22 December 2007

An easy gift

Many of my readers seem to be pregnant, so I thought this would be a good time for a public service announcement.

Please consider donating your cord blood if you aren't going to bank it. It could save a life and, other than getting a cute healthy baby, what could be better?

Here's the FAQs on donating.

A little story from marrow.org:
Diego was just a toddler when Georgette learned he had acute lymphocytic leukemia. When he was first diagnosed, Diego did not respond to standard chemotherapy. He needed a transplant.

No one in his family was a suitable match and Diego’s Hispanic heritage made locating an unrelated match challenging. His doctors searched the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry, looking at both bone marrow donors and cord blood units. When Diego’s leukemia relapsed, he needed a transplant right away. Because a matching cord blood unit was available, he was able to receive a transplant quickly.

That was in August 2003. Today Diego is a happy, energetic young boy, thanks to the lifeline of donated cord blood.

21 December 2007

You're not helping

I did all my Christmas shopping tonight at Target.

I know this makes me seem like a procrastinator, but this trip was actually pencilled in on my calendar for months: Friday night before Christmas, between 9 and 11, Target.

It went off mostly without a hitch, too.

The only problem was that I filled up my basket with goods, and because the aisles I wanted to be in were so crowded, I parked my basket in an adjacent aisle.

I was gone for about 10 minutes. The helpful Target employees had taken my basket and begun restocking my items.


I came back to find my basket - which had my canvas shopping bags that say things like "Organic Expo 2005" on them, so it was obviously a shopping cart in use, not abandoned - moved and half emptied.

I just sighed and went and got more stuff, but decided to forgo some of the restocked items because I didn't need them that bad anyway.

There's efficiency and then there's annoying, and I would say that this falls into the second category.

Happy Yule

It is the longest night of the year.

I just set my candle in the window, a tradition that I learned from my friend Gael, who is of Scottish heritage.

This tradition apparently stretches way back.

She always said it was for the travelers who were abroad on such a long, dark night.

In any case, this night, with its promise of coming light, always feels sacred to me.

That's why I am sitting here watching "The Office," drinking a nice Valpolicella and eating some Stilton, pecans and Seckel pears. Sacraments, you understand.

20 December 2007

Merry Christmeme

Look! It's a meme! Play along if you wish

Favorite place I had Christmas: Gramie's house

Least favorite place I had to spend Christmas: Work at the movie theater

Favorite Christmas present ever: Mac laptop

Least favorite Christmas present ever: $5 gift certificate to Kmart (from Kmart management when I worked there)

Best Christmas cookies: Shortbread with the sugar sprinkles

Worst Christmas cookies: There are bad cookies?

Most fun job at Christmas: Delivering flowers (happy!)

Least fun job at Christmas: Kmart cashier (I still have nightmares)


18 December 2007

Meaning what?

Back in college a ditsy girl was quizzing a Jewish friend about Christmas.

"But, like, don't you do SOMETHING for Christmas?" the ditz asked.

"Yes, I do," said my Jewish pal. "I fly, like all other Jews fly. We get on airplanes and go somewhere and it is so fabulous because no one else is flying and there is plenty of room to stretch out. We call it Jewish Flying Day."

I thought that was hilarious and a great story, but Ditsy wasn't going to give up.

"But you celebrate, right?"

My friend fixed her with a razor gaze.

"I. Do. Not. Know. How. I. Can. Convey. To. You. How. Little. Christmas. Means. To. Me." she said, in a tone that let Miss Ditz know that she had better shut up.

The weird part is that I feel the same way. I don't know how I ended up so curmudgeonly, but if someone announced that Christmas was cancelled this year, my only question would be "So do we still get a long weekend?"

The only reason I do any traditional things at all is to fit in with other people. Other than that, I do not care.

To change the subject from my freakish musings, here is a question: What is your favorite Christmas carol?

Mine? O Holy Night.

17 December 2007

Waiting out the dark

I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and I know that many of you do, too.

This time of the year is so dark and the nights are so long that I literally count the days until Yule, the solstice, so we can flip around and begin to head toward the light again.

About 80 percent of the blogs I read are mom blogs, and I can see that there is a lot of darkness and sadness out there in the momosphere as women struggle with holiday preparations, family stress, grief and regret.

I just want to take a small moment to remind you how important you are.

The word "mother" was voted the most beautiful word in the English language. As the article points out, in some form or another, it is usually the first word we ever utter and quite often the last.

When we are tired, hurt, hungry, lonely, we want our mothers. (For some, not their REAL mother, but a good mother, a kind mother, a caring mother).

You are providing something that no one else on earth can provide for your children. There is no substitute for a loving mother. If you doubt that, or even if you don't, listen to this lovely story from NPR about a woman who, as she approached death in her late 80s, finally got to hear her mother's voice.

16 December 2007

Gifted and talented

People who went to law school love to argue the merits of various schools. Harvard Law is usually in the top 3 (along with University of Michigan. Hi, Keith!). Usually the top 2. Often on top.

The best and brightest from law school end up on Law Review. And the best of those end up being on the editorial board. One rises to become Editor in Chief.

Barack Obama was Editor in Chief Harvard Law Review. He is in company with a few other famous Harvard Law Review alums: Supreme Court Justices Edward Sanford, Felix Frankfurter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.

George W. Bush is proud of being a C student. After 7 years in office, he still can't pronounce "nuclear" correctly. He is stupid and proud.

It isn't Oprah's influence, I swear. I just think so fondly of Obama because I want, so badly, to have a smart president again. Is that too much to ask?
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