Saturday, December 31, 2005

miracle on 34th

There is this street in Baltimore ... you really have to see it to believe it. We drove throught this year to look at the lights. This isn't your typical light display. No, it's not even what I was expecting. There is nothing classy or elegant in this display. This is the tacky competition. This is Hamden, hon. You have to see it to believe it. Check it out for yourself.

Holiday Hangover

It seems like I just couldn't get in the Christmas spirit this year (despite the good intentions and the amount of liquor consumed). I usually pride myself on being a good (even great) gift giver, but I had to return 3 gifts this year before the holidays even started, and my in-laws actually purchased the gift I had intended for them about 3 weeks prior to Christmas. Can we make Amazon wish lists mandatory?

We went to a traditional protestant service this year and missed midnight mass. I realized that it has been a long time since I have heard a "Come To Jesus" sermon -- and I really missed the homily we otherwise would have heard. No wonder so many people don't want to go to church. It grates when it's supposed to soothe. We only sang 2 songs I knew (Christmas Carols) and then there was one I had never heard of before. Somehow I thought we would do more singing.

When we got home, our final gift exchange was thwarted by two cases of Strep Throat -- my aunt and my thre-year-old cousin -- and a long work day for my other cousin. Of the five who were coming to exchange gifts, only one, my grandmother, was able to make it. Disappointing, but how can you fault them for being sick? We are extremely grateful they did not come to spread their germs.

I did finish a couple of books over the past week -- I have become a voracious reader to try and avoid having to talk to people and spreading my cynicism over the holidays. When my now defunct book club read The sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I somehow missed it. So I finally read it last week. I liked it. It was fun and a good reminder that "kids" don't just have "kid" problems -- they are as real to them as mine are to me. I didn't love the book so much as to want to read the 2nd one, however.

I also read Trading Up by Candice Bushnell (author of Sex and the City). I expected to feel really connected to the main character -- as I absolutely fell in love with the women of Sex and the City. Not so with this book. I liked it, but the story seemed to be so New York that if you don't live there, or have never been there, something is lost on you. It had too many hard edges for me. If anyone wants to read it, you are welcome to keep my copy.

Here's to the New Year, and getting back to the normalcy of life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Happy Holidays Haikus

Traditionally my husband and I send a haiku for our Christmas greetings. Early in our marriage I heard this editorial on NPR, around this time of the year, which bemoaned the length and breadth of the traditional holiday letter which even in its enormity never really seemed to say much. The author posed the question: why not a holiday haiku, or limerick, or cinqain? And I thought we should take her up on it.

For 5 years we have written a haiku that tries to sum up the best and the worst of the year. This year, we decided that with three of us in the family, it wouldn't be enough just to dedicate 17 syllables. Fear not, we did not digress to the holiday letter. We simply expanded to three haikus -- one for each of us.

I hereby present the Harrison Haikus for 2005 (Merry Christmas):

Last winter's work yields
long hours at Purdue and
return to Paris.

Mon Ami becomes
"designs" with books and collage;
business is booming.

A sycamore tree
grows stronger at Split Rock Way
taller, smarter, too.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Curious Incident...

I just finished reading The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time. I have to say that this character, Christopher, is one of the most wonderful heroes I have ever encountered. I loved him the way I love Atticus Finch. He was quiet and honest and disarming. This book is a way of looking at the world that was at once alien to me and all too familiar. I highly recommend this book. The truth of human nature and how we perceive our world is beautifully done. A++

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Chicago Is My Kind Of Town

So, Chicago was amazing! I had the best show I have ever had with record purchasing, a fabulous booth display and some wonderfully interested and encouraging patrons. There was much grabbing for certain books in the last days of the show. The bonus: I am in for next year with no jurying! And the Sr. Vice Pres. of Marketing wants me to stay in touch for next year's marketing materials. I am still riding high!

It was so worth the struggle and pain of getting ready. I am glad I did it and will be doing it again. I even made enough to purchase a die cut machine which should cut my production time significantly. Hopefully there will be no more frantic calls to friends for help :). My friends were amazing. I couldn't have done it without them. Some days you actually win. This was one of those days.