Saturday, December 19, 2009

sweet sixteen

There's a bottle of really good champagne chilling in the fridge and plans for take out sushi once the kids are in bed.

I've been married to the best husband in the entire world for sixteen years. What with that bottle of champagne, I may also be recreating the epic hangover I suffered the day after our wedding. (Champagne tends to give me massive hangovers, which seems so unfair and wrong. It's festive! It's celebratory! It has bubbles!)

There is one problem with the timing of our anniversary, though. I should have foreseen that getting married right before Christmas would make gift giving an issue. I am forever waffling on freaking Christmas gifts, so ask me what I want for our anniversary and I may just go all blank.

I've got a good marriage. That's enough. And I happen to have it with a fella who I'm kinda sorta fond of. I think I'll keep him a while longer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

damn you, ben folds

Last night I was watching the show The Sing-Off and it annoyed me. It's a competition for a cappella groups. The groups are not all that special, sadly. But, when does a cappella singing get a place on TV at all? The last time I can think of was when Spike Lee made a special about some groups (Rockapella, Take 6, Ladysmith Black Mambaza to name a few) which was probably about 20 years ago. And it was on PBS. So, even if it's not the greatest thing ever, it's the closest I'm gonna get to a Bobs TV extravaganza.

But that isn't what was annoying. No, one of the judges was Ben Folds. Now, I do not like his music. Not at all. In fact, I kind of hate his music. Therefore, using that logic, I hate him. (Not really -- but you know what I mean.) With people you only know from one context, you just apply your feelings about that one context to that person as a whole. Yes, it's stupid. But you know you do it, too, so shut up.

Anyway, I was getting all ready to hate on Ben Folds. To laugh at his stupidity and be irritated by him. And then he went and was knowledgable and gave great constructive criticism. He was funny and kind to the contestants. Dare I say it? OK, I will. He was charming. So now I am in the position of not really wanting to watch the three other episodes of this show for the musicians, but for one of the judges.

Damn you, Ben Folds. Damn you all to hell.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

a little christmas

We got a tree today.

Friday, December 11, 2009

tell me that i'm special...

...even when I know I'm not. That's a quote from a Plain White T's song which I was listening to as I drove around on errands this morning. I noted it on Facebook and some of my friends jumped in to assure me that I was special.

One of the friends who was reassuring me had done something really sweet and funny a number of years ago. He came to visit and I had a box of Special K cereal sitting on the kitchen counter. He took a Sharpie and wrote "ATIE" so it read Special KATIE, which is hilarious. And adorable.

I have good, dear friends. Whether I'm truly special or not is debatable, but they are all special to me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

you suck, citibank

So, Archie has a Citibank credit card -- no balance, low interest rate. He got a letter the other day and it stated that "due to inactivity" Citibank was closing the account. So Archie went digging around and realized he hadn't activated the new card when it was sent to him and he called Citibank to try and activate it and stop them from closing the account.

And they said no. They said no to a good customer who pays his bills and would use the card -- he just let it slip past him that a new one had arrived. Citibank has tons of customers who are negotiating paying pennies on the dollar of what they owe, and they are getting rid of a long-standing customer.

Guess what? This is why the financial people are in such trouble. Because they would rather have loads of customers who charge the world and then can't pay it back than people who are responsible credit users. People who use their cards and pay them off every month. People who live below their means and only bust out that card in the case of an emergency.

Sure -- Citibank is not making any money on us. But they're sure as hell not losing any. And, while we work very hard to stay in good financial health, there is always the possibility that we might have an actual need for some credit and might pay a Citibank not only the principal, but any accrued interest. But, no. Not now.

So good for you, Citibank. We have other credit cards, but we won't ever do business with you again.

Oh, and let me say that I love having this stupid problem. Seriously, being able to complain about a dumbass credit card company when it isn't actually costing me money? Priceless.

But Citibank still sucks.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

sneezy roast beast

It used to be the case that I never cared much for what was eaten during a holiday. Oh, sure, I liked candy and egg nog and pumpkin pie and stuff like that. But as long as there was food to be consumed, I was fine. The particular dishes were not really that important. It makes sense since I come from a family who really didn't even care about turkey on Thanksgiving.

Since meeting Archie, though, I have become wedded to specific foods to celebrate the holidays. He DOES like turkey for Thanksgiving (but I really, really don't), so we compromised -- we switch off between turkey one year and ham the next. Well, I guess I should say we used to do this -- for the past two years we've gone to Phoenix and celebrated the holiday with Archie's dad and that side of the family. Which is great because we don't have any of the work and we also get to go and eat at some of our favorite places in the world for an entire week. Even though we're not cooking, we're still eating.

For New Year's Day, my family did have the traditional meal of pork and sauerkraut. When we were poor, we had pork chops and when we were flush we had a loin or roast. I have even started to like sauerkraut.

But every other holiday pales when compared to the food of Christmas. There is the fact that Archie misses Arizona Mexican food. California Mexican is just not the same. We've tried to make a Mexican feast on Christmas Eve with a cheese crisp and enchiladas (how I wish I could make tamales!) and rice and beans. And it was almost more work than the big event meal the next day. So last year we went to a little local Mexican place and lo, it was good. And there was no cleanup. And I could have tamales and we can make a cheese crisp at home, if necessary.

Christmas Day is always, always prime rib, broccoli with Hollandaise, Yorkshire pudding, mashed taters and gravy (which Archie has added from his family's tradition because a holiday requires lots of starches and also, we have a child who loves her some potatoes), and pies. One of the best parts of this meal is that Archie makes almost all of it. All I do is mix up the Yorkshire pudding and then put it in the oven once the beast comes out to rest. (That is also when I sneak as many bits of the crispy fat off the prime rib as possible.) It is delicious and that hunk of meat costs the world, but who freaking cares? (Well, I do, a little. Until I actually get to eat it and then I don't care quite so much.)

The only hitch we've ever encountered with Christmas dinner was years ago when Archie decided to change it up and do a pepper rub on the meat. Kind of an au poivre prime rib, if you will. It sounded like a grand idea and all kind of fancy-like. And, of course, we were having lots of guests and so we had to drop even more cash on a bigger hunk of cow flesh.

And Archie used quite a bit of pepper on that thing. In fact, too much pepper. The meat was cooked perfectly, but that rub was extremely ridiculous. Everyone started to sneeze as they ate. Oh, we still ate because under the pepper was delicious, delectable, divine (and divinely expensive) prime rib. But the sneezing kind of dimmed the fabulousness a teensy bit.

So, now there is a ban on rubs and Archie just seasons everything normally and we stuff ourselves and then loll about until we have a little room to stuff ourselves again with pie. Although I wouldn't mind a cake, myself.

Monday, December 07, 2009

happy holidailies!

Well, it looks as if I'd just forgotten that I had a blog. No updates since summer? Pine no more -- thanks to Holidailies, I'm back on that horse, at least through the beginning of next year.

How about a photo to ease us into the season and to show everyone how big the squirrels are? OK? OK!