Sunday, December 19, 2010

One of my fondest Christmas memories...

As we learned back in one of my other #poignancyalert blogs, that I lost Gary, the man who served as my father-figure, during the Santa Cruz earthquake.

You probably have a sense of my loss and devastation, but I thought this Christmas season I would give you a gift of the joy that he brought to me in the form of one of my most cherished memories with him.

You see to us Christmas was a SEASON. The entire house was decked out in a specific theme and we actually built a life sized nativity scene.  I mean LIFE-SIZED!

I am talking manager, camels, wise men, donkeys... and an angel.

Now, of course we couldn't make it to scale for the star of Bethlehem to be way up in the sky, however, we could put that star, and the angel, all the way up at the top of the pine tree.

Not only were we competing with other home decoration enthusiasts, people would drive for miles and miles, and even from counties away to see our nativity.

So to say this was a big deal to us would be a massive understatement.

Which you would assume we would be completely ready every year for the judges... um #notsomuch

You see if we were even close to being ready, Gary would think of some new, great, awesome thing to add to the nativity and off we would go, making ourselves late... yet again.

Therefore it was no great surprise that this one year, we were late in getting the angel up.  The only problem was, Gary was in a cast and there was a violent wind storm.  Who in the world was going to get that angel those thirty feet all the way up to the top of the tree?

I remember Gary looking down at me (I was 10) and just asking with his eyes.  Because, you know, we seldom had to talk, we just got each other.

Now I had climbed that tree before, but under these circumstances?  Branches were being ripped off by the sheering winds and at 30 feet above ground level that tree was MOVING.

I said, "I'm not sure I can do it."

Gary: "What do you mean 'I'? It'll be both of us up there."

Of course, I knew that he couldn't climb the tree with his cast, but I knew exactly what he meant.

So with Barbara Streisand blaring (I did mention he was gay, right?) and Gary holding the ladder, I strapped that angel to my back and climbed (and yes, I want to thank Gary for simply giving me a ton of stories that have statements like... "with an angel strapped to my back"! #solucky).

It was the scariest thing I had ever done, but each time the tree seemed ready to toss me out, I just looked down to Gary and was strengthened by his smile.  I am not sure if I have ever felt prouder.

I got the angel up.  We won the competition.

Now of course looking back, if that had happened these days I am sure Gary would have been turned into child services and that darned angel got blown out of the tree like a gazillion times and I ended up climbing that tree dozens more times that year (and officially became the angel hanger), but I would not trade that singular moment when his smile shown through the storm for anything.

Especially now that he is gone.  When I fret and feel sad, I just remember his words "It'll be both of us up there."

And he was right.  He is right next to me.  Every day... whether I am up a tree or not.

Thank you, Gary. I can't imagine a more lasting Christmas gift.

God Bless.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Cheer

Ok, so this isn't really about Holiday Cheer, but I wanted to make you feel better before you read about what my real subject is...

The Work Christmas Party.

Dear gawd.  Why in the world did we EVER invent these things?

Because let's face it... the people you like at work you hang out with outside of work.  If you aren't hanging out with them outside of work well... you probably don't actually like them all that much.

So now for some reason around the holidays you have to 'party' with them?

And when did the Christmas party become a high school hook up party?  I mean, we might as well be playing spin the bottle.  And the debauchery?  #drinking #drugs #dryhumping #yikes

But if you don't go... then you are the 'wet blanket.'

Somehow if I don't want to spend four UNPAID hours with people that I am only civil to because it is my job to get along with them and now have to watch them drunkenly tell me how sorry they are for treating me poorly (which they never remember the next day FYI) or watch the melt down as a co-worker finds her husband in the closet with our receptionist.

Um... ya, I am going to pass this year.

Because you know what? I've got plenty of holiday cheer right here at home.  And at this 'party' I don't have to pretend to like anyone! #wahoo!!!

#an #antisocialblog #duh

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Really, should I have to write anything more?

My love affair with lasagna runs far back and despite the fact I am of Scottish origin and this is the season of turkey and ham, I felt compelled to speak of my love.

Whether you are a meat, Florentine or even vegan Lasagna person, is there anything better?

Now some pizza folks will argue with me.

And yes, I know they both have a delicious carb base. They have red sauce goodness and bubbly cheese. Plus most add some form of 'topping' or filling.

So what sets lasagna apart?  Is it the ricotta cheese?

On its own, ricotta is kind of... well... disgusting.  I mean, how many people just dip their finger into the ricotta and go 'yum.'  But some how that ricotta once baked into its proper place in the lasagna structure simply sings!

Still some may argue against even the mighty ricotta.

So to you folk who are still cheering on pizza, let me ask you this one simple question.

How many pieces of pizza to you have to eat to feel full?  For me, at least 3-4.

But with Lasagna... Ah... one heavenly square of that hearty casserole and I am in tummy-full heaven.

How about you?  Lasagna or Pizza.  Comment on your fav below!

Because there is no in between!