Spoken Word Christmas

It’s still Christmas. I’m celebrating right up until Epiphany. That means I’m still singing carols and listening to Christmas music. I am also bringing out my favorite spoken word recordings about Christmas. Check out:

John Henry Faulk’s Christmas Story about a giving a ride to a young boy carrying an orange. Makes me tear up every year.

David Sedaris’ Story of being an elf in a department store at Christmas. He’s hilarious, if you like irreverent, snarky humor. Fun for the Scrooge in all of us.

And This American Life’s latest episode is a Christmas special. It’s temporarily available for download. Again irreverent snark warning. But very funny.

Two more notables, not free online but well worth a purchase:

Minnesotan Kevin Kling’s story called “A View From The Card Table” about Christmas as a young boy.
Texas preacher Gordon Atkinson (Real Live Preacher) has some of the best dramatized accounts of the Christmas story I’ve ever heard.

Some auditory christmas ornaments for you!

In which I celebrate my inner dork…

Q — What did the surgeon say to the patient who wanted to close his own incision?
A — Suture self.

Q — What do you get if you play New Age music backwards?
A — New Age music.

A cowboy walked into a bar. He was wearing a paper hat, a paper bandana, a paper shirt, paper chaps, and paper pants. He was arrested…for rustlin’

Q — What’s large, gray, and not to the point?
A — An irrelephant

Q — How many copyeditors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A — Do you mean “change a lightbulb” or “have sex in a lightbulb”? Please clarify.

If a train station is where the train stops, what’s a workstation?

Q — Why are pirates so mean?
A — They just ARRRRR!!

Chopped cabbage–it’s not just a good idea…it’s THE SLAW!

Cogito Ergo Spud–I think, therefore I yam.

Relish today, ketchup tomorrow

Love means never having to say, “Put down that meat cleaver!”

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.

You’ll go to Heck if you don’t believe in Gosh.

Ask me about UPDOC.

Nostalgia is never as good as it will be.

What do we want? The status quo! When do we want it? Still….

I’ve gotta be me–everyone else is already taken.

Couch potatoes have brain tubers.

God said to Noah, “On your ark, get set, go!”

Can God make rock so heavy he can’t thrash to it?

When the Devil goes bald, there will be hell toupee.

Use vowels every day or you’ll get consonated.

Lizard Invasion!!! Newts at 11:00…

Pawanioa: the fear your dogs are up to something

Dijon Vu: The feeling you’ve seen this mustard before

If you’re a Goth, where were you when we sacked Rome?

I want to move to theory. Everything works in theory.

f(x) went into a bar. “Sorry”, said the bartender. “We don’t cater to functions.”

Remember: With great power comes great current squared times resistance

Calculus: The agony and dx/dt

Life is complex: it’s partly real and partly imaginary

Man's Best Friend

Rolly, our 15 year old Lab mix dog, reformed book chewer, unrepentant tableside beggar, sneaky couch sitter, shedder extraordinaire, babysitter, playmate, pouncer, part-time horsey, foot warmer, and dear dear friend, died last night. His body did not outlast his gentle spirit. He suffers no more.

Rolly is survived by a tearful, grateful family of eight, who brought him at the age of two home from the pound even though they went there looking for a puppy. He lived a placid, happy life marred only by harrowing encounters with skunks and cactii. The latter claiming two inches of his tail but never (completely) his dignity.

I’m sure he is laying on a couch somewhere and will run to the window, wag his tail, and shake with excitement as soon as we drive up.

Poem: Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

— Derek Walcott

Cubicle Gourmet: Deskside Dining

So now that I am (gratefully, happily, for now) back in a cube farm 8 hours a day, I need to avoid the vending machine, the fast food drive through, and the indulgent expensive out for lunch options. I need deskside meal options that compare in attractiveness to the other options. Leftovers from home sometimes have that cache for me but not always.

And since I have flunked several tests lately related to the composition of my blood I need to focus on whole grains and other slow carbs, protein, and good fats like olive oil and nuts. Nothing processed, over-packaged, partially-hydrogenated, or with HFCS and other satanic sweetners.

Other requirements: Easy to tote/prepare/clean-up, compact enough to store in a cubicle, minimal equipment required, no “cooking” except for the office microwave.

Being close to the refirgerator helps my situation quite a bit so I can keep a store of fresh produce and cheeses.

I have been having some success after having the right set up here at work. I sacrificed one file cabinet drawer to be my Deskside Pantry:

    kosher salt
    good olive oil
    red pepper flakes
    small pepper grinder
    various types of nuts
    various types of 100% whole grain crackers
    various (unsugared) dried fruits
    Packets of Salmon, Tuna, and other DHA-rich fatty fish
    a small cutting board and sharp knife (with cover. safety first)
    microwaveable measuring bowl, for portion awareness
    tablespoon measure, for metering out small portions of delicious, forbidden condiments
    Disinfecting wipes for cleanup (because, besides your kitchen sink, and your sick kid, the germiest place in your life is your desk and keyboard)

I have been mixing tuna, salt, pepper, and nuts along with a small measure of minced dried fruit as a makeshift fish salad. Great with crackers, but also good straight for when the cracker portion has run out.

My latest repeatable Cubicle Gourmet idea mixes available items from my desk pantry with some fridge items brought from home.

Salmon Hummus Pate: Mix a 2.6 oz pouch of Salmon, 3T of Hummus (I used Athenos Spicy Threee Pepper), and 2T of goat cheese (Cheesy Girl “Hottie” Jalapeno for me). Add kosher salt. Mix. Fold in nuts on hand (I used cashews, but I could seriously envision toasted walnuts or pepitas as well.) Serve with 100% Whole Grain crackers.

(Caveat: Nuts can go rancid in your desk over time, so keep manageable quantities. I like to keep larger portions of raw nuts in the freezer at work and toast them myself. You can roast raw nuts in the microwave to get that fresh toasty taste and texture. This was an epiphany to me when first I heard it. Just heat the nuts in the microwave for 1 minute at a time, stirring in between minute heatings to prevent scorching. Two or three should do it.)

Wa-LA! “Go Food” that tastes like “Slow Food.”

Next Up: Office popcorn that doesn’t give your co-workers “popcorn lung.”