Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Yule Logs and Good Cheer

So, Jon and I are doing the Christmas thing watching the televised Yule Log on KCAL-TV channel 9 Los Angeles. I taped it as we weren't conscious at 6 am. It's 4 hours of a fireplace burning while carols are playing. The jauntiest of carols, Sleigh Ride by Johnny Mathis is on. I've heard three versions of Last Christmas by Wham. I had no idea there was more than one. I don't think there needed to be more than one. And boy, can singers ever mangle Silent Night. My absolute favorite remains the version by the Temptations. That version sounds like they're all drunk. That whole Christmas album of theirs did. But I digress. I find it surreal to tape four hours of a fireplace burning, yes. Since it's in the 70s outside, a video fireplace is most prudent. And it is very nice.

We weren't sure how much we'd celebrate Christmas this year. A week ago, I wasn't sure if I'd be up to anything at all. Tramping around for a live tree was out of the question. That's tiring under the best of circumstances. Luckily, we had a small, artificial tree from our first Christmas in Los Angeles. I wasn't sure I wanted to celebrate anything then either. We were in the city for ten months. The option on the script that brought us to LA had run out with no production date in site. We didn't really have any friends there. It was our first Christmas away from Philly. It was hot and foggy (how do you celebrate Christmas in heat and fog). And I was still profoundly grief stricken in the wake of Mom's passing late that summer. A few days before Christmas, I was moping through a strip mall near USC when I saw the tree on a clearance table. It reminded me of one that Todd Manning, a soap opera character from One Life to Live had. It was just a little fuller than Charlie Brown's Tree. And it looked like the sort of thing Manning would hang beer cans and action figures from. My Mom loved that character. He was the most interesting person that show had ever produced, so I bought it. We put it up every year even when we have a live tree. I've never hung a beer can in it, but we do put our action figures in it as ornaments. That did the trick this year. And with the lovely wreath gifted to us by Lucy, Ralph and Marguerite, the bouquet from the Archive gang and other decorations, the little apartment is really festive. I feel a thousand times better than I did at Thanksgiving. I have found in the last weeks how profoundly loved I am. There is too much to celebrate to let the holiday pass without some cheer.

Santa and Jon were very generous. Jon was very clever considering I didn't think he had time to shop. I have some books by Julia Child including My Life in France. I've wanted to read that for years. But I find myself reading Julia's Kitchen Wisdom first. I have to have a look at those recipes. I am doing some cooking today. I've had to set up a rig that allows me to chop things while seated on the sofa. I also have to rest a lot between steps and even longer between dishes, but the meal is shaping up. Jon is a fine sous chef keeping up with the dishes and lifting the heavy pots and pans.

I must make an aside here. I've gotten ham glaze on my face somehow. And Jon is testily pointing out that no carol should be sung with 'dooba dooba dos' in them unless it's be Fred Flintstone. I think it may be time to turn off the Yule log.

It's many hours later. We've watched the Alistair Sim Scrooge (it's the best), and we're full of ham and other dishes. I'm pleasantly tired. I think we managed to make rather merry, to quote Bob Cratchit. I hope all you have as well.

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