I must say I am somewhat shocked and surprised – but not yet astonished – by how many visitors this, my new blog, has seen.  I see many familiar faces from the now legendary JournalSpace diaspora. But I see an unexpected number of new faces, too.

My new friends are asking me some of the same questions my old friends asked me when they first encountered the grandure of my bearing.  That isn’t a another way of saying they were shocked by how overweight I am. That is not what I am saying.  To be honest, I could use to lose a few pounds.  But who couldn’t, especially after the holiday season when we cannot escape from running into food that we really aught not eat?

But I digress.  I have recently been asked “what happened that made you this way?”

I am forced by habit and custom to interpret questions like this to mean “what are the forces in your life that shaped the man you are today?”  I, too, have asked myself this very same question many, many times.  The answer is always the same: my family made me what I am today.

In particular, it is the family traditions handed down from generation to generation that have engendered the – person – that writes these words.  And no time are my family traditions more apparent  than at the start of a new year.

I am not sure how it started or why, but it has become a tradition throughout my family that, on or before New Years Day, we share with each other photos or videos of our pets eating.  You may find this strange, but it is a tradition, okay? And that makes it worth respecting.  Traditions are the bedrock of moral values, and it is moral values that made America great.

My Great  Aunt Hilda has a pet snake.  A really big one.  This is a vid of her snake, Princess Precious, eating a rabbit.





[Thank God this video no longer exists.]

From my family to yours, have a very happy new year.  When all is said and done, we are only that which is reflected in the collective face of our family.

Which is why I’ve taken steps to cut myself off  from mine.  I have a big family. It is going to take time.




  1. Nice to hear others are getting to enjoy your wisdom.


  2. paulboylan Says:

    I made all that up. I am totally alone here.

    And that is VERY funny in a Hobbesian/Kafkaesque/post-modern sense. And that’s what counts.

    The being funny part is what counts. Not the coincidental and ultimately unimportant analysis of what makes it funny. That doesn’t count at all.


  3. paulboylan Says:

    Well, sure, it counts, but not as much as laughing. Laughter without analysis is priceless, whereas analysis without laughter is pointless.

    But when analysis makes you laugh? It doesn’t get much better than that.


  4. nymphsreply Says:

    Valid point. But laughing while analyzing will get you strange looks.
    Unless your laughter is infectious…or very quiet.
    Hmm… too many variables.


  5. Well… you can have my New Year’s Family Tradition of pretty much ignoring the rest of the family outside your own home. My lot seem to like it.

    The food thing, though — heh. We’re lucky here. Most of Australia swelters in 90+ degrees on Christmas Day. Of course, being transplanted Brits, it used to be mandatory to stuff yourself on roasted wildlife until your bowels jammed shut and your heart exploded. But Darwin gradually sorted out that little ritual, and a surprising number of surviving Australians have opted for things like cold seafood, picnics, barbecues and salads in place of Whole Roast Suckling Irishman Garnished With Sheep.

    I did roast a small ham with lovely new potatoes and sweet potato and pumpkin for Christmas – but it’s Tasmania, and it was cool outside, and we didn’t try to eat the entire ham in one sitting after the manner of Princess Popsy the Python…


  6. I couldn’t watch it, it seemed too creepy.


  7. Happy new year Mr Boylan. Good to see you’ve survived the apocolypse

    I think I prefer eating rabbit to snake, although a pie with a bit of each could be well worth trying.


  8. Oh no, I couldn’t watch it. How awful. Poor little bunny. 😥 I guess snakes have to eat too but bunnies??? 😥


  9. pixietrixx Says:

    You have a Happy New Year too 🙂

    I didn’t watch the video, I probably would have gotten a little sick haha 🙂


  10. I watched it. Meh. All the Giant Spaghetti Monster’s creatures have to eat. How many defenceless heads of lettuce and innocent carrots did the rabbit eat to become that big. Eh?

    Happy New Year, and remember, the family you avoid doesn’t always have to be your own…

    To quote the great philosopher David Letterman, “I have no idea what that means.”


  11. paulboylan Says:

    Folks, as far as I am concerned, we are back. This isn’t JS by a longshot. Perhaps nothing will ever equal that accidental convergence of mind and spirit. But this place is beginning to provide the same ambiance for me.

    Doug – I had no sympathy for the rabbit. It was clearly created to be prey. But. in all honestly, I was utterly amazed and horrified by the preternatural speed and ruthless efficiency that snake displayed.

    Pixie – When I found that vid (okay, I admit that it wasn’t sent to me by a distant relative as part of a dysfunctional family tradition) I found hundreds and hundreds of vids of pet snakes eating other animals, sometimes alive. As Doug pointed out, snakes gotta eat, and I am comfortable with that reality, but what bothers me is the fetish aspect I discovered centering on watching it happen. In the 1970’s I was acquainted with a number of intravenous drug users. They seemed obsessed with showing people their “works” and many even wanted others to watch them shoot up. This Youtube snakes-eating-pets phenom has the same sick vibe to it.

    Betty – you have no idea what a pleasure it is to be greeted by your your avatar when I view comments. You have such a beautiful face.

    Believe it or not, I had you in mind when I decided to post that vid. So many were simply repulsive and I thought “that would upset Betty.” So I picked one that only showed the snake striking, but no actual eating. Still, I understand why you didn’t view it at all.

    Simon! Welcome, you magnificent bastard! A couple of days ago I told someone about the “Bedak White Tail” breed you are developing.

    I’ve eaten both rabbit and snake with pleasure. A pie of both is an interesting concept. I envision curry as a component.

    Kate – As I commented to Betty, I more than understand. I posted it expecting most not to view it. The nature of true horror is what is imagined, not what is seen.

    Flinthart – I swear, every time you describe Tasmania, it sounds like paradise to me. “We’re lucky here” seems to be an understatement.

    Here in Northern California, we are carnivores and we very much enjoy wild game of every sort. If it moves and it can fit on a grill, then it is a candidate for dinner. But, like you, we don’t do the English Mountains of Meat thing. I understand why my British brethren are culturally conditioned to do it, but I am glad I am culturally conditioned to prefer the Nor Cal variation on the Mediterranean diet.

    Nymph – Although I enjoy your youthful confusion (it prove you are human, after all) I am nevertheless trepidatious over your intellectual promise.


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