Archive for January, 2009

Snowy Day Nostalgia

It started snowing here in DC early this morning, a quiet snow tiptoeing around our neighborhood before the alarm clock sirens announced another day of work. And I woke, secretly wishing I was still a student and that today would be a snow day.

I wanted to see my school flash on NBC4 as CLOSED. Because snow days are the best days and I miss them.

I miss rolling back over buried in my comforter and sleeping ’til I felt like getting out of bed…not getting dressed in real clothes, but pulling on a sweatshirt and slippers. Sipping coffee to a favorite movie. Calling friends to go sledding (before skiing). Dropping marshmallows in steaming hot chocolate. Printing snow angels in the backyard. A good book. Warm, fuzzy snowboots. Red cheeks burnt from frigid cold. Morning talk shows…afternoon talk shows…evening talk shows. Hot soup with mushy Ritz crackers. Naps. A fire crackling in the fireplace. Nothing but white fog outside the windows–no green, no brown, no color–just white light, the effect of combining all visible colors of light in equal proportions. The landscape a pristine canvas, blank and fresh and beautiful.

But I think what I miss most of all about school snow days…was the anticipation that tomorrow would be a snow day too.


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I figured in the days prior to the Inauguration, and now living in the DC area, I should probably contribute a comment of two about the upcoming exodus of one G.W. Bush from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As the UHAUL trucks veer Southwest toward Texas, President-Elect Barack Obama prepares to take the oath of Commander and Chief of the United States. I, for one, am excited to see this and the energy surrounding his swearing in is palpable around the mixing bowl.

While I recognize this as an important day in US history, recently I have found myself drawn to more amusing characteristics of the approaching time for change. January 20, 2009 seems to be a valuable deadline for not only Congress and the out-going Executive Branch, but also for retail vendors out to profit on the new face of our nation. As Seen On TV proclaims I can now own a piece of history…with “the Historic Victory Commemorative Plate,” priced at $26.98, made of “quality porcelain” with a “22 karat gold rim.” Change has indeed come to the retail industry because if ordered in the next 10 minutes, they will also include a bonus display stand and Certificate of Authenticity from the American Historic Society (just in case we ever forget or need proof that this day actually happened).

To further enhance the growing collection, As Seen On TV offers a limited quantity of the gold-plated Hawaiian quarter, “colorized” with the image of Barack Obama. If the state quarter is not “official” enough, the New England Mint has rolled out their Barack Obama Dollar to honor the 44th President. As limited edition, un-circulated coins, they truly guarantee a rare, authentic piece of memorabilia. And included in the introductory release is the President Barack Obama 2008 Kennedy Half Dollar layered in genuine 24 karat gold FREE…well with the additional $4.95 shipping and handling of course*.

There is also no shortage of treats should I choose to stray from the certified collectibles in favor of more mainstream gifts. My favorite is the G.O.P.-stomping, change-wielding, proletariat-defending Barack Obama Action Figure. He’s out to kick-some ass, Leader-of- the-Free-World style. Along this line, the Obama Bobble Head easily provides an additional high entertainment value. Republicans can ask any question (in a similar yes/no fashion one may use a magic eight ball). And 99% of the time they will receive an affirmative answer whether about their foreign policy or domestic agendas, various pork barrel initiatives, pay increases, etc. As the ad proclaims,”this Barack bobblehead is a very agreeable listener, no matter your party affiliation – give him a piece of your mind on taxes, health care, national security, anything, and he’ll nod right along.”

Below are a few other highlights of the Obama-craze:

President Obama Commemorative Sculpture with Stand Photo sculpture (in various sizes)

President Obama Commemorative Inauguration Keds shoe (again in various sizes)

President Obama Commemorative Beer Stein Mug (sorry- one size fits all)

Barack Obama Picture – Yes We Can – President Barack Obama Commemorative Wall Clock

President Barack Obama Throw

But the coup de grace, for me at least, has to be the Barack Obama Life Size Cutout. At 6’1,” He can stand in your office corner or in a place of prominence at the head of your dining room table. Wherever you choose to put him, you can have your own personal Barack sounding board (pardon the pun) for a steal or $33.45. You can argue policy or just ask for economic advice! Best part about this is…if you check out Amazon.com, you have the option of buying brand new…or used (only 2 left!). But America always offers many options. And while Amazon’s offer of a used Obama is tempting, I’d consider the Barack Obama Standee at CelebrityGift.com. This Obama is 6’2″ (so a whole inch taller), but the real sale is you can put your head on his body. For a more “personal” touch, this alternative allows any ordinary American to stand-in as the next President, thus proving this country IS the land of real opportunity.

*View the infomercial here: Obama Coins

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I’ve never been a big fan of the New Year’s resolution and as we kick 2008 out the back door in preparation for 2009, I find myself resolving to not resolve. The Holiday season typically lasts about 2 months beginning in November. We have Thanksgiving, a day we celebrate all things good in our lives and Christmas where we continue to add to what we’ve already given thanks for. But then there’s New Year’s…the Eve of which we dedicate to drinking (heavily in most cases) to forget that past year and blur into the new one, followed by the Day where we begin to try to forget the previous night.

For the most part, I enjoy the evening, which has to this date consisted of cheap champagne, sparkling top-hats, new friends, and midnight snogging. I like watching the ball-drop in Times Square (which, though an actual event, reminds me of the phrase whose meaning when someone “drops the ball”, they make a mistake, most often by doing something in a stupid or careless fashion) and counting down to midnight and toasting with friends to a new year.

With all that’s happened this past year, I hope next year lets me catch my breath. I guess I do have some resolutions, but it seems this year I have more for which I’m thankful…perhaps I should have written this post on Thanksgiving because here’s just a bit about 2008 and my role in it…what I did and what I’m grateful for:

* A year in Manhattan—from 2007-2008

* Quit my job

* Moved out of NYC—thanks to those who hired me in DC.

* New Job! (Jeans and jerseys days, happy hours, and potluck lunches)

*…and new friends.

* A 2009 Ford Focus with heated seats as my first car!

* Met Tom Jones at a reggae bar in AC—won $250 buck on penny slots

* Expensive champagne at the Ritz Carlton (classically attired in my Gburg College hoodie.)

* Soph’s bridesmaid and all the responsibilities that came with that…

* Tampa 3 times—participating in Ibor’s St. Patty’s Parade…

* Walked 5K for a Cure

* Friends I left and friends I found again.

* Zumba and the Latin mafia.

* Stayed healthy and happy

* Made a valiant effort to keep the economy afloat through copious investments in various retail establishments

* Made up for lost time with three little boys who always keep the force close-by

* My first NFL game—while it wasn’t the Redskins…the Ravens do have a pretty cool stadium, especially on Club Level

* Philly trips

* Expired licenses and the adventures that caused (Manyunk).

* Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea

* My Family

* Guitar Hero

* Dinners, drinks, and nights with friends.

So here on Day 2 of 2009, I hope you’ll take a second to also reflect and catch your breath. Go put up your 2009 Family Guy/Anne Geddes/Disgustingly Cuddly Creature calendars. Make an effort to harrumph off of your couch to purchase a gym membership. Throw out the bags of red and green candies, greasy chips, and anti-depressants. And prepare yourself to be miserable for at least the first 4 weeks of 2009 as you resolve to deny yourself all the basic/simple pleasures of life in a concentrated effort to better yourself for the coming year. Because that’s the true meaning of the New Year resolution…to make that “lifestyle change” through a masochistic self-denial of all things wonderful. I definitely like Thanksgiving better. But in any case…Happy New Year!

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