The charity on display in this article seems wrongheaded on several levels. Or perhaps its not, or well-intentioned but poorly executed. Thoughts?
I am thankful for a good day. It began with my roommate Jesse helping me roll about 10 lbs of meat for Pakistani meatballs, which cut the time it took to do it in half. Plus, it was nice to chat and have tea together.
I am thankful for getting to have Thanksgiving dinner with my Mom’s family and that my Uncle Virgil was there for another year. Those spicy Pakistani meatballs are somewhat of a tradition and nestle right in with the turkey and dressing and sweet potato casseroles and venison, only my cousin Mark had not got a deer this year, so no venison pieces wrapped in little pieces of bacon. Getting back to the meatballs, though, the husband of one of my cousins, Arthur, loves them. His record, along with eating standard helpings of everything else, is 14. Today, at last check, he was on 8, but he said that he was not done. My cousin Barry was responsible for some wonderful pies (some of which may be in the photo for this post). And thanks to him and Trudy and girls for hosting the entire shindig. This year my cousin Pam’s husband died and she was reflecting rather sadly on how this had been his favorite holiday. His two wonderful boys, one the spitting image of his father, were both there, moving on with life, coping with things like playing and watching football and going to college without their father there to cheer them on. I am thankful that one day death will die.
Then the day was capped off with some nice relaxing and chatting at my brother Adrian’s house, where I determined that the fruitcake that had been in Dad’s fridge for about a year was, indeed, still well worth the eating. Brilliant.
About a week and a half ago, I set out to walk to Laura and Meg’s for a Social Justice Club meeting on the Palestininian Israeli Conflict, which consisted of a good presentation, good discussion, and warm fellowship. I decided to walk, not remembering the forecast which called for rain, frigid rain I might add. Well, I had on a corduroy jacket and my flat cap or derby or bunnet . Needless to say, after 3 miles or so, my jacket and bunnet were drookit and I was freezing. It was worth it, though, to feel like I was walking somewhere in Britain on a wet and windy night. Only it wasn’t Britain, and here are the pictures taken with camera shielded by cap and jacket and hand to prove it.
…on my part to write an article about my love of fruitcake to coincide with the Gateway Men’s Chorus’ holiday production for this year.
By the way, I do not want to herein go into debate about the topic of homosexuality, which is an issue that deserves more measured and thoughtful discussion than that which generally occurs in blog banter. It is interesting, though, to see a gay community apporpriating and subverting a prejorative term, and when I saw it in Starbucks this morning I thought it too funny a coincidence not to pass along.
Well, over the past several years I have been gifting friends with Christmas music that Sufjan Stevens produced for his family and friends and which found its way onto the web. As it looked like it was being made available on web sites with no objection from Sufjan, I felt free to copy it and distribute it. It was a magical and a joy to share.
I expected and hoped that he would package it and make it an honest to goodness Christmas album, and now he has, a 5 CD set no less. And what packaging, with a song book, stickers, and family portrait. And the best is that you can stream and preview each of the albums for free online. Go to the Asthmatic Kitty site and click on the album you want to hear at the bottom. The older ones are brilliant, including some new takes on old favorites (including some songs that we don’t hear as often on this side of the Atlantic) and some original Christmas songs ala Sufjan, folksy and quirky, some depressive yet hope-filled, some simply joy-filled. I am still listening to the new stuff. The album can be puchased from Sufjan’s label or Amazon and is out on the 21st.
My favorites thus far? “Once in Royal David’s City” on Hark!: Songs for Christmas, Vol. II
Here is the Amazon blurb:
In December 2001, Sufjan set out to create a Christmas gift for his friends and family. The result was a seven-song recording that he called “Noel Vol. 1”. Over the next several years, he created new EPs to add to the collection. This 5-CD box set includes all five volumes, plus a 42-page booklet with an original Christmas essay by acclaimed American novelist Ricky Moody, two essays, a short story by Stevens, a holiday sticker, chord charts, lyrics, comic strip, family portrait poster, photos, and an animated video.
This is my first full-fledged article in Catapult since the one that was difficult to write and publish. This one was a joy to write, after intitially thinking that I really did not have anything to write about for the Just Desserts issue. Yes, it discusses fruitcake, which admitting that you like is a little like telling people that you are a librarian. They smile and think of their favorite joke. This article is about more than that, however, and I think you may like it.
My roomate, Lloyd, and I also conspired to take a photo entitled Apple Pie Without the Cheese is Like a Kiss Without a Squeeze a phrase my mother would say. After the experience of taking this picture, I am considering a career change to become a tie model. That was “tie model,” not “pie model,” though that might be good work if one could get it.
There are also other fine articles in this issue, including a eye opening one about the horrors of white sugar and flour, both health-wise and historically speaking.
Finally, if you have missed my earlier work in Catapult, it can be found here.
…OK, so I am talking about a cat. If you are looking for one, this is a pretty sweet opportunity and would help out some of my colleagues at work. Here is the bio…
…a short haired, grey cat with white flecks who is 2-2 1/2 years old
…2 wheel drive i.e. his front claws have been declawed, so he needs to stay indoors
…a eunuch, having been neutered at a young age
…ready to travel as his shots and papers are all up to date
…a healthy 16 lbs.
…free to a good home
In all seriousness, this is a pretty good opportunity if you are looking for a cat. I would need to know very soon, though, as arrangements have to be in place by tomorrow. Not enough time, but still interested? Email me or call and we can talk.