Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Moment

I'm getting old, I know I am, because December just whizzed by, in an incredible flash. I bought cards at a store this year. I did my shopping mostly about a week before Christmas, and then, only under protest, because I wasn't really convinced Christmas was closing in. I only got those snowflake lights out maybe ten days ago? Craziness.

But about two weeks ago, Nathan and I were at a mall, not to shop mind you, but to see a movie. We came out of the theater, which is on the third floor of one of our many local malls, into a blast of music. Down in the depths of the first floor was a local band (Nathan insists they were all saxophonists, and I disagree, and feel this picture is blurry enough to prove me right) playing carols. Ring Christmas Bells, specifically, one of my favorites. And probably ninety percent of the people in the mall at that moment were gathered around the stairway, leaning over, to listen and to take pictures. We were all eye level with a huge tree coming up through the center of the mall, opposite the escalators. It was inspiring, for certain, and probably the most holiday-ish moment of the season.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Lights

I'm a fan of Christmas. Probably this won't surprise any of the six of you who read this blog. But let's just start off with that general statement. Jenn likes Christmas. I've been known to sing carols in April, and to decorate very small areas, such as dorm room or lockers. This year, however, we have a whole house at our disposal. Right, we were here last Christmas, but between two new jobs and the move the day after Thanksgiving, we didn't really achieve to our potential, last year. We've made larger strides this year.

This is the first time in my WHOLE life I've been in a place conducive to hanging lights outside. Last Saturday, Nathan was minding his own business, sitting on the sofa, playing on his computer, when I decided to hang our outdoor lights. Well, you can see how that turned out.

From blog stuff

Yep. That's Nathan on the roof hanging the lights.

Don't get me wrong. I would have been happy to get on the roof and hang the lights, but that's specifically why Nathan feels like he should do it. I'm way more comfortable up high, and so, somehow, he figures that makes me more of a risk. I was a very good ladder holder, when I wasn't taking the photos. :)

My contribution to our "lightscape" was two strands of snowflake lights strung through two of our front garden beds. These things are cool. They are snowflakes on stakes, and you can set them to either stay white all night, or set them to "spectra," which means they cycle through six different colors. They are SOLAR they charge all day, and then glow through the night. Plus, like all our holiday lights this year, they are LEDs--very bright, and energy efficient. Though a bit difficult to photograph:

Here they are, in our front yard, a little blurry. They are set to spectra, but because the photo took thirty seconds to take, or something, they cycled through their whole color spectrum, and here they look white. That's kinda cool theoretically, but kinda annoying photographically.

Here's one all swirly:

In conclusion, let me say, that in the past, I've been known to be somewhat critical of the light displays of other folks, who, let's face it, are probably just as enthused about Christmas as I am. In fact, a certain someone and I (Hi Lacy!) spent hours every year, driving around rating Christmas Lights Displays, for our own amusement. We have our own rating scale, called the HollyBerry Scale, where one HollyBerry is not so great and five HollyBerries are awarded to the most lovely, most precise displays.

I stand by our system! I do! If you're going to hang lights, people, hang them with pride!! But I have come to understand this year just exactly how MUCH goes into the precise hanging of lights. It's not easy. Even for people with good intentions and husbands wiling to climb ladders. Our house is not a Five HollyBerry house. Not this year, anyway. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Two "unique" ideas

Did anyone else run across a lot of plain old fashioned oddness this week? My two favorite examples from my week are as follows:

1) I had a woman at the circ desk try to get us to waive her fines. In and of itself, this isn't unusual, but her defense was that she was currently unemployed, and as part of her job search, she had to keep track of a floppy disk with her resume on it. So, as you see, since she had to keep track of the disk, she couldn't be expected to keep track of her library due dates. Because that would be two things to remember. Once she had a job, then she wouldn't need to remember where the floppy was, and thus, presumably, she'd have a space *open* to remember library due dates. Hopefully, her new job won't require her to remember anything, otherwise, I suppose we'll be out of luck. Again.

2) In one of the many blogs he reads, Nathan found a post from a woman who was complaining about video games causing epileptic seizures. She was the parent of an epileptic child, I think, and felt that all video games should have to prove they were seizure proof. Most of the comments were along the lines of "Look, there is a huge warning in the directions that come with the game, if you can't be bothered to read them, we can't be bothered to care about your kid." Which is what it is. My favorite part though, was someone who wrote in saying, "I am prone to seizures, and I think you should all get over it." I guess this person had been in a meeting at work, and someone had suggested they all do some *brainstorming.* Whereupon, another coworker went off about how insensitive it was to use the word *brainstorming* in a room with someone prone to seizures.

OHHHH, I laughed and laughed at that one.

DC Trip -- My thoughts one week later

Ahhh, it was just a week ago that we were all in DC. Well, a week ago, technically, I was on one of two long flights back across the country, but I was reliving all the great times. I miss DC, and even more, the people who live there. We had such a nice trip. Note to self: always good to visit a place near the holidays. We saw the shiniest, sparkliest, most festive side of DC, I think. True, you risk the occasional flight delay, but the sparkliness makes up for it. PLUS! We got some winter weather!

Though being tourists wasn't the first priority (hanging out was our first priority) we did still see quite a bit of stuff. H's great apartment, and some of her DC crew (though we missed Todd! Rats!) We hit some great monuments, Lincoln, Washington, the Korean War Memorial, the WWII memorial, and the Casa Blanca. We ate a ton of great food, much of it prepared by Heteo. We had a quick peek at the National Arboretum, in it's holiday splendor. And H and I took a jaunt through the zoo, on my last morning there. A lovely zoo, not very crowded while we were visiting, we had a great view of the cheetahs and the pandas, the sloth bear and the fishing cat. Did you know there was such a thing as the Fishing Cat?

Thanks so much, H to hosting us, and to Jim and Lai and Brien for meeting up with us for an awesome afternoon at a museum cafe. Shoot, I miss you guys!!! I hope we can all hang out again soon. Eat more salt oat cookies, take another run through the buffet at the Museum of the Native American, wander through more monuments (after sundown, cause of the great light) and just generally hang out and have good times.