‘Twas The Night After Christmas

The miracle isn’t in heaven. The miracle isn’t on 34th Street. This year, the miracle is on Skokie Valley Road, where an unassuming Jewish Deli, covered in a fresh sheet of post-Christmas slush, would like to offer good tidings.

Merry Christmas to All and to All an Oy Vey!

Let’s push aside the children who were gunned-down at Sandy Hook. Let’s push aside the firefighters who were gunned-down at a 4-alarm ambush. Let’s push aside Wayne LaPierre’s psychotic episode, and look the other way, as the so-called “Free Press” keeps pretending a public nervous breakdown is the modern day equivalent of an “NRA Presser.”

‘Tis the season. Sing with me: Fa La La La La La La La Lunatics.

I’m lucky. There’s a general consensus in my life it’s okay to offer me advice. Grandpa Bernie used to say free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it. But he was a self-made man. I’m an entitled brat.

I’m told to cut my hair. I’m told to shave my face. When I don’t cut my hair, or shave my face, I’m told I look like an aging rock star who was never a rock star in the first place. To free advice, I say thank you.

I’m asked why I’m not dating. I’m asked why I’m not married. When my age is uncovered, and it’s revealed I’m not divorced, with a couple kids in therapy, I’m asked what’s wrong with me. To this leading question, I say thank you.

Got a private message from a friend of a friend. He told me to tone it down. In light of the national tragedy at Sandy Hook, he declared my tone as “lacking compassion, distasteful.” To this friend of a friend (who I would never choose as a friend), I say thank you.

I appreciate all of your help in diagnosing my “blind spots.”

It’s certainly no fun when your head is reeling with the thoughts of other peoples thoughts in your thoughts. Especially unwelcomed, unsolicited, icky thoughts.

But I’m lucky. ‘Tis the season. The little drummer boy has become the little bummer boy. Sadness is a lesson, life conspiring through good intentions, or questionable intentions, to offer you a turning point.

Last year, I applied to be a mediator. I was shot-down. Dad pulled me aside. He told me to give it another shot. So I doubled-down, going to The Harvard Negotiation Project, where I stepped-up my game.

Last month, I re-applied.

During the phone interview, the woman asked why I was unique. I told her at 45, it’s not so much that I’m unique, as available. She paused. Then asked if I had any questions for her. We’d spent a good part of the interview discussing the challenging “personality issues” surrounding a family run Jewish Deli. So I thought it would take some of the pressure off the seriousness of the interview to ask what she preferred: corned beef or pastrami? She said neither.

Pa Rum Pa Pum Pummeled.

‘Tis the season for movies. But it’s hard to know the difference between hype and genuine excitement. Mostly, I see movies alone, not wanting to drag anyone else along on my silly obsession with uncovering the next great story.

On Christmas Eve, my brother and I have a ritual. He takes me to his favorite place on Earth, Chinatown. And then to see a movie, of his choice. I’m lucky.

“This Is 40.” It should be called “This Is The End Of Judd Apatow’s Movie Making Career.” At some point, it’s enough: enough movie making, enough screenwriting, enough home building. Burn the blueprint, do something else.

I heard Quentin Tarantino being interviewed by Howard Stern. At the outset, I should confess, I had already decided I was going to see “Django Unchained.” But after the interview, instead of being even more excited, I was turned-off. Got the sinking feeling it’s going to be a meandering Nigger-A-Thon.

Quentin Tarantino seems too in love with the word, and himself.

It’s not only the revelation that the editor he worked with since “Pulp Fiction” has died, even though it has a lot to do with it, so much as it has to do with how much Quentin Tarantino talked about himself.

Not a Creature was Stirring Except Spike Lee’s Wrath.

Speaking of silly grudges, President Obama called-off his vacation in Hawaii so he could return to Washington and get nothing with John Boehner accomplished besides the perception he’s sacrificing himself for the greater good. Please, Mister President, don’t. I’m begging you. Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire for everyone.

As one nation under tax cuts, with temporary privileges and supreme court justices for hire, let’s all join hands and leap off the Fiscal Cliff.

Let’s pay off our debt. Let’s get on with our lives. Enough…

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13 Responses to ‘Twas The Night After Christmas

  1. Steven says:

    That made me crack up laugh when you said it is not that i’m so unique as available. There must have been a brief pause where she was thinking whether or not she felt obligated to finish the interview. What exactly were you going to be mediating? I think maybe you are too opinionated to be a mediator, I think radio show suits you better. Why not try Sirius besides Howard there really is not much talent on there. There’s my free advice.

    It’s ironic how I never really wanted to do anything (and still don’t) and now i’m on my second marriage, three kids, probably will have to have another (my new wife is only 27 and no kids)..and you always had so much energy and motivation . Maybe my life lesson was too learn how to do grownup stuff, and yours is too learn to just enjoy then moment..

    as for girls one thing that i have learned is what Nietzche says is very true..

    “Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.”

    Although it should have been;

    Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows much more frequent.

    My wife would probably get mad at that, she went to Swarthmore where they are taught to take offense to everything.

  2. Steven says:

    I know you are very sensitive, I did not mean you have done nothing. I know you have many things in your life, I just meant all the crazy responsibility stuff, like kids and wives and mortgages and coporate jobs..

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks for worrying about my feelings, Steven. It’s a rare gift you have for anticipating the back-end of how hard I take things, and punish myself with it.

      Congratulations on your 2nd marriage. At the very least, I hope the person who sang during your 1st dance as husband & wife knew the difference between singing in key and out of key.


      Got hooked-up with Mediating after I got my ass handed to me in court. The opposing attorney had a relationship with the judge. The judged ruled against every motion I brought before her court. She called me “clueless,” and used my bank account to give the opposing attorney a Christmas Bonus.


      After my ass-wupping, I took a course at The Center For Conflict Resolution, to push myself. I ended-up loving the process of Mediation.

      Every year, The Center For Conflict Resolution offers what’s called a “Mediator Mentorship Program.” I applied last year. When I didn’t get accepted the 1st time, they encouraged me to try again. So I did.

      I have to say, the 1st time I applied went way better than the 2nd time I applied. Maybe it’s a good thing. Last time, I wanted it too much. It was a big disappointment when I got turned down. This time, whatever happens…happens.

      As for the radio show, I loved doing it. But I never made any money. As for the station, instead of partnering with me, and growing the show, all they were interested in was sticking me with a bill, and taking me to court.

      The bad news about court is I got my ass handed to me. The good news about court is I discovered Mediation.

  3. Vince says:

    Steve, you are a typical corporate executive. Now in your mid 40′s, you dumped your wife for a cute 20 something piece of ass. You may get older, but the girls you like stay the same age. I get it.

    • Gregor says:

      Easy, Tiger! Everyone is so quick to attack someone else’s life choices, or happiness. I’m just glad to hear Steve has decided to let himself be happy.

      As for what I have, or haven’t done, all I can say is that’s not how life works, it’s more organic. Besides, I’m still here, figuring it out, with an open heart, trying as hard as I can.

      What else can you do?

  4. Vince says:

    OBAMA!!!!! We must see you fight. Get tough. Punch Boner in the nose. Kill the talk and walk the leap of the cliff. Lead now or resign. I want a tough ass, mean spirited, nose grinding president to get shit done.

    • Gregor says:

      This is your 2nd term, Mister President. It’s the 1st day of the end of your presidency. Go in, ALL IN.

      By the way, what’s with the raises? Seriously?!!

  5. Babs says:

    Cut him some slak. 2nd term doesn’t start until Jan 20 when he’s sworn in. So far everyone who misunderestimated him has been proiven wrong. Not only did he win, but he won BIG!! Lets see what happens. Don’t forget, he’s the President of ALL the people not just us lefties! I think, I hope, I pray, he will be a truly transformative President!

    • Gregor says:

      Really, Babs? You’re going to comment about someone else “cutting slack.” Wow! Perspective isn’t a river in Egypt. But Denial is!


      It’s time for this president to be the president of the so-called Lefites. He’s spent all his time in Washington trying to win over the so-called Righties. They ain’t interested. Ask Susan Rice.

      The best deal is no deal.

      Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone. Let’s go off the so-called Fiscal Cliff and rename it for what it really is, the Fiscal Speed Bump.

      It’s time to pay the bill. It’s come due, the bill for 2 wars funded with tax cuts. And 8-years of irrational exuberance reconfigured as irrational indifference.

      Yee-Haw, Dubya.

      Oh, and repeal the 2nd Amendment. Otherwise, blink your eyes. 20 dead kids will seem like a small number. It’s going to get worse. We can only look the other way for so long.

      My question is this: how long?

  6. Vince says:

    Who is being hard on Steve? I love Steve. He’s living the American Dream. Every Rapper or actor or famous and rich dude has multiple wives, always in the twenties. I’m jealous, that’s all.

    • Gregor says:

      I’m jealous, too. Here’s a list of all the people I’m jealous of…

      Steven for his 2nd stab at Gay Marriage. Vinny Vegas for summering in Aspen. 8Andy for his willingness to turn over all guns. Babs for her dedication to musical truth telling despite the tone deafness of her audience. Joey’s dedication of weaving his love for being in the kitchen with his behind-the-scenes tenacity as a Grandpa Bernie Businessman. Brutally Frank for his Brutally Franks. And Kayne West for getting a hot, spoiled, narcissistic bitch preggers without a prenup: 18-years, got you for 18-years, and on the 18th birthday, you’ll find out the kid isn’t yours, Kayne.

  7. vince says:

    Tucked inside the last-minute fiscal cliff package were more than a dozen tax loopholes, many of which will benefit Wall Street financial firms and some of the nation’s biggest corporations. These breaks will cost billions of dollars in the coming year, underscoring the lobbying power of corporate interests.

    The deal was less kind to the middle class. Congress permitted a cut in the payroll tax to expire, meaning that the tax burden for the average worker will increase about $1,000 in 2013.

    This shows that the lobbyists are able to get what they want even when everyone else is starving. It also shows they are best able to get what they want when no one else is paying attention.

    • Gregor says:

      I’m proud to have them raise my taxes. It’s an honor to participate in paying-off this so-called debt.

      Screw the Bozos on Wall Street. May they drown in the 3rd hot tub on the back deck of their 7th mansion.

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