Giggle…snort. chuckle..Ahemm Leprechaun here folks… (lord I just love doing that and hearing the panic it incites!)
Only one more issue of Leprechaun Laughs after this for me before Christmas. Things keep going the way they are going and I MIGHT even manage find a little Christmas cheer and not of the bottled high octane kind. I’ve already been presented with a Christmas miracle,
Impish really IS doing the Christmas Special Issue this year!
Good thing too because I’ll be busy cooking a Christmas dinner ahead of time for Molly and I so she doesn’t have to wash anything Christmas Day. Then there are the decorations to put up which we have delayed doing until our plans for Christmas were firmly cemented (No sense decorating for the cats, especially if we want to have any decorations left when we return).
Then of course there is the standing in line at the Post Office to mail packages to my family in Connecticut while suffering canned out of date Christmas tunes with women liberally wearing enough competing perfume scents to drowned out a skunks stench and moronic nosey clerks demanding to invade your privacy by unlawfully requiring you to reveal the contents of your packages to them. I manage a little revenge by this point by answering that question as loudly as possible “marital aids and advanced sex toys, would you like to try them to prove they are real?”
Needless to say that’s a trip Molly sees to it I make myself or waits in the car for.
One Reason For Our Economic Woes
I’m sure Impish will talk about the origins of Santa and the traditions here in the US of A so I’m not going to go into all that. I’ll just tell you a bit about the best place in the world (aside from home) to be for Christmas and what goes on there.
Ireland, like most countries, has a number of Christmas traditions that are all of its own. Many of these customs have their root in the time when the Gaelic culture and religion of the country were being suppressed and it is perhaps because of that they have survived into modern times.
People attend Mass, exchange gifts and, decoration of trees. But something is different in Irish Christmas that makes it unique. There are Twelve Days of Christmas in Ireland. Christmas in Ireland ends with the Feast of Epiphany on January 6. It is also called Little Christmas. As Ireland is strictly a religious country, Ireland’s Christmas is more sacred than fun.
LEAD UP PREPARATIONS
Preparations for Christmas in Ireland start early, particularly in preparing special food for the festive season. Christmas Puddings and Christmas cakes rich with fruit and nuts and moistened with Guinness (Irish stout) and or brandy are made and stored to mature. Later the cakes are covered in marzipan icing then royal icing and decorated in all manner of ways. Perhaps applying icing with an icing nozzle or simply roughing up the surface with a knife to be the base for a snow scene. Edible silver balls can be used, or plastic figures of snowmen, Santas or Christmas trees.
Mincemeat is made using dried fruit and suet. In the olden days it really contained minced meat.These days it can also be bought ready made in supermarkets. This is later used for making mince pies, or larger mince tarts. Traditionally shortcrust pastry is used but these days anything goes, flakey pastry,rough puff pastry or even filo. The pies tend to get eaten at tea times, or after carol singing with brandy butter and /or cream.
Spiced beef is made too. It used to be made at home but these days most butchers have their own secret recipes and you can buy the meat “ready spiced” from them. It takes about three weeks for the beef to absorb the spices before it’s cooked. It leaves the meat pink in the centre with an almost black “crust” of spices and a quite unique flavor. It can be served hot or cold and many Irish people in Southern Ireland will eat it at some time over the festive season.
Christmas was a family affair. Sons and daughters working away from home were expected to spend time with their parents, especially Christmas Eve. All tried to finish their work early in order to reach home before nightfall. The last of the preparations were concluded, usually for the next day’s feast–the most plentiful and extravagant one of the year.
Shortly after dark a large candle, often in a sconce made from a turnip, was placed in a prominent window and lighted to show the Holy Family that there was room and a welcome in that house. The candle would be extinguished at dawn, before going to the early Mass, or if the family was fire conscious, at midnight upon retiring. In some households, candles would be lit for the family members as well.
The traditional Christmas Eve meal consisted of fish, usually hake or cod with creamed potatoes. This was a fast day, and often no food was taken until the main meal.
On Christmas Eve the children are all very excited, as Father Christmas (Santa) is going to visit. Many put stockings at the end of their beds for him to fill with small gifts, others use pillowcases. Traditionally in the morning of Christmas Day when they open them there will be an apple in the toe and an orange (these days a satsuma or tangerine) in the heel.
Late at night a lot of people go to Midnight Mass (Catholic) or Midnight Service (Church of Ireland) to see in Christmas Day. Communion is usually taken at this service. Churchgoers listen to readings from the Bible and sing Christmas Carols. Returning home in the small hours of the morning many will warm up with mincepies, mulled wine or good old fashioned Irish Coffee before bed. Some even open all their Christmas gifts then, in the middle of the night.
THE LADEN TABLE
After evening meal on Christmas eve the kitchen table was again set and on it were placed a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a large lit candle. The door to the house was left unlatched so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveler, could avail of the welcome.
Christmas preaches universal brotherhood. So, as the tradition prevails, people give cash gifts to milkman, milkmaid, servant, etc¦but this is done on St. Stephen’s day. Pantomime plays are preformed on this day and there is a reversal of the roles enacted by characters, that is, males perform the roles of females and vice versa.
THE CANDLE IN THE WINDOW
People place lighted candles in windows believing that Joseph and Mary might be looking for shelter. Irish candles are red colored and decorated with sprig of holly. The candle also indicated a safe place for priests to perform mass as, during Penal Times this was not allowed. A further element of the tradition is that the candle should be lit by the youngest member of the household and only be extinguished by a girl bearing the name ‘Mary’.
After the candle was lit, the real celebration began. The iced Christmas cake, for weeks primed with good Irish whiskey, was cut, and tea was poured. The children enjoyed sweets around the fire until it was time for prayers and bed. Sometime during the night, the rotund visitor made an appearance, and children woke to stockings filled with an assortment of practical but welcome gifts.
THE WREN BOY PROCESSION
During Penal Times there was once a plot in a village against the local soldiers. They were surrounded and were about to be ambushed when a group of wrens pecked on their drums and awakened the soldiers. The plot failed and the wren became known as ‘The Devil’s bird’.
Wren boys are also popular in Ireland and Christmas is incomplete without any reference to them. Boys wander in streets and while singing ask money for the starving wren.
On St. Stephens day a procession takes place where a pole with a holly bush is carried from house to house and families dress up in old clothes and with blackened faces. In olden times an actual wren would be killed and placed on top of the pole.
This custom has to a large degree disappeared but the tradition of visiting from house to house on St. Stephens Day has survived and is very much part of Christmas.
The placing of a ring of Holly on doors originated in Ireland as Holly was one of the main plants that flourished at Christmas time and which gave the poor ample means with which to decorate their dwellings. All decorations are traditionally taken down on Little Christmas (January 6th.) and it is considered to be bad luck to take them down beforehand.
TRADITIONAL GAELIC SALUTATION
The Gaelic greeting for ‘Merry Christmas’ is: ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’……which is pronounced as ‘null-ig hun-a dit’.
Next week we’ll cover Christmas Day and it’s aftermath (what after all that you didn’t think we’d be content with a single day of celebration did you?)
How’s this for a Christmas yard decoration …
The folks who own the property always have eye-catching displays celebrating various ‘holidays’ through the year… this year for Yuletide they have certainly outdone themselves!
Now 2 comments come to mind:
1.) It’s not bad enough that the Air Force is disrespecting the bodies of our dead heroes and burying them in a medical waste landfill, now they are taking kamikaze measures against Santa!
2.) How does Captain Scrooge write this one up? Bird strike? Mid-air collision? UFO incident?
SPEAKING of celebrating, what is Christmas without some special drinks to help celebrate. Both these are family friendly and any alcohol (except for in Santa’s cup) is strictly optional.
Prep Time: 1 mins
- Total Time: 1 mins
- Servings: 1
About This Recipe
“Ice cream replaces the cream and sugar…a fun little treat I invented when craving a holiday coffee drink from Starbucks! For different flavors, try vanilla or eggnog ice cream. If you know of another yummy one, please share it in your review :D”
- 5 ounces coffee
- 1/4-1/2 cup mint chip ice cream ( more as needed)
- Stir ice cream into freshly brewed coffee, taste for sweetness, and add more ice cream if needed.
- Stir well to keep chocolate chips from sticking to the bottom of the cup.
- You may drink it like this, but if you want it hot, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir again.
Serving Size: 1 (175 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Calories 75.3
- Calories from Fat 35 47% Total Fat 3.9g 6% Saturated Fat 2.4g 12%
- Cholesterol 15.8mg 5% Sugars 7.6 g Sodium 30.2mg 1%
- Total Carbohydrate 9.0g 3% Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%
- Sugars 7.6 g 30% Protein 1.4g 2%
- Cholesterol 15.8mg 5% Sugars 7.6 g Sodium 30.2mg 1%
Creamy Eggnog Punch With Spiced Rum
Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 mins
- Serves: 35, Yield: 1.5 gallons
About This Recipe
“This can be served with or without rum. No raw eggs. Fattening but it’s the holidays.”
- 1 gallon eggnog ice cream or 1 gallon vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 gallon eggnog
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 -2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 (16 ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed
- spiced rum (optional)
- cinnamon sticks
- Scoop ice cream into a punch bowl.
- Pour eggnog over ice cream, and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon; stir in whipped topping.
- To each glass add a shot of rum, then eggnog, one cinnamon stick, top with a couple of drops of grenadine and a cherry.
- Serve immediately.
- Stir, as needed.
2011 Christmas Lights- Thank You Troops and Veterans!
Here are ten useful phrases for responding to Christmas presents you would rather not have received:
1. Thanks a lot!
2. My word! What a gift.
3. Well, well, well …
4. If I hadn’t put on so much weight recently it would have fitted me perfectly.
5. Gosh, I hope I never lose this. We’re always losing things around here.
6. It’s great; but I’m worried about the envy it may create.
7. Just my luck to get this on the very Christmas I promised to give all my gifts to charity.
8. Unfortunately, I am about to enter the Witness Protection Program.
9. Frankly, I don’t deserve this.
10. Really, you shouldn’t have.
Mrs. Oppenheimer decided to get away from the often inclement weather of New York and spend Christmas in the deep South of the USA. Being unfamiliar with that part of the world she wandered into a ‘restricted’ hotel and said ‘Hi. I’m Mrs Oppenheimer and I’d like a room for the next week.’ ‘I’m very sorry,’ said the manager, but all our rooms are taken. Just as he said that a customer came to the desk and unexpectedly checked out. ‘How lucky’ responded Mrs. Oppenheimer, ‘Now you have a room for me.’ ‘Look, I’m very sorry’ said the manager, but this is a restricted hotel. Jews are not allowed here. ‘Jewish! Whaddya mean Jewish. I happen to be a Catholic.’ ‘That takes some believing’ said the manager. Tell me, who was the Son of God?’ ‘Jesus.’ she replied ‘Where was he born?’ ‘In a stable in Bethlehem….. simply because some Schmuck like you wouldn’t rent a room to a Jew.’
WARNING: Do Not Open Email From USPS Delivery, It’s A Virus
By George Gombossy | Last updated Nov 27, 2011, 5:55 pm
I thought I could spot virus emails without much trouble.
Well I got nailed today by an email claiming that my package had been addressed incorrectly and that I should open the attachment to help reclaim the package from the post office.
I had just sold a camera on eBay and rushed to mail it after the snow storm.
So it was easy for me to imagine that I mislabeled the package.
As soon as I opened the attachment my virus protection AVAST – locked on it and cleaned it out.
Unfortunately I had sent it to the person who paid for the camera. I quickly sent him another email warning him of the spam.
This is the way it looks:
From: U.S. Postal Service [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 8:28 AM
Subject: USPS Delivery Failure Notification
Unfortunately we failed to deliver the postal package you have sent on the 19th of September in time because the recipient’s address is erroneous.
Please print out the shipment label attached and collect the package at our office.
United States Postal Service
Vicious Computer Virus Attacks Increase During Holiday Shopping Seasons
By George Gombossy | Last updated Nov 30, 2011, 12:00 pm
Denise Talbot was right to worry about an email she received recently telling her that her computer spam filter program needed to be renewed.
Looking at the email from AVG, she noticed that the word license was misspelled, and there was a second typo, making her suspicious and asking my opinion on whether it was an attempt to gain her personal information.
As it turned out, before I could get back to her, Talbot, who lives in Central Connecticut, did her own homework, called the company, and discovered that in fact her AVG (an anti-spam program) license was set to expire in 30 days.
One can’t be too careful especially during the gift-giving season, when crooks use all kinds of phishing schemes, some incredibly sophisticated, to gain access to your Social Security number, a common password you use, your birthday, or to plant a virus in your computer and even in your printer that will provide them with sensitive banking information.
In the last 30 days I have been barraged with not only stupid emails telling me I have won hundreds of millions of dollars, but with emails that I had to study carefully before deleting them unopened for fear of a viral attack. Unfortunately, I even got sucked into opening one that was about to plant a virus if my AVAST spam program had not immediately killed it.
I had recently sold a camera on eBay and rushed to mail it to the buyer during the last storm. Two weeks later I received an email from what appeared to be the post office telling me that my package was misaddressed and was returned to my local post office. I was directed to open the attachment to print out a copy of my receipt to pick up the package.
Stupidly, I opened the attachment – after I had forwarded the email to the camera buyer apologizing for having failed to properly note his address. Thankfully I was able to contact him before he opened the email.
After writing about that incident on CtWatchdog.com, I received comments from some saying that they also fell victim and their computers were fried as the result.
More recently I received an email from an old boss that included what appeared to be a joke. He had never before sent that kind of email so I warned him that he was probably a victim of a hack. He was.
Two others that I keep getting almost every day are very alarming.
One warns me that my email account is almost to the limit and asks me to take the following steps:
“To increase your E-mail Quota Limit to 2.7GB, Fill in your Details as below and send to the E-mail Quota Webmaster by CLICKING REPLY:
DATE OF BIRTH:
Thank you for your understanding and corporation in helping us give you the Best of E-mail Service.”
I can see people falling for it.
The other one targets those who are awaiting responses from job searches.
Thank you for submitting your information for potential employment opportunities.
We look forward to reviewing your application, but can not do so until you complete our internal application.
The pay range for available positions range from $35.77 per hour to $57.62 per hour.
Prior to begin able to be considered, you will first need you to formally apply.
Please go here to begin the process:
To protect yourself, you must have a strong spam filter. Do NOT click on any attachments unless you are 100 percent certain it is legit.
Do not respond to requests for id or password from eBay, Amazon or a bank, because these are all attempts to gain access to your account. A financial company would never ask you to send your id or password as part of an email.
And even when you receive emails from friends with attachments or suggestions to go to a website, reply to your friend or relative and ask if its for real.
It was a cold and misty Christmas morning in the very depth of Winter after a heavy fall of snow and only one farmer and the minister managed to arrive at the church for the morning service. ‘Well’ said the clergyman ‘I guess there’s no point in having a service today.’ ‘Well that’s not how I see it. said the farmer. If only one cow turns up at feeding time, I still feed it.’
Red Neck Christmas Tree
Christmas In Brooklyn
From The Don Imus radio show; he is visited by a regular character: “Sal Minella.”
You’ll especially like this if you are a New Yorker or Italian…or both.
“This is funny – no matta who ya are!”
Orange Ricotta Pound Cake with Marmalade Glaze
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, room temp
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 t orange zest (I used the zest of two oranges)
1/2 c orange marmalade
2 t water
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep a 12-cup Bundt pan.
2. Combine together: flour, baking powder and soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. With the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar at medium-high until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
4. Add ricotta cheese and beat until smooth.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Scrap down sides of batter after each egg.
6. Beat in orange juice, vanilla and orange zest.
7. With mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Scrap down the sides a few times. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed…but don’t over mix.
8. Pour batter into greased and floured (I use Pam with Flour spray) Bundt pan. Bake on the middle rack until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. It took my cake 55 minutes at 325 degrees. The instructions say “about 1 hour and 10 minutes” so please check early.
9. Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes than depan onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before applying glaze.
10. For the glaze, heat the marmalade and water in a saucepan until everything is liquid. Brush it over the cake – I used a brush to coat the entire cake, but you can also just place on top and let it run down the sides. Let glaze cool before serving.
Mediterranean Crescent Pinwheels
Mediterranean flavors burst through layers of pastry in these pretty pinwheels.
Prep Time: 25 min
Total Time: 45
Servings: 20 appetizers
- 1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
- 1/2 lb. prosciutto or cooked ham, thinly sliced
- 4 oz. (1 cup) crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Separate dough into 4 rectangles; place on lightly floured surface. Firmly press perforations to seal. Press or roll each to form 8×5-inch rectangle.
- Arrange 1/4 of prosciutto slices evenly over each rectangle. In small bowl, combine cheese, pepper and oil; mix well. Sprinkle mixture evenly over prosciutto on each rectangle. Sprinkle with basil.
- Starting at short side of each rectangle, roll up; seal long edges. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 5 slices. Place, cut side up, on sprayed cookie sheets.
- Bake at 375°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets. Serve warm.
Apple Cider Snickerdoodles
Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchen
- Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: 25 min
- Cook Time: 30 min Level: Easy
- Serves: about 1 1/2 dozen
- Cook Time: 30 min Level: Easy
- 1 1/4 cups apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for rolling
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped red and green crispy apple chips, plus whole chips for garnish
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat the cider in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Continue to cook until syrupy and reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat the butter with 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and the light brown sugar in a separate bowl on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the reduced cider and the egg (the mixture may look slightly curdled). Stir in the flour mixture and 1/4 cup of the chopped apple chips until combined.
Stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons of chopped apple chips and the apple pie spice in a small bowl. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls, using lightly moistened hands if the dough is too sticky, and then roll in the spiced sugar mixture. Place the dough balls 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and top with a few pieces of whole apple chips. Bake until the edges are just set but centers are still soft, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking time. Cool 2 to 3 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars
From Food Network Kitchens
- Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: 8 hr 0 min
- Cook Time: 45 min Level: Easy
- Serves: about 16 (2-inch) squares
- Cook Time: 45 min Level: Easy
- 20 chocolate wafer cookies
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee beans
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon light or dark corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
- 1/2 cup crushed candy canes (see Cooks Note)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil.
For the crust: Process the chocolate wafers in a food processor with the butter, sugar, coffee, and salt until fine. Evenly press the crust into the prepared dish covering the bottom completely. Bake until the crust sets, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl; heat at 75 percent power until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir, and continue to microwave until completely melted, up to 2 minutes more. (Alternatively put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water, and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)
Blend the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream together in the food processor until smooth. Scrape down the sides, as needed. Add the eggs and pulse until just incorporated. With the food processor running, pour the chocolate into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
Pour the filling evenly over the crust. Bake until filling puffs slightly around the edges, but is still a bit wobbly in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.
For the Glaze: Put the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in microwave safe bowl. Heat glaze in the microwave at 75 percent power until melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the ingredients together until smooth; add the sour cream. Spread glaze evenly over the warm cake and scatter the crushed candy canes over top. Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.
Cut into small bars or squares. Serve chilled or room temperature.
Store cookies covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
A few days before Christmas, a man enters a pet store looking for an unusual gift for his wife. The store manager tells him he has just what he’s looking for! A beautiful parrot named Chet that sings Christmas carols.
He brings the husband over to a colorful but quiet bird. The man agrees that Chet certainly is pretty, but he doesn’t seem to be much of a singer. The manager tells him to watch as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a cigarette lighter. The manager then clicks the lighter and holds it under Chet’s left foot. Immediately Chet starts singing; “Silent Night, Holy Night.”
The husband is very impressed with Chet’s singing abilities and watches as the manager moves the lighter underneath Chet’s right foot. Chet now starts to sing “Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way.” The husband says Chet is perfect and that he’ll take him.
The husband rushes home to his wife and insists upon giving her this wonderful gift immediately. He presents Chet to her and starts to explain the parrot’s special talent.
Demonstrating, he holds a lighter under Chet’s left foot and the bird sings “Silent Night.” He then moves the lighter under the right foot and Chet lets loose a round of “Jingle Bells.” The wife is absolutely amazed, and with a mischievous grin asks her husband what happens if he holds the lighter between Chet’s legs instead. With his curiosity aroused, the husband relocates the lighter as his wife suggested and the bird begins to sing – Chet’s nuts Roasting on an Open Fire!
That one is right up there with this year’s favorite carol here at DragonLaffs World Wide Headquarters “Deck the Hall with the Dragon’s…” well, you get the idea.
A Martha Stewart Christmas
I rarely ask for much. This year is no exception. I don’t need diamond earrings, handy slicer-dicers or comfy slippers. I only want one little thing, and I want it deeply.
I want to slap Martha Stewart.
Now, hear me out, Santa. I won’t scar her or draw blood or anything. Just one good smack, right across her smug little cheek. I get all cozy inside just thinking about it. Don’t grant this wish just for me, do it for thousands of women across the country. Through sheer vicarious satisfaction, you’ll be giving a gift to us all. Those of us leading average, garden variety lives aren’t concerned with gracious living.
We feel pretty good about ourselves if our paper plates match when we stack them on the counter, buffet-style for dinner. We’re tired of Martha showing us how to make centerpieces from hollyhock dipped in 18-carat gold. We’re plumb out of liquid gold. Unless it’s of the furniture polish variety. We can’t whip up Martha’s creamy holiday sauce, spiced with turmeric. Most of us can’t even say turmeric, let alone figure out what to do with it.
OK, Santa, maybe you think I’m being a little harsh. But I’ll bet with all the holiday rush you didn’t catch that interview with Martha in last week’s USA Weekend. I’m surprised there was enough room on the page for her ego.
We discovered that not only does Martha avoid take-out pizza (she’s only ordered it once), she refuses to eat it cold (No cold pizza? Is Martha Stewart living?) When it was pointed out that she could microwave it, she replied, “I don’t have a microwave.”
The reporter, Jeffrey Zaslow, noted that she said this “in a tone that suggests you shouldn’t either.”
Well, lah-dee-dah. Imagine that, Santa!
That lovely microwave you brought me years ago, in which I’ve learned to make complicated dishes like popcorn and hot chocolate, has been declared undesirable by Queen Martha. What next? The coffee maker?
In the article, we learned that Martha has 40 sets of dishes adorning an entire wall in her home. Forty sets. Can you spell “overkill”? And neatly put away, no less. If my dishes make it to the dishwasher that qualifies as “put away” in my house!
Martha tells us she’s already making homemade holiday gifts for friends. “Last year, I made amazing silk-lined scarves for everyone,” she boasts. Not just scarves mind you. Amazing scarves. Martha’s obviously not shy about giving herself a little pat on the back. In fact, she does so with such frequency that one has to wonder if her back is black and blue.
She goes on to tell us that “homemaking is glamour for the 90s,” and says her most glamorous friends are “interested in stain removal, how to iron a monogram, and how to fold a towel.” I have one piece of advice, Martha: “Get new friends.”
Glamorous friends fly to Paris on a whim. They drift past the Greek Islands on yachts, sipping champagne from crystal goblets. They step out for the evening in shimmering satin gowns, whisked away by tuxedoed chauffeurs. They do not spend their days pondering the finer art of toilet bowl sanitation. Zaslow notes that Martha was named one of America’s 25 most influential people by Time magazine (nosing out Mother Theresa, Madeline Allbright and Maya Angelou, no doubt).
The proof of Martha’s influence: after she bought white-fleshed peaches in the supermarket, Martha says, “People saw me buy them. In an instant, they were all gone.” I hope Martha never decides to jump off a bridge.
A guest in Martha’s home told Zaslow how Martha gets up early to rollerblade with her dogs to pick fresh wild blackberries for breakfast.
This confirms what I’ve suspected about Martha all along: She’s obviously got too much time on her hands. Teaching the dogs to rollerblade. What a show off.
If you think the dogs are spoiled, listen to how Martha treats her friends: She gave one friend all 272 books from the Knopf Everyman Library. It didn’t cost much. Pocket change, really. Just $5,000. But what price friendship, right?
When asked if others should envy her, Martha replies, “Don’t envy me. I’m doing this because I’m a natural teacher. You shouldn’t envy teachers. You should listen to them.” Zaslow must have slit a seam in Martha’s ego at this point, because once the hot air came hissing out, it couldn’t be held back. “Being an overachiever is nothing despicable. It is only admirable. Never lower your standards,” says Martha.
And of her Web Page on the Internet, Martha declares herself an “important presence” as she graciously helps people organize their sad, tacky little lives. There you have it, Santa. If there was ever someone who deserved a good smack, it’s Martha Stewart. But I bet I won’t get my gift this year.
You probably want to smack her yourself.
Another Day At The Office
Question: Why is Christmas just like another day at the office?
Answer: You end up doing all the work and the fat guy in the suit gets all the credit.
Substitute ‘scales’ for ‘suit’ and that fits here at DragonLaffs too!
Stage One: You believe in Father Christmas.
Stage Two: You don’t believe in Father Christmas.
Stage Three: You are Father Christmas.
I hate to say “I warned you so!” Seriously I DO hate it because I tend to look towards the pessimistic side of things at the worst case scenario, plan for the worst and hope for the best type of thing. So when I can say “I warned you so” it generally means things are as bad if not worse than I have already expounded about or forecasted.
Case in point, just last week I went off about schools, school boards and their abuse of power and how they usurp parental authority and rights without so much as a legal foot to stand on or a by your leave. Then when someone calls them on it they manage to avoid any serious repercussions or criminal investigations.
Here is a case that illustrates that almost perfectly, except for the new twist where the liberals offer up a sacrificial scapegoat before dodging responsibility and hiding from public scrutiny.
4th grader suspended for sexual harassment for calling a teacher ‘cute’? Maybe not
A mom in North Carolina was understandably upset after she says her 9-year-old son’s school called her to say he was getting a two-day suspension for sexual harassment after telling a friend he thought a teacher was “cute.”
The allegation has caused a firestorm of controversy with the media debating if the punishment fits the crime and what exactly sexual harassment entails.
Now, the boy’s mother, Chiquita Lockett, says that’s not all he’s being accused of.
In a certified letter sent to her after she was notified by phone of the suspension a more detailed account of what the school alleges her son, Emanyea Lockett, said has emerged. The school claims, among other things that the boy made suggestive comments, calling the substitute teacher “fine” and that he continued to call other students the ‘n-word’ after school officials warned him not to, according to WSOCTV.
“What’s in that letter, if they accused him of that, I should have been notified about it, and if so then I would have seen that a suspension should have taken place,” Lockett told the news station.
Her son Emanyea claims he never used bad language about other students and that his only comment about the teacher was that she was “cute.” A simple comment such as that does not amount to a sexual harassment case, his mother points out.
The school district has declined to comment on the case citing privacy concerns and said they are conducting an investigation.
We’ll see more on this last line in just a minute. Then I’ll translate it from liberal speak for you into the plain truth but first we’re not done with this travesty of power abuse.
Principal who suspended 9-year-old for calling a teacher cute forced to retire
A principal in North Carolina received a lot of criticism nationwide after he suspended a 4th-grader for sexual harassment after the boy allegedly called a teacher “cute.”
Now, according to the Associated Press, that principal has been forced to resign. School officials have confirmed the 9-year-old’s actions did not amount to sexual harassment.
Jerry Bostic said that he made a mistake but added that he wasn’t given a chance to apologize.
Superintendent Reeves McGlohon would only say that Bostic submitted his resignation. McGlohon had no further comment.
The school system said the suspension won’t count against the student, and there will be additional instructional assistance provided to the student for the classroom time missed.
Bostic, who had a 44-year career in education, disagreed with the school board’s decision to make him quit over the incident. He said the decision came because of politics.
“I didn’t show a history of making problems like that. I’ve had the best of evaluations my entire career and because of some syndicated columnist in New York or California, I don’t have a job,” he told Fox News.
According to some accounts, the school suspended the boy not just over the comments he made to his teacher but because of bad language he used toward other students as well.
You can see his mother talk about the suspension, which has since been revoked, here:
Notice the end of that video where the unnamed school board spokesperson immediately holds the child up as a protective shield to deflect and stymie any media investigation into their flagrant abuse of power.
JUST as convenient is the fact that the investigation without pressure under the F.o.I. will never see the light of day and even then will be selectively edited BY THE WRONG DOERS before release!
THEY are going to investigate themselves? WHERE is the oversight and accountability, both legally and publically in THAT? Even the Police have review boards for their actions which review the actions and investigations of their Internal Affairs Divisions! John Q. Public gets to sit on that review board as does a representative of the town government. WHY is there no comparable review board for School Boards? The potential for harm to our children is certain as great as the potential for Police misuse of power!
This travesty of liberal over-reaching is not over yet, there is one act left to play out. The liberals when faced with their abuse uncovered and in the spot light did what they do best, fed one of their own to the media wolves in a desperate move of appeasement and misdirection.
North Carolina Principal Forced to Retire After Suspending 9-Year-Old for Calling Teacher ‘Cute
GASTONIA, N.C. – The North Carolina school principal who suspended a 9-year-old boy for saying a female teacher was “cute” has been forced to retire over the decision.
Emanyea Lockett was given a three-day suspension from Gaston’s Brookside Elementary School after he told another student his teacher was “cute” and a substitute teacher overheard the comment, the Gaston Gazette reported.
School officials investigated the incident and found that Emanyea had done nothing wrong. The school board then gave principal Jerry Bostic one hour to stand down or face termination.
Bostic spoke out after his 44-year career came to an abrupt end Tuesday, saying, “I didn’t show a history of making problems like that. I’ve had the best of evaluations my entire career and because of some syndicated columnist in New York or California, I don’t have a job.” (Here is another liberal guy that just doesn’t get it, you do not get “free mistakes” with children and you ARE accountable for your actions..ESPECIALLY misuse of power actions)
Of school superintendent Reeves McGlohon — who gave him the quit-or-be-fired ultimatum — Bostic said, “He told me he had made the decision he was going to terminate me or drop me into an assistant principal position.
“I admit I made some errors in what I did, but to fire me or to demote me with 44 years in it, it just doesn’t make sense. To me he was a very heartless man, and he did it because of politics.” (As much as it annoys me I am forced to agree with this estimation of the true motivations behind the firing. Assuming the Principals assertions regarding his career are true he should not have been fired. Clearly the school board was looking for a scapegoat and to distance themselves from this as rapidly as possible.)
Emanyea’s mother, Chiquita Lockett, said, “This is something that everyone needed to see, just to see what’s happening within our school systems.”
She was likely to pursue legal action, WSOC-TV reported.
Principal Who Suspended Student For Sexual Harassment Resigns
by The Associated Press
Story Created: Dec 6, 2011 at 8:13 PM EST
Story Updated: Dec 7, 2011 at 1:05 PM EST
GASTONIA, N.C.–UPDATE: The principal of a Gaston County school where a 9-year-old boy was suspended for sexual harassment has submitted his resignation.
School officials on Tuesday offered an apology to the boy and his mother after the boy was accused of calling a teacher “cute.” A statement from the system said it was determined that the fourth grader at Brookside Elementary School didn’t engage in sexual harassment.
Jerry Bostic said that he made a mistake but added that he wasn’t given a chance to apologize.
Superintendent Reeves McGlohon would only say that Bostic submitted his resignation. McGlohon had no further comment.
The school system said the suspension won’t count against the student, and there will be additional instructional assistance provided to the student for the classroom time missed. (Well! How bloody MAGNANIMOUS of the wankers seeing it was a problem and loss of school time of their own creation!)
Ok before I DO have the apoplectic fit Molly is accusing me of nearly having already, let me say this as a final thought- the BIGGEST travesty here was the missed opportunity to teach and shape a young mind. While I agree there ARE certain ‘zero tolerance policies’ such as against violence against teachers, bullying, drugs & weapons that should be universal in all levels of a municipal school system I DISAGREE that all ‘zero tolerance’ policies should be blanket. By punishing automatically (and apparently with prejudice) you fail to grasp the opportunity to teach right from wrong and social mores and values.
Also not taught here, the concept of innocent until proven guilty. What WAS taught here was guilt by suspicion, and that”the man” given half a chance WILL do all those things to keep you down you hear the gang banger attributing to them. Additionally a graphic demonstration of those in power will never have to answer for misuse of power or their mistakes to say nothing of might makes right.
Lastly were I the kids mother I WOULD pursue legal action, seeking not only monetary recompense but opening to the school boards records to inspection and the dismissal of the entire board.