The Simple Holiday

Today is Christmas, a holiday I happen to celebrate. It’s just me and The Child Person this year, so we’re keeping it simple.

Yesterday, I made some simple biscuits from a recipe I found online. It called for butter and margarine, which I never have around, so I substituted vegetable oil for the margarine, and they came out great. I think I’ll bump up the baking powder a tad next time I make them.

There were a few extra, so we left them for Santa, along with a glass of milk. He has to keep his strength up, after all.

We picked up our Holiday Feast at the grocery store a couple of days ago. To start, we’ll have a sourdough baguette with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (although I prefer oil and salt, myself). I’m baking two, beautiful russet potatoes, braising two, huge artichokes, and to round out the meal, we will have some top sirloin, broiled to a medium rare. For something sweet afterward, I’ll mix up a small batch of homemade egg nog. It’s surprisingly simple and much more yummy than store-bought.

We plan to feast on Netflix, as well. Any recommendations?

Our tree is a tiny, tabletop one we picked up at Safeway. When the Season is finished, we plan to place it somewhere else in the house, as it will pass nicely for a houseplant.

If this all seems too plain, unstructured and just not “Christmasy” enough for you, well, sue me. I like it. We did visit Christmas In The Park on Tuesday, and spent a good, long while there. I saw that there wasn’t a glass blowing demonstration…there used to be and it always fascinated me.

When it comes to holidays, I like the lack of fuss. I don’t find fuss energizing, I find it stressful. Not only does it not get me in the “spirit”, it makes me wish to skip the whole thing.

I like the quiet. I like the simplicity.

It’s Christmas. It’s cold, but sunny. There are quail that run around outside, and every once in a while they startle, and I can hear an army of little wings beating a hasty retreat.

Merry Christmas, wherever you are, and however you choose to (or not to) celebrate.

Things I Learned About People from Comic Books

I’m specifically talking about super hero comics.

These books are fun, because the writing speaks to something in everyone, either a reality that one deals with, or a fantasy, wish or dream. That said, they’ve become a solid resource for learning about humanity.

You could make a study of human nature based on the story lines in some of the most popular comics of all time. I’ve taken the time to research and still the most potent lessons for you here:

1. Everyone Has a Secret

From Clark Kent to Green Arrow, you have to hide your real self. If you want to talk about broader secrets, there are secret plans, secret pasts and secret intentions.

2. There are Good Guys and Bad Guys

Good and evil are totally clear-cut. You can always tell when someone is out to take what they can [cough*Wall Street*cough] and who’s in it to be noble and brave.

3. Sometimes Good Guys are Bad Guys and Visa Versa

Obviously, good and evil are shades of grey and a matter of perspective. OBVI!

4. Everyone Looks Great in Tights

They keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, plus they’re incredibly slimming. Also great if you wear clothes without pockets.

5. Tacky Dialogue is Cool

Remember the old Batman TV show? Well, they were tongue-in-cheek. Most shows today aren’t but they still rock.

They do rock, right?

Little House on The Prairie, Ch. 18: The Tall Indian

A tall Indian comes to the house, and Jack gets himself into a precarious situation.

This book was the basis for the popular television show by the same name.

There are themes in the book that describe attitudes that would be considered backward and racist today. It is not the intention to either highlight or censor these, but to let them stand as they are in the book, as a record of historical interest.

Little House on the Prairie (book) on Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie#Little_House_on_the_Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilderhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

The Homestead Act of 1852: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny#Homestead_Act

 

Little House on The Prairie, Ch. 17: Pa Goes to Town

(I was fighting a cold when I read this, so please forgive my gravelly voice. )

Pa takes a trip to town while Ma and the girls fend for themselves during his absence. Mr. Edwards comes to help with the chores, but this upsets Jack, who gives Mr. Edwards a fright.

This book was the basis for the popular television show by the same name.

There are themes in the book that describe attitudes that would be considered backward and racist today. It is not the intention to either highlight or censor these, but to let them stand as they are in the book, as a record of historical interest.

Little House on the Prairie (book) on Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie#Little_House_on_the_Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilderhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

The Homestead Act of 1852: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny#Homestead_Act

 

This is only a test

IMG_0938.JPG

You will be graded but the grade is meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

You will seldom be aware of the grand scheme of things.

You will always have less than you want but more than you need.

You will be dissatisfied. This feeling will drive you forward to what your peers refer to as success. It will be an unobtainable carrot.

When at the end of life you will look back and wish you had relaxed more.

Little House on The Prairie, Ch. 16: Fire in The Chimney

Ma and the girls get quite the scare when the chimney unexpectedly catches fire while Pa is away working.

This book was the basis for the popular television show by the same name.

There are themes in the book that describe attitudes that would be considered backward and racist today. It is not the intention to either highlight or censor these, but to let them stand as they are in the book, as a record of historical interest.

Little House on the Prairie (book) on Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie#Little_House_on_the_Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilderhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

The Homestead Act of 1852: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny#Homestead_Act

Little House on The Prairie, Ch. 15: Fever ‘n’ Ague

The family falls dangerously ill for a long time, until a strange man comes to the house to help them, thanks to their faithful dog, Jack.

(NOTE: There were a few times during the reading of this that I had to stop and get control of my feelings. I could all too well imagine what it would have been like being alone on the prairie and unable to do anything.)

This book was the basis for the popular television show by the same name.

There are themes in the book that describe attitudes that would be considered backward and racist today. It is not the intention to either highlight or censor these, but to let them stand as they are in the book, as a record of historical interest.

Little House on the Prairie (book) on Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie#Little_House_on_the_Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilderhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

The Homestead Act of 1852: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny#Homestead_Act

Little House on The Prairie, Ch. 14: Indian Camp

The family happens upon an abandoned Indian (Native American) camp, where the girls learn a little bit more about how the people there lived.

This book was the basis for the popular television show by the same name.

There are themes in the book that describe attitudes that would be considered backward and racist today. It is not the intention to either highlight or censor these, but to let them stand as they are in the book, as a record of historical interest.

Little House on the Prairie (book) on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie#Little_House_on_the_Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

The Homestead Act of 1852: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny#Homestead_Act

 

Little House on The Prairie, Ch. 13: Texas Longhorns

Local cowboys ask Pa to help the cattle cross the river in exchange for some beef, which the family hasn’t had in a very long time. There’s a happy surprise in store for the family at the end of the cattle run.

This book was the basis for the popular television show by the same name.

There are themes in the book that describe attitudes that would be considered backward and racist today. It is not the intention to either highlight or censor these, but to let them stand as they are in the book, as a record of historical interest.

Little House on the Prairie (book) on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie#Little_House_on_the_Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

The Homestead Act of 1852: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny#Homestead_Act

 

Soul Asylum: Freaks

I saw these guys at the Berkeley Square waaaay back in…1986/7 and this song was one of the best of the night.

I don’t know if you remember Soul Asylum from the 90’s at all. They changed a bit and became more mainstream, radio-friendly, jangly-guitar-pop. I felt disappointed and preferred their early garage-punk vibe. But that’s just me.

Let's make magic.

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