Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas, We Have Liftoff!

The in-laws have arrived. The tree has been trimmed (and is gorgeous as usual, even with our madly eccentric collection of ornaments) and its traditional concomitant Chinese dinner eaten. The house is - well, reasonably clean. The bathrooms are spectacular. Even the cat appears (so far...let's all cross our fingers) to have managed to hit the litter box. The presents are wrapped.

Ah, if it were only that simple.

Tomorrow: Wake up at 5 am to make sure Sarah gets to work on time. Hit Christopher Street Citibank ATM to get money. Meet Sarah's boyfriend Seth in Chinatown at 9 am to get the lobsters and shrimp for Lobster Fest (not to mention red onions and tomatoes for Christmas breakfast and a vegetable of some damn variety for Christmas dinner). Try to remember to buy cocktail sauce. BUY MORE BUTTER, and some lemons.

Have Lobster Fest. Clean up at much as humanly possibly while dazed with melted butter, because a Christmas morning accompanied by a table full of dirty dishes and forlorn beer cans is NOT a happy Christmas morning.

Friday: Have Christmas breakfast...which Sarah, God bless her, is providing. Open presents. Actually, this ALWAYS comes before Christmas breakfast. I cannot ever, in all the years I have been a part of this family, remember a Christmas where Ben (my MIL) did not say, "Just ONE present each, then we'll have breakfast and after that, we'll open everything else." I cannot remember one SINGLE Christmas where anybody paid the slightest attention to this at all.

Then we will all troop down to the den and watch the two things that Sarah and I most love...the proper Grinch (i.e., animated, with Boris Karloff), and the proper Christmas Carol (with Alastair Sim).

After which, of course, I will cook roast beast and potatoes and that vegetable, whatever it may be, and we will have our flaming plum pudding with hard sauce.

And I will go to bed, secure in the knowledge that once again, I have pulled off Christmas.

The very merriest of Christmases, or whatever, to all of you!

Love, Wendy

Friday, December 18, 2009

STOP, Already.

There is a headline in the online CNN not News that says "Pot found on Lil Wayne's Bus". Or possibly Lil Kim's bus. Lil somebody's bus, at any rate.

Well, no shit.

People, could we get a reality check here? I don't smoke it any more because what's around these days is WAY too strong for me. I liked my nice Maui Wowie and Acapulco Gold, way back when, but what's going on now merely makes me pass out or throw up...and I consider that a waste of grass. A few years ago a friend cleaned out her cousin's apartment when he died, and way back in the freezer was a pound of old fashioned Gold. You better believe I partook of was beautiful shit.

OK. What I am saying is LEGALIZE. Jeez Louise, the cop arresting that poor shlump for his pathetic little joint is going to go home and fire up his pipe. I don't think I know anybody (except me, and if it's mild enough, even me) who won't do at least a toke. My own damn mother, for heaven's sake, did it in art school in the 1920's. And my grandfather, for God's sake, did grass and more hanging out with jazz bands earlier.

I'm not even going to discuss that pernicious Rockefeller Law nonsense, which has deprived a generation of kids of a life. Nor am I going to deal with the Reefer Madness idiocy, which says that one toke drags you down into lifelong drug addiction.

I'm only saying that unless you have other, truly major, problems, a toke is just a toke. (I watched Maltese Falcon the other night and didn't intend to stay up for the following Casablanca...but who can resist Casablanca?)

So there. And I haven't had a toke in ages, nor felt the need to, because my drug of choice is booze. But who am I to deny others their pleasures?


Love, Wendy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Now Hear This

If you are within reach of today's New York Times (that would be today, Sunday, 12/13), please go to Page 47 and read the obituary of a gentleman named Giorgio Carbone, Prince Giorgio I of Seborga (no, nobody else has ever heard of it either, including me, and I'm good at this sort of thing), otherwise known as His Tremendousness. I am not making this up.

Seems Prince Giorgio lives in a bit of Italy near the Italian Riviera, and through a bit of highly doubtful historical research, discovered that his small patch of Italy was at some point a principality, which he promptly resurrected, managing to get himself elected as Prince. The article is absolutely hilarious, oddly enough for an American obituary...the English write wonderful obits all the time, but Americans are evidently too concerned with political correctness. This one, however, is the most fun I've had in years.

By the by, Prince Giorgio never married (he's quoted as saying there were too many women to choose from), so unless what seems to be the one square mile occupied by his more or less mythical principality holds another wonderful lunatic, he will remain its only Prince.

One sincerely hopes that His Tremendousness sounds better in Italian, because in English it sounds like either a professional wrestler or a rap star. Or a sumo wrestler, for that matter.

Ah, well. back to Christmas prep!

Love, Wendy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lurching Into Action

I've actually made a list, although I have no intention of checking it twice, and I actually got some of the things on it done! I'm extremely pleased with myself.

I got groceries (yeah, well, after I finally got rid of the Thanksgiving leftovers, there was this yawning hole in the refrigerator - and in my stomach). I got presents for four of my nephews (admittedly this part is easy because they're all teenagers now, and iTunes cards work just fine).

Tomorrow I'm going to go off and buy my mother-in-law a goat. Well, I think a goat, because they're usually the cheapest, as I recall. I really can't afford to get her a water buffalo this year. For those of you who have come late to my ramblings, I do this every year for my MIL. There is a counter at ABC Carpet (did you know that if you make a typo and spell "carpet" "caarpet" it looks like you can speak Dutch?) and Home called Mission Statement, where you can donate various things to various causes in someone's name. Ben is at a stage in her life (this from her, by the by, not my condescending judgment!) where she neither needs nor wants more "things," so I do this every year. And I will also (because it's in the same vicinity) stop at Barnes and Noble for my nephew Alec (who wants a book on racecars). And also Ben's usual appointment calendars - one (Sierra Club, always) for desk and one Week At A Glance for purse. My husband always bought these for her and I continue the tradition.

And since I've talked Sarah into getting the girls' stuff and the wrapping stuff, that's almost it! I'm deeply thrilled. And now I can concentrate on the house.


Love, Wendy

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Completely Discombobulated

Well, so here I am, Christmasy to the max, all ready to dive into the holiday...when I get a phone call from The trustee... who informs me that because time is getting short (like, we're totally out of money here), he has decided that we're going to start showing the house as of a week from Monday.

Now let's see. I have to buy presents for one daughter, one mother-in-law, three sets of in-laws, 10 nieces and nephews, and a couple of friends. I also have to host the annual lobster party on Christmas Eve, and get our usual 10-12 foot fresh tree. I also have to provide Christmas breakfast for four or five people, and Christmas dinner for six. And I have to do this on a combination of unemployment and Social Security.

And this is the point at which my trustee decides we're going to begin showing the house...meaning that somewhere in there I have to paint two bathrooms and do a hands and knees cleaning and somehow conceal from prospective buyers that I have an incontinent cat, know that one woman show I'm doing after the first of the year? The director just called rehearsal on Tuesday.

Oh, and did I mention that no money seems to be forthcoming for the paint, spackle, masking tape required?

By the way, I've gotten an email from the one and only Joshua, instructing me to pick up his prescriptions from our local pharmacy and mail them.

I'm sure I can work this all out. Now, who knows a nice rest home for me to enter on January 1? Texas Beth, can I come and stay with you?

Love. Wendy