Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Scrapbook of Random Christmas Memories

Having spent the majority of my formative years in the southern* U.S., to me the phrase “white Christmas” meant we were spending it at the beach.
Additionally, I had the vague notion that a Yule Log was something one would find at a Stuckey's, near the pecan logs.

When I lived in Plantation, Florida, Santa Claus would ride through my neighborhood on top of a flashing, honking fire truck, throwing candy canes. It was loud and stupid and awesome.

Though the weather was often in the 70s, every Christmas Eve I insisted on wearing footed blanket pajamas to bed – for about 10 minutes, until heatstroke started to set in.

Grade school holiday pageants** are a gateway drug, tempting children to experiment with community theater... or worse.

I never got to play the Virgin Mary in the school Christmas pageant because of my red hair.*** However, I did get to play a business woman one year. I'm still not really sure what that was about.

When setting out Santa's plate of milk and cookies before going to bed on Christmas Eve, I often wondered if he might not prefer a cold beer and some pretzels to cut the sweetness and add a little variety to the evening. Knowing what I know now, he probably would have.

Upon moving to a home with a fireplace, I realized that the chief obstacle to Santa getting down the chimney was not the diameter, but the vast number of dead squirrels collected inside.

Every year as a kid, I could look forward to receiving socks from my grandmother. They were generally knee length, had some ridiculous pattern, and were always outrageously red. She'd also send my father a liter of whiskey. Grandma had her moments.

Growing up, my family always had an artificial tree. As a newlywed in Oklahoma, I bought my first real tree – a potted miniature pine. It was hit by lightning – while sitting on the mantlepiece over my fireplace, inside of our apartment. I have not had a Christmas tree since.

Today's lesson: I'm really, really, super self-absorbed.

Next: Something that ultimately serves my ego, no doubt.

*Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, if you're curious.

**No one can rock a pair of glitter-and-poster-board wings like me. 
***Because everyone knows Mary was a blond, right? 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Twelve Days of Yumness

On the Twelve Days of Yumness, my true love gave to me -
  • Twelve drums of gummies
  • Eleven pies of pumpkin 
  • Ten loaves of sweet things
  • Nine ladyfingers 
  • Eight mugs of milk tea  
  • Seven prawns a sizzling  
  • Six pizzas baking  
  • Number Five of the Red Wings 
  • Four lollipops  
  • Three french breads  
  • Some turtle fudge 
  • And a pear in a puff pastry
Today's lesson: There is probably something very, very wrong with me.

Next: Further evidence supporting the hypothesis above. 

Santa Claus vs. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Below is a chart comparing and contrasting two of the world's most beloved/tweeted about folk heroes: Father Christmas and Lisbeth Salander, of the Millennium Series


Note: This post was written after consuming two glasses of Shiraz... which may also benefit the reading thereof.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven't yet read the books* or seen the (excellent) original films,**  none of this is going to make a damn bit of sense. My apologies.

Santa Claus
Lisbeth Salander
Jolly old elf Elfish avenging riot grrrl
Lives at the North Pole Lives in Sweden, which most Americans think is pretty much the same thing
Fictional character based on an historical personage Fictional character – and internet rumors abound
The subject of multiple “family friendly” movies The subject of multiple “friendly family” movies
Knows when you're sleeping/awake Knows when you're online
Wears black leather boots Wears black leather boots
Most PETA-offending accessory: Fur Most PETA-offending accessory: Leather
Punishes the naughty with a stocking full of coal Punishes the naughty with a Molotov cocktail
Ropes and ties reindeer to his sled Roped and tied a rapist to his bed
Christmas Day arrival eagerly anticipated by good little children around the world Christmas Day arrival eagerly anticipated by generally disaffected, alternachicks around the world***

Today's lesson: Seriously? You're looking for a take-away from this?

Next: The Twelve Days of Yumness

*If you haven't yet had the chance, I assume it's because you've been too busy reading Homecoming – and, really, who could blame you?

**Noomi Rapace forever!

***Or whatever... Too lazy to look up the release information on IMDb... (If you should feel so industrious, give my blank-head profile a look/like while you're there.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Yummish Holiday Letter

Dear Yummish Family and/or Friends,

Once again, the holiday season is upon us and I take pen in hand to write to you.

In the finest Yummish tradition, the past year has been marked by expanding minds and waistlines. It has also been a rather busy one for the Yummish Council.

In addition to finding various amusing ways to combine flour, sugar, and butter and as well as continuing my efforts to train the cats to jump through my shiny pink hula hoop, I also failed to publish a book this year. My second novel, which may or may not be titled “Hometown,” may or may not come out this spring. I invite you to savor the anticipation, but warn against holding your breath.

Senior Council Member Jim Strider has had a far more productive year, releasing three albums: a digital treatment of J.S. Bach's “The Well-Tempered Clavier” under the stage name “Sylahnse del 086,” followed by an electroclassical re-imagining thereof with the two “The Ill-Tempered Synclavier” albums. Jim anticipates releasing an album of “chill” music in the upcoming year, provided he ever finishes playing “Elder Scrolls.”

The aforementioned cats, Sushi and Sashimi (aka Sasha) have also had a very busy year working toward complete global devastation, as is evident from the state of the leather sofa. We have elected to find their behavior adorable, as it is certainly undefeatable. 

Earlier in the year, Jim and I traveled to Las Vegas, NV for the annual Yummish Retreat, where we enjoyed such topical seminars as “Drink Away Your Hangover,” “The Buffet: Playing To Win,” and “Desert Sushi: The Do's and Don'ts of Dining in Vegas.”

On the subjects of deserts, this fall I took a brief Yummish pilgrimage to New Mexico, where, thanks to the help of my Brother/Spirit Guide and his sacred potion/absinthe, I was able to obliterate my ego and briefly become one with, if not the universe, at least the sofa.

This past year brought us the opportunity to eat and drink many tasty things, look at new and/or beautiful sights, meet and talk to interesting people, and generally enjoy the experience of “being.” We hope it has been the same for you and that the new year brings you many more opportunities to increase your Yum.

Wishing you and yours a Yummy holiday season,

The Yummish Council

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Letter to Santa

Dear Mr. Claus:

In exchange for my (semi)strict adherence to all state and federal laws over the past year as well as to (most of) the social strictures of my dominant culture, I request the following items:
  • A pair of pants that flatters my hindquarters
  • 50 additional IQ points
  • A framed and signed copy of the November 18, 2011 edition of Cafe magazine (Frankly, with that cover, I really don't even care who signs it... Go Red Wings!)
  • A new tiara (Perhaps a selection thereof?)
  • A BeDazzler (To bring my wardrobe up to speed to match all of the tiaras)
  • A pink, 100% cashmere snuggie (To wear while I'm BeDazzling the rest of my wardrobe)
  • A single ripe orange picked from the tree outside of the house in Plantation, FL where I lived 25 ago (If it's no trouble...)
  • A pony... keg... of Anchor Steam
  • A skirt that flatters my hindquarters
  • Bacon
Upon delivery of the above, it will be my pleasure to remit to you (1) a plate of festively decorated cookies, (2) a glass of cold milk.

Please be advised that our current facility has no fireplace, as that may impact your delivery method. If I can be of assistance with this or any other concerns that may arise, please don't hesitate to contact me. I thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this matter and look forward to working with you again in the coming  year.

Sincerely yours,
Michele Feltman Strider

Next: The Yummish Holiday Letter