The Great Plotnik

Friday, December 31, 2010

Walking Uphill on the Last Day of the Year

Here we are on the last day of 2010 at Great Plotnik World Headquarters. The last three Plotkids have been put on the airplane for a quick few days in Isabella's home town before flying home to Brooklyn, and Plot and Duck are setting about putting World Headquarters back in order.

Yesterday was a bonus day. In the afternoon everyone took a walk up the Harry Street Stairs with Isabella leading the way. When we got to the top there was a gorgeous payoff -- the view of the whole city below bathed in afternoon sunlight.

This morning when everyone got in the car to drive to the airport, there was a car parked in front of World Headquarters that had had the front window bashed in during the night, glove box broken into, everything rifled through and the car a mess. Just a few cars up, The Great PlotWagon was undisturbed. This is such a hit and miss world. You just have to hope you keep walking in front of danger and keep whatever is behind you behind you.

(Plotnik noticed a few days ago that the old film can full of quarters that he keeps in his ash tray for parking meters -- was gone. This happens almost every year at Christmas time. People probably scour the streets when the weather gets cold, looking for open car doors.)

There is trouble brewing down South. Mummy P.'s short term memory loss may be approaching the tipping point. But PD, 5H and B-B are going to stop in on her today, a day ahead of their original plan, to make sure she is OK.

Ebb and flow. Hit and miss. Plot has friends who are sick and he sometimes has trouble dealing with it. In his fantasy world everyone he knows and loves is prospering, paint brush in hand, masterpiece just around the corner.

And then there's brilliant, gorgeous, amazing Isabelly-Bone.

And there's family and friends who are doing well and will hopefully continue to shine in the new year. Plot and Duck feel pretty good, and have very good reason (bathing suits ten weeks from now) to spend January and February ridding themselves of bellies that didn't used to look like --- yuch, are you kidding? -- that.

Tonight the Plots may go to that West African party or they may just sit home and look at pictures. Probably a little of both.

From Our House to Your House, fellow Plotnikkies:

New Choruses to Match your Verses.
Health and Prosperity to You and Yours-es.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Play Doh Rooster

Put Play Doh in front of a scientist and you end up with this.

But we took her to the airport this morning and by the time you read this BZWZ will be on her way to Phoenix and then on to Providence. Auntie B. was smart enough not to book a plane change through Chicago or any other eastern city, so she ought to get home roughly on time.

Meanwhile, B-Bone got a little sick yesterday, so the Brooklyn Plots have delayed their departure one day, oh geez Duck and Plot are SOOO upset that has happened. But they'll just have to bear up with the pain of having these three around the house for 24 more hours.

So now the whole point is to figure out when we can all be in the same place at the same time again. Looks possibly like the end of March in Puerto Rico. Could happen. Plot is trying to put that together right now.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's Left of the Bobo Yum Cake

The great news at the end of 2010 is that The Great Ducknik appears to be turning her attention to cake. Previously a pie-only household, The Great Plotnik World Headquarters Desert Division is about to experience masterworks like last night's Ginger Cake with Caramel Glaze, patterned after a similar one we all had at Zazie on Mush's birthday.

Someone we know took quite a bit of that cake away with her this morning, in tiny little pieces, moving so fast the camera did not have time to focus.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Day's Recording

The Great Plotnik Recording Studio was in use all day yesterday. Belly sang, and her dad recorded tracks for his dad, and BZWZ recorded three songs to send to Grandma.

Last night BZ and 5Head got to go see Lemony Snicket "The Composer is Dead" at Berkeley Rep and came home raving about it in the same way Plot and Duck had. What a great show and it turns out that anyone under 30 gets in for half price all the time at Berkeley Rep. What's the result: the house filled with young people and kids. Get the message, theater managers?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa Ate His Apple Pie and Drank His Milk

BZWZ contributed to the Incomprehensible Bumper Sticker collection.

PD and Plottie with their BZ presents from Jordan.

Duck and Plot each got a cap from their favorite NY deli, so the "Which Deli is Best?" discussion can continue.

BZ opens her jewelry caddie...

Duck and BZ with their new headgear.

Belly in her puppet theater.

The end.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Honey Buns!

The Great BZWZ has taken over the traditional Christmas Eve Honey Bun detail. The dough gets made then rises all night. Then Plot wakes up Belly and the two of them punch the dough down early in the morning and let it rise again. Then it gets rolled out, sprinkled with cinammon and sugar and rolled up into rolls. Honey gets poured into the bottom of a baking dish and the rolls go on top of the honey. Now they are honey buns. Into the oven they go.

The rule is nobody gets to open any presents until the honey buns are hot and ready to eat.

OK, so there was one exception made. Belly got, may Jesus forgive us, a Barbie Car. She absolutely positively could not wait to open that box. So she got to go early.

Last night's Christmas Eve dinner was pretty danged spectacular. PD made teriyaki salmon which we bbq'd on a cedar plank that Grandma Joy and Paul gave us last year, and we brushed the salmon with chimichurri. BZ made guacamole and 5H made Faranaz's mango salad. Barb made her mom's corn pudding. Of course there were Beaujolais beets and tabboule with bulgar and lentils and also marinated olives and let's not forget Ducknik's sour cream lemon and apple pies.

Sadly, the only photo of the pies is this one, which shows what happens to an apple pie when Isabella squirrels into it for breakfast.

Time is passing today. More tomorrow. Merry Christmas everybody from Great Plotnik World Headquarters!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Night Before The Night Before Christmas

This morning Plotnik took the Plotkicycle down to the Mission to buy salmon for tonight's Christmas Eve dinner. On the way he heard a young woman, who was rushing out the door to get in her car while trying to maneuver her two little kids behind her, cry out in anguish: "There isn't enough time! There isn't enough time!"

And there you have it...the one thing you never have enough of. Everybody needs more time, especially at Christmas.

Left to right around the table: Lydia, Ducknik, Shutternik, FiveHead, Elsu, Trisha, PD, Mo-nee, BZWZ. Nova-nik is out of the room with little Ishaan, Kawayan and BellyBone.

Yesterday, the Plotniks took Belly and bought their Christmas tree ("How much for this tree?" "Seventy nine dollars." "I'll give you thirty." "OK."), then brought it home for decorating. Last night three kids did the low parts and eleven adults did the high parts and then everybody threw the mardi gras beads onto the tree at the end.

Dinner was mushroom pasta and salad -- The Great FiveHead is mirroring all the other Easterners' attitude when she says "I want to eat salad every night we're in California."

The tree looks beautiful.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Guess Who's Here?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Come Back in 328 Years and You'll See This Again

If you missed it the other night, you only have to wait 328 years until it all happens again: a lunar eclipse at the solstice.

The photos don't tell a fraction of the story. The moon disappeared into the fog and then emerged glowing red. Under binoculars it looked like a huge series of exploding red crystals.

That year that the Plotniks went to the Grand Canyon to see the Tucson Amateur Geographers haul out their home-made telescopes, there was one guy who basically used nothing but a high powered set of binoculars, mounted on a tripod and built into a lawn chair. On those binoculars was a camera that would take a photo of the magnified astral image. Plot remembers thinking he should have asked where he could get one of those gizmos, but...

Cousin Bruiser if you're reading this -- your dad would be in the garage already building me one. I'd prefer it if you'd mount it in a new BMW if you don't mind.