Sunday, December 18, 2005

When Bad Things Happen to Bad Fruitcakes

Because there’s been a dearth of photos on this blog as of late, here’s a photo of the best Yule card I’ve received thus far:

Fruitcake Ritual

The annual fruitcake jettisoning ceremony—as imagined by Edward Gorey. Please notice that people and animals come from far and wide to dispose of their fruitcakes, braving foul weather and using makeshift transport. Hilarious. (Note to Jamie: Clearly this would not be the fate of any of your homemade fruitcakes. This is what happens to the fruitcakes originally purchased from a Piggly Wiggly [or similar] back in 1967—the ones that were regifted year after year until Edward Gorey discovered a surefire way to get rid of them forever.)

In other news, I have regressed as a knitter—not that I was ever particularly skilled. I just spent a couple of hours working on the Cold Weather Hat only to realize after knitting more than an inch of it that I’ve been knitting not a hat but a sort of Möbius strip. It’s a bone-headed, beginner mistake. I know better, but wasn’t paying attention for some inexplicable reason. The only solution is to rip out everything I’ve done and start over. Blah.

I could blame the weather we’re having. There’s a brutal wind blowing and it’s snowing, which hardly ever happens and throws Portlanders into a panicky tizzy—my former Midwestern self included. I ventured out soon after the ice pellets began to fall, because I had to pick up an order of Yule chocolate I’d ordered and today was the only pick-up day. Unlike Chicago, Portland has no snowplows (to speak of) or salt trucks, and the streets were icing up rapidly. Everyone was creeping along at 10 to 15 mph and applying the brakes (ever so gingerly) hundreds and hundreds of feet before a stop sign or a stoplight. Even so people were fishtailing all over the place. It’s nice to see the people who own Escalades drive cautiously and defensively for a change. It wouldn’t take much for one of those behemoths to total my 1989 Honda Civic, which has a Blue Book value of probably about 74 cents.

Had the weather not deteriorated, B and I would have gone for a nice long walk and gotten some sorely needed exercise this afternoon. Instead I sat inside and squandered a good part of the afternoon knitting the Möbius strip and trying to resist the impulse to gobble Yule Lads right and left*.

Yule Lads

Yule Lads and Snowflakes

Hard to believe the Yule Lads were made by an adult, isn’t it? Like me, they appear to have not a glimmer of fashion sense. I had fun making them, though, and that’s the main thing. By the way, Yule Lads are Iceland’s answer to Santa Claus. They're a group of 13 gnome-like men, each with his own special revolting habit (e.g., pot licking, milk slurping, sausage snatching). I first learned about Yule Lads on Alda’s blog, and they immediately captivated me. For more about them and the tricks they get up to, read Alda’s excellent post here.

*I did successfuly resist the temptation to eat a plate of Yule Lads, but probably only because at the moment I'm all cookied out after attending several parties last week. The real test will be tomorrow. Because of the weather, there isn't much in the way of real food in the house, and I may have to resort to eating Lads for all three meals, although I pray not.


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