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Group Reads > December 2015 - The Dreaded Feast

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message 1: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly,
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don't say "when."
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens,
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again.

Tom Lehrer


The holidays are here; there's no stopping them. And whether you love this time of year, or are planning to hibernate until mid-January, you should find an essay in this book by an author who shares your sentiments.

This one is a great choice for our December read. Throw another Yule log on the fire, or perhaps a copy of It's a Wonderful Life, and kick back with a hot cup of something. Don't worry. It'll all be over soon.


message 2: by Melki (last edited Dec 01, 2015 02:47AM) (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
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message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shiroff | 840 comments They left out "Jews get take-out Chinese food" on Dec. 25th.


message 4: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "They left out "Jews get take-out Chinese food" on Dec. 25th."

So, do your kids get Christmas and Hanukkah presents?

(And I didn't have to google the spelling of Hanukkah. Sometimes I amaze myself.)


message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shiroff | 840 comments Melki wrote: "So, do your kids get Christmas and Hanukkah presents?

(And I didn't have to google the spelling of Hanukkah. Sometimes ..."


They used to get 8 little gifts and one "major" gift. Now they're lucky if they get a pleasant remark from me -- er, now they get just one "major" gift and I'm not sure why. ~mumbles under breath "the ungrateful wretches."~

And congrats on the spelling. I still can't seem to do it right without double checking.


message 6: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
I used to be able to threaten them with the gift of socks, but this year the oldest one asked for socks.

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Twelve dollar Bob Ross socks. Sheesh!


message 7: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
Too funny, Melki! Eldest Son asked for socks and underwear for his birthday, so he could have enough to go a whole week or more between loads of laundry.


message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shiroff | 840 comments Melki wrote: "Twelve dollar Bob Ross socks. Sheesh!"

I bet they were popular at the Bob Ross reunion:

http://www.nytimes.com/video/fashion/...


message 9: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
I don't understand the attraction, but he spent an entire Saturday evening a few months ago watching a B.R. marathon.


message 10: by CartoonistAndre (new)

CartoonistAndre | 725 comments Bob Ross is like meditation you feel the painting being made and whether you're attempting your own painting or not, it's just like a beautiful song.


message 11: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
CartoonistAndre wrote: "Bob Ross is like meditation you feel the painting being made and whether you're attempting your own painting or not, it's just like a beautiful song."


Listening to him makes me want to buy the world a Coke and go sing on a mountaintop with some damned dirty hippies.


message 12: by CartoonistAndre (last edited Dec 06, 2015 05:27PM) (new)

CartoonistAndre | 725 comments Been there! I just didn't get into putting the mountain flowers in my hair and prancing around like they show in the newsreels. You know, the old reel to reel. And I wouldn't wish Coke on my worst enemy.


message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
I have no idea who Bob Ross is. And once again I get the sense that my ignorance of pop culture is a huge blessing.


message 14: by CartoonistAndre (last edited Dec 07, 2015 05:05PM) (new)

CartoonistAndre | 725 comments He was an old hippie painter, his show The Joy Of Painting was televised nationally on PBS back in the renaissance years. He died in '95. He would describe the strokes and colors; " In a voice so soothing that its effect was once compared to Demerol, Mr. Ross encouraged viewers to paint "happy little clouds" and "pretty little mountains." says the article. I think the psyche units nationally used it for many inmates recuperation and sedation.

Sample PBS lesson

BOB- NYTimes obit

I never saw a whole program, but enjoyed some of his 'happy little cloud' lessons. I can feel Jim Belushi coming down the stairs ready to smash that easel from wall to wall!


message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
Ah--I've heard the happy clouds thing being parodied. Never knew just where that came from.


message 16: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
Just by coincidence, I saw this today . . .

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Strange Brew by John Deering


message 17: by Dave (new)

Dave Agans (daveagans) | 46 comments In my youth I found that watching anyone doing a focused task would give me goosebumps, and Bob Ross painting did the trick. Later in life I learned that I was not alone, and they've named this Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. (Look it up!) Different things trigger different people, but soothing sounds or whispering voices, and meticulous actions are common. Bob Ross carefully applying paint with the sound of the brush dabbing or the knife scraping, with him calmly talking, hit all my hot buttons at once. I sometimes check out a video just for a relaxing thrill.


message 18: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
Dave wrote: "In my youth I found that watching anyone doing a focused task would give me goosebumps, and Bob Ross painting did the trick. Later in life I learned that I was not alone, and they've named this Aut..."

He does have a soothing voice, much like nurses use around mental patients. Even Nurse Ratched.


message 19: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3511 comments Mod
So, I guess no one is reading this. It's a busy time of year. It's taken me 14 days to read the latest Christopher Buckley book. Any other time of year, I would have had it done in three, max.

I read The Dreaded Feast: Writers on Enduring the Holidays in 2012. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Hope you all get around to reading it someday.


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