I took y’all’s advice and cancelled the Christmas soirees due to illness. Actually, my husband called people and told them I was down with possibly the flu. A few people turned up anyway, but they were forewarned, so if they get the crud, it’s not my fault.
From what I hear, this nasty virus is laying people low nationwide. I feel a little better today, but still shaky. I’ve been piled up on the sofa since Saturday. Thank god for Roku. I’ve watched a ton of movies plus a couple of seasons of Julia Child’s “The French Chef” from the 1960s.
My dogs joined me on our L-shaped couch, mimicking my burrowing behavior with whatever blankets and throws they could steal from my nest. These glowing green eyes have haunted my fever-wracked dreams:
I went ahead and cooked a ginormous standing rib roast that I already had on hand, but I haven’t tried it yet. My husband says it’s good. I usually make French onion soup with roast leftovers, which I plan to do this time as well. But now I’ve got tons of leftovers. Any suggestions?
I hope you all had a nice holiday. Please discuss whatever!
I’m in charge of holiday planning, prep and execution at my house. Not because of patriarchal oppression but just because that’s how we choose to break it down (picking up dog turds in the yard, for example, is thankfully outside my bailiwick).
Well, Saturday morning, I woke up feeling nauseated and achy in every bone. My head was pounding, my nose was stuffy, and I had a hacking cough. I tried to eat something and ended up tossing my waffle. So even though I had a million things to do to get ready for Christmas, I made a nest of quilts on the sofa and stayed there all day and all night.
The dogs were happy to keep me company, what with a little cold snap we had (it’s in the high 60s / low 70s, which causes my wimpy boxers to channel their inner Malamutes). I laid around alternately snoozing, watching TV and staring at the Christmas tree lights in a Nyquil-induced daze. I drank herb tea and munched a few soup crackers from time to time, which is about all I can keep down.
I didn’t feel much better yesterday, and I still feel lousy now. I’ve been dragging myself from room to room, dusting furniture, sweeping, cleaning out the fridge, etc. I’ve pressed my kid into service more than I normally would to complete errands and assist with housework.
Mr. C always handles Christmas Eve dinner, so I’m off the hook for that, but I’ve got a slew of people coming by at various times today and tomorrow. I’ve got all the holiday meal stuff, but I have no idea where I’m going to find the energy to put the Christmas Day feast together and deal with a houseful of guests. My husband and kid are more than willing to help, but they’ll just fuck up whatever I assign to them. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true.
There’s no point at all to this post; I just felt like whining. Open thread!
Truly, YouTube is a pharaoh’s treasure horde of groundbreaking cultural Ur-media. Here is my ancient friend Ron Hankison, known in those days by his recording talent moniker “Ronnie Wasp.” The cut is from his ‘80s album Nolo Contendere, a disk on which only lunatic survivalists like this outer space ant-farmer would dare make wretched jokes about human/ant fornication (or is that formication?).
All in all, an epic song by a prodigious creative mind.
Our hens raided the container garden during their free-range jaunt yesterday:
I never participate in the garden threads because my husband does every bit of the gardening around here. I couldn’t even grow a Chia pet or keep an air fern alive.
Anne Laurie’s early morning open thread featured the image of commenter Hitchhiker’s lovely cat in front of a Christmas tree. But instead of going, “Awwwww,” I went, “Sweet mother of fuck! It’s almost Christmas, and I haven’t done a damn thing!”
My fake tree and all the decorations are still in the shed. I haven’t ordered the Christmas dinner prime rib yet. We haven’t even quite wrapped up our kitchen renovations (although it’s mostly done – we lack cabinet toe-kicks and the backsplash only at this point), and our dining room still sports a bare concrete slab as we haven’t gotten around to laying the tile. Oh, and I haven’t bought the first present yet.
Why? Well, the home renovations have become a convenient excuse for being slobs. Why bother dusting or sweeping when there’s 70s-era glue on the walls where we ripped out the old laminate backsplash and bare concrete underfoot? We’ve actually enjoyed the respite.
As for the lack of Christmas spirit, it just doesn’t seem Christmas-y yet, partly because it’s been so warm. I’m a native Floridian, so warm Decembers aren’t a foreign or unwelcome concept to me. But it does seem unusual to get this far towards the solstice without once having to put on a pair of socks or rifle the closet for a jacket. There have been a few flannel-shirt-over-the-tee-shirt days, but I haven’t had to bust out the woolies. Nonetheless, there is work to be done.
Romneys Spread Loser Stink
Speaking of indolent people, Mitt and Ann Romney are continuing their loser tour. Noted fans of “sport,” the Romneys took in the Pacquiao-Marquez boxing match last night:
I don’t follow boxing, but I think Pacquiao was favored to beat Marquez. That was before Romney visited Pacquiao in his dressing room, exuding a giant cloud of loser dust:
“Hello Manny. I ran for president. I lost,” Romney told the fighter, according to Pacquiao publicist Fred Sternburg.
Then this happened:
“LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao never saw it coming. He never saw the punch that snapped his head back Saturday and dropped him to the canvas and left him sprawled there momentarily, face down, while his wife sobbed uncontrollably and the packed crowd at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena rose to its feet in shock.
With that, a rivalry known for its lack of a definitive triumph suddenly had the most definitive ending of them all.”
I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hope Mitt and Ann Romney decide to pay the Notre Dame locker room a visit prior to the BCS title game.
Speaking of Losers
Remember the group One Million 51,700 [homophobic] Moms (OMM)? No? Me neither, but this spring, they failed spectacularly in a bid to get Ellen Degeneres fired as JC Penney spokesperson. After that effort flopped, OMM director Monica Cole announced that the breeder klatch was “moving on.”
But a JC Penney commercial featuring Ellen and several Christmas elves attracted their ire again last week.
It wasn’t that Ellen groped a female elf in the ad or anything. It’s just that everyone knows she’s a lesbian, and think of the chiiiiildren!
Because the commercial that occasioned the protest was so innocuous, onlookers found the OMM action confusing. (Pro tip: When you have to explain why you’re taking umbrage, you’re not successfully inciting it.) So OMM declared that the group is “moving on.” Again. Maybe someday they actually will.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, whose attempts to disenfranchise Democrats backfired when he inspired them instead to endure waits as long as eight hours to vote, now says it’s time to review and reform the voting system:
“We are glad that so many voters made their voices heard in this election, but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process,” Scott said in a statement. “I have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to review this general election and report on ways we can improve the process after all the races are certified.”
Maybe it’s time to federalize voting processes. A democracy can’t function if eligible voters are prevented from casting ballots, and Scott and other GOP clowns were openly subverting the process. They shouldn’t be in a position to do so.
Thanks to my highly productive Reds and Australorps, I will have no egg shortage to contend with during this year’s eggnog season. Maybe it’s too soon to talk about eggnog—we haven’t even had Thanksgiving in the US. Oh well.
I have what I consider a very fine eggnog recipe, which I post at Rumproast each year and am sharing below. It not only tastes good, it’s deceptively strong and is highly effective for silencing tiresome wingnut relatives, dispatching the Sandman to whisk them to Dreamland in front of the television. That way the bakers don’t have to hear the self-described makers bitching about the goddamned takers:
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Southern Comfort*
1/2 cup rum**
1/2 cup bourbon***
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
Separate eggs and reserve whites in fridge in a separate container. In a large bowl, beat yolks until lemony, gradually adding sugar. Add the booze. Refrigerate mixture overnight.****
Next day, add milk to booze mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff peak stage. Separately beat whipping cream to the consistency of that nasty Cool Whip crap. Fold egg whites into booze mixture, then fold in whipped cream. Don’t over-mix—leave it a little lumpy. Grate nutmeg over top and enjoy!
* As vile and hideous as Southern Comfort is (and no one despises it more than I do, having once yerked up great quantities of it all over a golf course during a teenage drinking binge), it is for some reason an essential ingredient in this recipe. I tried doubling the GOOD bourbon once and eliminating the SoCo, and it wasn’t as good. Really.
** I generally use Appleton’s, but last year I tried it with Kraken rum, which is just insanely good. In my opinion.
*** I usually use Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek. Because I care.
**** We’ve omitted the refrigerate overnight step a time or two. If you’ve already had several cups of it made the proper way, you won’t notice the difference. If you haven’t you will. Funny how that works.
I haven’t found a recipe to rival this one, but I am open-minded. Please feel free to share your all-time favorite eggnog recipe. Or talk about whatever.
Despite the slack-jawed pose above, Daisy Mayhem is a highly intelligent animal. It’s just that when she sees reflected light on the wall (or, FSM forbid, a laser pointer beam), her brain shrivels to the size of a lentil, and all she can think to do is stare and then pounce.
I’m off to vote for President Obama in a few minutes; today is the first day of early voting in Florida. I’m kind of out in the boonies, and our early voting polling place is a library surrounded by cow pastures. It’s usually not very crowded, but it was jam-packed on Election Day in 2008.
From what I read on Mememorandum, it looks like some folks are starting to entertain the possibility that President Obama will win the election via the Electoral College and lose the popular vote. In a way, that would be poetic justice, and we could spend days here swapping recipes featuring bitter wingnut tears. But it’s not the outcome I want to see.
I hope President Obama crushes Romney like a rotten walnut—and not just because I don’t want to see us return to a policy of shoveling goodies to plutocrats in hopes that a few crumbs will fall off their table for the rest of us. I hope Mr. Obama wins big because Romney is the most shameless liar to ever credibly aspire to the presidency, at least in my lifetime.
That a champion prevaricator and spinning weathercock like Romney is even within striking distance is a shameful indictment of the state of our national politics and media. I entertained similar notions when Bush won in 2004 after it was clear he’d hoodwinked us into a war on false pretenses, but there was a “let’s not change Horsemen in mid-apocalypse” vibe back then.
Now for the poll: A volunteer from the Koch-sucker AFP group called me awhile back and asked if I thought President Obama’s policies had made the economy better or worse. I said I thought they had definitely made the economy better after Bush and his pals trashed the joint.
She then asked me if I planned to vote, and I told her I certainly did. She asked if I planned to vote early, and I replied that I would have already voted if I could have, but thanks to Tea Party-backed nitwit Governor Scott’s villainous attempt to exclude as many working people as possible by cutting the early voting period, I’d have to wait until tomorrow.
I then said I would be at the polls bright and early to cast my ballot. She wished me a pleasant evening, and I wished her the same.
Okay, I thought the debate sucked: President Obama looked like he wanted to get the hell out of there and go celebrate his anniversary with the First Lady, and Romney managed to be both assertive and mendacious without totally coming across as a smarmy prick and a shameless liar, which is something of a small miracle since he is both. Will it matter? Who the fuck knows?
But I was disappointed since I was hoping for a total Romney faceplant, and during one commercial break, after it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, I went to my laundry room/pantry to retrieve a jar of Cherry Bounce I had put up awhile back, hoping to improve my mood. This is what I saw on the bottom shelf:
Yes, my shelves need a good dusting, but forget that please and share my horror and consternation because—sweet Jesus! That’s a big fucking snakeskin! Which can only mean that at least one large snake has been slithering amongst my jars of homemade cordials! In my laundry room/pantry!
This type of event has a way of completely refocusing the mind, let me tell you. Instead of watching Tweety flip the fuck out in the post-debate analysis or reading Andrew Sullivan’s blow-by-blow account of covering himself in beagle shit and running through the streets bellowing doom and woe, I shook my husband awake and demanded that he find an all-night Home Depot and immediately create an airtight seal on every door, window, awning and roofline in this drafty fucking house.
He didn’t, of course, and that fucking snake—or maybe its thousands of babies!—are probably lurking in my unmentionables drawer at this very moment! So yeah, I’m not happy about how the debate went, but I now realize there are more important things happening. Like motherfucking snakes in my motherfucking laundry room/pantry. The end.
Speaking of butts: it turns out they can improve art! As some of you may have heard, I am a leading WineFoilSculptress, which is sort of like being Ann Althouse, only with better wine and less douchebaggery.
Anyway, the other evening, I constructed an armadillo. I used a ballpoint pen (Papermate, medium point) to define the ridges:
Meh. Something wasn’t quite right. Maybe the snout was too long? Or too high up? Tail too short? Anyhoo, I walked away for awhile, leaving it on the surface of my tiki bar.
When I returned a short time later and sat down on a bar stool, I felt something under my posterior and immediately leapt up, thinking I had accidentally squished a frog or giant cockroach. But Mr. C had moved the armadillo sculpture to the seat while I was gone so he could wipe up the cabernet I’d slopped on the surface of the bar during my drunken gesticulations as I was ranting about whatever topic we were ranting about previously, and I’d sat on the armadillo.
And you know what? NOW it looked EXACTLY like the roadkill armadillos that litter our highways down here:
Some of you were kind enough to inquire after my poultry and home renovations. The chickens are doing well, though I think they’re sick of all the rain we’ve been having. Here’s one of my Australorps:
The crappy phone camera doesn’t do justice to her beautiful, iridescent plumage. She needs Tim F.’s photography skills, but she’s stuck with me. My Aussies aren’t laying yet (they mature more slowly than the reds), but I have four layers online who are far outpacing our egg needs.
We’re giving many eggs away to neighbors, friends and family and still have plenty left over for breakfast, quiches, etc. In fact, I think I have three dozen in my fridge right now.
There’s a lot going on in the world today, some of it very bad. But there are also lovely hens perched on a coop:
In Florida, a magical day comes each year after a long, brutal summer. It’s the day when bespectacled Floridians exit their homes in the morning and find that their glasses don’t immediately fog up. It’s the day when we can contemplate life without the constant hum of an air-conditioner and begin opening windows that were shut in late May or early June. Today is that day.