Archive for December, 2006

December 31, 2006

Auld Acquaintances

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
for Auld Lang Syne?

Well, yes.

Yeah, some should. Oh, go on, admit it. Sometimes they should. Sometimes it feels really, really good to realize you have finally (well, almost) forgotten the guy who dumped you right before Christmas. It’s an amazing thing to wake up one morning right around Labor Day and realize you haven’t thought about him for days.

It happens. Revel in it. A short memory is a wonderful thing sometimes. This is one of those times.

Or the one who ran off with a good hunk of your money, leaving you with not much but a few misty memories of what should have passed for earth-shattering, universe-exploding O’s, but didn’t, not really. You were just pretending. Eminently forgettable, I’d say.

Then there’s the former girlfriend who got you drunk one fine afternoon (okay, you helped), whereby you spilled all the beans in that secret boiling cauldron you generally keep hidden far, far beneath the earth’s surface, then she splayed them all over your zip code on your behalf like a ton of fireworks gone amok. Yep. You definitely do want to forget her.

What about relatives who drop in uninvited for The Christmas Holidays (Chevy Chase is not the only one with relatives like that, trust me) and proceed to wreck your house, your budget, and your brand new red Beemer. It’d be a real pleasure to forget them, but they won’t let you. They like you, they really *like* you, so they keep coming back.

My advice? Move, don’t leave a forwarding address, and forget them.

See how easy this is? I bet you can come up with some of your own, you don’t need me to egg you on. But what the heck, it’s the last day of 2006 and I’m feeling generous. I don’t mind egging you on.

What about the agent who rejected you. Twice. With the same book. Should you forget him? Really? Oh, hell yes. He forgot you the first time he rejected you, and what’d you do? Came back at him like a bad penny at the neighborhood dollar store where nothing really costs a dollar. Don’t do that. It gives them too much pleasure to reject you again, and you don’t want that, do you? You want to keep some publishing pleasure for yourself, right? Move on. Rewrite. Forget him. That’s okay, don’t thank me, it’s my pleasure. I love helping people.

And the friend who keeps sending you email forwards with those pesky, rotten little angels flapping their fat little wings, which are probably nasty-coded gifs that can and will eat your computer? Block and forget, that’s my motto. 😉

How about the clerk at the bank window who looks at the nice check you received for some book sales, written to XXXX XXXX, Author. Looks up at you with suspicion, surely she’s got her finger on the panic button, the sirens will go off any second now, and says to you, “So is your last name Arthur? That’s not on the deposit slip you gave me.”

Forgettable. So forgettable I won’t even put it in caps.

Boring emails? Boring blogs? Boring Internet news?

Control. Alt. Delete. Forget.

Can you tell I’ve run out of those beautiful Bavarian chocolates the Count sent me and I’m ready to eat my desk lamp before I have to start on yet another New Year’s Atkins diet tomorrow? As an Auld Acquaintance of mine whose name I’ve forgotten used to say, “Nothing but love and kindness in my heart today.”

But the Holidays are almost over. Go Bears tonight! Diet in the morning, right after I polish off the last of the barbecue and chips ‘n dip.

Don’t forget to eat your black-eyed peas tomorrow. That’s an old Southern custom here in the US. They’re supposed to bring you health, wealth and happiness. But you have to eat them on New Year’s day. Even if you only eat a spoonful. It’s the gesture that counts.

I should probably eat some today.

Love y’all, you KNOW I do, so come on back soon, ya hear me?
The Hotclue
(who is itching to jump on a jet and honk on over to the Riviera, where Count Babalallapaloozo’s yacht awaits. I’m not forgetting HIM, that’s for dang sure.)

Happy Holiday | 5 Comments  

December 15, 2006

Christmas Eve 2006 Word Pictures

A tiger striped kitten sleeps under the tree,
one paw resting on a tissue-wrapped catnip mouse.

A grandmother peers into the night,
watching for a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
exactly as she’s done every Christmas Eve
for the past sixty-three years.

A tiny premature newborn lies in a neonatal crib,
surrounded with wires and tubes invented by man,
but wrapped in the arms of God.

A frail white haired man in a VA hospital bed
dreams of the night he danced with a beautiful movie star
at the Stage Door Canteen, on this night a half-century ago,
and he smiles in his sleep.

A father sits in the basement at two a.m. and shakes his head
as he prepares to put the last part on his son’s new bicycle
and discovers one crucial bolt is missing.

A distraught mother in a war-torn Mid-Eastern country
holds her small daughter close,
wondering if her husband, who went out to buy food,
will ever come back again.

A jack-in-the-box, wrapped and hidden under the tree,
hunkers restlessly,
waiting for a small child to spring him in the morning.

A GI in Afghanistan leans against his jeep,
opens a package from home and finds a pillowcase.
He pulls it out, inhales the scent of her perfume,
closes his eyes, and smiles.
He’ll sleep with his wife beside him tonight.

A tiny girl in her pink and white Barbie bedroom
lies in bed wide awake,
one bare foot peeking out from under her blanket
as she waits, hoping to hear Santa discover
the milk and cookies she left out for him.

A mother in America snuggles under her comforter,
almost asleep, but still awake enough
to take one more satisfied sniff at the air,
rich with the aroma of cinnamon and brown sugar.

A sixteen-year-old runaway sits under an L.A. bridge,
head bowed on his crossed arms,
thinking about the Christmas when he was four
and his only problem was Lincoln Logs.

One perfect cardinal perches outside
on the rim of her empty snow-filled nest,
wondering where her children are tonight.

A single mom ever since one unspeakable day in Iraq
sits alone in her darkened living room
with only an American flag to keep her warm.

A young man, shivering with anticipation,
reaches into his jacket pocket,
reassures himself the diamond ring is still there,
clears his throat and says
to the most beautiful girl in the world,
“I have something to ask you.”

A six-year-old black toy dog,
lying crumpled under the bed,
checks his war wounds and wonders
if his tenure is about to expire.

An American politician’s wife in a sequined red gown
pauses with her hand on the banister,
takes one last look at the massive Christmas tree in the hallway
before she heads upstairs to the White House living quarters,
and wonders if there will ever really be Peace On Earth.

And in Chicago, the wife of a wildly popular young politician
ponders her family’s fate,
wondering whether she really wants to walk, every day,
up those same White House stairs.

© Beth Anderson 2006

Happy Holidays to all of you, wherever you are and however you celebrate. Even with all the problems we have in the world today, remember the beautiful words from The Polar Express:

Always believe. Don’t let the magic slip away.

Some days, the magic is all we have.

Thank you so much for visiting our little blog. We love you all, you KNOW we do. Please come back again soon. We’ll leave the light on for you.

Beth Anderson
and
Hotclue

Happy Holiday | 12 Comments  

December 11, 2006

Oh, Yeah, Baby! Hotclue Cooks! (NOT)

So here’s the deal. I thought I’d make some chocolate chip cookies and fudge for Count Babbalallapaloozo to thank him for the trip to Barbados last week, where I had my first wind-surfing lesson and sailed through them with not too many mishaps. Oh, I’m sure the snack bar on the beach will be just fine once they get the roof repairs finished, and truthfully, they needed a new dock anyhow. That’s a good thing, right? A new dock? AND a new roof?

Anyhow, it’s the Holiday Season, so as usual, I get this wild hair up my…well, I do like to at least TRY to bake something during this lovely season, so first I headed for Sam’s, where they have the most delectable chocolate chip cookie mix in the world, figuring why mess with success. All you have to do is scoop it out and plop it on a cookie sheet, right? The directions say so anyhow.

So I scooped and plopped and shoved the whole thing into the oven, never dreaming that the cookie mix would…well…put it this way. This morning I learned how to make chocolate chip bars. That is, I would if you could cut it after it was baked, which took way more than any fifteen minutes like the directions said. I guess they meant for those little cookies, which I thought I was making.

Well, I made bars. Or rather, one great big huge bar that rose and spread and coughed and carried on and dripped in the oven, a conglomeration that only a sledgehammer could get through. Another Hotclue cooking experiment gone awry.

So I set that aside to deal with later and thought, well, okay, I’ll make the fudge now. The No-Fail Fudge they promised in the recipe. ANYBODY can make fudge. The recipe said so.

Well, not anybody. I’ve tried to make fudge before and have always wound up with something only your mother (or someone sleeping with you) could love, usually either something you need an industrial size jackhammer to plow through, or something you have to sip with a very large straw. But THIS recipe said NO Fail!

I did everything the recipe said. Every. Thing. I even did the soft ball in the cold water thing. Stirred and cooked and cooked and stirred and tested and stirred and wiped off the walls (the kitchen will only take a month or so to clean). I poured it out into a buttered pan and set it to harden just like they said, after I sprinkled festive tiny little red and green candy Christmas trees on top.

See, here’s the deal. The reason I decided on fudge in the first place was, I went into a baking supply shop a few weeks ago and they had these adorable little white and red and green paper candy cups so I bought some, mainly because they were so cute. And fudge, properly cut, would fit nicely into them. My signature dish for Holiday festivities, right?

I knew in my heart of hearts as I poured it into the pan that it was not going to harden. No matter what the recipe said, this fudge poured exactly like the last batch that I made. Or tried to make. It poured fast. Way too fast. Fast like I was going the time I tried to run a marathon and wondered why everybody else was going the wrong way.

I have a question. Why is they tell you to butter the pan when you have to beg and plead and finally scoop it out anyhow?

So here I am, trying to make fudge for The Count, and it’s the right color because he likes milk chocolate fudge, which ticked me off royally because I like dark fudge, dammit! But it is never, ever going to cut into neat little squares which I can slide neatly out and put, decorated side up, into those cute little paper cups.

I’m doomed.

Or–wait! I wonder if The Count likes Hot Fudge Sundaes?

I hope you’re having better luck than I’m having right about now. Here’s wishing you all successful fudge making and cookie making and whatever else you’re making. God love ya.

And hey, By the way, I have a very nice little Christmas Eve 2006 Word Picture thingie I’m going to put up here for y’all on the 15th, so come back, ya hear me? You have to, because I can’t make fudge but I do love y’all, you KNOW I do!

Hotclue the Hapless

Happy Holiday | 6 Comments  

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