Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When you wish upon a bone

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with good food, good company and good fortune. Don't fight over the white meat and leave room for dessert, because someone slaved over that pie crust and you don't want to disappoint them. Skip the football game and go for a walk; your heart (and waist) will thank you. Make some little kid's day by cleaning off the wishbone and breaking it with them.

This year I am thankful for my family; my BF; my BFF; friends who get up at the crack of dark to go walking with me (and are willing accomplices in so much else); that I have a job that pays well (even though I am ready to jump out the window these days), a nice apartment, a good car, a warm coat, etc.; all of you who keep stopping by even though my crazy life has meant sporadic posting lately; and that the cats did not have a hairball on the white duvet cover today. Yet.

I'm wishing for my government to stop bailing out big businesses with my tax dollars, for an end to the war in Iraq and a swift conclusion to the escalating activity in Afghanistan, for there to be less hunger in the world, less suffering, more hope. Oh, and that the exiled African diplomat who keeps emailing me will finally come through with my millions.

What are you thankful for this year? What are you wishing for on your wishbone?

Monday, November 17, 2008

West wingnut

The West Wing is my new crack.

I have no idea where I was from 1999-2006, when the show originally aired. Well, I know where I was, I just can't pin down the specifics of why I didn't watch it. It has all my favorite things - great writing, witty banter, smart female characters, realistic plot lines and a talented cast and crew to bring it all together. I'm sorry I missed it the first time around, and although I've caught a glimpse or two on Bravo, it's not the kind of show where you can jump feet first into one episode and know all you need to know to understand it (like Law & Order). Add to that the following:
  1. Continued media/blog speculation that "the West Wing is coming true" with the election of Obama and his appointment of Rahm Emanuel (alleged inspiration for the "Josh Lyman" character on WW),

  2. there is nothing on now that Mad Men is over for the season and Lost won't be on until January (!!)

  3. my increased need for escapist entertainment during this, the busiest season of my work year

  4. my neighbors, Meg & Mo (aka Two Ladies In Waiting) and Lyrical Uncertainty & his wife Muffin, blathering on about their mutual love of WW and arguing over whether a certain incident happened in season 2 or season 3

  5. the fact that said neighbors have most seasons on DVD

... and you have a recipe for me becoming a hermit. I watched 5 episodes in one sitting yesterday.

Ooh! And because I love floor plans almost as much as I love maps, look what I found online:

Gotta go. Episode 10 is about to start, and The Lounging Party is waiting for me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A lobster, an octopus and a trilobite walk into a bar...

Early November in Connecticut is catch-as-catch can with the weather, so we were blessed today with bright sunshine, fair skies and temperatures in the mid-50s, a rare treat this time of year. New Englanders know to treasure days like this, as the next one may not come along until late March. I made the most of it by spending the morning on a two and a half hour walk on the banks of the Connecticut River with two neighbors and three dogs, and the afternoon at a Kite Fly at Hammonasset Beach. My dad is an avid kite-maker and flyer, and his kite club had a great day for its last fly of the season. Amid the traditional kite shapes and wind socks were fanciful beasts like the trilobite, lobster and octopus (partially hidden) above. These creatures are enormous, made of yards and yards of fabric and tethered to the ground with huge spikes or tied to truck bumpers. Their lines (which are not "kite string" but heavy kite twine and in some cases, rope) buzz and hum with the tension of hundreds of pounds of wind force keeping them aloft. It takes two to four people to bring them down and roll them up. While taking these shots I nearly beheaded myself on a staked twine; I didn't notice it until the kite shifted in the wind and the hum of the twine changed pitch!

{A close-up of the trilobite. This kite is 90 feet long.}

{A string of small fish kites and windsocks, with a large sled kite. And by "small" I mean 10 to 12 feet. I love the puffer fish on the bottom}

{It's hard to appreciate this size of this sled kite when it is in the air, until you see it in proportion to the two men trying to bring it down}

{It was a good day for horseback riding as well}

{My camera doesn't have a good wide angle lens so it was hard to capture the complete menagerie}

{The trilobite on the ground, getting ready to hibernate for the winter}

{Everybody run, there's a lobster loose!}

{A better shot of the octopus}

{Even Flat Stanley got in on the action}

I'm feeling creative and brilliant today, just don't check the spelling

Two of my favorite bloggers are handing out blog awards (they ran out of Halloween candy) and I am a lucky recipient from both. Pseudonymous High School Teacher, who blogs about teaching HS and living in Hawaii, dished out the Kreativ Blogger award. Only A Movie, also a teacher, and living a world away from Hawaii (and a little closer to me) in Northern New England, handed out Brillante Weblog Premio awards. Cute spelling on the first one; I'm guessing by the spelling on that last one that it did not originate on these shores, further evidence of the borderless nature of the interwebs.

The Kreativ award comes with the request to post 6 things that make you happy, and I think that is a good thing to reflect on, so here goes (note - way more than 6 things make me happy):

1 - time spent with family and friends

2 - the election results

3 - the good fortune to make a good living, live in a nice home, with food in the fridge (usually) and a comfortable lifestyle

4 - stumbling across a great old movie on cable on a rainy afternoon while folding laundry

5 - books, books, books

6 - a $10 bottle of wine that tastes like it should have cost $20

Now I'm supposed to pass these on to others, but it seems like all my blogroll-ees have already won one of these... which of course speaks to my excellent taste in blogs. ;-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day

I cried during the speech last night. And people were driving down Main Street honking and shouting from 11:30 to about 1 am. And then when I came in to work this morning there were people re-watching the speech on and I got to get all teary again. I don't think there has been a positive collective moment like this for a generation. I imagine this is what it felt like when Kennedy was elected.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The unsung heroes of public events

{Not from my event, but I thought the picture was funny. From Southern Living. They thought it was funny too.}

If you think the life of an event planner is all champagne and parties and oh-so-glamorous, I wish you were with me at 7 this morning. I was trekking around chilly downtown Hartford, supervising the installation of port-o-lets for the CT Veterans Day Parade tomorrow. It's the only public (or local) event my company produces, and every year at this time we remember why it's the only one. But that's another story. Today I want to tell you about my new friends Angel and Luis, who got up even earlier than I did (and please remember I am not a morning person) to drive down from Massachusetts and deliver 20 'olets to various locations along the parade route. These guys have it down to a science. First they are driving huge tank trucks, pulling even larger trailers, which are not easy to maneuver on some of our famously stupid and narrow one-way streets. Then the 'olets themselves are unwieldy - large, bottom-heavy, and filled with whatever mysterious blue liquid they use to hide the basest of human activity. But they slide them off the trailer, shift them around a bit, assess the flatness of the area, shift some more, wipe everything down (while wearing big rubber gloves of course), and go get the next one. A thankless job if ever there was one (um, except maybe coming back to pick them up).
No one really likes port-o-lets, our modern-day outhouses. Blech. Big blue reminders of our common human condition. But when you are at a fair, or festival, or parade or other outdoor event, aren't you glad they are there? Whoever dreamed up the fancy looks-like-a-real-bathroom trailer kind was a genius. I wish I had the budget for those for this event.
So if you find yourself in downtown Hartford Sunday for the parade (and if you are local, you should come, it is a kick-ass parade and the weather will be gorgeous), enjoy the bands (more bands than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, thank you), salute our fine veterans and active-duty military, and give a silent thanks for Angel, Luis, and other people with thankless jobs.

Connecticut Veterans Day Parade PSA 1 from CT Veterans Day Parade on Vimeo.
Created by Jeffrey B. Teitler, EnvisionFilms