We hardly ever get the ‘full story’

If you ask the average American what they know about South Africa, I’m going to guess the answer will probably be apartheid and Nelson Mandela.

Maybe you’ll get some people who remember then men’s soccer World Cup in 2010, or even those who — especially if the saw the movie “Invictus” or read “Playing the Enemy,” the book upon which it was based (I’ve done both) — are aware of the country’s famed Springboks national rugby team.

But apartheid and Nelson Mandela is probably what you’re going to get, mostly because that’s what we’ve heard about South Africa.

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Birthday candles, toilet paper and the next ‘0’

I’m not entirely sure what Suzi and I will do for her birthday at the end of this month.

Normally, we’d go to one of the restaurants where we eat for special occasions, but this year, we’ll probably just order take-out and eat at home.

But one thing I do know is that, whether dessert is cake or cupcakes like we did last year, we’ll have a “9” candle for the second number of her age, since she bought one the other day.

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Time to move on

The Christmas tree, the stockings — including the “Meow” one for Sasha that everyone likes so much — and the candles that come on by themselves when the light is low, meaning I don’t have to turn them on and off every night … they’re all put away now.

Suzi did most of the work on the tree, although I untwisted the lights from the branches, the beads and each other. Although they didn’t all go out when one went out, enough strings malfunctioned that we had to fill in the gaps with unused lights.

We’ve since acquired colored lights to replace the jury-rigged white ones, along with garland, so the tree will look different this year.

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The week gone by — Jan. 3*

*And maybe some more, since last week was a bit slow and I didn’t do an actual recap the week before. My blog, my rules.

In news that should be as shocking as Tuesday following Monday, the top term on Lake Superior State’s 2021 list of banished words — complied since 1976 “to uphold, protect, and support excellence in language by encouraging avoidance of words and terms that are overworked, redundant, oxymoronic, clichéd, illogical, nonsensical—and otherwise ineffective, baffling, or irritating” — is “COVID-19” or any version of the word.

And like Wednesday follows Tuesday, the second word is “social distancing.”

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One big hope for 2021

I don’t like to brag. My philosophy is “Those who are, don’t have to tell you.”

It’s why my least-favorite question in any job interview is “What is your greatest weakness?” It’s hard enough for me to say how awesome I am without then having to say how I suck, even though I know the point is to talk about how I’m trying to overcome it.

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Just when you think you’ve heard all the Christmas music

The yelp caused me to bolt off the couch and hurry to the kitchen.

Suzi was making a buche de Noel, the last of her weekly pre-Christmas treats. Even though I had warned her not to expect it to be as effortless or perfect as Mary Berry’s Yule log, the fact of the matter is I’m married to a perfectionist, so I wondered what kind of disaster I was walking into.

It wound up having nothing to do with the baking.

Continue reading “Just when you think you’ve heard all the Christmas music”