“Sometimes, living in a religious order creates excess…instead of…success.”

Said by my dad, last night at his birthday dinner. I can’t remember if this was before or after my mom laughed so hard she cried. We ate meatloaf, baked potatoes and salad, and there was much discussion about quantities of salt, to eat or not to eat the skins of a baked potato (apparently my grandmother would always eat the skins at home, but not in restaurants because there was no way of knowing how well they’d been cleaned), and whether or not my brother has ever liked meatloaf. For dessert there was the devil’s food cake from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion (I wish it had a shorter name because I’m constantly bringing it up in conversation) with an improvised coffee-vanilla buttercream frosting. Then we all watched 300, which was its own kind of excess.
This birthday dinner was preceded by an early-birthday brunch for Annie, and featured its own kind of excess in the form of mimosas, french toast, sausage, eggs, and many pots of coffee (the coffee pot holds about 3 cups, so it’s not that hard for 4 people to go through an innumerable quantity of pots). Out of all the brunch items, the mimosas were the only item on the fast. Which cracks me up. We should’ve been “good” and just sat around drinking mimosas and eating dry toast and getting sloshed. In the spirit of Advent.

Thinking back, the weekend really shaped itself well around the theme of excess. Hmm. Saturday I went Christmas shopping with my brother, and although our purchases don’t really fall into the excess category, the crowds and parking lots were their own horrific form of excess. We were, ultimately, pretty successful, though.

Now I’m being a good girl and eating my tomato soup (low-sodium, but with added sea-salt – low sodium was the only kind left on the shelf when I went shopping) (with leftover “artisan” stuffing mix used as tasty croutons) before I break into the leftover birthday cake.

In book news, and this is truly bizarre, I’m not in the mood to read any of the eight juv/YA books I have checked out (although I’m still listening to – and loving – The Wednesday Wars in the car). I read Doomsday Book by Connie Willis last week, in a few giant gulps, and now I’m in the mood for something similarly long and engrossing, not too light and not too heavy. Something epic, perhaps. Or a saga of some sort. I’m sure I could come up with some ideas that fit that criteria, but I really ought to be reading all these mock Printz books. Still, please recommend me some saga/epic/long and engrossing titles. And I’ll get to work on those YA titles in the meantime.

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