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Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 3

Posted by infinitygoods on December 17, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here and Part 2 is here.

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Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of hot chocolate, croissants and panettone. I also love the French tradition of the 13 desserts, although I’ve never done it for my immediate family since there are only three of us. This year though, I’ve come up with a great idea. I’ll have the requisite Yule log or buche de Noel, and I’ll buy 12 individual-sized pastries from the bakery. We’ll have one bite from each! I think it will do the trick of keeping a tradition while not having enough dessert to feed two armies. Year-round I do not have a particularly sweet tooth, but I associate Christmas with lots of wonderful food and lots of sweets of all kinds. I have a huge extended family. We’re talking hundreds of people when all the generations get together. On my mom’s side of the family, we would do a potluck-style Christmas dinner. Each adult would bring one item for the dinner. It was that nuclear family’s contribution to the dinner and Christmas gift to the entire extended family. One person would bring caviar, another would bring smoked salmon, another oysters, another champagne, another boudins blanc (white sausages), etc., etc., etc. When you have so many people gathering, you also use the entire home, including the family room, formal entry and the bedrooms. My paternal grandfather would have buffet tables in every room. We would go from room to room and visit with family while munching on hors d’oeuvres scattered around the entire house. I remember one gathering where some of my cousins and I discovered the room with the red and black caviar canapes. We were very hungry and we discovered very good caviar. Not too salty and no fishy taste. When we left the room, there were almost none left for the adults. You snooze, you loose!

16. Favorite Christmas song? I have far too many to pick one. It was already very difficult to pick a top 13 for a previous post, but you can click here to see which ones are some of my favorites, and you can click here to see why I appreciate the 12 Days of Christmas even more now than I used to.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. I have the misfortune of living far away from home, so most years I am the one who has the chore of traveling hundreds of miles during the busy holiday season. From time to time, the mountain thankfully comes to Mohammed, though.

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? If you give me enough time I will, but off the tip of my tongue, Rudolph is the only one who ever comes to mind. Did you know Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Wards employee? If you are too young to remember Montgomery Wards, it was a department store similar to Sears. It was the first department store to trust me with a student store-credit card back when I was still a teenager. I thoroughly miss that store and Woolworth, too. How could they possibly close American institutions like that? What a pity.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have several of both, and Mary with baby Jesus, and a needle, and a chandelier-like tree top. Remember I have trees in every single room.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child we always opened gifts on Christmas Day. Notice, I did not say Christmas Morning. My mom would torture us by not allowing any gifts, not even one, to be opened until afternoon. In the name of Christmas not being about gifts, but about God, my mom decided that the gift opening would almost be an afterthought. There would also be only one from Santa and one from my parents. Thank goodness for relatives, though with so many relatives, most did not give gifts to all of us children, but I usually received two or three more gifts that way, so at least I was not deprived. When I got married, my husband’s family was used to opening all presents on Christmas Eve so it worked out very well for us. Christmas Eve was at his parents’ house, Christmas Day was at mine, and nobody argued or got feelings hurt. Our son opens gifts on Christmas Morning as soon as we are done with our special Christmas breakfast.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Atheists trying to jam their own beliefs down our throats because they can’t at least live and let live. Too many of them don’t just not believe in God, but are actually anti-God and make their own beliefs into a religion.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer the old-fashioned kind of Christmas ornaments on a real, green Christmas tree. I also like my very artificial silver foil tabletop tree with tiny gold ball ornaments and “S” shaped swirl hooks. The white lights and even daylight reflect on the foil and the ornaments, so it does look quite stuning. Being silver, it looks very much at home even past New Year, and can be decorated with a timepiece theme or numbers/years. That tree reminds me of the tree my parents had bought in the late ’60s. I see no use for ornaments representing licensed products like Spider-Man, Star Wars and the like, not that I have anything against these types of things, but because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib. My mother-in-law used to make an entire side of cow and it was the very best prime rib ever. No other home cook and no restaurant chef, even ones supposedly specializing in prime rib, can ever compare to hers.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? The best gift ever would be one that only Santa or God (or just maybe my Realtor) could give me. I would like my house to finally sell in this horrible market where my Realtor tells us there is a 12 months inventory in our area and mortgage companies are not even granting loans to anyone but those with extremely fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, stupendous credit.

And here’s a bonus question from me, because this last one is kind of a downer and Christmas should be happy!

25. What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, growing up in Paris, France, my parents would take me to see the large department store windows (it’s similar to the New York City tradition). I would especially like the automatons and anything moving like the toy trains. We would drive on the Champs Elysees with the Arch of Triumph in front of us, getting ever closer, and around Christmas time, the City of Lights would explode with even more lights than the rest of the year. Each year I just could not believe my eyes at the sight of so many lights and so many beautiful things to look at. Between Christmas and Epiphany, my parents would take me to many of the churches in Paris so we could visit Baby Jesus. Each church would have its own gorgeous Nativity set. Some would even have several, and all were antiques, because Paris was not made yesterday.

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Baptism Important to Russell Crowe, Will Receive Sacrament This Year In His Family Chapel

Posted by infinitygoods on November 8, 2007

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Outside of Russell Crow’s Family ChapelInside of Russell Crow’s Family Chapel — Photos courtesy Oprah Winfrey Show

Russell Crowe, 43, Academy Award Winner, told Men’s Journal in the upcoming December 2007 issue that he wants to be baptized this year at the same time as his 1-year-old son, Tennyson, in the Byzantine chapel he built on his Australian ranch for personal contemplation and expanded in 2003 for his wedding to actress-singer Danielle Spencer.

“I’d like to do it this year. If I believe it is important to baptize my kids, why not me?” he says.

Crow, who starred in “Gladiator,” “Beautiful Mind” and currently “American Gangster” with Denzel Washington, has shown deep spirituality and romance when he first built a small wooden chapel on his ranch because he felt the need for a sacred place for personal contemplation. His brother was married in the wooden chapel.

“I do believe there are more important things than what is in the mind of man. There is something much bigger that drives us all. I’m willing to take that leap of faith.”

Later he would add on a 26-foot dome, inspired by the Roman skyline and his visits to Paris, for his bride-to-be. In an interview for the Oprah Show in 2003, he said, hinting at the future, “This is a great place. … Now we can host christenings and other marriages. Maybe my son’s wedding. That would be interesting.”

The circular portion of the chapel, circular to “create a circle of friends,” is made of stone with stained glass windows ,and on the floor is a mosaic from the second century A.D. Crow says the chapel has been consecrated. His wedding was officiated by a bishop, and his oldest son, Charlie, 3, has already been baptized in the chapel.

“I remember standing in the chapel, and just as the bishop started talking, the afternoon sun hit the center of that stained glass window and just ran up Daniel’s dress in golds and reds and blues. … It was gorgeous,” he said on Oprah’s television show.

Crowe told Men’s Journal that his parents had not baptized him because they had wanted their children to make their own decisions regarding the sacrament and God.

Although speaking of faith and God could be particularly damaging in the liberal, atheistic, Hollywood mind-set, Crowe has taken a Christian stand that he does believe in God, that baptism matters to him and that he is not afraid to let the world know about his spirituality.

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in blog, blogging, celebrities, Children, Christianity, culture, Faith, Family, God, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, novel, novel in 30 days, religion, spirituality, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Daylight Saving Time: Don’t Blame it on Benjamin Franklin

Posted by infinitygoods on November 4, 2007

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Did you remember to change your clocks? If you are a U.S. resident in any state other than Arizona and Hawaii, it’s time to fall back 1 hour because of somebody’s stupid idea of daylight-saving time.

I already can hear some of you telling me it was Benjamin Franklin’s idea, one of our Founding Fathers and one of history’s greatest men.

And I answer, not true.

Ben Franklin wrote an anonymous spoof, a satire, a parody, a travesty for the entertainment of the editors of the Journal de Paris and mutual high-society, party-going Parisian friends in 1784.

He had them rolling on the floor laughing when he wrote things like Paris should put guards at every candle shop to prevent Parisians from buying too many candles.

“Let the same salutary operation of police be made use of, … that is, let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.”

Remember too that Paris is and was in those days too, the City of Lights. There are more lights in Paris on any given day than there are in most U.S. cities during the Christmas season.

They kept right on laughing when Franklin told them Paris should tax one gold Louis coin for each window blocking the sun’s light.

“Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.”

Their eyes must have teared up by so much laughter when the great scientist and inventor wrote that he had just discovered that the sun rose as early as 6 a.m. and not only does it rise that early, but it also gives off light that early. He even consulted his almanac to verify the truth of this concept. Of course you do remember that Franklin himself wrote that almanac under the pseudonym Richard Saunders (Poor Richard).

“I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was but six o’clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward, too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o’clock. Your readers, who with me have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon, and seldom regard the astronomical part of the almanac, will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially when I assure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. I am convinced of this. I am certain of my fact. One cannot be more certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And, having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result.”

The muscles in their faces must have ached from so much laughter and you can read for yourself the entire article in English if you still believe the hogwash we are fed by politicians each year.

Here’s the link, http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/franklin3.html

Ben Franklin was much too smart to seriously want the entire country and the world to go through the stupidity of changing clocks one hour twice a year.

Daylight Saving Time is a nuisance at best and a public danger since traffic accident rates rise sharply each time we are forced by governments to fiddle with our clocks.

Don’t blame Benjamin Franklin for Daylight Saving Time. He laughed at the idea.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, American History, blog, blogging, culture, Early American History, Friendship, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, politics, reading, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

By Popular Request: Update to Thursday Thirteen

Posted by infinitygoods on November 2, 2007

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Here’s an addition to my Thursday Thirteen list by popular demand from e-mails and because of Wolfie’s and 4urpets’ comments asking which were my favorites. So Wolfie and all the others, here’s an annotated list of the 13 cities I have lived in.I liked all but one town. My favorites would be Paris, Menton, Monte Sereno and Palo Alto.

  • Almaden, CA — I love this place by the lake with windsurfers and a man-made beach.
  • Calabasas, CA — A fabulous and safe town today with lots of family-friendly activities, but a hot, dusty, middle-of-nowhere-town back in the days when we lived there, yet it remains one of my favorites and one of the places where I was happiest.
  • Chatsworth, CA — Home of Lucy and Desi Arnaz, but has become the porn capital of the world. It changed from a horse property area to a factory and gang infested area so we moved pronto.
  • Malibu, CA — I had the privilege of living in this beautiful beach town with wonderful people. I have many fabulous memories as I went to college there and was married there. My heart stops each time I hear on the news they are in peril once again from fire, mud slides, rock slides, etc..
  • Menton, France — Has a fabulous lemon and orange parade each summer. Think Pasadena’s Rose Parade with citrus. The tomatoes are to die for, the sea is warm, and we had a spectacular view of the Italian and French Riviera and Monte Carlo.
  • Monte Sereno, CA — Smells like jasmine as it grows everywhere. Whenever I need to relax, I visualize floating in my pool looking up at the gorgeous blue sky and the palm trees gently swaying in the breeze.
  • Palo Alto, CA — Home of Stanford, Hewlett Packard and many more Silicon Valley companies. It’s a good town for families and history and culture buffs like me. The people are very conscious of their beautiful and clean environment and it’s a stone throw from San Francisco.
  • Paris, France — The most beautiful city I have ever seen in my life.
  • Port Hueneme, CA — Another beach town. Do you notice a trend? I love water. Water refreshes my soul.
  • Santa Cruz, CA — Another beach town, but I desperately hope I will never be forced to live there again. The nature is gorgeous, a few people are extremely nice, but most are still stuck in the hippy, druggy ’60s. It is dirty and crowded. I have traumatic memories of living there. Sorry Santa Cruz!
  • Thousand Oaks, CA — They planned a cultural center for 30 years, but they waited until I moved out to finally build it. While I was there it was hickville. Today it deservedly gets voted each year as one of the best towns in California.
  • West Hills, CA — It’s a nice bedroom suburb community of Los Angeles, but there’s not much to say about it.
  • Woodland Hills, CA — See comment about West Hills, although it is busier as one of LA’s major business streets, Ventura Boulevard, runs right through it.

So there you have it. Be sure to see my next Thursday Thirteen because it’s related to this list which in part was why I had elected not to annotate this one, but I’m glad you’re interested enough to send me your requests.

And, don’t forget, I’m participating in National Blog Post Month (and National Novel Writing Month at the same time — just because I insanely love to write), so although tomorrow is Saturday, I’ll be posting. I’ll be writing in my blog every single day for the month of November so please stop by and visit me.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, culture, Home, Internet, Malibu, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, novel, novel in 30 days, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

You Can’t Trust Anybody These Days!

Posted by infinitygoods on October 12, 2007

As I turned on the TV news today, I was bombarded with recall after recall. On the headlines: infant cold and cough medicine with even the big names like Tylenol, more pot pies, more toys including Mattel again, baby strollers, carriers, etc. with Winnie the Pooh and made in Korea, lipsticks including name brands like L’Oreal and Dior with the prestige of Paris, but actually subcontracted just like Mattel, and the list went on too.

So what’s happening here? Are the government agencies more stringent than they have been in the past and these recalls would have been under the radar until now? Have companies gone insane and they are trying to kill consumers, the very hand that feeds them? Have some evil forces or the 9/11 Terrorists infiltrated even our formerly most trusted name brands in an attempt to kill even our youngest and our psyches? Are Communist countries like China behind it all?

None of it makes sense, but one thing is sure, the enemy, whoever it may be, is lurking behind every product these days.

Forget name brand loyalty. Forget Tylenol, Mattel, Dior. Spending more won’t be a guarantee of getting a decent product, let alone quality.

Forget saving money at the local dollar store or discount outlet. You’ll surely be putting your life at stake with just about every product there being made in China.

As my grandmother used to say, “we don’t know what to eat and drink anymore.” And what was true then, is mind boggling now. And now add “we don’t know what to breathe anymore” too, because even the smell of popcorn is killing us. (See my related blog post.)

It’s no solution for those of us living in cities, but if things don’t get better soon, at this rate, I foresee having to grow our own food, make our own toys, revert back to milk paint, feed our pets people food — actually with our own dog having been killed by the last pet food recall, we’re ALREADY doing that!

It’s a scary world out there. Self-sufficiency is starting to look good not just to wackos, but to the rest of us too. Horse and buggy here we come!

Posted in 9/11, America, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Car, cars, consumers, Cooking, culture, diet, Family, FDA, Food, Food and Drug Administration, food flavoring, food products, government agencies, Health, Home, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Iraq, Islam, man-made chemicals, manufacturers, Medicine, News, OSHA, politics, popcorn, popcorn lung, terrorism, Toys, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, war on terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »