Tuesday, December 27, 2005

An Xmas miracle

Happy Boxing Day, dear non-readers.

ALERT: I discuss Brokeback Mountain at the end of this entry. No spoilers per se, but if you want to go in fresh, stop.

So yesterday I spent my sixth Xmas without the fam, and no disrespect to the fam intended but it was pretty great. The day began with a five-mile hike through Malibu Creek Park (where they filmed the opening sequence to M.A.S.H.) with my friend, the soon-to-be-the-next-star-of-newspaper-design, Amy, her boyfriend Robbie (major screenwriter on the verge), Amy's sister Kara, Amy and Kara's mom and step-dad and Amy and Robbie's friends Nick and Chris. A band of 8. It was one of those weird days in Southern California when the weather flips from zip code to zip code practically. It was gray/dreary in Culver City, drearier then sunny on the coast and sunny and warm in the Canyon. When you can wear a t-shirt and jeans on Xmas, how can you miss white Christmases?

After the quickie hike it was back home to shower up, call the fam and pick up some wine, music and really sharp knives, (that's my psycho seduction kit, because nothing says Xmas like a killing spree).

Then it was onto Amy's to chill, be a guy watching football (that was especially significant because Amy has seen me at my least manly -- discussing which movies make me cry, talking about clothes, hair products and i'd better stop on this list), trade music and eat a traditional Xmas feast -- 12-pound turkey, squash, mashed potatoes, salad, gravy, cranberry sauce, peas, fudge, wine, chocolate beer, stuffing.

As we were finishing up the preparing of the grandiose meal, Amy's stepdad, Neil (or is it Neal, i never got a spelling, dammit), asked me whether I'd like to carve the turkey. I kept trying not to, because as a 30-year-old I had never actually manned up and made the maiden slices on a turkey. But Neil gently insisted and promised that I wouldn't mess it up, b/c no matter what it looked like when I cut it, the eating size and shape would be small and shredded. That actually set my mind at ease.

So there I was holding my $70 Cutco Petite Carver knife and a fork getting ready to cut everybody's turkey. My first slice wasn't so good, unless we change the definition of good to mean about one square-inch of turkey of varying thickness that seems to be fraying at all the edges. My second piece is an improvement though, it's about twice as large and only half as frayed, though still randomly varied in thickness. My third slice though is about the size of the the kind of slab you see on a television commercial or at a carving station at a restaurant, yay! but it's also fraying and kind of variable in thickness, but less so. After about 20 minutes and dozens of slices, I've managed to reproduce the restaurant carving station quality on three or four slices of turkey.

Oh well, I felt like a man dammit, at least when Robbie said that he had gotten one of the well-cut slices.


P.S. We ended Xmas by seeing Brokeback Mountain. Good movie, not amazing. The characters were insufficiently drawn, at least Heath Ledger's was, and since the movie is told more from his viewpoint, that's not insignificant. But see it. First off, it's gorgeous--Wyoming mountains, two hot guys, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway (who can really act, as not shown in the Princess Diaries).

No comments: