19 December 2008

Today Only!

I don’t remember if it was this way last year at the holidays, or if the economic situation has ratcheted things up a notch, but this year I am bombarded by sales pitches. Every day for a week, I have received 8 to 12 emails each day from retailers enticing me to buy something. It’s the same stores sending me a new email every day, making my inbox a broken record. Didn’t I just delete that email yesterday?

But each day is a different incentive: discounts? one day only? gifts under $10? gifts under $6? free shipping! additional discounts! buy something red! (?) something free if I hurry? clearance items? last minute gifts? extra points on my rewards card? free gift with purchase!

None of these offers have enticed me to do anything except hit delete. Right now I am not going to buy any of that, no matter how much of whatever they offer me. But since the economy is bad and I know that retailers are suffering and that circumstances are dire, I actually sort of … feel … kind of … guilty. Like I’m saying “No” to a desperate plea each time I click delete.

Hey! Want to buy this? No thanks.
What about this? No.
Okay how about these – they’re buy one get one free! No, really.
Just buy it! We’ll give you a free gift. No. Not now.
Please buy something? No, I already said No.
Are you sure you don’t want to buy something? I’m sure.
But we thought maybe you wanted one of these. No, I don’t.
We’ll ship it to you for free. No.
Yes we will. I know, but still – No.
Oh, just buy something from us, will you? No!
Please? No.
Pretty please? No!!
Pretty please with sugarplums? No, No, No!!
Fine! But this is the last time we’re asking you. Fine.
Don’t expect to get this great offer tomorrow. Fine, I don’t want it anyway!
And today is your last chance for free shipping, too! Good!
Until tomorrow. Okay.
See you then? Yeah, see you tomorrow.

16 December 2008

Snow Day

Today was a snow day, so to speak. This does not mean the same thing at this stage in my life that it meant when I was younger, but I still get excited about the snow as though I were a kid. It doesn't matter that I still have to go to work when it snows and it doesn't matter that I don't have the time or interest to play in the snow. (Although that snow angel I made a few years ago was kind of fun.) There's still something exciting about the possibility of it all, of just knowing that I could go out and make a great snowman or enjoy a day free of obligations, given the right circumstances. Those prospects, even if unrealized, are delightful.

Yes, I believe it's official now: I could not enjoy life in a place that does not have seasons like this.

old St. Patrick's in the snow
cold covering of snow outside, warm glow of lamp inside

13 December 2008

Christmas in a Cup

The Mayor's Christmas Tree at Crown Center is 100-feet tall, only slightly taller than the mayor himself (joked Sergio). It is a massive piece of merriment secured on four sides by powerfully strong ties latched to the ground amidst a whimsical Christmas village of tiny train cars, giant peppermint sticks, small houses, nutcracker soldiers and two brown pigs (?). The tree has 7,000 white lights and innumerable ornaments, as well. It is extremely merry.

Tonight, on the ground in the whimsical Christmas village, I found two tiny pieces of a branch from the Mayor's Christmas tree. I brought them home to spruce up the place a little bit (pun intended) with some natural Christmasness (in lieu of any garland or tree of our own). It felt a little like Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. Except I guess this was Mr. Funkhouser's Christmas Tree.

But now it's my little Christmas in a cup.

06 December 2008

My Saturday

And just because you are confined to your apartment all day reading genre theory, doesn't mean you can't have a nice snack.

In the foreground: bruschetta featuring local parsley and fresh (fresh!) local tomatoes (an heirloom variety of cherry tomato, grown in a greenhouse by Alice) and Woolly Rind, a local sheep's cheese from Green Dirt Farm - both purchased at Bad Seed Winter Market. Plus crackers from an undisclosed location. (Okay, they're from Whole Foods. *sigh* You can't win 'em all...)

In the background: Writing Genres by Amy Devitt.

05 December 2008

My Friday Night

Just because you are really busy writing a paper, doesn't mean you can't have something nice for dinner. And just because it's December, doesn't mean your dinner can't be somewhat local.

In the foreground: pasta with local oven dried tomatoes, local dried oregano, local dried chili, and fresh (fresh!) local parsley from Root Deep Urban Farm and local rosemary fougasse bread by Roaring River Bread Company, both purchased at tonight's Bad Seed Winter Market. Plus a few local pickled okra - not pictured, but fun to say - which I pickled myself about four months ago.

In the background: a paper about hair in nineteenth-century sensation fiction from both sides of the Atlantic.

01 December 2008

A Little Christmas

It's December 1 and already I am really craving Christmas. However, I have determined that this year there will be no time for much of a display around here. No time for a tree or garland - no time for ornaments - no time to bake things - no time for the Saul Steinberg Christmas plate - no time for "Love, Actually." Only time for school work and travel. If it weren't for tight deadlines looming on the horizon, I'd probably have already whipped out the ornament box, made some hot cider and played Vince Guaraldi on the iPod. *sigh* But there is no time for that.

So, today when I got two little bits of Christmas in the mail - it was not a moment too soon. Perhaps I'll hang them on the houseplants in lieu of a tree.