While putting off the task of adding a personal note to holiday cards that MUST! GO! OUT!, I decided to review My Year In Blogging.
Today, at Holy Moly, we had some excitement too. I ended up staying for both services just because there was a rehearsal for the big day after the second service. There was lots of laughter, a little girl threw up in front of the choir, Pat Kalicki stood in for Bishop Katharine in the run-through wearing a paper bishopâ€™s mitre, and there was lots of chaos and general anarchy.
One of the blessings of a â€œmixedâ€ family heritage is that you get to eat comfort foods from more than one buffet line. Case in point: yesterdayâ€™s family confab and lunch nosh, which was held at Maxâ€™s Delicatessen in Skokie.
I knew going in that on a bitterly cold day, fighting a â€œbugâ€ and trying not to cough too much, I needed lots of chicken soup, STAT. Probably with kreplach (dumplings) or matzoh balls (actually, one ginormous matzoh ball). But Iâ€™d never seen anything like the menu item under the various listings for chicken soup extras – underneath all of them, it said â€œMish-Mosh Chicken Soup.â€ It was a lot more expensive, and my rudimentary knowledge of Yiddish told me it was a mixture or a little of everything. Good enough, and then I saw that the 1/2 soup, 1/2 sandwich option for lox and a toasted bagel included a note: â€œ$3.50 extra for Mish-Mosh.â€
Sold. I ordered. The waitress asked â€œNova, or regular?â€ and I knew to answer â€œregularâ€ because Nova Scotia lox is more expensive. David ordered mish-mosh for his half-and-half, too. My nephew Josh chuckled â€œMish-mosh, itâ€™s brutal.â€
Presently, a tremendous bowl arrived, with all kinds of stuff sticking out of it. A giant matzoh, made with dill weed. A couple of kreplach, including some broken ones. A bunch of little bitty thin, flat noodles like the kind that come in Liptonâ€™s dried onion soup mix, but longer and curlier. A ladlefull of rice. And finally, a whole bunch of loose crumbled corned beef, that must have falled out of yet more unseen broken kreplach.
Oh, man, was it good.
The lox and bagel arrived after a few minutesâ€™ work on the soup. It was a disappointment, with two thin strips of lox, barely enough to put on each half of toasted bagel. Iâ€™m used to sandwich places that give you FOUR strips and CAPERS, but no. And the onions were the super-hot kind, not the mild sweet kind that goes better with smoked salmon and any kind of plain or savory cream cheese (I had plain).
But the soup more than made up for this deficiency of lox. I finished most of the solid stuff out of it and didnâ€™t leave much liquid behind, either. MMM, yummy.
After weâ€™d all mostly finished eating, the announcement to the family was made. Somebody will be going through chemo after surgery again. This was a surprise to a couple of people, and just at that moment, all kinds of service people descended on the table offering bills, more coffee, more new pickles, and offering to box up uneaten food. Argh! Go away! But it was the most convenient place to meet the busiest subset of the family, so thatâ€™s where we were instead of at one of our homes.
So we listened, and we pondered, and we offered help and casseroles, and expressed hope and love and support.
My mom-in-law Leah came through with flying colors and again sports a full head of hair. YAAAY!
My husband David and I – as he noted on his blog – were finally seduced by the Light Side, the Forces of Brightness, the White Lord of the Pith, the Core of All Good, etc. etc. We both got iPhones as weâ€™d previously warned.
Stupidly, we went to Woodfield Mall yesterday, rather than driving to the brand new AT&T store on Algonquin in Rolling Meadows, which as of March 17th had 16G iPhones. The Apple store was out of the 16Gâ€™s and didnâ€™t expect to get any for some time, so we shrugged and said â€œOkay, weâ€™ll take the 8G phones, we wonâ€™t need the extra capacity, it was just a thought.â€
We may yet have cause to regret this impetuousity.
Plus, this timely link:
You can have my iPhone… when you pry it from my cold, arthritic, obsessively clutching fingers.
Wow. I still canâ€™t believe that I had a chance to see the McDades at the Abbey Pub, a well known Chicago institution. And that my husband David and I got to see them gratis, a fact that makes me absurdly grateful and humble. Hell, this blogging gig is pretty cool if people contact you out of the blue and give you free stuff and invite you to all the best parties.
Okay, enough about that, Iâ€™m a mere amoeba on the Great Evolutionary Chain of Blogging Being.
The thing I REALLY canâ€™t believe that there were only about 10 people at the show. I feel bad about this, because that means that at least 20% of the crowd was there for free. So the next day, I went to the The McDades – Music website and bought their latest CD, Bloom. No, I could have downloaded it from iTunes for less, or I could have gone to Borders and rooted around in the Celtic/World Music bins until I found it, but no. I freaking felt compelled to pay Canadian funds and Canadian shipping, because I felt terrible for the band and for their mom, who was nice enough to contact me in the first place.
A selection of photos from our trip to Maine and Washington DC
Can I just say, I “heart” Maine?
This looks like a nice place to stay, right?
Well, not exactly:
Itâ€™s probably a bitch to get to in the winter, but youâ€™d never have to worry about sightseeing rubberneckers trying to poke their noses into your business.
Or maybe not.
Local color, to better lure the tourists into the restaurant
It was a nice walk in the woods, very quiet.
Boothbay Harbor at sunset
Perhaps the most telling endorsement of Obama is something I just heard an NPR â€œIn Characterâ€ piece on Mr. Spock, the Classic Star Trek character played by Leonard Nimoy. After a discussion of Spockâ€™s intriguing hidden qualities and his half-human, half-Vulcan heritage and how that translates to contemporary issues, we find out that Nimoy is an Obama supporter, too.
Actually, I bet someoneâ€™s already done a parody of the candidates as Star Trek characters. McCain would have to be late-stage Kirk, perhaps from one of the odd-numbered movies. Although Iâ€™m also tempted to see him as Commodore Matthew Deckerâ€¦
Ron Paul might make a good lesser commander, probably one of the insane ones with fanatical followers, like Capt. Ron Tracey.
Hillary Clinton? the best she could hope for is as a wannabe Janeway, in my opinion. She runs the ship, but doesnâ€™t really get anywhere, is literally tossed around the galaxy by events beyond her control, is in permanent damage control mode, and everybody is relieved when itâ€™s all over in a confusing jumble.
It seems I missed a bet on re-casting Kirk
My husband David and I are well on the way to fogeyhood: without consulting each otherâ€™s schedules, we made doctorâ€™s appointments for the same day within 15 minutes. Heâ€™s up first, then me.
By way of illustration, I see the large-type Readers Digest has a relevant article.
As you can see the Readers Digest large type edition has an article about the Things Your Doctor Isnt Telling You.
â€œHe who is tired of London is tired of life. â€œ
Weâ€™re not tired of London, and are already plotting a return trip. But itâ€™s time to move on to the Cotswolds for five nights and we wonâ€™t miss our cramped little hotel room near Paddington.
On Sunday, I made good on my threat to attend services at St Johns-Hyde Park. Met the Rev. Margaret Legg, who presided while the Vicar preached. Very diverse, progressive people – theyâ€™re looking forward to the Blessing of the Horses Sep 21, where the vicar will don cope and split cassock and bless the cavalcade (I believe there is a pub visit as well). Terrific young female soloist, plus a young man who played classical guitar.
Before church David and I walked in Hyde Park, with all the dogwalkers and riders on horseback. We paid several appendages to eat breakfast at the nearby Hilton. After I returned we headed out and wasted a lot of time on the Original Bus tour on a boat to Greenwich; took too long and the museum was closing by the time we got done with lunch and then had a terrible time getting back on the tube.
Also encountered: an old gentleman feeding his squirrel friends in St James Park, and a polite young Peruvian bear named Paddington, who we met at the station as we were leaving London. We gave him a lift and he now lives in Mt Vernon, IL with our niece Melissa. She calls him “PB” and is always fussing over him.
The story on this image: David and I were doing something we rarely do – watching TV more or less â€œliveâ€, and even more unusually, we were watching a network show and not bothering to zip through the commercials. This one came on for a product called Botox Cosmetic â€” with the tagline â€œitâ€™s all about freedom of expression!â€ We had to pause the TiVo just to laugh. Apparently, the makers are quite proud of their product and address the troubling question of â€œWill I be able to make facial expressions after using Botox-Cosmetic?â€
Yeah, right. Aaaaanyway.
My husband David said â€œthere is something so wrong about a product ad that says â€œtoxin.â€ I said â€œI thought botox gave you freedom FROM expressions.â€ As we looked at each other, we both made the same facial expressionâ€¦ the â€œIâ€™m so blogging thisâ€ expression.
We both dove for a blogging appliance.
I have to say, early on it was a thrill, because I got to vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the Presidential race at last. At last! Great God almightyâ€¦ well, two more weeks until we know for sure. But I decided it would probably be inappropriate to burst into tears, song, or both, so I sucked it up and kept on voting. I was happy to vote for Sen. Durbin, whoâ€™s kind of been on fire the last two years what with suddenly being one of the highest ranking majority members and being able to get a lot more bills through committee and passed than ever before. And I voted for Bean, whoâ€™s done all right and also benefited by becoming a majority-party U.S. Representative in her second term.
There was definitely electricity in the air, though, and we overheard the village hall guy say that on Friday and Saturday, the first days of early voting, there was a wait of 35 minutes, with people out the door waiting to vote. Earlier today, I was reading about how Utahâ€™s doing early voting, and today was the last day to register. So in Salt Lake, they had so many people show up that they set up a drive-thru outdoors, with extra staff deputized to hand applications to drivers, who filled them out in their cars (or on their motorcycles) and handed them back. A number of people then were able to vote early. A TON of people have been registered in Utah; many of them are Republicans who never bothered voting for the last decade because in Utah it was either a waste of time (Clinton) or safely in the bag (Bush).
But there are a lot of Democrats in Salt Lake, and Salt Lake County. Also not a few in the Park City area; I think thatâ€™s Summit County. They might be electing a few down-ticket candidates, else why would Hillary Clinton bother to show up for a couple of fundraisers in that reddest of red states?
And we pretty much know how that turned out, thank GOD. Also, Salt Lake County went (barely) for Obama. The Democrats in Utah are feeling good.
Via V is for Voted
Palin fakes admirably and fails irrevocably, trying to not let on that she has absolutely no clue who the people are that â€œSarkozyâ€ is raving about. She doesnâ€™t even drop to it when â€œM. le Presidentâ€ notes that he can see Belgium from his ass. Sarah laughs uncomfortably, perhaps not wishing to embarrass the gentleman over his poor command of English idioms. Too bad Palinâ€™s never bothered to glance in the direction of Canada from her bathroom window, or bone up on the name of its premier.
UPDATE: Okay, he may have said â€œfrom his â€˜ouseâ€ in his strong Quebecois accent, but it sounded like â€œass,â€ same as what he made of Palin.
You get the impression that Sarah is listening for those dog-whistle phrases to which she knows the answers. She knows enough about Sarkozy to gush about his beautiful wife and family. And finally she is told sheâ€™s been pranked by the Masked Avengers comedy radio duo from Quebec. The background discussion between Palin and at least two aides after she repeats aloud â€œOhhhh, weâ€™ve been prankedâ€¦ what radio station?â€ is worth the toe-curling agony of listening to Palin. At the very beginning, she canâ€™t even take the call with aplomb, starting to talk to the prankster whoâ€™s playing the part of the aide to the French President. She bobbles her greeting and then hands the phone back to her aide, saying â€œI always do that!â€ before getting back on and saying â€œHel-LOâ€ to the fake French leader just like she did to the â€œaide.â€
Funny stuff. I doubt theyâ€™ll have much success with Obamaâ€™s people.
Good times, eh?
Via Daily Kos: Palin Pranked AAAAAH!!!! SO FULL OF WIN
We went to the holiday party last night for Davidâ€™s office. In recent years, itâ€™s been an enjoyable enough affair, especially after they stopped booking the DJ nobody likedâ€¦ but the experience we had was somewhat beyond our wildest expectations of a nice evening.
Meson Sabika was the setting, a large mansion in Naperville, which is one of the few Chicago suburbs with a sense of its own history. First settled in 1811, itâ€™s set in gently rolling country, with a vibrant and architecturally appealing downtown, with public space and art everywhere. We drove down after work, and I was in my typically grumpy â€œI HATE GETTING DRESSED UPâ€ frame of mind on the way. All that changed as soon as we walked in the door.