Friday, February 29, 2008

Random Good Things

Haven't had time or motivation to blog all week, but I have a few minutes tonight, and I just felt like writing down some of the random good things that happened today:

- It's Friday AND payday.
- I managed to sleep later than normal this morning and still get to work on time.
- It was a textbook beautiful day out, almost cliche. I drove to and from work with the Mini sunroof open. The sunshine was pure joy.
- I had a good hair day, especially for a Friday, when it's usually spent and has given its all.
- I got an email from a friend who has taken a high profile job with an international firm, and he is seeking me out to perhaps join him. This could lead me to finally fulfill my career goal of working abroad. Within the next couple of years, I may be living and working in London. And then...Italy...from whence I may never return. *sigh*
- The horrible things going on with my husband's business have not been resolved, but we got a little bit of positive news on it today.
- I came up with a rockin' idea at work this morning, and people are actually running with it.
- I ate 'party food' for dinner tonight -- smoked marlin dip with water crackers, grapes, cheese, kalamata olives and a glass of red wine.
- My husband has been out of town but is returning late this evening, so I will have him to snuggle with tonight.
- I am getting 27.5 miles per gallon around town in the Mini.
- My dad had a good post-surgery visit with his cardiologist today.

By all measures, today was a decent day, and I am thankful for it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Same Time This Year

Some of you may remember my lamenting last year's Oscar weekend, and the dilemma of the brother-in-law who decided to make his annual 6-hour visit right in the middle of red carpet watching, the one celebrity event I look forward to all year. He and his wife came, pre-empted all the pre-show fun and left me with only the dull show itself to watch. I sucked it up and dealt with it, for my husband's sake, but I was not happy about it.

Well guess what. It's happening again this year. My brother-in-law and his wife have announced that they'll be coming to visit this Sunday mid-afternoon through early evening, once again crashing into my Oscar day.

WTF? What are the odds that the only 6 hours out of the year they choose to spend with us is on Oscar afternoon? Again! Two years in a row! Aargh!

Good thing I don't really care all that much about it this year. They broke my spirit on it last year, and the writer's strike and personal issues in my own life have pretty much caused it to fall off my radar screen.

But still....the angst of it all. Two years in a row. Ugh!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mellow Yellow

Today, I went out for a day of leisure and relaxation, and I came home with this - A 2008 Mini Cooper S in Mellow Yellow.

While it seems like we do cars a lot at my house, we haven't bought a new one in quite a while. And if you'd asked me on Monday of this week if I'd be buying a new car on Saturday, you would have probably heard a resounding 'no' from me.

But something struck me about this when I saw it. It's a happy little car. It's fun. And really zippy. I'm not sure I can be anything but cheerful in it. And it felt like it was just sitting there on the showroom floor, waiting for me. It smiled and wagged its tail when I walked in. It may have been love at first sight, mutually.

The price was right, the dealer made me a good deal, and within a couple of hours, this little cutie pie followed me home....with my husband driving it, of course. It's supposed to be my car...officially....but I have a feeling he'll be behind the wheel much of the time. It's just so much fun to drive. And we could use some fun at my house right now.

By the way, I think it's a car and color you either love or hate. So feel free to do either. For me, it's a ray of sunshine in my garage, and I'll take it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Meaningless and Worth It

As much as I like tradition rooted in something really meaningful, there are some things unique to American culture that I really love, despite their relative insignificance and lack of real contribution to the world. One of them is The Super Bowl.

As a national event, you can't get any more insignificant and meaningless than a giant football game, ripe with more fluff and media hype than one can stand in the span of 4 hours. It's truly a capitalist's dream - the ultimate marketing event and excuse to sell things - ANYTHING - with a Super Bowl insignia attached to it. And it's everybody's excuse to throw a party -- in February -- when there otherwise doesn't seem be a reason to celebrate. We wear crazy hats, eat horrible junk food and gather at the home of the friend with the largest TV set.

And why is this a good thing? Because it's uniquely American, it's totally a guilty pleasure, and it provides a Sunday afternoon of harmless escape for millions of us. Plus it's a uniter -- it's watched and enjoyed similarly by rich, poor, black, white, men, women and children. Even people who never watch a football game all year set aside Super Bowl Sunday to get into the hype of it all.

In the end, the best thing is that it's something we can all get excited about (in a silly sort of way), and regardless of the outcome, it will ultimately have no real impact on our lives. In fact, no matter what happens, in about six months, most of us will forget who even won, because ultimately, it didn't really matter. And that's the fun of a guilty pleasure, I suppose. Perhaps we should have more of that in our lives - things that bring joy for the sheer joy of it all, and for no other reason whatsoever.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

It's Backkkkkk.....

It's February, and that means one thing: we're getting dangerously close - AGAIN -- to yet another Valentines Day.

Historically, Valentines Day has not been a good experience for me. I can think back to grade school when we were made to exchange Valentines with class members, and we were forever counting the number received to see who fared best in class (= most popular and best loved, apparently). I also remember that the chunky kid (there's always one) seemed to get the Valentines with elephants or pigs on them. Looking back, that seems just awful. Probably scarred them for life. Ugh.

In high school, Valentines Day sucked because I was always the one who neither had a boyfriend nor a potential flame even in sight. I was either unloved or perhaps simply unapproached by the male gender, so the few flowers that did show up anonymously could almost always be traced back to a parental unit who couldn't stand to see me go without that day, while my girlfriends drowned in them. Thanks, Mom.

But Mom didn't stop there. I recall being a young professional at my first job and having a bouquet of pink carnations show up on my desk on the dreaded day. I knew they had to be from my mom, because there was nobody else who would send them....and while she is lovely and thoughtful, she is also pretty frugal and no-muss, and carnations would have been the economical choice. Hey, I got some flowers from somebody on Valentines Day; did I need to be picky about what they were?

I guess my best Valentines Day was when I first started dating my husband. We'd just met, and he was fairly new in town, and he was naive enough to think he could actually get dinner reservations somewhere for Valentines Day, calling only the day or two prior. So he asked me out for dinner for that evening, and I accepted but quietly mused at his naivety because I knew what went on Feb. 14, and no way, no how was he actually going to land a reservation somewhere. But I let him try. And lo and behold, he did. And he showed up at my door in a dinner jacket and tie, flowers in hand, ready to whisk me off for a lovely dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in Dallas. I'm still impressed that he managed to pull that off, and he continues to surprise me on things, even a dozen years later.

And now, in married life, Valentines Day is a fairly ho-hum event. From the outside in, for those of you not married, that seems really awful. Why aren't we rushing about, declaring endless love and buying each other fabulous gifts as a show of devotion? Well, we're not. And I must say, from the inside's really okay. In fact, I prefer the ho-hummishness of it now. There's something to be said about being comfortable with each other, comfortable enough to not have to go all out in a major way. Don't need jewels, candy, flowers. I'm just happy to have my guy next to me who still wants to snuggle up even after a dozen years together. I'll take that over flowers from a stranger any day.