Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Christmas Tidbits

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas always seems to go by so fast, but this year feels like it has passed with the blink of an eye. And oddly enough, I think I've actually exterminated a lifetime's worth of bah humbugs. It's actually a running tradition in my family for my mum to give me a Grinch themed gift each year: socks, slippers, ornament, DVD, Pez dispenser, etc. So, in the honor of keeping old traditions and making new traditions, I present you with Christmas-themed tidbits:

  • My mum makes the best wassail! Red hots are the secret ingredient.
  • Traditionally I avoid family holiday visits in Houston, but this year I am without a single justification for avoiding my beloved family. This means that I am all but forced to spend my Christmas break with my parents. I am, however, looking forward to it in only a minor disgruntled way. After all, what's not to look forward to: presents, wassail, kitty cat cuddles, beers with my dad, visiting my father and Karen, playing with my niece and nephew, and moonshine with the brother-in-law.

My niece Audrey and nephew Stephen

  • In high school Karen and I used to anticipate the release of Blue Bell's holiday ice cream flavors each year and eat entire gallons of Peppermint ice cream at a time; straight from the bucket usually while watching Beverly Hills 90210. About a week ago I woke up with that familiar craving and polished off the entire carton in a couple of days. It's taking all the will power I have to avoid the frozen foods aisle at the grocery store... I can't be trusted.
  • Every year I watch Love Actually with Alison, JJ, Beth, and/or Emily O. It's been a tradition between several groups of my friends for about 5 years now. My favorite part is singing with Shanelle, but I haven't been able to do that in years since she lives in shit-hole Tennessee. This year I decided to add a turkey to the mixed and we made a 2nd Thanksgiving of it. I was so anxious to make another turkey after my first try in London went so well. We crowded into my little place on Sunday and stuffed ourselves with the 10 pounds of bird. I am, however, now completely turkey'ed-out and doubt I'll ever want to cook or eat turkey again. 
  • Christmas pickles are here, y'all! Every year (with the rare exception of last year in which I plead temporary insanity) I make pickled green beans as gifts for my friends. I'm a little surprised by their popularity and how demand has blossomed over the years. This year Julia and Stayten helped me, and after canning 25 pounds of green beans I'm finding it very hard to wait for them to properly cure. I want to eat the crispy buggers now! Hold your horses pals, your jar is on it's way.

  • Last week I got my Christmas bonus from the UT Club. YAY for bonuses. After 4 years of partime work there, I've finally developed enough tenure for the bonus to be large enough to be useful. My first bonus was just a few dimes over $20. Seeing as I was still a bit set back from my London trip, it just helps me stay afloat this month. Thank you, Santa!
  • The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia didn't hire me, but they sent me a nice little Christmas present and season's greeting. I now have a 2012 calendar full of medical specimens/oddities and my excitement isn't diminished in the slightest by the fact that November 2012 grosses me out. It's a stretched section of a cat's intestine that sort of looks like roasted garlic that has been died green.

  • I'm most looking forward to the NBA season opener on Christmas day between the Mavericks and Heat. I was hoping it would be a Vest Friends field trip since Jamie and Audra now live in Dallas and are originally Florida girls. It would have been a blast with Julia and I rooting against them and we all could have painted our faces in team colors. The game, however, sold out immediately and both Jamie and Audra will be spending Christmas in the orange capital of America with their families, so alas my great plan was foiled. 
  • This past weekend was the holiday party for the research group I work for. It's tradition for the newest member to dress up as Santa and pass out presents. Here are some photos of the 'ole LD and Ms. Claus:

Patiently waiting for my turn with Santa!

A present for me?!

You can't loose when you gift booze

I surprisingly feel lots of Christmas spirit and wish there was another week in between today and the big day. I want more gift exchanges, cocktail parties, pictures with Santa, stockings, and holiday time with my favorite people.

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