Crystal Ballz – 2011

Good riddance to ‘Year of the Skunk’. No, not the Chinese year. My year.
Half of it spent with skunky hair until it eclipsed to silvery white. Then, last winter, stinky smell under porch. Skunks had taken up residence along with a few ‘possums. When they didn’t get along, pee yew. Called pest guy. Bye skunks!

2011 Predictions: It’ll rain. It’ll snow. It’ll be hot. It’ll be cold. I’ll turn old-er.
New books may hit the stands. Grads, weds, babes. Last undergrad tuition paid. Hula hoop, ‘no dinner diet’ continue. Or, pajama jeans. Tiger, GMac win majors. Morning Joe tosses hat in the ring. Larsson’s 4th manuscript published. DonDraper gets another MountHolyoke. Frister birthday celebration somewhere fun. Ballz rise and drop. Times Square, Main Street, elsewhere. Happy New Year!

The Side Trek – Worst 2010

Book- Franzen’s Freedom
Film- EatPrayBarf or SexCity2; Actor- Nicolas Cage; Actress- Julia Roberts
TV- Glee; Actor- David Spade; Actress- Courteney Cox
TV Reality- Real Housewives Beverly Hills
Music- Touring rock geezers, lost voices
Sports- Pats 45, Jets 3; Giants punt to Eagles; still hope for Tiger
Journalist- Greta Van Susteren
Story- Wars extended to infinity and beyond
Business- Big Banks Win, SEC Loses; Economics- Asia Rises, US/EU Falls
Restaurant- Most lately; Fashion- Krinkly kleavage
CandyPants’Pick- Lazy grammar/spelling

Joe Responds: See comments

Kranky Kristmas 3 – OrnaMental

First things, first. Happy Something-Zero to Anne, dearest friend for 35 years!

When we last left you, Ben was cluelessly chatting with Pete Hamill in the Village, while Dr.Husband was being attacked by the evil tree that poked his eye out and ruined the house. Eye and house restored. Tree tossed in woods in broken stand. GodsonJame got holy water at St.Cecilia’s Mass with Grandma. Sprinkled on evil tree to exorcise demons. Dr.Husband shook head, no, still bad. WalMart. Plastic. No water. No needles. Dr.Husband happy, singing Hallelujah chorus. His wish came true after all these years. Sorry, Ben.

Kranky Kristmas 2 – TannenBomb

And so it begins. Saturday. Picked out, paid for a very big tree. Son Ben wants a big tree. Dr. Husband hates Kristmas Trees. Really hates big trees. More with every passing year. This year especially, since Ben taking exams at NYU. Not here to help. Bad.

Sunday. Dr. Husband gets home late after picking up tree and tying on top of car. Bad. Not happy. Long weekend of hospital rounding. Lots of  ‘Jesus’ and ‘Maria’ Christmas babies born a week early. Very tired. Very bad.

Puts big wide-trunk tree in stand. Watered. Good. Okay. Comes downstairs to finally relax in hot tub. Good. Oh no. Tree tilts. Goes down. Pokes Dr. Husband in the eye. Hurts. Bad. Big mess. Boehner-esque melt-down. “Tree is evil. Christians’ revenge. Wrecking our house. Water all over the floor. Needles everywhere.” Very very bad. Poor Dr. Husband.

Cleans up mess. Tosses tree and broken stand out the door. Sad.

Kranky Kristmas

Holly, jolly. Not so much this year. Everyone seems to be in a kranky mood. It’s not unusual for the holidays, stress abounds. Uncertain economy, lousy job market, transitioning college kids, major moves, aging parents, aging us. Makes this season scroogier than usual. Don’t even put on the news. Adults in short supply, Congress still scrapping in its sandbox.

Prospect of Jake’s first Christmas with cuzins brightens the spirit. Singing at OldBaldGuy’s piano with an egg nog will add more needed cheer. For all its faults, family is tradition and hope. So, we’ll light the dysfunctional candle, suck it up and in the end make the best of the next two weeks. It may even be fun! Hmmm. I’ll let you know.

The Side Trek – Best 2010

Book- Wolf Hall
Film- Girl With Dragon Tatoo; Actor- James Franco; Actress- Noomi Rapace
TV- MadMen, 30 Rock; Actor- Jon Hamm; Actress- Kiernan Shipka
TV Reality- Top Chef
Music- no idea, still like Stones
Journalist- Jon Stewart; Story- Los Mineros de Chile
Sports- Ryder Cup Monday Finish
Politics- Witches Take Over TeaParty
Business- Buffett, Gates; Economics- Krugman
Restaurant- Nobu Next Door
Blog- Cafferty File; Bloggers- Loyal Treksters


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.