and reasonably priced. And if they stole anything of mine, it must not have been very important since I haven’t noticed six months later.
2005: The wedding itself was amazing, and really beyond description– at least with my ability to describe things. I lack the wedding accessory vocabulary to do the night justice. But it was really about Brian and Janet, and to the best of my knowledge, they don’t write Christmas letters. And it isn’t because they are Jewish, but rather because Brian spends all his free time on an Internet dradle gambling site. “I can’t stop now Janet, I’ve just gotten three gimels in a row!”
2006: Our relationship is quite similar to that of Doctor Who and his latest sidekick Rose Tyler. The only difference is that Katherine isn’t blond and doesn’t speak with much of an English accent, and my time-traveling tardus currently lacks any time traveling abilities and is constructed chiefly from a port-o-let acquired from a nearby construction site.
2007: Welcome Humanoid—I, Ertok the Evil Alien Overlord, have been assigned the process of downloading and summarizing recent memories from unit 5d-301, also known as Omar. On a side note, he didn’t seem to enjoy the memory nasal probe. None of them do, which is strange considering how much recreational time these humans spend on digitally probing their own nasal cavities. Sure, the NP-5000 penetrates slightly deeper and contains various sharp, pointy objects similar to a Swiss Army Knife, but otherwise the processes are identical. And really, why am I stuck on this remote planet monitoring meaningless humans anyway? Just because I drank a bit too much space ale last holiday and vaporized the arm of the Assistant Regional Supervisor of Remote Planet Observations? His two other arms remain intact, so as long as he doesn’t plan on a career in professional hyper-circuit-plasma-ball, he should be fine. And trust me, he doesn’t have anywhere near the upper thorax for it anyways. But I digress– commencing download.
2008: This year’s highlight was when I spent a few weeks working way out in Milliken, Colorado to see what’s going on out there. Short answer: not much. Long answer: nothing, I was exaggerating when I said “not much” for the short answer. I’m not saying Milliken is small– just go to the main restaurant in town, “Jose’s Taco Factory,” and ask anyone there.
2009: Next on the wedding list was to get rings. I kept my father’s wedding ring in a safety deposit box for the past ten years, and I decided to have the diamond put into a new setting for Katherine. She really likes sparkly things. That, and she found it all romantic and shit.
2010: Getting Isabel to sleep when we want to rest has been a bit of a challenge. To help quiet her down I’ve been known to sing her songs at night. I generally start when I’m putting on her bed time clothes by singing her the pajama song. It goes something like this: You say pajama, I say pajama, pajama, pajama, let’s call the whole thing off. (note the different pronunciations of the middle vowel sound of the word pajama for proper comedic effect) If all else fails I move on to an improvisational version of a song I call, “Daddy needs to get some sleep so he doesn’t accidentally drive his UPS truck into a ditch tomorrow.”
2011: So to all of those people who keep telling me that PVC pipe is not a good structural material for a kinetics craft, I can now proudly yell out “PVC pipe can be a MARGINALLY ACCEPTABLE structural material, PROVIDED that I don’t hit any unexpected rocks, AND that I don’t make any sudden movements out of the exact center of gravity of the vehicle, AND, WELL OF COURSE IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING that the Kinetics Wizard doesn’t cast any spells of random destruction on any part of my team.”
2012: Once the race started my craft went about ten feet into the water at which point something happened that could best be described as “sudden massive critical widespread structural failures.”
2013: Later that evening I sat down at my laptop ready to write the most important story ever with my usual writing aids that included a “party size” bag of Wavy Lays potato chips, a cold two liter bottle of Diet Pepsi, and three full boxes of Sweet Tarts. I fired up my “inspirational Pink Floyd” playlist and went to work. I wrote an amazing letter. It was concise yet detailed, funny yet touching, and inspirational yet not preachy. I was all ready to email it to Santa when a somewhat suspicious Russian mobster looked in my kitchen window. He picked up an unusual piece of electronic equipment. When he pressed a prominent red button on the top of the device all the electronic devices in my house stopped working. He chuckled softly, walked back to his unmarked van, and drove away. I was going to chase him, but I was busy injecting insulin into my body as this writing experience had apparently given me type one diabetes.
Finally, I thought I would end my letter with the most insightful comment from my Facebook page from the last year: The older you get, the harder it is to be a prime number.
2014: I believe it was JP Morgan who once said “You don’t rise to the top by jumping in the kiddie pool.” That, or I just made it up a few moments ago. Fact checking isn’t a strong point in my Christmas Letters.
In August I took my Audi in for an oil change and I received the wonderful news that my car was ready for a series of expensive and time consuming repairs. I should clarify that this was wonderful news for the dealership.