Christmas this year is sponsored by my new expensive thermometer. We have no tree or fuzzy green stuff or fairy lights or even an advent calendar, but the counter is buried in heaps of sugary treats and baskets of things to package them up in, and it turns out that this alone is enough to lend things a festive holiday air. There are the preserved pears and a bowl of clementines, and then lots and lots of candy.
I love my stupid thermometer. It is digital, easy to read, quick, and accurate over a gloriously wide range of temperatures. It has a handy probe --
(This reminds me of the good times we had when Ford distinguished itself by putting out a compact sports car called the Probe. "I've been rear-ended by a Probe!" we cried. "I wish that Probe would quit riding my ass!")
-- that works at any number of angles, and only needs to be inserted --
("Oh my god, that Probe came out of nowhere and just plowed right into me!")
-- an eighth of an inch into something to register its temperature. I can therefore now tell you with confidence that the air in my kitchen is 66 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water is just right, my bath is 107.5°. The bowl of yogurt I just ate was 37.8°.
Not unrelatedly, it turns out that if you heat a sugary slurry to the exact temperature they tell you to in the recipe, it turns into exactly the kind of candied substance they claim it will, every time. It's magic. I can't stop. I hope the people on my Christmas list enjoy their diabetes.
Ho ho ho.
Look how internet fashionable I am, with my flaky sea salt caramels and my super close up photographs. I also made some marshmallows. They're pretty nifty, but I didn't take any pictures of them because they are not vegetarian and this lapse embarrasses me. Of course, here I am now, announcing my animal byproduct consuming ways to the world, but there are no pictures. That's the important thing.
Elsewhere, an NFL place kicker and his evangelical pastor teamed up to produce an astonishingly terrible, magnificently stupid thriller called Monday Night Jihad. It would certainly make a mind-blowing gift for everyone you know. It's even stupider than it sounds. It's so stupid it makes me giddy. If you want to revel in the most American brand of idiocy that money can buy, this is the book for you. And if you also love prose that clunks more clunkingly than a Volkswagen Thing, this is really really the book for you.
Of course, Things are lovable, while this book is a horror. But either way: clank, clunk, clonk.
The government was remaining tight-lipped about the attack on the Mall of America, so the news channels had exhausted their facts on the failed terrorist attempt hours ago. Until new information broke, they were just filling time with stories like the girl with the big hat who worked in the third-floor Hot Dog on a Stick who had confessed to staring in shock as the liquid rolled back and forth in the slushie machines immediately after the explosion.
"yes I said yes I will Yes"
If you want to enjoy this monstrosity without going to the trouble of reading it yourself, or providing any financial reward to the clowns who produced it, you can immerse yourself in its glories via our friend Dan's aptly named Shitty Books tumblr site. Start here.