December 28, 2010

I Want to Wash My Face, My Hair, My Hands With Snow

There's something about snow that never gets old for me. I love music about it, I love stories about it, I love standing in it while waiting for a bus until I can't feel my toes. Every time it snows the world seems fresh and alive. And I can't get enough of it. Sure snow slows everyone down and keeps people from going about their business like usual but I think that is a good thing. If there wasn't the occasional snow storm and no one never had to shovel the car out of two feet of snow how could one ever truly appreciate spring? Without snow, spring is a waste. And just ugly.

People give snow a bad rap. Snow replenishes not only my soul but the water table. It makes the barest of winters less strikingly dead but more like Nature is taking a nap. It makes everything move that much quieter. Even the wind has its edge taken off. I even really enjoy how clumsy everyone looks trying to move through the drifts.

When I was a kid we lived in Upper Michigan for six years. Winter lasted from Halloween to Mother's Day. To me winter is snow suits and power outages. Here in Albany all we get is one or two storms a year and in between storms the snow melts and winter is featureless again. One can't really enjoy winter without snow. What's the point without it? No sledding, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and no fun. Instead it's just cold out. That's when I get the winter doldrums. Give me snow and I'm happy as a clam. So bring it.

December 24, 2010

I'll Be Weeping

I'm at work right now answering stupid questions from people who think I'm lying to them about ticket availability. On my way into work this song popped on the radio:

This is probably the song that gives me the most visceral reaction. I love many other songs more than this one. But as soon as I start singing along with this song, I begin to cry. I don't know if it's because I feel like there is no home for me to return (because really, Mike and I are now going to create one and that's okay- I'm looking forward to it) or the musical phrasing. All I do know, is that this song is what gets me every year. Enjoy your Christmas eve.

December 19, 2010

Don't They Want Me to Buy It?

The Ting Tings are a great duo from England that Mike, our friends PJ and Karen and I were able to see when they came through Albany two years ago. I went out and bought their album right away and couldn't wait for some new singles. Well, a new single just came out. And it is no where to be bought. So to YouTube I went. And this is the only embeddable video I could get. Sheesh. Why make it so hard?

The actual video looks like it's straight out of 1984. It has a plot but not really- there's a totalitarian industrial machine where humans are mere cogs; there's a keytar; there's glitter on the drum kit; there're shoulder pads in attendance; the film isn't digital; and there's a kaleidoscope. So, I recommend pulling up the official video on YouTube. It's totally worth it.

December 18, 2010

How Do You Spell Chanukah Anyway?

At my job the other day someone wished me Happy Holidays. I really appreciated the sentiment and I appreciate her attempt at being unoffensive but I think it's safe to assume I celebrate Christmas. Chanukah is over and I most certainly don't celebrate Kwanzaa. If I did I would just be an asshole looking for an ass whooping. I don't think the people who are about "taking back Christmas" are right to be so vehement about this time of year- militaristic if you ask me, but I do wish people felt it was okay to wish others a happy whatever it is they celebrate. If someone wishes me a Happy Chanukah I would say thank you. If someone wished me a Blessed Ramadan I would feel confounded, but grateful. Kwanzaa I would just ask them a million questions about it with big, appreciative grin on my face.

The bottom line is, many people don't approach holidays like I do. But I'm sure there are many others out there that do. I love different celebrations in different cultures. I think that's what makes this world so awesome. Why can't others celebrate that? Wish me the best whatever holiday you want. It's the thought that counts.

December 13, 2010

Step by Step

Oh man, it's been so bitter cold up here and no snow to show for it! Weather, you're an asshole.

Tomorrow I have one more meeting with the Small Business Development Center to finalize my business plan and help me make the next steps in finding funding. My contact fellow there, Howard, is really great. He's a Vietnam veteran with a kind but no nonsense approach to taking care of business. He seems to like me and thinks I have a good chance at getting the financial backing I need. He's already given me some great advice for who to contact and I'm really excited about the next few weeks. He said that once I send out the plans, I'll probably hear within ten days of the banks' and loan funds' receipt. The only thing getting in my way right now are the holidays and my timetable is such that that is no true issue.

I've gotten tremendously positive feedback concerning my business plan since the course I completed in November. I just spoke to one of the judges tonight and he said not to be discouraged since I didn't win or place. (Apparently I came in fourth out of fifteen. Mike and my friends are more excited about that than I but that's neither here nor there.) He said my enthusiasm was apparent and my presentation was exceptional. That's awesome except I'm not going to be making presentations to the banks or loan funds. All that happens is some poor schmuck is going to get a cover letter and bound presentation to sort out. Happily, I've been told the plan is well written and to beef up certain portions- which I've done.

One awesome thing that I must share with you all is that one of the panelists is a banker and she LOVED me. She fought for me the whole way through the debate. And according to Howard could be instrumental in my future. Being the biggest point of contention, I kept the judges there for a while. I guess cause problems is what I do very well? There was a debate over my location and I just had really strong competitors. Things I learned? To add color to my presentation; to spice-up the section titles; and have more about me as a manager. Things I think I can do.

The classes I've taken have me feeling fairly prepared. There are many questions I have, that can't be asked or answered until I'm in the middle of them, but I know that I can reach out to the new contacts and friends I've made here in the Albany book world. I still have to introduce myself to local booksellers in other towns. It's a small, tight-knit community that I really can't wait to be a part of.

December 2, 2010

Did You Miss Me?

This evening I was putting aside my lunch for tomorrow- baked macaroni and cheese leftovers. Instead of washing off a spoon just to make it immediately dirty again I used the fork with which I ate my dinner. I barely got through the cold macaroni before the plastic handle flew off the fork flying into my face. (I'm okay.) Mike, alarmed, asked me what was wrong. As I flung the pieces into the trash can (and missing) I flew into the doorway to the living room and proclaimed I JUST WANT REAL SILVERWARE- WE HAVE NO FORKS. (That's not even true.) Mike burst into laughter and I couldn't help but laugh as well. How ridiculous. We only have four forks left and two of them are mystery forks that Mike brought home from school. Someone is missing a fork from their legitimate silverware set and we have an ad hoc melange of cutlery. In what kind of world do we live? An unacceptable world. That's what kind.