Ce Soir ou Jamais

tonight I write...or never

Wednesday, December 21

In which I could link to a lot of cool holiday music, but I don't

One of my all time favorite things about the holiday season is the music. From the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky to the A Very Special Christmas compilations to Johnny Mathis and back again to the soundtrack from How the Grinch Stole Christmas I love it all. I have a holiday compilation of some of my all time favorites which stays in the car's CD player from the day after Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas. It includes modern day classics such as 'Happy Christmas (War is Over)' from John Lennon, 'Holiday Wrappings' from the Waitresses, and the original version of 'Do They Know it's Christmas'. I absolutely love this CD and I have burned a copy for just about every in-person person I know. My daughter is growing up knowing this compilation as Monkey Hill's soundtrack to the holidays.

I just realized that hardly a song that I love to blare and sing along to is what would be deemed a 'traditional christmas carol'. Last night, we fired up the player piano and inserted the 'An Old Fashioned Christmas' disc. First up was 'The 12 Days of Christmas.' Darian and I had no idea what happened on the third, eighth, seventh..OK, we really had no clue what happens on the 12 days of Christmas. Next came 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'. You better watch out, else you get to hear us hum along to that one. 'Oh Christmas Tree' turned into "Oh, never mind." Christmas carols aren't taught in school (where I initially learned every holiday standard) and being of the non-traditional sort, we've never taken the time to teach them to our child and are far too lazy to start.

Instead, we turned off the piano, turned up the old cd player, and sang all the words to the Pretender's "2,000 Miles", dancing and spinning as we belt out, 'I hear people singing, it must be Christmas time!'. The player then shuffles, we hold heart to heart and hand in hand and sing along with the Whos down in Whoville. Diana Ross makes it into the mix with her version of 'My Favorite Things'. Elvis makes an appearance to let us know what color he turns if he can't be with us followed up by Run/DMC where it's Christmas time in Hollis, Queens. (I play the part of D, thank you very much- mom's cooking chicken and collard greens. Rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese. And Santa puts gifts under Christmas trees!-probably some of my all time favorite holiday lyrics *ever*.)

Then, before we say good night to get snug in our beds, George Michael brings us the climax of our caroling with Wham's 'Last Christmas'.

This year, to save me from tears, I give it someone special.

Oh, George Michael! How you can sum up my feelings about the holidays in one pithy line!!

I think the glass is half full

I know that I do not blog often and must admit that I have hardly a clue what goes on in the blogging world. I know that I log onto a site, try to compose something that will make someone, somewhere smile or even giggle. Aside from inserting links and hitting the publish button, my blogging skills are pretty elementary. I have some sites I like to visit but the time I spend online has become minimal. I still have yet to fully comprehend blogrolling, Technorati, Livejournal, RSS, Adsense and only recently have I been a regular reader over at Dooce. I have a stat counter, but forgot the login to it.

Today I was visiting one of my regular 'haunts' when I noticed a button asking 'What is your blog worth?' I entered my url. I think you can guess how much my blog is worth.


Of course, being a naive optimist, I will take that 0 as meaning 'priceless'.

Monday, December 12

The nightmare before Christmas

I have a thing about the Christmas tree. The thing is this: I loathe it. Pine needles and icicles and endless strands of lights. Not my bag. My brother-in-law owns a large Christmas tree lot. Every year I am offered a tree- not for free, mind you as he generously offers his condo in Whistler, BC to us gratis- but still, it's a nice offer. Except for the fact that I loathe the Christmas tree. And I loathe a live tree even more than I do so the fake. "Why is that?", you ask. "What kind of grinch are you?" Well, first of all, I'm not a grinch, I'm a Jew.(Non practicing, but I threw it out there for you to contemplate. And by the way this post is about a tree, not religion.) Second of all, all that work to put the thing up for your neighbors and family to ooh and ahh over and have their photos taken in front of for it then to be torn down 3 weeks later? Why? I'd rather put my decorating dollars to use redoing my dining room, or choosing area rugs for the living room, or buying yet another set of dishes we won't use. (But they looked so pretty!)

The tree has never been my thing until Darian came along. We decided we would give her the best of both worlds and she has opted for the tree and the baby Jesus. Fine by me- I'm glad to know she's believing in *something*. So anyway, back to the tree. When she was old enough to really get into Christmas, around her third year, (Do the first and second really count? I mean, the first one she was a baby and not conscious of much of anything that had to do with the spirit of giving aside from us giving her love and milk and more love-OK, you get it. The second one she was just into the cardboard tubes from wrapping paper and sticky bows.) So when the third one came around, you could see her eyes light up the day after Halloween when Target and Starbucks decorated their stores with holiday lights and all things that signify good cheer. We was gettin' a tree.

When choosing a tree, one has several options. First image that comes to my mind is the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Budgets were strict back then, but not that strict. My husband found a man selling artificial nobles in a parking lot behind a K-Mart and decided the price of $10 with stand included was too good to pass up. 8 feet of artificial glory was to be ours, some assembly required. And when they said assembly, they meant that you had to fashion the stand from a few pieces of metal.

From that first year until this we must prepare for the building of the tree stand. It's an arduous chore; one my husband does not necessarily look forward to, but revels in as it's completion is a testament to his skill and determination. The first year seemed like a lot of work- pliers, then vice grips, and finally beating it together with a rubber mallet. But something not so magical happens each year that the tree sits in storage. It plots to make the next year's assembly more painful than the previous. Last year, our neighbor offered his plasma cutter, but that might damage our hardwoods. After the fight and the tree was up, we'd ooh and ahh and take pictures in front of it and invite over the neighbors and look at it lovingly from the street.

This year, after needing to break out the blow torch and arc welder, my husband shook the stand with aggression, the tree almost busting through our living room window, and shouted, "That's it! No more Christmas trees! EVER!!"

"But what's Christmas without the tree, Daddy?" cried Darian.

"It's called Hanukkah."

Wednesday, December 7

Ten on Tuesday this Wednesday

It's been awhile, but I thought this one would be fun. Plus, I need to tell you about this biggest source of contention here at Monkey Hill.

10 Household Chores You Hate

1. Yard Work. Never been one to tool around in the garden, rake leaves, or even mow the lawn. I did try it once, but I did not get the lines correct, so I leave it to my husband.
2. Sweeping under my daughter's bed. It's pretty scary what one can find under there.
3. The litter pan. I've given that task to my daughter.
4. Cleaning up after dog accidents.
5. The after vacuum filter clean out.
6. Let's see what's inside this old container in the fridge.
7. Organizing the mail. I have piles and more piles of papers that need to be filed. At least I do recycle the junk mail first thing and don't let that get out of hand. I know how worried you are about that.
8. Dusting the computer. Mine's frightfully dirty.
9. Cleaning the toilets.

And last, but not least:

10. Building fires in the winter. I refuse to become a member of Pioneer House. I simply flick on the heat. (This one is a sore subject between me and sexy husband who spends all his free time in the summers chopping wood and piling wood and chopping and piling and chopping and piling and covering a quarter of our property with piles and piles of wood. But then again, I have all those mail piles.) Just because we have two fireplaces- one with a wood burning stove insert- that heat the house more effectively and efficiently than the ol' furnace doesn't mean I actually have to partake in the woodburning madness. You can just hear the arguments blazing over here at Monkey Hill on a cold winter's night...after sexy husband has had his vasectomy and can't lift a thing. And me, the lazy wife, who refuses to touch the wood- double entendre!- for fear of breaking a nail..."Build a fire! Darian knows how to do it, why can't you? Do you know how much oil costs when we have chords of *free* firewood sitting outside for you to burn?" "Well, get Darian to build the fire!" "Oh, she is at the neighbors." 4 days post vasectomy, sexy husband is able to lift wood- there it is again (!), warm his home, and not have to listen to me complain about how cold it is in here.

Friday, December 2

Arrested Testicles

*5 movie rentals providing over 10 hours of entertainment....$21.63

*Take away dinner from Jak's Grill....$50.00

*Prescription for Tylenol-3....$1.16

*No longer swimming in the reproductive pool....PRICELESS

Sexy husband is resting well, bag of ice affixed to crotch, and belly full from a mouthwatering steak. His only comment on the whole experience: he felt robbed in the drugs department. He thought, at least, he would get to be knocked out and enjoy a brief and legal narcotic high. Instead a local was given and he had a nice conversation with the doctor about their college days.

Our daughter knows that Daddy's nuts are numb, his plums have paused, his balls aren't bouncing. She has decided that she has enough of the potty talk and ventured to our neighbor's house, but before she did so, she was sure to provide me with a few words about Daddy's after surgery care:

Don't let the cats jump on his lap! They have claws!

Thursday, December 1

A laugh at the expense of my husband

*Honey, you know I love you, but I had to tell the internet this conversation.

My husband is literally on the road on his way home from a day on the slopes and we have family portraits to sit for in about an hour. This is the phone conversation we just had:

Me: Hey, how close are you to home?
Him: Oh, I am on McClellan, just about to drop James and Mike home.
Me: So, I should see you in about 20 then?
Him: Yeah, should be.
Me: Good, cause you need to shower before we go. Did you guys have a good time?
Him: (breathing a heavy sigh of content) Ahhh...I've got four words for you: E.Pic. Pow.Der.
Me: OK, well that is actually 2 words. Hey, I'm eating those wasabi peanuts! (Screams as the fire of wasabi makes it way through the back of the nose and hits the eyeballs, drool coming out of my mouth.)
Him: I can't believe you eat those nuts. Now I know what to get you for Christmas.
Me: Ha. Ha. Speaking of nuts, your urologist called. You need to shave your scrotum and bring in a pair of tight briefs for support after the surgery.
Him: Tight briefs? So, am I supposed to wear a pair of yours?
Me: I don't know. Look, I am laughing so hard; I have to go blog this, honey.
Him: Great, a laugh at my expense. Go ahead.

You heard it, internet, he gave me permission to tell you: He's getting CUT tomorrow!!!!

I mentioned to someone today why I would not be in the office tomorrow and they asked, 'For real? You got your husband to do that for you?' Well, it's not all about me, now! It takes 2 to tango and he has been wanting to do this for years. Years.

The irony of it all? Tomorrow is his dad's birthday. My husband will be severing his blood line's ability to carry on while the patriarch of the Bo family celebrates the anniversary of his birth. And my husband can cheer him on in his tightie whities.