Monday, January 13, 2014

Christmas Part 1: Biscuits + Nintendo = LeBron Bites the Big One

With the holidays only 11½ months away (man, time is really flying!) I thought it would be nice to reminisce about Christmas 2013!

Our new tradition is to have a quiet morning together on Christmas, where we make biscuits and gravy from scratch. And by “we” I mean, Doug pretty much does everything, and I stir the pan at pre-determined intervals. But only if it doesn't interrupt me taking a sip of coffee or looking out the window with my usual pensive yet serene smile.

Grinding up the sausage. 

Action shot of the biscuit process. 

Hmm. Raw meat. Solution: stirring.

 Appears that Doug took over the chore of stirring for this one.

 Finished product. Bomb. Merry Christmas to Butter, Sausage and Gravy!

Because I’m still shoving it down everyone’s throat a proponent of the Zero Waste Home principals, Doug got some candy from the bulk bin. You know he’s excited because of the thumbs up in the background.

Consequentially, we got “gifts of experience” for each other, in lieu of actual gifts. Any guesses?

Later my mom, dad, and little brother came up. They are not proponents of the Zero Waste Home lifestyle. So I got actual gifts from them.

Clearly, this is something my dad wanted me to know he was responsible for.

Apparently, my Dad still thinks its 1991 and I’m ten years old, because he picked me up some Nintendo games.

Pricetags - classy! Cost has really gone down for a single
Nintendo game. Obamacare is really fucking with the
economy - does Wheel of Fortune know their product is being sold
 for pennies on the original dollar?!?!

Just kidding - my Dad knows it's not 1991. Because its 1996 and I’m 15 years old, hence he also bought me a CD.*

My Dad also had a quick talk w/ Anna Wintour before heading up to Sacramento. The results are in: Fleece jackets are the new spring must-have item! Thus, every single person in the family got a matching fleece jacket. Yes. This happened.

We all agreed the jackets were quite snuggly and soft.

After about 45 seconds of wearing them, however, it gets a little too toasty.

…which immediately sends you into a maniacal state of overheating and snuggly-madness.

Recovering from the delusion only took 4 hours, but afterwards we noticed some weird stuff had happened. Think old Highlights magazines. Can you spot what’s different in this picture?

With all the great gift giving out of the way we were free to hit the town. Went for a walk over the American River near the Blue Diamond Almond Factory. Three out of four people were happy about this. 

Dad a little sad that he's the only one who decided to wear his fleece jacket out of the house.
Or maybe he's still overheating from fleece overload? 

Doug, keeping it cool with the visit from the in-laws. 

Saw some beautiful Sacramento sunsets. And the even more beautiful outline of the money store.

That evening it was time for my gift to my family: a Sacramento Kings game against LeBron James and the Miami Heat! Here is the view from our seats, which were actually really pricey.

We were literally in the 2nd to last row in the corner of the arena. I'm not sure how our seats could have gotten any worse. 

I admit that I was nervous at first. The Kings got DESTROYED by the Heat a few days prior, so while seeing LeBron would be cool, a total blowout could be kind of lame. However, upon entering we immediately got free towels that disintegrated upon touching human flesh, so I knew the night wasn't going to be a total waste, regardless of the game outcome. 

We were so jazzed about our towels that we waved them at any opportunity. Kings throw it down? Check! Turnover by the Heat? Check! Call a timeout? Check! Someone dribbling? Check! Substitution? Check!

Dad dropped his towel mid cheer/robot dance moves. 

Apparently our neighbors were still depressed about the shitty seats because it took us awhile to convince them to also wave their towels at any and all opportunity. You can see a few of our disturbed neighbors in the picture above. My favorites: 

1. Frightened and confused young boy directly behind us: 

2. Snooty stiff upper lip directly in front of us:

3. Mr. Too-Cool-For-School who kept looking the other way and trying to ignore us: 

4. Mr. "I love muttering  ShutTheFuckUp when you cheer for a timeout" (talk about no team spirit!): 

It must have been the trifecta of a Michiganite, New Yorker, and Lompocian in the house – because the Kings kicked ass and BEAT THE HEAT in overtime.

Things got so intense my Dad's fanny pack got twisted to the side!

Finally we were able to get the rest of the crowd going with their towels. 

It only took us 3 quarters to get 17,317 fans to finally get in to the game! Tough job but someone's gotta do it. 

So what about you? Play any good Nintendo games lately? Upgrade to a Super NES? Get any good gifts over the holiday season? 

*I got rid of all my CDs a few years ago, but this one actually came in handy – took it in to work, headphones cued up, CD in disk drive (hand to search for the disk drive), and blocked out all the chatter about program layoffs.  Sweet.


  1. I didn't know the vacation was so amusing until I read the blog! Waiting for part II. xox Mom

    1. Thanks Mom. Part Deax is a major expose of the family. You have been warned.

  2. Kudos to Stan for adhering to the Zero Waste principle of "reuse" with the gift giving. I now realize how ahead of his time my dad was during the year of the most disappointing Christmas gift ever. The big box for me and my sister sat under the tree for weeks -- the kind of box that meant something special was inside. A gift to save as the last gift to open on Christmas morning. Imagine our overwhelming joy when we opened the box to reveal all of our old games that we hadn't played with in years! But they had been brought back to life! That monopoly game with the missing dice? No more, they've been replaced. No batteries in the Merlin game? Fresh batteries included. Torn box? Packing tape to the rescue. There may even have been some Atari games (Not Nintendo -- I was in college in 1991)

    1. T-Boz, first of all, thank you for reminding me that my Dad DID adhere to a Zero Waste Principle of REUSE - how could I have missed that!!! I think I'm focusing too much on REFUSE. Probably because it's much more aggressive.

      Second of all, you win. Hands down. That sounds like the worst Christmas gift ever. [Was it a sick joke?]. In our house, we just modified the rules to account for missing or broken pieces. All the Monopoly money wet in a water spill incident? "Just use Lincoln Logs" - Stan Garrow. Lost pieces for the Sorry! game? "Just remember where your piece should have been". -Stan Garrow (there was no shortage of fights in this recommended technique). Missing a card from Go Fish? "Stop playing Go Fish". -Stan Garrow. He was a wise one, that Dad.

    2. Omg, I'm so appreciative to my Type A mother and her penchant for shopping now. We always had a gift beautifully wrapped with a fancy ribbon so we knew it was from her - the only reused gift was the ones my brother gave us of his old toys.

      Loved your dad's tag - "From Dad (and Mom, sort of). It would be opposite in my house. So we always make sure to thank Dad first so he has no idea of what we're talking about (e.g., "Thank you for the shirt, Dad, Just my color!" "What shirt? For what?")

    3. Ha! Suzanne, your brother gave you his old toys? That's priceless. I guess I should be glad my dad BOUGHT me Nintendo games, rather than found my little brother's old games and gave them to me. Which may, or may not, have irritated Sam.

      I laughed at the gift tag, to which my Dad immediately clarified "Your mom has no idea what this is. She bought you nothing" just in case that wasn't absolutely clear from the label ;)

  3. Yes this is all very funny ... however here's a 5 part article on the "benefits of fleece". I rest my case.

    Cooked last night. Actually mixed several things together. Used both the stove AND the oven. Photographic documentation is forthcoming.

    1. Dear Anonymous Commenter,

      I can only presume that you are embarrassed to show/publish your REAL IDENTITY on this blog because you are embarrassed, or perhaps ashamed, of your love of fleece.

      Your real error was publishing a self-praising comment about "cooking" or perhaps more accurately, putting things together and mixing them. This can only be Dad. I'm hoping this event was more involved than just mixing Cheerios and milk in a bowl.

      Love you!

      PS: Awaiting photographic evidence.

  4. OK this time with the link

    1. My favorite quote:

      "Although it started as a fabric for outdoor clothing in severe weather conditions, fleece is now made into everything from hats and mittens to jackets and blankets. Because of the way it's constructed, it won’t pill and form little balls on the fabric the way other synthetics will. Since it won’t fray or unravel, fleece fabrics are the perfect choice for crafting with the whole family."

      Emphasis on THE WHOLE FAMILY.