Handing Off

December 31, 2008

Haven’t we all eaten enough cookies, pondered enough examples of The True Meaning of Christmas, and separated out from the newsprint enough glossy advertising pages that don’t go in the recycling bag? my pastor asked on Sunday. Indeed, I thought. And haven’t my notify list members and the Holidailies participants and my Facebook friends responded to enough opportunities to read my prose? Isn’t it time to go forth and live the Gospel principles or enact the renewal practices other traditions teach, instead of just thinking about them?

So, what to do when you’ve written 30 posts in 30 days, reviewed the content and maybe made some cosmetic improvements to about a hundred more, found that you repeat yourself more than is reasonable, and just have not the will to compose an essay that will take a penetrating look at some aspect of the modern world that you find compelling? Why, you present a link round-up!

Here are two places on the Internet where I find refuge from the blinking cursor at the end of a sentence that really needs to be rewritten. They make me laugh, they give me a break, and, when I see myself in some of the foibles presented, remind me not to take myself so seriously.

Cake Wrecks posts pictures and commentary about cakes from professional (or at least commercial) bakeries that are unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, or inappropriate. From misspellings to mishearings (“and I want sprinkles on the bottom” carefully written out under “Happy Birthday”) to the just plain bizarre (a baby shower cake with an icing representation of a naked woman flat on her back and a baby emerging from . . . well, you get the idea), each example is both a cautionary tale (don’t give your order over the phone) and a reminder that maybe we can go overboard on our celebrations of life’s important moments (“Good luck at your parole hearing!”)

Passive-Aggressive Notes presents collected examples of “painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings from shared spaces the world over.” Here you’ll find the notes that turn up in workplace break rooms from the one person who is tired of cleaning the microwave or the coffee maker, or the person whose lunch has been pilfered one time too many. I especially liked the Christmas card from former neighbors that extended holiday wishes to “Vicki, Tony, Linda, Tom, Rita, and forgot” (submitted by Linda, Tom, and Rita’s little sister, Gloria).

And that’s it for 2008. See you on the other side.


A year ago, I answered questions about 2007 in an end-of-year meme.

Two years ago, I discovered my Six Goals of a Quality Life articulated both my regrets for 2006 and my hopes for 2007.

Three years ago, I did not post on New Year’s Eve.

Four years ago, I wrote about keeping a commonplace.

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margaretdeangelis [at] gmail [dot] com (replace the brackets with @ and a period)