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Advent 2021

1 December 2021 23:00

My husband, Patrick, and I have a tradition. Every year we get a Playmobil advent calendar and put it together. It's largely inspired by the annual video series put together by British YouTubers, Ashens and NerdCubed. The difference is that they make it a competition where the loser has to suffer the daily torment of something like an advent calendar full of bad cheese, and we just relive our youth putting together children's toys.

Last year, we did a Pirate-themed one. The year before, at the end of 2019, it was a fire rescue and cleanup operation, a chilling omen for the year to come.

This year we got something no more festive, but really piqued Patrick's interest when I brought it home. It is a Back to the Future III advent calendar. And since it includes some add-ons for the DeLorean, I picked up one of those too. And I had to get Patrick Marty's Truck, a vehicle he has coveted since he was a child, even more so than the DeLorean.

So we got all the little scenes set up and sat down to open our first day. Oh, yeah, and I also got the Bonne Maman calendar for myself. Add a little festivity to my English Muffins in the morning, why not?

So, what are we rewarded on our first day?

It's Copernicus! And some Fig-Cardamom spread.

Usually the way these things go is you get good days and bad days. There will be days you get something really awesome like the Doc's dog or Biff Tannen, or another one where you get like two hubcaps. I remember with the disaster Advent calendar, there was one day where we just got all the oil spills in a little bag.

Good or bad, I'll post our finds daily at the gallery, and digest them weekly or so here.

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Advent 2021 Week One

5 December 2021 22:40

It's been a good week of Advent surprises so far. The jams have been delicious, as Bonne Maman products tend to do. The Back the Future III calendar, I'll admit isn't as satisfying to me as the hazard cleanup or pirate calendars, but it's cute that it has several backdrops from the movies. The downside I see is that the adventee's creativity is paramaterized by the prior art from which the calendar is derived.

Nevertheless, my husband and I have had fun excavating each tiny surprise every day and building on each little set. Here's what we've got from the 2nd through the 5th.

A lantern and a helmet, I believe this is from the Doc and Marty finding the buried time machine in 1955. And Apricot-Mango jam today, which is always a nice combination.

Copernicus has had it with this whole elderflower for immune support craze, so he sees fit to destroy day 3's cherry-elderflower spread with day 3's dynamite and explosives plunger.

Given the gravity of Dr. Brown's fate, I couldn't bring myself to worry about the Sweet-Orange Passionfruit spread being severely out of focus.

Day 5 was pretty meh. Just honey and the letter that Doc sends from the past. I like honey, but I find the inclusion of non-jam substances on a jam calendar to be somewhat questionable.

More pics in the advent gallery. More advent posts in the comming weeks!

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Advent 2021 Day Six

6 December 2021 16:45

Got a little paradox here.

If 1980s Marty doesn't save 1880s Marty from the oncoming train, will the video of 1880s Marty's death disappear before 1980s Marty can profit from it as a mail-order snuff film? Also, at what point will the Libyans realize that the barrel of radioactive waste they ordered is simply a large jar of Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry-Balm leaves Spread?

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Advent 2021 Week Two

13 December 2021 12:00

It's oddly difficult to keep up with an advent calendar. We're introducing a new daily habit temporarily, and cease it at about the time it takes for a new habit to set in. Verily, we will in two more weeks' time have had the Pavlovian conditioning to expect small vials of jam and bits of brightly colored plastic daily, and will immediately go into Advent Withdrawal. Perhaps it's for the best that I passed on the wine and beer advent calendars at Costco, lest we add Noel DTs to the stack.

Our Marty predicament is exacerbated by the addition of Western Marty's hat, and by my overcompensating for harsh light with the color temperature settings on my camera. Seedless Raspberry Jam bears witness to the now escalated situation.

Doc Brown gets out of the Terrorist-scamming racket and into the tire business! Unfortunately, he chooses a time and a place where demand for those white sidewalls is very low. Today's jam lurks in the background, cropped and out of focus. It probably tasted nice.

Starting to get desparate, Marty tries to fund-raise for his trip home by posing for an erotic calendar. His success in this endeavor is limited by the fact that Playmobil clothes are not removable, and women in 1885 are forbidden from knowing the current date or time. The jam is Mr. August, and thus is not in this shot.

Now we get 50s Doc, and his severe case of hat-head. Today's jam is a more showy Orange Cinnamon Spread.

Having resolved his hat-head with the addition of a trilby (back when they were not exclusively worn by horrible phony hipsters), Doc commandeers today's Raspberry-Rose jam the same way he obtained at least two of the five watches he wears: good-old fashioned mugging!

This is the last day of the jam calendar. The final, Cherry-Christmas Spice Spread is so unceremoniously ringed in by a small plastic succulent.

1885 Doc finally shows up, demanding to know why there was no jam left for him. This escalates when he meets his three other selves: 1955, 1985, and Dead. A Doc-Fight to the death ensues.

More pics in the advent gallery. More advent posts in the comming weeks!

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Birthday Post for Patrick

5 July 2022 23:11

I remember the first one. We didn't get to spend your birthday together that year, because I was in Oklahoma celebrating the same day with my grandfather. You and him share that day. It's a good day for you two, excellent choice.

My love

We weren't "dating" yet, were just sort of hanging out. But I was obsessed. I didn't know quite what I had found. A partner? A really good friend? A guy who encourages me to buy telephones and firearms? What was this thing I was feeling? I discussed it with my brother. We killed a bottle of Uncle Val's Botanical Gin that night. He told me that I better hang on to you.

So I did. We kept hanging out. We shared experiences. I told my mom about you. One night, after you made me another delicious meal, I finally told you that I love you.

"You do?!"


"Well, I love you too."

We snuggled on that cane couch with the worn zebra fabric.

I love you, Patrick. Happy birthday.

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