Friday, December 31, 2010

Many happy returns

A year ago yesterday, our little Meggie made the transition from being an inner child to an outer child. She's brought us so much sunshine.

Of course, she liked her cake and duckie, and the rest of the party. But the pink laptop from Auntie Emmy definitely took the cake, as it were. She's slightly possessive. I think her reasoning is, if she's not allowed to play on our computers, why should we play on hers?

Happy birthday, darling.

Christmas in Korea

Those wild, wicked South Koreans made a "dangerous, rash act" this Christmas. They put up a giant Christmas tree within sight of the North Korean border, with a cross on top and all lit up. And then, they put on Santa hats and sang Christmas carols around it.

Wicked, I tell you.

I love it.

Thanks to Cranach for finding this.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas was here

Meg's stocking, with Atcha Bear waiting. (She named him.)

The high chair, ready and waiting for a Christmas breakfast eater to come and keep it company.

The countdown board confirms it - Christmas is here!

The new duck, found on Christmas clearance in Lexington. We named her Lexie.

My, there are a lot of shoes by that door. And a Grandpa.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The twelve days of Christmas

Merry Christmas! We're all at my sister's for the week, and having a lovely holiday. My whole family is here, and my parents hadn't seen Meg since the wedding in March. Then there were a lot of presents, and I do love Christmas presents. :-)

Meggers has been having a grand time. She's confidently tottering around on her feet, as of the Friday before Christmas, and so she walks back and forth and down the hall and back to the living room, and then gets waylaid by the carpet line and sits down looking surprised. As for toys, what an amazing thing! Somebody presented her with a pink stocking with things in it! She very competently reached in and pulled them out. She doesn't quite have the knack of opening wrapped presents, but that was all right, because when the paper was off, there was a farm set with little people and animals and some equipment - and a very soft teddy bear named Atcha - and a block cube with a whole bunch of shapes - and a book about Bethlehem that sings and flashes lights. Pretty much amazing.

This is the cutest little townhouse Kyte has, incidentally. The famous color-coded bookshelf is still here, and every single wall in every single room is adorable. I don't know how she does it. The downstairs bathroom is a beach theme, with a photo of the Beach Boys, a shell candle, and a surfboard picture frame of her and Ryan. The upstairs guest room is that perfect French country antiques look. Jonathan and Meg and I are staying in her studio, which is white and bright and airy with colorful kites hanging from the ceiling and gorgeously-patterned colored pillows over a white down duvet. She's really got an awesome talent for color.

The only one who isn't thrilled is the cat Irony. Meg is not only a cute similarly-sized rival who plays with her precious family and laser pointer, but she's loud and enthusiastic, and Irony has to hiss at her whenever Meg gets too close. Irony spends a lot of time sitting on top of chairs where Meg can't reach.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Waiting for Elmo

It's cold. I have a kind of sore throat and a really long to-do list.

But Jenny made my day by posting the Sesame Street version of Waiting for Godot. YAY!

Thank you, Jenny!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow day green chile soup

Richmond makes me smile. They were predicting some snow and then sleet and freezing rain for today, so last night they closed the schools. We got up this morning - no snow. It started about 9:30, and as of 1:00 we've got maybe an inch and the entire town has shut down. Jonathan's campus is closed, and while his office is technically open, his boss told him not to risk coming in. Not that I'm complaining, mind you! Never complain about a snow day!

So for lunch I made a lovely simple green chile soup.

2 stalks celery, diced
1 green onion, sliced
1 green chile, peeled, de-seeded, and diced
1 can of Campbell's cream of chicken and mushroom soup
Shredded cheddar cheese

Saute the celery, green onion, and chile in a little olive oil. Add the canned soup and a can of water, and heat. Top with cheese. Serves 2.

I never said it was gourmet, but it really hit the spot. :-) And the snow is still coming down.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yes, Eureka, there is a real meaning of Christmas

I finally read Thrones, Dominations, the unfinished Sayers book the Jill Paton Walsh took in hand and completed a few years ago. It wasn't as good as a pure Sayers, but it was better than some of the mysteries I've been reading lately. She didn't so much ruin our beloved characters as flatten them out: everybody's characterization got less nuanced and more sledgehammer-like. The Duke of Denver and Lady Helen came off worst of all, although Peter became so sensitive as to be slightly henpecked (Peter!! Henpecked by Harriet??). She tried really hard to keep Sayers' contemporary attitudes and worldview, but a modern apparently just can't. Not on marriage: not on class. A pity. Also, the solution to the mystery was kind of perverted, so I wouldn't recommend it for young readers.

The long-awaited Eureka Christmas episode came out this week! Spoilers! It was called "O Little Town," and I think they'd been watching Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, because Taggart, in a life-long pursuit of Santa, has developed a shrinker-ray for presents that shrinks Eureka! Oh noes! So Jack and Taggart figure out how to take Dr. Drummer's (guest star) magic energy snowball thing and throw it at the EMP shield and reverse the shrinkage.

There were some genuinely funny moments, but I don't think the writers of this episode ever watched Eureka. Taggart's thing is hunting with big guns, right? And Jack is a huge baseball fan, right? So when the time comes for them to go up in the sleigh (I am not making this up), throw the snowball at the shield, and shoot it, what do the writers do but assign Jack to the gun and Taggart to the pitching. Huh? But then, the writing on Eureka this whole season has been lazy. They did get a bunch of new writers on, I know. The dialogue isn't that funny, the plots aren't particularly scientific, and the characters randomly do things totally out of character. Too bad. Also, I really wish they'd hurry up and get Jo and Zane sorted out, or at least advance their story somehow. That's the most interesting subplot at this point, now that the parallel world is more or less at an equilibrium. Sigh.

It's also a pity that Eureka is such a metaphysically empty world. It really is. They do a whole Christmas episode, leaving out even the vaguest hint of Christianity (of course), and this is what we wind up with:
- Christmas isn't about being with your blood family, but being with those you're with (and hopefully love) - Jack's, Jo's, and the nameless snowed-in kids' subplots.
- Everybody makes their own Christmas magic. Allison's subplot was she tries so hard to make things wonderful for her kids, because her parents were straight-up scientists and she never got a present from Santa.
- Growing up doesn't mean you have to stop believing in magic and eating candy canes (at least, so Dr. Drummer/Santa tells Jo).
- Science doesn't work on Santa. You can't capture him and study him, but he'll be back next year - Taggart's subplot.
-Fruitcake has like a million calories, especially when it's shrunk so a whole fruitcake is in one bite.

Seriously? That's the best meaning of Christmas you've got? They know science isn't enough, and there's a better myth, if you like. Imagine a world where a happy God invented people and parsley and astrophysics because He wanted to, and because having them was better and awesomer than not. Then imagine people messed it up. Then, imagine God Himself was born as a human person, to live here for thirty years, be murdered, but be so intensely full of life that He swallowed up death. And, if you want to, you can join this God, and He will swap your death for His life, and your depressingness for His happiness. Incidentally, this means you can investigate this world - i.e. do science - all you like and only learn more about this God because it tells you what He's like. Science has meaning; life has meaning; language even has meaning. Altogether a more satisfactory state of affairs.

Eureka ignores God, and in their metaphysical flailings they've lost science too. We get to wish for Santa and eat candy canes? Seriously? I really miss the scientific plots. Come to the light side. We have cookies! And a philosophical foundation for them!

Friday, December 03, 2010


I would like to share photographic evidence of my first wrapped present of the season. And we're still in the first week of Advent, so I call that a success. Woohoo!

I'm actually kind of shocked at how well Christmas presents are coming this year. I did a little bit in October and November as we came across stuff. Wednesday night I ordered a round of something, which I hope will be fabulous, and yesterday morning Meg and I went to the mall and got quite a bit more done. Then, since last night was Jonathan's late night, Meg and I got most of the haul wrapped. She likes curling ribbon, and will fling it over her shoulders like a feather boa. So cute. She's total girl.

In other news, the Target dollar bin Christmas music is really good. Yay!