Sunday, November 25, 2012

Justin, Justin, Reginald, And Frosty

It is one month to Christmas, folks. Let that sink in.
Sunk in? Good.

No doubt the pleasant aromas of your Thanksgiving leftovers still linger in the air with Auntie Sally's perfume, and, perhaps, Auntie Sally herself (don't we all have "those" relatives that never bloody leave?). Is there any rest for the wicked? Apparently not, because the Christmas rush has already begun without me. I mean, I've had my shopping done for ages now, but it's time for the Christmas tree fluffing, the gift wrapping, the holiday television specials, and, of course, the music. I'm listening to a duet by two people I've never heard of, all because they're singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".

Before we get too far into the Christmas Grinch-ery, let's talk about Thanksgiving.
Every year, my family has two Thanksgivings: one for my mother's family; one for my dad's family. Traditionally, Bufords (mother's) are on Wednesday, Vogels (dad's) are on Thursday. Wednesday is a pleasant day, filled with absurd company (I can say this because I love them), and fabulous food (because my mum and I cook it); Thursday is filled with tension as the introverts and extraverts mingle clumsily with each other in an attempt at forced merriment. This year was no different.
Would you like to see the extreme opposites that make up my family?
Well, pretend; it'll get you away from Auntie Sally.
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

Wednesday marked our very first all-vegetarian Thanksgiving, and it went down a treat!
Mashed potato; crock-pot tofurky and cranberry sauce; roasted tofurky; cashew bake; and sweet potato dumplings.

And, Buford Thanksgiving staple, Rum Pecan Pie.
See that pretty crust? I made it from scratch. Praise my baking prowess.

After the feast was devoured, my Grandy and I played Buford Gin (so called because it isn't traditional gin, and nobody but the Bufords know how to play it [apparently, it's harder than actual gin]), my mother cut his hair, and -- like the introvert he is -- he went home. It was a pleasant day, and he was thoroughly impressed with the vegetarian edibles.

And then, Thursday happens.
I made my deviled eggs, and my now-famous Spiced Eggnog Rum Cake with Eggnog Icing...
This cake is awesome. And, yes, I love to cook with rum.

...we packed up the car with tofurky leftovers (since I'm the only strict vegetarian in my family), and headed for certain doom.
There was an awkward buffet full of carnivorous treats, making me thankful for my ingenuity in bringing veggie-friendly goodies -- particularly after a tasteless story about slipping pork to kosher friends. Afterward, I was forced to play Hearts, which I don't actually know how to play, yet still ended up winning. Near the end of the game, I somehow resorted to drawing aliens, and my gruesome Stick Man character (he takes meaningless or overly-dramatic scenarios, and manages to either mutilate himself -- including several deaths -- or his property) on the score pad before looking through old recipes. Of all of these, um, events, the one thing that was unanimously voted as the evening's smash? My cake. Go me.
It was probably the only edible thing the carnivores ate all day.

As I enjoyed my latest sweet experiment, I saw Entertainment Tonight playing on the television; I watched with mild interest as they played an interview with Hugh Jackman (I somehow didn't care that there was no volume), and switched to the host, who was introducing something with the banner "Mariah and Justin!"
I expected this...
...and was greeted with this...

I had a 90's kid moment, and silently felt very old.
Maybe I should have put this on my cake.

That night, as we drove home, we officially began the Christmas Music Season with a rousing rendition of "Frosty the Snowman". Here's something I had never thought of until then: there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that, though Frosty is a magical snowman, his two little coal eyes still make him blind. Firstly, all that "thumpaty-thump-thump-thump" business up and down hills? Self-explanatory. "Down to the village with a broomstick in his hand, running here and there, all around the square, singing "catch me if you can": he must be using the broom as an improvised walking stick, and is clearly asking the children for assistance. The children then chase Frosty through town until he "paused a moment when he heard [the traffic cop] holler 'stop'". You notice he never saw the traffic cop? Coal eyes, folks.
It's all clear now, isn't it?

So, as I sit here, happily digging into my perfectly flaky pie crust (seriously, this pie crust is awesome), I contemplate what Thanksgiving 2012 has taught me.

*When introverts get together, it's short and sweet. When introverts and extraverts get together, it's like trying to wallpaper a mole's house with double-sided tape and paper towels.

*I should probably stop analyzing Christmas music. We all know from past experience I'll go slightly nuts about it, anyway.

*I am too young to feel this old. I mean, really. All thanks to an overly-popular name.
Fun fact: I was at this concert. Take that, Bieber! In my ancient files and documents, I found our ticket stubs from the show; we paid about $49 a head, which is more expensive than either All Time Low or Plain White T's tickets were over a decade later (not to mention that I met Plain White T's and All Time Low, and talked to them while they signed their respective albums for me). They really know how to hit teeny boppers hard, don't they? (Or, more accurately, their parents.)

*Contrary to my numerous fears, Operation Veggie Thanksgiving went splendidly!
This is what happens when I'm left with pen and paper.

*This Thanksgiving, I was thankful for this photograph.

*And I really don't like that Photobucket now makes your most recent upload your welcome screen.

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