Saturday, December 31, 2005

Vader loves Christmas!!
Auld Lang Syne

Another year about to go... I can't say I'll be sad to see the back of 2005, and have higher hopes for 2006. But there were good things about this year which I'll be glad to bring with me into the next.

Mike got me the Duran Duran Live From London DVD/CD set, which I'm happily blaring right now. Alex is happily crashing his Spiderman car into the wall unit, scattering the french fries from his Spongebob Kitchen all over the living room. Mike and I have almost gotten through the first season of Lost on DVD, so I can catch up to Season 2 in reruns. Will is with my mom, no doubt climbing the walls and demanding her to join him. Life is quiet, but good.
Helene sent me a birthday gift today, a nice long letter (we've been promising each other one for ages and, in a telepathic moment, sent each other one within days of one another), a Hello Kitty notepad with stickers, a CD, and a map of my favorite place in the world, Gamla Stan. It was a great way to start the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, curled up on the couch reading an actual handwritten letter from an old friend. I hope to have more of that in the new year. It made me think about how I'd race to the mailbox every day when I was in high school to look for a letter, and how I still do it now. We'd put pictures of Duran Duran all over the letters, stickers, you name it - anything within reach of our glue and looseleaf binders. Letters were a multi-sensory experience with us.
Now that I've got a printer, I think it's time to bust out my glue stick and scissors and write another letter. :-)
Happy New Year, everyone. And let's hope 2006 is a good one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

MTA on Strike...

So the MTA is on strike. Mike and I are pretty much split in our opinions. He supports the strike because he feels the MTA wanted to take benefits away. I have to be honest, I have very mixed feelings about the MTA and striking, to me, does not garner the public sympathy vote. By striking, you are pissing off a lot of people. And asking for the Mayor to come down on you, because it's illegal to do so in NYC.

Then you have the genius corporate reaction to the strike. For instance, my mom had to leave her home at 4:30 this morning. She walked from Port Authority to 14th & 7th to be at work by 6:30. Her company figured that in the event of a strike, when everyone is going to have trouble getting into NYC to begin with, why not start the day at 6:30 so they can be magnanimous and let 'em out at 3. Anyone who didn't show up to work today will not be paid. Does the MTA regret that inconvenience? Will the TWU reimburse these people?

Watching news this morning, Good Day New York had a message from the MTA on their crawl: "We regret the inconvenience." Are they fricking kidding me? They offer the same lame excuse they give to us when we're stuck in a tunnel for 45 minutes because of an imaginary sick passenger or red signal to explain the inconvenience to millions of people who have to travel on foot in freezing temperatures?

My dad is a union man. Many of my friends are union. But this is one strike I just can't get behind because of so many factors.

Monday, December 12, 2005

It's official... sorta.

I'll be 35 tomorrow. Good God.

Mike threw me a Hello Kitty party this weekend - it started as a joke a couple of years ago, when I saw that Hello Kitty stuff was all over the place. Having been a huge fan of Hello Kitty back in the day, I griped that there was no fun Hello Kitty party stuff when I was a kid, and that Mike should throw me a Hello Kitty part when I turned 35. He took me up on it.

It was a blast - I have the greatest friends. I got a Hello Kitty CD/cassette player, Pez dispensers aplenty, slippers, bath sets - the works. Thanks to all of you. I love all of you.

Words can't describe this past year. It's been pretty rough, and I'm really not going to be all that broken up to see it go, but at the same time, there have been some great moments that I'd never trade. Aside from my kids and husband and the daily laughs that go with them, I've reconnected with some friends and gotten closer to others, and made some new ones. I saw Duran Duran twice (whoo hoo!) with my best friend from high school, and we acted like crazed 15 year olds all over again. Got to go to a wedding in Michigan that turned into a much-needed vacation and all-around great time. Read a lot of good books and some really horrible ones that I at least got a laugh out of.

Maybe it wasn't such a bad year after all.

So let me ask - I saw a template for a holiday family newsletter which of course, I downloaded. How cheesy would this be? I'm thinking of doing a quick 'n dirty one for the family I don't get to see too often. Would it be cringeworthy or cute? Let me know what you think.

Aw, crap. My printer heads need readjusting or something again, the picture I printed out just came out with lines again. Grr. Let me go call Mike, he handles this foolishness.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christmas Approacheth...

Christmas comes but once a year. Thank god. I used to love Christmas. I was a total freak for it. And honestly, since I have two wee ones, I still do love Christmas but for different reasons. I honestly couldn't care about getting gifts. I mean, I do appreciate what I get, but there is nothing that beats seeing my boys race into the living room and scream when they see that Santa's been there. I love Christmas Eve, when Will goes through the motions of leaving Santa cookies and milk, and a sweet picture for him to take back to the North Pole.

Even as a kid, I always loved Christmas Day because our family would gather together. It means so much, then and now, to be surrounded by our families.

I just wish that Christmas didn't become this slickly-produced, overmechandised, overlicensed monster that it's grown into. Yeah, Christmas was always in our faces when we were kids, but the merchandisers had the decency to wait until after Thanksgiving, giving us a timeline for excitement. Now? Target had back to school stuff out (starting in JULY, for chrissakes - can the kids enjoy being out of school?) in September in one aisle, and CHRISTMAS gear in the next. In SEPTEMBER. What the hell? I could buy my kids' marble notebooks in one aisle, stop off and pick up some Halloween decorations in the next, and grab some Christmas lights on my way out.

I just feel like everything is being rushed, shoved down our throats, buy buy buy now. Doesn't time pass us by quickly enough without having the end of the year shoved at us in September? I want to enjoy each day with my kids, I want to make the most of every day with my husband, my family, I don't want to blink and have to be stringing lights on my tree. I think that's another reason people are so stressed out lately. There's no time, at least that's what we're being led to believe nowadays. We've got to slow down the pace.