Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holidailies -- Days 12, 13 and 14

The official Holidailies prompt-writer is being a bit pissy and has relinquished the prompt-writing duties. So I am turning instead to Kwizgiver for inspiration. Even though she's a little under the weather, I know she won't let me down!

Day 12 -- What's your favorite holiday book? The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman. From the publisher: "Every year at Christmastime, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dessert and a bottle of wine, but this year, it's their stories that are especially important."

Day 13 -- What's your favorite holiday snack? Gingerbread anything. I love gingerbread. Followed closely by spiced anything or pumpkin anything. This is a very fragrant, tasty time of year!

Day 14 -- What puts you on Santa's naughty list? Picking on those smaller or more vulnerable than you. Or disparaging someone's race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. Santa seriously hates that shit.


Look what I found in my mail! A bill for about $1600 from the IRS ... dating back to 2008.

I do not owe it. I had two different IRAs with an investment firm and that company merged them into one. The $7000 that IRS swears I took and, I guess, used to buy shoes was never actually in my possession: the investment firm simply took it from one retirement fund and put it into another.

I have until January 5 to respond to this. Considering that the holidays are involved, that simply isn't going to happen, so I will ask for an extension.

Then I will try to figure out whether I'm handling this myself or pawning it off my accountant. Right now, I'm leaning to the latter.

But, like Scarlett O'Hara, I'll think of that tomorrow.

Today I'm gonna try to retain my Christmas spirit.

Holidailies -- Days 9, 10 and 11

Day 9 -- The strangest thing in the room
Five pair of sandals. Strange because it's 19ยบ outside. I have a hard time putting shoes away. Don't know what this has to do with Christmas, but there you go.

Day 10 -- Religion in the holiday season

This is what it's about for me. My favorite part of Christmas Eve is the candlelight service. Singing "Silent Night" in the darkened temple truly restores my sense of "heavenly peace." It's magic, thinking of the birth of Christ and what it would mean to me.

Day 11 -- Unique traditions

Balling up wrapping paper and throwing it at my mother. It's not as hostile as it sounds. It began years ago as she was collecting paper in a separate recycling bag and my brother-in-law tried to hit the bag she was holding with a ball of giftwrap. He missed. We all laughed, paper began flying, and a tradition was born.

10 on Tuesday -- My Trip to California

1) People in Beverly Hills are in love with living in Beverly Hills. My oldest friend lives in a lovely 2 BR/2 BA walkup, on a block with lots of similar buildings (in short, no "swimming pools, movie stars"), and yet here's her street sign.

2) It's nice to see mountains. I love Chicago, but it's very, very flat here.

3) I loved admiring my pedi in natural sunlight again.

4) But all the holiday decorations looked out of place and a little sad. No one sings, "I'm dreaming of a verdant Christmas ..."

5) Even though it was in the 70's, I had a helluva time finding a pair of shorts! No shit, you can buy winter coats, hats and gloves when it's warm out there, but not shorts. I went to Old Navy, Loehmann's, Nordstrom Rack and Marshall's, and only found summer clothes at Marshall's! However, they were marked down from $26 to $3 (yes, three dollars), so my story has a happy ending.

6) We went on the Dearly Departed Tragical History Tour. Here's the home where Marilyn Monroe lived ... and died. It's a lot of good, clean, twisted fun, especially if (like me) you're not a stickler for good taste. If you're ever in Hollywood, you should take the tour. I may post more on this later.

7) Finally went to In and Out Burger. I have been reading for years about what good corporate citizens this company is, how much greater their commitment is to quality, the environment and their employees than other chains. The food was fine, the service was good and the prices were comparable. I have a feeling, though, that my friend will never be back. She deemed it "not as good as Carl's Junior" and I know she thinks it's silly that I view even decisions like which burger I eat as political.

8) I don't know what everyone who whines about airport security is bitching about. I didn't encounter any TSA reps at O'Hare or LAX that were anything but professional and courteous.

9) It was good to get away. I didn't realize how rough the last few months have been until I got on a plane and got outta Dodge. I'm feeling far more positive about my life today.

10) I wish my oldest friend was happier out there. I'll probably post more on this later, too. But I've got a lot to do today and I'm happy and I don't want to blow it!