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Family Christmas

Everybody came home midday so we do get to have a family event, but we'll probably do it tomorrow. The travelers need some rest.

Is it cheaper to do Christmas shopping on the 26th? Don't the retailers have a word for that day that reflects the inherent pugnacity of bargain hunting?
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Where'd everybody go?

I flew into to town to visit my extended family, and they all packed up to take a trip to the cabin and leave me behind for a day. Now they're not coming back tonight.

So here's wishing everyone an Oliver Cromwell and Ebeneezer Scrooge Christmas.
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Home For The Holidays

Raiding my parents' liquor cabinet is like dating a nun.

Flavored vodka, cheap tequila, blended scotch, mint liqueur, pink wine. And so forth. My parents are twelve years old.

How about a little Glenlivet, some pleasant Chianti, a touch of dark brown rum without "spices," or maybe a good old bottle of gin? No such luck.

This alcohol is the alcohol I would buy if my sole purpose in purchasing alcohol were to seduce fifteen year old girls.
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What I'm Eating

Now that I made a Buffy post, I can get back to the usual topic of this eljay.

I made a nice squash curry. I boiled and smashed a small butternut squash (remove seeds and skin) with a bit of coconut milk and added stir fried broccoli, onions, potatoes, and red peppers with a just a little chicken to keep it meaty. Then I cooked it all together for a few minutes, turned down the heat and added fresh garden basil (yes, it's December! A friend has a greenhouse.), roasted garlic, salt, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and fresh ginger.

Did a last bit of heating over low to mix the spices and I served it over brown rice.

Oh, it probably needs something a little sweet, too. I threw in some frozen peas this time after trying apples last time. Maybe I'll try raisins next time. Apples and peas are interesting, but I feel like I haven't found the perfect thing yet. I'm not going with high-fructose corn syrup, though your local curry spot probably does.

Note: Food, Inc. is a fine movie, but not to be watched over dinner. See if Hulu has the latest Castle instead. I looked up the total number of murders in the Southern District of Manhattan last year and I think it was less than the number solved by Castle and Beckett. Very impressive.
sith, season_8

Issues 35-39 Grab Bag

"I woke up alarmed
I didn't know where I was at first
Just that I woke up in your arms
And almost immediately I felt sorry
Because I didn't think this would happen again
No matter what I could do or say
I didn't think this would happen again
With or without my best intentions"
-"Season 8 Buffy-Angel Love Theme" Joss Whedon and Liz Phair

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Pumpkin Pie On Sale

There was pumpkin pie on sale at the market. Fifty percent off after Thanksgiving. I'm not a penny pincher, so I don't care so much about the dollars.

It's the calories I'm excited by.

Fifty percent off 2000 calories is just 1000 calories. I can eat half a pie today and another half tomorrow. I can balance it out. I'll cut 1000 calories out of my diet by skipping all vegetables for a week. Easy!

Now I need a reward. Where's that eggnog?
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Three days, three quarts

Three days of eggnog season, three quarts quaffed.

This cannot go on, so I've booked myself a plane ticket out of the country tomorrow morning. My flight leaves at 9:45 am.

Here's a recipe that I used to distract myself until I finally gave in at midnight and raced to the store:

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Beet Greens Paneer

-1 tbsp butter
-greens from a bushy bunch of beets
-one half onion
-3 oz tomato paste (half the tiny can)
-8 oz full-fat cottage cheese (half a pint)
-1 tbsp garam masala (if the grocery doesn't have it, check your local Indian/Pakistani store or Hop'n'Shop)
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp chili powder

-rice to serve it over, if you like

Sautee the half onion (chopped) in butter. Add washed and chopped (half-inch or so bits) beet greens. There should be about two pints of loosely packed greens from a typical bunch of three good size beets.

Cook beet greens and onions until the greens soften. Add cottage cheese and tomato paste and fold the ingredients in a skillet until they mix well. Cook about ten to twenty minutes over medium heat until the creamy liquid begins to just start to thicken.

Add the spices, fold them into the greens mixture, and serve over rice.

Feeds two. It's green and red for the holidays and it's spicy, so kids love it.

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Okay, save that recipe. It's insanely good. And it's full of vitamins and protein liek woah.

But four hours later, don't give in to your basest impulses and rush out for more eggnog like I did. You don't want to have to flee the country.
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Stuff

Thanks to seasonal_spuffy participants. I always like this time of year.

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Wait, it's the First. Does that mean there's another S8 comic coming? Ug.

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The very pretty girl from last year posted to my facebook page. "It's been so long since we saw each other; I bet you don't remember me," and "hugs and kisses!" Is there a place where you score points for a bizarre sense of entitlement?

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I keep finding myself making up a grocery list,

-eggnog
-dark chocolate
-ice cream
-eggnog
-peanut butter and honey
-bananas, custard, milk, eggs, and Nilla wafers
-bittersweet chocolate
-eggnog
-chocolate candies
-chocolate ice cream
-eggnog

I don't think I'm even doing it consciously. It's like the grocery part of me has a mind of its own.

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Maybe I'll make beet soup for dinner.

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Get out there, hold your nose, and vote Democratic tommorrow. It's important.

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Please pass prop 19, Californians. Your neighbors to the South are dying in the streets in mass murders every day funded by black markets your government makes. Close black markets down -- legalize.

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Snow! And Indian Summer.
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Eggnog

My name is Owen and I have an eggnog problem.

I love eggnog. I can't resist it. And I can't tell when to stop. I start with a half cup and tell myself I won't take any more. Then another half cup seems perfectly okay. And forty minutes later I've had a quart, the bottle is empty, and I still don't feel like I've reached my limit.

I like the premium high-fat kind from the Whole Foods market. I like the cheap kind from the grocery. I like the kind my friends make from organic eggs, heavy cream, fresh ground spices and nutmeg, tupelo honey, and rich brown rum. I like the kind my ex-wife made from a sixty-year old imprint of The Joy of Cooking.

It's a relief for my arteries when they stop selling it at New Years Day.

I find myself sneaking out to the store half an hour after midnight when the family is asleep to buy just a little more.

The first step is to recognize that I have a problem. It's not right, it's bad for me, it has no redeeming qualities. It might as well be a thick, smooth, creamy, sweet, rich glass of tobacco. But I can't say yet that I truly want to change.
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Robot Girlfriends

I'm looking forward to the era of robot girlfriends and boyfriends. It's coming real soon now.



When everybody has access to these, the people who want perfect robot mates will get them. The minority of awkward, irritating, imperfect, less than model-gorgeous, real people with faults and secret dreams and angry moments and irrational fears who surprise you (and not always positively) will know what we're in for when we opt out and let ourselves fall in love with other real people.