Thursday, November 24, 2005
  Yes Virginia

On Tuesday a local reporter interviewed people who had stood in a line for as long as 20 hours, through the night, in the cold and the rain, all so they could part with several hundred dollars and buy the newest gaming system that Micrsoft had convinced them they had to have. The reporter said the XBox 360 was a hot Christmas gift, but I don't think any of the waiters, most of whom were young men, were looking to gift anyone but themselves that morning. The need for Madden I don't comprehend. But the relentless pursuit of a child's Christmas wish, that I get. I am, you see, a veteran of the Great Cabbage Patch Conflict of 1983.

In 1983 my girls were 10, 7 and 5. Sarcasmo, the oldest was never much into dolls and to be honest I probably wanted the doll more for her than she did. Sarcasmo Jr., the youngest was at the age where she wanted everything that she saw on TV. And despite the fact that the dolls were in short supply they were marketed heavily. Sarcassis however was quite definite about her Christmas list. She said she was telling Santa that she wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll. A bald one! The number one most important item on her wish list. Not just any Cabbage Patch. A bald one.

I had a friend and neighbor, R., who was in similar straits. Her daughter who is the same age as Sarcassis also wanted a Cabbage Patch. R wanted one for her son as well. Every day we dropped our kids off at their respective elementary and nursery schools and hit the retail trail. We tried anywhere we could think of. We were quick to follow up on any rumoured sightings. But everyday the result was the same. We would hurry into stores and rush to the shelf, only to find big empty spaces. The closer it got to Christmas the bleaker it was looking.

To add insult to injury an elderly customer of mine at the time came into work and related how he had gone to the store that particular morning to by a watch as a gift for his wife. He got there early hoping to avoid the Christmas shopping crowd. When he arrived there, just as the doors were opening, a store clerk handed him a number. Once inside another clerk took his number and handed him a Cabbage Patch doll. He really had no idea what was going on but it seemed to be important. He said that he was directed to a special register where he paid for the doll and he left without ever getting to the jewelry counter. When he got home his wife was ecstatic because his daughter had been scouring the city for a Cabbage Patch for his granddaughter.He was quite the unwitting hero. He asked if I could believe how lucky he had been. No. I really couldn't.

The days were counting down quickly. One evening at dinner time I got a call from R. A friend of a friend of a relative, or something like that had come through. If we agreed to some clandestine meeting arrangements, and paid in cash she was pretty sure she could supply us with the 5 dolls we were looking for. Four a.m. found R and myself in my car , behind the loading dock of of a major toy retailer. One that is now defunct. A door opened, a hand waved and R got out clutching our money. She returned quickly with a some boxes that we threw in the trunk and took back home. We didn't even look at what we had til we got there. There were 5 Cabbage Patch dolls. All different. And, one of them was bald.

Yes Virginia. There really is a Santa Claus.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I really enjoy Thanksgiving. I like that it is a holiday that everyone can celebrate, regardless of ethnicity or religion. No one is offended if you wish them a nice Thanksgiving.

It's about family and family traditions. I am thankful that Sarcasmo Jr. can be with us this year. She will be one of the 37 million Americans travelling more than 50 miles to be with family this year. So if you are on the roads be careful. My baby is out there! And for the first time in seven years Sarcassis and her family will not be sitting down to dinner 8 to 14 hours ahead of us in a foreign country. And because they are here there will be three generations of this family at our table.

Most of our Thanksgiving traditions center on food. Everyone has something that makes it Thanksgiving for them, and we try to include it all. Sarcasmo likes a vegetable casserole, Sarcasis, the canned cranberry sauce and Sarcasmo Jr. requests Trifle for desert. Sarcasdad likes turkey hash made from the leftovers! All the cooking and prep work is the easy part. The hard part is finding room on the table for all of the dishes. We have to keep the food moving at all times.

Thanksgiving still kicks off the Christmas season for me, despite the fact that the retail outlets were decorated before Halloween . The morning newspaper arrives on our doorstep with a mighty THUD on Thanksgiving morning, because of all the ads tucked inside. I hope this years edition comes with some inspiration because I have no idea what to get anyone on my list.

In case I don't make it back here before Thursday. have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2005
  With a Little Imagination

I think the Cutie Patootie may have had a hand in this. He is quite the devotee of the cardboard box.

Monday, November 14, 2005
  Play It Again

Until a few months ago we were separated from our first grandchild by over 6,000 miles. Thankfully his parents kept us up to date on his daily progress with a steady stream of photos, and digital videos.Now we play the videos for him and marvel at how much he has changed. "Look" we say to the 11 month old Cutie Patootie. "that's you when you were little!" I hope he still wants to watch them with us when he is all grown up.

When our girls were growing up we didn't have a video camera. My Father had given us an old Bell & Howell model when Sarcasmo was very young. It required the use of a hand held light, that was as bright as the ones road crews use on overnight highway repair jobs. It made getting that candid footage pretty impossible. Plus, by the time you got it all set up the cute moment was gone for good. I think we attempted to use it once. Although the cameras improved over the years, they never seemed worth the effort to me. As a result all of our home movies are in my head.

One started playing tonight while I was watching Alton Brown make beef jerky on the Food Network .My mind was wandering to be sure from one disjointed thought to the next. Still I don't know how I went from food dehydration to a family gathering long ago. And three little girls who will probably be glad for some degree of anonymity after they read this. Still I had to share.

It was maybe 20 year ago, and Bette Midler was making hit records. The girls loved her version of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy From Company "B". That night, in front of the whole family, they pushed back the furniture and performed their very practiced, very Andrews Sisters, lip-synced version of the song. They swayed back and forth in unison, snapping their fingers and shaking their shoulders. When Bette gave way to a musical bridge in the middle, Sarcasmo Jr. stepped to the front and played an imaginary clarinet, while her sisters stayed in step as the back- up dancers. They were so adorable.

Too bad there was no video camera. Now I have no leverage for blackmail purposes tangible reminder. Just the home movie in my head.

Sunday, November 06, 2005
  Just To Clarify

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 NON- Participant

Is it me or do you see that man running with a pencil too? He seems to be popping up on sidebars everywhere. Usually accompanied by an apologetic post because the blog's host will be spending November in a race against time to complete a 50,000 word novel. And November is one of those 30 day months.That is 1666.666 words a day. All of you NaNoWriMo participants should have 10,00 word or so committed to hard drive before you call it a night tonight. If you don't then stop reading and get to it. I know an avoidance tactic when I see one.

I have also noticed that many participants are the ones who seem to already have the fullest plates. Homes, kids, jobs,and midterms. I guess they work best under pressure. As much as I would like to think I have a novel in me somewhere, it appears to be buried pretty deep. So once again this year I will cheer you all on from the sidelines. Write early, write often. Maybe come December 1st you will be a novelist.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Thirteen Things about Sarcasmom

1.When I started my "unofficial" list for the Thursday Thirteen, I noted that most of them related to music. So I decided I would "theme" this week's list. Because, you know, it's not enough of a challenge just to come up with thirteeen unrelated items.

2.Yesterday I received a CD copy of Carole King's "Tapestry", an album I owned on vinyl when it first came out in 1971. I popped it in the car CD player and cranked it up. What a rush. You know an album made it's mark when you can still remember the order of the songs 25 years later. I used to have a pretty solid collection on vinyl. They all went in a garage sale. I am thinking of trying to re-create what I used to have, on CD.

3.My very first album purchase was "Distant Shores" by Chad & Jeremy. I used to put it on the little portable record player in my room and fall asleep to it. Every night. My poor parents.

4. The first 45 rpm record I owned I didn't actually buy. My older brother gave it to me from his collection. It was "Go Away Little Girl",the Steve Lawrence rendition. I am pretty sure it was more of a bribe than a gift so that I didn't tell on him.

5.Of all the amazing Beatles music, I still get the biggest thrill out of hearing those beginning guitar chords of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". It immediately takes me back to my parents living room. It was Feb. 9, 1964. My parents were shaking their heads at the state of their hair and that noise they were making. I was suddenly aware that there was an opposite sex. I was 11.

6.I never really had a "crush" on any of the Beatles. My true love was Peter Noone, He was the lead singer of Herman's Hermits.

7.While on a Florida vacation Sarcasdad and I saw part of the video for the Creed song "My Sacrifice" being filmed. The video shows what appears to be a flooded city. It was really a contained pool of water on an outdoor movie lot. A big crane used to drop props into place fell over. It was amazing how many divers jumped out from in the pool. It was really cool to see the finished video on TV after seeing how some of it was done.

8. When I was a teenager it "blew my mind" that my parents could not distinguish the Dave Clark Five from Paul Revere and the Raiders. Or any group from any other. After all they were so different. I have to confess that while I like the current top 40 I can rarely tell you who is singing what. Their sounds all seem very similar to me.

9.I have gone to my fair share of concerts. Those days are over. They are too expensive. You don't get to sit in the seat that you paid for and usually the sound is not all that great. I would rather sit in the comfort of my living room and watch an MTV unplugged.

10. On our first actual date, Sarcasdad took me to see The Who.

11. We took a cruise the year of our 25th wedding anniversary. We had the best group of people at our dining table. We were table 15, and we still keep in contact to this day. One couple was celebrating their 15th anniversary. That night the dinner entertainment was a strolling mariachi type band. They went from table to table taking requests. We had the early seating so most of the other diners were in their more golden years, and requested their favorites. When they got to our table the anniversary couple asked for "Stand By Me" as it had been their wedding song. You could tell the band was pleased to play something a little more contemporary. What followed was a rendition of the song with back up vocals and guitar that rivaled the original version.

12. I sang in the choir in church and in high school. I was an alto.

13. I took piano lessons. So did all three of my daughters. We have a piano that is badly in need of tuning. No one plays it anymore. I would get rid of it but then I would need someplace to put all the photographs I have displayed on it.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. MommaK


3. Renee

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÃ�’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005
  Halloween Treats

By some amazing coincidence the Halloween candy and the Trick-or-Treaters both ran out at the same time. After the last knock on the door there were three pieces left in the candy bowl. But not for long. The night got off to a slow start, making me think that nine bags of candy might have been a bit excessive. Soon the trickle turned into a steady stream of monsters, superheroes and princesses. One family even had their dogs in costumes as well as their kids. The Cutie Patootie helped give out the treats dressed as Bam Bam Rubble.IMG_4208 ( Costume made by the CP's mom, Sarcassis). That's the CP with his Great Grandmother.

We actually started our Halloween celebrations on Sunday night. Sarcasdad and I took our chances and boarded a haunted ship docked a Penn's Landing. Our ghost pirate guide, Steve,The Pirate Guide spun a tale
of seafaring terror. He took us below decks where we witnessed a pirate being stretched on a rack. That pirate bore a strange resemblance to someone we know.

And since we had the camera out we finally got a picture to post of the quilt that Sarcasmo Jr. made for the Cutie Patootie. Rhy's Quilt You cant see the detail bit there is some decorative stitching on on some of the squares. Awesome. And this was her first effort!

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