So, my Secret Santa left me a CD of bad dance music (labeled “Dean’s Special Sauce”) a random-ass limerick, and three puzzle pieces. Like all the other presents, it was signed “Love, Dean”. Um. Santa? Who are you, you shape-shifting vaguely slutty Christmas entity? WHO?

Is this my present?

At The Neos, we’re having a Secret Santa gift exchange (not to be confused with “Secret Schlomo” which is occurring where Boyfriend Jeff works at Jewish Children and Family Services). Anyways. The problem with the Neo office is that it’s already filled with random crap. For example: An orange balloon on the file cabinet. A piece of pink tulle behind the door. A Def Leppard album perched precariously atop a closet door frame. An empty cookie tin by the printer. A garbage bag full of wigs near the intern desk. So. On the first day of Secret Santa, I didn’t know if my present would blend in with all the other random crap lying around. I walked in with new eyes, and realized that if the Def Leppard album were my present, would I know? I took it down off the top of the closet door frame, took out the album itself, and found nothing.

Later, I found a piece of paper in my desk drawer marked “Neo-Futurist puzzle”. It was blank and paperclipped to it was a mailing label with a portion of an image on it. But it was signed “Love, Dean”. So I e-mailed Dean with the subject line “SANTA EMERGENCY” and asked if he’d put it in my desk drawer. No, he had not. I will keep my loyal readers posted.

Tree dead

The crazy thing about the aftermath of the big October storm in Buffalo was the trees. Driving around over Thanksgiving weekend, nearly every big tree was damaged in some way. Most of them were mangled in bizarre ways, with limbs half-missing, tops that were lopped off at odd angles, some with just a few branches remaining. They looked like some chain-saw killer had decided ENOUGH WITH THE TREES, and had taken to random chopping. My grandmother (on my mom’s side, not the Italian side), was making me tuna fish sandwiches and looking out the window at the big tree in the backyard. She said that some of the branches bent all the way to the ground under the weight of the snow, but the ones that couldn’t bend that far just snapped. I’ve been pondering the idea of “that which yields is not always weak,” and apparently it also applies to trees.