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December 28, 2005

Recipe for Holiday Magic

  • World Wide Web (1)
  • Generous people (several)
  • Initiative (a bit)

For more information, see the original thread which also links to more details and pictures. And then see the resolution thread, which again links to more details and pictures.

Lynn brings smiles to my face minute after minute and day after day, so I was glad to be able to return the favor this Chanukkah. Happy Chanukkah — Merry Christmas — Happy Holidays — Happy New Year —— to everyone.

December 13, 2005

It Happened At Dinner

Lynn took me to Caffe Umbra for dinner for my birthday tonight. Amidst a tasty meal (mixed olives, chicken liver mousse, fish stew, porterhouse lamb chop), the following two noteworthy events took place:

  • Lynn's water glass was empty. The waiter comes by, pours about an inch of water and ice into the glass, stops, and walks away. He wasn't out of water (he went and filled some other lucky soul's glass), and Lynn's glass was still mostly empty. Strange.
  • As Lynn was finishing up her coffee and I my beer, and as we waited to pay the bill before leaving, a couple joined the large party at the next table over and set their little baby on the ground in her car seat, facing us. She slept for a few minutes, but then she began to wake and stretch her tiny arms and finally opened her big brown eyes. She stared at Lynn for awhile, and then at me, with no intention of looking anywhere else. We waved at her, and she waved back. (Well, at least, she blinked and murmured to acknowledge our actions. After we paid the bill and thought we had completed our conversation with our new friend, we got up to leave. As we traversed the fifteen feet from our table to the door, the baby started talking more and more loudly, before finally bursting into tears that could be heard restaurant-wide. Poor little girl. I'd cry, too, if Lynn and I were leaving my life forever!

December 8, 2005

Heard Today at Lunch

Stephen Evanchik, on idealist vegans:

As long as there're lions in Africa eating meat, I'm going to continue eating meat.
Lions; like this one.

December 6, 2005

A Tardy Thanksgiving Report

The problem with trying to maintain a blog is that sometimes you just don't finish entries in a timely fashion. Exhibit A, your honor:

We enjoyed a gastronomic feast at the Zuckerman's home in Wyckoff yesterday on Thursday the other week, featuring:

  • Assorted crackers with blocks of Swiss, cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheese
  • Tortilla chips with a cheese-salsa dip
  • Assorted veggies with a southwestern ranch dip
  • Baked Brie
  • Other dippables: hummus, baba ganoush, and tuna & cannellini bean dip
  • Chicken wings
  • Eggplant rollatini
  • Oven-roasted turkey stuffed with an onion and herb stuffing
  • Gravy from pan drippings
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Spinach soufle
  • Sweet-potato pudding
  • Homemade corn-bread stuffing
  • Sweet and sour meatballs
  • Cornish hens
  • Ribollita
  • Steamed asparagus
  • Apple crisp
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Strawberry-rhubarb pie
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Assorted candies and cookies

Following the food and festivities, the fine folks at CSI treated us to a Thanksgiving Day episode specifically designed to make us regret every single ounce of chow that we'd spent the day enjoying. The episode featured a poor man who suffered from Prader-Willi Syndrome, who escaped from his (temporary) caretaker and literally ate himself to death. The show, of course, shunned explanations that Prader-Willi goes hand-in-hand with levels of mental retardation in favor of gruesome autopsies and montages of the victim gorging at a buffet, competitive eating contest, and in the dumpster where he lost his life. Truly an hour of television carefully scripted to air on Thanksgiving night. I caught a re-run of a season one or two CSI episode a few days ago, and what struck me as surprising was that the team was investigating two run-of-the-mill murders. There were no rare diseases, no insect evidence, and no kinky sex acts involved. Somehow, investigation, forensics, and deductions (not to mention the requisite musical lab segment and eyestrain-inducing lighting) managed to create an engaging and entertaining episode. I do think that CSI is still one of the best shows on television today, but it's a bit of a shame that any subtlety or simplicity has long since been thrown to the wind.

Life is a long journey full of peaks and valleys, and we all learn at different times to appreciate the peaks and to weather the valleys. Life knocks us down and we get back up swinging; life lifts us up and we strive to cherish the moment. This year, though, I'm thankful for all those days when life simply looks the other way. The weeks when I wake up next to my wonderful wife, go to work with intelligent and witty people who are also my friends, create good times with high school and college friends who I must have known since ages past, watch my niece learn to say "boobies," and share in the warmth of two loving families. It's easy to celebrate the momentous occasions, but it's more important to learn to love the mundane things that make life worthwhile. Happy December, everyone.