the gregarious homebody

Friday, December 25, 2009

And a Very Jewish Christmas to All!

Continuing our own traditions throughout the year is something that makes me feel good every single time.  Lighting the menorrah each Hanukkah and sending the kids on a treasure hunt for their gifts, baking up a batch of chocolate matzah buttercrunch for Passover, and making some form of fondue (even if it's clumpy) for New Year's Eve...all these traditions are looked forward to and taken for granted that they will happen by the kids and carried on with pleasure by me and HH. 

We've even got traditions for the big holiday we don't celebrate.  You know the one because right now YOU are probably knee-deep in it.  As for us, we've completed 4 of the 5 steps in our Jewish Christmas tradition.

  1.   Last night, on Jewish Christmas Eve, we went out to eat; usually, it is to a diner because everything else is usually too packed with Christmas-celebrators.  But this year we went to a new Mexican restaurant down the street and, I think, a new tradition may have been born.  Not to go this restaurant every year, but the tradition of Mom drinking a Christmas margarita!  It was worthy of carrying on for years to come!

  2. Then a horror movie was watched.  This year's Bio Zombie was deemed "boring" by The Girl.  Some traditions are not without sacrifice.

  3. Sleeping late today was a must.  No worries about getting up first to see the gifts under the tree. There are no gifts and the only tree is a ficus. 

  4. Another movie, this one at a theater.  Sherlock Holmes.  Brilliant!  It had almost all the elements I enjoy in a movie--fabulous scenery and costumes, snappy dialogue, smart and easy-on-the-eyes lead actors and the tease of a sequel.  *8 thumbs-up!

  5. And in a few minutes we'll leave for a Jewish Christmas dinner--for many years it was Chinese food in Chinatown.  But this year I was the only one who wanted to go so  we're going to the new Carnegie Deli located in our town's casino.  Classy!  My guess is we'll be the only actual Jews there but I'm looking forward to a 5-pound sandwich and some people-watching (I'm betting--get it?!-- on seeing a LOT of ugly Christmas sweater/wind suit combinations).  Ah, tradition...

*editted later: I was just reflecting on Robert Downey's performance and Jude Law's twinkly eyes while trying to fall asleep and I just remembered that one thing bothered me about the movie--watch carefully when you see it: all the magic/evil/witchcrafty stuff has HEBREW LETTERING on it!  WHY?  I must investigate.  If this is a "we hate the jews" subplot I will be so disappointed.  Not to mention upset that my Jewish Christmas was perhaps ruined.  OY.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Make My Own Rules

I know the traditional time to count one's blessings is Thanksgiving and I like Thanksgiving because of that (and the pie), but I think the end of the year is a good time too.  And a weird side effect of running for me is that, even though I hate almost every second of the actual running, I also think lots of happy thoughts while I'm doing it.  Weird.

So anyway, these are some of the things I was thinking this week while my thighs were threatening to burn a hole in my under armour pants and my chest was heaving (and not in a good way):

I am thankful for:

my husband

Yes, that's him. 
And if you know me well, you know I started dating him in spite of
his propensity for face-painting.
In spite of the many ways in which he makes me INSANE,
I can't imagine my life without him. 
He will drive me crazy until the day I die.

That's my version of a love note.


these two

He mumbles and occasionally smells like something
that would be at home on a French cheese plate.
He drives me insane because we seem to speak different languages right now.
And he should be speaking MINE.

She is growing up too fast and wants to bend every rule I make.
She drives me insane because it's like living with Sybil. 
I never know who is coming down the stairs in the morning.

But they remind me every day of the value of patience.
And that a hug or a kind word not asked for is the greatest gift.


kidding!  This photo represents

My friends

I think one of my favorite parts of having a party is when HH and I
break it down after everyone's gone.
How all our friends are just such awesome people.
How cool it is that everyone comes from such different
areas of our life but seem to blend seamlessly.

How lucky we are to know them and count them as family.

Now, since blogger is taking an irritatingly long time loading pictures,
here's a probably-incomplete list of other things I feel grateful for,
in no certain order. 

1. Netflix --I know this is shallow and materialistic, but it represents HH having a JOB.  And there are few things that give me a day-to-day thrill as seeing one of those red envelopes in my mailbox. Will it be a French film I can't get at Blockbuster?  Will it be another Buffy episode???
2. Movies--See above.  I luuurve movies.  I love being transported.  And I have no snobbery.  I enjoy a good zombie movie as much as a documentary (who am I kidding?  maybe more).
3. An occasional rainy day off in which I feel no guilt about lying around reading a book.
4. School--I love it.  Even the homework. I know it's sadly cliche of me as a "nontraditional student."  But it just feels good to be where I am right now and I can't believe I've done it.
5. My home--Even though it doesn't measure up in the decorating department to some of the homes I see on all the blogs I follow, it is cozy and very "me."  I like my stuff.  I like to be here.  In fact, I'd rather be here than most places.  How lucky is that?
6. The furry children--I just threw up in my mouth a little, writing that.  I am NOT one of those people who sees her pets as furry people.  A dog is a DOG.  BUT, how great is that I can leave a room for 5 minutes and be greeted when I go back in like I've been gone FOR YEARS, over and over again?  They're dim but so lovable and they never tell me I'm UNFAIR or ask anything of me but the occasional rub between the ears.  Nice.
7. The nephews--I don't see them enough but when I do, they make up for it.
8. Food in the fridge and the time to make it for my family.  I know it sounds trite, but I get such a great feeling from baking my own bread or making homemade soup or something else homey for my family.  It gives me a ridiculous amount of pleasure when I can take my time doing it.
9. Flannel sheets-- I love bed.
10. Memories--Some of them are pretty sucky, but the ones that aren't are so wonderful. 

What are you cherishing?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How to NOT Write a Paper

  • Make yourself toast even if you're not hungry.
  • Make yourself a cup of tea.
  • Send family to movies and then think about how weird it is that you wish you were going to see Edward again.
  • Make another cup of tea.  And another one.
  • Go to the bathroom 5 times.
  • Brush your hair while in there.  Each time.
  • Go to the bathroom again and put on more blush while in there even though no one is at home and you're not going anywhere.
  • Go outside for firewood because you are cold.
  • Watch dogs play outside in first snow of the season and realize that since your children are older and not as darling (bendable to will), you have replaced them in your heart with your pets just a little.
  • Go get a sweatshirt with the name of your grad school on it so it not only makes you cozy and lethargic but also mocks you with its collegiate attitude.
  • Start to write an outline.  Get distracted by the cool way you can bullet each item (ooh! daisies!).
  • Go online to "research" more.  Get lost on Facebook playing Scramble.
  • Blather incoherently about your topic and realize halfway through that your topic has magically changed.
  • Quit and barely remember to SAVE even though it's crap anyway.
  • Blog about it.


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