Archive for November, 2006


I didn’t mean to start something. Or be the Katalyst. And after the fracas 2 short weeks ago I’ve no desire to see yet another one perpetuated on my behalf. But, it’s Christmas. And we all “know” each other even if we don’t know each other. And we’re almost all fed up with our families, our lack of families, financial pressure, health concerns and the blanket of blech that the holidays engender in most people.

It’s easier to take out your anger on people you don’t see every day. People you don’t sleep with. (For the record, I’m not sleeping with either JP or Ivy.)

I often worry that Kat’s becoming a shut-in…(all other evidence to the contrary — she’s one of the most out-and-about-town bloggers I know, actually), when she keeps pontificating about and becoming so emotionally involved with all these TV shows…

First off, this remark didn’t hurt my feelings. JP is most likely not aware of the reason I watch so much tv. Why would he be?
Second off, I’ve intentionally been writing about TV–just like I did last year–instead of other things. I’m stressed out about politics, I don’t feel like opening up the more private parts of my life on the Internet right now and TV is a safe topic that most people can relate to. I’m not a shut-in. I’m just wisely protecting the thoughts and feelings I believe need to be protected during what is traditionally a difficult time for me and scores of other people.

You,[JP] on the other hand, go after Kat for the most peurile reasons.

To my mind JP is kind of like a puppy. He’s got two moods. When he’s in a good mood, he seems to like to play by jumping up and down, barking a lot and occasionally nipping with milk-teeth. When he’s in a bad mood, he likes to bite a little harder and becomes troll-ish. I try to sense his moods. I get along okay with happy-puppy JP and try to ignore snarly JP.

I’ve always though Kat was adult enough to “play rough,” as she has with me, and others. I treat her no differently than I would anyone else who does likewise. I like Kat, too, and I’m sorry if you or she don’t understand or perceive that.

Likewise, some days I’m in the mood to “play rough”, and some days I’m not. On the “not” days, I write about television. Or cake. Or knitting. Or Harry Potter. A man who keeps a blog chiefly about a cat should be able to relate to that, I think. I never thought for one minute that you didn’t like me, JP. Quite the contrary. If you didn’t like me, I doubt I’d draw so much of your playfulness.

At 9:16 AM, ntodd said…
This has got to be the stupidest pissing match I’ve ever seen in the blogosphere. Ever. Maybe Nashville should stop talking.

nTodd, this is a community. Some members of whom (like me) are libertarians. Good luck telling us to stop talking. We’ll always talk. Sometimes we’ll fight. That’s how communities do.

For the record, there are few things I hate worse than someone coming into an already-going discussion, declaring the discussion stupid or embarassing and then passing judgment on those already involved in the forth-and-back. To outsiders many discussions appear stupid or unnecessary. But all discussions are part of the community and need to take place if members of the community deem it necessary.

This is Christmas. This is a community. Stuff like this happens. We roll with it and move on.

Thanks, by the way, to Ivy for being moved to stick up for me. That was a nice thing.

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This is “Live”blogging Macy’s Parade Style–where everything is actually pre-recorded. Or post-recorded. Whatever.


I get up. I didn’t intend to be up this early, but dogs’ bladders apparently have no idea what a “day off” is, and so Hubster was out of bed. I think I’m becoming one of those old women who can’t sleep if her spouse is not beside her. Looks like I’m taking “codependant” to a whole new level. Turns out my spouse is in the basement watching a The Wire DVD. I decide to play some Alpha Centauri. Game of the Year, 1999. Yes. I AM officially elderly.


I realise that I have a ginormous turkey, and if it doesn’t get in the oven soon, we won’t eat until Christ is back to share in the bounty. So up the stairs goes my butt.


Interesting news: Onions make my eyes water just as badly at 7:15 A.M. as they do at 7:15 P.M.. Good to know.


What was the Christmas season like before Mannheim Steamroller? And whatever happened to the New Christy Minstrels?


Big Bird is in the oven, boobie-side down. I’ve discovered this makes for tolerable white meat and fewer bastings. The biggest news of the day is that for the first time ever I remembered to take out the center rack before the oven was hot. Yay, me! It’s only been about 20 years coming, but hey. Milestones are always a good thing.


We need butter, so Hubster and I venture over the river and through the woods to our friendly neighbourhood Food Lion. We both remark on our love for going out in public on a Holiday. It reinforces the feel of specialness since nobody is on the road. It’s almost as though we had the world to ourselves.

Until we walked into the Food Lion. Apparently many people decide to do a lot of their shopping on Thanksgiving morning. That store was packed. I decided we needed a green vegetable. And since it’s Thanksgiving, that means that our “green vegetable” must be slathered in goo. So we got the stuff to make a green bean casserole. In what would be a very close call, we almost forgot the butter. The one thing we actually came to the store for in the first place.


My sister calls. Northern Indiana is a fog-encased death trap. She’s on her way to pick up my grandmother. I wonder if a cell-phone conversation is the safest option, given the fact that visibility is one-tenth of a mile. Luckily, both women made it back to the homestead without incident.


CSI is great to watch on Comcast OnDemand.


Talk to my brother at my parents’ house. His allergies are nasty and he has to have surgery. He then hands the phone off to my mother suddenly by saying “I have to go help B. with the haircleaning.” ????? That’s my family. Hair-cleaning on Thanksgiving, when company is due any minute. I try not to puzzle over this too much.


FINALLY!!!! [Wire Spoiler]

Carver and Bunk actually speak and figure out that Herc never delivered Randy as a witness in Lex’s murder. Of course it only took Randy being pummelled to a pulp for everyone to get together. See, this is why I would make a good cop. If I were Carver I would have called Bunk the very day after Herc was supposed to drop Randy off to see if Randy helped the investigation in any way. I’m nosy like that. I would then know that Herc bogarted Randy and would have been able to save Randy from a serious buttkick and Little Kevin from a quicklime-nap in the vacants. Would someone fire Herc already?

[End Wire Spoiler]


The part of the day I like to refer to as “the ballet”. This is where Hubster peels white and sweet potatoes, I make a greenbean casserole and then set the table while things cook. Then I candy the sweets, mash the whites, heat the rolls, clean up the kitchen and get the gravy pan ready. I’ve done this for about 10 years now. It’s a science. I love it. I don’t think I could do this every day, but I really enjoy cooking. When I do it well and in syncronicity like this I feel a bit like a conductor in front of an orchestra of starch.


Lunch. Yummy.

Hubster and I then engage in our #1 Thanksgiving Family Tradition: “Raining Turkey From the Sky”. This is where we let the dogs go into the backyard, I stand on the deck just off the kitchen and throw pieces of turkey at them from one story up.


Tryptophan+Early Rising=long naps


Hubster cleans up the kitchen from lunch (bless his sainted heart). I talk to my mom on the phone and the mystery of the haircleaning is solved. Apparently my sister was getting dog hair off the sofa. That made more sense than some random beauty-parlor shampooing, which is what I was picturing.


This is the part of the day I will always think of as Bloody Thursday. Casey, the dog of 1000 foot problems, has an infected toenail. I did not know it was infected until I tried to trim it. He yelped in excruciating pain and limped away. Getting blood everywhere. And the blood would NOT stop. I think I’ve blocked most of this big fun time, but there was a lot of me cleaning the kitchen floor, Hubster steaming the carpet and Casey bleeding and bleeding and bleeding and bleeding. I swear I am the worst mother alive. Just thinking about it makes me want to stab my own foot in penance.


The evening got a lot better eventually. Grey’s Anatomy, on the other hand, was kind of a bring-down.

All in all it was a very memorable Thanksgiving.

I want to say a special thank you to the various people who invited us to share the holiday with them today. The kindness in those offers really overwhelms me and makes me realise that good friends are a huge treasure. About 10 years ago we dedicated Thanksgiving to be our “quiet holiday”, which works out pretty well. As much as I get homesick for a large group of family and friends during the Holiday season, having a day with just our small, nontraditional family is a huge blessing. It allows us the freedom to enjoy each other’s company without too much stress. As long as we don’t cut our dog’s toenails.

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Ah, NCIS. How I’ve loved spending Tuesday nights with you. You’ve been one of those nice shows that allows me to ease into my twilight years without too much pain. Stick Mark Harmon in something and I’m liable to forgive a multitude of other sins.

I’ve sat by while you killed Kate. I’ve been patient while you dragged in the “Israeli” woman who speaks two trunkloads of languages fluently yet still manages to mess up one English idiom per week. Whenever this happens I’m reminded of Uma Thurman’s vaudeville joke gimmick from “Fox Force Five”. It’s a throwback to the lame TV of the 70s. But I’ve still watched.

I’ve turned an almost-blind eye to the grosstastic relationship between Mark Harmon and Lauren Holly. And I’ve not said one word about how Lauren Holly looks like a monkey with lipstick ever since she cut her hair short for this season.

But you, my friends, have gone too far. Last night you insulted blogs, and by extension, bloggers. You act like there are not roughly 50 million of us. In fact, more people write blogs than watch your one-foot-in-the-social-security-line show. But you have to go and insult us through the mouth of a cheerleader.

Yes, I’m burning from the insult, but not too badly. I’m also excited about the personal connection I now have to your little police procedural. You see, until last night I had no idea that the staff of the Nashville Scene wrote for NCIS. Hey, Kay, can you get me Mark Harmon’s autograph?

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I thought we were alone in my house and that the culture war we’ve been waging has been solely between me and Hubster. But the comments on this post over at Brittney’s would seem to prove me wrong.

Our argument is one that everyone seems to be having. It appears to be split nearly down the middle, with men on one side and women on the other. And allow me to say once and for all that all the men are WRONG.

Yes, I realise that Jim put himself out there, only to be rejected by an insecure Pam. I also realise that That B!tch Karen represents a bird in the hand to a heartsick and lonely Jim. I realise that Jim is trying to move past his love for Pam and use TB!K as a bandaid for his broken heart.

But honestly, guys. Pam and Jim belong together. Pam is nervous about her future. She spent years being emotionally stifled by that complete dunderhead Roy. The only times when she has any self-confidence at all are when she interacts with Jim. Don’t believe me? Rewatch the episode where Jan offers Pam a shot at a Graphic Design internship. Any woman who hadn’t been beaten down by a three-year engagement to a lunkhead would take that job. But the woman who allowed her boyfriend to systematically suck away her self-worth has no ability to believe in her own strength.

Jim blindsided her and then left town. He never called or kept any contact with her, which just reinforced her feelings of low self-esteem. She DID take what little bit of pride his confession of love engendered to break off her engagement to Roy. But now she’s left wanting what she can’t have. The whole comedy of errors is as much Jim’s fault as it is Pam’s. And they belong together.

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For those of you who know and/or care, I have a question about the teaser trailer.

Does it look like the Six are are on broomsticks for the flight to the Ministry? There are two short snatches–past a ship and past Parliament–and I’ve watched closely. It looks like broomsticks to me. I hope not–there was no reason to NOT have it be Thestrals.

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Holiday Movies

I’ve got certain films I watch every year to get my psyched for the holiday season. I realised yesterday that my movie season officially starts tomorrow. Here’s my list, but feel free to pile on with other suggestions:

Day Before Thanksgiving

Love, Actually
This is a new tradition, but it’s one I’m sticking to. I realise this movie has been pummelled on both sides of the Atlantic and people hate it in droves. It has the distinction of being mocked (as Love, Indubitably) in several episodes of Arrested Development.

I can’t help myself. I love it anyway. It’s a great way to kick off the splurge of festivities by reminding you of all the different types of love in the world.


The Latest Harry Potter DVD
I’m not a football person. (My apologies, sir) In an odd way, the Harry Potter clan are like a home away from home for me, so sitting down to watch an HP movie is like inviting relatives over who won’t bring burnt pecan pie and eat all the mashed potatoes.

The Season

Network television obliges by being thrown into massive reruns between Christmas and Thanksgiving. Well, either massive reruns or holiday-themed junk like Barry Aiken Lighting the Giant Squid At The Rockefeller White House. Yawn. I choose to load up on the following flicks.

Mixed Nuts
I have no idea why this isn’t a holiday classic worshipped far and wide. Transvestites, serial killers, knitters and a suicide hotline–what more could you ask for in a Christmas movie?

It’s A Wonderful Life
“No man is a failure who has friends”. That’s why I watch this. To feel like an abject failure. I have no friends. HA!
Actually that’s not true. I watch this because half of my life feels like I’m fleeing from the tyranny of the hundreds of Mr. Potters out in the real world. I want to be George Bailey when I grow up. George is everybody. Who out there hasn’t had a real and vibrant dream they’ve had to simmer down to a seemingly bleak reality? What better time to be reminded that sometimes the simple life is the best life than at Christmas?

My only complaint about this movie is actually from a seed planted by my mother. She complains (and rightly so) that as happily as the movie ends for George, Mr. Potter never has to give back the $8K he stole from Uncle Billy. That does irk me. But since the movie is fundamentally about how money doesn’t matter I guess I’ll let it slide.

The Godfather Saga
Like Meredith Gray, part of me is all dark and twisty. I defy you to find a better holiday family saga than these movies. They’re all about family. Sure, it’s a family that has people (and horses) killed with impunity. But it’s a family movie, and the holidays are a family time.

The Lord of the Rings
Come on. Of COURSE you have to watch them at Christmas time. Although I give you permission to fast-forward the seemingly-endless Sam & Frodo stuff from the last movie. You may also fast-forward large chunks of the Merry and Pippen Riding Treebeard nonsense.

The Homecoming
This is another forgotten classic. It’s the pilot TV movie for The Waltons, and focuses on Christmas Eve at Walton’s Mountain. I still can’t figure out why this one is not in heavy rotation at Christmastime. Thankfully I’ve got an old VHS–almost worn through–that I can pop in and enjoy.

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I’m not usually one for squonking the Harry Potter trailers frame-by-frame.

But I have to tell you that this teaser-trailer has me more excited than I’ve been prior to any other Potter film.

For a London geek like me, that flight to the Ministry past Parliament is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on film. I think I feel a new desktop coming on.

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I want so much to be thankful. I have more things to be thankful for than I could shake a stick at.

But I am afraid that my Black Dog is rearing his head and issuing a throaty bark.

Counting blessings is easy, and when you have a black dog a lot of times blessings counting serves as a form of whistling past the graveyard. “I can’t be down, because I have a freezer full of meat!!!”

I’ve found that saying the sad things outloud is sometimes better. It’s a way of shouting back at the dog, of barking more loudly than he. It’s also a way to let people know your humanity and show that all humanity is the same on one level. So why is my black dog howling? What is making him claw at the gates?

Well, for starters, it’s the start of The Holidays. Yes, I say “Christmas” when I’m talking specifically of that holiday, but for me the season of the bark starts with Thanksgiving and runs through January 6th. It’s my favourite time of year on one level, but on another level it is the time of greatest pain.

I love the holidays, and I love big gatherings of family. Yet here I am, 450 miles from the closest non-spousal family I have. While others are meeting for lovely brunches and Christmas tree shopping with loved ones, I get to hear about it a week later over the telephone. I also get to pretend that buying gifts for my dogs is the same thrilling activity as buying presents for my human children. Have you ever seen a dog’s face light up when they unwrap a chew toy? Not the same thing, I think.

In my mind I’ve idealised Holidays as a sort of Hallmark wonderworld with bright lights and hugs and cake, and then placed myself squarely outside it all. I tend to forget that every holiday in Real Space involves arguments over logistics, worries about money and the stress of ill health. I never humanise any Holiday until it’s too late.

So there you have it. The source of my black dog. Maybe now he’ll stop with the yowling.

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You paid attention during 97% of high school!


85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don’t get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

See, Mom. I did more than pass notes in High School. Really.

Hat tip to Kathy T. for hunting this sucker down.

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I realise you may not have received a copy of the Covenants and Restrictions for the Homeowners’ Association. That is especially unfortunate for me because if you had you would know that you can’t do construction before 9:00am.

Seriously, folks. Hammering and nailgunning your fence at 7:00am on a Saturday is NOT a good way to make friends. Especially when your fence project is right next to my bedroom.

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