Today’s Holiday Foto Fest submissions come from our stalwart reader Mary Beth Poole, out Los Angeles way, where, if it’s December, it must be time for Las Posadas:
The festival — posada means “inn” — commemorates the failure of Mary and Joseph to find so much as a Motel 6 open in Bethlehem during tax-collection season. Presumably, the festiveness of the occasion suggests that today’s Mexican-Americans wouldn’t turn the couple away, and would even fete them with tamales. (Note to self: Go down to Mexicantown today and buy some tamales.)
As for Casa NN.C, the other night we celebrated our long-standing tradition of I Can Never Remember: Do We Have Latkes for Hanukkah, or One of Those Other Jewish Holidays? Why, when we’re not even close to being Jewish? Because potato pancakes are damn tasty, that’s why. I’d sit down at the table of brotherhood with Osama bin Laden if the food was good enough. (Note, though, that Osama is thin as a rail. Figures. Probably lives on tea, fasting and self-flagellation.) Our other holiday traditions are pretty flexible — nothing like a major relocation to throw a bomb into those things. But we have them. They include decorating the tree, Kate rearranging the NOEL stocking holders to read LEON and eggnog French toast on Christmas morning. We are a small family; it works for me. Oh, and by the way, that is Mary’s backyard Christmas cactus, blooming naturally on schedule.
I have some linkage this morning, yes I do. A new blog, found via James Wolcott: Ken Levine, “the world as seen by a TV comedy writer.” Great Hollywood stories, told by someone who can really write. Whenever I find a new blog I like to go back to the first month of the archives, just out of curiosity. In Levine’s November 2005 archive: Porn Star Karaoke. Worth the visit.
I always thought the dividing line between a true big city and a wannabe was how the hometown folks handled the successful locals. Do they make a big honkin’ deal out of them, or play it cool? (For years I thought “Fort Wayne’s” was a permanent attachment to Shelley Long’s name, and she just dropped it so it would fit easier on a marquee.) You’d think, with Detroit’s rich and ever-evolving musical tradition, we’d be able to handle a Bob Seger concert without making our pop music writers break a sweat, but I was wrong:
The Freep, today: They waited a decade. Sometimes impatiently, sometimes forgiving. Always with passion intact. Wednesday night, at last, they got Bob Seger. In the most prominent concert of Detroit music since Eminem played Ford Field in summer 2003, more than 17,000 fans watched — and sang, and screamed — as the local icon lit up the Palace of Auburn Hills for his first hometown show in more than 10 years.
The News, today: When the crowd sings all of “Turn the Page,” word for word, loudly enough to almost drown Seger out, there’s obviously a lot more than a concert going on. There are innumerable layers of communal and personal memory kicking in, with Seger acting as the much-loved host and emotional touchstone.
Well, it is Bob Seger. I forget not everyone spend the ’80s listening to the Ramones and B-52s and snapping the radio off in irritation when “Roll Me Away” came on for the 11 millionth time. I really need to get out more. And to think, after two years in Michigan the only place I’m really interested in seeing Bob Seger is out on the water. (And he didn’t do “Heavy Music”?! Or “Feel Like a Number”?!? Those folks wuz robbed.)
Most people think genetic engineering of plants to make them resistant to disease and other stresses begins and ends with soybeans, corn and wheat. Nope.
Finally, the video that made Kate giggle all morning: