Saturday, December 22, 2007

Concerning More Things Which Are Shiny

Perhaps to rectify The Jeff Gordon Who Ate The Baby Jesus, an extraordinarily kind gift has arrived from Red Pill Junkie The Reader. It is a beautiful Nativity set, complete with cow:

However, since this Holy Family was mailed from Red Pill Junkie's home in Mexico, they created their own immigration crisis. First the international shipping of it all presented a red-tape problem; then Fed-Ex tried to deliver the package, but the intolerant, immigration-unfriendly postal employees bounced it to another address. Baby Jesus was then shipped to a nearby town to wait in Fed-Ex purgatory as Congress reconvened to sort it all out.

Once everyone arrived, I placed them on my server (newlywed term for an avocado green, fourth-generation hand-me-down dresser with a tablecloth thrown over it) next to our Advent wreath. You can't have too much Jesus in a house, especially when He arrives packing sheep. Prior to this, the only item I've ever had in my possession from Mexico was a fantastically tacky sombrero I dragged back from Nogalas when I was six, and this smells way better. Thank you, my friend.

año y felicidad prósperos at:

"Diamonds: That'll Shut Her Up"

Good morning, The Readers and above quote from Ron White! Do we have room for an email?

Well! There's an infinitely expanding white box here that says... we do.

An email from The Reader who identifies him or herself as "*Fan*" writes:

"I am so curious to know what you think of all the Christmas-time jewelry commercials on TV right now...?"

Thanks for writing, "*Fan*." Well, *Fan*, (I need to get myself a set of asterisks; that's right snazzy) I'll tell you-- those commercials are awesome, and truly remind me of the real meaning of Christmas. I, for one, enjoy celebrating the welcoming of my Savior with a reminder that shiny things=love. What woman doesn't want a man who can only express himself via mall kiosk? What man doesn't want a woman who puts out only after he takes the hideous risk of placing unattended diamonds beneath some random evergreen at a corner tree lot so that she can find it?

My favorite jewelery-related commercial isn't from a jeweler at all, but a radio ad for a gambling casino. There's this guy? And he goes gambling? And then you hear him say, "Here, this is for yooooooou!" (it is at this point when I feel especially grateful that this all takes place on the radio) and a woman's voice responding, "Oh, it's beautiful!" To which the guy says-- hold on a second, I have to make sure I get it exactly right, so that you can appreciate the full impact... okay, got it--"Baby, it's worth it to see the look on your face." Yes, he certainly worked very hard rolling those dice across that table.

I invite all to this diamond-purchasing article, which reminds potential purchasers that "if she is a platonic friend, think twice about it as she might get the wrong message." Dude, not if you leave it lying around on some tree-intensive street corner. Then she'll totally get it.

every kiss begins with GIMMIE at:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome Readers

I really mean it this time. Unlike last time.

all together now at:

Festivus Yes, Sit 'N Spin No

I had a phone audience with The King yesterday, in which he announced, "I was in time out."

As his aunt, it is my job to comfort Jim The Small Child Nephew when the outside world dares to offend; besides, it is the proper time of year for The Airing Of Grievances. So I feigned disbelief and listened as he described how he delivered his own personal Feat of Strength in the form of hurling a cup of yogurt on the floor.

While we're at it, I have a Grievance to Air of my own. My parents recently presented Jim with a Sit 'N Spin, under the theory that if the child were rotating, he would remain relatively quiet. I am furious. Where does he get off having unfettered access to a Sit 'N Spin? I wasn't allowed to have a Sit 'N Spin! I had to go across the street and use the Richards', who, it must be noted, also had an Atari. I had "Math Magic" on the Texas Instruments TI-99. I don't care if I grew up to teach college; I want my un-Pitfalled childhood rectified.

for the rest of us at:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Most of you within sight of this page have probably never heard of Cincinnati's Ruth Lyons, America's first talk show hostess. She singlehandedly invented the format. Without her, there is no Oprah. She was better than Oprah. Tom Cruise would not have jumped up and down on Ruth's couch. Ruth would have clocked him with the bunches of flowers she carried around with her to hide her microphone.

She had a seven-year waiting list for audience requests, but these days, Ruth Lyons is largely associated with her worthy Children's Fund, which purchases therapy equipment and delivers gifts to hospitalized kids. But a few years ago I discovered that she also wrote for, performed on, and produced Christmas albums. And now I understand why nobody--sponsors, guests, audience members who were required to wear white gloves--crossed Ruth.

One cut from her Christmas album, "Christmas Marching Song," positively orders her audience to have a nice day, but the only way they're going to get there is to do so in a fully regimented fashion. "Make a list," she says severely. "Now's the time. Here we go! Get in line!"

Then she counts to ten in German as her terrified castmates shout out their assigned cheer-related tasks, such as "put the lights on the Christmas tree" and "tie the presents with bows so fine." And you WILL LIKE the bows so fine, Herr Braun.

See, we Cincinnatians respond to that. We're overwhelmingly Catholic, and German, and if there's one thing we understand, it's making lists and getting into lines. In fact, it probably wouldn't be Christmas for most of us if we weren't reduced to near-tears by ensuring that each gingerbread person received precisely the correct amount of nonpareils.

There's a smidge of me that's French, just enough to grant transactional France-joke immunity. I think it's that part that stares down at the acres of dough on the cookie sheet, mutters "Whatever," and strews sugar more or less at random; if it actually ends up on the cookie, so much the better.

eins zwei drei at:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Welcome Readers

We're so glad you've finally come to accept Donner as he really is.

NOTE TO THE READERS: Sorry that I don't have a link yet... I just wanted to provide a nice, soft landing for new The Readers who clicked from the piece overnight, but the article is taking longer to go live than I thought. I'm not sure why it's held over, but I have a fairly solid suspicion that breaking news quite vital to the future of the human race intervened. I apologize for the chase through cyberspace for those of you who made one. When I have a link, I'll post it.

Oh, and The Readers, Blogger has now switched to OpenID in the comments section. For some reason, this has sparked enormous blog debate, about which I do not care, because I have bigger problems. I have The Looming Gordon to attend to.

blitzen, however, is another matter at:

Monday, December 17, 2007

O Fir Tree Plastic

This is the first year I've had a big-girl Christmas tree of my very own that does not involve batteries or for-illegal-drugs-only fiberoptic shifting, so it was important to find the correct one.

By which I mean "made in China." Real trees terrify me; the responsibility is horrific. Last month I dreamed that I had a baby, which I kept in a dresser drawer and never remembered to feed. I woke up deeply concerned that one of my special occasion bras had been pooped in. A live tree, my people, is little more than a twelve-day albatross.

So Josh The Pilot and I, as my German ancestors did, made a traditional Christmas journey to claim a pole of green plastic from a hardware store. Home Depot may have bestowed this terror upon the world, but it also had seven-foot trees for under a hundred bucks. I will forgive any number of outdoor decor crimes if it means more money for merlot.

We made the attempt on a Sunday, directly after church, no stops at the Jesus doughnuts, for we had to return home before the Vice President arrived from the Beltway in our little town. He wasn't coming to see us, which was good, because I hadn't cleaned, but close enough so that his motorcade would clog our hideously quaint one-way streets for miles. When you're racing the Vice President, there's no room for error. He has a helicopter, and guns.

Once the tree was located, I left Josh behind to close the deal while I gathered other Home Depot-related items and ran to the grocery store next door, because if the Vice President swung by anyway, I wanted to at least have crackers. When I left Josh, he was standing at the Customer Service desk holding a credit card. By the time I returned with a paint chip from what passes for the lady aisle in Home Depot, he was alone and sad by the tree display.

"They don't have any more," he said.

"So get the display."

"The guy won't sell me the display."

"Why display it if they don't have any to sell?"

"He said it would throw off the look of the department."

"There's a FOUR-FOOT INFLATABLE SNOWMAN DANGLING OUT OF A TONY STEWART CAR over there, and he comes with a pit crew. A missing tree isn't the issue here."

I went to the grocery.

When I returned, Josh was seated forlornly in his suit and tie on an empty dolly. "It's in stock," he said, "they just have to get to it."

"Is it... still in China?"

"The guy said it was in a warehouse."

"Is he getting it?"

"He needs to find a ladder."

"We're in Home Depot!"

"I said that, and he laughed at me."

I returned to the grocery for merlot.

When I came back, Josh had added a plastic-wrapped ladder to the dolly. "There is now a manager involved."

"Why do you have a ladder?"

"Because I went to the ladder aisle to show the guy that he could just grab one of these, and I remembered that we don't have a ladder either." He pointed to the price tag. "See? Forty percent off."

When the tree at last arrived, as all fine evergreens do, in a cardboard box with a plastic handle, we wheeled it into the parking lot and moved aside all the wine to make way. This involved folding down the back seat as I climbed over it in my skirt and heels to provide counterweight. See, I can be useful.

We were shoving the box into the car when we heard a loud whirring noise from above. We paused.

"What's that?"

I turned around to see, as all Americans dream of seeing, Marine 2 and a military escort bearing down on the Home Depot. "It's Cheney!"

"They're closing the streets! Get the trunk closed!"

I don't live a hugely exciting life, but every now and then it's fun to rum-rush a boxed Christmas tree across an intersection with the Vice President of the United States at the other end of the street.

Tannenbauming at:

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