Monday, December 26, 2011

On the feast of Stephen: Christmas wrap-up
Quasi-official day-off Christmas (as it was on a Sunday) or Boxing Day (in the free market, thanks to the countless people who do a fine job serving)

Christmas Eve a casa della famiglia Sorrentino: gli bambini e la festa dei sette pesci.

This part of NJ is south of the great dividing line where people start cheering for Philadelphia teams, not New York, but the Sorrentinos are 100% New Yorkers.

Hits with the kids this year: Lego kits, two of them, and Bratz dolls. I like what Donna got for one of her other nephews back home, Hexbugs.

Bob, renaissance man, the family’s last generation who can speak Italian, and spirit of Christmas this year (more below), serves the first course, linguine with mussels.

Had lambrusco, nearly synonymous with family dinner. And Pepsi Throwback, real cane sugar, not corn syrup.

There aren’t literally seven fishes here. No eel. Never had it. That’s OK.

For dessert with coffee, cannoli of course.

Bob was in the clothing business for over 30 years, ending up a suit designer. His job took him all over the world, including, starting out when he was 18, with his father to Havana right before Castro; just like in the movies. (Nastiest: Turkey. Most intimidating: ’70s Red China.) Virtually gave me the suit off his back this year. Turns out from his old business he had four suits that fit me, including two ’40s-style double-breasted ones, just what I was looking for. Now I’m set with clothes. Grazie.

Nice fake-out from Donna: the box was for Yankee Candle or something, the scented candles some women like (my candles are religious; unscented); inside was a replacement for my flaky camera (it kept saying the batteries were dead when they weren’t).

My shopping quest this year was fun: this coat for Donna. It was sold out in two big-mall stores I looked in.

Third Mass of Christmas, Sung with Fr Pasley at Mater. Good things happen there.

San Rocco. Like St Patrick, wholly identified with the country he lived in and not where he was from.

Outside church.

Donna also got episodes of the ’70s TV version of ‘Wonder Woman’ with Miss World USA Lynda Carter (arguably she couldn’t act but I don’t think anybody noticed). Lots of bad dialogue and anachronisms (WWII Army officers with ’70s hair?!) but a nice try at a ’40s comic come to life.

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