Showing 1 - 10 of 215 posts found matching keyword: holidays

Sarcastic quip

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I'm starting to suspect that the Internet isn't the good thing I thought it was when I first met it in the early 90s. What happened to the promise of having humanity's aggregate knowledge available for everyone to use to build a better life? Society should be getting smarter, not dumber. And yet it seems all the web is used for anymore is to drive wedges between us. That's not right, is it?

When I have doubts like this, I turn to the wisdom of the ancients. This is what I hear when I listen:

I can't fight this feeling any longer,
and yet I'm still afraid to let it flow.
What started out as friendship has grown stronger;
I only wish I had the strength to let it show.

I tell myself that I can't hold out forever.
I said there is no reason for my fear
'cause I feel so secure when we're together.
You give my life direction; you make everything so clear.

And even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight.
You're a candle in the window on a cold, dark winter's night,
and I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might.

And I can't fight this feeling anymore.
I've forgotten what I started fighting for.
It's time to bring this ship in to the shore,
and throw away the oars, forever.

That may sound like a mixed metaphor, but that's how the great prophets always communicate. (If they just came out and *said* what they meant, we wouldn't ever learn anything, would we?) Clearly it means we're all in one boat and should be working to sail in the same direction, people.

If necessary, let us disagree on the method by which we can best reach the future but not the fact that we all want that better future for ourselves and our neighbors. Together, we can overcome the deluge of misinformation flowing down the information superhighway as we drive our speedwagon to the future! Onward and upward in 2020!

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I've seen pictures of my younger self posed in pajamas in front of the refrigerator, but I have distinct memories of only three New Year's Eves in my life.

The first was spent at my uncle's mother's house with my older cousins. It was the 80s, and I barely made it to midnight to drink my non-alcoholic cider before I fell asleep. I probably wasn't 10 years old, but I do remember feeling, perhaps for the first time, like I was a real adult.

The second was while working as a waiter at Chili's in the mid-90s. The restaurant closed at midnight that evening, so the manager on duty brought some champagne for all of us who had to close (my favorite shift). I didn't finish my glass. It wasn't the first bubbly I'd had, but it did cement my opinion that I do not like it. Alcohol isn't my bag, baby.

The third was twenty years ago tonight: New Year's Eve 1999. Mom came from Scottsdale to Athens, and we had dinner at the 24-hour Shoney's restaurant Trey was working in. He had the overnight shift, so Mom and I went back to the house (on Big Oak Circle) to watch fireworks and waited for the Y2K bug to end civilization as we knew it. Good times.

Half a lifetime later, I'm planning on celebrating the calendar change tonight with my favorite pastime: playing video games. I probably won't be making any indelible memories, but I will start the new year while having a good time. Isn't that what New Year's Eve is really about?

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Father Time comes for everyone, even dogs

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For Christmas, I gave my mother the gift you give someone who has everything: a cold.

Maybe she'll forgive me by next Christmas.

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The difference between Superman and Santa Claus...

Superman doesn't care for your reindeer games!
Superman's Christmas Adventure #1, 1940

...is that Superman doesn't need you to leave out cookies and milk.

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Second try on gingerbread cookies. This time I used a 50% smaller cutter, but I only cut the bake time by 25%. Oops. As a result, they're a little crispy. At least they're well dressed.

Everybody's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed gingerbread man

Frankly, the taste is nice enough, but they could be burnt crisp and I'd still like them. The scents of gingerbread and peppermint are the best things about Christmas.

Next year: colored icing. (I think I'll make that my New Year's Resolution.)

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July is a big Steve Martin fan

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Last year I vowed that instead of gingerbread houses in 2019, I would make gingerbread men. It was a good decision.

I looked at a bunch of gingerbread cookie recipes before deciding which to use. (I didn't want to use my house recipe because I wanted cookies that didn't have the texture of drywall.) Like apple pie recipes, most gingerbread recipes are very similar, deferring primarily in the ratio of flower flour to butter. The one I decided I liked best I found in the Tis the Season Holiday Cookbook (2000) by Mary Engelbreit. It must have been another good good decision. I made 2 dozen on Friday, and they were all gone by Sunday.

As you can see, I had some trouble with piping the royal icing. My first try was too thin (overcompensating for the 2018 disaster), and the second batch popped the seam of my makeshift Ziploc pastry bag. I got the hang of it only relatively late in the game.

Now that I know what I'm doing, I guess I'll just have to make some more.

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November wasn't only about pies and movies!

When I was a kid, my favorite Christmas decoration was a pair of legs painted on plywood mounted to the top of a chimney. They were connected to a windshield wiper motor and kicked, like Santa was stuck face down. It was a good gag.

Cue earlier last month when Mom said that she wanted a new Christmas yard decoration. She was looking at lit Santa Claus blow molds like she had on her door as a child, but when she tried to convey the idea, all I could think of were those kicking legs.

I didn't manage the same level of technical innovation, but I think I got the nostalgia angle right.

Ho, Ho, Ho

Kind of looks like a bit of Photoshop there, doesn't it? Here it is a little closer.

The Taste of Christmas

My next door neighbor seems to like it. He's already asked where we bought it so that he could get one of his own. Mom had to let him down easy. This Santa stands alone.

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To be continued...

 

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