Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ah Christmas...

The time of year when diners get excited about everything.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Favorite Thanksgiving quotes

On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. ~William Jennings Bryan

Thanksgiving is possible only for those who take time to remember; no one can give thanks who has a short memory. ~Author Unknown

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W.T. Purkiser

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nothing holds a candle

to this...

Why We Suck

Denis Leary = Comedic Genius. And as an added bonus, he seems to be a great family man and keen observer of life's funniest moments. I dog-eared a lot of the pages in this book (which is the highest compliment a reader can give to an author.)

I loved what he said in the first chapter especially. Read below:

"... there are endless things you can buy in America - but a sense of humor isn't one of them.

We got pills and potions for your head, face, fears, tits, ass, anxieties, colon, kidneys, alcohol addiction, drug jones, heart, lungs, lips and attitude - but we don't have anything that can make you laugh at yourself."

Denis Leary, thank you for reminding me that you can learn a lot of things... but a sense of humor isn't one of them. Mom and dad, thank you for blessing me with a sense of humor that has gotten me through some ridiculously unfunny situations. I have learned that everything is funny if you look at it crookedly enough. And really, is there any other way to look at some of the crap that has happened to me?!

Now go out and buy this book. It's fantastic and irreverent and laugh-out-loud funny.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nerds and the people who write about them

I've been spending a lot of time in libraries lately, and spending time in libraries always reminds me that a lot of people who like to read books are nerds. Like crazy people nerds. Especially people who work at libraries (and I don't say this lightly because I used to work at a library.) I asked the guy behind the counter if they had the new Coldplay CD and he talked to me for 30 minutes (after he told me they didn't have the CD.) I have no idea what he said, but as I was walking down the stairs he shouted after me, "It's called Vida La Vida!!!!" Like, loud. In a library. What if I had asked him where something embarrassing was? -- "It's called The Vagina Monologues!!!!"

In any case, I got some Coltrane (because I've always wanted to say "I got some Coltrane", some Dylan, some Springsteen, Paul Simon, more Christmas stuff, Sam Cook, Robert Plant, etc. etc.

I love libraries. But the creeper nerds still creep me out. Mostly because I'm pretty sure I'm one of them.


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am getting braces... again. Please hold your applause.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dow is down. Get your Christmas Spirit up on the cheap

These sites are your best friends:

Listen to Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. They sound fantastic together and this song makes me happy. Don't buy it. Go to the library, take out the CD, bring it home, download it onto your iTunes, return the CD to the library.

Others to check out:
Sarah McLachlan - Wintersong
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Leon Redbone - Christmas Island
A Christmas Together with John Denver and the Muppets (A MUST)
Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas

~~ I once made Christmas mix CDs for all my friends. I wrote out the names of the songs and the artists in alternating green and red ink on the jacket and drew holly berries on the CD. It's a cute idea and it took a lot of time and love. People really like that crap. Everyone tells me that it's always the first CD they pull out when Christmas comes around again. Not to give anything away, but I'm working on a new mix :) FREE MUSIC. You're welcome.

The library has all the Christmas DVDs you could ever want. Go there and get them. Watch them and return them. Cost: $0

At night, walk down a street lined with trees that have gold lights tangled up in them. Instant Christmas spirit. Flurries = bonus.

HOT SOUP = $0. Oh wait, that's not true... Maybe $5.95

Rockefeller Christmas Tree sighting = $0

Don't spend a lot of money this year. My number one rule is don't spend money you don't have. This may actually be a great year to get back to basics. I can guarantee that your real friends will have no problem curling up with you on the couch with a bottle of wine to watch Rudolph instead of going out to a fancy restaurant. Some of my favorite and best Christmas memories involve years where I had little or no money. Funny how that works.

It really is the simple things that make this a special time of year. Snoopy. Charlie Brown. The Grinch (that bastard.) The first snowfall. I remember playing in the snow with my sister and my dog Lady. Lady loved the snow. My mom says it's because she was born in the snow in Maine. Apparently if you love snow, it means you were born in the snow. I guess I was born on the sun.

I can remember so many Christmas Eves in church all dressed up and singing, lighting candles and laughing with good people. Didn't cost a dime. Which is great, because with the way this market is going, I'll be lucky if I can find a dime in the couch cushions.

All kidding aside, light a candle, hang a wreath, make hot chocolate... and watch Elf. Smiling is his favorite. Mine too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just applied

I just applied for a job with the Obama-Biden Administration. No idea which one. I'm hoping for Secretary of State, but only if Hillary doesn't want to do it. I'm not going head to head with that one.


These signs are all over Greenwich and I feel so bad! If you think you may have seen him, call the number. Poor Sergio!

Monday, November 17, 2008

If I'm on fire, please put me out

Friday, November 14, 2008

Keith Olbermann

If you watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, you will think this is funny. Otherwise, it won't make any sense. Choose wisely.

In other news, whether you watch him or not... this is poignant. Keith's Special Comment about Prop 8, marriage, racism below. Watch it and let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

From The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

"... an effort must be abandoned once its hopelessness is exposed. Only the artist perseveres in such circumstances."

This is one of those 600 page books that I'm almost thinking I need to read twice. Has anyone else read it? I'm obsessed with Almondine.

-- Sent from my BlackBerry

Monday, November 10, 2008

Great question

Dave Chappelle: "If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear your God say when you arrive?"

James Lipton: "You're wrong Jim, I do exist. But you can come in anyway."

What a great answer.

-- Sent from my BlackBerry


Why did I not know that Obama's head speech writer is 26 years old?! Now I love Obama even more.

Wait, is that even possible?


Ex-White House butler witnesses black history

A truly amazing story:,0,3998158.story?page=1

Flickr photos of Obama and his family backstage on Election Night

These are pretty cool :)

Things only I would do:

1. Meet a celebrity and talk to his FBI Agent friend all night instead.
2. Make and drink a milkshake while watching a special about The Biggest Loser.

Things I did this weekend:

See above.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The email from Barack, before his speech

If it had said "Love and kisses from Barack" it would have been that much cooler...

Jennifer --

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don't want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing...

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,


Yeah, this never gets old.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Love it

The new and improved :) Check it out.

"There's never been anything false about hope."

President-Elect Barack Obama

I've had all day to think about the enormity of what just happened and I want to explain what it looked like through my eyes last night. I was at a tiny bar in NYC called Cafe Amrita at 110th (Central Park North) and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. The bar was packed with Obama supporters and we were watching election results on the big screen like it was the Superbowl. And in a way, it was.

Everyone was eating and drinking and smiling and introducing themselves to each other. When CNN started calling individual states, the cheering started. Then the hugging and the dancing. And when CNN announced PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA... the crying began. I didn't expect to cry. I had to call my parents. The text messages flooded in. People came pouring into the bar from the street to watch the historic event. And finally we were quiet. And we listened. And we went inside ourselves and found hope we didn't know we had.

Every single person there stopped and stared at the television screen with tears in their eyes. Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, older people, younger people, people with accents, people with money, people with not too much... we just listened. We listened as John McCain took the stage in Phoenix and graciously and respectfully conceded to Barack Obama. As he finished his speech, the crowd of Barack Obama supporters in that tiny bar rose and cheered John McCain.

Then Barack took the stage, and we watched. And we were quiet. And we listened. And we witnessed history. And we will never forget. Grant Park in Chicago looked like a rock concert. Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza were out of control. Harlem was a love-fest.

And now nothing will ever be the same again. Our children and grandchildren will grow up in a world where nothing is impossible.

My dad took my sister and I to see the troops come home from Desert Storm. I was young and I understood their sacrifice and I cried then. Now I am older, and I understand Barack's road to this victory, and I cried those same tears last night. I wish I could bottle those tears and show them to my children and my grandchildren someday.

For them, the stories and photos and newspapers will have to suffice. We are the lucky ones. We were a part of this change, and that is no small thing. In fact, it's bigger than any of us can imagine. If the enormity of this hasn't hit you yet, be still. Be quiet. Be proud. We were a part of this. Barack Obama has proven that anything... ANYTHING... can happen.

After Barack gave his speech, I'll never forget what my new friend Eli said about the people in the bar and the people pouring in from the street. He said, "Wow, people are talking to each other." And I looked around, and they were. Strangers were embracing, dancing, cheering, chatting. There was an energy in the air like electricity. Like an oxygen supply. I wanted to keep breathing it in.

There were a lot of tears today. I had to stop reading the newspaper on the train because the words started to blur.

This is truly momentous. Drink it in.

Yes we can, America... and we did.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My favorite piece I've read today...

Fired Up and Ready to Go
Obama concludes his campaign on a high and wistful note.
By John Dickerson
Posted Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, at 12:39 AM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Politicians often start their speeches addressing the big development of the day. When Barack Obama took the rain-soaked stage here, the new material at the beginning was the sad news that his grandmother had died. "She has gone home," he said, his voice halting. "It's hard, a little, to talk about."

Obama used a handkerchief to wipe away a few tears, a rare moment of spontaneity from a highly controlled candidate. He paid tribute to the woman who raised him in a two-bedroom apartment while his mother lived in Indonesia. She was one of the "quiet heroes," he said, moving her story into his stump speech. "Not famous names, not in the newspapers, and each day they work hard. They aren't seeking the limelight. In this crowd there are a lot of quiet heroes like that. The satisfaction they get is seeing that their children and grandchildren get a better life." It was to those quiet heroes, he said, that his campaign was dedicated.

Madelyn Dunham's grandson may be elected president Tuesday, which makes her death so poignant. A chapter in Barack Obama's life is closing in a definitive and complete way.

In Obama's last day of campaigning before the voters have their say, he traveled through Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, facing the same large crowds that have met him at each stop along the way. "I have just one word for you," Obama said at the start of each of his rallies. "Tomorrow." His message was simple: "I've made the arguments. Now it's all about who wants it more."

After hundreds of arid hotel rooms, soggy sandwiches, and countless handshakes and smiles for the camera, Obama can now rest a bit—no matter what happens. No more making sure he thanks the right local officials before every speech and properly pronounces their names. No more unwrapping his hotel bathroom cup from the sanitary plastic. On Monday night, he went home to Chicago to sleep in his own bed. In the coming days, he'll stay there for the longest uninterrupted stretch in more than a year.

Obama's final day of campaigning began with 45 minutes at the gym and a phone call to African-American leaders. Joined by Oprah, according to Politico, Obama said he looked forward to watching his daughters play on the South Lawn of the White House.

Though it was his last day of campaigning, Obama did not let up on McCain. He did mix his remarks with occasional compliments, though. He congratulated McCain on "the tough race that he's fought" and reiterated that McCain was a genuine hero. When knocking him for misunderstanding the economy, Obama said: "It's not because he's a bad man. He doesn't understand what's happening in America."

On Election Day, Obama will vote and make a quick visit to neighboring Indiana. He'll also squeeze in a basketball game and visit with friends. His aides say he doesn't watch the election returns, because, as David Axelrod explained, making the universal hand signal for mindless talk, "He doesn't like all the chatter."

At the last rally of the campaign, in Manassas, Va., Obama faced a crowd of 90,000 spread up a hillside. Members of the audience said they had come to watch history. At the back of the crowd of mufflers and ski hats, school-bus-size letters spelled out "Vote for Change."

At the conclusion of his remarks, Obama, dressed in suit slacks and a black windbreaker, reprised a story that was once a staple of his stump speech but that he hasn't told for a while. He told of his encounter with Edith Childs, a city councilwoman from Greenwood, S.C., who had lifted his spirits at the start of his campaign when his rallies were small and no one gave him a chance. She inspired him with her chant of "Fired up and ready to go."

It's a story he's told hundreds of times but probably never so well. He lingered for effect, described the councilwoman's church hat with a broad theatrical sweep of his hand and somehow was able to convey a time when he was small and vulnerable to the crowd of 90,000 that came to see him. "That's how this thing started," he said. "It shows you what one voice can do. One voice can change a room, and if it can change a room, it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state then it can change a nation and if it can change a nation it can change a world."

As Obama told the story for the last time in this campaign, on the day his grandmother died, it was easy to imagine that, as he told it, he was thinking not only of Edith Childs but also of a woman he called "Toot."

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. He can be reached at

Article URL:

Copyright 2008 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

Change You Can Believe In

Barack hasn't won yet, but his campaign alone has been a victory for change you can believe in. Only 52 years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. Soon, Barack Obama may sit in the most powerful seat in the United States of America.

Although I understood the significance of this day in the months leading up to the election, the gravity of the situation didn't hit me until today. In our parents' lifetimes, they have gone from seeing segregation in America to possibly seeing an African American take the Oath of Office. No matter what your politics, that's change you can believe in.

If you already believe Barack is the change we need, you'll shed a tear when you watch the following video. I did. I never thought I'd live to see this day, but I'm glad I have. I wish Obama's grandmother had lived to see this day, but as my mom told me last night, "She has the best seat in the house."

Madelyn Dunham, you raised an amazing grandson and helped to change history with your care and love for ONE MAN. That's love you can believe in.

Barack 08. VOTE TODAY. As far as elections go, there is no tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Choose wisely

there came a moment in the middle of the song when he suddenly felt every heartbeat in the room & after that he never forgot he was part of something much bigger
- Brian Andreas

Remember that whether or not you decide to vote tomorrow, you're a part of something much bigger. Your voice counts. Make sure it's heard.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" - Mary Anne R. Hershey
-- Sent from my BlackBerry