a Holiday Pictorial

First and foremost, thanks to everyone for your kind words on Saturday. The funeral arrangements are finalized; they’re…a little unusual, but then, so was Gail.

We were with my family for Christmas Eve festivities this year, and I learned something that I really should have guessed: my grandmother is an Uno shark. Oh, sure, she’s over 80 and blind in one eye, and she’ll you that she can’t tell the blue cards from the green, but don’t think that will stop her from trouncing you and anyone else at the table. Ooooh, no. ¬†When I was very little, she and my grandfather and three of their closest couple-friends used to play cards – canasta mostly, and rook – on the weekends, sometimes till wee hours of the morning at our kitchen table. We had a little bar-like area in the family room of that house and I used to set myself up there with water, soda, and a bucket of ice and serve as “bartender” till I had to go to bed. Should’ve known her deprecating demeanor was just hiding her card hustling skills. Last night she and I and John played game after game of uno till nearly midnight.

But before all that, there was dinner and playing with the pets and opening presents and…general happy togetherness. Fantastic evening.

And I have pictures!!

Most Memorable Quotes of 2007

I’ve been giggling at this all day, thought it was time to share. List compiled by Robert Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations.

10. “I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.” — Former President Jimmy Carter in an interview in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper.

9. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” — Biden describing rival Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

I think my eyes bugged out of my head when I heard this.

8. “(I have) a wide stance when going to the bathroom.” — Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig’s explanation of why his foot touched that of an undercover policeman in a men’s room.

Try to picture the logistics of that. Just try.

7. “I’m not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody (Vice President Dick Cheney) who has a 9 percent approval rating.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.

As House would say, oh snap…

6. “There’s only three things he (Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani) mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11.” — Sen. Joseph Biden, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate.

5. “I don’t recall.” — Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ repeated response to questioning at a congressional hearing about the firing of U.S. attorneys.

4. “That’s some nappy-headed hos there.” — Shock jock Don Imus’ comment about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

3. “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.” — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s October comment at Columbia University in New York.

I’m keeping my mouth shut…

2. “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us.” — Lauren Upton, the South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen USA contest in August.

What, you may wonder, was the question she was answering? It was this:

Upton had been asked why one-fifth of Americans are unable to locate the United States on a map and later apologized for her answer not making a lot of sense.

I think we might have our answer now.

I also bring you the accompanying YouTube video link because this really must be seen to be believed. My skin crawls in sympathetic embarrassment for this girl.

And the number one most memorable quote of the year:

1. “Don’t Tase Me, Bro!” — University of Florida student Andrew Meyer on September 17, accompanied by Meyer’s screams as he was tased. In was on t-shirts and cell phone ringtones across the nation days later.

A fascist, police state attack on first amendment rights, or a somewhat thoughtless kid reaping the consequences of using profantiy (for which, apparently, the company hosting the forum has a sero tolerance policy) and resisting arrest?