25 December 2006

It's A Live Blogging Christmas! Part 2

The living room is officially a disaster area. The Taylor family has ripped through layers of wrapping paper and yards of ribbon and we are all playing with our brand new toys. Like every year, we went from youngest to oldest (Daniel to Mom) to take turns opening our presents. Stephanie cried when she opened her new mac book. Within an hour she was creating and editing a movie (she is a media studies major). Laura already has tons of songs on her iPod and I added a subscription to "Ask A Ninja" to her iTunes. I am really excited about my sewing machine and a fancy-schmancy home dry cleaning system. I can't wait to experiment with them once I get home. I wonder how long it will be before I can make a skirt?

OK, I feel a gumbo coma coming on. I shouldn't have had that second bowl . . .

It's A Live Blogging Christmas! Part 1

I woke up this morning and decided that I was going to live blog this Christmas. I'll start with a re-cap of the Christmas Eve activities. I picked up my Little Sister Ranette for a little last minute grocery shopping and a quick trip to Starbucks. Ranette helped me wrap the last of my presents while I finished cleaning. As soon as I finished cleaning the bathroom, I saw my sister Laura's head pop through my front door. Great timing. My mom and my sisters helped me in the kitchen and pretty soon we were eating chili-rubbed salmon with zucchini spears and fiesta corn followed by my favorite dessert - chocolate bread pudding. We all got to open one present (a Taylor family tradition). Daniel was less than thrilled with his Soduku books and Laura and Stephanie were aghast when they opened their matching toothbrush/flosser sets. I was thrilled with my picture key chain and makeup set from Ranetti Spaghetti and her family.

After dinner, my parents went to pick up my older brother from the airport and the rest of us headed to Danville. Stephanie's boyfriend, LJ, and some of her other friends joined us around midnight for a late night snack and a gift exchange. They got a kick out of listening to the message the Funky Robot left on my answering machine. They begged the FR to make an appearance, but he is terribly shy. Maybe they will get a phone call from him.

Sturkey and our parents came in after midnight. He allowed one hug before bellowing, "Stop touching me!" Awww. I miss him too.

I am a little antsy waiting for the present opening to start. Laura and Stephanie are going to pee on themselves with excitement when they see their gifts. And I am going to laugh at them for peeing on themselves. What a nice big sister!

I'll check back in after the present opening starts.

14 December 2006

Song of the Week

The Song of the Week is "The Stars of Track and Field" by Belle and Sebastian. This particular song is dedicated to my cool new boss Jeffrey because it offers a glimpse into our working relationship.

While Jeffrey is very professional, I sometimes have problems with what we call "image management." This usually involves me doing or saying something ridiculous in response to something sensible that Jeffrey has said. For example, Jeffrey mentioned his new track jacket and I quoted him this line from "The Stars of Track and Field": "You only did it so that you could wear/Your terry underware/And feel the city air/Run past your body." So my thought process looked like this: Track jacket -> "Stars of Track and Field" -> weird Belle and Sebastianesque lyric.

This type of behavior would usually result in a psych evaluation and a written warning from HR, but Jeffrey just smiles and shakes his head. I have vowed to work on my image management and Jeffrey has been very patient with me. There has been progress - I haven't done the robot dance at my office in weeks. Three cheers for professionalism!

08 December 2006

Song of the Week

I am resurrecting the "Song of the Week" - I believe the last one may have been "Freak-A-Zoid," a true classic. This week's song was inspired by Caroline's blog entry about Sufjan Steven's Christmas Box Set. From her description, it seems like the box set is a cavalcade of stickers, sing-a-long sheets, and Christmas-y goodness. I must run out and get it. I can already tell that it will be my soundtrack as I attempt to make most of my Christmas gifts this year.
As for the much awaited Song of the Week, it is "Oh Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head (Restore! Rebuild! Reconsider)." Known for his interesting song titles and amazing story telling ability, Sufjan Stevens is a little hard to describe. Just last week I was telling someone about Sufjan Stevens' music, and after a lot of rambling, the person still had no idea what a Sufjan Stevens song sounded like. I guess I can say that it is indie/pop/ folk and many instruments are used (not really that helpful). On the "Greetings from Michigan" CD, Sufjan plays: oboe, English horn, piano, electric organ, electric piano, banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel, recorder, wood flute and like minded whistles, drum kit, various percussion, shakers, sleigh bells, tambourine, dramatic cymbal swells, singing, rhetoric. Slacker.
I hope that you enjoy his music, and if you have a succinct way to describe this loveliness, let me know.

04 December 2006

BFF - No, really . . . forever

I'm skipping the shame spiral this time around. It has been months and months since my last post, but at least I had good intentions to blog. I mental blogged - I thought about it, was encouraged to do it, but I never sat down to do it. Now that the semester is nearly over, I feel like I have a little more time to sit and reflect.

I know that everyone is in Christmas frenzy, but I want to roll the clock back a few weeks to Thanksgiving. Even though I swore I was too old to pile in a van with my siblings for a car trip, I ended up driving Mom, Laura, Stephanie, and Daniel down to Atlanta to meet my Dad (on his way home from New Orleans). Once in Atlanta, we invaded the home of my great-aunt Anita and auntie Deborah. I smothered my sweet-a aunt Anita with kisses and gave my auntie Deborah a bear hug then I promptly fell asleep and let the others finish making the Thanksgiving meal.

Before we started gathering for Thanksgiving dinner, Anita received a special Thanksgiving treat. Her friend, Mrs. Haddad came over for a visit. Anita began working for Mrs. Haddad over 50 years ago. They became very close and Mrs. Haddad's family became Anita's family. After Anita retired, Mrs. Haddad would drive over to Anita's to sit and chat in Anita's front room. Their frequent visits (as well as visits from Mrs. Haddad's son and grandchildren) were ended by Katrina. Anita went to Atlanta while Mrs. Haddad remained in the New Orleans area.

Now Anita and Mrs. Haddad look forward to their phone calls and rare visits. It is really so sweet to see them together talking about the past and their families. I wonder how their friendship has lasted so long, what has kept them together over 50 years, a catastrophic hurricane, and many other obstacles.

I've started my own friendship with Anita's "other" family. Over Thanksgiving, Heather, Lauren, and I commiserated over the fact that the doctors at the hospitals where we work look nothing like the doctors on Grey's Anatomy. Stephen and I discussed music. It looks like the friendship between our families will continue to grow . . .

Sara and I have only been friends for 20 years (since the 4th grade). We drifted apart and back together again about a million times - Sara told me in the 6th grade that she had to dump me in favor of more popular kids (she hates when I tell that story) and I told Sara in the 8th grade that our friendship had lost its zing. We were very odd children. Despite all of the pre-adolescent, big banged, aqua mascara tinged back stabbing, we are still friends. We had dinner together last month in Asheville and we laughed and laughed . . . you would have thought it was Field Day 1986.

That's the thing that I am looking for - what brings us together despite egos, pride, pettiness, and all of the other things that get in the way. As much as I wish that my Thanksgiving was a big, happy reunion, it wasn't. We had a little family falling out. I only hope that we can all find that something that binds us.

So now we can roll the clock back to the present. I have papers to write, presents to make (yes, make), and a dog to play with.

Until next time,

PS: Here are two songs to enjoy: a little brazilian music and a little scottish music. "
If Looks Could Kill" by Camera Obscura and "Bem Querer (My Dear)" by Seu Jorge.