Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow....

I think this says it all...

I can't believe I told her she needs to play those every day. I'm either the most forgiving and loving mother in the world, or the craziest. Maybe a bit of both.

I did not get the Red Ryder BB gun (dang it all, I really liked Diana's suggestion). But I did get something better.

No, you may not see them, because I'm never taking them out of my ears, ever again. By the way, "LJ" stand for Levy Jewelers, one of the oldest jewelry stores in Savannah. Don't worry, you'll get the story. My husband is a very clever and surprising man.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday Five...a little late

Yeah, yeah. You heard me. Late. Tough.

Five Wishes for Christmas

1. Stability in my life.

I've moved around a lot in my life. I've lived in five different cities since 2000. But I have reason to believe things are going to change in 2008. For the first time, I finally really feel settled somewhere, and I have no intention of leaving. Ray is happy in his work, we're comfortable in our little house, and I don't see us going anywhere. So, here's wishing for a stable, uneventful year to come.

2. A healthy baby.

I have no indications that she will be anything but a healthy baby, but I am the worrying type, and we still have a few more months to go. Anything could happen. And it probably won't. But here's wishing for a healthy baby girl, anyway.

3. World Peace

Yeah, it's a cliche. Doesn't mean I can't wish for it.

4. That Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons would stop coming to my door on Saturday mornings.

I know y'all are doing what you think is best, really, but you're not going to change my views on religion. I can stand at my door and argue theology all day with you, but neither of us will be happy. So, this holiday season, how about a little Peace on My Doorstep?

Not really. I've just always wanted to say that. Of course, if you've never seen a Christmas Story, you won't get that. "You'll shoot your eye out!"

And here's also wishing all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ooooo, baby, baby...

With thanks to the eloquent Salt-n-Pepa for the lyric.

So, we had a lovely visit to the OBGYN on Tuesday. Got some lovely ultrasound pics, including this one where she's trying to stick her foot in her mouth.

Oh, yes. I did say "her" foot. TFYO was right all those months ago. We are having a girl, and we've already decided her name. She will, for now, be known as Baby J.

Baby J is very healthy, as well as apparently very limber. She was very active during the ultrasound, grabbing her feet, and smacking my tummy every time the ultrasound wand got close to her little fist. I think I may have been right a few days ago when I said "I may be giving birth to a Cirque du Soleil troupe".

Not a troupe, just one really flexible baby.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Missing in Action

I am really sorry, you guys. I had no intention of disappearing. I apologize to those I read regularly. And to those of you who e-mailed and left comments worrying about my welfare(Susan and Peter)...thank you.

I just haven't been able to pull my brain together this past week. I know a fair bit of it is pregnancy brain. Some of it is holiday stress (shopping, cooking, did I mention I just made a couple of pounds of fudge this week?). Every time I sat down to write, I couldn't put a coherent sentence together. The phone would ring, or I'd get distracted by something else I had to do, and I just couldn't get the words to flow.

I was trying to explain this to Ray on Thursday, when I mentioned that I hadn't blogged all week, and that I was barely capable of checking e-mail. He suggested I just write an entry as it would be coming out of my brain. It would look a lot like this:

So, a little while back, My Two Cents left a comment about wanting to know the truth behind the myth of the Southern Man. Well, let me tell you...uh. Wait. Where was I? Oh, shit, there goes the phone again. (walks off to answer, comes back) Right, where was I again? Oh, yeah...The Southern Man. Aw, crap, I think I forgot to water the tree. What time do I have to be at work today? Why is the cat climbing the door frame again? I wish those damn construction workers would knock off the hammering this early. Wait, it's not early. It's late. Crap, I don't have time to write. I haven't even had a shower yet. Where did the morning go? What day is it? Thursday? Friday? Ugh, I haven't written a Friday Five. I got nuthin. Aw, hell, there goes the phone again.

At that point, I wander off, completely forget I even had a post open, and somehow manage to shower and make it to work on time. Where I promptly forget to clock in, and also forget which studio I left my headphones in, and where I laid my pen down.

So, it's not you guys. Honest. It's me.

I'm usually not this scatterbrained. It's a sad day when my husband (who can remember anything to do with baseball, but not his mother's birthday) has to remind me (who could tell you every detail of a conversation she had with someone three years ago) to take the shopping list with me as I head out the door. I suppose I could blame this on "pregnancy brain", or my recent lack of sleep ( a pregnant belly is a killer for stomach sleepers), or the suddenly compelling re-runs of The Waltons on the Hallmark Channel.

I don't know.

But I did want you to know, I'm alive in body, if not entirely in brain.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pause for Pondering

Yesterday, I went to make a cup of pseudo-coffee. I bought a tin of one of those frou-frou flavoured instant coffees, because the caffeine content is pretty low, and I'm supposed to be watching my caffeine intake (woe is me!).

The directions read thusly:

Create your own flavour destination by measuring 4 teaspoons of (said coffee mix) into your favourite mug. Slowly stir in 6 to 8 fl. oz. of boiling water.

Now, maybe I'm just over-thinking this a bit, but is my enjoyment of the product really going to be enhanced that much by what kind of mug I drink it from?

I mean, suppose, just suppose that instead of using my favourite mug, I use the mug that Ray got in his divorce (which, by the way, was the only item besides a small saucepan that he actually got in his divorce).

Am I going to be saying to myself, "Gee, self. This coffee sure could have been a hell of a lot tastier had I only decided to use my favourite mug instead of this crappy thing with flowers on it." And conversely, will my enjoyment of the product be heightened if I drink it from my new favourite mug (which was a gift from My Two Cents, see below)?

Will I suddenly break out into orgasmic glory over my chocolate coffee drink? Will my hair become shinier, will my debt magically disappear, will my thighs suddenly be jiggle free?

It's almost like directions for condoms saying, "Make sure to use with your favourite person."

This Pause for Pondering not really sponsored by International Foods Coffee, and those stupid commercials about the waiter, Jean Luc, who would never have served anyone this crap in the first place.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday Five

I wish I could figure out how to hang some tinsel and holly on my title bit up there...but, alas, I'm just not that tech savvy.

Since I've been all holiday-ish this week, I thought I might continue the trend. This is a video heavy post, kids, so give it some time to load.

Five Favourite Non-Traditional Christmas Songs

1. Brian Setzer Orchestra-Z'at You Santa Claus?

Louis Armstrong did the original, and I like the original, but I love this updated version. I've liked Brian Setzer since his days back with The Stray Cats, and it made me happy that the resurgence in swing music a few years back boosted his career. This video is a live version, and he botches the last verse, but who cares? He's fun to watch, and the song is fun, too.

2. Eartha Kitt-Santa Baby

She did this waaay before Madonna. I love this song because it brings out my inner sex kitten (which is deeply buried at the moment). Eartha Kitt has the most unique voice, and she practically purrs her way through the song. She has a ton of sex appeal. In this video from 1962, she flies through it a little faster that in the original recording, but you get the idea. If you've got iTunes, you can get the original there. That's where I got mine.

3. Barenaked Ladies - The Elf's Lament

I love this song to pieces. Who else could give you a Christmas song about illegal doping and unionization amongst elves? The song is witty, wry, and has a great retro sound. Michael Buble sang on the original recording. This video is a live performance of the song by the band alone.

4. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - Mr. Heatmiser

I can honestly say that most Rankin-Bass Christmas specials leave me a bit...well, for lack of a better term (and no pun intended) cold. They're silly, with bad dialogue, but they're also a tradition of sorts and therefore should not be shunned. I was happy to find that one of my favourite bands had done a cover of this song from "The Year Without a Santa Claus". I'm a bit disappointed in this video, because they've sped up the Snow Miser bit to fit with the animation, but you'll get the general idea. Again, if you've got iTunes, you can hear the original recording by the band. This song is also TFYO's favourite right now, so it's a good thing I like it, because I get to hear it over and OVER again on the way to school.

5. The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

I had no idea this song from 1981 existed until the program director at my last station put it into the Christmas rotation. It's very 80's sounding, but I love it. For me it captures the decade and the season perfectly. If you don't know The Waitresses, you might remember they're only Top 40 hit "I Know What Boys Like". It was little sing-songy, and got annoying after a bit. This song isn't like that. The video isn't so much a video as a series of visual wipes of the 45, but that's okay, because they've got the song in it's entirety.

Okay, that's my five. What are your favourite Christmas songs? Or Hanukkah songs? Or maybe you've got a big "Bah Humbug!" up your butt and you don't like anything. Feel free to share, but leave the humbug where it is, okay?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

Which is all I'm gonna be doing, because there's never been a white Christmas in Savannah, as far as I know. They've had snow here, just not at Christmas.

The bad thing about being a northerner living in the south is that sometimes I pine for snow. Usually, though, it's in August when the temp is in the 90's (that's Fahrenheit, y'all) with the heat index up into the 100's.

I know some of my northern friends (and family!) laugh at me when I talk about missing snow, but there's something about a fresh snowfall that makes me happy. Especially when I get to look at it from inside a warm and cozy house, made even cozier by a fire in the fireplace. In Savannah, you don't really need a fireplace. The coldest lows are generally just below freezing, and the coldest highs are usually in the upper 40's. Not cold at all by Michigan standards. Without snow, Christmas lights tend to look a little cheesy, to say nothing of those giant inflatable snow men sitting in yards that almost never see snow. And yet, everyone here dutifully puts up their lights, and sings Jingle Bells and Let it Snow! It's a mite...incongruous.

To that end, I am posting a video that my best friend, Jillian, sent me. She felt bad that a couple of days ago I was on my back patio grilling steak while it was 70 degrees out, and thought I might appreciate the fact that in the Greater Toronto Area, they'd gotten about a foot of fresh snow. With her permission, here is her video. And thanks Jill for making me a bit homesick.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

City sidewalks, Busy sidewalks...

From the lovely song Silver Bells. I currently have the Mahalia Jackson version on my iPod.

Oh, and this post is NSFDU (not safe for dial-up). It's mostly pictures, and it would take you dial up people most of the day to load I fear.

So, pictures from the 3rd Annual Lighted Christmas Parade in Savannah. I got as many as I could before the camera battery died on me, and many of them are a bit blurry because, well, duh, it was dark out and everyone was moving. My only consolation is that the photographer from the Savannah Morning News didn't have much more luck than I did! His pics in the paper were a little fuzzy, too.

This is TFYO, waiting for the parade to start, bagel with cream cheese in hand. We stopped at this great little cafe, Cafe Express and Bakery on Barnard St, for a little supper. I had clam chowder. What did she want? A bagel with cream cheese. And she took it with her.

This is the view up Broughton Street, from our viewing post at the corner of Broughton and Barnard. Broughton is really starting to come alive again as a commercial area of town. There's tons of cool boutiques, plus a few chain stores like the Gap that have moved into these buildings. It gives me warm fuzzy feelings to see this in city centers.

The first float in the parade. It was for a cellular phone dealer, and the had lighted mini cell towers in the back of the truck. Pity you can't actually see it.

I believe this is the lead car for the Marilyn Youman Dance School, but who the hell can tell?

This is the only picture of the Marilyn Youman Dance School Baton Twirlers that turned out. As you can see, they were twirling glow-stick batons. They were great, but also holding up the parade. Cute kids, though.

Ray was very early in the parade, which is fortunate since my camera crapped out half way through. Here he is, with holly in his hat, after giving his child a candy cane. As you can see, now that she has the candy, she has little use for him. And that kid cleaned up on the candy, too. It's a good thing my new coat had so many pockets. I was toting two bottles of water, a bag of pretzels, plus her newly acquired stash of Christmas candy.

This is the lead car for the Abeni Cultural Arts group. Their dancers follow.

These guys perform at festivals in town throughout the year. The great thing about Savannah, and the surrounding area, is that there is always some kind of event or festival every weekend.

This is one of our radio station vans, all decked out. My coworker, Stretch, is driving.

And it's impossible to see, but this is the Deen Bros. Well, a shot of them from behind, anyhow. They also kept stopping the parade, because people kept running up to their car to hug them, kiss them and give them things. I could be wrong, but I think one old lady gave them some knitted mittens. They were really good sports about the whole thing.

And just to prove that my husband did, in fact, interview Jamie and Bobby Deen...

...photographic proof. Aren't they cute?