News Roundup

(the first of our Christmas ads for the season)

And off we go.

...sounds about right.  The pity is that the kid will get charged with murder instead of getting a pat on the back for vermin removal. anybody surprised by this?

From the Department of Education:

...get ’em young, honey, go to jail.  Also, keyword:  Arkansas.

...does anyone think that an application of Hammurabic Law would be excessive?  No?  Me neither. one assumes that if a bunch of angry Jews were to disrupt Eid that they’d get the same treatment?  LOL

...keyword:  Turkey.  And now it’s a heavenly body… anyone?  Bueller?

...Go Navy.

...should have fired back.

...actually, he got fined for tossing a brick through her window.  What’s not surprising is that she wants him back.  It’s a lovely story.

...key word:  Russian.

...I got nothing.  Not even a link.

...sheesh;  when even the world’s most clueless woman gets it right, you have to know.

...if you’re going to do something like that, you have to pick the best-lit ride in Disneyland.  And he did.

And now:  INSIGNIFICA!!!! once again, we see the perils of letting Spell Check edit your newspaper.

Finally, in Hottie News:

...of course she looks incredible:  she’s Monica freaking Bellucci, FFS.

Then and now, exquisite.

Breakfast gin, Kim?  I think so.

Brilliant Deception

Okay, go ahead and judge me, but I howled with shocked laughter when I read this little tale:

For months my boyfriend led me to believe he was busy caring for his elderly mother – but she’s been dead all along and his lies were a front for him having sex with another woman, and living with her.

Sometimes, you just have to tip your hat to a master.

Reading Matters

For some reason, I’ve recently been reading French History, because why not?  I don’t know how it got started, but it did: and once started, I couldn’t stop.  Here’s the bibliography, so far.

The Collapse of the Third Republic — William Shirer

The Franco-Prussian War — Michael Howard

Dawn of the Belle Epoque — Mary McAuliffe

The Vertigo Years: Europe, 1900-1914 — Philipp Blom (re-read, because it’s brilliant)

The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World — Holger H. Herwig (told from the German side)

The French Army and the First World War — Elizabeth Greenhalgh

France and the Après Guerre, 1918–1924 — Benjamin F. Martin

La Belle France: A Short History — Alistair Horne (I’m still busy with this one;  I’m only up to the succession of Henry II in 1547, so still a way to go.)

On deck:  France On The Brink — Jonathan Fenby

Yeah, that’s what’s been keeping me busy over the past three weeks.  All are well recommended except the last one (because I haven’t read it yet).

One last note:  I cannot recommend The Vertigo Years highly enough.  When people talk about the social- and psychological dislocation of the Information Age, you have to know that we’ve experienced it before:  when the Age of Speed dawned, in around 1900.  If you read no other book from the above list, this is the one.

Scaling Down

This past Thanksgiving saw a change for us.  Instead of doing the massive overindulgence of a Thanksgiving dinner, we opted instead for a simple snack tray.

Of course, the kids didn’t starve to death, oh no.  Son&Heir went to his mother’s family (guest count:  “over 20 FFS!”) and Daughter went to her newly-acquired in-laws (guest count:  “about 10 or so”) so they arrived at our place early last Thursday evening groaning with gluttony.

So for New Wife and I to have gone Full Thanksgiving with a turkey and the whole catastrophe could have been classified as child abuse. Well okay, the “children” are all in their mid-30s so maybe not, but you get my drift.

The chances are that the kids would barely have touched our meal anyway — and with the cost of food nowadays…

Then just yesterday I saw this little snippet:

Nearly six in ten Brits would rather have a takeaway than a traditional Christmas dinner, according to a survey.

A staggering 59 per cent of the nation say they would prefer to order a takeaway than cook up a roast dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day.

…and I can see where they’re coming from, just based on my own experience.

Of course, I plan on doing a proper Christmas feast for our lot:

… but as usual, this will take place on Boxing Day rather than on Christmas Day proper, so the kids can do Christmas with the other family branches just as they did on Thanksgiving.

The reason I’m hosting Boxing Day dinner at all is partly tradition — we’ve always celebrated Christmas that way — and partly because I can eat roast beef leftovers for days afterwards.  (I can’t do that with Thanksgiving turkey because it can cause a gout flare-up.  Beef, however, is a safe bet.)

The only slight bummer is that I’ll be on my own over Christmas, as New Wife is off to Seffrica for most of December and early January to bless the New Grandson — cost thereof will be most generously met by her #2 Son — so I’ll be doing the dinner myself.  (No big deal:  I’m debating whether to do roast beef or leg of lamb — the kids are agnostic on the subject, they love both.)

Hell, I might just get the butcher to slice the raw beef/lamb really thinly (a.k.a. “shabu shabu”), and do a “table roast” on a hot steel plate, Mediterranean style, with Greek salad, hot pita bread and hummus, and dessert of baklava or cheesecake.  They love that idea as well.

Tradition?  I don’ need no steenkin’ tradition.  But I draw the line at takeout, tempted as I am by the thought of a no-hassle huge dish of fish ‘n chips supplied by the tavern across the road.

I need to get something to eat, now.  Excuse me.