For almost three decades many years, on the second Wednesday in December, I have hosted a Ladies Lefse Party , as mentioned here and here and here and…. And yes, the soiree was Ladyfolk only, much to the chagrin of the Many Fine Gentlemen I Know Who Also Like To Make Lefse. ® 
Norwegian Americans – does this culture know from fun, or what? 
There was no Ladies Lefse Party last year – not in my house, that is (Ægir only knows what sordid celebrations were held in the nether neighborhoods of Minnesota ). I had the privilege of recognizing I needed to take (and being able to do so) a control-alt-delete sabbatical (as written about here ) which I did…or tried to do…in early-mid December.
December 2016 turned out to be quite the month for tempests, both meteorological and personal. Winter storm Caly brought snow/ice/freezing rain to regions of NW Oregon which rarely get such extreme weather and thus aren’t equipped to adequately deal with it (read: power outages, road closures, accidents, flight cancellations….). I returned early from my sabbatical to work around the weather re scheduling travel to attend the memorial service for a beloved friend/ mentor/former employer…just as my mother’s health precipitously deteriorated. Coordinating with my other siblings’ visits to our mother’s home (Santa Ana, CA) I booked another flight: for the day after Christmas.
I found out early Christmas morning, minutes before K arrived to open stockings and presents with MH and Belle and I, that my mother had died late the previous evening (my mother’s live-in caretaker wanted to spare us the sad news on Christmas Eve.).
A few months ago, looking ahead to the holiday season, I was anticipating the lefse party. Now I ‘m thinking, give it one more year. It’s good to take a break from the usual routines every now and then – even from those which bring you great joy – if only because doing so makes you more appreciative when you resume them. This is what I tell myself. However, all I know right now is this: it makes me feel sad to realize that I will not be able to call my mother after the party. No matter how foggy and/or fearful her brain could be in the last years of her life, she always perked up when I told her about the lefse parties. She was able to follow the narrative and share stories and recollections of her own. I think – I hope – the distance of another year will enable the fond memories to mute the bouts of heartache.
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Department Of There’s Nothing Like Dissing White Trash 
To Segue From A Poignant Topic
Dateline: Wednesday morning, out walking at 7 am. Heading for a neighborhood park, I pass the house that always has at least three or four muscle cars parked in the driveway and/or on the lawn. I arrive just as one of the cars is being warmed up by its driver, who revs the engine, over and over (the resulting cacophony is surely appreciated by the neighbors). Plumes of gray-white smoke chortle, pop and chug from the car’s custom, over-sized tailpipe, and I think, So, when the driver’s a flaming asshole he makes sure his car has one, too?
The unmuffled engine farts increases as the driver backs down the driveway and shifts into first gear. I am tempted to chase after the car and tap on the window with my walking pole. In my brief but oh-so satisfying fantasy, the driver stops the car, rolls down the window, and I inform him, with a look of grave concern on my face, “Excuse me, sir, but there is obviously something really wrong with your dick car.”
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Department Of I Can’t Make Up This Shit
“There are two sides to this coin. We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us — and this is where we are today….. We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that. Although it’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.”
(Angela Lansbury says women must ‘sometimes take blame’ for sexual harassment,
Or, to play on the title of Lansbury’s most famous acting gig, Horseshit, She Said.
When I first saw Lansbury’s name trending in social media, moiself thought that yet another formerly bright star was going to be featured in the upcoming Emmy, Tony and Academy Awards roll call of the dead. Turns out…not. Unless those shows also decide to run a tribute for the brain-dead.
Actually, I’m going easy here.
Ever have that reaction where you cringe in embarrassment for someone else, when you read about what that Someone Else has said or done? Please, Angela darling, a follow-up: the world eagerly awaits your opinion as to how sexual assault victims, from three year old girls to 94 year old retired nuns in nursing homes, can own up to “the fact” that their efforts to “make themselves attractive” backfired.
Angela Lansbury, the (formerly?) beloved stage, film and television (Murder, She Wrote) actor, is 92. She’ll be given – rightly, perhaps – a certain amount of slack for the mind-jaw-bobbling-ignorance-revealing statements she made, in an interview with a British magazine, about the Hollywood sexual assault and harassment scandals. And I’m not going to read any of the excuses, because I can pretty much guess what they’ll sound like:
Oh this is so pathetic but remember, she’s 92; she’s from another era; she’s really old; she’s a prime example of just how entrenched misogyny and the patriarchy are; she’s in her 90s; she’s from a time where women had to look the other way and *not* rock the boat if they wanted to get ahead…and did I mention how old she is?
As to the shit I can’t make up: guess what Ms. Lansbury’s first film role was? It couldn’t be the one about a woman who is manipulated so persistently and successfully by a man she trusts that she begins to doubt what is all around her? Yep; it was Gaslight.
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Department Of Even More Puerile Entertainment
During the last few weeks MH and I have been going to furniture stores, checking out their various counter stools/bar chair models. Last Sunday eve, as we wandered the aisles of Dania,  I confessed to MH that when we are at such venues and are inevitably approached  by a salesperson who asks, “May I be of assistance?” I’m having a hard time refraining from replying, “We’d like to see your stool samples.”
* * *
May your age never excuse your ignorance;
May the size of your car’s tailpipe reflect your acceptance of your attributes;
May your immature thoughts be the delight (or bane) of furniture salespeople;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 And who, like so many of the fine men I know, never organize their own such parties, but just complain about not being invited to the women’s gigs.
 Fortunately, the Irish half of me is dominant.
 Ægir is the Norse god of partying.
 I realize many people are offended by that label. However, analogous to African-Americans who use the N-word, I come from a long line of WT and thus feel entitled to apply the epithet judiciously.
 Where we purchased a Really Cool Lamp ® on sale…but nothing else.
 Why are there no more footnotes?