Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Recap

Thought I would share some of the moments during our holiday season...

Mrs. Phos's broken leg and cookie bouquet from work...

The (new) traditional X-mas palm...

A surprise visit from LL singing carols beneath the X-mas palm...

A passel of pups...

The grandson...

Santa drops by...

Winter roses...

Plush Buddha drops by to wish Jesus a Happy Birthday...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Belated Tag

Seven weird things about me:

1. Believe we are on our own and there is no supreme being of any description

2. Dislike wearing pants and have declared Friday "Pantsless Friday" (please call before coming to visit, really)…

3. Think lima beans were developed as a comparison so we’d know when something tastes good.

4. Will not eat animal organ parts, beets, lima beans (See above), meatloaf, or people’s pets, though I am a bit flexible on the last one after my stint in Korea.

5. Despite having fought for my country I believe our government is an elitist sham and needs to be reworked from the ground up.

6. Love people but generally prefer the company of huskies

7. Find being asleep preferable to being awake most times

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Gift of Tamales

I used to be a cheeseburger junkie right up until I settled in the Southwest when the tamale replaced the burger as my primary addiction. Some of our friends are the best Mexican cooks you could ever hope to meet and this year showed up bearing those tasty golden puffs of love. One of my wife’s friends from school is the tamale goddess, in fact. I have eaten a lot of tamales since settling here as evidence by my lithe boyish figure, but hers are far and away the best. Her tamales would have to be my last death row meal as I could die happy with that taste in my mouth. I am fortunate to have met others who share my love of the dish and even better are willing to share some of their secrets. Meanwhile I jealously guard my hoard of tamales and revel in the fact that my wife doesn’t like them (philistine!) – ah well, more for me…

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The “So What?” Year

I don’t make resolutions as a rule, though there is a certain guilty pleasure in breaking them. The TV is already rife with ads for Ab this and Ab that to lose weight, the bookstore will move all the diet books to the front of the store because invariably folks will vow to lose weight this year. I am going to buck the trend and make his a “So What?” kind of year.

I am fat, so what? Baseball players took steroids – so what? They are just a bunch of trained circus animals chasing a ball once a week, who cares? Illegals are coming across our border – so what? Our government is in a shambles and only seems to get worse with each new set of characters –so what?

I am a chronic worrier, but no more, there are things that I have no power over and things that just really don’t matter that much, why worry over them? My New Year may not be any better, but at least I won’t be worried about it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Precious Gifts

After having expounded upon Christmas being more than presents, there have been some gifts that have been memorable. Austrella was our Christmas puppy delivered on time by the hard working veterinarians and staff at the Humane Society. She helped fill the void left by the passing of our Lucky Dog just before Christmas and has taken over our hearts and home since. The other is a pan. A simple pan, caphalon yes, but that isn’t the important part. It was given to me by my sister-in-law. Our lives are no longer graced with her beauty, grace, and love, but I think of her every time I use that pan and it adds a special aura of love my kitchen.

The most precious gift this year is having my son and his family and my daughter and her family coming to visit with us. I love seeing my kids, their kids (both two footed and four footed) and just enjoying having them close.

Hope you all have a great Christmas, one of those that builds memories to warm your heart through the rest of the year…

Friday, December 21, 2007

Jingle Bells and Whistle Berries

Nothing says Christmas quite like a dozen steaming tamales fresh out of their cornhusk wrappings. Martha Stewart be damned that is what is for X-mas dinner at the Phos household this year.

A tradition imported from Mexico to the Southwest it sounds good to me, not everything that comes over the border is here to steal our dishwashing jobs and create mayhem in our dysfunctional society. Of course I have yet to make the tamales, so that should be interesting, with our celebration just two days away. We are celebrating a bit early so the kids can attend – say all the hallelujahs and sing all the holy nights you want, but X-mas is about being together with family for me and that is the lynchpin of our holiday. Nothing can beat good food, good company, and the love of family to make X-mas complete.

I was watching Jim Kerry’s “The Grinch that Stole Christmas” the other night and was stunned by the irony of the show interspersed with commercials to buy all sorts of crap for loved ones, office mates, and complete strangers when the show was about the fact Christmas isn’t about Black Friday. Sometimes I weary of my fellow man, aside from having him all up in my cheese drawer in this high density neighborhood; by and large he just doesn’t get it. Too much NASCAR I expect.

Anyway, you have a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Superman’s birthday, march to the pillars of the devil or whatever other synthetic holiday you wish to have worshipping the deity or pagan symbol of your choice, but remember it isn’t about the bling or mythical beings, it is about holding your love ones tight and sharing your love with them and with your fellow man whatever flavor delusion he may subscribe to. If you simply must buy something donate to a food bank or toy drive and help give some less fortunate of our kind a bit of hope…

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The True Story of Creation or The Word According to Mr. Greenjeans

Being Christmas and all I thought it was high time someone set the record straight. The following rendition of the creation story may seem farfetched and irreverent to some, but it was graven on golden tablets and given to some schmuck named Joseph Smith by an angel – no shit.

Once upon a time there was only the void and Mr. Greenjeans. Greenjeans grew bored hanging out in the void and reacheth back into his left nostril and plucketh forth an enormous glowing bogey, which he flicketh into the void. Said bogey splattered across the void in billions of glowing bogeylets causing Greenjeans to laugh heartily.

Soon Greenjeans grew bored once more with only glowing nose goblins for company so he searcheth for a planet to fucketh with and casts his eye on earth. The earth was a crusty fragment of dried snot, so Greenjeasn urinateth upon the earth creating the oceans, passed gas upon the planet to create the atmosphere, and looked upon his creation and realized it was still fuck’d upeth. He speaketh the word and enormous creatures appeared and immediately began to fornicate, offending Greenjean’s gentle nature, so with a puff of cigar smoke he blanketed the earth and wipeth them all out. Greenjeans decided to giveth it another shot and being a farmer created a perfect garden, then created Adam to live in it. One day HE noted Adam moping abouteth and asketh what it be like. Adam said he needed a beotch to clean his house, so Greenjeans yanked some flesh from Adam’s backside and created woman, forever after known as “the old pain in the ass.” And Greenjeans looked down upon his creation and was once again offended, for he saw Eve consorting with the evil trouser python and tempting Adam to pick the forbidden cherry of knowledge for betweenst her thighs.

Greenjeans grew wrathful and booted the asses from his garden and sent them to dwelleth in El MIrage, AZ and giveth up on earth, but not before he wrote the Old Tenement. The people of earth receiveth his book and think it sucketh and did edit it in their own image and people swallowed it happily ever after.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Boxing Day

The delivery trucks rumble back to their garages leaving stacks of Christmas packages on the door step. Packages from Uncle Tim, granny, mom and dad, well wishers and even the Jelly of the Month Club offering from my employer. All come well wrapped in various size boxes – many of which have been shipped through a family business, lovingly packed by my brother-in-law, a master in the art of contents protection. Whatever is inside a box he packs isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, making open and disposing of the container quite a challenge.

So begins Boxing Day for me – the day during the Christmas holiday I dread most, even more than wrapping paper day.

With my cold steel “Boarding Pass” (AKA box cutter) in hand I blithely slash through tape developed by NASA for securing payloads in the space shuttle bay, cardboard made from extraordinarily tough tropical hardwoods, and bullet proof shrink wrap developed by the military for gift wrapping armored personnel carriers. The mound of cardboard grows faster than the pool of blood from that last masterful stroke (always cut away from yourself!!).

Several blades and a severed digit later and my roll-roll is now packed to the brim with cardboard sheets. Forget the rest of the garbage it is Boxing Day. I am tempted to recycle some of the cardboard over my neighbor’s wall, but refrain from releasing free range pulp products into the neighbor’s yard in the spirit of the season. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for the garbage guy…

Happy Boxing Day to you all!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tough Love: Chasing Skirts

Meat is expensive and becoming more so as the economy seems to be sagging more than a bit - time to shop for “lesser cuts” of meat. This can mean some pretty tough customers, such as skirt steak and chuck roasts.

The skirt steak is a thin tough belt of meat from the ribs, but with a little care it can become a real treat. Mad Coyote Joe, in his book “Authentic Mexican Cooking for Gringos” presents a quick tasty recipe for this particular cut.

Rub the meat with a bit of olive oil and drop it on a hot grill. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the top side. After around two minutes, flip the steak. Sprinkle a little whole Mexican oregano, salt, and pepper on the cooked surface and leave it for another two minutes. Pull it off the grill and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes. When ready to serve cut thin slices across the grain - you can use the slices on top of salad, in a nice roll as a sandwich, or wrapped in a warm tortilla Fajita style.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Santa's Watching!

I got to play Santa for the kids again this year, only two screamers, but no wet knee, so I have that going for me, which is nice. The kids were great, helped me with the story about Rudolph, and all assured me they were behaving for their parents.

Santa's chair was a little unorthodox this season, it was the ejection seat from an F-16. That's what you get when Life support has the kids party in their shop. I had to use a substitute elf this year, as my usual elf, Candy Cane, is broken. This year Ginger Bread came to help. I haven't figured out why Elf names sound a lot like stripper names, but there you go.

I am trying to recover files and programs as I type this - the new computer is up and running, unlike Mrs. Phos. Another big thanks to my daughter, her husband, and their pup for all their help this past week. A special thanks to you all for your thoughts!!


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Putting Some Snap Into the Holidays

Mrs Phos performed a less than graceful dismount from the phosmobile and wound up with both bones broken in her left leg near the ankle. The surgeon said it was an "unusual" fracture, never a good sign...

I haven't forgotten about you all, just have been busy getting Mrs. Phos taken care of; she goes in for surgery tomorrow and I am not sure how long she'll be in the hospital. Hope to see you all soon and be careful getting out of your cars!!!