I hope everyone had as good of a Christmas as I did! Kevin and I slept in and opened presents this morning, then made breakfast, then made some cookies, then went to my mom and dad's for a small dinner with them and some friends of the family. The food was wonderful and the cookies at my mom's were fantastic (the famous Rosiak Kolackzi, which was made by my nieces!). This year I got many wonderful Christmas presents. The top contenders are currently battling it out, but I have to say, right up there at the top is my new iPod Nano (WOO!) and my subscription to the Bacon of the Month Club. Actually the bacon might top out the iPod. PLUS--my parents threw in some scratch-off lottery tickets and I won a total of $82.00! Hot damn!
Hope your Christmas was as good as mine--in both material and immaterial ways.
My mom has a picture frame of Brad and me taking a picture with Santa for subsequent years--up until teenage-hood, I believe. Naturally the pictures where a small baby is screaming his/her head off are the best. Finally, someone has amassed a collection that will make jolly men with beards never want to be Santa, ever. Behold, Florida's Sun-Sentinel "Scared of Santa!"
Here are some of my favorites:
Proof that Santa has always been evil:
This kid's gonna need lots of therapy:
What a week this has been. Welcome to retail--work has been crazy and I've worked every day this week. When I get home I just want to sit on the couch and stare off into space, which doesn't make for good blogging. Sorry about that. Kevin has been replacing our kitchen counter, much to my delight. We now have a birch butcher block counter and it looks positively stunning. It's been frustrating for Kevin, but believe me, it's just beautiful. I can't wait to really use it! I'm thinking of baking some cookies--maybe some of that famous Rosiak kolaczki! Hopefully all will go well.
Wondering why the blog went blank? No, it's not because I was lazy (well, that too)--we just got back from New York!
We've always wanted to go to New York around Christmas (second only to wanting to go to Germany around Christmas) so we left on Sunday morning and came back late last night. I was very disappointed that it didn't snow. Sunday we got rain, then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday it was chilly (in the 40s--disappointing too!). As we left they were predicting snow for Thursday (today). Nice.
Of course there wasn't enough time to do everything. We saw two shows, Rent, which was good but didn't change my life, and the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. The Rockettes were wonderful. It was the 75th anniversary of their show and I have to say it was so much fun feeling like a little bit of that history. It was easy to picture the show in the 30s, all those leggy women kicking and tap dancing and other variety show things. It felt very New York-y and Christmasy. We also saw Rockefeller Center, which was much smaller than I thought it was going to be (both the tree and the ice rink). We caught up with Tony, one of Kevin's old Boy Scout friends, and Kristy and Steve, Kevin's Mom's cousins. That was enjoyable all the way around. And of course we did plenty of shopping and soaking in the atmosphere.
I can't wait to go back!
Shelby, Scout, and Digory created a special dance for all of you to wish you a Merry Christmas! Go see us here:
With special thanks to Katrina!
As you know, I'm a big fan of books and truly believe in the power of reading. When someone I know from the internet sent me this, I had to pass it along:
BEYOND 4 WALLS BOOK DRIVE
Reading changes lives. We ask you to partner with us to impact and improve the lives of incarcerated children and teenagers, by purchasing books for the BEYOND 4 WALLS BOOK DRIVE.
The Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Detention Facility in Sylmar houses 650+ children and teens. The members of the Nidorf Collective @ UCLA, a group of students from the UCLA Information Studies graduate program, have been volunteering at the facility for two years, bringing books to this underserved population. The Beyond 4 Walls Book Drive, sponsored by the GSA Community Service Commission, will further the work to give the gift of reading to these kids.
How can you contribute?
The best and simplest way is to use this link to select books for the kids from the "Beyond 4 Walls Wish List" on Amazon.com:
The books on this list have been requested by the teens at Nidorf and/or recommended by the library students in the UCLA MLIS program, who have seen what a difference books and reading make to this population. After you use the link, please forward this email to others who might also like to make a fundamental difference in this ongoing literacy program.
The GSA Community Service Commission, the members of the Nidorf Collective @ UCLA, and the kids at Nidorf thank you for giving your time and energy to community service. Your donation makes a big difference.
More information about UCLA students involvement in the Nidorf collection can be found here:
So since we don't watch tv, we've taken to watching tv on dvd. Yes, I know it's still pictures appearing on our tv screen and we're still paying for it and we're watching it at our convenience commercial-free just like if we'd Tivo'd it, but I still feel a moral superiority that we don't have to wait a week for each episode to come out.
We've made it through several awesome television shows, and the most recent one we discovered was a 1/2 hour comedy on HBO called Flight of the Conchords. It's difficult to describe FOTC, although the words random and extemporaneous come to mind.
The basic premise is this. The two stars of the show are two musicians from New Zealand named Bret and Jemaine. Together they form a band called Flight of the Conchords. They are living in New York and are trying to hit it big on the band scene, lead by their manager Murray and accompanied by their single fan, Mel.
Bret and Jemaine are kind of naive, clueless guys who sort of stumble through their episodes, every once in a while bursting into song. They're usually acting in a scene and then sort of move into a dream world where they are performing a song about the situation. Again, it's totally random and extemporaneous. The lyrics are all beyond hilarious with both Bret and Jemaine coming in. The songs are of all different genres with the only thing in common being funny lyrics and situations. Oh, and they all stick in your head. Here are some clips.
Business Time is their best song, I think. The main singer is Jemaine (the big guy with the glasses). This one is 18+
This next one is loved by French teachers everywhere. It's entirely in the French you learn in the first few weeks of a French 1 class. However, you don't need to speak French to enjoy it.
This is the FOTC performing on Letterman. This is a great example of their lyrics, which can be harder to hear in the above clips.
My voice seems to have returned for the time being. Let's hope it lasts!
The counter is now completely gone, which means that removing the old dishwasher should be easy, right? Yeah, no. It's totally stuck in there. We have no idea what's holding it is, but it's definitely stuck. They did use some spray foam insulation so we're chipping away at that. Otherwise we may have to just bash it to pieces to get it out. I was hoping to offer it up on Freecycle so it doesn't go into a landfill, however. It works, but it works about as well as a bottom-of-the-line dishwasher should.
We also discovered a huge empty space in the corner of the L shape between the dishwasher and the sink. I couldn't believe it! I think we're going to put a cabinet in on the back side and use it for storage. We really lack that in the kitchen so it couldn't hurt. I hate the idea of wasted space.