Thursday, December 27, 2007

As 2007 Ends...

A good friend forwarded to me these TOP TEN THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR. Apparently, it first made the Internet rounds last year, but it still seems pretty relevant. For those who haven't seen it, I hope you'll laugh, too.
As the New Year begins, here are a few points to ponder:
Number 10 - Life is sexually transmitted.
Number 9 - Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Number 8 - Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
Number 7 - Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks.
Number 6 - Some people are like a Slinky … not really good for anything, but you still can’t help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
Number 5 - Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
Number 4 - All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
Number 3 - Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut saves you 30 cents?
Number 2 - In the 60s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.
We know exactly where one cow with mad-cow-disease is located among the millions and millions of cows in America but we haven’t got a clue as to where thousands of illegal immigrants and terrorists are located. Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of immigration…

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Eat, Drink & Be Wary

You probably had to have gone through the Weight Watchers thing at least once to appreciate this but, for those of us more familiar with "Points," "Optional Calories" and "Fat Grams" than we'd like to be, the hilarity of Wendy McClure's book The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan will undoubtedly leave you giggling, too. (And, oh, thank you E. for telling me about this!)

Wendy's done a brilliant thing: She's compiled a stack of actual Weight Watchers recipe cards from the 1970s and written short captions next to the food titles and photos. I know. It doesn't sound like the stroke of genius that it is, but that's only because the humor defies description.

Take, for example, the recipe for W.W.'s supposedly "worldwide favorite" Stuffed Apples Ganges. Wendy displays the truly horrific picture of card #21 and writes: "I feel for the Hindu souls who were reincarnated as these shrimps. But then you have to wonder what they did in their past lives to deserve being reborn as the garnish for fake Indian food. I mean, it must have been really bad."

Or, under the category "salads hot and cold" is the #7 recipe card for Cucumber "Cream" Salad. Wendy comments: "You know, I don't think I want to know why the cream is in quotes."

And then the fabulous "soup and stews" #20 card for Swiss Stew. Wendy says: "Um Heidi? I have some bad news. It's about your goats."

But, hey, don't take my word for it. Check out the link for the recipe cards http://www.candyboots.com/wwcards.html and Wendy's other website http://www.poundy.com/ . Seriously. Go read these. Now.

Because you'll laugh until you cry. And the holiday season--with all its craziness and food indulgences--needs more of that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Humming To Myself

This morning was filled with post-ice-storm errands. A visit to my son's elementary school. The YMCA. Walgreen's and Target. A few other stops on the local circuit for household items and necessities. And playing relentlessly in ALL of these places were Christmas carols...not to mention on my car stereo as I drove between locations.

Here's the good news: I was HAPPY about this. I actually LOVE Christmas carols, even more than Christmas rum balls, if that's possible. I was singing along (well, okay, humming under my breath while in public, but singing in earnest while in the car), tapping my toes, jiggling a little to the beat. Essentially, getting into the holiday spirit finally. Nice, right?

Here's the bad news: I've been trying for two hours to write a scene for a book--a scene that takes place in April, mind you--and I can't get these songs out of my head. From fun favorites like "Let It Snow" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" to classic ones like "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night." From Michael W. Smith belting out "Emmanuel" to Rob Thomas singing "A New York City Christmas." From the crooning of Neil Diamond and Amy Grant to the powerhouse vocals of Bon Jovi and the Boss, I'm being bombarded by distinctively sung carols. And none of them are allowing me to daydream about my characters frolicking around in springtime.

So, I'm just giving into it for today. I can't purge "Holly Jolly Christmas" from my consciousness no matter how hard I try. What about all of you? Which carols are stuck in your head this week?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

Chaos. Everywhere I go.

At least in my house. Cue the Christmas carols, the "Holiday Season" is here.

We've got presents in various states of wrap and unwrap. We've got snow and ice in the driveway with radio talk of a blizzard later tonight. We've got boxes of decorations waiting anxiously for me to unpack them. I, of course, have to (1) take down our Thanksgiving window clings, (2) put away the ghosts/pumpkins/cornucopias of fall still littering our living room and (3) drink some spiked eggnog to work up the motivation to (4) actually face those over-stuffed boxes of December cheer. Is there any way we could just jump right to Valentine's?

And my husband is talking about getting another real tree this year. After LAST year, when I thought I'd succeeded in convincing him that the pine needles we kept finding in the carpet (until mid-April) REALLY made the whole venture not worth it, and that there was something very pleasant to be said about small, fake, easy-to-manage trees that don't require constant watering or vacumming...

He smiles and tells me, "Aw, c'mon! It's not the same." And he's right, of course. It's not.

So, what can I do? Get over my momentary Grinch-ness. Turn up "Winter Wonderland" on the CD player and remember all the things I love about the Season (hot chocolate, gingerbread, colored lights, "the Snow Miser and the Heat Miser"). Dive into those cheery red and green boxes. Have the vacuum cleaner on standby and, yes, Step Into Chaos...I mean, Christmas.