I had a great idea for an end of the year post. I was going to cheat. Not really write a post, but still have fun and make it fun for my readers! I was going to put People, Places and Things On Notice, by category. Like this...
I had all kinds of ideas for On Notice boards. But, I'm busy judging cookies, and hating Connecticut and warding off evil spirits, and I don't have the will. So, I'm going to take a cue from Time Magazine and say it all on one board...
Yes, you deserve to be put On Notice. And you know who YOU are.
Here's to wishing that 2007 is a whole lot better than 2006, for everyone.
Milo of The Calm Before The Sand stopped by here last week and left a nice comment, and I've noticed that he's been surfing the blogosphere of those nearanddear to me, so I thought I'd click over his way and see what he was up to. He's been up to some beautiful writing...
Monday, December 11, 2006
I dreamt last night that I was back in Germany, walking with my wife.
We were in Heidelberg for the holidays, crowded and baroque, with its cobbled streets and alleyways lined with shops. We were bundled up against the cold, and as we walked down the snow-dusted sidewalks our breaths formed mist in the evening air. We talked gaily of art and music and politics, detouring at one point into a coffee shop for cappucino. We smiled at the clerk and placed our requests in German, and after paying with a few euro coins, fished from our pockets, we switched back into English, walking out of the shop and staring at the brightly-lit window displays. The warm drinks were soothing, and they only seemed to enhance the rosy glow in Anne's cheeks as she spoke.
It was snowing out, and in Heidelberg's Old Town the Weinachtmarkten--Winter Night Markets--were out in their full holiday bustle. Christmas trees, glowing bright, lined the red-brick courtyards, and in front of the Old City Hall a live band had set up shop, performing jazz renditions of old Christmas classics. A young Turkish woman in a stunning red dress sang smokily in English of sleigh bells ringing. The benches surrounding the impromptu stage were nearly full, so we decided to take seats near the edge of the yard. Giving in to our impulses, we elected to stop at yet another vendor's booth; this time for potato-bacon soup and mugs of hot gluhwein.
Turning to find ourselves a bench, my wife stopped me and laughed. She smiled warmly. What, I asked her. Nothing, she said, you're cute, and brushed snow out of my spiked-up hair. I wrinkled my nose and grinned as the wet droplets landed across my cheeks and nose, and after I stole a kiss we sat down, finding a seat next to a group of middle-aged Germans, who paused briefly to make room for us before returning to their conversations...
...I shivered a bit and took another sip of my gluhwein. The heat and cinnamon burned a bit in my throat, and I remember the strong tartness of the plums. The band changed tunes at this point, moving onto a sultry rendition of Bing Crosby. The woman leading the band smiled and crooned with a voice that would have made Ella or Billie a tad jealous, and the rose-red of her lips glistened invitingly under the stage lights.
"That poor girl," my wife said. "I mean, don't get me wrong, she's beautiful, and that's a lovely dress. But how is she not freezing?"
I shrugged. "You never know," I responded. I craned my neck over my wife's shoulder, feigning an attempt to get a better look. I smirked.
"She doesn't LOOK happy to see me, but hey."
"Milo!" She slapped my arm, just hard enough to sting. She feigned outrage, but returned my smirk coyly.
"Oh come on now," I said to her. "The punchline was there! Don't tell me you wouldn't have taken the shot."
Now it was her turn to go on the defensive. "I didn't say that", she grinned, pursing her lips and raising her eyebrow at me in a way that even now never fails to get me riled up. We stared at each other smugly for a moment before our mutual resolve finally broke. She laughed openly, kissing her thumb and planting it on my lips. I returned the gesture. She grinned shyly, cocking her head and brushing that errant lock of blond hair out of her face.
"I know." I shrugged.
"But I love you."
"I love you more."
"And I'm so lucky to have you here with me."
"I'm the lucky one."
She shook her head and stared at her hands. She was just sliding over into tipsy, and I gazed in admiration at the way it softened her mannerisms; raised the pitch of her voice ever so gently. She looked back up at me after a moment, smiling, and as she did leaned across the table to kiss me full on the mouth. I savored the momentary mingling of lips and tongues, and as she pulled away she grinned again, slowly, a hint of lust just peeking out from out the corner of her mouth.
"It's good to be your wife," she told me.
"It's even better to be your husband."
"Merry Christmas, baby."
"Merry Christmas, love." We kissed again, rubbing noses as we pulled back, grinning. The young woman on stage continued to sing with her dusky alto. "I'll be home for Christmas," she breathed sensuously.
"If only in my dreams."
I didn't snip things because I didn't like them. I snipped them because I want you to click over and read the whole thing here. And then read the rest of his posts. They're just great. What a wonderful writer.
We were the first to arrive at my mom's house Christmas Eve. Although she said she was going to be more restrained this year in her gift giving, there were presents in a twelve foot diameter under the tree.
My sister and her family showed up. She has two daughters, Shnookums being just six. Little Shnooky with the huge round blue eyes and Shirley Temple ringlets, ran in and jumped up on the chair closest to the tree. Her long, skinny legs swinging to the Christmas carol that was playing on the stereo.
Look at all those presents, Little Shnooks! I said.
I know, she giggled.
Too bad Nana just said before you guys got here that we should wait till tomorrow to open all of them.
Here eyes grew wider and she went to say something, but bit her lip.
My stepfather chimed in, Yeah, too bad. No presents for anyone today. I think it would be better if we just sat around watching football and eating spinach dip.
That's ok, Little Shnook, Shnook said. Because I know what the true meaning of Christmas is. And she emphasised that by raising her hand in the air and pointing to nothing in particular.
What's the true meaning of Christmas?
The true meaning of Christmas is not all the presents. The true meaning of Christmas is just being together with your family.
That's so true, Shnookums. I bet we can figure out a way to open the presents right now! Why don't you start separating all the presents!
And with that she and her sister ran to the tree and started making piles of everyone's gifts.
When they were done, Shnookums ran up to me and whispered in my ear. Look how many I have!
I know! You must've been a good girl this year!
I was, she giggled.
For the next hour or so, it was a chaotic madhouse, paper ripping and ribbons flying and ooohs and ahhhs all around. While my stepfather did his normal Christmas Eve routine. Can't let one piece of paper lay on the floor too long! Gotta get it up and into a garbage bag within two second of it hitting the floor!
My mom was getting all the food out in the kitchen when Shnooks ran up to me and said, Look Aunt Blue Girl! I hid one of my presents behind that chair! I still have one left to open later. No one else thought of that but me!
You are so smart!
So, as everyone was eating and talking, I noticed my niece, the little Shirley Temple lookalike over under the tree all by herself with that last gift. And she was just sitting there on the floor, in her red velvet Christmas dress holding that last package on her lap, talking to herself...
Last year, I got a lot of toys. But, this year I got a lot of clothes. Heavy sigh. This year I only got two toys. I know this box is a rectangle. I bet there's only clothes in it...
And with that, she let out another huge sigh and ripped into that package like there was no tomorrow.
Jeddie Ningo, my buddy, and I having been working on a little project together the last couple of weeks. It was a little musical experiment, done long distance and really a lot, a lot of fun. For the last ten years or so, I've sort of let the musical side of me fade away. But, when I discovered the blogosphere and then began reading Jeddie's wonderful music posts, my passion returned. I had the easy part. I just sang the song. Jeddie had to play the guitar, add all the bells, whistles and horns and then mix it. He did a wonderful job. And so did The Skimmer, who created the artwork for our musical collaboration. Thanks to you both.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you all have the best one ever.
Have I ever told you all how much I love Res Publica? I do. I love him to pieces. Since the first second I saw him over at Mannion's place long ago using some swear word in his comment, I knew he was some sort of soulmate. I yelled at him for using that nasty word in his comment and then he came right back at me and blamed Jeddie Ningo for it (because Jeddie had used the same word - shocker!) and then he...
*ran away sobbing.*
Then I left another comment...
Don't cry! Come back! Come back!
It's strange to me how connections are made on the Internets. And I don't mean the cable kind. I mean the heartfelt kind. The Oh, I *get* this person kind. And they these connections seem to happen almost instantly. It's a cool thing.
Res taught me how to IM a couple weeks back. Wasn't that hard and it was really fun. Especially when I mentioned something about Phil Collins and this was Res's response...
PHIL COLLINS!!!!!!! A-HA-A-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!! A-HA-A-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, shut up! How did you get your type so big like that? I want to do it!
Do this. Do that.
I don't have a this or that!
Well, you can't do it then, can you?
We've been talking on the phone a lot lately because of the Bake-off. And he's just as nice and funny on the phone as he is when he blogs or IMs. Well, he's not always nice when he blogs or IMs, but I love him even more for that.
We're both cacklers. Well, I'm a cackler, he's got a more smooth kind of laugh. But, he does it a lot when he's talking and I know I do that, too. And I cackle a lot because of him.
I just finished reading his take on Adorable Girlfriend and The Uncanny Canadian's Bake-off entries, but first he had to rip some poor Food Network woman to shreds...
Did anyone see the Christmas episode of the loathsome Sandra Lee’s
Semi-Homemade on the Food Network last night? Does Sandra have a
drinking problem? I think she might, because that show was insane in the membrane
and basically all about booze. She made all those horrifying cocktails
with white chocolate liqueur and frangelico and fucking butterscotch schnapps (can you IMAGINE anything more barftacular?); when she frosted the rim of that glass with coconut,
I threw up a little in my mouth. Then she went off on that insane rant
about her collection of nutcrackers, telling us each one’s name (that’s
right, their names, like “this is Klaus, and he’s from Germany! He’s a school teacher!!”). The tree was the kicker, though. Did you see that madness? Her Christmas tree theme was “cocktails”!
As in, she decorated it by hanging a bunch of glasses on it! Martini
glasses, wine glasses, shot glasses, hurricane glasses, etc., etc. She
decorated her Christmas tree with booze, people. It was the ugliest and
most unambiguously mentally ill thing I’ve ever seen, and I know
Midniter, so that’s really saying something.
Then onto AG and UC's cookies...
White Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
SCORE! These tasty little dreidels were especially popular with the
First Boyfriend here at the Presidential Palace of the Republic of
Dogs. We both enjoyed them immensely. The cookie has a good buttery
taste and a texture that balances nicely between crisp and tender. But
fuck the cookie! Who am I kidding? It’s the filling that we wanted to
rub all over each other and then lick off. That shit was DA BIZZOMB,
and we demand the recipe! We’re gonna get all Hugo Chavez and
nationalize that recipe.
Cackle,cackle.Double, triple,quadruple cackle!
What’s on these? I have decided that I love them. A lot.
Midniter had mixed feelings, but he’s so routinely wrong that I don’t
really pay attention any more. They have a subtle spicy smokiness that
I really like. They could be a little crunchier, but I’m sure that
wasn’t a problem when they were fresh. I could pop them in the oven to
refresh them. If I wasn’t so busy stuffing them into my eat-hole. Have
I mentioned how much I love nuts?
No, you've never actually come right out and said how much you love nuts, but I just kind of figured that was a no brainer. Cackling with tears!
Last weekend, he left comments on one of my posts that were priceless (I'm going to edit out the gross word he used though! For shame!) ...
Your underling? Someone's feeling bold. Or been drinking.
Can we please clean up the language people?
Don't say gross words on my blog. Santa's watching.
Res. I'm sorry. But, that made me laugh too hard not to post it so it could be filed away for all eternity!
p.s. I'm drinking Champagne.
Champagne, how charming. I'm drinking cognac on the rocks. And by "on
the" I mean "from the bottle". And by "rocks" I mean "with pills".
Res is a gift. A true gift. I just couldn't imagine having a better underling. But! If he doesn't stop saying gross, nasty words on my blog, my last act of being Queen will be having him thrashed relentlessly.
I have my own little personal Christmas tradition. I've been doing it for years. A few days before Christmas, late in the evening, after everyone is in bed, I pour a glass of wine, turn out all the lights, sit in the living room, stare at the tree, ponder life and listen to Joni Mitchell's Blue.
I was going to continue on by saying ... please don't think I'm obsessed with the color blue. Me choosing to listen to that album in peace and quiet, with the room all aglow is simply a fluke, but then I remembered...
I always listen to Joni Mitchell's Blue.
We've always decorated our house outside with nothing but blue lights.
We met friends a few weeks back to celebrate the holidays and the election, and I chose the restaurant. Blue Pointe.
So, while I still don't feel that I'm obsessed with the color blue, I guess I've always been destined to be a blue girl.
I haven't done my little tradition yet this year. I haven't been in the mood. Life's been a little topsy-turvy. Maybe it's the weather. It's more Thanksgiving outside to me than it is Christmas. Maybe it's that my son is older now and I didn't buy a thousand and one toys. Santa's bringing him a big ticket item this year and just a few little accessories. And while I know he's going to love it, the thought that he won't have tons of pretty red packages, all wrapped in the same Santa paper under the tree on Christmas morning sort of depresses me. Makes me blue.
I woke up this morning, more in the Christmas spirit, only wishing I had more time. I still have a lot to do -- I still have almost everything to do -- so I'll be Christmassing throughout the day and late into the evening.
And tonight, around ten o'clock, I plan to pour a glass of wine, put on Joni Mitchell and ponder life.