At sundown Festival of Lights began. The past few years college son Ben has not been home for 8 nights of kitchy trinkets carefully chosen by Dr.Husband. Every year we’d all recite the Hebrew ‘baruch atah…something, something…’ I can only say it when they do…as Ben lit the candles. Then we’d make him do ‘Come Light the Menorah’ song and dance before he could open a prize and get chocolate gelt from the stocking with stars of David on it. I miss it. Sent real gelt to him in the East Village this year, not the same.

Thanks for the blocks, Aunt CandyPants,
now what do I do with them? – Jake

As a ‘cashew’ Ben was always the envy of his cuzins. He got to do Hanukkah and Christmas with all the trimmings and presents. This year is Jake’s first Hanukkah and as a ‘cashew’ too he’ll be here for Christmas. The tradition continues. Happy Hanukkah Chanukah.

Side Trek – Blog Spotted

Pioneer Valley newspaper Daily Hampshire Gazette featured TheSideTrek in Phoebe Mitchell’s “Blog Spotter” report. Cool! Great article. Read it here, the link works now, thanks to Noah:

‘Florence Woman Makes Mark on CNN Blog, and Her Own’. Ms. Mitchell highlighted frequent on-air Cafferty File comments, Recipe Detours, 2010 best TrekBooks and eclectic ramblings including the Hopper exhibit at the Whitney. Nod to GemQueen. Mitchell cited snarky “Skippy Hallow” post, and liked that Alicat and I fought over the neck and gizzard on Thanksgiving.

James Franco hosting Oscars, Ben’s NYU Econ Honors thesis acclaim and now this, good times. Thanks for your 14,000 visits and comment away into 2011!

Stuffington Post 2010

Post stuffing-palooza. I still like Thanksgiving in Katonah and as advertised the cuzins remain smart, sweet, kind and funny as heck. They are all special people despite their crazy parents. Alicat and I fought over the neck and gizzard, and Jake was the star of his first Turkey Day. Family, food, fun. Liberty’s last stand. Hula hoop this week.

CG&B  had wonderful reunion with LaLyd, Doug&Sand, GemQueen, A-Man at Ed’s Chowder House/Empire Hotel near Lincoln Center. We all expressed our thoughts and sympathies for K9Queen on the loss of her beloved Emma.

HenryE will be the next LeBron or ARod, quite the athletic phenom at 2! Betsey relished her tongue from Zabar’s. We have a tough decision to make on April 29 next year, Jake’s 1st bday party or the wedding in London? It’s still the season for giving, so don’t forget TheFoodBank, click here and give.

Trek Sidz

Empire Falls, Bridge of Sighs, Russo-esque photo by the talented Dr.Husband.

GemQueen found Ephron’s new book  disappointing. KPants loved Let the Great World Spin, a TrekBooks pick, short stories stemming from walk between World Trade Towers. Madman recommends Elmore Leonard’s Djibouti, Somalia and pirates. PithyVinegar finds more substance in Franz’s Freedom than I did, so I’ll give it another try. She was compelled by the politics of conversation.

K9Queen found Panama City’s Casco Viejo reminiscent of Havana, colorful French Colonial architecture, wrought iron balconies, sophisticated cuisine. Panama’s rainforests lush with exotic monkeys, birds. Watching National Geographic’s Great Migrations makes you wonder if there is a god, or something.

Great wine choice for Thanksgiving: Kenwood Zinfandel, Jack London reserve. Dowd mailing it in lately. Oprah? Cleopatra? Krugman and Rich agree about the ‘rich’. Does anybody recognize anyone in Page Six anymore? Publicists on parade. When does celebrity trump loyalty? Happy 24th to WilliamHenry!

Wizard Treks

C&G B&B in full operation. PithyV & Madman blew through from coast of Maine. Cindy & Ray joined the clan for PinBall Wizard rock opera, “Tommy” at Academy of Music. Colby jumped, danced, bumped, sang. He displayed an impressive range of physicality in this fast moving show.

Meanwhile Ben covered Wizards’ WorldCup of Quidditch, college matches all over NYC. At Riverside park, NYU against Maryland, quaffles, bludgers and yes college kids running around with broomsticks between their legs. Hilarious innocent fun. Hipster Horcruxes ultimately emerged with the snitch.

Watching wizards is better than hearing how America has fallen in global financial strength and general regard.

Hoop La

Holiday tv-mercials are baaack! Snuggies? Yup. Aunt Gladys hula hooping around in her bulky blue wool number. Not easy. I’m gonna get me the purple flower fleece. They come in camouflage with beverage holder, Lindz. Matching hoop optional. Merry Christmas everybody. Can Chia pets be far behind?

GovChrisChristie, like him, but he’ll need to hula hoop soon if he wants a national profile. Sarah tackling monetary policy? Loopy hoop. What’d you watch-Bristol hoofing or Lauer nagging W? Conan or Daily Show? Lauer’s interview getting good reviews. Conan’s whining jumping shark.

Soul Trek

Hey Gary, it’s your birthday! SoulMate. SoulMan. Especially when you wear your J3 downtown shirt. I’ve joined you in the gray brigade, but you are a Silver Fox. Which Prez was elected the day you were born? Happiest Bday to best Dr.Husband, Father on the planet.

Speaking of elections on all souls’ day, we aren’t finished with witches and goblins yet. Have to vote and cover my eyes when the returns come in tonite. I predict dia de los muertos for the democraticos. Say Hey Giants! First World Series win ever in SanFran. Too bad they were not there. Walter sent down dust.