Christmas Morning

# of Hours slept last night: 5 (Good)

# of “bad things” consumed yesterday: 2 (peanut butter ice cream at downtown RWC cinema, while watching tremendously moving Atonement; one Beard Papa chocolate eclair with caramel filling)

Holiday-themed TV viewing last night: The World Wrestling Federation performing live in Iraq

# of presents opened: 0 (Will wait till everyone is up)

Best Christmas wish (from Reine M): “May gravity and lightness play well inside of you.”

Weather: chilly. Self forgot to remind hubby it was “Spare the Air” Day so of course we lit a fire.

No. of major department stores that will open before 8 AM tomorrow: 3 — J C Penney (opens at 6 AM!), Macy’s and Nordstrom (at 7)

News self is watching: KTVU Morning News

In the mail yesterday: a very thin NYTBR, ballots for hubby and self for the California primary (Feb. 5 this year!), and two self-addressed stamped envelopes (read: rejections). The first is list of winners for the Missouri Review 2007 fiction contest (Darn! Self knows she’ll never get into the Missouri Review!) and the second is from The Greensboro Review, for “Dumpster,” which makes self smile, because she’s already placed “Dumpster” (just last week, in fact) with another journal. But what’s really funny is that, a month ago, self received solicitation to subscribe to The Greensboro Review. And she thought she’d better take out a subscription, as perhaps this was one way that GR weeds out its submissions slush pile? By rejecting anyone who fails to respond to subscription invitation? So self mailed in her check, and — voila! Rejection (Form, the most depressing kind) arrives. Self, this goes to show what happens when you try second-guessing tactics of editors at esteemed literary journals!

Things on to-do list today (aside from opening presents, of course): Mass, movie (Choices, ticked off by hubby: National Treasure sequel, Aliens V. Predators sequel, Charlie Wilson’s War)

Most fervent wish(es) for the New Year: that beloved sister-in-law Ying will be fully restored, in health, in serenity; that Dearest Mum finds happiness; that son makes it to the East Coast this New Year’s without mishap (He’s driving cross-country with three friends, starting tomorrow), that self can continue to write, and write well.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Christmas Eve at Self’s Humble Abode

At 3:30 PM, self was hot-footing it to downtown RWC to catch Atonement. She made up her mind at the last minute, so she didn’t even have time to clear the sink from this morning’s dirty dishes. Just as she was rounding the corner from Middlefield, she saw Beard Papa! And she remembered that she’d been telling son about this wonderful confection for ages and ages! But he always refuses to go with her to the store, so self remembered her Dear Departed Dad’s favorite saying: If the mountain will not go to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain. Or something to that effect.

So self stepped smartly inside and asked what time they closed today. And they said they would be closing in five minutes. And so self decided to stay and have them fill an order for two cream puffs and one chocolate eclair (Filling of the day: caramel), even though this would probably mean she’d miss the first 10 minutes of Atonement. And then, clutching her little goody bag, self ran to the movie theatre, and — surprise! — she ran in and they were still showing previews. So self saw the preview of a creepy movie about an orphanage, with a female star who looked a lot like Embeth Davidtz.

Then, the movie started, and self got all swoon-y over James McAvoy. And she loved the movie! Just loved it! And thought all those snarky movie critics who called the movie “fitfully appealing” and couldn’t understand the symbolism of the war scenes were nuts! Just nuts!

And then self arrived home just in time to catch hubby pulling in, and so we walked into the house together, and not 30 minutes later son came home and declared he was famished, and then self had to get Christmas dinner ready and it took her the next two and a half hours (as there was a huge prime rib roast), and then self set out all her little goodies of the day (Christmas yule log, topped with Santa figurines; tiramisu; Beard Papa cream puffs) on a green and red ceramic plate, and hubby opened our last bottle of champagne from Laetitia Winery (just south of San Luis Obispo), and the following happened:

(1) Son said he did not drink. Hubby and self kept urging him to make an exception, “because it’s Christmas,” we said, and son responded, “I’ll decide when I want to drink. Don’t tell me what to do.”

(2) We soon shifted the conversation to various cousins who had split up this year (carefully avoiding the topic of Ying, who self fully intends to call later), and hubby remarked that it didn’t look like one of self’s aunts would ever have grandchildren, as her eldest, a girl, was 42 and childless, and the youngest had just split from her husband of two years. Then hubby opined that it would be so sad not to have grandchildren. And self heartily agreed with him. That is, until she took a look at son’s face and it looked as if he had swallowed a lemon. But hubby kept going on and on about other people who looked like they would never have grandchildren, like Mrs. King, who is in her eighties and none of whose six children have any children (by choice). And self kept nodding her head sagely and son became extremely poker-faced. And then self managed to switch the topic of conversation to —

(3) the Beard Papa cream puffs. And son said he wouldn’t have any. “Well how about the Yule log? Won’t you have a slice of that?” And son refused that as well. And self said, “Oh come on! Look at the little dancing snowmen on top of the Yule Log! Come on!” And finally hubby told self to get a plate, he’d split a Beard Papa cream puff with son. And self produced a plate, and son took two bites of his half and gave the rest to his dad. And then, just as he was getting up, self said brightly, “Want to watch a movie?” Nah, son said. He just wanted to rest in his room. And son slipped quietly away (no doubt uttering Hallelujahs in his mind).

And thus ended self’s Christmas.

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