Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Bits and Pieces it is...the much dreaded, frequently feared, and oddly anticipated White Elephant gift that has been appearing annually at our book discussion holiday wing-ding.
This year, I was the lucky recipient. First, I owned a lovely dessert cookbook, and for a fleeting moment, I possessed a beautiful soap dish, a nicely scented bar of holiday soap, and some of those waxy things you put in a burner to melt and fill your home with scent. But alas, the final exchange gifted me the little wonder at the right. I never quite get home decorating right anyway, so I guess this little fellow will fit right in with the flocked deer, plastic angels, and the delegate of Ethiopian kings.

We had a nice time on Friday night discussing our movie, "La Vie en Rose." If you haven't seen it, do so. The film tells the story of French chanteuse, Edith Piaf... and yes, there are sub-titles. Ask Mary S. about that. This poor woman has been in the ninth ring of Dante's technological heat for years. First she had TiVo that held her hostage, recording shows randomly, refusing to record what she requested. He new DVR would not play our movie with the English sub-titles, and since her French is non-existent, she skipped the movie.
On we go. How about some commentary from Steve?!

Here's a nice photo of Steve contemplating the universe and wondering if his planned bid for the 2012 Presidential election will be taken seriously.

Here's Stevie..........

It is Saturday morning and I'm eating low fat cottage cheese with ground golden flax seed, cinnamon, banana, and some frozen berries, slurping scalding decaf coffee, and paging through the January 2010 issue of Vanity Fair. The first article that grabs my attention is a letter from Scotland by one A.A.Gill. He writes of hunting red deer, Scottish style, which mean being exposed to ludicrous weather conditions. "I'm watching a curtain of rain blow across the loch. It hits your face like gravel thrown by a drunk who's lost his keys. This is as happy as I ever expect to be."

This is followed by a brief section on Harris Tweed which is in danger of being boycotted because of the release of the Lockerbie bomber. And finishes with a status report on north Scotland newspapers, which are thriving. "This is probably because the Internet connection is intermittent and eye-gougingly slow; there is still a stubborn reverence for reading; and most people have open fires, so you need the paper for kindling."

If you are curious, either pick up a copy or go to the library and go to page 44 to read all of Gill's descriptions and observations. You will not be disappointed. Following Gill is an extended article, with photos, of the Elvis early years. I've marked it for reading, but the photos alone are worth purchasing the issue. Rounding out celebrity reporting is a spread on Meryl Streep complete with photos going all the way back to 1979 and Kramer vs Kramer. 30 years in starring roles and still going strong.

From the political world there is a article about Erik Prince, founder of the former Blackwater security firm, now Xe, and their activities in the war zones. I'll definitely read the article about Goldman Sachs. And I've marked the piece on the Large Hadron Collider, if for no other reason than to fully understand why they want to re-create the conditions of the Big Bang.

Although the January issue is not the usual door stopper weight, it is filled with articles. I've only highlighted a few. I must confess to missing the glossy fashion ads with young lovelies in exotic places wearing silly outfits found in the mega-page issues. And I typically mark more articles that I actually read. All those fall-out postcards are perfect page markers. Hopefully they'll wait for me.

The last tidbit I'll share from this issue is the announcement that Sam Sheperd has a new collection of short fiction coming out soon, Day out of Days. And short seems to be the operative word with single paragraph and one page installments. Since I prefer short story reading before going to sleep this will be on my buy list for the new year.

If you are out of ideas for holiday gifts, think of giving a subscription of Vanity Fair to the reader in the family. Or just indulge and give it to yourself.

Disclosure: The blogger is not employed and does not have family members employed by the publishers of Vanity Fair. No promise of compensation or consideration has been made to the blogger by Vanity Fair, its agents, or affiliates.

Just a few parting notes before wishing you a holly jolly season....
In addition to all the wonderful Christmas cards, seasonal photos and well-wishes from you for both me and my business (thank you all), I have received a few holiday chuckles. First, my bank sent me a letter offering me "piece" of mind by insuring me that they are a secure financial institution.
You will all be impressed, I am sure, to learn that I was reviewed and accepted for inclusion in the 2010 edition of the Presidential Who's Who Among Business and Professional Achievers. All I have to do is fill out a huge questionnaire even thoough they had already reviewed my information (Cna we all say "What a crock"?). Once that is done, I am sure they will offer me the opportunity to buy a book with that same information in 6 pt type, inserted exactly as presented ( including my typos) for a price akin to selling my soul to the mastermind who thought up this money making scheme.
Last week I received yet another letter from my bank which is making me question the faith I put in them. They want me to enjoy the expanded benefits of a new business credit card. Only problem is they sent the letter to Rev Denor.
And on that holy note, I wish you a peaceful holiday season.

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