I’ve got to get back in the saddle. It’s been a while now and I need to flex my writing muscles again.
What better way to start than with a Christmas Tale?
I woke up on Monday the 22nd sick as a pack of dogs. A splendid holiday week was underway. I’m all but recovered at this point, but had the cold from hell.
Tuesday December 23:
JewelrySlut and I had a good fight. That was nice. She told my dear mother that Shmuppie could go over and spend the night at their house. This led to many angries from me. I was under the deluded impression that we should try to spend a little time together. Then, my father came to the rescue and blamed me for everything; stating that I was purposely keeping Shmuppie away from them at the holidays. It seems my mother had bought some stupid gingerbread house kit and wanted Shmuppie to come over to do it. I was aware of this at the brain stem level, but kinda figured, especially considering that I had been away for the 2 weeks before Christmas that we may want to spend some time together, that we’d just hang out. Wrong!
Shmuppie spent the night and JewelrySlut and I were angry at each other. Good times.
Wednesday December 24:
The plan was for my father and to come over with the kid and Christmas dinner. My original plan had been to make osso buco but, like all plans, it shriveled because my mother could not deliver. Her only job was to procure the veal shanks. Taking the path of most resistance, she decided to procure them from a Shop Rite in New Jersey. She’d fly up, see some friends for the holidays, buy the veal, and bring it home. Then, shockingly, she got sick. No veal.
Some time after noon on the 24th, I gained consciousness enough to ask where the hell the kid was. I began yelling. At that moment, my father pulled up. Out jumped Shmuppie and SIL. SIL was holding a large Styrofoam platter thing from the grocery store. The crown roast was here. As it passed me in the doorway, I noticed 2 things about it. 1: It was oddly shaped for a crown roast. It wasn’t round in any way. 2: I noticed an odor.
Roast in the kitchen, SIL commented that something smelled. After the obligatory “I thought that was you” remark, I moved towards the roast. I cut open the plastic wrap and was hit with a stench unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. I’m a person who knows his smells. I emit many smells. I’ve eaten curried goat and then lived to crap it out. I know my smells. This was horrid.
I quickly covered the meat as the smell overtook the house. I suggested that they take the meat back to the store because it was not staying in my home. I called my mother to engage plan B. For reasons unknown, my mother had a turkey in the freezer. Into the sink it went. Let the thaw begin.
My father and SIL, as we learned, went back to the store and took the roast to customer service. There, they tried to explain that what they smelled was the smell of cut meat. My father offered them a chance to peel back the plastic and check for themselves. They all declined. Then, the guy from the meat counter came by. He told everyone that the meat manager knew the roast was rotten but packed it for us anyway. HOORAY! This was a $75 piece of rancid meat. For his trouble, my father was given a refund and a $10 gift card to Kroger. Good for him. Needless to say, nobody was very happy at this point.
While this was going on, we all got cleaned up and dressed to go up the road for dinner. My brother was apparently already hard at work in the kitchen. We got there in time to watch him very slowly cook dinner. I was more or less in a coma and the house was loud. Everyone was talking at once, the 4 dogs were barking, the radio was on and I wanted to die. The kitchen at my parents’ house is horrid. It’s quite large but my mother has designed it in a way that renders working in it all but impossible. We actually have more room in our newly-countered galley kitchen.
Anyway, at one point, my brother offered JewelrySlut $5 to drink 2 TBSP of the water that the fresh octopus was sitting in. She, of course, took the bet. Good times.
I assisted in getting the seafood pasta to the table. If I hadn’t stepped in, I think we may still have been there.
We ate and came home.
We put out cookies for Santa and put Shmuppie to bed. We got the gifts out and I passed out. JewelrySlut was in fine spirits.
Thursday December 25:
Showing a mercy beyond her years, Shmuppie slept until 8:00. I sent her downstairs to fire up my coffee maker and we all got dressed. The family room had exploded into a cornucopia of toys and goodies. I more or less spent the morning on the couch, unable to move an inch. I was beyond sick. Shmuppie tore through all her gifts with gusto.
She netted a few Playmobil pirate sets, a fake Wii, several games, and a harmonica. She had asked Santa for the harmonica and was very pleased to see it…and play it. All. Day. Long.
I got a speaker/dock thing for my mp3 player, some good headphones, a cleaver, some CD’s and a hand carved tiki head. It’s about 4′ tall and is more than awesome. I got other things but can’t quite remember them all.
JewelrySlut got a pasta machine, mixing bowls, a food scale, undies and things from Vikki, and some other things that I can’t remember.
All in all, it was a good Christmas. We assembled the pirates and enjoyed some peace.
After some time had passed, I prepped the turkey and we all got ready to head up the road. I was feeling absolutely horrible. We got to the LoudHouse and opened gifts and things. It went like this: Shmuppie and my mother sat on the floor. Every box was torn open at once. We had no clue who got what for whom. It was loud and chaotic.
We did, however, manage to score some nice Caphalon pots and pans. That’s nice.
I watched over the turkey for a while. At one point, there was no place for me to sit so I sat on the kitchen floor in front of the oven and kinda spaced out as I watched the turkey cook. I threw most of whatever energy I had left at getting the bird out of the oven, carved and plated. I didn’t even eat dinner. I just sat at the table and starred off into the distance. I think I dazzled the collective bunch though. They all got to see a teeny weeny part of what they miss at Thanksgiving. We went home and the medicine I’d taken wired me. I was up until midnight. Good times abounded.
We spent Friday evening back up the road again for my brother’s birthday.
On Saturday, when Shmuppie finally woke up at 11:00, we trekked to the Durham Science Museum. We had a good time there despite the fact that both JewelrySlut and I were sick. I think we got a pizza and watched Wall-E that night. It was nice to have a quiet evening.
But, now it’s back to work time.
I’m home for 2 more weeks. However, JewelrySlut is going to FLA next week. Her father’s not doing well. He’s got some sort of illness described by 3 letters. It’s similar to Parkinson’s but has no cure or real way of managing it. She’s going down there to help clean the house, get them some new furniture and more or less prep the house for his unfortunate and inevitable decline.
So, on a lighter note, next week is the Shmuppie and NoGoodDaddy show. It always provides good times for the young and old among us.
More to come…I promise