Thursday, November 30, 2006


Here is the best listing of the tv specials that I could find on quick notice. We missed Charlie Brown, but that is because they showed it in early June and we just weren't prepared. Sheesh. At least wait until December! I guess network can't compete with cable.

I'm not necessarily a big fan of the famous Christmas movies. I've never even seen "It's a Wonderful Life" all the way through. "Bad Santa" is up on my Netflix queue, though. A classic in the making?

If anything, I remember Christmas scenes in movies that aren't necessarily Christmas-y. Harry Potter always has something festive in his films. "Little Women" has a lovely Christmas moment. All the Austen films have some Michaelmas talk. There is the Christmas tension in movies like in "Ordinary People" and "About a Boy" and that thing with Sarah Jessica Parker that I saw last year...that looked funny and then Diane Keaton dies.

The big debate in my household is whether to let the children see "The Polar Express" or not...I've heard it can plant the seeds of doubt. And there is already a sprig growing here. We also are dubious about "The Nightmare Before Christmas". My son would love it, because he is just that sort of death-obsessed violent freako that Tim Burton would enjoy as a dinner guest. But my daughter is a sensitive flower...we'll just have to see.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One can hope. This guy is from Macon, GA so he really was dreaming.

Monday, November 27, 2006

And thus begins the 12 Days of My Kind of Christmas, or Jingle Belle, or A Concerted Effort to Keep Organized and Not Too Anxious This Here Holiday Season.


The Fresh Market's "Christmas Traditions" coffee is a favorite from way back. They call it "Christmas Blend" now, due to some trademark issue, but it still tastes the same. Even people who don't like flavoured coffees like this one. Even girls who gave up coffee because of salmonella poisoning and its ongoing health problems will be brewing some come December 1.

Whilst the Slate reviewer hates it, I still think Silk Nog is the bomb. I like making French toast with it, and I feel good about serving it to my family versus pouring up a glass of high fructose corn syrup + nutmeg. Available at local grocers.

I had this Prosecco with my Thanksgiving turkey, and think it will be just great with all the other holiday goodies too. Maybe too good to mix with POM.

And because I am now a tea snob, I have to give a shout-out to a tea that has been good to me even during the years I was strung out on coffee. I found this tea in England yea many years ago...but saw it just the other day at Southern Season and boy was that nostalgic and fun. The tea is called Spiced Christmas tea, and it is yummy and orangey and all things Brit.

(If you need a tea ball, consider the charming and locally produced tea stick).

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My body failed me a bit this it has many times before (see salmonella episode of summmer '06, and seizure disorder of the Furman U. years). I had cramps, a bad cold, and a thrown-out back all in one week. Surely some of it was due to the stress of traveling 8 hours to GA with the youngsters (though they were very easy), then 5 hours to the mountains with my mom (though she was pleasant company), and then 5 hours back after a few days with all the relatives (though the warm and stunning mountain setting offset most of the tension).

My mind didn't fail me. My new liquor and coffee-free self was not quite as anxiety-ridden. And I was able, with only one exception, to observe the family drama and not participate in it. One wonderful night I immersed myself in the attentions of my oldest friend and her gorgeous, enticing family, and after he arrived, in my husband's affections. I reveled in my not-empty bank account - a definite bonus from the stress of working outside the home. I thoroughly enjoyed a lovely prosecco that my buddy and I purchased at the mecca of foodie goods. I watched my children act lovingly and appropriately and I played games with them and talked to them about issues big and small. I slept in. Twice. And I didn't see all of it, but I got to watch the first half of "My Fair Lady", which is something I did on one memorable Thanksgiving. Together with my hubby, I re-read my wedding vows, which were spoken on the Saturday after Thanksgiving 14 years ago.

Now on to the holiday rush. I plan to give you, my adoring public, all kinds of holiday tips and festive Internet finds in between running the Christmas pageant and shopping and decorating. But I wanted to stop for a minute and remember Thanksgiving. I didn't fail to be thankful.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I never have gotten to attend my local Stitch n' Bitch group's meetings here in town, but I like their vibe and I certainly enjoy their free tips. Their new cause is aboycott of "Sew Fast Sew Easy". Seems like the knitting world is always full of angst...

That said, I made some headway today in my knitting. Didn't finish my daughter's halter top, which at this point is so big it could fit me and my "girls", if only they weren't really really droopy, like overripe eggplants or..ok, you get the picture. But I did look into my hostess gift idea for the holidays, and I bought mySELF some yarn, by God! I will make myself something for once. A light blue scarf - perhaps a small rib, extra long and cozy. Yay. Thrice yay.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I really tire of the phrase "not your father's" this or that. Or sometimes "not your grandfather's" or "not your mother's". It is over people. Newsweek uses it at least twice in every issue. I saw it today in the freaking Times. What demographic do they suppose that phrase speaks to at this point? I remember the commercial. We all do, now that it will live on in perpetuity in the American lexicon.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

The juries are in, and Borat is a hit (though maybe Tim Allen will conquer the weekend box office receipts with that Santa movie), but more importantly my boy Sacha Baron Cohen is finally a star. Madonna saw him first, but we were quick to jump on the Ali G bandwagon. Borat was always our favorite character. The New York Times goes on and on about the brilliance of the satire and his poke-funedness and how Cohen's Jewish background comes into play. I'm sure I'll be able to to wax on all that after I see it, but I am just eager to laugh my ass off and weep tears of happiness into my Mr. Pibb.

My husband told me that the buzz is that if Borat does huge box office this weekend that the Academy won't recognize Cohen...but he is so revered that just maybe he'll get a nod for Best Supporting Actor. And why not? In the (somewhat garbled) words of Jean Girard, "you taste of America".

Friday, November 03, 2006

This has been out for a while, but it made me happy today, for four minutes or so. Some yummy pomme frites and walnut-encrusted duck leg made me happy for almost an hour!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"Consider earphones a social cue.
Wearing earphones is like hanging a “do not disturb” sign off your nose. Like an engrossing novel, they help you avoid interactions with annoying strangers on airplanes or subways. Unfortunately, they send the same go-away message at work. That’s useful if you wear them only when you’re on deadline, but your iPod is more likely to irritate co-workers if you hide behind it eight hours a day." - from The Morning News' correspondent Margaret Mason's article on iPod etiquette. I've posted on iPod etiquette before, I believe it was after I found out my friend Lynn wore hers TO THE DENTIST. I like this choice in concept. After all, who really enjoys the strange, controlled, one-sided discussions you have at the dentist? The brief spurts of talking between spits. But in practice, wearing the iPod during the teeth cleaning sends a message that seems a bit hurtful to the very kind dental hygenist and/or dentist on whom your pain management depends. And that is dangerous.

In other news, Halloween was fun, on the whole. Pumpkin carving and eating witch-shaped pasta and trick-or-treating were highlights. Right before Halloween we were "Phantomed", which is a new neighborhood "game". That I hate. Like her. I agree that it shares qualities with a pyramid scheme, or even worse, a chain letter. After a chiding phone call from a Mrs. Robin Guard-Davis who said she was chair of the Phantom Commmittee, and that I was officially on Phantom Probation for lying to my children (only for a day or two - I finally gave in and told them) and for not making homemade snacks, I tried to lighten up and enjoy the Phantom ride. (Mrs. Guard-Davis, as you may have guessed, is a pseudonym for an equally vitrolic and non-domestic neighbor who thought it very funny that I didn't tell my children we had been Phantomed. ) I swear - each holiday becomes more and more tiresome the closer we get to it, and that, folks, means something has to give. I can't take my children out of school, I can't avoid the church anymore than I already do, and I'm already seen as a bizarre mom who - gasp - likes to just hang with my family and play the answer lies somewhere else. Where? I'll keep you posted.