Holiday Cheer (plus a Little Bit of its Opposite)

Okay, first things first: January 10th. BCS Championship Bowl. Oregon and Auburn. Ducks and Tigers. It’s really happening! After my season’s worth of speculation, it’s really going to happen! I’m very excited. I keep saying I’ll be happy whoever wins because one of “my” teams will win, but it suddenly dawned on me that one of my teams will also lose. I really want the Ducks to win, but…but…I don’t want Auburn to lose. Ai yi yi. Conflict.

But onward. The holiday cheer and nesting continued throughout the weekend, albeit with a couple of hiccups. Before I tell you about how I almost got into a violent altercation with an elderly woman, let’s take a minute to enjoy some pictures from the bake-a-thon at my friend E’s house:

Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies
[339/365] Coffee Table Spread

It was a lovely, relaxing day filled with cookies and cider and silk nog and even vegan fondue. But before I could get there, I had to escape this old woman’s fists of fury with my life intact.

I was walking the four or five blocks from my place to my friend’s when I crossed an intersection. A car had almost run the red light, coming to an abrupt halt halfway into the intersection only a foot or two away from me. I was in no mood to get hit by a car a second time in one month, so when I continued across the street, crossing behind her car, I thumped my palm on the top of the trunk so she’d know I was behind her.

This was not so well received. As I continued on my way, I noticed that she had turned and was following me, driving alongside me, right up next to the sidewalk, yelling at me through her open passenger window. Because I had my earbuds in, I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but she seemed pretty effing vehement about it. There was angry pointing, a shaking fist, and what I’m sure was a string of rude obscenities — all coming from the mouth of an old lady who happened to be dressed as Mrs. Claus.

She was in full holiday Claus-garb, head-to-toe red furry skirt suit, white trim, jingle bells. The full regalia. Except where her holiday spirit and good cheer should have been, she seemed to be sporting the attitude of a drunken redneck.

She kept at it for most of a long block, following me closely and getting more and more animated with her threatening gestures. I finally looked directly at her and blew her a kiss. There wasn’t much time for me to see how she reacted because at that exact moment a police cruiser pulled up right beside us (going the other direction) and Mrs. Claus peeled away and rode off into the sunset. I just gave the officer a friendly wave and kept on my walk. Merry Christmas to you too, lady*!

*I use the term loosely.

In other, less violent and aggressive news, I have been busily Christmassing up my apartment, starting with a random string of lights I added to my shelf of favorite things, where I keep my typewriters, glassware, old camera equipment, cookbooks, and a few other items. It’s a bit haphazard but I like the effect.

Lights & Such These Glasses Were Already Cheery
Shelf w/ Lights

I also finished decorating my mini potted tree and I of course had to take the obligatory glass ball ornament close-up that doubles as a self-portrait.

Glittery Christmas Birds Glittery Christmas Birds
[340/365] Obligatory Christmas Ornament Self-Portrait

Finally, I found this teddy bear in a box full of random items when I was cleaning out my office last summer and I figured he needed a place of prominence for the season. Also here: a little moose (moose are my favorites) and the plastic ball ornaments that originally came on my little tree (I switched them out for my own glass ones, which I prefer).

Christmas Animals

My dog is obsessed with this display. I’m not sure if it’s the shiny balls or the stuffed toys, neither of which he is allowed to play with. When he was a puppy, he would destroy any stuffed toy I bought him within 5-10 minutes of having it, so I stopped wasting my money on those. He’s also only allowed to play fetch (or play with any balls, period) outdoors. Because of his obsessive nature, fetch had to be outlawed in the house. Once you start he simply will NOT let you stop.

So, maybe for one of the above reasons (or, really, who knows why?), the dog will NOT leave this area of the house alone. He has been standing in front of the bar and whining and barking and then occasionally trying to get up on top of the bar by climbing on other nearby furniture. I think I may have to move Misters Bear and Moose back into the bedroom or something.

Other than that, it’s beginning to be somewhat Christmassy in here and I definitely dig it. I just need to replenish my soy nog supply — with some brandy — just as soon as my pre-race period of clean living is over.

My Tiny Tree

One more holiday thing: have you guys checked out the Pandora holiday stations? Do you have a favorite? I think I’m liking Jazzy Holidays and the R&B / Pop Christmas ones. I have to admit a deep weakness for anything Bing Crosby as well as that one Mariah Carey tune. You know the one. And don’t laugh! I bet you like it too.


  1. I know! Shouldn’t Mrs. Claus be offering me cookies and cocoa and not a knuckle sandwich?! I mean, OKAY, if that’s how you want to play it, old lady. WTF.


  2. Crazy old lady!
    I completely understand the obssessiveness with your dog! My brother has a dachshund and she is crazy like that too.


  3. Blowing kisses? Dang, now that’s one way to handle a road-rage situation. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I run into problems in downtown Portland.

    A recent anecdote:

    I was making a left turn onto SW 2nd and had to wait for two pedestrians to cross the street. A hipster guy behind me in an SUV just freaked out over this. He laid on his horn and would not let up. I looked over my shoulder at him and he quickly avoided eye contact but kept honking. I decided to stop altogether to spite him. I briefly considered throwing the car into park and leaving it there to go get a cup of coffee. One of the pedestrians, a guy carrying a guitar, stopped and started laughing at this weird spectacle.

    I turned and the hipster blazed around me in the intersection. Now I was livid. I caught up to him at the next intersection. I rolled down my window and screamed “IT’S CALLED YIELDING TO PEDESTRIANS, YOU ASSHOLE!” When the light turned green, he peeled out and raced off towards Burnside. What was so odd about this incident is that he looked like a typical laid-back Portland resident and even had a happy dog in the car with him. No idea what kinda day he was having.


  4. I nearly get hit all the time as a pedestrian/runner where I live. Stupid LA drivers. Sometimes I wish I would get hit so I could sue their pants off. But a lot of drivers here are uninsured and that would be my luck. Oh, and plus the being injured part…that’s the other reason I don’t really want to get hit.


  5. I have SO MANY past due comments that I’ve been putting off commenting till I can catch up, and, well, that’s not going to work out, so I’m just diving in:

    1. I have a dog named Moose, so I’ll take it as a personal shout-out that you like moose the best. Yay!

    2. Your holiday prep sounds so nice and lovely and I find myself so jealous of your cozy contentedness. Yay for holiday happiness!

    3. [more applicable on an older post, but:] I love re-watching old TV shows! Battlestar is a favorite, as is Veronica Mars and West Wing, and I just got some friend’s into Friday Night Lights and am fully expecting cookies or a bottle of wine or a first born as a Thank You. Whenever I need a “comfort” weekend – time to buckle down and hibernate – I turn to my old shows and they’re awesome.


  6. K – It is definitely something in the Dachshund DNA. The hunting aspect, maybe?

    B – So funny! Another case where the person absolutely doesn’t LOOK like the road rage type at all. I mean, of all people, surely we should be safe from laid-back hippy-types and Mrs. Effing CLAUS, am I right?

    Aj – Yeah, the whole actually-getting-hit part would definitely suck! But seriously, why are drivers always so oblivious? The only exception I know was when I lived in Eugene, the drivers were actually TOO NICE, always trying to stop and let you cross even if you weren’t trying to cross. Weird.

    Liz – Ha ha, past due comments. Don’t worry, I don’t have a late penalty in the blog world! 1) A dog named moose sounds like a real winner to me. I love dogs; I love moose. 2) I hope you are getting some degree of holiday coziness now that you are in one place for a little while — you are, right? 3) And re FNL: OMG, I absolutely MUST get caught up. I never finished season 4 because the guy I was dating this summer, we were watching it together and then he saw the end of the season before I did and SPOILED it for me, in an argument about Coach and Tami. I am still mad about this. (Hmm. Sorry for that rant. My point is, me and FNL need to spend some quality time together. More specifically, me and Tim Riggins.)


  7. I really want to be Tami Taylor when I grow up.

    Anyway: yup, we’re settled at the parent’s house. My dog is demonstrating his love of 10 degree weather by insisting i play with him outside. Kids man, I tell ya. (I’ll take the 10 degrees over the 100 degree fall I had! What IS it with this year? Jeez). Anyway.

    Oh, funny Friday Night Light story: I got my 13 year old stepdaughter into it (I love that she is old enough now for this!), and we were having an argument about who was better, Matt or Tim, and my friend and I were all “TIM!” and she was all “MATT” and then she goes “Guys, Tim is MEAN. Matt is a NICE GUY. *THIS* is why you dated poorly in your twenties”

    hahahahahahaha sigh. She’s not wrong.


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