Christmas shopping on foot


Footnotes, Portsmouth

You can make a list and you can check it twice, but it's still good to get out there and pound the pavement in search of the serendipitous. Portsmouth is a most awesome place to do that. I scored so big I had to make three bag-laden trips back to the car.

I spent the day in training yesterday, at the beautiful downtown Sheraton Portsmouth. It's a 6-week job administering the NAEP, "the Nation's Report Card," to 4th, 8th and 12th graders beginning in late January.

I like the team members I met. Lunch was awesome because there were about 10 things to choose from plus desserts and I sat at a table with interesting other people, as opposed to the usual work-from-home lunch of a boring old sandwich eaten alone at the kitchen counter. And I didn't have to clean up after myself! I could get used to this.

Now sharpen your #2 pencils and please don't ask me any more questions. Just do the best you can.

We are now two hours into a whirling white snowstorm. Stay home, melt butter and boil up a couple of lobsters, and watch corny Christmas movies.

As Christmas movies and Christmas specials are to regular movies and TV, so Your Ugly Holiday Sweaters are to normal clothes.

Here's the Nutcracker: The Motion Picture on Hulu, performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet, with sets by Maurice Sendak. Watch clips for free.