A Christmas Mosaic

So many things. None of them particularly well written nor stylish, but I show up anyway. I fully expect this post to veer between obtuse, informative, choppiness, and borderline angsty-random. Just so you know. (Also I’ve never explained my inner self as well as with those four-to-five adjectives.) Plus, I feel the need to just unload. In public I guess, which brings me to…


First things first. More and more people I *know* are reading this blog, which is…weird and embarrassing and cool and not. Because you know how you walk down the street? And you feel confident the people you pass don’t know what’s going on inside? That maybe no one will ever know? And you keep that unknowable part like a secret and a wish and a lament? You don’t have that when you write for public consumption. That is my choice, but still. A few weeks ago Booger’s preschool teacher called to set up a play date and greeted me with “Hi San Diego Momma!” Which led to my robust “Wha-?” Which led to the explanation that apparently Yahoo! lists your entire online social media presence every time you send an email (a feature that can be turned off, thankfully). After my shock de-registered, I found myself apologizing. Booger goes to a presbyterian preschool and her teacher is a godly woman. So I told the teacher: “But I swear! I’m impure! I listen to rock music!” And her reply? “God loves a sense of humor.” Which brings me to…


The progressive dinner my neighbors and I planned a few weeks ago. Let me just say that whoever thought up the progressive dinner idea is either a marathon runner or a dumbass. Why does one want to get all settled into a house with red pepper pesto tartlets and a nice glass of Cab and an hour later be told you have to leave? To go somewhere else? And then right when you’ve hit your stride with genteel conversation and a peppermint martini, be told you have to leave? Again. And so you walk from house to house to house. Appetizers at one place, dinner at another, and dessert at a third home. Can’t we all just park it? Those tartlets were good. And now I may never see them again.


And just so you know, despite my whiny whirlings that I can’t cook, my roast beef tenderloin turned out fabulous. I have to give you the recipe. There was carmelization and rubbing and stuffing and rolling. By the time I finished swiping my hands all about that meat, I found I couldn’t eat it. It’s like we were connected by a thick strand of psychic sinew. So the tasted fabulous part? All hearsay. Still, I think you want this recipe.


The day after the party, I couldn’t move. There was sniffling and weakness and general malaise. So I stayed in bed for two whole days, occasionally calling down to The Rock, “Can you bring me some mac ‘n cheese? A bite of toast? Twenty-five gourmet chocolates? In one fell, dramatic swoop, I abandoned all healthy eating at the door of Sick and Tired. And I haven’t turned around since. I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions, but this time, I’ve got a running list topped most prominently by “No more hydrogenated things.” And also “Can we stop with the wine already?” Which brings me to…


On the second day of bedriddenness, I received an email from my dad that he was going to the hospital that very day for a colonoscopy. The tone of his message was nervous and melancholy. And see, my dad is my flight attendant. If he sounds nervous, there’s something to be nervous about. So I rolled out of that sick, chocolate-flecked bed, packed up the kids, and drove right up to Los Angeles. Turned out my dad was alright — four polyps — but I feel sure he was glad we were there. Also, I made pot roast. Meat is the ultimate healer! Two days later, I trucked it back to San Diego in an epic six-hour drive during which I saw Jesus. Or maybe it was the devil dressed in a Jesus costume. I don’t know. I was having fugues. Because that drive sucked bigtime shit turds. Which leads me to…


Don’t take shit for granted. Because yesterday I woke up not so much in the Christmas spirit. The house was messy, the lights were bright, the music was getting old. Pine needles littered the floor and so did plastic do-hickeys. I missed Chicago snow and money to buy things. I lost sight of the fact that you have a family you love, dammit, so ball up. And then at about 5PM, after several hours of preparing and cooking Christmas dinner, and after finally sitting down to taste the fruits of her labors, my mother-in-law said, “I feel dizzy.” And when I looked at her face I could tell this wasn’t just an “I feel dizzy” so I got her some water and after more of us gathered around her chair, she grew increasingly confused and incoherent and then passed out. The Rock called 911 and the paramedics took her to the hospital, and fortunately, it appears the episode was just that — an episode — not a stroke or a heart attack or any of the other things that can strike the people you love when you least expect it, so don’t take shit for granted. At which point, I come to…


The Rock bought me a Snuggie for Christmas.


P.S. Here is the recipe!


7 Responses to “A Christmas Mosaic”

  1. Common ¢ents Mama says:

    What girl doesn’t love a snuggie?

  2. Sherri says:

    I’ve never heard of a Progressive Dinner. Sounds tiring. No wonder you ended up sick. Hope you’re feeling much better now.

    I was watching a news segment Christmas Eve (while stuffing my fat face with stuff I shouldn’t have been eating) and some schmuck physician did a bit about how the Holidays increases your risk for strokes and Heart Attacks simply based on our crap intake around this time of year.Blah blah blah… Luckily, the Dish Network froze just as he was about to get into the specifics of why I shouldn’t be eating what I was eating as I was stuffing my face with greasy bacon and a croissant. Glad your MIL is A-okay!

    Hey, maybe next year you’ll get the Snuggie Sutra to compliment your gift this year.http://thesnuggiesutra.com/ Men do weird shit like that!

    Happy New Year!

  3. You were not kidding about packing a lot into one post. I’m glad it turned all turned out okay.

    Also? If you ever want a menu for a delicious Christmas dinner that requires practically no slaving (it’s all done the day before), let me know.

  4. A snuggie! I have one and it is so nice.
    My kids are always stealing it.
    Those traveling dinners are so wonderful–and so stuffing.
    I have random readers I know, too. It feels weird and I try not to think about them.

  5. Only you could assemble such a colorful and borderline angsty-random Christmas Mosaic! (BTW, I hear the Department of Homeland Security built a fence to contain those adjectives down your way)

    I’m glad you and your immediate family survived the holidays…up here in Portlandia we’re doing our best to make room in the lifeboats, and if my family would just quit pushing each other out, we’ll be just fine.

    Thanks for the tip about Yahoo. I’m always shocked when random friends of friends tell me they read my blog…I guess it’s easy to forget just how public it is. Part of me is thrilled that I have a “public”, but it also kinda creeps me out to know I have “lurkers”.

    Wishing you the happiest of holidays and may your words flow uninterrupted in the year to come!

    Cactus Petunia

  6. Ferd says:

    First, the requisite compliments: I loved this choppy, quirky, seemingly random but sorta connected, hypomanic-flight-of-ideas post! I am fascinated by how your mind works. (A little frightened, too! LOL) You’re a fun read!

    I so agree with what you said about progressive dinners. I did that once. Just once. Never again, for the reasons you mentioned.

    I DO want the recipe! But even if I develop a relationship with the meat, I AM eating it! Carmelized, rubbed, stuffed and rolled!? It’s turning me on sexually!!! Yum!

    Sorry you felt (?still feel) sick, especially over the holidays. These weeks are just too damn stressful. I love Thanksgiving, enjoy some of the Christmas stuff, but real glad when it’s all over.

    Glad your dad only had polyps. Whew!
    Bummer about the 6 hour drive! Though I laughed at “bigtime shit turds.” I hope godly presbyterian preschool teacher skips over that part.

    The best part? “Don’t take shit for granted.” So true! I’m a bit older than you, as are my parents probably. They are now in their eighties. And I work in a long term acute care hospital. You have to be sick as hell to qualify for admission, and I am often surprised to see patients even younger than I am. I am often reminded that illness and death are very real possibilities. I try to be aware and grateful for my many daily blessings, like being able to breathe, and walk, and think, and to not hurt, for starters.

    Thanks, Deb.
    A belated Merry Christmas.
    And a Happy New Year! I hope it’s a great one for you in many ways!

  7. Christina says:

    Oh, the first time I found out someone I knew *locally* was reading my blog? I died a 1000 deaths. I’m only marginally better two years later ;-)

    I loved this – and I agree about not taking shit for granted. Glad everything turned out OK. And that you got a Snuggie.

Leave a Reply