Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It was just a family Christmas and it was great fun. My daughters and one son-in-law arrived on Saturday. I'd gotten a tree and let them loose with the ancestral Christmas ornaments, some now almost a hundreds years old, paper thin blown glass and looking nothing at all like modern ornaments.
They'd requested I do a Chinese dinner like the ones we had had when they were girls growing up, so we had pot stickers in dipping sauce with toasted sesame seeds, Jook (aka Congee) with shredded chicken, chopped green onion and sesame oil, and stir fried shrimp in ginger sauce with straw mushrooms and other vegetables.

Fritz stayed in New Hampshire on Christmas Eve for the annual canbdlelight Quaker Meeting at the meeting house in Epping where we had our Quaker commitment ceremony. He arrived the next morning just as I was getting up, and an hour or so before the kids started rolling out of bed. We had coffee and an almond Christmas stollen before opening presents. The theme for every moment not eating something became games--Rummykub and Scrabble. Christmas dinner began at 3pm with Fritz's cheddar cheese soup and champagne, followed by roasted cornish game hens with fruit stuffing flavored with Grand Marnier, brussels sprouts, new red potatoes, and home-baked oat bread. Dessert was again Fritz's--his very special maple mousse. Afterwards, we played and laughed the evening away.

Everyone headed home yesterday morning, but Fritz will be back this evening. I bought advance tickets to guarantee we'll see "Brokeback Mountain" at 7pm. It's playing at a couple of small theaters around the area and one of them that sells tickets on-line already had sold out showings listed on its site. So I moved fast.
Tomorrow we drive down to Bernardsville, New Jersey for a gathering with my cousin, his wife and family--the only other people anywhere near here that make up my family.

I have new neighbors for Christmas. They moved in about a week ago replacing the great little family I loved so much. When he was three and four years old their son used to walk around the area naked, covered with temporary tattoos (both parents are graphic artists and staunch liberals). And for a four year old, this kid was hung. I thought to myself, he's going to be a very interesting guy when he grows up. They had a second child and when she became pregnant again I knew they'd be moving to something bigger soon. My efforts so far to meet and greet my new neighbors have failed but I'll try again this evening.

Do you remember the Virgin Mary made out of water drip corrosion in a Chicago underpass? The Virgin Mary fried into one side of a grilled cheese sandwich that was auctioned on the web? The Virgin Mary who appeared in the condensation patterns between layers of a failed double glazed window at a suburban Boston hospital? If not, now there's The Nun Bun.
The Nun Bun isn't new. She, or rather it, was discovered on October 15, 1996 at the Bongo Java coffee shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Someone looked at a formerly perfectly ordinary, innocent little cinnamon bun and asked someone else, "what does this look like?" "Mother Teresa?" came the hesitent reply--and a new devotional icon was born.

The Nun Bun went on display and then the good folk at Bongo Java went a little overboard, selling Nun Bun merchandise. Mother Teresa and/or her organization got wind of it and there followed a surprisingly gentle and humor-filled negotiation. It seems the tiny, seemingly dour little nun had a tremendous sense of humor and bore no ill-will--she was in fact amused. So amused in fact that as she lay dying she told her attorney "Tell those people that now they have to find a bun that looks like my successor." She had no objection to displaying the bun, but didn't want commercialization of or profit from her image, if, indeed her image it was. So sales of merchandise over the web, by phone or catalog were forbidden, but sales of anything at Bongo Java itself were given the OK.

Plans to market a baked good moulded to look like the actual Mother Teresa under the product name "Immaculate Confection" were dropped. But I wish they hadn't been--it would have been blasphemous and probably offensive to lots of people, but how wonderfully funny!

News reached the outside world today from Nashville that The Nun Bun has disappeared. Gone. Presumably, nobody's dumb enough to attempt to eat a nine year old cinnamon bun, but perhaps it was stolen for devotional purposes or perhaps it was taken to see if it could cure some terminally ill or disabled person. In order to become a saint in the Catholic Church, Mother Teresa needs to create a couple of undisputed miracles, and one of her devotees might just have decided to give The Nun Bun a try.

George W. Bush quote of the day:
" The future will be better tomorrow." George W. Bush

As opposed to yesterday?

I'm glad you had a nice Christmas, Will. Both dinners you describe sound wonderful!
That sounds so yummy!!

Bonjo Java needs to get the Vatican on that case. Could you imagine the PR nightmare if we found out Mother Teresa was eaten?
Fine that you have had such a pretty Christmas eve unlike me for I've got Montezuma's revenge on this day although I did never harm him :-)

Today is the first time I could eat some chicken and rice :-)

Good night from Vienna,

Oh, I forgot to tell you that you should hav a look on Jacky's blog! His new story is updated now!;-)

Buon divertimento, Hans
Will- I truly admire the fact that you can be so elegant and low key at the same time. Your holiday sounds like it was perfect. You're truly a lucky (and talented) man. Can't wait to see you again in '06.
Ah, a wonderful Christmas treat: a nun bun! To get 2006 started off with a bang, I've posted some interview questions for you over at my blog... Enjoy!
yum! (the chinese dinner, that is, not the nun bun)
Having once lived in Nashville, I have laid eyes upon the divine Nun Bun, and immediately I was healed of all pastry cravings. For a day or so, anyway. Truly miraculous.
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