Saturday, November 8, 2008

ho hum November Saturday

It's Saturday afternoon and I'm making soup and listening to Bishop Allen. I really aught to post more often-I mean I started this stupid thing so that I would write more often. A paper journal just seemed so 20th century (and besides my handwriting is terrible.)

So Today. There is a big maple tree behind my apartment. It's taller than all the triple and quadruple-deckers in the neighborhood and it's always the last tree to lose its leaves. This morning I noticed that it had started to turn yellow from the top down. I'm sure that this has been going on for a few days, but this is the first time I noticed because I haven't seen it in daylight for a week. It's very pretty against the gray sky.

On a completely different note, I'm completely creeped out about the way they've started marketing Christmas so early. I actually saw them putting up Christmas trees in Lord and Taylor the day before Halloween. There's a guy wringing a bell for the Salvation Army in front of my office already and it's not even half past November. I realize that it's going to be a thin Christmas for everyone with the economy in the tank and none of us getting raises and all, and I know that Thanksgiving is late this year (thus shortening the traditional holiday shopping period) but this is ridiculous. Where are those War on Christmas guys when you need them? We could really use some of them complaining that the sanctity of the holiday is being debased by such displays of commercial greed.

Don't get me wrong-I love Christmas. I love the cookies and the music and the parties. I love looking for just the right gift for each member of my family and wrapping presents and decorating my parents' tree. I love the special feeling of watching and waiting for a miracle that comes when least expected. But I love all of these things in December. Christmas-related activities and decorations are special because I only do them for one twelfth of the year. If the period to which I am exposed to Christmas decorations and expected to shop for presents increases, these things become less special and by the end of December I'm sick of them.

I don't start Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving so arguably these retailers are going to get less of my money by desensitizing me to all things Christmas.


Well now my soup is done cooking and I'm going to enjoy some on my porch while looking at my nice maple tree.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Daze

It's funny how easy it is to divide your life into 4 year clumps. 4 years ago, the Red Sox had just won the World Series. I arrived to work on Boylston Street as Boston city workers were just putting up the fences they had taken down (literally) 2 days ago after the Red Sox parade.

There was a huge rally at Copley Place. I was taking a class at Bunker Hill Community College that night (I learned nothing that evening) after which I met up with a few friends who worked at Hilton's Tent City. If things had gone well, we would have gone to the rally at Copley. When it was apparent that things were Not Going Well we headed back to our Cambridge appartment to watch the votes come in and feel bad.

In 2000, I was working for a web company (now out of business) and I remember talking to intelligent, relatively liberal people who were genuninely considering voting for the "compassionate conservative." I remember talking with one of the smartest people I knew at the time and hearing him say he wasn't sure if he could vote for Gore "because here's the thing--he'll spend every penny of that surpus we have."

When the votes came in I was working an evening shift at Brookline Booksmith and sneaking into the back room to hear the radio whenever possible. I distinctly remember the first time they called Florida. *sigh*

And 12 years ago, in 1996 (the first presidential election I was eligable to participate in) I voted in Minnesota. I biked over to the polling station and my walkman fell out of my jeans jacket coat on the way. I was pleased (silly little dork that I was) to finally get to vote in a presidential election.

When the votes came in, I was working a shift for Carleton Security when they announced the winner. I was working the evening shift and I stopped by my friends' suite to watch the votes come in. That is also when I got my first glimpse of W ("He's going to be trouble," I thought to myself. I had no idea...)