Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Bag Full of Zeppelas

Today's party was a smashing success. A good time was had by all-and yes, that includes me. At one point, one of my aunts looked at me and said, "It's good to hear you laughing again". And it was good to be laughing again!

I always love spending time with my aunts and uncles from NY. My cousins are all so funny and cute and when we're all together we just play off each other like crazy. One of my favorite things in the world to do is to sit and listen to all of them tell stories of when they were little. I learn so much about my Nana and Papa and traditions that we still have now. One thing that I want to do if I ever have kids is to continue a tradition that stopped at my aunts and uncles for some reason. My great Nana (who died 8 days before I was born) used to make them zeppelas and hot chocolate for breakfast on cold mornings. Sometimes they would be sent off to school with piping hot balls of this fried dough doused in powdered sugar wrapped up in a paper bag. My Uncle John said that it was the best way to go to school ever. (Maybe this tradition stopped because they did not want to end up needing Hydroxycut as adults!)

When I was little, my favorite aunt, Susan, brought me to the galleria with her when I visited and she'd buy me my very own paper bag full of zeppelas. So I guess, in a tiny way, she was trying to continue the tradition to me. I'd forgotten about them too, until I went to a festival this summer in the North End where they were selling them.

This is quite the rambley post, huh? The point is, I had fun today and am so happy I got a "do-over" of Christmas Eve.

Do-Over!

I'm not entirely sure how I did not go postal when I was younger. Seriously, it takes MAJOR patience to hang out with my parents for an entire day-without an escape route! Yesterday was supposed to be a fun day with my niece. The plan was we'd play several of her games from Santa while my mom cooked for the party she's having here today.

But nope. My only task before playing games too way longer than I expected and I ended up being home just an hour before Rye Bread was to go home, and an hour before we were leaving for our trip to the mall.

Holy cow. The mall. It actually was not bad, people wise. We just had a lot of places to go-each of us had returns and my parents really wanted to buy me a new coat. We ended up getting everything done faster than expected, but by the end of the night, I really needed a lot of drinks. They're hard to take when they are together-especially for that long.

Luckily today all of my NY family is driving up here for a party, and so it will almost be like I have a Christmas Eve do-over. Today, I'm feeling excited that they are all coming and this is probably due to the fact that I am going home tomorrow!

I actually can't wait. It's nice to see everyone, but I miss my quiet and my bed. I hope this doesn't mean I'm becoming a hermit!

After all of this good food and family, I'll have to do an Orovo detox!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post

And there it went...Christmas is over, just like that! I swear that every year it goes by faster...

Did you have a nice holiday? I really hope that everyone did and that you were able to spend time with your loved ones. My family & I went down to NY to my Nana's house on Christmas Eve where 31 of us crammed ourselves into her little cape. It's pretty much a family tradition and though it's loud and crowded, we love it. (She really should think about installing home theater seating though!)

I hate to admit it, but as someone I know would say, "I was in a mood". I couldn't shake it. It began on the drive down and didn't end until I woke up Christmas day. It's sad, because as I was sitting there watching my entire family laugh and have fun, I was sitting in the corner quite, just watching. I'd tell myself to shake it off-that this is my favorite day of the entire year and that I should savor these moments as life is short and we don't know who will be there next year.

But I couldn't. So I just sucked it up and gave in, and spent the night quietly watching everyone. I still enjoyed it, being there with everyone-but it wasn't the same. Usually I'm right in there, laughing and singing and joking with everyone. Not this year...

Christmas morning we go to my Aunt Carol's house for brunch every year. Even though it's rather boring (if I'm to be honest) I love it. My Aunt loves me to death and it makes her so happy that I am there that I just can't help smiling. Two of her friends who she's knowing since I was little always come and it's wonderful to see them as well. Sadly, Ray, the husband had a stroke a few years ago, and he's gotten progressively worse. This year, he could hardly speak at all. It's beautiful though, to watch Lucy interact with him. They're so much in love. Still joking and laughing even after all that's happened. It's really beautiful to see love like that...

Later, after we drove back to CT, we went out to our annual Japanese dinner. Yes, Japanese food. Why? Because one year we drove home and didn't want to cook and that was the only place open! It's become a tradition now, and we have so much fun. It's also a nice change, I have to say, from all of the Italian food we gorge ourselves on the 2 days before! And I love me some hibachi chicken and rice. Yum! This year we were cracking ourselves up by playing "Telephone". Remember, we have a 6 year old in our family so it's not so weird. But I suspect that we'd play randomly even if she weren't around!

Last, my sisters & I along with my niece played all of the new games that Rye Bread got from Santa. Very fun...I'm glad my funk got gone. :)

I hope that you all had a very happy holiday and that you are all safe and sound. I'm here in CT until at least Saturday night (we're having a party Saturday afternoon!) and am not sure how much I'll be around the computer. Rye Bread will be here in the morning until her mom gets out of work, and we've got a serious date planned. We're playing games. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Randomivity


The only way to get through a long stressful week is to use humor. Otherwise, you'd go mad thinking about the outcome.

Fusion is so good it should not be drunk during lunch.

"I love my penis" ornaments are pretty much the best decoration ever.

Sharing supper and wine with friends makes my heart happy. Especially when they are filling my apartment with their laughter.

Having one of the ladies I used to support "extol my professional virtues" and seeing that people said that I have "the hospitality gene" makes me proud and very sad all at the same time.

I would like someone to deliver popcorn to my door. Hot, buttery popcorn. Right. To. My. Door. Thankyouverymuch.

I just found out that someone who used to live right across the street from me reads my blog. Also, we rode the T together (when I smelled like beef from the park kitchen!). Weird, huh?

I had an interview on Monday with a dean at a prominent university here in the city. I'm fairly certain I will be offered the job and also fairly certain I will not accept it. When someone touts their own intelligence over 5 times, I'm pretty much turned off. When someone employed by said dean says that he's "very difficult to work for" and "not a fair boss" it pretty much seals the deal. Too bad...now I have to start researching life insurance quotes.

I have some really great people in my life. You all know who you are and I love you.

Yesterday's total clementine count was easily up to 7. Thank God they are a lowfat treat!

YoVille is seriously addicting. If you know what I'm talking about, join my crew. You don't even need to play. Just let me know and I'll send you an invite-why? So I can get paid more $ and buy more stuffage! Pwease?

Today I get to do one of my favorite things. Sit in a circle with my family and open one present at a time until each of us is done with our pile. So fun!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Toosdae ?'s


Later today I am leaving for CT/NY to spend Christmas with my family. I'm looking forward to it especially this year, honestly, because I'm bored already! This weekend was spent inside almost the entire time because it snowed from Friday-Sunday and I did not want to spend money and as you know, I do not do bored well! Hopefully we won't get into any fights...

1. Growing up, was there one family member that you would "hide" from during the holidays? You know, like the aunt who pinched your cheeks or the uncle who made you sit on his lap? (Ew)

2. Did the economy make affect the amount of gifts you bought this season, or did you purchase the same as usual?

3. Whatever holiday you celebrate, do you dress up on the biggest day of celebration or do you play it casual?

1. You know, growing up I loved seeing everyone-I was the oldest (and only) grandchild for 6 years so I loved seeing the adults every time. Now, as a grown up myself, I do have one relative that I try to avoid whenever possible and usually, I succeed very well.

2. It did not, until last Monday when I heard that I might get laid off on Friday-and then on Friday when I was indeed laid off. Up until that point, I had all of the normal gifts I would usually buy, but after the news, I returned 3 gifts and opted to make homemade presents for those people instead. Which actually, ended up being nicer.

3. On Christmas Eve we celebrate at my Nana's house and we do tend to dress up. Though jeans have emerged in the last few years, they tend to be paired with pretty sweaters or button down shirts. This year I am either wearing a gold smock shirt or something I am hopefully getting for Christmas! :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Kreativity!

So, like...a bazillion days ago my friend Melisa was kind enough to say this about me:

"Mags is extremely talented in the culinary arena (that would be the kitchen, of course)."

Thanks Melisa, and thanks for passing on the Kreativ Blogger Award to me! It's been a while since this here little blog-o-mine has been awarded something, and this one's super pretty.

This award comes with rules.

List 6 things that make you happy
Pass the award on to 6 bloggers.
Link to the blogger who gave you the award.
Link to the blogs receiving the award.
Notify the recipients.


First, 6 Things that make me happy: (In no particular order)
1. Rye Bread. My niece, not the actual bread, though Rye toast IS my favorite and could be on this list.
2. Cool, crisp days with blue skies and wind.
3. Extra sharp cheddar cheese at room temperature.
4. Lazy Sunday's, preferably with someone to cuddle with, but still on the list when lazing the day away alone.
5. When people can't stop eating my food because they like it so much.
6. When people show they care about me.

And now, to pass the award...

1.Lisa is an extremely talented photographer. All of her shots are amazing, but I think that she's got an uncanny talent for capturing people's souls in her people pictures. Check out her Esty shop and buy lots of things. I can personally attest to the quality of the matting and clarity of the photos in person.

2.Lois, besides being a fun gal is oozing creativity. In fact, she just posted a picture of a tea pot she made-something I could NOT do. She is also a fellow foodie, which, you know...I love.

3.Rick is still the coolest person I don't know. His posts are always fascinating and informative at the same time, and he's a very snazzy dresser. That alone, in my mind, makes him creative!

4.Marilyn is a sign maker by trade, so it's a given that she's creative. However, she's also the creator of several lovable clay gnomes! She's got quite a good imagination, and the ability to make her thoughts come to "life".

5.Linda Loo is not only one of the smartest, hardest working people I know, but she's also becoming quite the photographer! If she lived closer I would hire her to photograph my food...

6.Clancy is such a cutie, but that's not why I picked her. I picked Clancy because she's a great mom and recently showcased some of her sewing. I especially love the dresses she's made her little girl. Go check it out!

So, there you go...thanks again Melisa!

Manic Monday: Tree

Be sure to visit Mo over at the Manic Monday Blog, where today's word is tree...


Who would have thunk it that I'd be out of a job on Christmas? Last year at this time, I had just dragged my very own little tree 4 blocks in the snow just so I'd have one in my new apartment. I didn't yet have a TV stand, so my tree sat happily in the corner of my living room in front of the window. Presents spilled out from under it and took up much of the floor space on that side of the room. I had just managed to pay off most of the debt collection agencies

This year I don't have a tree, and I'm pretty bummed out about it. It's not the end of the world, but it IS one thing that really gets me in the spirit and knowing I have to wait another year really stinks. Thankfully I'm going home to CT on Tuesday where my Mom has her tree up. It's not really, but it's got lights, and presents and it's festive all the same.

To take up some time (I'm not good at "bored") and to get me more into the Christmas spirit, I decided on a little craft project. Clementines, those sweet juicy little gems, are usually associated with December and to me, Christmas. This is something I still remember because of Matt. His family used to hoard Clementines during Christmastime. They wouldn't do anything special with them; they'd just have them around for the taking throughout the entire holiday season.

And so, I usually do too.

Yesterday I'm not sure how many I ate, to be honest. My guess is somewhere around 6 or 7. One thing's for sure, I won't get scurvy! :) While scarfing down my first couple of these little Darlings, I remembered something I saw a while back-clementine candle holders! I remembered them being so pretty and so I decided to try my hand at it:


Aren't they just the cutest little things?! I used a paring knife to cute the delicate skin in half and pried it from the flesh. Then I used small cookie cutters to punch a hole in the top half, filled the bottom with a votive and topped it off. Pretty simple!

The original version, if I remember correctly, used the pith of the rind as a wick and olive oil as the fuel. I didn't feel comfortable using a bowl full of olive oil-I just didn't want to add "burning down the apartment building" to my current list of bad luck!

Though making these did not make up for not having a tree, it did bring me joy and I'm enjoying the pretty glow they give off.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Baby

It's harder than you think to act like an adult...and also, why would you want to all of the time anyway?!?!?!

No backyard? No problem! Use your windowsill to make a snowbaby! Just be sure to secure him really well...you are, after all, 5 stories up!

Sadly, I could not get anything to stick to his face...so, I just pretend he's facing our pretty city (even though it's completely out of sight right now!)

Yes, this is what happens when you realize you don't have to go to work for at least a few weeks, you have no money and it's been snowing for 3 days straight. So what?!?!

Happy, Day 2

1. Snow covering my car...at least a foot of it
2. Stepping in at least a foot of snow, knowing I have a warm apartment waiting
3. Making home made Christmas gifts for people I didn't think I could give to
4. Wrapped Christmas gifts, next to my authentic Mexican star-my pseudo holiday lights

Yesterday I tricked myself into being happy. It was a very snowy cold day, so I hunkered down and read in my pj's, played in the snow a bit and napped. I also made some Christmas gifts and wrapped the rest I had.

Finally, I took a nice hot shower and relaxed with a glass of cheap wine. :) Overall, not a bad day at all.

Today is more gray than it was yesterday and a lot windier. The snow is coming down faster than it did too. I can't believe that it really has been snowing for 3 days straight! I love it, and am a tiny bit grateful that I don't have to drive to work tomorrow.