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Updated: 12/21/01

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The Bleat
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What's on the nightstand

God Save the Sweet Potato Queens
by Jill Conner Browne
(yeah, it's been here for a while but I read two chapters last night)

address christmas cards
grocery shopping

those flashing bulbs on my balcony

Friday, 21 December, 2001

Last night I decided to give Dad's hot salt water remedy another go. It was just as bad as I remembered it. I used Morton's salt, but I'm thinking maybe I wasn't being gourmet enough and I should have gone with the Kosher version. Nah. Would have been just as bad, but crunchier.

[Slurp. Gargle. Spit. Repeat.]

Sorry, didn't work. After fifteen minutes I still couldn't feel any relief, so I had four sips of bourbon and honey, went to bed and slept like a log.

Today is my least favorite day of the year. It marks the first day of winter and is the shortest day of the year. Someone said to me, "But it means that we only have three more months until spring." Technically, I suppose that is true, but those of us familiar with Philly weather understand that "winter" effectively runs from the end of November until Memorial Day. Six months. And every year, we are surprised all the way through April and May by the fact that it is still cold.

This also reminds me of one of my least favorite comments at this time of year:

"But I love the change of seasons."


I don't really doubt the sincerity of the people who tell me this. I just wish that the seasons weren't quite as democratic and we could shorten winter down to one or two months. I bet I could get everyone to agree to that by the time February rolls around.

I spent the morning kissing my boyfriends - Connor and Ian, David and Kim's ten-month-old twins. All the employees were invited to bring their kids into the office. It was the expected mayhem. I told Kim that I had a cold and didn't want to get too close to the boys, but she said they both had colds anyway, as she handed Connor over to me. So we all shared our germs and I'm sure we'll be sick with the variations for a month.

Our office closed early today, so Jennifer and I went to lunch with Kathy. We went to Morton's but they told us they were closed for a private party, so we went to Capitol Grille. It was crowded, but we found three seats at the bar and ate and talked and exchanged presents. Kathy and Marc are driving up to Syracuse to see his family for Christmas; Jennifer and John are driving up to Boston. Given how I'm feeling, I'm really glad I'm not traveling this weekend.

I got home around 3:30 and Mom and Dad's box of presents had arrived! Several interesting looking packages and my stocking. I put them around my designated Christmas Plant - I'm not sure what it is, some sort of tall spiky member of the yucca family perhaps. I put up the new lights on the balcony, but as I look at them now, I see that they have those little flashing bulbs on them, which will drive me crazy, so I shall have to venture out and replace them.

And it's cold out there.

~ ~ ~

Quote du jour:

"Winter is not a season; it's an occupation."
Sinclair Lewis

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