Month: December 2006 Page 1 of 3

The Great Haircut of ’06

Psst!

Ray cut her hair! Lee was home with her today…she came out of the room, and he said, “What happened to your hair?”

And she said, “I don’t know!”

I had to work pretty late tonight; by the time I got home she was asleep. She woke up halfways when I went in to take a look at her. Whack! Good thing we don’t have school pictures for six months or so…but, of course, there will have to be Mom & Dad pictures…

A Big Thank You

(from my mother)

As the holidays approach, my heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me “forwards” over the past 12 months. Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy.

Extra thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat crap in the glue on envelopes, ’cause I now have to go get a wet towel every time I need to seal an envelope. Also, I scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put “Under God” on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone might drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from nor send packages by UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

I no longer eat KFC because their “chickens” are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer have any sneakers — but that will change once I receive my free replacement pair from Nike.

I no longer have to buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

I no longer worry about my soul because at last count I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.

Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time)

I no longer have any money at all – but that will change once I receive the 15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special email program.

Yes, I want to thank you so much for looking out for me that I will now return the favor!

If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 2 minutes, a large pigeon with a wicked case of diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM (CDT) this afternoon. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next-door neighbor’s ex-mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s beautician.

How to Be a Mall Santa…

…go to Santa School.

I came upon a Christmas meme

from that glorious blog of old (that is, ***Dave):

  1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Duh…where’s the chocolate?
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Hm…how do I say this? Ray believes in Santa, but he doesn’t bring specific presents. It’s a compromise.
  3. Colored lights or white on tree/house? Colored lights.
  4. Do you hang mistletoe? No; it doesn’t deserve it.
  5. When do you put your decorations up? Day after Thanksgiving.
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Cranberry relish. Or maybe green olives.
  7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
    Christmas Eve with the Bouzek Grandparents. Gingerbread, oyster stew, Uncle Dave pretending to be Santa Claus. Christmas was usually a boring occaision with too many adults. For a long time, I liked Thanksgiving better than Christmas, but after I had Ray, that changed.
  8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Not until I had Ray and she was old enough to have to think about it…is there a Santa? Of course there is.
  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Just one.
  10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Until it’s done…but we put it away on January 1st or thereabouts.
  11. Snow, love it or dread it? I used to love it. Now, I love to look at it, but that’s about it.
  12. Do you know how to ice skate? Yep. Hockey skates and cow ponds. I miss skating with Howard & Claire’s kids. I never did get good at it, though.
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift? An entire jar of olives in my stocking. No, really.
  14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Since Ray was born, I’m just grateful the three of us are together.
  15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Not pie. Pie was always fraught with tension. Who gets what pie? I hate having people fight over food. Food isn’t for fighting over…besides, I’m really only all that enthusiastic about pecan pie. My favorite Christmasy dessert is the various and creative types of cookies. I love gingerbread cookies.
  16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Driving around, looking at Christmas lights. I never get over it.
  17. What tops your tree? Nothing, yet. I haven’t found anything I like. But we have lots of cute ornaments.
  18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving.
  19. Favorite Christmas Song? The twelve days of Christmas, but there’s a particular version I want, and I don’t know who sings it! It’s the one where the “partridge in a pear treee” ends in a doodle-di-do! and the last verse is double-time.
  20. Favorite flavor of Candy Canes? Er…actually, I’m not much on candy canes. Too messy. But the mint ones are OK to put in cocoa.

Book Review: The Final Solution

A Story of Detection, by Michael Chabon

Another Sherlock Holmes pastiche, but a lot more interesting. Holmes is almost ninety, and England is a war with Nazi Germany. (He’s never named; he’s just “the old man.”) Watson is nowhere on scene, never mentioned; Holmes lives alone and raises bees.*

Okay, that’s pretty much as much as I’m going to tell you. Plot gripping, themes of age compelling, a chapter convincingly written from the POV of a parrot, the plots and subplots come directly from the nature of the characters themselves, etc.

“The old man settled himself onto one knee. The left one; the right knee was no good for anything anymore. It took him a damnably long time, and on the way down there was a horrible snapping sound. But he managed it and went about his work with dispatch. He pulled off his right glove and poike his naked finger into the bloody mud where Richard Woolsey Shane’s life had seeped away. Then he reached into the old conjuror’s pocket sewn into the lining of his cloak and took out his glass. It was brass and tortoise shell, and bore around its bezel and affectionate inscription from the sole great friend of his life.”

The rest of this is about Michael Chabon in general.

I like reading Michael Chabon, but I don’t ever intend to read anything he’s written more than once; I usually come away with the hair on the back of my neck standing straight out. There’s usually a story within the story, one that you don’t find out until the last few paragraphs. A story about divorce conceals the psychology of a serial killer. Little old half-blind grandmothers of your ex know more than they should, and lie about it. Houses and souls are sold…

Anyway. I really like the guy’s books, and I intend to work my way through them, but I can’t do it very often. A literary-horror crossover…I don’t know. Maybe he’s written something that doesn’t make me want to run screaming from the darkness underlying everytyhing (a writer who can see Cthulu lurking just under the surface of a suburban housewife’s blank gaze), but I haven’t come across it yet.

*There’s a point to the bees, but I won’t tell you what it is; it’s important.

Philosophy of Dirt

Here’s my philosophy of cleaning:

A clean place to make a new mess.

Book Review: The Italian Secretary

(A Further Adventure of Sherlock Holmes), by Caleb Carr

The plot is amiss in this book. The mystery is revealed 2/3 of the way through the book! But the characters…Caleb Carr defines Sherlock Holmes in terms of his relationship with his older brother, Mycroft. Very interesting. The book’s much more of a psychological study than it is a mystery. Why does Holmes solve mysteries? Why is he such a snot? These questions and more are answered…

But it isn’t the book I wanted to read. I wanted to read a book by Susannah Clark about Sherlock Holmes and the Spiritualist movement, which Conan Doyle was involved in, later in his lfe.

De’s Pecan Pie

It’s my own invention. I was trying to make pecan pie that tasted like these cajun spiced nuts I’d made before. You think it would be spicy, but it’s not–the cayenne works to bring out the taste of the butter and honey. The only time I noticed I’d used it was walking up four flights of stairs: Phew, it was too hot all of a sudden.

2 9-inch pie shells
1 1/2 c. white sugar
3/4 c. honey
3/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted to a liquid
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. salt
2 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prick pie shells in several places with a fork and bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. In a large bowl, combine everything else. Mix well and pour into pie shells. Bake in oven on top of jelly roll pan (there will be overboil) for 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and cover edges of crust with tinfoil. I took the pies out when they had about 2-3 inches of looseness in the center (the edges had set), and they were just about perfect.

White Elephant

Ramble. People who know me should be surprised; I may not be a liberal, but I’m not a conservative.

We had a potluck/white elephant at work today. There’s a guy that sits across the cube wall from the Tech Pubs area, a real bastion of conservatism, who’s been teasing everyone about being gay and watching Brokeback Mountain. One of my coworkers bought the movie, wrapped it up, and managed to get him to pick it out of the pile. A seemingly-unending stream of teasing, both toward the guy and from him, ensued.

It’s hard to say what I’m trying to say here, this paradox I’m trying to grasp. When I first started working at my job, this guy really pissed me off. The more I listen to him (and there isn’t much choice), the more I realize how different this unending stream of giving people crap is from the conservatism I grew up with. Even more so the conservatism in Iowa.

His sense of humor is loud; it’s annoying; it’s repetitive. But it’s not vicious or violent or even taken for granted: you can’t imagine the guy finding out someone is gay and arranging to have the shit beaten out of him because people don’t do that. No, gay people (much like the ACLU, which has received a Christmas card with the baby Jesus from him again this year) are just a target of crap…an increased level of crap, but that’s about it. Give him the choice between making fun of a French person and a drag queen, and he’d cheerfully say the two are synonymous and wallow in it…all in all, it’s a relief. It’s not the barely concealed hate I grew up with, well, not for gay people, but for other groups. Gay people weren’t even talked about when I was growing up, because they didn’t exist. The elephant in the living room that nobody sees…

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