December 25th, 2012

  • hinoema

Christmas... tree surgery!

I starved my Christmas tree of water, so fir surgery was called for to save the holiday.

I'm writing you from the scene of Christmas tree surgery.

It wasn't pretty. But it had to be done.

The Fraser fir came home with us two Saturdays ago, and spent its first week in our home sitting bushily in the corner of the den. The couch moved over to make room. The rug gathered pine needles. The tree drank a gallon of water a day.

And then I tried to kill it.

It wasn't intentional. I'm not some Grinch who waited for the moment to strike, or Charlie Brown, who could never pick a healthy tree anyway. But this weekend, between brunch, Christmas shopping, and a late dinner on the lower East Side, I let the tree run dry.

The Christmas tree message boards; an active online community; caution against this sort of thing. "With proper care, a tree should last five weeks," they say. "But, whatever you do, don't stop watering. Even ONE DAY will do it."

Exposed to hours of air, the cut end of the trunk had sealed itself over with sap. I added more water and crossed my fingers. Nothing. My tree was on a hunger strike.

"Don't worry about it," said Chris. "We only have two weeks left anyway."

But I couldn't help feeling the tree's pain. What I'd done was tantamount to letting a holiday party run out of punch.

Only that morning the tree had been admired by our brunch guests, and Chris' mom was sending ornaments from his childhood.

What was I going to do when they arrived? Hang them on bare, brittle branches, scattering what needles hadn't already dropped?

Monday morning, as soon as Chris had headed for the office, I went to the hardware store. The clerk rang up a drop cloth and a handsaw; a shopping list that seemed more "American Psycho" than "It's a Wonderful Life", but I was on a mission.

Walking back through Carroll Gardens, where the homes and storefronts were festooned with every conceivable garland and bauble, I remembered other Christmas trees I'd known.

There were the ones I helped my dad cut down, the one my friend Mia hauled up six flights of stairs to the apartment we shared, and the first I bought with Chris, back in 2009, the one we stuffed in the back of a Toyota Matrix Zip Car for the trip home.

Chris hadn't especially loved Christmas back then, or at least not at my holly jolly level of mania. But a tree became our prized tradition, and this year he was the one scouting the sidewalk lots before November had even come to a close.

With the drop cloth spread out on the living room rug, I heaved the seven-foot fir from its stand, toppled it on its side, and sawed a half-inch coaster from the bottom of the trunk. In a storm of needles and shatterproof ornaments, I lugged it upright again and, a few minutes later, fed it three carafes of perfectly lukewarm water.

The room was silent but for the burbling of the coffee maker. The street was empty outside. I plugged in the lights and sat for a moment, the aroma of the woods wafting around me.

"You were very brave," I said to the tree. "And no one will miss that half inch."

Graphic surgery picture at the source Considering the news that's been posted so far, I needed a lighthearted Christmas story.

Seriously, though, who gets a live tree two weeks before the holiday?
Darren/People Photoshoot

World In Desperate Need of Video of Obama Dancing to Gangham Style

President Obama Tells People Magazine He Does 'Gangnam Style' Dance To Embarrass His Daughters
Posted: 12/20/2012 5:04 pm EST

It was only just before the election that Barack Obama first heard "Gangnam Style."

At the time, he noted tentatively: "I think I can do that move. But I'm not sure that the inauguration ball is the appropriate time to break that out."

Two months later, he's still reluctant to do the dance in public -- but he's apparently more than willing to do it at home.

"They're cooler than I am," the president says of his daughters in a new interview with People magazine. "There are things I like that they think are cheesy, like 'Gangnam Style.'" He adds that he "absolutely" does the now-internationally-famous "gallop" to embarrass his kids.

Obama has already expressed his appreciation of the mega-viral hit in person, according to an interview with Psy in The Hollywood Reporter. The South Korean singer explained: “He told me he’s good at ‘Gangnam Style’ but that the ladies at his house are embarrassed when he’s dancing so he’s not doing it.”

In the People interview, the president and Mrs. Obama also discussed their family life on a more serious level.

While Mrs. Obama said the girls have plenty of time to decide what they want to do when they grow up -- Malia's "a freshman, so she also knows she has years in college to explore her interest" and Sasha "doesn't even try and lay it out yet" -- the president waxed sentimental about how quickly the time goes.

"There's something about your daughters that just breaks your heart. ... The finite amount of time you have with your children, and the joy they bring on a minute-to-minute, day-by-day basis -- the idea that that's not there all the time is something that can hit me hard sometimes."

Read the full interview in the Dec. 31 issue of People.

Source without pictures or videos of Obama dancing to Gangham style :(

Barack Obama? More like Barock Obama.
Sirius - Ho Ho Ho

Parents of man accused of planning shooting call for changes in mental health system

Parents of man accused of planning shooting call for changes in mental health system

Bill and Tricia Lammers sat in the lobby of Citizens Memorial Hospital on Friday, a week after 20 children and six adults were killed at a Connecticut elementary school. Outside, the flag flew at half staff.

The couple has been here before. They have waited for hours as hospital staffers called institutions around the state, trying to find one that had an open bed for their mentally ill son, Blaec, 20. They have waited time and again, five times here and twice in other hospitals, long before November when their son was arrested.

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