Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Ski and Kilt Season!

What thah?

Bubba and I are fleeing the building for the holidays to go find some snow to ski and kilts to...I don't my case - FLIP.

Since there's no snow to speak of in the US, we're going to Austria to ski the Alps and then, because our friends swear it's an even bigger party than Oktoberfest (which you know we loved), we're joining them in Scotland for a three day long New Year's celebration known as Hogmanay.

Never heard of it?

I hadn't either. And most of the people I've talked to since booking this trip haven't either. So, I guess it's a Scottish thing.

And who doesn't love Scots? OK, I hear rumors, but whatever.

Anyway, WE love Scots, I suppose, and I love men in kilts and since Bubba has vaguely, sort of, with the right cajoling and number of beers, agreed to potentially entertain the concept of maybe getting and wearing one (his favorite color is plaid, after all), we're going to go see what this giant party is all about.

And then maybe jump in the river on New Year's Day. Though, disappointingly, we won't be getting into town in time for the torch parade wherein visitors from faraway places and locals alike can march down the main drags carrying real lit torches of FIRE for some reason I haven't figured out yet.

Too bad on that.

But first - we will ski, as is our Christmas custom. And thanks to the Real Winter Weather Having-ness of Austria, it will not be atop man made snow like so many of the resorts in Lake Tahoe.

And then I'll come back and share photos and we can talk all about how we're all fat from the holiday garbage we ate for six months in the name of Oh It's The Holidays Sure I'll Have Another Slice of Yule Log.

If you want to follow along as we ski and hunt for kilts, I'm on Twitter and Facebook and I'd love to have you along. Just don't hassle me on New Year's Day. I imagine I'll be feeling grotesquely unwell.

Happy whatever you have, folks! Have a G&T for me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

on the twelfth day of What the Effmas...

...everything but candy canes.

at the 11th hour a snow wife throws herself to her death,
a 10 foot high train track makes an iffy descent,
9 candy canes contributed to a eyeball searing Christmas-themed rave,
8 cars were inconvenienced in the taking of this photo because OBVIOUSLY,
7 choices were set out for the dog's festive dumping,
a 6 foot polar bear kidnapped an unidentifiable inflatable creature,
5 snowmen taunted me from around this off-season May pole,
a 4 foot high elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses,
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
and there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.

OK, so maybe you were hoping for something with the #12 in it. You know, to make the whole What the Effmas experience complete.

Well, if that's the case, I'm sure there are at least a dozen of those big glowing tree ornaments, or maybe those little fiber optic pseudo-trees or strings of lights wrapped around the door pillars, but that's as far as I'm prepared to go with this numerical succession thing because, at the end of the day, this is the house that haunts me most from all of the photos I've taken.

Come closer and just FEEL the haunting. Also, blurring. Sorry, the dog was pulling me.

Maybe that's because I see this house daily and fantasize about going hog wild ripping lights down from its eaves. Maybe it's because the pattern blinked out by the flashing snowflakes in the trees, net lights draped across the lawn and bulbs nailed to the roof top give the dog the shits. Or maybe it's because EVERY YEAR these psychos put up more lights and more craziness in order to compete with these other maniacs to win the neighborhood's apparently coveted Best Lights Display award based on votes from my more annoying neighbors.

Bubba and I tried, one year, to derail the voting process and discourage resource-melting displays and their corresponding neighborly competitiveness by actually taking part in the voting process and placing our votes for the house with the fewest lights (we were going to vote for a house without any decorations, but thought that our votes would be discarded), but that whole campaign didn't take hold and our votes were left in the "Who are these people?" pile when they were sorted into winners versus losers.

Yet again, the Decorated House That Inspires The Ass Sprays won again, and we were left to shield our eyes from behind the shuttered windows of our home, applying sunscreen to take the dog on her nightly walks.

But because I can't bear to disappoint you fine folks, who join me here in the later months with hearty encouragement for my holiday decoration hating rants, I gift to thee, the rest of the photos deemed eye-scorchingly criminal by my strict standards:

Blue rope lights should be outlawed altogether.

If only they had the inflatable Santa driving a motorcycle with the penguin in the sidecar, this would be perfectly awful.

Jada barked at that dog and then peed on it. Good girl.

Snowmen under the tree. Why?

I fought the urge to straighten that one candy cane because I knew I'd just end up ripping them all out in a passionate rage.

Santa in a helicopter. That's realistic.

Myth dispelled: Limiting yourself to only white lights does not guarantee a tasteful display.

These don't light up, so I took this with a flash and it STILL came out way creepy. I think Santa's buried under the lawn.

Fuck you, snowman.

And then this one house whose decorations I actually find appealing and festive without being too heinous or offensively stupid.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

On the eleventh day of What the Effmas... the 11th hour, this snowwoman waited patiently on her bedazzled widow's perch for her long lost snowhusband to return from sea.

Or so I can only assume based on the inexplicable goings on with other decorations (see every post below.)

a 10 foot high train track makes an iffy descent,
9 candy canes contributed to a eyeball searing Christmas-themed rave,
8 cars were inconvenienced in the taking of this photo because OBVIOUSLY,
7 choices were set out for the dog's festive dumping,
a 6 foot polar bear kidnapped an unidentifiable inflatable creature,
5 snowmen taunted me from around this off-season May pole,
a 4 foot high elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses,
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
and there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.

OK, so that's a long way to go to put an 11 at the beginning there, but I think you see why I had to include this photo SOMEHOW SOME WAY.

Every time I've driven past this thing I've wondered whether they're trying to make a statement with their haphazard arrangement or they're lazy or cracked out on an unorthodox blend of meth and LSD or actually have a snowman out at sea with a lonely snowwife left in their attic.

Or are they fans of dramatic suicides?

No, that'd be too crazy and disturbing.

Maybe they really want the world to know that they have something akin to a widow's perch even though they live in suburban San Jose? LOOK HOW FANCY WE ARE?

I don't know, people, I'm just spitballing, here. Obviously the people decorating this house are whacked out of their skulls. Though, their whacked out-ness has been increasing in the last few years because they used to only do this with their decorations.

As you can see, things have changed in new and terrible ways. Much like the rest of the crap that inspired What the Effmas to begin with:
  • A Christmas countdown machine OF DOOM
  • Pyromaniacal angels
  • Lost roof tile-eating wildlife
  • a Coprophagous dwarf
  • Pagan snowmen
  • Kidnapping bears
  • Laxative trees
  • Psychotic gumdrop forests
  • a Christmas rave
  • Non-standard railways

You'll just have to wait until tomorrow for that one.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the tenth day of What the Effmas...

...a train chugged by 10 feet off the ground in the most nonsensical of holiday decoration arrangements to date.

9 candy canes contributed to a eyeball searing Christmas-themed rave,
8 cars were inconvenienced in the taking of this photo because OBVIOUSLY,
7 choices were set out for the dog's festive dumping,
a 6 foot polar bear kidnapped an unidentifiable inflatable creature,
5 snowmen taunted me from around this off-season May pole,
a 4 foot high elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses,
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
and there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.

Trains are, apparently, the new *It Decoration* this year. I've never seen so many trains scattered across people's lawns, lining driveways or, in this case, stacked individually by car on the stair-stepped railing at this house.

Tell me, what kind of sense does it make to set up a train this way? No train could possibly run this way. Not even as a fantasy in the sugar-addled minds of young children under the influence of SANTA'S COMING and the intoxication of holiday break from school.

Yet, there it is.

And yet, there are all the other trains I've seen set up a hundred different ways that don't make sense. I wish I'd taken photos of all of them, but not until this house did I realize the alarming trend.


Which, depending on whether you're my father (which, only one of you is, so I'm not sure why I expect you all to be on board with this.)(Haha - did you see the pun I just accidentally wrote in there? Yeah, I didn't even mean to, and I would have deleted it because I hate punners, but then I decided to write this long aside that will totally derail the rest of this sentence.)(Hey, did you see what I did again? Another train pun! Wow. This is getting out of hand. Phew! I seemed to make it through that sentence without another train pun. Thank gawd.), may or may not actually be alarming.

My dad is a train guy, is what I'm getting at. And, if he were to see all of these train decorations set up in all of these ridiculous ways, he'd probably have something to say about it, but since he's in Mexico doing what lots of Jews do during the winter holidays (other than eat Chinese food and wait for Hanukkah for their socks), he won't ever have to know. And for that we can be grateful because if you think that *I* bitch a lot, well, let's just say that I come by this trait honestly.

My dad is the King Ranter.

Regardless, the train thing has me confused.

Why wouldn't you, People Who Decorate Their Houses For Christmas With Lit Trees and Trains, wind the fucking train around the fucking tree like a normal person?

I mean, is that TOO OBVIOUS? Are you trying to be EDGY with your train placement? Don't want to be predictable and mundane by putting your giant glowing, tooting train decoration around the base of your flashing, bleeping tree like they used to in the olden days? Is that too old-fashioned? Are you trying to be cool for the kids?


I'll never understand you people. And by You People, I mean those of you who think that a train can run down a stair-stepped railing as though it's built on human legs instead of wheels that run on tracks.

You People also don't understand the meaning of "moderation", I see.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the ninth day of What the Effmas...

...9 candy canes out of ONE MILLION faced the same direction and stood straight on this one dude's lawn while the other 999,991 lit up this Christmas-themed rave.

8 cars were inconvenienced in the taking of this photo because OBVIOUSLY,
7 choices were set out for the dog's festive dumping,
a 6 foot polar bear kidnapped an unidentifiable inflatable creature,
5 snowmen taunted me from around this off-season May pole,
a 4 foot high elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses,
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
and there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.

Look, my beef with these stupid never-installed-properly candy canes is well documented. They never look good. They're never straight. They never make sense. They never do anything other than provide odd looking runways for holiday aliens to land on people's lawns or provide unnecessary confinement for other decorations looking to potentially flee their blinking homelands.

These candy canes are apparently as unsuccessful at keeping deer out of the garden as the so-called deer fencing my mom wraps futilely around her rose bushes, but alas, there they are reigning in the flighty Christmas tree.

I just don't know why people bother with them honestly, or why they're not ever hung from the trees themselves, in a manner reflective of ways I've *actually* seen candy canes used during the holidays.

Don't people decorate Christmas trees by hanging candy canes from the branches sometimes? No? Have I been wrongfully educated on holiday traditions?

Why aren't there ever any of these stupid glowing things hanging from trees? Is that too predictable, now?

I realize I'm asking a lot of questions that don't have answers, but I hardly think that matters. If nothing else, I've proven that holiday decorations don't make a damn bit of sense except to call out which of my neighbors have lost all or most of their minds.

The sad part is that their sanity seems tied proportionately to the number of decorations setting their yards aflame and my block is positively blazing right now.

Does not bode well for the productivity of neighborhood meetings, I'll tell you that.

Monday, December 19, 2011

On the eighth day of What the Effmas...

...8 cars waited and honked behind me while I feigned holiday merriment and enthusiasm by blocking traffic to take this photo because OBVIOUSLY.

7 choices were set out for the dog's festive dumping,
a 6 foot polar bear kidnapped an unidentifiable inflatable creature,
5 snowmen taunted me from around this off-season May pole,
a 4 foot high elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses,
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
and there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.

I hope you know the danger I risked by taking this photo so that we could all sit here in a merry ring of holiday judgement and gasp in amazement that someone owns a full-sized sleigh and eight life-sized reindeer and then, when they're displayed on their front lawn, they're not even the most startling thing to look at.

No, that would be the gumdrop wonderland of bullshit leading up to the aforementioned startlingly huge reindeer.

I mean, the rickety facing-every-which-way candy canes would have been enough to get a second glance out of me, but the blue shrubs (why blue? WHY ANYTHING AT THIS POINT?), green tree trunk, rainbow sugar plum tree, nutcracker-esque guardsmen and far off Christmas tree put me over the top.

I had to stop the car. I had to roll my passenger's window down, tell them to move their GDF head back so I could take this photo while flipping the bird to the jackasses swerving around me into oncoming traffic because I'd stopped all forward motion to capture this eye-swelling delight of holiday horror to share with y'all.

Hey, these people are asking for it by dressing their house that way. Whores.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On the seventh day of What the Effmas...

...I gave the dog 7 things to choose from when deciding where to take a dump,

a 6 foot polar bear kidnapped an unidentifiable inflatable creature,
5 snowmen taunted me from around this off-season May pole,
a 4 foot high elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses,
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
and there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.  
She sniffed around everything on this lawn before deciding to go with an old standby favorite - the tiny lit Christmas tree.

I swear, the dog's anus relaxes as soon as the holidays come around and people start putting these things out on their lawns. They're like a festive blinking laxative for her.

Which is handy for me, because that means I don't have to carry a flashlight or risk life and limb of all nearby kitty cats by stealing her blinking dog tag to locate her dump amidst the darkness of my neighbors' lawns.

Nope - we rely on these merry colorful poo finders for that.

Hooray! It's Christmas! Let's take the dog out to shit in a twinkling forest haunted by a disproportionately small man with a bag of stolen goods, an oversized puppy wearing the fat man's hat and some randomly dispersed giant boxes!

Sort of brings about a physiological reaction in me as well, come to think of it.

Wait! Are those more tiny trees around a much bigger tree and some unidentifiable inflatable object? Excuse me, my newspaper and I have some business to attend to...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On the sixth day of What the Effmas...

...a 6 foot polar bear kidnapped an unidentifiable inflatable creature and held it captive on a lawn infested with red and white striped earthworms that had left their luminescent slime trails all over the front porch,
5 snowmen taunted me from around this off-season May pole,
a 4 foot high elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses,
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
and there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.  

Yeah, that was kind of a long ways to go to get a 6 at the beginning of that sentence and incorporate all the Wrong going on in that yard. And I didn't even manage to say anything about the too small Christmas tree lost in the shuffle behind all that other madness.

Ohp! There I go - I did get it after all.

So, yeah, this is a new fun trend I'm noticing that folds in neatly with the "Yards That Should Be Tended Before Receiving Decorations" rule --  the "Houses Should Come With a Size Limit For Decorations So That They're Not Larger Than The House Itself" rule.

That polar bear there, yeah, I have to imagine that they justified its size by ruling that once the holidays were over, they were just going to move into it and call it the new breakfast nook.

Like, "Hey kids, just take your cereal into the bear's belly and have your breakfast while I finish packing your lunch over here in its left thigh."

Too much? OK, I guess we could use it as a studio or tool shed or something. I have been needing a place to store all my paw shaped trowels.

Meanwhile, one last thing - why the fuck is a polar bear wearing mittens and a scarf? IT'S A FUCKING POLAR BEAR. They come with built in mittens and scarves - it's called FUR. And, of all things to provide for a creature to fend off the cold weather, why wouldn't you give him boots or at least another pear of mittens for his back paws, which, BY THE WAY, are the same as his front paws because bears don't have hands and feet -- they have FOUR PAWS.

Jesus. I can't make sense of this at all and all I'm trying to do is rationalize the damned polar bear.

I give up. For now.

Friday, December 16, 2011

On the fifth day of What the Effmas...

 ...5 snowmen taunted me from around this off-season May pole.
a 4 foot high elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses,
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
And there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown. 

Actually, the "Oh waittaminute now!' feature of this display is not the 5 (6, 7?) snowmen partying ironically around the Christmas May pole, but rather the plastic resin bench tied up and out of the way next to the house.

Go ahead and look, I'll give you a minute.

Yeah, see it there on the left? It's just perched atop their side yard gate all Trump-esque and fancy like challenging passers by to ignore the many snowmenned lawn light show beneath the May pole and instead meditate on what might have occurred during the decorating of the house to make the owners believe that, when a useful (albeit ugly) piece of furniture is in the way of another half dozen snowmen, it's acceptable to just jauntily toss it halfway over the fence.

Let it fall where it may! They said while inflating another snowman.
The real important feature is the May pole! We must have a Christmas May pole! Out of the way stupid bench!

And so on until the front yard was finished and sat aglow with just enough light emanating from the scene to draw even more attention to the bench than they probably intended.

I just don't understand why, when they were looking for yet more ways to stage their snowmen, they didn't think to just have some sitting on the bench.

Fictitious holiday characters need to rest their tired dogs just like the rest of us, do they not?

These people are not only slave drivers, they're also heartless and in need of a visit from OSHA before these snowmen join a union and hand them their asses.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

On the fourth day of What the Effmas...

 ...this elf busted in on Santa taking a merry crap in the most festive of outhouses.
3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
And there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.

The fact that an outhouse was deemed worthy of inflatable-izing has me doubting the sanity and collective brain power of all those at work creating holiday decorations.

Just why?

Why, firstly, would an imaginative childhood holiday character taking a shit interest anyone?
Then, why would that be cause for celebration?
And then why would you want to immortalize that on your front lawn and call yet more attention to it with additional strings of lights and HELLO a giant inflatable Christmas tree?
And, finally (because I have to stop sometime), why would whatever maniac who invented this offense think that all it needed "To really make it sing!" was an elf busting in on Santa while he was dropping a deuce?


If there is a greater holiday lesson, tradition or otherwise that I should be aware of, someone please let me know.

If there is a December risk of having small people barging into bathrooms afoot, also please tell me now so that I can start carrying a firearm to the loo.

But if this is just someone's holiday decorations gone horribly wrong, let us all join together to seek out and *disappear* the maker of this particular inflatable holiday fugliness.

Oh my! I think Santa snagged my copy of this month's Hustler!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the third day of What the Effmas...

...3 deer randomly perched on the roof of this house and ate sprouting sky debris from the gutters,
2 bitches set this tree on fire,
And there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.

I get that Christmas stories are rife with Santa's reindeer galloping along magically through the skies and landing on people's houses so that what's his toes can jam his fat behind into chimneys to deliver presents.

I'm not saying it makes sense, but I am at least aware of the stories.

So, I can see why people might put animatronic glowing reindeer on their roof so that their kids think that the reindeer are up there with Fat Ass and his sack of gifts. For the whole month. Just hanging out doing whatever and letting the reindeer shit up the joint.

I suppose I can understand this. Sort of.

But it's beyond my mental capacity to understand what kind of sense it makes to have three random deer perched precariously on a roof peak pointing all which ways without a Santa nearby.

Are they just the early arrivals and the rest of the herd is still huffing along hauling Santa's red behind from the North Pole? Did they escape the reindeer encampment only to realize they were lost without some overweight idiot in a flashy costume pointing them in the right direction so they just stopped wherever (AKA this guy's house) to have an unappetizing snack of fallen airplane debris and dry leaves before tromping off to better pastures?

Who the fuck knows, is what I'm saying, and who the hell knows what these people were thinking when they put these deer on the roof of their house because it's not like their whole front yard was full of inflatable penguins yet or anything.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On the second day of What The Effmas...

...these two bitches were still wearing their Halloween costumes as they set this tree on fire.
And there was this traitorous douche with his infuriating countdown.

See - I'm not the only one who thinks the whole FOREVER YEAR ROUND CHRISTMAS thing has gotten a bit out of hand. These girls were probably still swapping Fun Size Snickers for Butterfingers on their living room floor when their mom came dragging an offensively premature sapling across their trading grounds.

"Nice try, moms, we're not done with Halloween yet and we'll thank you not to ruin our sugar high with your 'Let's untangle all the twinkle lights' bullshit."

Which is when they used their free reign in the attic "looking for the lights" to dust off the emergency candles and hatch a plan to *disappear Christmas*.

Take that, woman! And we're wearing our Halloween costumes to the mall later when you force us to go with you to pick out stocking stuffers. We will not go quietly into the holiday season!

These are my kind of girls. Just...make sure you take them to White Castle.

Monday, December 12, 2011

On the first day of What The Effmas...

...I saw this fucking guy like totally hanging out on my neighbor's porch mocking me with his prissy hat and crooked carrot nose.

"Look at me! I have a digital read out of how many days lie between you and the time when you'll be able to legitimately harass people for still having their Christmas decorations up! You can take that to the bank, too, because I'm wearing a top hat which makes me verrrrrrrrrrrry official!"

 Yeah, that's right, I'm choosing to ignore the whole "'till Christmas" business on that sign so that it can serve a useful purpose. Otherwise it's just a fruity snowman cheating on his real station in life - being the mascot for the best winter holiday of all: SKI SEASON.

Fucking traitor.

(For the record: Yes, I realize I used this photo in the last post. Also, yes, I realize that it says "15" days 'TILL (Why do people insist on contracting, "until"? That one extra letter is not so cumbersome. And, yes, I know that U and N count as two letters, but they always add the extra L in the contraction and I find it all needlessly complex and cutesy and it makes the math work out weird, so just whatever. Why, this is an awful long aside, isn't it? Consider it a bonus. Merry What The Effmas.) Christmas, but I didn't have a chance to go back and retake the photo, so just go with me on this.)

And now you may look forward to approximately 11 more days of counting down to the tune of You Know What Song because it's all stuck in your heads like it is mine.

Hooray. Just FEEL that holiday spirit rising up the back of your throat.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Merry Freshly Shat Coil of Decomposing Hellfire!

I learned the grossest lesson today while I was all up to my fucking ears in holiday baking:

Never crack eggs right into your recipe. Crack them into another bowl first, then drop them into your recipe.


Why dirty another bowl?

Why take the extra step when you're known for being a lazy short cut taker?

Because you may just drop a rotten egg right into your spinning bread dough and then have to watch (and smell) helplessly while its dark rank evil swirls ever deeper into your dough, ruining it forever.

No challahs were harmed in the making of this recipe.

And then you have to do two completely distasteful things:
  1. Start over. There's no saving anything that's seen the likes of a rotten egg.
  2. Waste everything that's gone into your recipe already.

This is no place for rotten eggs.

There's just nothing good about that scenario, so now I will always crack all eggs into a small bowl first, to test their potential rottenness, and then I will either PLOOP them into the mixer or SPLACH them into the garbage disposal with a lemon rind and run the thing for a solid five minutes.

And then I will bake a batch of mini challahs that turned out not exactly "mini".

Then I may or may not light a match and blame the dog, but you know, every time can be different. That's the fun of my kitchen.

That, and coming into contact with a smell so hideous it can only be equated to a freshly shat coil of decomposing hellfire.

This, however, smelled heavenly. And nothing like hellfire or rotten shatting.
My one saving grace was that I'd only used one of my four eggs for the recipe when the filthy rotten HELL egg went in, so I could still make the other five billion egg-needing recipes on the Holiday Baking Doom List.

Specifically, another batch of mini challahs that aren't actually mini and a truckload of mini coffee cakes that are actually mini.

I love these mini loaf pans with plastic lids for JUST this reason: stackability.
And, I should say, that if you're ever in need of a method for ridding your house of an awful smell and replacing it with a HEAVEN smell - bake two batches of challah and then bake coffee cake.

Then experience Nose Joy that has nothing to do with coke or huffing glue.

Not that I'd know about that kind of joy. It's not my thing.

If one could ingest gin through one's nose, though, that'd be another story.

But enough about my fine collection of illicit hobbies - I made more stuff:

Remember the lip balm thing? They look more profesh now. Also, they're not hard as a rock. Hooray.

In all honesty, I made these over the summer when blackberries were in season. Oh summertime...I miss thee.

And then, I made some more stuff from the stuff I made.

Sort of like standing between two mirrors except this was more work.

By this point in the holiday gift gathering, "JOY" is the last thing on my mind.

Unless it's the JOY from being FUCKING DONE ALREADY GAH.

I can't wait to ship you away from my house.
And in a few weeks, I'll take those mini coffee cakes of HEAVEN and give them to my neighbors so that they know that I love them even though Jada poops next to their Christmas trees.

The ones on their lawns, people. Not the ones in their living rooms. BUT OH MY GAH WHAT IF SHE DID THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.

But no. I wouldn't let her. That would be wrong.

And, anyway, I pick up the dumps she leaves by their lawn Christmas trees, so they probably know I love them.

Well, except for these people:

Bet this thing has 3 digit capability. Asses.
I don't love them, but sadly Jada's tank was empty, so I couldn't express my true feelings about their little decoration, there.

We'll try again though.

Meanwhile, holiday baking is done, the house smells like a bakery and it's cocktail time.

Don't forget - DO NOT CRACK EGGS RIGHT INTO YOUR RECIPES. Or, you know, rotten hellfire shits and such.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Why I'm like this at the holidays.

Want to know what's going on next door?

Yeah.  OK.

Look a lot like last year's display only with a different annoying tune and a big new star over the door?

Yeah. OK.

And you wonder why I lose my mind at the holidays.

Well, wonder no more.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Everything's NOT a gift.

I actually meant to start this post back in October when, during a morning run through my neighborhood, I saw the first sign of the forthcoming holidays - a banner whipping around the Valero gas station advertising "Gifts fit for the whole family!" with a picture of their gas cards below.


I wish I'd taken a picture, but I was still operating under the delusion that October was a month for pumpkins, fall races, fishing and at the very bitter end of the month - eating of too small candies. So, you know, I didn't have my phone with me to document such merry holiday harbingers such as the fucking gas station.

That's OK though, because it at least provides a good segue for this particular holiday peeve of mine: Stores that inappropriately advertise their wares as "Perfect for the whole family", "The right size for everyone on your list" or inclusive of "Everyone you know".

Because, outside of perhaps, which now sells every fucking thing under the sun, or eBay, which lets people from all over the world sell shit that no one wants alongside other shit that is either overpriced or being fenced from the back of a windowless van, no store has something that everyone in anyone's family wants or needs.

And this is not a new concept or realization either. I remember seeing a holiday ad (and it was probably one of those broadsheet paper fliers shoved into my folks' Sunday newspaper) as a kid for a hardware store advertising "Gifts for the whole family" with photos of a drill press, floral hammer, plain pink sweatshirt and rubber bands rendered as line drawings on its flimsy cover with the banner, "Gifts for the whole family" splashed across the top amongst red and green ornaments and similar holiday finery.

"Mmhhmmm..." I remember thinking doubtfully. "Who's 'whole family' are they referring to with this ad?"

Then I tried to match up the items on the cover with members of my own family in an effort to validate their "whole family" claim. It was a confusing and altogether unsatisfying process that only confirmed for me the hollow claims of holiday advertisers and also the ineptitude of hardware store marketing departments.

" the drill press is clearly for dad. The floral hammer is for mom? Or what about the pink sweatshirt? I guess that could be for my mom or my sister. Rubber bands? Are those for my brother? So that he can make a rubber band ball and throw it for the dog who will inevitably eat it and wind up with a trip to the vet when my mom thinks she's gotten worms but is actually just trying desperately to pass a wad of True Value's finest? I give up. Let's see that Macy's ad."

And so went the day.

I'll admit to being hopelessly attracted to the glossy ads folded into the Sunday paper around the holidays, making the thing so fat with BUY THIS CRAP BEFORE CHRISTMAS IS UPON YOU LIKE THE PLAGUE fliers that the paper guy couldn't roll the newspaper up compactly enough to fit into the oversize newspaper box bolted to the post beneath the mailbox. Instead, we'd find the paper stuffed into a thin weakling plastic bag and propped up against the post, straining for all its worth against the bag and physics itself.


And I'm sorry to say that this trend of every store hawking its bullshit as "perfect gifts for the holidays" regardless of its actual gift-giving qualities has not changed. In fact, it has only gotten more pervasive as the years have gone by and the stores become ever the more desperate to sell whatever the hell it is that they have on the shelves to any passerby similarly desperate to buy something or gullible enough to believe that a tire store has a "perfect gift" for his aging mother.

Some things are just not gifts, people. I think that, during 11 months out of the year, almost all of us can distinguish between something that *is* a gift and something that is not. And this is coming from someone who has purchased tires as a gift, though not for my mother.

I just don't want this trend getting completely out of control, as seems to be the inevitable outcome. I mean, yes, now it's just the gas station, dry cleaner and local mechanic tying ribbon around gas cards, wire hangers and steel belted radials, but it's going to lead to the funeral home down the street trying to market its services as "Perfect for the whole family" and that is when I'm going to fucking lose it.

Businesses of the world - everything you sell or provide as a service IS NOT A GIFT. So, just put your ribbon away and stoppit already.

Friday, December 02, 2011

It's good to be an unprofessional jackass [RECIPE]

I know you're coming here for holiday rants this month, and don't you worry, there will be plenty, but I also said I'd be talking about food we're eating, so here we go.

And I just hope that no one out there was hoping for super gourmet professional type dishes because, oh friends, that is not really what we've got here.

See, I'm a no-professional-culinary-skill-having home cook. I make stuff I know we like, stuff the magazines and internets say we'll like and stuff that either Bubba or I make up out of the weirdness in our minds.

This is a "Made Up Out Of The Weirdness In Our Minds" recipe, just so you know before getting all excited that I'm going to share something with you that you might make and serve to fancy people. Since I'm sure you're all embroiled in Fancy Dinner Party menu planning right now and then came to this blog for help.

Which would make you misguided and lost, but we'll just stop there with the assumptions.

For this recipe though, the Weirdness In Our Minds part comes from something cuh-lassy that Bubba and I call, affectionately - even reverently - The Big Bowl of Failure.

I'm not 100% sure that we ripped this off from a stand-up comedian we saw or whether it came to us by way of one of our wittier friends or maybe from Bubba's hilarious mind, but that's what we call it. And by "it" I mean the KFC Famous Mashed Potato Bowl.

In case you didn't know what a Big Bowl of Failure looked like.
Yeah, this thing - this atrocity of fast foodiness - has been haunting our household, particularly Bubba's part of the household, for some time. My beloved, he has an odd weakness for KFC, and although he's able to avoid its grotesqueness 99.99% of the time, every now and then he can be found elbow deep in a red and white striped box that's gone nearly transparent on the bottom and sides from the...ahem...goodness held therein.

He has not, however, ever gotten one of these heinous bowl things, even though every time he sees it advertised on TV, he begins making the yum-yum face and stares at me as if to plead, "Baby, don't you think it's time I sampled one of these sure-to-be-delicious items?"

To which I respond, with my no-no face, "That's fucking gross and I'm ashamed of myself for also sort of wanting to try one, too."

We both have weaknesses, is what I'm saying, and this monstrosity of food badness hits us right in the OH GOD NOT THERE spot.

I mean, come on, the fucking thing has fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn (ok, whatever with the corn), cheese and it's covered in god damned gravy. COME ON. I don't understand why they didn't go ahead and wedge a big fat rock of crack cocaine in the top there and and call it a day.

But whatever, I guess they have some limits over there at KFC, where we all know the F still stands for Fried and the other two words are mearly suggestions.

Regardless, neither of us can see our way to eating this thing. The shame in ordering it alone would be the end of us.

However, it has not been forgotten in our annals of I WANT THAT NAUGHTY IN MY MOUTH (whoa), and so, as I stood in front of my stove with a whole butternut squash, a whole smoked and crockpotted chicken and a giant leek, it became the answer to the What The Fuck Am I Going To Make From This Shit? question.

It was questionable at first, but after we both ate it (quietly and quickly, I might add), we decided it should be called The Big Bowl of Success. Both for its tastiness and for its not-going-to-send-you-to-an-early-grave-ness.

If you choose to make it, feel free to sub in your own items where you see fit because the other beautiful thing about being an Off The Reservation Home Cook is that you can do whatever the fuck you want in your own kitchen because Michelin rarely barges into residential kitchens on Wednesday nights to write up abominable home cooks.

And thank god for that.

Big Bowl of Success
Serves 2
1 Butternut squash - peeled, cubed and roasted in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes
1 Giant leek - halved and trimmed of dark green parts
1 large breast from a smoked and roasted whole chicken (or one of those rotisserie bad boys from the grocery store), meat removed from bones, chunked and drippings held aside
1-2 T flour
1 T butter
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
White wine

To make
Butternut squash puree

In a large bowl, puree the cubes of roasted butternut squash and butter with an immersion blender (the stick kind, you know) until super smooth and amazing looking. Seriously, it will look amazing, and it is. Use a rigid spatula to incorporate as much salt and pepper as you like. If it's too thick and you want it to be less so, add in olive oil, more butter, milk or cream until it's the consistency you desire in your heart of hearts. Set it aside.

Take the drippings from the crockpot (in which you've cooked this whole chicken for most of the day at 300 degrees) or rotisserie pan and bring to a simmer in a sauce pan with about 1/2 cup of white wine.

Here comes another example of my mom's secret genius and another time when I realized this woman truly has me on a need to know basis for important shit:

When incorporating the flour, for thickening up your pan drippings into a tasty roux, remove about 1/2 cup of your liquid into a small bowl, whisk in the flour a teaspoon or so at a time and then - once all your flour is mixed into that small amount of liquid, return THAT to your pan with the other liquid on low-medium heat.

The gravy looks on with great anticipation. "Come to me, Roux, I'm ready for you now." Sexy!

I should have turned the heat down on this. It was a tad high. Don't be like me! Low-medium is best.

This will make for a lumpless gravy because those little bits of flour won't stick together and refuse to incorporate. It's magic. It's amazing. It's another one of those things my mom has held back from me in order to reign supreme forever. Or because who really thinks to tell that to their kids? Probably not a lot of people.

Chop them up. That's all

Then assemble the whole thing in one big bowl - butternut squash puree first, then chunks of chicken, then leeks, then gravy.

I'm sorry that these photos are in no way appetizing to look at. Also, I forgot the gravy in this photo. Boo.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let's make it official. Starting with The *Disappearing* of Thanksgiving

I really love your enthusiasm for my holiday rants. And not just because I love to rant (which hullooooo - is my favorite) but because it always feels good to not be alone in one's opinions of things. And there you guys are, all "Yay! It's Finny Rants About The Holidays time!", making me all warm and fuzzy inside.

And, isn't that what the holidays are really about? Feeling warm and fuzzy inside?

Yeah - I used to think so, too, until people got all full up with their retarded Holiday Crazy and began snuffing out the warm fuzziness that *could* be a part of the holidays if they'd all just stop being idiots and starting full scale riots over video game consoles and such.

Which is why I'm declaring December on this blog to be How Dumbasses Are Ruining The Holidays Month.

Because there are SO many ways that dumbasses are ruining the holidays beyond just the fugly-fying of their homes with absurd decorations when they should be spending that time and money, say, MOWING THEIR DAMN LAWNS SO THAT CHEETAHS STOP USING IT FOR CAMOUFLAGE.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

What I'm planning to do here is trot out all the ways in which dumbasses are standing between all of us and a warm, fuzzy holiday season, one post at a time. And, by all means, feel free to add your peeves to the comments so that I can fold them into the ranting to come.

We'll start with a post that I drafted up before Thanksgiving when I was in the throes of an enthusiastic happy hour with Bubba and all on fire about a sighting from my commute home on November 9th.

Remember that date, November 9th, because it sets the tone for the post below.

Hope you're all looking forward to a month of holiday ranting interspersed with ironical displays of my holiday endeavors because even though there are dumbasses out there intent on ruining my warm fuzzy good holiday times, I never stop trying to fight back with seasonal baked goods and some measure of good tidings.

For that post already...

I nearly caused a low speed traffic accident by slowing down to a shocked halt in front of a house a block over from mine when I saw that creepy telling glow of OH SHIT THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ARE UP ALREADY.

Net lights over shrubs, string lights hung all mamby pamby along the gutters, some horseshit wound around the porch columns. ON NOVEMBER 9th. Waaaaaaaaaayyyyy more than a month before Christmas.

Meanwhile, do people even celebrate Thanksgiving anymore? Because I think this country, as a whole, has forgotten about Thanksgiving in its ever hurrying rush to celebrate Christmas.

Not to get all, "When I was a kid" on you, like some crazy old bat (which I don't yet qualify for at my spring chickeny 33 years of age), but I do remember a time when we at least waited until the day after Thanksgiving to get all HOORAY CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 30 DAYS AWAY and shit.

Like, there'd be the mad dash to the mall on the day after Thanksgiving (though I will NOT call it Black Friday because I just will not) and, soon after, there'd be the lighting of some tree in Rockefeller Center in New York City, because it's super relevant to the rest of the country to light a tree in a city thousands of miles away, and the chorus of holiday stressing out would be set to annoying jingling music in every store, commercial and radio station.


But I think there's been some secret agreement made amongst those who really want Christmas RIGHT NOW to *disappear Thanksgiving* in some sort of mob hit so that they don't have to wait one additional hot second before dousing themselves in egg nog and running headlong into a Wal-Mart frenzy at an ungodly hour to maim people with shopping carts and also save, like, $2.50 on a Xbox.

I think they're trying to *wack* Thanksgiving.

I mean, when you think about it, what really stands in the way of Christmas anymore? Halloween? Pffftt. Certainly not.

I mean, I saw Halloween decorations in the stores for about two weeks and THE SECOND that shit was over, all that stuff got packed into boxes and shipped back to whatever storage facility holds it all for next year. The shelves weren't even cold before the Christmas stuff filled its place. Meanwhile the shelf space next to the Halloween stuff had Christmas stuff in it already, so it's not like the writing wasn't on the wall.

It was. Halloween is on shaky ground in the Obstacles Between America and Christmas department.

And what else is there between us and Forever Year Round Christmas? Hardly anything.

I mean, Easter gets a little play, and there's Fourth of July that people like because there are explosives, outdoor cooking and beer, but no one's getting up at 4am to race into a department store to buy an American flag or anything.

What I'm getting at, here, is that the holidays are fine things in themselves, but the Crazy that surrounds them is, like, totally gross.

So when I see my neighbor's Christmas lights up on November 9th, it makes me want to jam a pen in my eye and/or go on a killing spree with a giant candy cane.

Thankfully, there are already many stabby instruments making their appearance around my neighborhood, so at least I won't be at odds in my hunt for a killing instrument.

Monday, November 28, 2011

And nigh-night.

50,326 words later, I have barely reached the turning point of this beast and will probably have to go back and hack off the first 35,000 words BUT WHATEVER.

Done for now. More silliness to come. Later. After sleeping.

Let us join together as one in our holiday pet peeves

I just wanted to check in and make sure that you all survived the craziest holiday shopping weekend in history.

Crazy in the sense that people were nearly (or totally? I didn't follow up on the news stories because they were too depressing) killed attempting to buy waffle irons for $2 and such.

I just feel like the holidays have lost their appeal when celebrating them involves the use of pepper spray, rioting or handguns on fellow citizens of humanity.

Perhaps, in that sense, I am the crazy one, but I'm willing to accept that.

Meanwhile, sorry the blog has been so quiet this month. NaNoWriMo is nearly over (3 more days! 6,000 more words! I need to give myself constant pep talks and use a lot of exclamation points so that I don't shrivel up into a lumpy pile of despair! Forgive me!) and I really really want to be back with you guys, hanging out here, bitching about the aforementioned holiday insanity and also showing you pictures of things I'm making, eating, drinking and pointing at in horror.

Yeah, I feel renewed attention to my favorite game of Holiday Fugly coming on, so I hope you're ready for my Holiday Ranting A-Game.

Got some holiday rantings of your own? I totally want to hear them. It may even inspire me to go on a whole new rant of my own.

And wouldn't that be nice? Some togetherness, some camaraderie, some linking of arms and pointing of collective fingers during this season of holiday?

I think so.

So spill it in the comments: Holiday Pet Peeves...GO. And remember - you can say swears here and I heartily encourage it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I just saw it happen

I got up this morning to just go walk the dog and spend the day off doing whatever.

Like, I'd dick around in the yard raking shit or I'd prune something, look at the bees, ride bikes to get tacos with Bubba, whatever.

Not like it was a special day off, or a day that most other people would have off, and so I'd just go about my day off as though it was my own personal secret. Secret Finny Day Off! Let's go get drinks!

Or whatever.

I thought I was still safe from it. From the days off that aren't really days off because everyone else has them off, too, and so they're out there mucking up your own secret day off with their mutual day-offness.

Please do not act like you don't know what I'm talking about because I know that you do.

And really, while we're all *knowing* what I'm talking about - let's call this phenomenon of mutual day-offness what it really is - The Holiday Season.

Oh sweet mother, it is so ON. And I watched the switch get flipped.

Yep. Saw it happen.

I watched it go from "Oh, pretty. It's fall." to "OH SHIT. I HAVEN'T SHOPPED YET."

See, I was just freshly back from our bike to tacos, where I had just blasted through a pile of leaves on my bike with no regard for whether there was a cinder block hidden in the middle of it or more likely half a tree limb, and I was so pleased with Fall.

Oh, the neighbor's house looks so nice with the red leaves from the maple tree in front and oh it's kinda chilly I should maybe wear a jacket, and that kind of shit. All while just driving up to BevMo to get materials for tonight's Special Day Off Edition Cocktail Hour.

It was a rare peaceful moment in my world during which I didn't contemplate hitting anyone with my car.

Because I usually only get that way during a certain time of year and, hey, it's only fall, so there's no reason that people should be acting any differently than any other time of year but wait why is there a traffic jam in the BevMo parking lot IT'S NOT LIKE IT'S THE HOLIDAYS OR SOMETHING...


I just saw it happen.

I watched regular people, who are probably only marginally insane and poorly behaved most of the year, flip down the visor of their steel helmets and let fly the Holiday Battle Cry.



"YEAH! ARE YOU LEAVING? OK, GREAT! THANKS! I'LL JUST WAIT HERE while blocking traffic entirely because I'm in the middle of the lane because I don't want anyone from either direction swooping in and taking MY spot because BITCHES I got here first and this is holiday prison rules parking so just sit the fuck back there and wait!"

I mean, I could have denied it at this point. I could have chalked that scenario up to the reassuring concept of this being, perhaps, a drunk driver in the booze store parking lot who had stopped by briefly to refuel before tearing back out on to the streets of San Jose on a one woman killing spree.

I could have, but it would have proven fruitless because immediately after parking my car (in one of the many spaces that were only a few rows beyond the cherished front four spots), I witnessed a series of Only At The Holidays events that broke me of my comfy cozy It's Not The Holidays Yet denial.
  • I walked into BevMo (FINALLY.) to find a 20 foot tower of Jim Beam Holiday Collectible gift sets
  • I checked out at the grocery store next to a big stand of Special For The Holidays Ivory Label Lanson Champagne
  • Came home to find the first Christmas card of the season propping open my mailbox. (Leave it to the accountant.)
    • Along with 8 different catalogs with holiday themed covers
  • I have the neighborhood kids racing about on the streets at midday because school's out for the long weekend and let's all tie our hair together and ride one bicycle out of sheer relief of being away from the four walls of school!
  • My neighbors are balancing on rickety ladders in their driveways and they ain't cleaning their gutters
  • I went to look up a recipe for tomorrow's dinner (which I realize is Thanksgiving dinner, yes.) and it was in the Holiday section of my good old fashioned recipe binder

There's really no denying the facts at that point. It's the fucking holiday season and I totally just watched it happen.

This morning, things were all fine and dandy and then I went ahead and pushed the issue flaunting my day offness right in front of BevMo and BAM!

The holidays are here.

Nice going, ass.

Meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving, people.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FINE, I WILL THEN. [Tutorial]

I finally gave in today and hatched a craft.

I've been staring at the leaves for months, here at home, in Arkansas, in Tahoe - I just keep staring at them and fantasizing about making wreaths, taking their picture, becoming ONE with them.

Stop staring at me, swan!
Because I'm obviously a psycho.

And then I saw Dig's post about Bleeping Wreaths and was all, Oh look how pretty! I want to make a wreath from leaves! but then I was all, But oh, Bubba hates holiday decorations and I could never hang one on our front door screen door because he'd totally poop but then I was all, I bet I can make one that's really lightweight and won't wreck the screen or I can put it someplace where he won't get all WHAT'S UP, HOLIDAY LOSER or whatever. 

It was a whole thing.

So this weekend came along, when Bubba was going out of town and I was left unsupervised in the presence of leaves and fall and wreath making materials abounding just all over the fucking place, so after a lot of hemming and mental hawing over What If Bubba Hates It and I Have To Explain Myself For Making Something Holiday-ish, I shut up my mind and just did it.

And, really, there's nothing HOLIDAY-y about fall leaves, really. When you think about it. Which I did. Lots.

Also, there's so much other shit I needed to do, that I was having a hard time justifying taking time to make wreaths that might not be met with the warmest acceptance and approval. Until I realized that I was actually standing still, staring at the space on the wall where I wanted to put these alleged wreaths and had stopped all productive activity to do so, and so wasn't doing anything anyway.

Exactly what my mind was imagining.

I was just wasting time staring and wanting and itching to craft and so I told myself to stop being such a freak and just do what the crafting fingers wanted: Make a god damned wreath and shut the hell up, self. 

So I did.

Yeah - take that, self.

Also, I went and took pictures of the pistache trees that are all aflame with fall on our street. They've been staring at me all week and I just needed to get them together with the camera for a quick second before they were barren from the windy rainy weather and I had to be all sad that I missed my chance and begin administering the mental beatings that would carry over until next fall.

Aflame, I tell you.

Sometimes it takes a lot of self flagellation for anything to get done around here, is what I'm saying.

See, that wasn't so hard. I don't know why I make things so difficult.
 And then, after photographing the trees and collecting leaves in the rain from my neighbors' driveways while they looked out at me with pity from their living room windows (Hi, people - FYI: Pointing is not helping.), I took 20 god damned minutes and made two adorable wreaths that, when Bubba rolls his eyes and points to them in a few months when it's Valentine's Day and they're still hanging on the wall, will get thrown into the vegetable beds and composted because TAH DOW they are biodegradable.


Simple Ass Wreaths Tutorial

Makes 2 wreaths

A bunch of leaves of whatever colors are around
An old file folder
Hot glue gun with hot glue sticks
1 foot of ribbon, strip of cloth, length of twine - whatever tying implement you have lying about tangling up with other shit in your craft supplies
Two different sized bowls that both fit on one half of the file folder

How to
(Sorry, no photos of the process. I was in and out of this project in about 20 minutes and thought I'd end up throwing it away in the composter, so didn't take any pictures. That'll teach me.)
Take your file folder, and keeping it folded, trace the circumference of the larger bowl onto the folder. Then put the smaller bowl inside that circle and trace that one so that you now have a nice O shape at least two inches wide.

Cut the Os out.

Heat up the glue gun and start gluing down leaves in whatever fashion suits you. I layered them up with their stem ends all going the same direction until the stems started getting in the way and then I just cut them off. And because I don't like waste - even wasting of shit that was going to be thrown in a heap at the curb anyway - I used all the leaves and just started gluing and stuffing them in wherever they'd fit when I got to the last few.

Make the other wreath just like I said, there.

Loop your tying implement (I used some 1" ribbon left in my wrapping supply box) over the first wreath and tuck it behind the leaves on the front. Tape it down to the cardboard O backing and tuck the other end over the other wreath and tape that down.

You're done.

Oh. Yeah. That was pretty fast.

Yeah, that's pretty much it.

I hung mine by hiding a tack behind the leaves on the top wreath and pinning it to the wall, but you could tie another length of ribbon or whatever to the top wreath and swing it over your front door (I tried this, but I knew Bubba would hate it so I stopped) or tie a bow in it and pin it to the wall from the bow or even loop it over the top of a framed picture and tape it to the back. You could also hang it from a suction cup hook to your front windows, like I imagined doing when I was in denial about Bubba's hatred for all things Holiday Decorate-y, but I'll leave it to you to determine how much of a scrooge your beloved might be.

The only other thing I did was go back to the wreath, after it was hung where I wanted it, and glued some of the floppy leaves in place so they wouldn't dry all wonky. But if you're using leaves that are already real dry, you won't have to do this.

Then sit at your bar, even though it's 11am and there's no need for cocktails just yet, and write a blog post about what a lunatic you are and how you should probably not be left unsupervised and how you should REALLY be writing all these words for NaNoWriMo since you have about 1500 to go for the day and you haven't even typed word ONE.

So, yeah, I'll be seeing you. Happy wreathing.