Sunday, December 16, 2007


On the way to Le's Café yesterday, I was dealt the King spades by Lê Quý Đôn Street. That gives me an unsuited King and Six so far,* encouraging enough dangerous optimism to bet. Once we got home after two iced coffees and one soursop shake, we decked the house. It had been one week since we bought our Christmas tree and only two days since our second shipment of books and furniture. Somehow, in that short time, we'd cleared off enough dining room table space to build a Christmas tree there. Asian Christmas tree instructions: 1. Install the stand; 2. Pull the branch off the trunk, and bend the branches down to an angle about 75 degrees; 3. Open the leaves of the branch, and adjust them, so they spread out both right and left, in the way natural leaves grow; 4. Assemble the top part of the tree to the bottom part and there you get the tree. And, easy as that, we had a realistic meter-tall stark white plastic fir tree. Sunshine followed these instructions while I was untangling the little light strings we'd gotten that same day. She pointed out that the diseased-looking bush thing being assembled in the accompanying illustrations was a deliberate maneuver on the part of the manufacturers to increase our appreciation of the ridiculous actual product. In return, I pointed out that the Oriental string lights that we purchased on the Asian street had standard American plugs, an inconvenient mismatch with the predictably Vietnamese outlets in our apartment. Sabotage! We had to use the adapter off the master bedroom television set (which came with the apartment and also has US plugs, don't ask me why), but our tree's twinkling away charmingly now, so it must have all worked out eventually. [Cavin]

Then, a 5 sided conversation ensued...

To which Anonymous Anonymous added:

please say you have gone with the traditional tackiness of multicolor lights on that fine stark white plastic tree. anything other than white on white...some kind of weird segregationist stormtrooper xmas otherwise.

Monday, December 17, 2007 12:37:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Donder und Blitzen! You think I want to have some JC Penny Holiday Linen Sale decorations in my home? I regret that our tree is not tacky enough--yet--but hopefully it’ll pass your storm-trooper test: not only is it lit with pastel stars and twinkly green fairy lights that pulse in any of a dozen clashing ways according to their push-button settings, but since I was unable to make the string of flashing orange Santas stretch up around the tree, I just wadded them up at the base. From a distance they look like glowing coals, as if the whole stark plastic forest is burning down around this one squat survivor. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007 4:55:00 PM  
To which Anonymous Henry P added:

Photos. I require photos.

(Don't worry; I will reciprocate with our own too-tacky-for-my-parents, but perhaps-not-tacky-enough-for-Sunshine white electrical tree monstrosity.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 11:38:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

I promise you pictures. I also promise to email them privately, since it's obvious that it will be months before I get around to getting anything up on my Flickr thing. It's still to be a little while before the tree is done up with the ornaments, too. But don't worry.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 12:27:00 AM  
To which Anonymous 'ell joy added:

Hey, BC to me, too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 2:10:00 PM  

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