The Five!

1. I am writing this in the midst of a Snow Day. Actually, it’s more like a Some Snow Some Freezing Rain Some Ice Mostly Nasty Day, but the upshot is that I haven’t been out since last night and all I want to do is eat. What’s up with that? Yeah, I know the roads probably aren’t that bad. But I’ve never been one of those people who has to need to go out and test my bad weather driving skills. I’m happy to stay at home and, well, eat. And watch TV. Used to be I’d be curled up with chocolate chip cookie dough and Bravo marathons, now it’s more goldfish crackers and the Fresh Beat Band, but the idea is the same. I can’t remember, though, a year when we had TWO snow episodes before Christmas even got here. Bizarre. Oh, and I’m hungry.

2. Speaking of the holidays, tis the season for holiday entertaining, and this weekend is our annual get-together. This is a party that started WAAAAY back in 1989 or so, when my husband was living in a rental house with a bunch of buddies and our friend Anna decided to make everyone lasagna. Fast forward and here we are all these years later, those that were there and many more that have come, gone and stayed in the years between. It used to start late and go even later: now we start early and end early. Used to a big throw-down: now it’s kids running wild, crackers ground into the carpet, and mac and cheese on the table next to the fancy appetizers. Ah, life. You gotta love it. I tend to get really stressed about this party, if I let myself, but this year I have completely let it go. Or tried to. I bought pre-prepared entrees, ordered in chicken wings. The sum of my personal input is going to be putting brie and crackers on a platter, and I might even hand that off to someone else as well. It’s taken me this long to realize that none of my friends really care at ALL about how the food looks, or where we got it. They are too busy laughing, catching up, and chasing their kids around. So we’ll clean the house, pop open some wine, and just have at it. Less time obsessing, more time sitting down. That’s my mantra this year. We’ll see how I do.

3. In other holiday news, I can’t stop listening to Glee’s Christmas Album. It’s ALMOST as bad as my addiction to their cover of “Teenage Dream,” which I can thank personally for the fact that my kitchen is not a total wreck: when faced with a sinkful of dishes and cluttered counters, I put it on and suddenly have the energy to tackle everything. Also really good is Mariah Carey’s new holiday album, which comes with an “extra festive” version of “All I Want for Christmas is You.” (It sounds pretty much the same to me, but whatever.) My favorite, FAVORITE Christmas song of all time though is by Chapel Hill’s own Squirrel Nut Zippers. It’s called “Carolina Christmas,” and you can listen to it here:

Oh, that just makes me so happy. Seriously. And now I want a candy cane.

4. This morning I was tweeting about printing out some stuff from the Nick Jr. website to keep my toddler happy and I made a joke about doing a few extra of the Fresh Beat Band posters to keep and deface later. And then I felt, well, like the WORST PERSON EVER. Because being mean to the Fresh Beats is like being mean to Ned Flanders. Or Mother Theresa. Or anyone else who only wants good and special things for the world, unlike me and my wretched self. Oh, man. What is it about their eternally positive, friends-helping-friends, primary color sporting ways that makes me so EVIL? No idea. But for penance, I made myself print out extra copies, as planned, but hung them up right by my computer instead. Maybe their cheerful, happy vibes will turn me into a better person?

Or, maybe not.

5. Blogging may be spotty the next couple of weeks, as I’ll be, like everyone else, caught up in holiday stuff. I’m actually thinking about stepping back from ALL internet related things for awhile, as I’ve been feeling sort of burned out on the whole Facebook, Twitter, blogging thing. I know, I know. I say this every few months because I feel this way every few months. My publicist would say that the lead-up time to the new book is probably NOT the time to cut back on my internet presence, and I know she’s right. But does anyone else get, I don’t know, tired of all the connectedness? I think it might just be winter, which always sucks the life out of me anyway. I need more Vitamin D, maybe. But a blog break might do the trick as well. So if I’m not here when you expect, don’t worry! I will be back. Eventually.

Have a good weekend, everyone!