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Way Back Machine Activate: Form of a Sparkling Christmas Picante-corn!

Updated: Mar 21

Cancer journey co-pilot's log star date 12/22/23. This is my first Christmastime without my co-pilot riding beside me in the captain's sleigh-chair. We didn't celebrate many holidays, but Christmas was one of them. Thanks to several deaths in the family over the years, we kept the holiday pretty simple and we loved it that way, honestly. The only bummer was hanging one less stocking each year as two of our Littles (Kara's nickname for our pugs), Iggy Sancho and Fiona Marie, shuffled off the canine mortal coil and reunited in Undiscovered Treat Country.

This year, after losing my co-pilot and the third of our Littles, Cooper Duper, in a span of four months, I will put out no stockings, no wreath, no Charlie Brown-style little tree. Instead, I will think of the gift I was given in the form of the otherworldly she-creature you are about to see if you click the red button below.

It is especially hard not to make comparisons at this time of year. So what the hell, I'll make one for illustrative purposes. Not really a competitive comparison, so much as a reminder that there is more than way to look at a familiar situation. So for example... There are times when I look at people who seem to be well-off--in terms of wealth, status, a living partner or spouse--and wonder if they really have that much more than me. (Some of them seem downright miserable.) After all, I have lived through an extraordinary story arc with my co-pilot--one that continues as I search for a new direction. And for all my flaws as her fellow adventurer, I have looked at Kara as a mystery of radiant humanity throughout the 34 years we have been together. That counts for something, a lot of somethings, that I managed to recognize this through all the changes in our co-piloting. So, Merry Christmas to me.

Kara Picante and Mr. Picante forever.

You can certainly see this radiance in Kara's Christmas video that she made for U.S. Air Guitar three years ago. At the time, like many air guitar spouses (when it's not air guitar season), I remember working in another part of the house and thinking, "Wow, what the hell is that and why is she cranking it up so loud?" Then I go down to the basement and see the Yuletide version of what Kara called her "Picante-corn" rocking out. Watching her shredding Seuss-style, you would never guess she felt as terrible (chemo and five months of abscesses up ahead) yet determined as she did to get this fairy-tale holiday greeting into the ether.

Another present under the air tree: These recordings that capture her weird, neon-bright, gift-that-keeps-on-giving, rock 'n' roll spirit.

Until next time.

--Charles Austin Muir

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Jessica Dover
Jessica Dover
Dec 23, 2023

Lolll, I love Ruby’s contribution at the end😂

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If it ain't Cooper, it's got to be Ruby!

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