Snow

I’m sitting here on Christmas night with not much of anything to blog about but I’ve had a wonderful Christmas and I can’t help but wonder why.
I’m thinking it’s because I am loved.
The girls and Pamela are watching “Hairspray” and laughing and all things considered, my life is good.
I am the richest man in town at this moment.
I thank all of you dearly for leaving such wonderful comments.
Tomorrow is a very special day.
21 years ago tonight, I was driving my lovely and very pregnant wife to the hospital for the birth of our first little girl.
Sarah is 21 tomorrow.
Good God, time flies . . .
Please leave a warm wish or some sage advice for her.
Merry Christmas everybody!
And yes, it’s snowing on my blog tonight.
How apropos is that?

peace,
~m

Happy Birthday, Sas!

you will know

I saw this and thought, “What a perfect Christmas post.”
Stuart Shepherd is a good looking and compassionate man but sorry ladies, he’s married.
This will probably be my last post until after Christmas so I’ll wish all of you a day of blessings, good cheer and the surroundings of family.
Christmas Eve may briefly call me back to the blog.
We’ll see . . .
Don’t forget to make the French Toast Casserole
for Christmas morning breakfast. Awesome.
If you don’t make it, you’re missing out on some very serious and delicious calories. (Yoiks!)
Merry Christmas!

paz, folks . . .

~m

What is the square root of eggnog?

It’s always around this time of the year (December 20th, to be exact) that my brain goes into this bizarre auto-hibernation cycle.
I can’t hear “Jingle Bells” or “Merry Christmas, Darling” by the Carpenters simply because my brain refuses to latch on, refuses to release the adequate amount of acetylcholine needed to make my synapses “see” the connection.
Maybe it sounds Grinch-like, but it’s not.

Around every corner lurks some crazy bastard that thinks I should be incredibly happy, that I should embrace the “wassail ‘n eggnog” mentality of a holiday I’m still trying desperately to understand.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t understand it, maybe I’d enjoy it more but sadly I cannot.
I don’t watch much TV but when I do I inevitably see a Kay’s Jewelers commercial and I’m pretty sure that ‘every kiss begins with Kay’s’.
Ughhhh.
Hey Kay’s! I’m holding some wicked mistletoe over my yuletide ass.
You guys can start there with a big, wet smooch.
Gag me with an unrealistic, smarmy and overtly utopian commercial.

Avaricious companies like this prey on the materialistic and compulsive nature of nincompoops foolish enough to believe that some diamond-studded placebo will make all their holiday dreams come true.
My God, what unadulterated bullshit.

There is a major reason for my somewhat apathetic attitude towards the holidays and maybe it’s because I’m just beginning to understand that it has little to do with shiny and expensive things.

But there will always be another commercial, another misguided Christmas song and another 100 reasons for me to hate the things that society thinks will make my holiday grand.

I’m thinking that maybe that’s okay.
And I might just make it through another Christmas without the help of Kay’s . . .
As far as the answer to the square root of eggnog, maybe it’s 42
Though I may have to ask Sarah’s roomate, Kat . . .
I hear she’s pretty good with math.

~m

Pamela’s Dirty Snowballs

I can’t say enough about these little rascals.
You just can’t stop eating them.
And I’m sure you don’t believe me.
So make a batch and let me know.
These bastards are way worse than a bag of Lay’s Potato Chips in terms of compulsive “eatability”.

1/4 pound butter (none of that “can’t believe it’s not butter” shit ~m)
1 package chopped dates
(buy decent chopped dates in plastic containers, like the ones they sell at the deli. Not sure how much is in a package or plastic container, but I usually just use one container or box. Make sure you get the chopped dates, not the whole dates, and if they have sugar on them that’s alright.)
1 egg beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups Rice Krispies

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 bags coconut
(I usually double this recipe when I make themgood advice, ~m)

Put first five ingredients in a large pot on the stove (spaghetti pot), melt and bring to a low boil.
You should stay close and stir quite often so it won’t burn.
Once it is all melted and it comes to a low boil (it will take awhile, you will see the mixture start to bubble), you can turn off the heat and move the pot to a pot holder or another burner and add the Rice Krispies and nuts and stir until it is combined.
You then lay out wax paper and cover it with shredded coconut.
You want the mixture to still be warm so the coconut sticks to the ball.
(God, I love this recipe ~m)
Roll them into balls about the size of meatballs.
You can actually make them as big or small as you like.
(I usually use rubber gloves when I make them because it seems easier to me because the mixture is so sticky, but you don’t have to be.)
Roll the balls in the coconut and push the coconut onto the ball.
Sometimes this is frustrating because it seems like the coconut is not sticking so well, but you can always sprinkle the leftover coconut on top of the snowballs when you are finished making them.
You can either put them on a plate or in a container and sprinkle the remainder of the coconut on top.
Put them in Christmas tins and sprinkle the leftover coconut on top.
They are not hard to make, just very messy.
Enjoy, folks.
Merry Christmas!

~p

On Writing

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”
~Stephen King

I’ll be posting sporadically until sometime after Christmas.
Retail kicks your ass and to be honest, I need to do some serious reading.
I’ve dusted off the King book for another go through.
At this time of the year, I just can’t do it all and reading is much needed sanctuary.
I will be visiting my favorite blogs though.
For some new blog reading be sure to visit Grimm, NurseMyra, Other Side & Sulz, several new blogs that I’m currently enjoying the hell out of.
Until next time, I wish you all peace.

~m

Some Children See Him

It was many years ago on a Christmas night that I paused to look in on our girls before I went to bed. They were sleeping and hopefully dreaming of sweet things.
At the time, we’d put a radio in their room so they could drift off to dreamland to some soft music.
Though this Christmas night was very long ago, I remember it vividly.
As I turned to make my way to our bedroom, my ears soaked in whatever was playing on their radio.
It was a beautiful solo piano piece.
Standing there mesmerized, I realized I had goosebumps up and down my arms.
(a rarity for me, musically speaking)
This song, whatever it was, was something special.
When the song finished, I went back downstairs and called the radio station in Boston and actually spoke to the (obviously) lonely DJ.

“What was the last song you played? That solo piano thing?” I asked.

“Yeah, man . . . wasn’t that beautiful? It’s called, “Some Children See Him”, by Dave Grusin.
It’s off the first GRP Christmas Album. Nice stuff.”

I wished him a Merry Christmas and told him he’d just made my holiday.
I think he liked that.

Fast forward to tonight.
I’m sitting on the train listening to my Ipod when this song comes on.
It’s James Taylor singing Some Children See Him.
Goosebumps, folks.
The sad realization came to me that I never really ‘listened’ to the song.
Tonight was a very different story.
Hence, this post.
Here are the lyrics . . . (much nicer if you have the tune to listen to)

Some children see Him lily white,
The baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see Him lily white,
With tresses soft and fair.

Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of heav’n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
With dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,
This Savior whom we kneel beside.
Some children see Him almond-eyed,
With skin of golden hue.

Some children see Him dark as they,
Sweet Mary’s Son to whom we pray.
Some children see him dark as they,
And, oh . . . they love Him, too

The children in each different place
Will see the baby Jesus’ face
Like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,
And filled with holy light.
O lay aside each earthly thing
And with thy heart as offering,
Come worship now the infant King.
‘Tis love that’s born tonight!

For me, the holiday season can be summed up in the very last line of the song:
‘Tis love that’s born tonight’.
Christmas has very little to do with gifts, Mistletoe, jingle bells or EggNog;
there’s so much more that we may never see or feel simply because we’re all too busy Christmasing the way we “think” we’re supposed to, the quintessential celebrations we unknowingly try and mimic based on oh so many HDTV and jewelry commercials.
Yes, some children do see Him but it’s through eyes that understand the true nature of the Christmas holiday.
It’s never been about ‘the stuff’.
It’s about offering your soul, granting forgiveness and selfless acts of the heart.
I pray that my eyes will see Him for who He truly is.
I pray the same for the commercially blind living in this surreal marshmallow world.

~m

Junk in a Box

Didn’t have much time to write for my first post of 2007 but I did find you a hearty laugh compliments of my good friend DB.
I laughed myself into oblivion with this one.
Actually, I had tears in my eyes.
It is blatantly suggestive but nothing downright nasty.
Justin Timberlake in one of his finest performances…
Hope you find it as funny as I did.

Happy New Year everybody!
2007 is going to be great.
I just know it.

~m

Write. Right?

There are days when words to write are scarce, simply not there from my point of view.

But you’re writing right now, I hear you say, how can there be no words?

For the literary alchemy to be correct (for me) there has to be some sort of ‘connection’ in the very depth of my words, significant reasons for them to fundamentally exist.
Today’s writing feels like an exercise in ineffectuality when in essence it is all about personal perseverance…I think.

I’ve read enough writing books to know that words will never come if you’re not holding a writing instrument of some type and actually writing.
Sounds simplistic but writers have numerous ways of putting off the muse.
I’ve done it.
So have you (if you’re a writer).

This is my pen and these are my thoughts;

For the past two Christmases, I’ve received a personalized writing journal from my like-minded daughter, Jenna.
In temperament and mood, we are two peas in a pod. Kinda scary…
I can’t for the life of me put my finger on why her gift moved me so, it just did.
I got choked up this year as I did last year and I’m sure my daughters all think I’m going psycho or something. (Dad’s freaking out again)

Oddly enough, I’ve yet to write in either journal.
Strange, huh? It’s like I’m saving them for a rainy day or something.

Aren’t my words special enough and uniquely me?

Are they worthy of taking up residence on the many waiting blank pages?

I’ve decided to place my writing bravado on the shelf (where it belongs) and do what all good writers do: write.

Sounds simple, but God, it’s really not.
(Writers, you understand, don’t you?)

It’s contemplating the act itself that sometimes leaves me feeling inept.

In the words of Natalie Goldberg, it’s just my monkey mind. (my internal censor truly believes that nothing I write is good enough)

Maybe I began writing tonight because I just wanted to thank my three daughters for gifts that were anything but ordinary and showed me how much they love to make me happy; and God, how they always do.

One more important note—Happy Birthday, Sarah.

You have reached a milestone.
You are no longer a teenager. (yikes)
Good luck in the ER but be prepared for some bumpy emotional terrain.
You can handle it, I’m sure.
And thanks for the new shamrock ‘dreamhat’.
Lord only knows, your dear old Dad needs it. . .

~m