"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Thursday, December 22, 2016


I really don't know why I surf the news any more. There are no surprises -- the North Carolina legislature did not repeal HB2 as promised (these are people with no morals, no ethics, no integrity, and no standards -- also known as "Republicans"); Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter have revealed themselves to be white supremacists -- again; Donald Trump has named another oligarch to his administration; Roy Moore is being considered to replace Jeff Sessions in the US Senate (I guess the governor wants to get the closest match possible -- a raving homophobe to replace a raving racist).

Happily, every once in a while you run into a story like this:

A gay couple have been receiving hundreds of letters to their apartment addressed to Santa Claus.

Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker started receiving the letters back in 2010 after they moved into their apartment on 22nd Street, Manhattan.

The pair had been warned of the letter before they moved in, with previous tenants of the apartment saying they received a handful of letters for Santa.

“They never answered them because it was only three or four letters a year,” Glaub, 36, told PEOPLE.

“And the first two years I lived there, it was that exact thing. I’d get three letters and I didn’t really think anything of it. I was like, ‘Oh, sorry — wrong number.’”

After a couple of letters trickled in the first year, the gay couple, who have now been married four years, started receive more and more.

It’s at that point they decided to start replying to the messages.

How many of us would do that? Even if it's only three or four a year. As it turned out, they received 450 letters by Christmas Day, 2010.

But wait:

The couple struggled to cope with the huge influx of letters, so set up a Facebook group and used their friendship group to reply to every letter.

They set up a Facebook group, Miracle on 22nd Street, where strangers from all over the world have taken to writing replies.

“It’s just so strange! It’s caused this global effort!” Glaub, a marketing executive, says.

“We’ve had people from Hawaii to Alaska, Germany to London, Nicaragua, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo — all helping. I guess that’s the power of social media.

“Why would a woman from Abu Dhabi care about some family from Corona, Queens? It’s amazing.”

Social media does have an upside.

And now you know the source of my optimism about humanity: I'm convinced we're hard-wired to take care of each other. Republicans are an aberration.

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