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Sunday again…

I have a new toy…a digital phone from Time Warner Cable.  I’ve proceeded to talk on it all day long.  I feel sort of 1980’s getting all excited about having a home phone again, but truly, I enjoy it.  I will admit that it took me a few minutes to remember HOW to use one…now I have to dial “1” before each number and when I’m done entering numbers, it just rings!  crazy, crazy stuff.

The means for which the end result was the phone is a long, annoying story.  Two hours and forty five minutes to be exact.  Basically, I can sum it up by saying too many morons in one place, and add me to the list of morons for giving them my money every month.  But at least I get to watch DVR TV now.

On a side note, I am annoyed with myself that I cannot remember to capitalize “I” in my typing repertoire.  I guess I’m just too used to autocorrect on the microsoft bandwagon that it has gone away from my thought process.  I must go back each post and correct them.  Of course, this paragraph didn’t have too many mistakes since it’s the topic of my thoughts, but still…it’s annoying.

Back to cable…ummm, I am going to watch it now right after I go back through this sentence and capitalize all the I’s.

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I think i’m really starting to understand twitter.  Now that I have been posting mini-blog entries with no substance or planning, I see the relevance of twitter.  Granted, I have yet to purchase the iPhone that would make twitter a large part of my life; but as I make these small posts I start to wonder if an entire blog entry is really warranted.  This amazes me.  A short time ago, I was utterly baffled by the concept of twitter and the fact that everyone seemed to be doing it.  Upon forcing myself to do it i started to understand little by little.  Now I am almost as intrigued by checking twitter as I am facebook.  And truthfully, that new facebook layout sucks.

So let’s talk about that…initially, I was of the “shut up and deal, it doesnt’ matter” school of thought on the new facebook layout.  All change is not bad, I said to myself.  And this is me–the one who eschews all change to the best of my ability.  But I find that I no longer like facebook.  I am annoyed that all the advertising is up at the top and the fun stuff I cared about seeing doesn’t really seem to be there anymore.  Now, it just looks like twitter–but twitter with a bunch of people I don’t care about.  At least they gave back the option of blocking people without having to de-friend them.

My random observation of the morning…my peonies are coming up in the big pot at work.  This makes me happy!

It’s April Fool’s Day and no one has done anything remotely fun in the pranks department.  I made a half-hearted attempt that I chickened out of mostly because my idea was lame and stupid.  It’s rainy out, I’m sleepy, and there is just no fun to be had. I did draw a bullet hole on a smiley face balloon with feet, but other than that, boring boring boring.

In other news, Chase bank gave me $200 for opening an account.  For REALS!  Isnt’ that great?

is there at least good Tv on tonight?

I passed a man walking his dog in shorts, t-shirt, visor and sunglasses this morning when it was still 40 degrees. (we’ll call this Vernal Optimistic Denial)

As I was walking to work (jammin’ to my sweet tunes) I smelled something fishy and I looked up to see a large white van with the picture of a giant fish with the caption “MEAT WITHOUT FEET.”

In my staff meeting today, I attempted to reference one of my favorite shows by printing the meeting agenda in tiny print on a 3 x 3 post-it and included a graph that correlated length of meeting with a rise of boredom resulting in sudden death.  My boss found this only mildly entertaining…

34th street between park ave and 8th ave is the seventh circle of hell.  It is where all the slow walkers who smoke go to die. (or try to make me die).

Robin pointed out to me that the fact that I chose to stand my ground and mentally prepare a rebuttal outburst for a closely approaching crazy person muttering about 99-cent shoes at Payless rather than just move to the other side of the sidewalk while I waited for her this evening means I am a true New Yorker.

Cannibalism is not fun to learn about.  It is gross and is not “stuff I should know.”

Girl Scout cookies suck.  This wasn’t always the case; I used to love them.  This year I still got excited about them and ordered several million boxes.  But then after paying $4 a box (hello, recession?), and not to some cute little girl scout, but to someone with whom I work, I dive in to the holy box of Caramel Delights (nee Samoas) and realize that it just isn’t like I remember them.  Well, to be honest, I didn’t really start complaining until the second box, but I think the first was just hype.  Then I decide to check the label.  BIG MISTAKE.  I didn’t even check the nutritional make-up, just the ingredients, and I was sooooo disappointed.  They are chock full of trans-fats and corn syrup.  Et tu Girl Scouts?  Or should I really be sending my payments directly to ConAgra?  Well, I must confess that I don’t possess the wherewithal to actually dispose of them in any method other than by mouth, but I am upset with my former tribe, and I think I may just never buy them again.

Maybe they should go back to having them made by actual girl scouts.  I realize that this might set up a sweat-shop scenario, but at least there would be a homemade aspect to them.  But I would wager that today’s girl scouts wouldn’t stoop to cookie making…we’d have to have to outsource them to China.  Maybe my former favorite will have a third naming incarnation…Melamine biscuit anyone?

As we absorb the historic significance of last Tuesday’s election results and move on with our lives, I suddenly feel a sense of renewal and hope that I haven’t EVER felt after an election, and probably have NEVER felt in my lifetime thus far.  I liken the feeling to what our parents’ generation must have felt when JFK was elected, or when Martin Luther King, Jr. marched in the South, or when we landed on the moon.  Awe, inspiration, a loss for words for a moment where you feel the gravitas but cannot yet process the significance.  Until this moment, my lifetime has been filled with privilege and comfortable apathy.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good cause and love to talk about politics, and have had many heated arguments with friends and strangers about various elections, issues, and thoughts over the years…but have I marched in protest?  No.   Have I allowed my grass roots to grow and flourish?  Nope.  I’ve kept them carefully mowed—neat, orderly, and yes, comfortably apathetic.

The closest I’ve come to activism is calling up a Senator or signing a petition.  I contribute to Doctors without Borders, served in a soup kitchen and have adopted a child in the Philippines, but this has all been done in the comfort of my own home (or relatively close by my home).  But now, now things are different.  Not the sky is now green different, but there is definitely a shift, palpable and shimmering.  I don’t think I quite understand it yet…how can I?  I keep looking at the photo of President-Elect Obama and his family on the stage in Grant Park.  I’m overwhelmed.  This is an American family…an African-American family.  A family that grew up like I did…not the idealistic nuclear family with two kids and a dog, but hardworking family that was messy and at times difficult, but turned out OK.  This man is now the leader of the free world.  This man–who understands what it is like to see the dream and go after it.  To wake up and say “I am an American and I believe in this country.  I will grow up and serve it.   I want to be president…and one day I can.  Not because of who my daddy is, but because this is America and I have a dream.”

What does this mean for me?  Specifically, I don’t yet know.  That of which I am sure is the hope, the renewal, the sense that true change is upon us.  We are at a crossroads–this is quite possibly the most important moment in our lifetime, and the next steps forward are going to be difficult.  But I feel for the first time that the realistic understanding of how impossible it is to move things in Washington is replaced with realistic optimism that this man, my President-Elect Obama, has the ability to rally the people of this country and truly change things.

My generation has never known true hardship.  We’ve had our ups and downs, but for the most part, we’ve been privilege to a life of prosperity.  Of course, this is generalized, but we could always find a job, buy food, obtain health care, get a student loan.  It was never a question of “can I afford to go to college?”  There was always a way, and the shelves were always stocked.  The administration of the last eight years has threatened this security and stability; we are headed for the worst economic times that I have been alive to experience.  My question is not can President-Elect Obama get us out of this mess, but can we as a country pull together, make sacrifices, and earn the spoils of being the best nation in the world?  I am truly hopeful.

One of the biggest reasons that I am so inspired (aside from the obvious historical ones) is that people are rising up and participating.  We had record numbers of voters in this election.  We had kids, just old enough to vote, who were moved, inspired, and active about this election.  In New York City, the sound of the streets exploding with excitement at 11PM when it was announced that Obama was predicted to win the election was something that I could only look upon with awe.  It was amazing to look out my window and see that the roar was not from people flooding the streets in a parade-like (which is what it sounded like), but that it was everyone in their homes, collectively, rejoicing in a cacophony of historical significance that could be heard echoing off the buildings.

The original desire for me to write this was actually inspired by a few lurking conservatives in my extended circle who are preaching the “wait and see in four years-you’ll be sorry” mantra.  For them, I am taking a personal snapshot of my life as it is now.  I’d like to share it below, and then be able to pull it out in four years to see where things are:

I currently have steady job with a comfortable income, including health benefits, which I have held for the last seven years.  I fall in the 25% tax bracket.  My “comfortable” income means I’m able to afford my cost of living, and still have a modest savings and some spending money.  I have a significant chunk of student loan debt on which I make monthly payments.  I don’t have a portfolio or a 401K.  I do not own property or a car, but I live in New York City where a car is not necessary and actually a hassle.  I am not in a position where I could easily buy a home.  Nor would I easily be able to support a child.  I am able to contribute financially, although modestly, to a few charities.

I do feel that I am lucky to have my job at this point, whereas a few years ago, I felt that I could move on and find employment quickly.  I do not have that confidence now due to the rising unemployment rates.  I have the ability to support myself for a few months if for some reason I would lose my job or were unable to work. I am able to travel to see family and take a vacation if I desire.

I’m an opera singer that is able to find jobs that are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, and there are still many job opportunities available on a local, regional, and national level.  I have to ability to support my lessons and coachings on a fairly regular basis.

Although those were a few very boring paragraphs, I wanted to get them down so that in four years, I can take a comparative look to see where I am.  I encourage you to do the same.  I am hopeful that the picture in four years will look no worse, and hopefully look a little bit better.   I am not expecting miracles, but I think it will be interesting to compare.

In closing, I would encourage everyone to open his or her eyes to the new world that is possible.  To see beyond liberal and conservative, beyond color, beyond the past and focus on what the future could be.  This is what it means to me to be an American.  I was asleep, but I am awake with fervor and excitement.  It’s time we all woke up and declared “Yes we can!”  It is up to us to make the change we need.  The momentum started last Tuesday night—let it not burn out but take it and drive it further.  Yes, we can.  Yes, we will.

Hello again, my faithful reader(s?).  I realize that it has been several weeks since last I blogged…I am in complete awe of those who are able to do it on a semi-daily basis.  Where do you find the time?  Or maybe it’s a question of dedication and discipline, which to this blog I have neither.  That’s OK though…there won’t be a test.

Today I spent most of the day trying to be motivated and clean my house.  I’m doing pretty well…I updated my website, paid some bills and was able to get the bottom of several looming piles of stuff in my bedroom.  I also am almost done putting away 50 pounds of laundry which piled up in devastating numbers while I was in production week.

I’m also trying to force-feed my cat at every second which takes an inordinate amount of time!  I’ve tried trickery, such as lacing the mushy food with catnip (marginally successful) and also getting really really excited about the gross smelling pellets that are supposed to be the wonderfood of the year.  Alas, nothing is a cure-all, but he’s doing better.  If he doesn’t gain enough weight in the next two weeks, we have to do an endoscopy, and lord knows I don’t have the money for that!  So I am in the kitchen every hour petting Jethro, telling him he’s a good kitty and then shoving a fistful of pellets down his throat.  OK, that might be an exaggeration, but you get the point.

Yesterday while trying to gear up for a motivated day of cleaning and organization, I managed to watch several million hours of bad TV (coated with a few good here and there).  I watched a horrible movie on ABC family called Ice Princess.  Ice-skating + Disney dreams = tears every time.  Then I happened to catch Eastern Promises, while violent, was quite good.  And there was a sick fight in a sauna with naked Viggo and two leather daddies.  Let’s just say I hope he’s a grower.  This was all followed up by a two hour diversion of Big Momma’s house.  Mildy entertaining, but I’m not gonna be a fan of the franchise.  And all the while I managed to crank out several gallons of Butternut squash soup.  It’s pretty good, but lacking a certain je ne sais quois…

Well, I suppose I should talk about what I’ve been doing for the past two months, but alas, there is so much I can say nothing other than I had a great time doing Il Trovatore, was very glad that everyone came to see it, I miss all the people I was used to seeing everyday, and now I am getting ready for the future.  I think that’s about it!