The Friday Five!

1. I wrote some of this Five last week, and was about to post it when I saw the news about the school shooting Connecticut. Suddenly, of course, all my holiday stress and silliness was totally inappropriate, and it may still be now. I have family that has lived in Newtown for almost twenty years: my cousin has raised her three awesome kids there, and they all went to that school. It’s totally heartbreaking and surreal to see a place you associate with family suddenly thrust into the international spotlight, and for such horrific reasons. I can’t imagine the pain of those families. Heartbreaking. I’m going ahead and posting this week, but with mixed feelings. It just all still feels so strange.

2. Last week I did get to indulge in one of my VERY favorite holiday traditions: watching Love, Actually. It is not officially the Christmas season until I get to quote along with this movie as I watch it. “I hate Uncle Jamie!” and “So, not as secret as we hoped,” and “Just in cases.” My husband’s co-worker Will told me one night that he has never watched this movie, which I personally consider a travesty of epic proportions. I tried to explain to him how he MUST watch it, and, like, right now, but he was not convinced. I even offered to watch it with him! No go. But I will keep nagging him, because I just feel THAT passionately about spreading the gospel of this movie. “And he’s got a big knob!” I mean, come ON!

3. The days are getting shorter and shorter, with darkness falling close to five o’clock. Today is the shortest day of the year. Truth: it just totally bums me out. I swear there is no more sad-making time for me than about 4:45, when the sun is sinking and I just feel so melancholy all of a sudden. Yesterday I could feel the sadness hit kind of like a wave, and I just needed to laugh, like, STAT. So I clicked over to YouTube and found this clip from Elf, which is another one of my favorite holiday movies. So if, you know, YOU are feeling bummed out this afternoon, I invite you to engage in Elf Therapy. It helps.

4. My puppy Goose is growing so fast it’s kind of freaking me out. When we got him, I could hold him in one arm easily: now he’s all legs, weighs twice as much, and is quickly getting bigger and heavier than Coco, who will once again be The Little Dog, after a short stint as the Big One. On the plus side, he’s not waking up as much at night anymore, which does wonder for my sleep deprivation issues. Downside is he still has not QUITE grasped the whole housebreaking thing. Also, he chews on EVERYTHING from the coffee table to my toes. He’s going to be a bigger Boxer than my dog Monkey was, for sure, but HOW much bigger is anyone’s guess. I need to be working on my alpha dog skills, though, before he’s gets to be MY size. Yikes.

5. This morning, I was at my mom’s with my kid, my best friend and her baby. My daughter was asking for a snack, so my mom gave her some cookies in a bowl. This bowl, to be exact:


This, people, is the same bowl I used to eat MY snacks out of when I was five. I am not even kidding. My parents are still using a plastic bowl from 1975. They took it with them when they moved. When I pointed this out, my mom just looked at me. “It’s a good bowl!” she said. “It does well what a bowl needs to do!” (This is such a great line I going to have to use it in a book. Thanks, Mom.) I was not DISPARAGING the bowl’s abilities, okay? Just think it’s a BIT odd  to hang onto something like this for so long. I’d understand if it was china, or sterling, or a family heirloom. But I guarantee you it was bought at a drugstore for, like, a dollar. Then again, maybe it IS a family piece, by this point, if via seniority if nothing else. And strangely enough, when I see my kid carrying it out of the kitchen, I get this weird swell of happiness, recognition. The world is changing so fast, so often. A little consistency can be a comfort. Especially at the holidays.

Have a good weekend, everyone.