Monday, December 29, 2008

white christmas

i'm dreaming of a white christmas

just like the ones i used to know

where the treetops glisten

and children listen

to hear sleigh bells in the snow

i'm dreaming of a white christmas

with every christmas card i write

may your days be merry and bright

and may all your christmases be white

click on any image to view larger

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

merry christmas eve

near the end of "how the grinch stole christmas," the grinch experiences a moment of crisis and revelation.
he stole the presents, decorations, trees, even food from the whos, yet he can still hear them singing for joy on christmas morning.

"maybe," he says, "maybe christmas is something much more..."

may your christmas be "something much more"

Monday, December 22, 2008

this post is very useful.

today in the lani-roberts-homemaker-delux-crafty-ideas-of-every-kind blog, i'll be sharing some proven ideas to anyone who, like us, is stuck at home because of the snow.* i've tested each one out in my own happy home, and now... i'm sharing them with you! :D

  • clean the house. halfway through, realize the futility of cleaning a house to which no company will be coming for approximately 2 months (when the snow will melt). give up.
  • burn old files and magazines in the fireplace in lieu of stupid worthless storebought wood that wouldn't catch fire in a volcano.
  • experimental cooking. very experimental.
  • play lame-o computer games. the "retro" kind that are "so cool" because they're "just like when we were kids!" (aka: boooooring) ... for 3 hours.
  • dig out the shed. or the car. forget about the herb garden.
  • mail christmas letters. (good luck with that.)
  • be grumpy. if you're lucky, your spouse will be grumpy too. then you can have a grump war.
  • get a brother with a 4 wheel truck.
  • bake christmas cookies at midnight while watching santa claus 3, enchanted, and any other cute, clean movie available through netflix on demand. try not to splatter frosting on the computer.

*these ideas are probably worthless if you have children. or pets.

snowed in

are we dorks?
oh yes.
are we bored?
oh no.

click to view larger and read my dork sign!

in other news, my car has been stolen or obliterated by the leet spawning snow gnomes.
i hope it will be returned by easter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

where the treetops glisten...

i couldn't be happier about the record low temperatures and piling, drifting snow.
i'm a snow-aholic.

i do have my limits, though. joel, sick of waking up all night to the thermostat turning on, decided to turn it off on monday night (low: 21f). when we woke up the warmest spot in our 1912, non-insulated, hard-floored house was the refrigerator.

i wonder what the fire safety administration advises regarding turning all 4 stove burners on high to warm the house faster?

from my office window....

circa 11am
i ♥ snow

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

thank you for your prayers

just want to post a quick thank you to all of you who have been praying for my mom.
she had surgery yesterday at 3pm and is recovering well. the surgery was a little more complicated than we had hoped, but successful. she should be out of the hospital within a couple days.
her response when told about her slightly prolonged hospital stay: "bummer!"

when we talked this morning she sounded chipper, though slightly loopy and hoarse from the breathing tube used during anesthesia.

i'll post a better update later, but for now, thank you for praying!

Friday, December 12, 2008

may your listening be merry and bright!

my christmas song recommendation of the day:
white christmas, sung by louis armstrong

bing crosby's overplayed version pales next to louis armstrong's gravelly sweetness and classic jazz interpretation. this is the mother of white christmases...

listen online here

Thursday, December 11, 2008

christmas music

i get a little nostalgic at christmas time ... each year i look forward to the familiar old choruses:

jingle bell rock ... the same version. 3 times an hour. on every station.
christmas in the northwest ... a local, um, favorite.
santa baby ... sung by the immortal marylin monroe - i promise, no overdose puns.
last christmas ... i gave you my heart, and the very next day, you gave it away ...
and of course, that one about the kid buying shoes for his dead mom ...

ok, so maybe i look forward to these choruses about as much as you do.

christmasophile that i am, i am forced to find alternative sources of seasonal auditory enjoyment. from my extensive research (trust me, it's extensive - ask my husband and coworkers) i've developed a few favorites.

here's to quality christmas music!
  • "holiday best" ~the blenders: hands down, the best a cappella jazz christmas cd out there, by a relatively unknown group.
  • "majesty and wonder" ~phil keaggy: one of the best guitar players in the world + one of the best orchestras in the world (london festival) + contemplative, beautiful arrangements = an auditory nativity scene.
  • "christmas classics: redneck style" ~various artists: kicks off with "the redneck 12 days of christmas" ... oh yeah. if you like this one you might also enjoy it's a cow christmas (featuring the ever popular halle-moo-jah chorus).
  • "the nativity story: original motion picture score" ~mychael danna: the soundtrack to the nativity story movie is a powerful mix of original work and christmas hymns.
  • "christmas songs" ~jars of clay: there's a lot of less-than-quality ccm out there, especially when it's labeled "christmas." jars of clay manages to engages artistically with both new and old music, without losing the nostalgia or resorting to gimmicks.
  • "messiah": pick any version! you have handel's young messiah - an update on the the classic that came out in the 80's (but it's not too 80's!), the new young messiah - early 90's - i don't really recommend it, a new 2006 version of young messiah that i am trying desperately to get my hands on, and my favorite: handel's messiah: a soulful celebration. it's an african american take on the classic - again, hope you don't mind a little 80's synth-o-rama. if you prefer to stick to the original, my fav is handel: messiah (1751 version), performed by the acadamy of ancient music and conducted by edward higginbottom. i am not making this up. it also sports period tuning for any music snots who care.

so what's your favorite christmas album?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

identity crisis

my brother is 6'5.
my father is 6'1.
my husband 6'0.
my mother is 5'9.

i live in tall-ish family, and i have always been teased about being short. for many years i protested, "i'm not short, i'm average!" after all, 5'3-4ish is the national average. or maybe just under. (sshhh)

last week, i had my height measured for the first time since my mid-teens - officially, by a nurse in a nurse suit and everything!

that's five-feet-six-inches.

i am no longer average. i am above average. i look down on more than half of all women.
i'm not short! or vertically challenged! or any of the other cute words for it!

not really sure what to do with this radical amendment of my identity - except to exult in the fact that, short or not, i can still wear kids' shoes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

the maroon invitation

both sides of the grace christmas eve invitation, published this week. click to view larger.

and for those of you who read about my terrible horrible day ... i finally turned black into maroon! (and then decided i didn't want maroon after all. figures.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

what really happened

*mothership to pot roast: do you read me, pot roast. over.

*roger, mothership. this is pot roast. target set. female, blonde, 21yrs old. height: 5'6. weight: unknown. location: litte white house with green shutters and 3 big ugly rocks in the yard, earth. over.

*roger, pot roast. blast her out of the kitchen.

female target arrives at workplace. no prior contact with pot roast has been established.
11:12am: female target remembers that she was supposed to start the crockpot at 8:45am that morning.
11:16am: female target leaves workplace.
11:17am: female target arrives at the little white house with green shutters and 3 big ugly rocks in the yard.
11:19am: female target retrieves limp pot roast from refrigerator.
11:19am: female target removes plastic outer shell from pot roast with serrated steak knife.
11:20am: female target attempts to slide pot roast from foam tray into crockpot using serrated steak knife.
11:20am: pot roast, cackling gleefully, launches itself from foam tray, catapulting cow blood across female target's countertop, toaster, microwave, french press, coffee grinder, cupboards, walls, and floor.
11:21am: female target is glued in place for approximately 3:16 minutes, staring at the cow blood dripping down her kitchen walls as pot roast cheerfully oozes slime in crockpot.
11:24am: female target engages in frenzied cleaning.
11:33am: female target, finished with frenzied cleaning, finishes dinner, makes herself lunch, and is leaving when...
11:34am: garbage can expells products of cleaning frenzy onto kitchen floor (including blood soaked disinfectant wipes and foam tray still half full of cow blood).
11:35am: female target swears to kill all cows.

*pot roast to mothership: mission accomplished.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the cure to my kitchen woes

i found it. it's perfect. it's the solution.

the answer to all my kitchen woes is here.
finally, some gourmet recipes i can handle.

an example of the culinary masterpieces that this acclaimed website offers:

oranges with oranges dressing
serves 4

you will need:
~4 lettuces
~3 lemons
~5 oysters
~4 oranges
~110g noodles

~pre-heat the oven to 230 C
~barbeque the noodles
~grind the noodles
~sauté the oranges
~microwave the oranges
~discard the noodles
~barbeque the oysters
~flambe the oysters
~whisk the oysters
~defrost the lemons
~melt the lemons
~whisk the lettuces
~bake for 30 minutes and serve hot

that's what i'm talkin about.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

lani and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad over-used literary concept

i overslept and my eyes hurt and all they were playing on npr was political news and i didn’t have breakfast and when i left for work nw natural was digging holes in front of my house. the man said that i should have received a notice. i didn’t receive any notice.

i think i’ll move to vancouver.

when i got to work, i stepped in wet dog poop and burned my tongue on my hot chocolate. the nativity scene only had two wise men, and my plurk karma dropped 14 points! nobody likes me. i bet they’d like me in vancouver.

i have two big design projects to finish this week and i’m not feeling inspired. i can’t turn black into maroon in photoshop. who needs maroon anyway? maroon is a stupid color. i bet they don’t even have maroon in vancouver. i bet they made maroon illegal and if you make anything maroon they throw you into color jail. that’s what i think.

some noob sent me a 10mb email. it almost killed my noob server. noobs.

my office was freezing. i couldn’t park in my driveway when i went home for lunch because the nw natural people put a pile of gravel in front of it.

after work i went to the gas station and i kind of forgot how to open my gas cap. i popped the hood 4 times and then i remembered that i have to push the lever, not pull, and the gas station man looked at me like this.

at safeway i couldn’t find the sour cream and the checkout lady didn’t even put my groceries in my cart and then my car wouldn’t start and i thought i’d have to walk home and then it started. and then i got home and nw natural had turned the furnace off and it was SO COLD and they said that they wouldn’t turn it on for two hours. they said i had to have the area around the furnace clear. clearing the area around the furnace took two hours and i didn't have time to get the christmas decorations out.

i had to change the light in the laundry room. i couldn’t figure out how to get the fixture off, and when i texted joel to ask him i forgot to turn on T9 and when i tried to turn it on i accidentally sent it and it said “mdtdpmgmd.” i bet cell phones have T9 automatic in vancouver. and i bet husbands are never stuck in chemistry lab when the lights stop working and i bet the lights never stop working in vancouver.

i forgot to buy tortillas and the tacos were stale.
the furnace man said our thermostat doesn’t work.
i didn’t get to read my book.
and the dow jones dropped 680 points.