7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 62)

December 18, 2009 | 34 comments

— 1 —

I’m in more of a hurry today than usual, so I’m going to see if I can get all seven of my quick takes written, formatted and published in 15 minutes (normally it take me 30 – 45 minutes to do it all). It’s 3:40 on Thursday afternoon. Let’s see if I can get it all done by 3:55…

— 2 —

I found a great last-minute gift for the person who has everything: for my 95-year-old grandfather the self-taught chef (whose cuisine I posted pictures of here and here), we got him a custom poetry gift.

My mom and I wrote a little poem about how much we love his cooking, and this site will print it up with a famous painting of a chef and include a space for us to include a photo of my grandfather or one of his dishes. They also have templates for other professions and hobbies as well. Great idea for a unique gift.

— 3 —

Speaking of poetry-related gifts, my poetry nerd husband says he wants this shirt for Christmas (that I found via Dooce):

— 4 —

I already mentioned this last year, but I wanted to re-post these pictures because I find them amusing given some American retailers’ reluctance to use Christmas-specific imagery in their marketing:

(Click to enlarge.) They’re shots of the Abu Dhabi mall, taken by my dad when he lived in the United Arab Emirates. It’s funny that this mall, complete with a mosque and speakers for the Muslim calls to prayer, has Santas and Christmas trees.

— 5 —

If anyone’s interested, a recording of my SonRise Morning Show interview from this past Monday is available online here. I was elaborating on my post about God being ignorable.

— 6 —

Looking for an awesome Christmas cookie recipe? I made this Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe last year and my husband said they were the best cookies he has ever tasted. They really were pretty amazing.

— 7 —

(In terms of timing, I will note that it’s not anywhere near 3:55, but that’s mainly because of a certain fussy baby who decided to boycott her afternoon nap today.)

Have a great weekend! Anyone have any cool Christmas travel plans?


Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!


  1. Dawn Farias

    Oh! I saw that t-shirt via Dooce and thought it would be cool for Laura at Catholic Teacher Musings. She hosts Bad Haiku Friday.

    Thanks for hosting!

  2. Molly

    I've loved that hiaku t-shirt for years! and I thought it was no longer in production. I might have to finally get one for my hiaku writing husband (he likes to make them up about equally silly things and send them to me at work).

  3. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    I love the haiku shirt! I don't buy for my nieces and nephews (there are too many of them), but this would be so perfect for my 19 year old nephew! He loves shirts like this.

  4. Terresa

    Love the haiku shirt, just might have to get one for myself this year.

  5. Elizabeth Mahlou

    Re the Abu Dhabi mall, it is not all that strange to see the combination of East and West. First, there are many Christians in the Middle East (contrary to popular stereotype). Second, the ex-pat population (especially from Western countries) is relatively large, certainly large enough to make it worthwhile selling to them.

  6. Kerrie

    This is my first Quick Takes Friday. I am so excited to do it! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Sharon

    Our boys have a friend from school who had that same Haiku T-shirt. (His mother is a college English professor.) It always gave me a good chuckle when he would wear it. The cookies look delicious! Hmmm…I'm planning on doing some baking this weekend…maybe I'll try it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time

    Love #3! Always good to start the day with a laugh. Once, my husband got his math teacher brother a T shirt that said, "You wanna know what my problem is? My problem is…. That's MY problem. What's YOUR problem?"

  9. ~ Judy ~

    I've been hoping to find a NEW cookie this year…THANKS JENNIFER!

    That shirt your husband wants is TOTALLY AWESOME…I hope you can get it for him…I absolutely LOVE it!!!

    Can't wait to come back a little later when I have a bit more time and listen to your interview ๐Ÿ™‚

    And you didn't tell us…did you make your post in your attempted TIME???????!

    Thanks for sharing Quick Takes with us each week!

  10. Alice R

    So it's non-Christians who American retailers are afraid of offending if Christmas-specific imagery is used in marketing? I'd heard there was some controversy about it but I assumed it was Christians who might be offended, because of the commercialization of their holiday.

    I have no idea why non-Christians would care, at least about things like Santas and Christmas trees. I guess I might find it kind of offensive if a store had a "happy birthday, Jesus! sale" or something but actually that would be pretty funny so I wouldn't be too offended. I'm in New Zealand where a lower percentage of the population identifies as Christian and as far as I know nobody gets offended by Christmas stuff here (except by the "poor Joseph, God was a hard act to follow" billboard a church put up, which offended other Christians).

  11. Karyn

    My Japanese friend said they celebrate Christmas in Japan (but with less importance than here). She said there would be trees and Santas everywhere but most people didn't really know why or even what the holiday was supposed to celebrate (in a religious or secular sense). Funny the things we humans do.

  12. Me In Life

    What a great and personal gift to give your grandfather! Definitly a treasure!

    My husband would love that shirt! I am going to have to check them out!

    No cool travel plans, just traveling back to our hometown to see my family. Have a Merry Christmas!

  13. Leighann

    Regarding #4, it isn't because of Muslims schools and retailers and business are shying away from religious symbols. It's because of the atheist. If you look at the ACLU cases brought to court, the person they are representing is always an atheist. Since there is no tone in blogosphere, I want to clarify I am not trying to be snotty. ๐Ÿ™‚ Merry Christmas.

  14. Faith

    My ten year old loves that haiku! He's been telling it to anyone who'll listen for the last couple of months!

    Merry Christmas!

  15. Ewe

    My first 7 quick takes!

  16. Jason

    Our holiday travel plans are to move back from the island of Guam where we've been stationed with the Navy for three years. We finally made it back to my Illinois homeland to be with family. It was so great to see all of them when we got off the plane yesterday.

  17. Christine the Soccer Mom

    I'm not going anywhere for Christmas. Just staying home, unless we go to the Madonna House that morning, which we've done before.

    That haiku shirt cracks me up!

    Have a blessed Christmas (and look for your card soon! I've got you on my list!).

  18. Pam Elmore

    First, let me say how envious I am that you can write and format ANY post in 15 minutes. Or even 45. I've never timed myself. I'm afraid to… my posts take me forever to write! I think I'm just too anal about them.

    I loved seeing those photos from Abu Dhabi again — they are captivating! The cookies look great — did you use M&Ms, or those green & red candy-coated chocolate chips?

  19. Elizabeth

    The Haiku is hilarious!
    Have you ever seen the "Sumo of the Opera" Veggie Tale? There is a running gag about Haiku in it…very funny. Also a riot if you have fond memories of the original Rocky movie!

    Stop by my place for new baby photos…just can't help showing him off!
    Pax Christi

  20. Elisa

    LOL!! That t-shirt is amazing. I want it. THE UAE w/ the Christmas trees…craziness.

  21. Lisa

    Oh, my word. Have to have that T-shirt. Seriously. Has Laura at Catholic Teacher Musings seen that yet? Love the gift idea, too. Wonderful. Joyous Christmas to you and your family, Jennifer.

  22. Anonymous

    Thanks for your interview link. You did a great job. You hit home with exactly what I needed to hear right now about God being ignorable. What a great revelation for you and a great lesson for me!

  23. Christine the Soccer Mom

    FYI: I just posted a few more pictures of my cookies (mentioned in my QT today) with a poll about which recipe(s) to post.

    See here.

  24. abroadermark

    Oops – sorry about adding myself to the Mister Linky list twice. Silly me.

    Love the hiaku t-shirt!!

  25. Kerrie

    I was just looking at the mall pics again and it reminded me of two things…

    1. Our mall in Staten Island moved Santa from the Center Court to the end of the JC Penny's wing. Administration said they did it to improve traffic flow – but they replaced Santa with a MASSIVE train.
    2. I was at our Alba House Bookstore this weekend and the Pauline Brothers and other customers were discussing an item they heard on the news regarding that some towns (not sure where) want to ban Santa because he's a bad influence – he's fat and eats fatty foods.

  26. Sue

    Christmas in Japan is a lot like that. No one knows the real meaning (well, roughly 1% of us do) – it's just pretty. Christmas Eve is a big date night here, much like our Valentine's Day. Young couples flock to area where they can hold hands while walking down a street decked out in lights. On Christmas day the decorations come down, and are replaced by the Shinto New Year's evergreen decorations.

    I love that T-shirt! Please tell your husband that haiku makes much more sense in it's native language. My kids refuse to write them in English!

  27. Mary Lyter

    Bought the shirt for my friend. Threadless was sold out of pretty much every size when I was there 2 weeks ago.

  28. Christian H

    Has he tried sonnets?
    They can ramble quite a bit,
    but I find them fun.

    Word verification is an actual word for once: tosses

  29. Poor Nurse Clare

    That shirt cracks me up. I also laughed at the "Poor Joseph" comment by one reader (in spite of myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin

    Converting your cookies to soft and puffy:

    increase brown sugar 0.25 cups
    use White Lily or cake flour (the important difference is 2g protein per serving, rather than the usual 3g)
    replace Baking Soda with 1.5tsp baking Powder
    replace softened butter with chilled margarine (it melts more slowly and the dough winds up with more air in it)
    Chill dough before baking.

  31. starrball

    I liked the T-shirt. It reminds me of another poem:

    Roses are red,
    violets are blue
    Some poems rhyme,
    but this one doesn't.

  32. sdcougar

    "Anyone have any cool Christmas travel plans?" With the threat of a BA strike, winter storms on the E coast and no ticket in hand yet, nope, don't think so [was going to try to get the 'cheaper' tickets available within a day of Christmas]

    I put my link here as I thought there might be some interest in my article, Your Child and Your TV.

  33. Kathreja

    I am going to Rome, from the 26th to January 8th.

  34. lorimcktia.blogspot.com "Cottage By The Sea"

    I love reading your blog! I've been a practicing Catholic for the past 25 years but find a growth in faith every time I check in. Also, one of my daughter's who was raised Catholic and is very faithful still, is dating a guy whom she is helping to teach the faith in hopes he will become a believer. I gave her your link and she refers to it often. Wishing you and New Year!

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