Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

As far as I'm concerned, it's not Christmas unless I get to play with kids. This year, it was a crowd, mostly orphans, from a local school here in Cuzco, Peru. We got Santa out to the courtyard to give them gifts, and then Peruvian Christmas fruitcake and homemade hot chocolate made with cinnamon, condensed milk, and cloves.

It's late, or early depending on how you look at it. Been out too late with fireworks and clubbing. As I write this, the sun is rising behind me over the town. The city lights crawl up the hills, spreading from the plaza de armas and cathedral in the middle, up to my hostel.

I can update you with details of what I've been doing later. More importantly, I just wanted to wish everybody happy holidays from down here. Spend them with someone you love. If you can't do that, spend them doing something you'll never forget.

One thing I've been thinking about a bit lately is an old black and white comedy sketch about Christmas, either WC Fields or Red Skelton, I forget which. The main character is a homeless man who is determined to spend Christmas in the warmest, most hospitable place he can get to for the holidays: the county jail. So he tries robbing someone, eating dinner without paying, and committing other various crimes, hoping to get arrested, but every time the cops come, they look at him and say "Aw shucks, it's Christmas. Let the poor guy go."

There's nothing quite in the spirit of Christmas as much as the act of giving. Sometimes what people want isn't the obvious thing. I'm not trying to say you should get your friends and family thrown in the clink. But now is a time to figure out what it is someone truly wants and give it to them. You just might be in a for a surprise.

Happy Holidays from Peru, everyone.

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  1. That is the cutest picture in the entire world, Joel. Merry Christmas and happy not getting kidnapped!

  2. Very cute picture and excellent message too. Spent part of the day here in Seattle digging out storm drains which was community service of a sort. We miss you at home, but are all living vicariously with your adventures. We're all embarrassed by how little geography we've really managed to keep in mind and are learning a lot as you travel. Hugs and love from your family.


    So you can keep up with the adventures of your theater friends as we begin the process of doing a show.

    I hope you enjoy it.


  4. Emily- Thanks! But I'd hold your judgement till you've seen some of my other sea lion shots. Maybe I'll send you some after I go meet the nice plainslothes policeman and his friends who've sent for me in their unmarked taxi. (Hey look they've even got guns to protect me with! I wonder if the balaclavas are for the holidays...)

    Anonymous- I saw those pictures! Maybe the city will get the message and at least try to rent some equipment from a county that knows what it's doing. Also, the geography thing is mutual. I'd have been hard pressed a year ago to put all the central american countries in order form north to south without looking at a map.

    Elsa- Excellent. Thanks! Not sure whether this will make my theater withdrawl symptoms better or worse though... Break a leg in any case! (I've never been clear on whether the good wish taboos for actors apply to tech and production team members too.)