Friday December 19th 2008, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Texas
Since you asked, yes, I am spending Christmas in Texas.
My lovely husband, Matt, is from Lubbock. We’ll be swinging by the Ranching Heritage Centre, tossing carrots into Prairie Dog Town, maybe we’ll leave flowers at Buddy Holly’s grave, I’ll poison myself with another pork rind burrito with Josie’s, have lunch at Abuelo’s, a ribeye steak at Cagle’s, tamales from the tamale factory, and shit on a shingle at the Ranch House, and a trip to Gebo’s to see what’s new. If I have my way, we’ll also stop at Sonny Bryan’s in Dallas for a meal or two.
Best of all, since we’re going for Christmas, the Santa cookie jar will be on display.
Matt bought this jar for his mother a few years ago. She does a thorough job of decorating for Christmas; along with the usual holiday paraphernalia, she has a mini Christmas village (the Dickens town), innumerable Santa Claus and reindeer figures, a set of gingerbread person-shaped spoons, and of course this Santa cookie jar. It is perfect.
The reason us kids like the Santa cookie jar is that, just when you think it’s all Norman Rockwell on you, the cookie jar surprises you in an unexpected way. We can’t figure out if the kid reading his wish list on Santa’s lap is related to Angelina Jolie or if the artist who made the cookie jar wanted to send out his own message.
Here’s what’s on the kid’s list:
Stinky Cat Anal Glands
Friday December 19th 2008, 12:15 am
Filed under: Ivan
Now I smell it.
Those antibiotics last week got rid of my sinus infection. It means that I can now smell that the entire downstairs of our house reeks of Ivan’s now free-flowing anal glands.
I would open a window but it’s minus10 degrees Celsius outside. I think I’ll just camp out upstairs until el stinko dissipates.
Miss Unpopularity Pukes Christmas Cheer
Thursday December 18th 2008, 12:07 am
Filed under: Personal
Now that I am suitably drugged up, let me tell you about my day.
Vancouver decided in its wisdom to not soak its denizens, but to freeze them and, as a bonus, fill our streets with slush.
I am used to Vancouver flinging all sorts of faeces at me. Bad car with bald tires and faulty breaks or not, I pulled myself into work even a quarter-hour earlier than my workday began. Because my sleeping pill from the night before still hadn’t worn off – a side effect of swallowing them down with a glass of wine – I used my fifteen minutes to jolt myself awake with the coffee already in the coffee pot. Thank you, mystery co-worker who had my well-being in mind.
Then I embarked on my work day. I am very unpopular with my coworkers, as you may expect from someone as vile as yours truly. While they enjoy each others’ company, I supply the jet black lining to their every silver happy fluffy cloud. While they try to out-maneuver me from attending any group lunches or potluck tea parties, I miraculously appear to spread pestilence, fear and vomit-flavoured jelly beans.
Today, I decided to be Miss Happy Pants. Try out compliments and small talk when I could corner a coworker. Charm them with my smile, which I am sure cannot be all that hideous since I still have all my teeth and they are still almost blazingly white.
My biggest strategy was to continually mutter, in the face of the growing blizzard, that I love this weather! It’s so Christmas-y, I would say. Or, I heard we’ll be getting a white Christmas.
It was pretty.
The only problem was two problems. First, I began to have a twitching of a growing horror that I would have to drive in the stuff and it would not be as easy as the morning. Second, I developed a very deep fear that I would miss my parents that night – that they, who just flew in from Romania the other night, and who were cooking me all manner of favourite meals, would be inaccessible in their mountaintop home.
At once, upon hearing that the two of three bridges that could take me away from work were closed, I became singleminded in my obsession. I had to leave asap.
Gone were my proclamations of white Christmases. In were carols about frightful weather, statistics on road closures, and the bemoaning of my car’s decrepitude.
So much for my cheery demeanour to make people like me. Back to square one. Plus, I am sure that now I have a reputation as a happiness poser, as a fake wannabe optimist who’s really a glass-half-empty loser. I suppose I got my short-term wish – to get off work early – but failed to make any friends or even see my parents.
Luckily, my friend the sleeping pill will put an end to any beating myself up over further alienating my coworkers. I sleep well tonight! Tomorrow’s shit can’t hurt me today!
Maktaaq Orders a Turkey
In 2001, I wanted to make my Japanese Christmas more traditional. In Japan, they celebrate the holiday with sex. And chickens, apparently. Which may not sound too bad, but, as atheistic as I was and am, I missed my family and Christmas was a sad time to be in a place where family was no part of Christmas.
So I made up my mind to celebrate the holiday with a turkey. I would show my Japanese family how fun a traditional Canadian Christmas would be.
(I have lived most of my life in Canada yet always celebrated Romanian Christmases. Perhaps because this is such a family-oriented holiday, I never had a chance to visit your typical white family on this holiday to try different traditions. I decided, however, against a Romanian Christmas. I could probably buy a hog in Japan, but slaughtering the poor creature and making myself a year’s worth of sausages and piftie was more traditional than I was willing to go.)
Turkeys are not a Japanese bird. The gimmick required that I order a turkey from one of those companies that import foreign goods to satisfy western tastes. My turkey, the company reassured me, would arrive on December 23. This would give me two days to learn how to cook.
Meanwhile, I had some idea that Canadian Christmas required cranberry sauce. I found some of the stuff canned in a Tokyo specialty shop. I also experimented with gravy from a package. I also bought a small potted tree and tried to cajole my Japanese family into decorating it. I ended up hanging a few candy canes on it.
On the 23rd, in anticipation of my turkey’s imminent arrival by courier, I phoned my mom to ask how one cooks a 10-pound turkey without an oven. She reassured me that it could be done stovetop with a large basin and a bottle.
I then waited for the doorbell to ring. And waited. And waited.
At about 9 pm, the phone rang. It was the turkey company. My turkey was sitting aboard a ship in Yokohama, awaiting customs clearance. The company wanted me to know that the turkey would arrive early on the 24th.
The next day, I sat at work and worried that the courier would arrive early, not find me home, and take the turkey back to Yokohama. I rushed home and sat to wait for the turkey again. And waited. And waited.
The next morning, I begged off of work. My boss gave me unpaid leave so I could have Christmas day to myself. Then I got the call.
My turkey did not clear customs. The turkey would be staying on that boat in Yokohama and would probably be returning to its port of origin. The company would refund my money.
I was de-Christmased. Stuck with a lousy tree, a can of cranberry sauce and a bowl of gravy.
Then I remembered. Earlier that week, I saw what I thought was turkey at a local supermarket. I jumped on my bike and raced across town to see if I could track down this last chance at a Christmas meal.
Christmas 2001 was a meal of exactly one barbecued turkey thigh, with plenty of cranberry sauce and gravy, and no leftovers.