Sunday, November 30, 2008

O Tannenbaum

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore the Holiday Season. There is nothing better than cozying up by a fireplace, drinking hot chocolate and basking in the smell of a brightly lit evergreen tree. And this is made all the more beautiful when surrounded by friends and family.

Imagine my joy, then, when my parents offered to drive me home from my Mom Mom's (where we enjoyed our annual Lombardo family Thanksgiving feast, along with our newest addition, my cousin's new daughter Mia :-)) and, along the way, help me transport a lovely little 6 ft. Douglass Fir. Although it wasn't like decorating the family tree at our snowy home in Western PA, it was lovely to have my entire family (little bro included) help me set up my most beloved Christmas tradition.

After my parents and brother left for their journey to Western PA and the West Village, respectively, I engaged in the time honored ritual of blasting Christmas music (oh, how I've longed to hear "My Only Wish" by Britney Spears and "This Gift" by 98 degrees since circa July!), placing lights, organizing ornaments, and enjoying the crackle and pops of my New York fireplace (aka a DVD entitled "Cozy Fireplace"). Sure, the ornaments may not have all of the memories of a little plaster star with my kindergarten picture or the box set of Disney characters that I've had since childhood, but my ornaments will always remind me of my first New York roommate, and that's definitely a start. It's nice to know that your adult memories don't have to be so different from your childhood ones. And it's also nice to know that its true -- you can take the girl out of Western PA, but you can't take the Western PA out of the girl.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My life and the game beyond

A few truths from a morning in which our interweb was down at the office and we all filtered over to the museum for the Jim Fassel Foundation Press Conference:

Truth #1: Tiki Barber is an impeccable dresser and the most photogenic person that I have ever seen in real life.

Truth #2: Curt Menefee's voice IS that awesome. And he told me my sweater was soft, so it will ONLY be Fox NFL Sunday for me from now on. As if Bradshaw wasn't enough of a pull.

UPDATE: Menefee just emailed me for photos and offered to buy me coffee if I'm ever in LA! CBS is definitely dead to me now (sorry Coach Cowher!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

At least they weren't wearing slips and frolicking in Central Park...

A conversation I heard this morning, briefly:

Three high school aged girls, dressed in pyjama's, about to cross the street on the Upper East Side at 7am.

Girl #1 (slightly hysterical): NO! I can't LIVE like this! I can't make it through the day without taking a shower!
Girl #2: Don't be stupid, Chelsea. You have to learn.
Girl #3: Besides, we'll ALL be gross. That's the POINT.

This was seconds after I saw two high school aged boys leave their school in pyjama's as well, commenting on how they had slept a total of 15 minutes the night before.

So my question is, WHAT? Can anyone explain this to me? Are UES schools teaching children that they have to learn how to survive on no sleep or showers, possibly due to the economic crisis? And, if so, why has this not yet been an episode of Gossip Girl??

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moldy Pastures, Stagnant Waters and a Restored Soul

I don't normally take well to being "saved" on the subway.

Like any New Yorker, I value subway time as special "me" time, where I can blast my ipod or bury my nose in a book and avoid the chaos around me. But alas, I had finished my book on an earlier ride and my ipod was not extremely appealing this afternoon. So, when the sweet, southern girl next to me, aptly named Angela, handed me a pamphlet and asked if I would like some reading material, I took it. Why not brush up on Psalm's been awhile since I've had to recite it by rote.

So, of course, Angela and I got to talking. At first the small talk niceties, where are you from, what are you doing in New York (although I could tell she was with a church group from the moment I sat down), are you enjoying your time here, etc. And then, as I knew she would, Angela asked me "Do you believe that, if you died today, you'd go to heaven?" Because I expected the question I was completely honest, "I have no idea. I don't even know if I believe in heaven. It's not that I definitely don't, but I can't be sure that I do." It's not something that comes out of my mouth often, and I can't say that it shocks me when it does, but it is interesting to hear out loud. We continued talking, and then Angela said something that I hear all the time, but for some reason held more weight than usual -- "Well, I know for sure that I am saved." I smiled, and at that moment, I realized that I was so happy for this complete stranger not because she was "saved," but because SHE KNEW she was saved. This knowledge clearly made her life all the better, which in turn made me happy as well. It's not that I envy her conviction in salvation -- it's not something I'm looking for at this point in my life -- it's that I believe that all people should be so lucky to live by what it takes to make them a good person.

As Vonnegut wrote, in what I hold as the ultimate view of tolerance: "Live by the foma* that makes you brave and kind and healthy and happy."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, We Can!

Nothing I say or write will be better than these words.

I have never been more proud to be a part of something. I haven't run down the street, skipping in pure, unadulterated happiness since the Steelers won the Superbowl. Never in my life have I seen and heard so many people crying in elation and cheering for joy as I did watching the crowds in Chicago and witnessing the streets of Manhattan last night. Even the air felt different. The hope was palpable.

Our cab driver couldn't stop smiling. He announced, "this only could have happened because of you, because of the young people," as he pointed and honked at a large group of 20 somethings celebrating on the corner. And I believe him. Our generation is finally part of something great. As our new president said, we have rejected the myth of our generation's apathy.

And yet, we have to realize that this is only the beginning. We must not become complacent now that we have come so far. We've elected a leader but it's up to us to follow through.

Now, we must be the change.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Open your eyes, so you can see what happens next

Why do we vote? I knew before pulling that lever this morning that my vote was almost completely inconsequential (for a completely different reason than my pulling that lever during the primaries was inconsequential) and yet, I woke up an hour earlier than usual just to made sure that I did it anyway. So why did I do it, and why am I so proud?

I think we all know that an election will never come down to one vote (despite what silly movies will have us believe), but our individual votes are much more important than determining an election. Today is a day that we say, as a country, that we are going to stand up together and take a vote on what we feel is best for our lives and our neighbor's lives, even if our opinions differ. We live in a country of very differing viewpoints, and that's one of the things that makes this country great. But even with these varying viewpoints, we pick a day and say, collectively, we are going to make a decision as to what is best for all of us. Your individual vote is so much more than individual, it is a statement of belonging, of loving your country so much that you choose to be part of it, no matter what the outcome. And this collective, despite scare tactic mumblings of communism, is why our country succeeds. United we stand, divided we fall. Or, in a more recent social context: Live together, die alone.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Down at Fraggle Rock!

Halloween is wonderful, because I actually went out in public dressed like this. And the only people who recognized what I was were my two favorite Irish bartenders. Everyone else just kinda fondled my nose for awhile and moved on.

On the upside, someone did tell me that they could tell that I was a muppet because I had a Gonzo nose. And everyone who knows me knows that I am totally Gonzo at heart.

I'd love to hear your Halloween stories/see your Halloween pictures, so send them over if you've got them!!