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Did this guy miss a memo? Nobody likes a skinny Santa!
Did this guy miss a memo? Nobody likes a skinny Santa!

Who the hell is St. Nick?

Tonight, I'm told, St. Nick is flying over Brew City, filling shoes or stockings with heavenly edibles. As a kid, I wished my family celebrated St. Nick because most of my classmates did, but apparently, my Italian and Russian ancestors didn't dig ol' Nick.

Personally, I'm not even sure if St. Nick and Santa are the same person. If so, how does Santa find time during what must be an insane work month to make a worldwide journey just to plop a few  Hershey's kisses in sneakers?

And if Santa and St. Nick aren't the same person, how was it decided who got to make the big journey on the 25th and who got stuck with the early December  mini-tour?

All musings aside, I'm just wondering if I should celebrate St. Nick with my kids, or just skip it, like my folks did. Sure, it's festive and fun, but do they really need more trinkets or sugar bombs? Maybe it's because I don't have a history with the holiday, but I clearly don't get it.

The tasty Tom and Jerry hot holiday cocktail.
The tasty Tom and Jerry hot holiday cocktail.

The Tom and Jerry: My new favorite holiday drink

I drank my first Tom and Jerry yesterday -- well, my first since I sipped my grandma's about 25 years ago -- and I am a believer. I am not sure why I haven't had one before, considering I am a big fan of egg nog, brandy and rum. It's hot, sweet and potent -- the perfect combo to dull the drone of yammering relatives and hookey holiday ditties.

My smitten-ness with this classic holiday cocktail drove me to Wikipedia, where I learned a sports writer named Pierce Egan coined the phrase in a book around 1820. To Egan, "Tom and Jerry" means fighting, drinking and causing trouble. I don't know about you, but that's what I like to toast at Christmastime.

Here's a basic recipe for the Tom and Jerry:


  •     1 egg
  •     1/2 oz. simple syrup or 1 tsp powdered sugar
  •     1 oz. dark rum
  •     1 oz. Cognac or brandy
  •     hot milk or hot water
  •     grated nutmeg for garnish


  1. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and beat them separately.
  2. Fold the beaten eggs together and place into an Irish coffee glass -- or any mug.
  3. Add the sugar or simple syrup, dark rum and brandy.
  4. Fill with hot milk or hot water.
  5. Stir well.
  6. Sprinkle with nutmeg. 
Got flu? Then you know this guy.
Got flu? Then you know this guy.

Thanksgiving feast a joke for stomach flu folks

Hopefully you haven't noticed, but many Milwaukeeans have been plagued with stomach flu lately. In my world, there are a few different strains of this nasty nasty, and none of them are pleasurable.

My family got the bug last week. Thankfully, we got it one right after the other, which dragged it out, but never struck down two people at once. It has been days since anyone hugged porcelain, but we're still struggling with sour stomachs and an abnormal lack of interest in food.

This is truly a bummer with the big turkey feast scheduled for tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll miraculously feel ravenous in 24 hours -- after days of cracker nibbling -- but if not, save me a leg or two, would ya?

Tinkerbell: too sexy for small kids?
Tinkerbell: too sexy for small kids?

Is Tinkerbell a skank?

My boys begged me for the new "Tinkerbell" movie, and I was a bit surprised since lately they have started identifying things as "for girls" and "for boys."

I did, eventually, buy them the film, and I admit, I didn't watch any of it.

My friend, however, said she didn't want her daughters to see this Disney movie because Tinkerbell looked like a "skank modeled after Pamela Anderson."

After she said this, I checked the cover of the film, and, indeed, Tink is a tad busty. But a skank? I don't know about that.

Maybe it's because I have boys  and I don't spend a lot of time worrying about body image stuff like the mothers of daughters have to, but when I look at Tinkerbell, I mostly see a harmless nymph ... with a spritely set of knockers. Huh.