Roe evade

On New Year’s Eve this year, I went to a party hosted by a very generous Russian lady and her husband. If you ever have a chance to go to a party hosted by a very generous Russian lady, do it. I was excited about the prospect of caviar and borscht, but I wasn’t prepared for the magic of Olivier Salad and Salmon Under Fur. Just the names are magic. Oh geez, I need to stop thinking about them. Or somehow convince the very generous Russian lady and her husband to adopt me. They also had cats and a really nice massage chair and lots of friendly guests. I didn’t even find the caviar and it didn’t matter. It was a good New Year’s Eve.

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 10:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Never brought to mind

As the extremely legit-looking scientist says, “If things don’t get worse, they definitely will get better.” All I know is that my shadow feels so very, very long right now and I’m ready for a fresh start. Good luck with 2018, everybody.

Published in: on December 31, 2017 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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A cup of kindness yet

2017, I’m trying not to burden you with a lot of expectations. Google autofill gave me “worse” when I typed in “2017 will be…”, and even when I typed in “2017 will be better,” the first result was an op-ed entitled “2017 Will Probably Be Terrible,” accompanied by a Wal-Mart ad.

I don’t know what to do here. 2017, am I cursing you to mediocrity by not pushing you to be the best you can be? Or am I putting too much pressure on you if I do that, dooming you to failure? Oh, 2017. What will you be?


Published in: on December 31, 2016 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Etiquette & superstition: toasting

Benny’s kids seem to be using a certain kitchen appliance a lot today; I keep hearing a “ding” every fifteen minutes or so. Perhaps they are merely preparing toasts for tomorrow night.

ETIQUETTE: A point of etiquette that some may find troublesome or awkward is the one that indicates it is bad form to drink when one is being toasted by guests at a party. There is rarely any indication of how one is supposed to behave when a toast is being offered in one’s honor other than looking humble and gratified, and I strongly suspect this is one of those points that will soon be dropped (much like the dictum against applause at the end of a wedding) in the code of polite behavior.

The proper thing to do is to merely remain seated and say, “Thank you,” but this predicates that the rest of the party understands you are not to toast yourself and they will toast you and be done with it. If this is not the case, and everyone is just standing there with their glasses aloft waiting for you to take a sip, just raise your glass with a “you are too kind; cheers” sort of comment. You really can’t offer a counter-toast to your guests previous to them completing your toast, as that is rather rude to the first toaster, and if you toast them after you’ve been toasted, you’re stuck in the position of just drinking in front of everybody (if you’re going to be correct about things), and oh brother. Maybe everyone should start toasting the lovely day instead. The lovely day doesn’t have to worry about taking a drink or not.

SUPERSTITION: In France, Germany, Italy, and Serbia, a toast at a private party is usually a simple affair. One word to everyone’s health, or life, or to empty glasses. You must, however, clink glasses with everyone at the table, and you must look them in the eye while you are doing so, or you will have seven years’ worth of bad sex.

Drinking a toast with water will cause the honoree to be drowned.

Illustration by the Strobridge Lithograph Co., Cincinnati, New York, ca. 1899, uploaded to Flickr by trialsanderrors

Wringing it out

Bluto and Popeye are getting along in this cartoon. Does this ever happen again? 1938 must have been a very special year.

Like clockwork

Oh, Snoopy. Remember the words of Emerson: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” I may have had a rather foolish year, but it was certainly different from the others. See you in 2014.


As a skunk

We’re about to take off for the desert, so I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year a little early. Have a good time, but don’t get so:

that you pass out before midnight. 2011, here we come.

via neatorama
Published in: on December 30, 2010 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Party hat

It looks like Miss Cellania and I are both looking for some gay apparel to don on New Year’s Eve. Thankfully, she seems to have her eye on the Flower Hat Jellyfish, while I’m leaning towards either the Red Medusa fringed cloche

or maybe the Blue Button fascinator.

It would be embarrassing if we both showed up wearing the same thing.

Other hats jellyfish and photo credits here

Attention ginger haters

You do know that the keeper of the New Year is a redhead, right?

Published in: on January 1, 2010 at 7:59 am  Comments (1)  
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Etiquette & superstition: eating grapes

I received a bunch of really nice etiquette books for Christmas from Benny and my mom, so hopefully I’ll be better about posting etiquette & superstition tips in 2010. Miss Manners, of course, is the wittiest author on the subject of “real” etiquette, so I’m glad to be re-acquainted with her notes on such subjects as fruit.

“Fruit occupies the place in the food world that the ingenue does in society. That is, it is usually fresh (but occasionally stewed) and, although welcome anywhere for its charm and implicity, it requires more complicated treatment when going about socially than it does when it is just hanging around the house.”

She goes on to note that it is recommended that before eating, one should make sure everything is rinsed well and that permission has been obtained from the owner. Fnar, fnar, Miss Manners. I love you.

ETIQUETTE: At a formal dinner, the presence of grape scissors near the grapes will guarantee that you are expected to eat and not just admire the grapes. If you are not sure if you are at a formal dinner or not, ask the host/hostess for a pair of scissors while looking meaningfully at the centerpiece. If he/she grants your wish immediately, you are at a formal dinner party and may eat the grapes. Take the grape scissors and cut off a small bunch of grapes. If he/she looks at you in alarm at the request and does not provide you with scissors, you are at a formal dinner party but may not eat the grapes, or you are at an informal dinner party and may eat the grapes. If he/she looks at you in alarm but provides you with scissors, you may want to retire to the bathroom with the scissors after receiving them, and then return them with a simple, “Thank you.” Don’t eat the grapes.

SUPERSTITION: On New Year’s Eve, each person at the party should make a cone out of newspaper and place twelve white (green okay too) grapes in his/her cone. Then, in each of the twelve seconds before midnight, he/she must eat one grape. Whoever eats twelve grapes by midnight in this fashion will have luck for the rest of the year, provided he/she hasn’t choked on the grapes.*

*Thanks for the tip, Jesenia! Also, grape soda photos by Roadsidepictures on flickr
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