In my first Christmas wish list I came up with a few years ago I unfortun-
ately got a little bit carried away. Last year I tried to do better, but
for some reason things got a little bit weird in spite of my best efforts.
Not to mention that I never did get Fairza Balk and a pony anyway.

So this year I think I will sincerely try to keep things low-key, more
in the spirit of the terrible recession we are in.

The first present I would like from Santa is the Harmonia Mundi 50th
Anniversary box set, which includes an incredible number of works
ranging from Byzantine chant to Jean-Baptiste Lully to Arvo Part. The
30 CDs are I imagine enough music to keep me busy for the rest of my

There, that's not so bad, is it? Of course if I'm going to be listening to
that much music I probably will be listening to quite a bit of it at night.
And, since I have to think of the neighbors and must be considerate, and
since I don't want to sit at the computer all the time, what I really need
is something like a Sony MP3 player. That way I can just lay down on the
couch with my MP3 and earphones and not bother anybody.

Now if I am laying on the couch listening to music late at night I imagine
that I will have to get up every once in a while. And since turning the
lights on and off is a pain in the ass, and since I don't want to wake my
new puppy up, what would be cool to have is a pair of those nifty night
vision goggles like the Army guys wear.

Come to think of it, it might be kind of boring using those cool night
vision goggles just in my apartment. What would be really exciting is
walking around my neighborhood in the middle of the night with them
on like some sort of Ninja. So I guess I'll wish for a ninja outfit.

And of course I might as well go for the ninja sword too.

I have to be realistic here. If I'm going to be walking around at night in
Browne's Addition dressed like a ninja, chances are that sooner or later
I'm going to be picked up by the cops — no matter how stealthy I am. So
I think I'm going to need a good lawyer. And in my book there's never
been a better lawyer than Perry Mason.

You know, it just occurred to me that Perry Mason is a fictional character.
So he probably wouldn't be much help getting me out of jail. So I think I
had better reconsider some of this. Let's just go back to the night goggles.

I still think those are really cool. But there's got to be a use for night
vision goggles other than avoiding puppy poop or going back to the
restroom or getting arrested in Browne's Addition.

Well, I'm just stuck. So I think what I'll do is thank the stars for my new
Christmas puppy, Sasha. And for my mom and sister and nephews and
my bro John and all the other people who I am fortunate enough to have in
my life. And for the roof over my head and some food in the refrigerator.
I think that is enough, really. In fact, that's just about everything.

Although I could use a ham.