Saturday, December 31, 2005

So the sun sets on another year.

(Sunset from the family's apartment in Napoli.)

Good bye 2005,

it's been real,

and it's been fun.

(Family camping trip this summer, good times good times.)

Have a highlight of 2005?

Please do share with the class!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Best wishes to you all in the New Year!

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any tears

If you want to donate a question for the quiz send it today!
Include four possible answers with the correct one marked.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

HNT~ I love my lips!

It's Half Nekkid Thursday!

Don't know about that?
Click the rotating button over in the links!

If my lips ever left my mouth, packed a bag and headed south, that'd be too bad I'd be so sad.
If my lips said Adios, I don't like you, I think you're gross.That'd be too bad, I might get mad.
If my lips moved to Duluth, left a mess and took my tooth, that'd be too bad, I'd call my Dad.
That'd be too bad, I'd be so sad.I might get mad, I'd call my Dad. That'd be too bad. That'd be too bad.
When I was just two years old, I left my lips out in the cold and they turned blue, what could I do?
On the day I got my tooth, I had to kiss my Great Aunt Ruth. She had a beard and it felt weird.
Ten days after I turned 8, got my lips stuck in a gate, my friends all laughed.
And I just stood there until the fire department came and broke the lock with a crowbar and I had to spend the next six weeks in lip rehab with this kid named Oscar who got stung by a bee right on the lip and we couldn't even talk to each other until the fifth week because both our lips were so swollen and when he did start speaking he just spoke Polish and I only knew like three words in Polish except now I know four because Oscar taught me the word for lip- Usta!
I love my lips!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy Hump Day!

For warm up,
a little something from a cubists, for cubists.

Next, a little something to explain the difference between men and women.
Any questions?
Maxine writers have a genius for stating my world view.

Last, the logophile saw a challenge issued regarding making a poem that included oligarchy, Tibet and flufftard.

So we present the following for your entertainment.

Far be it from me to be snarky
Regarding rhymes for oligarchy
But this challenge is mostly malarky.

It would not even make a good bet
A poet couldn't make use of Tibet
Such a challenge is most easily met.

So we move on to the word "flufftard"
Perhaps with such things one should disregard
But one hates to have their reputation marred.

Happy Hump day, humpers!!

P.S. The Alpha Male made his blogging debut below, if you haven't seen it, keep scrolling.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Blogger is finally cooperating...

so here are some pictures of the AM's culinary masterpiece, AKA Seven Seafood Christmas Eve Dinner

Hot crab and artichoke dip
Fried shrimp ravioli
Insalata di Polipi (octopus salad, it's really good, don't be frightened)
Frutti di Mare (linguine with scallops, mussels and clams)
Spinach salad with walnuts, cranberries,crumbled feta and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Salmon croquettes
Gelato and gingerbread with lemon sauce


Trivia Tuesday, holiday style!

Still in the holiday mood?
Don't google!

Thank you to everyone who contributed questions for last week's quiz, good job guys, it was tough!
High score went to the Village Idiot (west coast edition) and honorable mentions for Cricket, Susie, and Weirsdo who tied for second place.

If you want to help me out next week please send a question for next week's quiz along with four possible answers and the correct one marked to

Game on!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Off to celebrate Boxing Day with the fam.

Why, one might wonder?
Few Americans have any inkling that there even is such a thing as Boxing Day, let alone what the reason might be for a holiday so named. However, before one concludes we're about to rag on Americentric attitudes towards other cultures, we should quickly point out that even though Boxing Day is celebrated in Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and Canada, not all that many in those countries have much of a notion as to why they get the 26th of December off. Boxing Day might well be a statutory holiday in some of those lands, but it's not a well understood one. Despite the lively images suggested by the name, it has nothing to do with pugilistic expositions between tanked-up family members who have dearly been looking forward to taking a round out of each other for the past year. Likewise, it does not gain its name from the overpowering need to rid the house of an excess of wrappings and mountains of now useless cardboard boxes the day after St. Nick arrived to turn a perfectly charming and orderly home into a maelstrom of discarded tissue paper. The name also has nothing to do with returning unwanted gifts to the stores they came from, hence its common association with hauling about boxes on the day after Christmas. The holiday's roots can be traced to Britain, where Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen's Day. Reduced to the simplest essence, its origins are found in a long-ago practice of giving cash or durable goods to those of the lower classes. Gifts among equals were exchanged on or before Christmas Day, but beneficences to those less fortunate were bestowed the day after. And that's about as much as anyone can definitively say about its origin because once you step beyond that point, it's straight into the quagmire of debated claims and dueling folklorists. Which, by the way, is what we're about to muddy our boots with. Although there is general agreement that the holiday is of British origin and it has to do with giving presents to the less fortunate, there is still dispute as to how the name came about or precisely what unequal relationship is being recognized. At various times, the following "origins" have been loudly asserted as the correct one:
Centuries ago, ordinary members of the merchant class gave boxes of food and fruit to tradespeople and servants the day after Christmas in an ancient form of Yuletide tip. These gifts were an expression of gratitude to those who worked for them, in much the same way that one now tips the paperboy an extra $20 at Christmastime or slips the building's superintendent a bottle of fine whisky. Those long-ago gifts were done up in boxes, hence the day coming to be known as "Boxing Day."
Christmas celebrations in the old days entailed bringing everyone together from all over a large estate, thus creating one of the rare instances when everyone could be found in one place at one time. This gathering of his extended family, so to speak, presented the lord of the manor with a ready-made opportunity to easily hand out that year's stipend of necessities. Thus, the day after Christmas, after all the partying was over and it was almost time to go back to far-flung homesteads, serfs were presented with their annual allotment of practical goods. Who got what was determined by the status of the worker and his relative family size, with spun cloth, leather goods, durable food supplies, tools, and whatnot being handed out. Under this explanation, there was nothing voluntary about this transaction; the lord of the manor was obligated to supply these goods. The items were chucked into boxes, one box for each family, to make carrying away the results of this annual restocking easier; thus, the day came to be known as "Boxing Day."
Many years ago, on the day after Christmas, servants in Britain carried boxes to their masters when they arrived for the day's work. It was a tradition that on this day all employers would put coins in the boxes as a special end-of-the-year gift. In a closely-related version of this explanation, apprentices and servants would on that day get to smash open small earthenware boxes left for them by their masters. These boxes would house small sums of money specifically left for them. This dual-versioned theory melds the two previous ones together into a new form — namely, the employer who was obligated to hand out something on Boxing Day, but this time to recipients who were not working the land for him and thus were not dependent on him for all they wore and ate. The "box" thus becomes something beyond ordinary compensation (in a way goods to landed serfs was not), yet it's also not a gift in that there's nothing voluntary about it. Under this theory, the boxes are an early form of Christmas bonus, something employees see as their entitlement.
Boxes in churches for seasonal donations to the needy were opened on Christmas Day, and the contents distributed by the clergy the following day. The contents of this alms box originated with the ordinary folks in the parish who were under no direct obligation to provide anything at all and were certainly not tied to the recipients by a employer/employee relationship. In this case, the "box" in "Boxing Day" comes from that one gigantic lockbox the donations were left in. More elaborate versions of this origin involve boxes kept on sailing ships:
The title has been derived by some, from the box which was kept on board of every vessel that sailed upon a distant voyage, for the reception of donations to the priest — who, in return, was expected to offer masses for the safety of the expedition, to the particular saint having charge of the ship — and above all, of the box. The box was not to be opened until the return of the vessel; and we can conceive that, in cases where the mariners had had a perilous time of it, this casket would be found to enclose a tolerable offering. The mass was at that time called Christmass, and the boxes kept to pay for it were, of course, called Christmass-boxes. The poor, amongst those who had an interest in the fate of these ships, or of those who sailed in them, were in the habit of begging money from the rich, that they might contribute to the mass boxes; and hence the title which has descended to our day, giving to the anniversary of St Stephen's martyrdom the title of Christmas-boxing day, and, by corruption, its present popular one of Boxing Day. Whichever theory one chooses to back, the one thread common to all is the theme of one-way provision to those not inhabiting the same social level.
Isn't that special?
It is also an awesome day for buying Christmas decorations for next year.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

How we celebrate

It is tradition in southern Italy to have a seven fish dinner on Christmas Eve. The origins vary, depending on who you ask, as well as the reason for seven types of seafood. Some say it is because it took God seven days to create the universe, or to represent the seven sacraments or the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit according to the Catholic church. Some think that it is perhaps one representing each day of the week. Many would tell us the tradition comes from the observance of the Cena della Vigilia, the culmination of the wait for the miraculous birth of the Christ. It revolves around traditional Catholic/Christian beliefs, and it is a feast celebrating the birth of Jesus. In Italy, the Christmas season begins on December 17 with the Novena, which are special carols, prayers and church services, and ends on January 6 with the Feast of the Epiphany or La Befana. Christmas Eve in Italy is called La Vigilia (lah vee-gee-lyah). The word comes from the Latin word for wakefulness and watching, as in "keeping vigil.." Christmas Eve is the time of the final vigil before the dawn, which brings the birth of Jesus Christ. On the day before Christmas, Catholics in Italy observe a strict fast for 24 hours in accordance with their religious beliefs. The fast ends with a meal of at least seven courses of fresh seafood dishes. Meat is never served at La Vigilia. The people of Naples are famous for their elaborate spreads.
Being neither Catholic nor Italian it may seem odd that we would celebrate this tradition. But living three years in Naples gave us an appreciation for some Italian traditions and this is a very enjoyable one!
The Alpha Male made:
Hot crab and artichoke dip
Fried shrimp ravioli
Insalata di Polipi (octopus salad, it's really good, don't be frightened)
Frutti di Mare (linguine with scallops, mussels and clams)
Spinach salad with walnuts, cranberries,crumbled feta and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Salmon croquettes
Gelato and gingerbread with lemon sauce

We celebrate Christmas Day in traditional American manner, by waking up early and unwrapping presents the approximate value of which could support a third world village for at least a month and then eating too much food, viva la America!

The day after Christmas will be spent celebrating with the Alpha Female's extended family. Being comparatively recent imports from the British Isles (approximately 40 years ago) it has somehow escaped their attention that Boxing Day isn't really celebrated here. Nevertheless, being fans of tradition, especially those that involve good food, we gladly celebrate their imaginary holiday with them.

BTW, we celebrated Festivus this year as well (Demember 23rd). Thing One and Thing Two especially enjoyed the airing of their grievances. Though the thumb wrestling (Feats of Strength) after dinner seemed to be a big hit as well. I highly recommend the celebration of Festivus, after all, you can't have too many holidays, can you?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Tree Ornaments

A scene from the childhood of the logophile.

"Why are these called ornaments?"
"Well, it is a very interesting story, I am so glad you asked! Long ago people just had plain trees, but a clever man named Guido Ornamente decided he would use some leftover scraps of colorful material his wife had to make interesting things to decorate his tree. His children loved it! Soon the neighbor children were asking if THEY could decorate their trees. Soon the entire village had the most gorgeous Christmas trees ever seen. Word spread over the years and soon every Christmas tree in all of Italy and all of Europe and now all the world is decorated."
Much is explained, eh?
Anyway, here are some of the docorations on our tree.

The Christmas Goeduck, ho ho ho
A Opus and Bill Ornament, cuz Bloom County should live in the heart throughout the year, just like the Christmas spirit.
Go stomp some dandilions!

A Washington state ferry, a gift from home while the family was living in Italy.

Great idea Guido,

Buon Natale!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Whether or not you celebrate this...
I hope you have a very happy holiday season.
I wish you full hearts
and full bellies (though not uncomfortably so),
and I wish each of you the gift your heart most desires.

Here is one of these for you all,


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Let the weirdness begin

OK, Snav tagged Ariella and Lime tagged the AF, so we are combining our weirdness, hope you can handle it!

For starters...
Here are the rules
:The first player of this game starts with the topic: five weird habits.
People who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly.
In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals.
Don't forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says You Are Tagged (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.

Ariella's list
1. Have we covered the cat thing in enough detail? I have some feline tendencies.
2. I regard myself as a lap pet despite being over forty pounds, the forty pound 6 year old seems to find this especially troubling.
3. I "talk" alot.
4. I have a recently discovered passion for Chrstmas presents.
5. I blog.
Logo's list
Ok, let me preface this by saying I don't really have lil weird things. I am the kind of person who makes life miserable for people with little weird things.

For example, observe people's exhibit A.

This is the bathroom I share with the obsessive compulsive Mr. Logo, guess which side is his, go ahead, guess.

Observe the difference between HIS drawer,

and mine.

Note his toothpaste is neatly flattened on the bottom, mine is squooshed. This is why we have separate tubes.

And here is a look I get far too often. The cause for this expression is in his hands. I like to sit cross legged in the computer chair, in order to do so I remove one arm of the chair. This annoys him, as do the open cupboard doors, the crooked magazine stacks, and a million other little bad habits of mine.

But this is suppose to be MY list, so here we go.

1. I hate it when people mess up the words to songs. Someone took the time to write it, sing it RIGHT, respect the fricking artist!

2. I despise poorly made tea and coffee. If you are going to make tea- boil the water for the love of all that is holy, and steep it! If you are going to make coffee, particularly espresso, you SHOULD be able to drink it black without wanting to cut your tongue out.

3. I hate it when people talk during TV shows or movies I am trying to watch. I don't watch much TV, if I went to the trouble of putting it on I did so because I wanted to see AND HEAR it, wait for a commercial!!

4. It is not so much a big deal to me anymore, but I still don't really like it when my food items touch each other.

5. Dang, just one more....hmmmm... I have to have something to read, or I get panicky.

Consider yourself tagged if you haven't done it already.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy HUMP Day!

Do you ever get the feeling things would be easier if you could just get some cooperation?

Do you ever feel like people disappove of your behavior?

Ever worry that you might not be up to the challenge?

Please, tell us about it, so that we may mock you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Trivia Tuesday

Congrats to Roxie for high score last week.
Remember, no googling!
Have fun.
Oh, and for next week I plan a Christmas/Boxing Day/kwanzaa/Hanukkah theme, so if you have any questions for us relating to those topics, please send, along with 4 possible answers and the correct one marked, to
Thank you!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Meme Monday

14. I have a large white teddy bear
(I know this is a review, new stuff to follow)
15. I like to steal the stuffed animals of the children

16. This annoys them

17. They don't realize how much I enjoy annoying them

mwah hah hah

Is Monday all about you? Well, why not?? Go see Robin, make it so.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

What does your coffee table say about you?

This table appears to state these people have a first grader, watch way the heck too much TV and can't afford to call Miss Cleo.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

It has come to my attention

That THIS happens every morning.
And while I hate to criticize, I am think the timing leaves a little to be desired.

If you are going to have something this pretty you ought to time it better.

Showing off these kinds of colors while all smart, decent and respectable creatures are still in bed is just silly!

Which is why WE prefer sunsets.

Friday, December 16, 2005

OH! Don't forget!!

If you have some incredibly clever question for the Tuesday trivia
please send today with four possible answers, and the correct one marked to

My thanks to:
The Village Idiot (west),
and Mr Ratburn
for the questions in this week's quiz.

Heh heh

Here I am lounging on freshly laundered blankets...
I love the scent of fresh clean laundry.
And from here...
I am perfectly positioned,
ready to strike!
Mwah hah hah!!
Oh darn, she caught me.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

HNT, are ya happy?

The Village Idiot is rather fond of his helmet some of you may recall.
He even talked Thomcat into posing with him with HIS helmet.
Boys and their toys...sigh
But that's ok,
cuz my Alpha Female was on the scene to show them
yeah, size DOES matter,
and you can see whose is biggest.

Since shops are so strict about the canine visitors rule this is the closest I could come to a HNT in Seattle pic.
Introducing...Binder Ariella
Yesterday I mentioned I wanted a nap, no, I needed a nap, dang it!
And this is what happens when you try to disturb me from my comfortable napping before I am ready.

But I come by this trait honestly,
this is what happens when you wake the AF before she is ready.

Hope you are looking and feeling happier than this!

Happy HNT!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Happy HUMP day!

You've done it again!
You've made it half way through a week.
Congratulations and well done!
In light of this stellar achievement, tell us,
how would you like to celebrate?
I plan to go get some affection, and then...
take a nap.
You got a better idea?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trivia Tuesday!

Congrats to Susie and The Village Idiot (west coast edition) for their tied high score on the quiz last week.
Here is This week's quiz,
have fun!

Remember, if you don't like your score, donate a question next week.
And by the way, this quiz is graded only by participation.
So no worries Weirsdo, you are right at the top of the class!

Monday, December 12, 2005

MEMEMEME~ it is all about ME!

From my list of 101 things about me.
10. I like stuffed animals

11. I have a squeaky octopus

Here it is, isn't it lovely?

I have played a little too roughly with it.
There is a hole in the bottom.

I was trying to sneak it away,
it didn't work, darn it!

12. I had squeaky motorcycle
13. I shredded it

(This is all that is left, the wheels)

14. I have a large white teddy bear
I do so love my bear.
Speaking of which, did you hear they now have Teddy bear for adults?
BAD ASS TEDDY BEARS They're Rude, Crude, and Totally Lewd!
These obnoxious bears make great gag gifts. Who needs another teddy bear that says, "I wuv you?"
Give your friends, family and loved ones the gift that says what you really mean:
Ballsy Bear® and Bitchy Bear - the World's Nastiest Talking Teddy Bears!
Ballsy & Bitchy are big, cuddly-looking teddy bears, but when you squeeze their tummies, they each say over 20 outrageous things.
These stuffed animals are a whole lot of fun, perfect for almost any occasion (such as birthdays, anniversaries, and office parties), just don't give them to kids!

Wish Mondays could be all about you? Go see Robin!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Buona Domenica!

Here is a comic shared with me by the lovely Snav.
Click the link Off The Mark it's worth it!
And, in case any of you were planning a gift for me and were not quite sure what to get...
here is a side car.
Or, if you are willing to go with the big bucks, here is the mother of all side cars.
The top closes down to provide a temperature controlled environment.
It also has a CD/AM/FM radio and flat screen suitable for DVDs or game cubes.
Available through BMW, although, we would need the bike too.

Merry Christmas, and remember what the season is really all about, giving and receiving extrordinarily expensive presents.