Jingle Bells, Batman Smells…

That was a classic parodic take on “Jingle Bells”, which has been around since at least my childhood, which I remember as going:

🎶 Jingle bells, Batman smells

Robin laid an egg…

Batmobile lost its wheel

And Joker’s dancing ballet…hey! 🎶

(Some versions use “Joker ran away” as well.)

Today is what most people would call “Boxing Day”, but as that’s not really a thing here in the United States, we would call today “Just Another Wednesday”. No major shopping or anything like that, we just go on with our day and get ready for New Year’s Eve.

So, how was my Christmas? Not very eventful. I didn’t get anything in the way of presents or spending money, but I’m not bitter or upset at all. My dad is the primary “giver” in the family, and I hardly ever ask him for anything and even when I went on my last yarn run, I chose to spend my own pocket cash instead of using part of the grocery money for it (even though he said he wouldn’t have been bothered by it if I did). I never expect anything anymore and I don’t get my hopes up, so I never get disappointed, just pleasantly surprised if I do get something. Sure, it would be nice to be in a position to exchange gifts every year, but if all I have to offer is my kindness and a good meal some years, then I’m okay with that.

So that’s what I gave: kindness and a good meal. I decided to make a lasagna for Christmas this year, as sort of a nod to my late maternal grandmother, who we affectionately referred to as “Nanny”. (Her parents were from Sicily, and she grew up speaking Italian as a child; I believe her nickname as a grandmother may have come from the Italian word for “grandmother”: nonna. Her ex-husband, my grandfather, we called “Grandpa”; he was of Irish descent and as I previously mentioned was in the Coast Guard and died of Alzheimer’s in September 2014 at age 85, a decade and two months to the day after Nanny. They had been divorced for over 30 years at the time of Nanny’s death, but they remained on friendly terms for the rest of her life and neither ever remarried.) Nanny was an avid cook, and I like to think I learned my own cooking skills from her. She cooked all sorts of things, but she especially enjoyed cooking her own pasta sauces and making spaghetti. Around Christmas, though, she’d make lasagna for the entire family to eat (on top of that, did I mention she was also diabetic?), and it was always a treat when she’d make it. I’ve made my own tweaks to her recipe over the years, even as I approach the age where I will have lived just as long without her as I did with her (she died of cancer when I was 17, just a month before I started my senior year of high school). I like using crushed tomatoes instead of regular canned tomato sauce and oven-ready sheets of lasagna noodles instead of boiling them (I would have to constantly be spraying oil on them if I had to cook them because they stick together). It ended up coming out pretty nicely, with the exception that I didn’t distribute the cheeses properly, and so the top layer of the lasagna was considerably lacking in the cheese department. The good news is that I have enough boxes of oven ready lasagna in the pantry to make another lasagna in the near future.

I spent most of my Christmas Day doing laundry and watching TV with my mom. I’ve been watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus on Netflix, and it’s been many years since I’ve watched the series from beginning to end. I also started trying to watch Love Actually as well (managed about an hour; I have just a week before it leaves Netflix again). Tonight, as Survivor is currently in its offseason (the new season premieres in February), I will likely try finishing up Series 2 of The Tribe and maybe starting Series 3 (I only have 4 half-hour episodes left in Series 2).

The Bambina baby blanket is going well. I’ve finished 3 full rows of squares. Those 36 squares, plus the other 9 squares making up the right-hand side of the blanket brings me to 45 total squares out of 144. I have about 1/3 of my total number of squares finished, and it’s not even New Year’s Eve yet! I’m hoping to get most of the fourth row of squares in this weekend (I’ve been averaging 2-3 squares a day during days that my dad has off from work, and I usually try to get at least one square in on days that my dad does work and I only have the mornings available to myself).

Something else I haven’t mentioned here yet: the last time I went on a yarn run, I decided to look in the Walmart books section to see if there were any interesting books worth buying or if something on my “Want to Read” list was available. The section had considerably shrunk to make room for Christmas sale items, but I did manage to find a copy of a book from my “Want to Read” list to add to my collection.

So, I ended up buying The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I hadn’t heard of this book until this year, but the synopsis sounded interesting to me. It’s been marked as “Want to Read” in my Goodreads list since April. If I hadn’t seen this one, I probably would’ve gotten Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about The Book Thief, and while it is a while off on my reading queue, I’m glad I was able to add it to the collection. Considering that this is right after All the Light We Cannot See, that means I’ll be reading two novels set during World War II back-to-back! As for The Fountainhead, I am only at around the halfway point of the novel, but I’m gonna try to read some more tonight right after posting this.

Anyway, I hope you all have had a happy, fun, and safe holiday season! We’re less than a week away from 2019: two months away from hopefully welcoming my second niece and three months away from both my 32nd birthday and the start of my third year writing this blog. I hope there are good things ahead in 2019 for all of us. Unless something major pops up between now and next Monday, I expect this to be my last post of 2018. And from me and my Bitmoji to all of you…