Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Tax Season....

This is a time when one should reflect on the past year & think about what to do better in the next year and what to keep doing well. It is.

Unfortunately, I have to do a bunch of year end stuff, plus stuff that didn't get done when it should have, while getting ready for TAX SEASON. My resolutions right now are limited to drawing up office procedures to make sure this tax season flows with Kathy-precision. I am not a control-freak, but I do have standards.

For instance, rule #1: if a tax return comes in and it is too complicated for you to do, don't hide it in your in-box. Give it to ME. Or at least ask me for help. I don't bite. And if I do, I clearly state up front that there will be an extra charge for that...

Maybe this is rule #1: write notes about what you are doing, what you asked, what you looked up. I'm not a mind-reader and neither is anyone in the IRS if (heaven forbid) we get audited.

No, wait, this is rule #1: don't act like a client is stupid because he or she doesn't understand your terminology. Just explain it better (and don't sigh or role your eyes, even on the phone.) If the clients understood tax laws, regulations, and terminology, they wouldn't need us.

That's definitely rule #1. Now let me go work on rules 4 through 4000. It's beginning to look a lot like tax season....

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Ellen

Today is also my sister's birthday. She is my younger sister, the youngest of the three children. Four and half years is a big difference when you are 6 and 10 or even 16 and 20. Now, it means nothing.

Ellen is my best friend, other than my husband. I count on her for her humor, her clarity, her intelligence.

She is the best organized person I know. She is organized in a good way---a comfortable, I know where to find things way, not an alphabetize the family kind of way.

I swear she could herd cats. She has a wonderful way of connecting with people and getting them to work to their potential.

She cares about justice, mercy, and people, which is why she is a great lawyer. Her clients know she is working for them, not just the money.

Ellen is always there for me, and I hope I am there for her when she needs me the most.

I love you, Ellen. Happy Birthday.

Plug for Ellen's law firm

Happy Birthday Baby Roslyn

Baby Roslyn is nine years old today. She is a writer, an artist, a game player, an animal keeper, and an all around wonderful person! She is always up for an adventure. She will go shopping with me (sometimes). In my house of boys, she adds a little bit of girlness when she visits. Not too much, though.

Roslyn is my sister's daughter, born on Ellen's birthday. I guess that is the best birthday present ever, huh?

Happy Birthday Roslyn.

I wanted to upload a video of Joan Baez singing this, but between dial-up and unclear copyright, this is what I settled on:

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


It is gray and rainy, though not cold. It's hard to get out in this type of weather.
Yesterday I went to work, but left after only a couple of hours. I met some very old friends at Starbucks. The friends aren't old, but the friendship is. We've been friends since grade school, although I haven't seen Margaret in two years and Vicky in so long I can't remember. It's amazing to feel a connection even after a long time. There is an oddness, too. A realization that people who played such integral roles in the formation of Kathy are the same and yet so different that I can't possibly explain who I am now, or understand who they are. It's OK, though. There are different types of friendships. They are a part of my base.
Today I am doing odds and ends of things. I cleaned the kitchen & picked up the Christmas leavings in the living room. I've blogged, uploaded Christmas pictures, and watched Get Smart. I still need to clean the dining room table, which is serving as my desk right now. I have some accounting to do, and at some point this weekend, I'd like to get out to one or both of my jobs to try and concentrate on year-end things for a few hours.

I need to get birthday gifts for my sister and my niece for their birthday tomorrow. I am making a carrot cake. I may break in my new Kitchen Aid mixer by making some bread to go with the soup she has made for the birthday gathering. That will be tomorrow, since I want it to be fresh.

It's looking like I will have to face the world. After an Excedrin and a small nap...

The Secret is in the Sauce: Win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System and $50 worth of K

The Secret is in the Sauce: Win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System and $50 worth of K

This web site has lots of give-aways, and it also serves as a gateway to lots of interesting blogs. I had no idea there were so many people writing about so many things. Some of my favorites are listed on the side, and the list is getting longer.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

Christmas, as we all knew, was wonderful. Mark is OK with Santa giving him tons of Lindor Truffles. He is glad Santa knows he doesn't care for mint.

We had a great time at my sister's house. My brother bought hula-hoops. It seems he had to buy a dozen. So we tried to hula hoop in the back yard. As my husband said, "I have never been able to hula-hoop in my life, but I think that today is the day I will figure it out." We didn't, except Mark, but there were no back injuries either.

We ate Ellen's do-ahead breakfast, a sausage-cheese casserole she makes every Christmas and other times if we get lucky. She had also made Hello Dollies & chocolate chip cookies. I had one mini BaBa cake (a small cork shaped cake soaked in rum) and took a small nap.

We opened presents, then settled in for game playing, movie watching, book reading. Bob & I ran home to stick the turkey in the oven. It's amazing what you can do if you read the directions and stick a few green apples up the turkey's ... whatever that part of its body was. We ran back later to make the cardiac mashed potatoes (with Smart Balance & lite sour cream because it IS the third time we've had it in two months.) My sister cooked the standing rib roast, my brother roasted veggies, and we all ate very well.

With the babies, the kids, the kids who are officially adults, the adults who still think of themselves as kids, and Dad the patriarch, we had quite a crew. Lots of fun, little or no drama, a good bit of Excedrin, and lots and lots of Christmas.

Today, as Bob "rests" and watches the grandsons, I will go into work to try to get year end/pre-tax season work done. I am meeting a good friend for coffee, so that will make the day easier. So, off I go...

Stay warm and safe.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Weaning Santa

I believe in Santa Claus. Not in the "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" way, although that is nice. In the Miracle on 34th Street, Santa Clause, Year Without a Santa Claus kind of way.

I hesitate to write this post at all, for a few reasons. One is that my inner amateur anthropologist historian wannabee is itching to hi-jack this post and turn it into a discussion of the mythology of Santa and cultural attitudes toward him over the centuries, including my belief that "Christmas spirit" in the form of belief in Santa among children aged 2 to 8 has not diminished and may, in fact, have grown. You will be glad to hear, I'm not going to let that happen this morning. Next week maybe...

Another is that my youngest son Mark doesn't usually read my blog, but who knows. And right now, he either believes in Santa completely, or has consciously decided to maintain the myth. In either case, I sort of screwed it up this year.

In our house, Santa was in charge of stockings and one gift. The one gift was usually big although not always expensive. There was often a big Christmas bear. That made a really nice show on Christmas morning: small pile of gifts turns into big pile with only three additional packages. This tradition came about because Mom told me that when we were little, all of our presents were from Santa. Then one Christmas, we opened a mountain of toys from Santa, turned to Mom & Dad and said, "What did y'all get us?" After that, at least one gift said "Love Mom & Dad." I went the other way with that one.

The stockings started to deteriorate as we got older. It's harder to find nice cheap stuff for older kids. And the kids stay up later. My mom and her sister saw each other twice a year & had a lot to catch up on. This involved vodka. The chance of the right presents getting in the right stockings decreased exponentially once it got past 8:00. By the time the youngest child was ready to give up stockings (I was 17, I think, and the third oldest cousin), the first part of Christmas morning was spent trading stocking stuffers.

This year, in my house, there is no other gift from Santa and the stocking isn't great. We didn't have the money for a lot of stuff and I didn't want to spend it on yo-yos and cars and stuff Mark doesn't really like. That's show Christmas. Instead, the stocking is stuffed with a couple of cool things and lots of candy (Lindor Truffles... times are hard, but the candy doesn't have to be). The cool things would have included a gyroscope and a prism, but I lost the bag of stuff I bought at the State Museum gift shop. It is probably in a closet.

In addition to a cash crunch, I decided to try a new medication for my migraines, which not only didn't help the migraines, seems to have made it harder for me to think, remember, and be nice. I don't know if that is what is responsible for my manic 4 am blogging (which I kind of enjoyed) and my inability to remember who I bought presents for and where I put them, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'm not really sure of the point of this rambling blog that I can't blame on medication. Although this Christmas may be a little disappointing Santa-wise, it will be wonderful in other ways. And even though Mark is getting ready to move from child to one of Santa's elves as Gabe & Brendon become old enough to enjoy Santaness, I suspect there will be another year of Santa for Mark. Probably Santa's little curtain call, as I get it together perfectly to make up for screwing up this year. If Santa has to retire, I'd like him to go out on a good year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

It is warmer than yesterday. That's nice. Since we know we aren't going to get snow on Christmas, I'd just as soon have a nice warm 65 or 70 degree day.

Last night we went to my brother's house for dinner. My sister and her daughter share a birthday (December 28), but Johnny will be out of town then, and so he cooked last night. He made a lamb stew with apricot and pine nuts, served over jasmine rice. For dessert, we had a choice of "birthday cake" ice cream cake or Reese's peanut butter ice cream cake. I had a little of each.

He invited another couple, friends from the University. One was the daughter of a rather famous science fiction writer. I am such a pathetic author groupie that I went from having an intelligent conversation with an intelligent woman to blathering and drooling something along the lines of "Oh my god, I don't really read that much science fiction, but I've read that! I LOVED that book." I think I recovered and was able to continue the evening as if I were an intelligent adult, but jeez, I can be a dolt.

Today, I am going to work to print organizers so our previous tax clients can gather their important tax documents. (You mean I was supposed to save the property tax receipt? Again? You wanted that LAST year!) I will buy one or two more gifts, depending on the Christmas fairness fairy's determination. (If a 19 year old living at home buys a gift with his money for a 10 year old brother, does that balance the gift from the 10 year old to the 19 year old bought by the parents, or do the parents need to get another gift for the 10 year old?) Ow. I'd rather figure compound interest without a computer.

I have to finish wrapping, cook a little, chill a little, and enjoy the children's choir at St. Michael & All Angel's Church this afternoon, and then.... Merry Christmas to all...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kind hearted lady

From the late 1800s through World War Two, hobos had signs to guide them through towns and country sides. Some let them know the water was bad, others warned of police or unfriendly residents. Some signs told them that the people would help them out. This sign, the cat, told the hobos that a kind-hearted lady lived in the house, and the hobos could expect food and shelter, and maybe a friendly face.

We used to joke that this sign was on our house on Harden Street in Columbia. People would walk past all of the other houses and knock on our door. My mother would give them money or food, depending on her assessment of them. One time a man came to the door and told her he was Jesus and he needed a ride to the bank for money. He explained that His Father would provide and all He needed to do was explain to the bank manager. I'm not sure how she determined where his Earthly parents were, but she gave him $20 and drove him to the Greyhound bus station.

Another time a girl had made a poor decision and ridden from Michigan with some friends. The friendship ended somewhere near our house at about 10 o'clock at night. Goodness knows how she found our house. Mom took her in. She called her parents, who wired her money, and mom put her on a bus to Michigan the next day.

She helped lots of people who came by the house. Some were disappointed to realize she remembered them, too. One man came by saying he needed money to get home to Charleston. She gave it to him. He came by the next week with another story. She cussed him out and called his family in Charleston. Sometimes people would ask for money, but she'd fix a sandwich instead. She wasn't opposed to drinking, but she didn't always feel like supplementing other people's bad habits.

My Mom, Marcia Tinkham Duffy, worked as a journalist and a political activist for better mental health, education, civil rights, women's rights, and a better life for all people. She worked on a large scale in her public actions and on a smaller scale in her private actions.

I believe that morality is action. I believe ethics are personal. I believe we can all be heroes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I believe

Last week, Dina posted about her beliefs and asked that other bloggers list 10 things they believe and link back. Several others, including Annie have done so already.

I have been thinking about the assignment since before it was assigned. I share many of Dina's belief's and have a similar (in a very general way) religious background to hers.

My parents were (are in my very living father's case) sceptics as far as organized religion. My mother was raised in Massachusetts and attended Methodist and Congregationalist churches. She was an atheist all the time I knew her and I think she perceived a spiritual cynicism from her parents growing up, whether it was fair or not.

My father was raised in a Southern Irish Catholic family. The convergence of these three cultural subsets in unlike any other. I'm not going to say much more right now, but I was only peripherally a part of it. My uncle was a priest in Charleston. I went to St. Peter's in Columbia with two fine priests Fr. Cronin and Fr. Carter (with whom I & all the other girls in the 4th grade were in love in a chaste Catholic girl way).

Dad took us to church, but he would not take communion. I thought it was because he had been married and divorced and had a family in North Charleston he hadn't told us about. I was an imaginative child. I found out that it was because he, too, was an atheist. Or agnostic. Or something.

Our father took us to St. Peter's every Sunday because in South Carolina you go to church. Catholic church is not as good as Baptist church, but it is a church.

A lack of organized religion did not translate to a lack of morals. Both of parents were and are the most solidly moral & ethical people I will ever know. If I wander in a spiritual wasteland it is not because they did not give me a compass. I have a wonderfully sound internal compass that will always lead me to true TRUTH. Mom called it a Bullshit detector, and although I am a very naive person, I have a pretty good BS detector. Go figure?

I think that I can (and probably will) spend at least ten posts on this topic, but I will try to follow directions and make a list of sorts. This is what I believe:

  1. I believe in God
  2. I believe that while the Divine never changes (probably) that human understanding changes over time. Like children, we understand the Divine at our developmental level, in a way that we are ready for. So if religion changes over time, it isn't God that changes, it is our understanding of God that changes. And if morality changes over time, it isn't morality that changes, it is our understanding that changes. The Divine isn't relative, but we are.
  3. I believe that a person's religious views tell you more about that person than about God.
  4. I believe that no person should be killed for who he or she loves. And no one should say that that is OK in any way, shape or form, by action or inaction.
  5. I believe that rights are like love, they are not diminished if more people have them. If you have rights, I don't have fewer. Don't confuse rights with privileges. And don't think your privileges are your rights.
  6. I believe that all children everywhere should be served by teachers, principals, administrators, school boards, staff members, and legislators who LIKE children, who think they CAN learn, who think they WILL learn, and who believe they will be IMPORTANT members of society.
  7. I believe that everyone can be a hero. I believe that everyone is a hero in some way to some one.
  8. I believe that people will rise to the level of your expectations.
  9. I believe that if I can make myself sick with worry I can make myself well with hope.
  10. I believe there is a new day coming and we will live to see the dawn.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A long row to Ho! Ho! Ho!

I am not a scrooge. I love Christmas. I am a virtual theoretical Martha Stewart. I would be happiest living on a remote island off the coast of some cold place with a really good reliable satellite Internet connection telling people how to have a virtual Christmas. I'd have virtual cookies, cinnamon smells, tinsel, shiny things. I'd be very happy.

Instead, I have to prepare for tax season, finish 2008 and all of the payroll, sales tax, bookkeeping & tax work that involves, juggle paychecks and gift buying, clean house, take care of the school... OK I'm going to quit whining.

This morning I'm making an excel spreadsheet of my family Christmas list. I just realized that not only do I need to get gifts, but Mark and Joseph need to get gifts. I know that they (at least Joseph) should get their own gifts. They will. I just want to coordinate the plan.

In the past week or so, on long lunches and quick trips between meetings and when I've had to pick up Mark at school, I've shopped. Some of the gifts are wrapped, and it is to be hoped, labeled. Some are not. I do not know what I have. I don't know what I need to get. I have a Sunday deadline for half the family.

Today, I have to make killer mashed potatoes for the faculty/board family lunch at Carolina School for Inquiry. That's OK. I can do it. I still have cream cheese from when I planned to make four pumpkin cheese cakes and only made one. I hope they aren't moldy. I'd better check.

I have also realized that part of the reason that everyone else I know seems to be wildly wealthier than we are (other than those who make a boatload more money and have no children and therefore ARE wildly wealthier than we are) is that they have credit cards. We don't have any credit cards.

So instead of buying lots of expensive gifts now, I'm going to buy lots of nice but not so expensive gifts now, and then maybe buy something else later when we have more money. Kind of the way we live. Happy April!!!!

Or I could do that radical thing and buy Christmas gifts through out the year and save them. But I've never gotten over the creepy factor of the VERY old Eight is Enough show when the new step-mom found a gift for Tommy (I think) that the dead mom had bought and wrapped before she died. Step-mom gave it to him in a touching bounding (creepy) moment. <<>> I'll have to get over that, or get a credit card.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not Mark's School

Just to make sure this is clear, Mark's school isn't like that. He has recess, art, PE, music, Spanish, etc., etc. It's an inquiry based curriculum and ALL children learn.

Field Trip

Mark & his class are going to Charlotte on a field study today. They leave in about a half an hour --- 7 a.m.

They don't call them field trips any more. Somehow that doesn't give it the educational significance "field study" does. And it's all about education.

Not really. It just has to sound like it is.

Like, they cut out recess because that doesn't sound like education, even though anyone who has ever been near a child knows you can't teach a child who has been cooped up in a seat all day. And they cut out music and art because they can't test it with a number two pencil. And they are going to cut funding for supplemental salaries for Nationally Certified Teachers because they don't want to throw money at the problem.

Then they are going to bureaucratize the laws relating to charter schools so that what should be innovative schools will be just as hide-bound as the traditional public schools rather than freeing the traditional public schools to be innovative and entrepreneurial.

And then they will send their children to segregated, elitist private schools and bemoan the complete failure of public schools and the terrible parents, teachers, and children who are a part of it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life is like a chicken...

People ask me why I read juvenile fiction... well, they don't because they either read it themselves, don't know or are too polite to ask. But if they did ask I'd say because there is some really good stuff out there.

I didn't read much juvenile fiction when I was a juvenile. I took me awhile to discover the joys of Madeline L'Engle and her Time Trilogy and the trillions of other books she wrote. I read the Chronicles of Narnia this spring. I read the Lord of the Rings a couple of years ago (only one time.)

Since I've become a part of Carolina School for Inquiry and discovered the joy of Scholastic book fairs, I've become addicted. This week, I've read three good books. OK, I'm working on the the third.

The first is Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone. This one is well written. I like the voice. It is lyrical. I would rate it higher but for one thing. I will say this to Ms. Stone and to ALL Yankee writers: "Y'all" is plural. Always. Unless you are talking to Sybil. I really really really have trouble getting past that. So does your granny. But other than that, it was a sweet book. I'm giving it to Mr. Hodges because he says he doesn't have enough girl books. I don't think it's just a girl book though...

The second book jumped off the shelf into my arms. I am not kidding. It is called Suddenly Supernatural and it was written by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. I liked it so much I e-mailed her. I hope she doesn't get a restraining order. I have that effect on authors. Except Annie. As I said to Ms. Kimmel, the book reminded me of middle school (although my mother was a liberal Democrat, not a psychic), but I'm sure I'll be able to repress the memories again.

The third book I am still reading. It is Chicken Boy by Francis O'Roark Dowell. Last night I read: "This business of getting out and doing things, well, once you got going, it was hard to stop yourself. You start out raising chickens, you end up doing your homework half the time and even talking to a few people in your classes. You start feeling like this useful human being." (p.112)

Maybe it was the time, and maybe it was the medication, but when I read that, I thought, that is how I feel about blogging. I feel as if I've stepped out of a cave. I talk to people at the grocery store. I reconnect with old friends. But even more than that, my old creativity and intelligence is stretching. I'm still pretty much using it for "cute," but it's there.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quick Quiz

OK: we have lots of towels. Beach towels that have whales, beach towels that have Disney characters, bath towels that we got when we got married twenty three years ago, bath towels I use when I color my hair (which I don't do of course), etc. etc. We also have two baby blue bath sheets I bought two weeks ago.

The dishwasher leaked. Guess which ones my husband used to clean up the floor?

You think about that while I wait for the coffee to finish dripping.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The gifts that keep on giving

I am listening to Good Morning America while struggling with the combined whims of dial-up, AOL, and the Verizon website to add a line so I can get my loving husband a cell phone for Christmas. He doesn't want one, and has told me that he will turn it off at work, but there have been some unfortunate incidents recently and I'd like to be able to get in touch with him when he is NOT at his office. Among the normal Saturday morning deaths, lay-offs, and celebrity melt downs, Good Morning America is talking about Christmas stuff. Number One: How to spend less than $1000 on Christmas gifts. Number Two: Who to tip and how much.

OK: Number One: I don't spend $1000 on Christmas gifts. I can't. Not and eat. Number two. I don't tip extra at Christmas. I mean, I tip well in normal tipping situations, liking eating out. When I walk into a restaurant, the waiterpeople fight to serve me. I once tried to join over tippers anonymous, but the waiterpeople started crying so I didn't. But that is not what I am talking about.

My friend Lydia said her paper"boy" gave her an envelope in which to put his Christmas "gift." That's not a gift, that's extortion. Since she lives in NJ, I'd pay it, but jeez. If you have to pay it, it isn't a gift and it isn't a tip. It's also subject to social security, medicare and income tax, but I digress...

My mother in law always ends up saying "Let's not go over board with gift giving" and I think, "Who's going over board?" She isn't, not with us. She's very generous all year round in every day ways, so I'm not complaining. What I realized is that she and her circle of friends (her bridge clubs --- plural, her church groups, her friends from college, her friends from high school) all give gifts. They may be bread or cookies or a little basket of something, but it's something and you have to get something in return and you have to think about it and do something and wrap it and remember where you put it and not forget that somebody has decided she is vegetarian and Sue is lactose intolerant and Mary Lou will die if you give her a peanut... wow. I'm glad I don't have friends like that. All I do is buy books at the book fair for every child I know and forget about their parents. The kids are grateful, the parents are more grateful and I get to buy "Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words" even though I don't have any girls.

As far as spending $1000 on Christmas... well, it's not going to happen. But that's OK. Because we always have lots and lots of cool stuff. This year I'm thinking of the socks and underwear theme...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Real life... Awards... Running Late

Some time this week... I think it was Wednesday... I received an AWARD from writers and witches, and word...oh my! which is really cool. It is the Marie Antoinette Award, for bloggers who write about real life. I'm not sure what Marie Antoinette had to do with real life, she seemed a little deluded to me, but what the hey? My real life interfered with me getting the reward in a timely. I was at a two day tax workshop, learning how not to go to jail this tax season. I look good in orange, but I don't look good in overalls. Anyway, the award: I think, if I understand it, which I might not...

I ask a question, which y'all answer. Y'all ask me questions, which I answer. Anyone who knows me knows that I WILL answer questions. I might even tell the truth. You might even be able to handle the truth.

Then I am suppose to hand the award on to seven bloggers. I don't know if I can do that, since most of my blogger buddies are sort of private. And the ones who aren't are higher up the food chain than I am, meaning they already got the award, most likely. So if you want the award, let me know and I'll send it to you, ok? Is that tacky?

OK, this is my question:
As you face the new year, are you operating from fear or hope? And what does that mean to you?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rudolf Revisited

Last night, I watched Rudolf the Red nosed Reindeer with my 10 year old son Mark. It is sort of a family tradition, but everything takes on new meaning once your baby is ten.

Many years ago (don't ask), my sister, brother, and I would "pull up an iceberg" and watch Rudolf every year. We'd get scared of the Abominable Snowman, get mad at the reindeer for making fun of Rudolf, and cheer when Santa picked up the misfit toys. As a matter of fact, we were so impressed with that part that we'd sleep with all of our toys so that King Moonracer wouldn't steal them.

So last night, I pull up an iceberg... OK a wing chair, and Mark and I watched Rudolf. Since I was a little grumpy, I had trouble getting into to it.

Donder sees Rudolf's nose. I say, "Hey, what the hell's wrong with that kids nose? That ain't my kid." Then I point out that Donder should be more accepting of Rudolf for what he is and go on a tirade about parents who want to live their children's lives. Santa comes in: "What the hell is wrong with that kid's nose?" Mark suggests that Santa is a jackass because he's been dieting.

By this time Mark's face is redder than Rudolf's nose and I am having some fun.

I 'll admit that I like to make people laugh. It's like crack to me. Don't get me started, or some kind person has to lead me away. (Yes Kathy, that was funny. What the hell is wrong with that kid's nose. Now let's go to bed.)

So Mark rolled on the floor while I had a grumpy humorous commentary throughout the show. I have to say, I enjoyed it more than usual. Mark said he can't wait for Polar Express and for some bizarre reason, wished me a tiring, frustrating day.

What a kid. But what's wrong with his nose?