BERLIN—People celebrate New Year's Eve near the Brandenburg Gate after the fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989.
My New Year’s Eve might not be as memorable as that, but I am happy about it for the first time in a long time — well three years to be exact. And I am excited for the coming year. It feels good to be going into it like this, it’s almost like a clean slate. As Ms. Diebel just told me, 2009 is year of the ox, for reliability and sturdiness. Who doesn’t need a little of that in their lives? I know I am ready for it. And goodbye to the year of the rat, there were certainly a few of those in all of our lives in 2008. So long!
No pressure tonight, just the people I love in the home I love, drinking some champagne and eating some seriously expensive cheese. What more could a girl ask for? And Mary will be the most amazing New Year’s kiss!
My roommate woke up this morning to a text message from her Palestinian “friend” telling her to look at the news, at that point the death counts weren’t in and the news was still shocking. Now we know that over 200 people in Gaza have been killed and over 600 injured after Israeli airstrikes hit the Hamas security facilities. This is the highest one day death toll in decades.
I know the problems in this area of the world of so deep-rooted that an end is never in sight and I know that this Israeli attack was in response to Hamas’s refusal to end its rocket fire in Israel, but to hear of such death and first from someone who grew up in that part of the world (can’t even say country) is heartbreaking. People all deserve there own land, I know I am ignorant, but it seems so simple.
The photos in the New York Times are hard to even look at and this excerpt is chilling. There was a shocking quality to Saturday’s attacks that began in broad daylight, as police cadets were graduating, women were shopping at the outdoor market and children were emerging from school.
The center of Gaza City was a scene of chaotic horror, with rubble everywhere, sirens wailing, and women shrieking as dozens of mutilated bodies were laid out on the pavement and in the lobby of Shifa Hospital so that family members could identify them.
I’m sorry, I know I don’t normally put gossipy stuff on this blog — I save that for my professional life — but I was so astonished by this little number Lily Allen is wearing I couldn’t help myself. I mean yeah girl, we know you lost all this weight, but really? It’s not just simply the outfit (who the fuck makes things like this!?), it’s that according to my sources she sported the getup going to some sort of business meeting. Was she interviewing to be a high class hooker?
I don’t know, it just makes me feel weird. Wasn’t this the girl that used to wear vintage 50s dresses, gold door-knocker earrings, and the occasional pair of dunks. Wow, I don’t think I have ever said that word. But anyway, I know we all grow up, and our styles and our bodies change. But I just don’t understand this at all. Will someone explain it to me. I added a picture of her before just for clarification.
As it snows and snows it seems almost appropriate to speak of the country of Fiji, a distant fantasy land that a poor and lowly New Yorker can only dream of on such a cold winter day. Honestly though, I am thankfully not yet (the operative word) at the point where I would give one of my toes, possibly two, to have just a bit of sunshine on my little bare feet, even toeless.
Anyway, did you know that Fiji is actually made up of 333 different islands, but only one third of them are inhabited? And like the United States, Fiji is a multiracial, multi-cultural nation, and has people of all the major religions of the world. But in Fiji race relations are generally harmonious. I mean it does seem like a place that would be easy to be harmonious. Maybe we really should go there.
A picture of Central Park in 1992. Do you think it looks like this right now?
Maybe it was the perfect day to stay in and be sick (am I turning into my mother?), but part of me wishes instead of spending the day sleeping, drinking tea, watching the flakes fall outside my window, and transcribing a rather lengthy interview (who wants to be my assistant?) that I could have ditched the head cold, put on my new snow boots, and frolicked in the white abyss before it turns to ice and sludge. I hope I have the chance again.
This snow makes me nostalgic, but I’m not exactly sure for what. I didn’t grow up in the snow and can you by definition be nostalgic for just the last year or year before? And if so, I don’t actually think that is the case as I am really trying to block that time out of my head. Or is that in fact nostalgia? Okay, I am no longer making any sense. Maybe it’s the fever? Anyway, I am going to venture out of the house now for a dinner with my dad, my new best friend. Big Friday Night!
Despite how cute these pics are that just came out of Obama in college, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed in our man. Obama has selected Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Although this evangelical believes that Christians should expand their agenda and confront global problems like poverty, AIDS, climate change and genocide in Darfur, he still is against abortion and same-sex marriages. That just ain’t cool, and the gay community is not happy about it.
When I first moved to New York, this dude I used to hang out with had an Egyptian landlord with an American husband. He was a bit crazy, the type who talks so much and has no sense of overstaying his welcome, that you couldn’t help but question if he was partial to a certain white (well more like yellow) powder. Anyway, he would tell us stories from when he visited Egypt, saying it was that Cairo is craziest place he had ever been. There are no speed limits and not really even any lanes on the roads and no police. A girl from my work just visited there too and said the same thing, she also said that it has one of the highest noise pollution indexes in the world – about twice the normally acceptable level set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
My productivity is at an all time low right now. I am hungover like the olden days of, you know, last year. Seriously, I haven’t been this foggy headed in my cubicle in a long time. It’s all I can do but explore this Facebook thing. Yes, I finally gave in, and it seems that everyone I’ve known, especially those kids from Marin, have too. Surprise! Now I can join the ranks of all the other stalkers out there.
So yeah, I am doing that and I find that this friend of mine who I studied abroad with has an album from our time in Spain. It was kind of amazing to flip through those photos from over seven years ago. This one was my favorite — I can’t tell you how many days we spent by that river, drinking wine straight from the bottle, smoking cigarettes, playing guitar and feeling like we were the coolest kids on earth. Oh to be 20...
Danish architecture seems to be full of color — like Buenos Aires, or my home city of San Francisco. I keep dreaming about the baby pink, yellow, blue, mint green and orange Victorians climbing up the hills above the Castro and weaving around to the Haight.
And also with a similar SF mindset, did you know that in 1989 Denmark become the first European country to legalize same-sex marriage and offer gay couples the same rights as heterosexuals? Harvey would be proud.
Saw it last night and left tearful, joyful, elated, ready to walk home in the rain and move back to San Francisco. Two thumbs up, four stars, guy falling out of chair, loved it. Go see it tonight, it was amazing from start to finish.
Oh don’t you just miss it? I wanted it to be over so bad and now, even over two months later, I miss all the uncertainty. I think I might get off on that just a little bit, but that is a whole other issue, saved only for late night conversations and therapy sessions. Well anyway, Time mag just released its Top Ten of Everything for 2008 and it was nice to look at the top ten campaign photos. My favorite pic was the same as theirs. As I said 12 days before the election, that look is priceless. Almost as priceless as when the Iraqi journalist threw a pair of shoes at George W this weekend. That old W has actually got some pretty quick reflexes, but I bet Obama could kick his ass in a pull-up competition.
My brother Andrew, the little jetsetter who has been everywhere, sailed around Croatia a couple years ago with eight others and came back saying that it was the best trip he has ever been on. That’s saying a lot for a little jetsetter. It is supposedly more beautiful than one can imagine. It’s where I wan to go on my honeymoon. Who wants to go with me?
Did you know that Russia’s population is slightly smaller than Bangladesh, but the actual country is at least 120 times bigger? Quite crowded, yes. It’s actually one of the highest population densities in the world.
A few years ago, I can't remember if I was home visiting for Christmas or if I still lived in SF, but I was at the townie dive bar in my home town and I met this guy who had just come back from Iraq. He showed me all his photos and I made him give me the one of him standing next to a 50 ft. mural of Saddam dressed in camo with a big old gun. It's not on my wall anymore, but I still have it. I love that picture. Is that weird?
It’s raining, I’m listening to the Cranberries. More nostalgia on this dreary Thursday afternoon. Kind of wishing I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt sitting in Bryn’s closet.
Who gave them the right Waltzing back into your liiieeeeiiiife, your liiiieeeeiiiife, your liiiieeeeiiiife Now I feel fear I wish that they'd never come hee-ee-eee-re, hee-ee-eee-re, hee-ee-eee-re What they gonna do, what they gonna do What they gonna say, what they gonna say Taking you away from my liiieeeeiiiife, my liiiieeeeiiiife, my liiiieeeeiiiife my liiieeeeiiiife, my liiiieeeeiiiife, my liiiieeeeiiiife La-haaa, La-haaaaa La-haaa, La-haaaaa
Did you know that in October 2007 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became Argentina's second female president. Isabel Peron, Juan Peron's second wife, was the first female president of the country. Way ahead of us.
So as I am sweeping the fake snow off the floor from the party this afternoon (yes, I know it’s been awhile) looking at all the snowflakes hanging from our ceiling, I think maybe I should just save them all for next year. They do take forever to cut-out and luckily this year I restrained myself from tearing them all down at five in the morning. As I said, maybe we are just getting older, but this year’s festivities were a little more subdued than what we’re used to. I mean granted, we were missing a certain tie wearing fellow and a fish lover, who always brought a little bit of the crazy.
Anyway, I began to ponder about a year from now — will Sarah, Courtney, and I still be living in this big old house? Will we all still even be living in New York? I really don’t know. Maybe I’m just getting all nostalgic and weirded out because of what’s going on in my actual life, but it seems that next year is quite up in the air and we are all at points where things could drastically change. So anyway, I don’t know if there will be a fourth holiday party at 101 Waverly next year, but I still think it’s pretty amazing that we’ve done it for the last three. And yes, there have been a few people that have come and gone, but for the most part us girls have always been together. It’s nice to have such amazing friends, who will always show up, and are the only ones that matter if they do. So take a look at the last three years. How much have we changed?
So, Saturday was Courtney, Sarah, and my annual holiday party and although it wasn’t quite as chaotic as it usually is, it was quite fun. Well, actually the most fun part of it was the day after (as it often is) drinking the leftover mini-keg with the lone stragglers from the night before. Good times, I think Sarah and Chris are the new funniest couple I know. I am a little convinced that they practice sketch comedy (including singing) when it is just the two of them. But anyway, I conducted a little experiment during the festivities to see if people look better smiling with their teeth showing or with their mouths closed. It's very serious research I know, and could effect celebrities and normal humans alike. Here is the data: \