A handful of random thoughts before getting to today’s equally random post …
*In my election recap, it was very poor form to not mention and thank the person who nominated me - at least, the only one I’m aware of. Obviously, none of this might have happened without her, so I owe her a big debt of gratitude. She didn’t want me to mention her by name, so I’ll just give you a hint: she’s part pirate.
*I’ve been putting off a tag from Momo about 5 random things for entirely too long – another casualty of the blog contest. I’ve been involved with politics for less than a month, and it’s already corrupting my character. I’ll hopefully get that post up sometime next week, but in the meantime, here’s one item I was going to include: the song currently playing on my mp3 sidebar is one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time – and I’m willing to bet that most of you haven’t heard it before.
*I mentioned that I currently owe a lot of favors, so today I’m going to start paying it forward:
Robyn, who lives in my one-time stomping ground of North Carolina, has a truly altruistic purpose for her participation in triathlon: using her efforts as a platform to help fight homelessness in her home state. She is currently nominated in something called the Engines of Change Power of Sport Contest by Toyota, which – in addition to having the longest contest name I’ve ever heard – recognizes athletes who make a positive contribution to their communities. Visit by her blog, and check out the contest to give her some votes.
Speaking of positive contributions, this year Bolder launched a fantastic website named Bloggers Against Cancer, to increase awareness and support for the many agencies and organizations out there fighting against various forms of the disease. Most tri-bloggers already know about this site - Bolder has tremendous reach - but the runner-types who visit here could use a reminder. The blog is still in startup mode, but please give him a click and see what you can do to help.
*Time magazine officially named their person of the year (Vladimir Putin) today, which means that the one-year reign of the previous winner – All of Us! – has come to an end. Was it good for you? I can’t even remember what life was like before I heard that news.
And finally …
*Jamie-Lynn Spears, Britney’s 16-year-old sister, is pregnant. It’s certainly not the most shocking teen pregnancy ever, or even the most scandalous celebrity headline of the year; I only mention it because the girls’ mother, Lynn, is the author of a book on parenting that was scheduled to be released next spring. That kind of irony was simply too juicy for me to ignore. It’s like Barry Bonds writing a book about Just Saying No to drugs.
OK, enough rambling - thanks for humoring me. On with the post …
I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately - too much writing, honestly. Between blog posts, newspaper articles, holiday letters, and e-mails, my fingers need a break from the keyboard. So today, I’m letting some pictures do the talking. More specifically, I’ve got pictures of our Christmas cookies to share.
This wasn’t an official tag that circulated the blogosphere, but I’ve seen so many posts on this theme that it might as well have been. Earlier this week, our family spent the evening decorating a batch of over 80 shortbread cookies baked by my wife. When you think about it, it’s no wonder Santa gains so much weight at this time of year.
Each of us had our own set of various shapes to decorate. Here’s my 4-year-old daughter’s batch:
A close-up of her favorite angel – it’s got a kind of "Picasso meets Jackson Pollack" vibe to it.
My 9-year-old son is fairly eclectic - he’s not satisfied until he’s tried every color frosting and every type of topping available. The results are fairly impressive:
The star on the left was supposed to be Spongebob’s friend Patrick, but somehow came out more like Peach, the sea star from Finding Nemo. The one on the right resembles the Carl’s Junior mascot, for no reason other than it was easy to make.
Here’s a snowman I thought was kind of cool:
Yes ... it’s a snowman who got peed on by a dog. I thought it was clever. My wife had a somewhat different opinion.
At any rate, frosting 80 cookies can make anyone a little punchy, and this snowman signaled the end of the evening. We boxed them all up to distribute to classmates and friends, and selected our favorites to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve. (No, the peed-on snowman didn’t make the cut.) After leaving some gifts, he usually eats all but a few crumbs before heading on his way. I think he’ll be pleased with this year’s batch.
And, on a related note: Santa has some serious training to do after the holidays.