A very hockey Christmas tree.

The Christmas madness seems to be settling—no less mad, I’d say, but less manic. I have at the very least accomplished much of the to-do list that had been stressing me out over the last…well, pretty much since right before Thanksgiving. The holiday itself still looms like a meteor uncontrollable, but I’m less stressed about passively accepting an inevitable crushing blow than I am about having to, y’know, do stuff. So as long as the meteor doesn’t expect me to clean the house, we’re good.


Yeah, my brain is seriously fried.


The February fitness feature (FFF—onomatopoetically appropriate) has officially been sent to the art department, which means a getting over a 3,000-word hurdle stemming from about 12 different interviews—including a last-minute trip to Lakewood Ranch yesterday to talk with SMR CEO Rex Jensen about his whopping soccer facility in the works (but I’ll write more about that in a few weeks).


Speaking of many-worded hurdles, got the electronic galleys for Dad’s Asolo history book from the publisher, too. Check that one off the list, feather in the cap, so on and so forth, and moving right along.


Because he’ll be in Huntsville come Thursday, CCB and I celebrated our Christmas last Friday night at Lan. The chef’s tour included a “pork belly BLT” amuse bouche, clams in fennel broth, cream of celery soup with a salami-and-brie sandwich, and a mind-blowing combination of bone marrow, sea salt, crushed pink peppercorn and micro-greens in truffle oil. One of the waiters told us that diners sometimes fall in love with a particular dish and are then disappointed when it’s not on the menu next visit. “It’s not about a particular dish,” he said. “We want you to love Lan.” Believe me, we do.

The Chrappy Christmas spread included assorted Peeps, bologna triangles, a port wine cheeseball in ceramic Santa's belly, a guacamole Christmas tree and a chocolate penguin.

Saturday night’s Chrappy Christmas was a beautifully tacky, wonderfully warm affair—with a menu vastly different from the previous night’s Lan-fest, as you can see. Kudos to hockey teammate Rack for getting into the spirit with 1) a sweater with giant blinking lights to highlight her nicknamesake, 2) a hostess gift sporting an actual repurposed card and used wrapping paper containing 3) two yarn-woven examples of awesome Christmas Chrap, plus a frightening angel tabletopper with no hair.

 bologna-santa.jpg guac-tree.jpg
...oh yes, I said guacamole Christmas tree.

So that’s it: The presents are purchased and wrapped, Christmas plane ticket secured, office potluck successfully navigated, and the house is fairly clean for a Christmas Eve dinner that I’ll host (but won’t have to cook).

The biggest challenge that remains is just getting myself to relax. Not my strong suit, to be sure, but I’m willing to work on it.