Sunday, January 06, 2008

Snapshots of a Mount Dora Christmas.

Happy new year, bzeeplets! Here's a briefer-than-Britney's-briefs recaplet of my merry little Mount Dora Christmas, in pictures! (Click to enlarge.)

Ahhhhhh, the sun and warmth. The weather was just like it's pictured above--warm and mostly brilliantly sunny, but with the occasional passing cloud. The kind that softens the light and brings up half-forgotten memories, the kind that you can't explain in a briefest-of-brief blog entry. (Have you ever seen Dogville? Remember how the narrator would say how "the light changed in Dogville" and everything looked fundamentally different? Kind of like that. But both more quiet and less boring.) So I shouldn't have to mention that I spent lotsa time outside. A little bit exploring...

...And I have to say that some parts of the "estate" look really cool. The parts that have fallen into disrepair and taken on something of the look of "ruins." I like those. I always wondered why we used to mow the lawn and all that--why not just let everything overgrow? Maybe one day I'll be able to be "that crazy guy who lives in the weed-infested property" after all. Sigh...

...Most of my outside time I spent reading, however. I read Luca Turin's The Secret of Scent and marveled as the chemistry flew way over my head, and then I read The Corrections, which I can't recommend highly enough. And I never read fiction, so believe when I tell you it's a goodun. Above we see the deck where I absconded to when the sun in front of the house got to be too much. Behold the blooming Christmas cactus! w00t5! Then there's me snapping a shot of myself, and then the patio furniture from Ethan Allen. Or was it KMart?

Apart from a new door and a tear in the patio screen, the outside of the house hasn't changed much. Inside, however, change is afoot, starting with the kitchen, which has a whole new look. It's top left, and I guess it would be called "French," for a number of reasons, one of which I want to say is the red, but since when did the French have a claim on crimson?! To the right of the kitchen above we see the laundry room, which I'm showing because I love the "I hate laundry rooms" wallpaper. Me, I think I love laundry rooms, because I'd love to have one in myne apartment. I think I'd do laundry a lot more frequently if that were the case. Or maybe not? Below the kitchen is the current incarnation of my room, which now has two beds to accomodate us kidz when we're home. At the bottom right is also my room--this was once my glorious dresser, adorned with all my glorious crap. No more. My sister's stuff has overtaken a lot of it. But there's still stuff to see here: the green cylindrical thing atop the dresser--I made that in some highschool pottery class. I was going for 'craptacular,' and I dare anyone to tell me I failed. On the top shelf, you can see a piggybank I got when I was five and a li'l woodcut thing-with-a-mirror face shaped like an Ed. But back to the kitchen for a moment. The parentals want to sell the house one day, but to do so, they feel that they need to tone down the major theme of the house, which seems to be: The 70s! Behold our bathroom below:

Needn'st more be said???

On Christmas Eve, we made asukes (pronounced "a-SOO-kees"), which as I understand them are Lithuanian Christmas cookies. It's a tradition--we made them every year when we were kids. The steps are outlined above: 1) Roll and cut the dough into slices with slits in the middle. 2) Fold the slices into the asuke shape, which resembles... what, a flower? I've never thought about it. 3) Fry 'em up! 4) Coat them in confectioner's sugar. The fifth step, which I didn't list, is to leave them for Santa. Well, some of them. There's the recipe in there if you can read it. Make a batch and lemme know how they turned out!

Yay, Christmas Day! Presents, eating (my brother helped my mom with the turkey this year, as you see above; the turkey came out great, cooked in a new oven and all. As for the presents, I got new glasses! Goodbye, scotch tape! And lots of other good stuff. I think the best Christmas gift was just the quiet and warmth of the days I was home.

And above we see a li'l mishmash of miscellany. In the upper left, we see what I call the "plates of contention." These are plates my mom was going to buy, but when we got to the store and looked at them, it turned out that Dad didn't like them, and proclaimed that they looked like plates one "took out of a neighbor's garbage can." So mom didn't get the plates, but neither did she let it go, mentioning them again and again and again and again and again over the next few days. Eventually, after looking at (what felt like) an endless array of other plates, Mom decided just to get the plates she originally chose, realizing that no one was as invested in the plates as she was. And that it would be a tragedy of epic proportions, for all of us, to not buy these plates. To the right of the plates are two scents: a nearly empty bottle of Baldessarini that I left at home last year so that I'd have some left in case I ran out of the aftershave (it came in a gift set) before Christmas, which I did. The other was a (nearly empty, again) bottle of Crabtree & Evelyn's Noel, which I found under my bed, of all places. If I'd known about the bottle, I wouldn't have gotten a new one. Alas! Bottom left: some candy I got when we rented movies from Blockbuster. You know candy vampire teeth? This is a candy GRILL!!!!! Ha! And bottom right: An ornament commemorating a contest that I didn't win back in elementary school (which only now makes me wonder why I keep the damn thing). Here's whahappah: We entrants had to draw a Christmas-themed picture, and the winner would have the picture printed on an ornament. I don't remember who was selling the ornament or whether it was for charity or what, but who cares--I didn't win. My drawing came in second or third or fourth or something; the judges said it was too "cluttered" or "busy" or "complicated" or "dripping with genius that no one will be able to appreciate for centuries"..... who knows what the exact phrase was.... But being in the top something, I got to visit the ornament factory and a copy of the winning ornament. What the hell do I want that for?!?! I reiterate--HMMPH!!!!

....And that brings us to January in the Northeast, which is little more than one big hmmph. A hmmph that extends through February and into March, and doesn't fully get outta your system until May. With only Celeditude to break the wintry drear. Sigh.

And that's the Christmas-in-pictures beep for now, gnorplets!!!

Ed Shepp

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ed! This was really cool-- thanks for letting us in!