Sunday, January 25, 2009


I realized that this is my one-hundredth blog posting since starting Et Maintenant? in August of '07. As I sit at my computer here on, often with a blank brain, I still try to keep in mind the book Jon gave me, Nobody Cares What You Had For Lunch, and make an effort not to be too mundane or at least to keep the mundane relatively interesting. Sometimes I get reactions, often I get silence.

At my book group this past week (which I hadn't attended in a couple years but was happy to get back to at least for a visit), there was some discussion of blogging. My friend Barb was putting in a good word for my blog, and others were saying they can't imagine putting thoughts in blog form for the whole world to potentially see.

What the heck, I enjoy it anyway. I doubt that many strangers stop by this blog site and pay much attention to it.

The site I don't really understand is Facebook. I do have a Facebook page, due to peer pressure I guess, but I don't get the overall point of it, especially the "What are you doing right now?" part. Barry, in the book group, said his wife is on Facebook and must have too much time on her hands because she puts things on there like "Right now I'm having a Coke".... and of course that comment goes out to all her Facebook "friends", who I'm sure are thrilled that she is having a Coke....

Others are very into Myspace. My sister Joan (who is recuperating nicely from her ankle break, thank you) has favorite Myspace sites that she checks almost day, like Lindsay Lohan and other celebrities and controversial characters. I don't do Myspace. You can only read what a Myspace member has to say if you are accepted by them as a "friend".. and I'm sure I couldn't emotionally handle a rejection if I asked to be somebody's Myspace friend and got no response!

So I stick with my blog, which is apparently there for the world to see, friend or not, and I'll head into the next hundred posts. Try to contain your excitement.
Our book group selection, by the way, was The White Tiger (the 2008 Man Booker Prize winner) by Aravind Adiga, which we all liked. It's a novel about India, life in the lowest of castes, definitely not a book that would prompt you to buy a plane ticket to India however. For me, reading it was a good companion experience to seeing the excellent new movie, Slumdog Millionaire, also about dirt-poor Indians, which, unfortunately, no one else in the group had seen yet. (I'm on my annual mission to see all five of the Best Picture Oscar nominees -- have so far seen two of the five.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

great expectations

January isn't a great time to be moving into a new house, but I bet the Obamas won't be carrying any boxes into the White House in the next few days so it won't likely be a problem for them... The job I'd like is being one of the movers getting the bush family the heck out of there -- as fast as possible, maybe breaking some furniture along the way (like real movers).

I for sure don't envy Barack Obama as he becomes President. There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week -- Where does he start to undo the disasters of the past eight years? Yet the pressure on him to perform is intense.

As 2008 ended, I heard so many people say how glad they were to see the year end and how they expected 2009 to be so much better. A lot of people found 2008 to be a total downer, for financial reasons, for personal reasons, whatever. I can understand that, but at the same time I've never been glad to see a year end. I'm never even glad to see a day end. There aren't enough of them.

And I admit I've always been better at looking back than at looking forward. And looking back at 2008, I'd rather think about the good -- at least, selfishly, my own personal memories:

--- November 4, Election Night.
--- (Without getting too corny) all the time spent with family and friends.
--- The Phillies winning the World Series.
--- Vacations, in particular the week in New England in September and the four day trip in August to Alaska (pre-Palin).
--- Labor Day in St. Paul -- Marching in the anti-war rally against the Republican National Convention (and not getting arrested).
--- Some great theater -- especially the touring production of Jersey Boys, the Jungle Theater's The Gin Game, and the Guthrie Theater's A View From the Bridge.
--- All the books I read during the year. My favorites: Pictures from a Revolution by Mark Harris and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

With that, I'll lay 2008 to rest. I apologize for being a Pollyanna.

Best of luck, President Obama... Show them how it's done. Hope you like the new house.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

oh, to be in Phoenix!

It would be pathetically predictable for me to go on and on about this Minnesota winter -- how it is the worst in years; how it was 17 degrees below zero (not counting windchill) as I was walking to work this morning; how we are currently having days when the temp doesn't even go above zero all day long; how it seems to snow every other day; etc., etc.

So I won't. You know how I hate being predictable.

But this evening I was thinking about Phoenix, Arizona, where the temperatures today were about 75 degrees (above zero). Tom and I were at the Minnesota Wild/Phoenix Coyotes hockey game in St. Paul this evening. The first thing I always think is, how did Phoenix, a city out there in the middle of the desert, get a team that plays hockey, a winter sport? And then I'm thinking, what about those Coyote players, flying north to play in Minnesota, where the temps are 90 degrees cooler than where they left. Gosh, it must have been a shock to their systems. They were awful tonight, even with Wayne Gretsky coaching, losing to the Wild 6-3.

And I do have to say that I'm sure that a winter in Minneapolis is not as bad as a summer in Phoenix!

.... but I do admit, as I go out there to scrape ice off my car windows, that a couple days in Phoenix might feel good right about now....

Maybe this coming weekend, for instance, when the Arizona Cardinals are hosting my Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday for the NFC championship, the winner going on to the Super Bowl (Sorry, I just switched from hockey to football).. ! I could hang out with the Eagles fans that you know will be interspersed in those home-team stands .. (And how did Arizona ever get a football team, anyway??) Go, Eagles!!
It's been a while since I've blogged, and I've been meaning to have some profound thoughts looking back at 2008, and here it is the 13th of January already.. Is it too late? I'd hate to be like one of those people still wishing people Happy New Year in March!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

zero to sixteen to fifty

Do you know that old song, "Sixteen Candles", the song that starts "Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, baby, I love you so"... ? It was a big hit by the Crests back in the late 1950s. Well, my sister Joan once heard on the radio that this record was released on January 6, 1959 (which I haven't verified, but, hey, it had to have been released sometime!)... The significance of January 6, 1959?? -- the day Joan was born...!!

so have a listen to the song by clicking the link below, then be sure to wish Joan a Happy 50th Birthday, Baby!!