A Cotuit Christmas

Santa came to Cotuit yesterday, arriving on the Fire Department’s boat around 4 pm under grey skies from the southeast, on the wind, rolling into the town dock where about three hundred excited kids and parents greeted him with great pleasure and enthusiam. I got off the water from my first (and perhaps only) row of December just in time to shower and change and make it down to the dock for the happy occasion.

I stood on the beach and shot some video; Daphne took the Nikon so the photos are better than usual. I met the one other Cotuit blogger I know of, Paul Rifkin, and we chatted until the great event began.

Santa walked up the hill to the village park where he sat in his throne, was blessed by Reverend Nicole, and then ignited the village Christmas tree which I can see from my reading porch.

My buddy Chris drove people around the village in his dump truck filled with hay bales then came over for a dinner of braised short ribs (from the Balthazar cookbook), roast potatoes, salad, and cranberry and apple pie.

Whereabouts week of Dec. 7

Monday – Dec. 8 through the end of the year …. Cotuit. No travel for me until CES (Still need to get approved for Vegas, but sounds like I’ll need to be there) in early January. This is homefire time — stay close to home, lots of Lenovo conference calls and projects, a few social roadtrips off the Cape to see friends, Xmas parties, but no airplanes for the next three weeks. And as Martha Stewart says, “That’s a good thing.”

I planted close to 400 spring bulbs today, in the rain, in the sleet, in the snow, in the mud. Every year I hold off on buying the tulips, etc. until it is so late the nurseries and garden shops are ready to toss them in the dumpster. Then I swoop in, getting them for half-price or better. And bury them in trenches around the flower beds and rose gardens. No delicate one-bulb-at-a-time crap. No sir. Dig a hole six inches deep, empty contents in wheelbarrow, up end a bag of fifty bulbs into the hole, stand everything pointy side up, dump the wheelbarrow on top, smooth it over and think thoughts of tucking little bombs of joy away for four months. It too is a good thing when Farch (F$%king March) ends and the cruelest month of all, April starts to tease.

Have to say I was in an awful grey funk all day today. Almost a physical depression that kept me off the erg and that tried to drive me to the couch for a few hours of fetal position therapy. I rallied and took the dogs for a beach walk in the snow, bundled up in my waxed Filson’s parka, fingerless gloves, the whole nine yards of inclement weather get up. Came home and wished there was something cooking, but there was not, so I camped with my Kindle, worked through some more Shadow Country and felt further blue that I can’t write novels as remarkable at Matthiessen.

Oh well. Enough self-pity.Monday is a coming and this is actually a week of productivity I look forward to.

“Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money” – The Atlantic

Gao Xiqing is the president of the China Investment Corporation, a Duke educated attorney, who established the Chinese securities and exchange system and now, in his current role, controls a huge amount of Chinese capital, capital invested in a lot of American debt.

We spent some time together in August during the Olympics but we didn’t talk economics — mostly sports. In the current Atlantic Monthly the best American journalist writing about China, James Fallows, interviews Gao. I highly recommend it.

“People, especially Americans, started believing that they can live on other people’s money. And more and more so. First other people’s money in your own country. And then the savings rate comes down, and you start living on other people’s money from outside. At first it was the Japanese. Now the Chinese and the Middle Easterners.

“We—the Chinese, the Middle Easterners, the Japanese—we can see this too. Okay, we’d love to support you guys—if it’s sustainable. But if it’s not, why should we be doing this? After we are gone, you cannot just go to the moon to get more money. So, forget it. Let’s change the way of living. [By which he meant: less debt, lower rewards for financial wizardry, more attention to the “real economy,” etc.]”

“Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money” – The Atlantic (December 2008).