Friday, December 28, 2007


The Dick Cheney Memorial Christmas Tree is up, and it will stay up through Epiphany, because I love Christmas and the Dick Cheney Memorial Christmas Tree was a world-class pain in the crack to construct.

Because it came in a box, we had to unbend the needles and branches from their fresh-from-nature position, which was exactly parallel to the shiny metal trunk. And because people are idiots, we removed the following pile of warning tags from the various parts and pieces:

All because somebody out there once tried to eat the tree, or desperately needed to be told in Spanish that the tree was made in China, or tried to water it with the pre-lit bulbs fully ablaze.

Tony The Reader recently hoped that Josh The Pilot and I had a "Just Married" ornament for our new tree. I think that wedding-related ornaments on a Christmas tree are extremely narcissistic and detract attention from the baby Jesus to the newlyweds, so we have five, plus one I found today for 75% off. In ten years, it will not matter that it never made it on the tree the year we were actually Just Married.

But the great pile of tags will live forever in our hearts.

halls decked at:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

You Just Know a Bedazzler Has Been Deployed In the Blue Room

This year's White House Christmas theme, of which I heartily approve, is Holiday in the National Parks. Also known as "The Parts of America Which Will Kill You Without All That Unnecessary Human Intervention."

I watch White House Christmas on HGTV every single year, because it is craft porn. What this show does is follow the process of decorating the White House, all the while insinuating that you, too, can create a replica of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, had you merely access to the engineering blueprints, a private carpentry shop, a staff of full-time florists, 60 volunteers, and a glue gun.

Because that's what they used in the White House Christmas decorations, a glue gun. They didn't use it to put together the 300-pound gingerbread house for the State Dining Room, which would have made me feel much better, as a new homemaker; they used it to put together a shell wreath for the West Garden Room (How are you decorating your West Garden Room this year? Pre-lit topiary carousel horses? Me too!)

I slung a serious glue gun back in the day, before I copped to my own utter incompetence in the crafting arena. If you toss me a glue gun, large clumps of yellowish adhesive and tiny, mucus like strings hanging from the just-shot crafty object will soon follow. Release me into the White House with a loaded glue gun, and I will have the JFK desk in the Oval Office lumpily arrayed with ribbon lining in no time at all.

stick em up at:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Perfect Men

Warning: This post contains graphic nudity

I made a grocery run on Christmas Eve Day, and nearly walked directly into the ladder of a Friendly Customer Service Team Member Associate, who was very busy removing all the Christmas decorations. Good. Make sure the Easter egg dye is good and dusty by Ash Wednesday.

I was there to obtain salad, because the house was alarmingly full of sugared objects. A week earlier, in a great caloric experiment, I attempted to make the most horrible for-you cookies possible within the limits of human digestion. So I dumped pure cake mix in a bowl... and added real butter... and M&M's. Then I paused, tapping my fingertips together: What, what, could I do to make them worse?

Why, roll them in pure sugar!

And what, what could I do with them to cause the greatest amount of chaos?

Why, distribute them to very small children!

I packed up the little nuclear sucruse bombs and drove them under military escort to my family's Christmas party, where there were nine children under the age of six. They had to call in FEMA by the time we left.

I had earned enough do-gooder credits to get away with this; in honor of the holiday season, I'd taken care to clothe the cold and naked.

Very fashionably too, I might add. You should be so lavender.

sweet at:

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Merriest

I wish all of you-- new The Readers, old The Readers, bypassers on the cyberhighway-- a very blessed Christmas. May the Christ Child surround and infuse you with His Love.

adoring Him at:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The "Yes, I Actually Have To Write This Post" Post

Dear People Who Don't Understand That My Most Recent Article Is, In Fact, a Satire:

Exactly three people have emailed to express their disagreement. I sent each one a reply. Two wrote back immediately to apologize and admit that they'd misunderstood the piece. One copped to reading it too quickly, which interfered with his comprehension. I may yet hear from the third, as I answered him just an hour ago. I am beginning, however, to see a pattern here. UPDATE: I just received an email from my third correspondent, the opening line of which is: "My heartfelt apologies." Huh.

As to the rest, well...

Thank you for your concern about what you assume was an unhappy childhood, not to mention your express wish that I not celebrate Christmas at your house. However, please rest assured that I don't curl into the fetal position in front of my TV while watching "How The Grinch Stole Christmas!" because I am so very, very upset over that poor dead roast beast.

What fascinates me about this entire affair is the source of the many kind comments and emails from people who did like the article. (And thanks to those who took the time to send along these much-appreciated words.) They all came from people with traceable addresses or OpenID accounts.

The rest of you were content to take to take time out of your lives two days before Christmas and click away to an anonymous forum, where you typed very earnestly, sometimes in ALL CAPS, sometimes with expletives, that I really needed to lighten up about life. Some then proceeded to dedicate a great deal of time, a few in several different posts, to announcing that you wished you had the five minutes of you life back that you wasted reading the article.

Allow me to reiterate that at least three different editors had to clear this piece before it was posted. I'll admit the headline--which I didn't write-- might be misleading. I asked the features editor on call to change it to something less ambiguous, such as "No, She Doesn't Actually Sit Up Nights Worried That Yukon Cornelius is Busting Up ANWR." She wrote back that she cannot believe some of the reactions regarding the piece. Another editor, who guided me through the drafting process, is flummoxed as well. I can't speak for the third higher-up, the one who originally approved the concept, but I'm fairly certain she wouldn't OK 1000 words on the hatred and fearmongering to be found in "Frosty The Snowman."

Dave Barry once said that if a reader doesn't get a joke, it's the writer's fault. So maybe it's my lack of clarity, and I over-trusted and under-worded. If it really is me, then I'm honestly sorry that you didn't like the free entertainment section commentary upon which you clicked, and I'll try to do better next time. However, I figured lines like "May God have mercy on their cartoon souls should any of (the Charlie Brown characters) appear on 'Dancing With the Stars,'" would tip most people off that I was demonstrating absurdity with absurdity.

Writing is about community, and in no way do I expect every single person to faint away in transports at every single word I write. I certainly don't view my own writing that respect, and am constantly in need of constructive criticism. But good heavens, please do let us discuss this as rational human beings.

I'm not sure if God has called me to have children just yet, but I'd really appreciate it if you wouldn't type that you hoped that I never have any.

Yes, I did get paid for this article. And many, many others.

I am not part of a mass media agenda to take down the George W. Bush administration.

I'm also pretty sure that my 66-year-old parents, a retired Catholic school teacher and a small business owner, are not hippies.

You may now stop calling me a bitter, angry bitch who hates the baby Jesus.

Have a very blessed Christmas, and a peaceful and happy New Year. And yes, I'm quite serious about that.

UPDATE: Thanks to all for a good discussion. There were a handful comments which I did not post, both against the article and in defense of it, because they violated the no-flaming commenting policy of this site. (In case you missed it, which I understand can happen, it's spelled out at the top of the comment form.) Although I appreciate the sentiment of those of you who wish to defend me, I really don't want any insults flying here in the Tasting Room. It's just not that kind of place.

As I'm sure we all need to get on with our lives and concentrate on the true meaning of the season, I'm locking the comment thread. Scat, now, and make Christmas the verb it is meant to be.

I mean, really at:

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