December Odds and Ends

A few thoughts, links to things, and miscellany from this month . . .

1. I recently re-watched Anastasia (confession: I thought it was somehow related to Christmas, it's not. But it is winter in the movie, and there's a song called "Once Upon a December", so I think I can be forgiven). I was both pleased and startled to discover that I remember a LOT of the song lyrics.

2. Speaking of songs, I've added a Christian station in the DC area to my pre-sets because they play a good variety of Christmas music (I need more than Jingle Bell Rock and Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree in my life, which is what the dedicated "Christmas Station" seems to play at least three times an hour). Sometimes, though, the Christian station will only play Christmas music like every third song, and I realize I'm listening to Christian rock/pop. And I don't hate it. Each song is so positive and uplifting. Watch the current world/political climate turn me on to Christian music, haha.

3. While nothing will match my excitement over Will and Kate's wedding in 2011, I am just SO excited for Prince Harry and Megan Markle. I knew Harry would outgrow his partying/scamp-of-the-Royal-Family ways, and his recent disclosures about his struggle with Princess Diana's death and how much therapy has helped him really explained a lot about his behavior and showed how mature and thoughtful he's become. While I did not know Meghan Markle at all until they started dating, it's obvious that this is a mature and healthy relationship that they both seem all-in on. I'm secondarily proud of the Royal Family for apparently no longer controlling who their offspring marry. Anyone who has seen The Crown knows that, 50 years ago, Harry would not have been able to marry Meghan (oh, that Princess Margaret was still alive to see this . . . ), and even Prince Charles was basically told to marry Diana because she was young and of good breeding. Sign of the times.

4. The NPR Book Concierge is out. While I am often overwhelmed by it, I do really appreciate the insight it provides into books.

5. Based on the TV Top Ten List from my TV critic soul-mate, James Poniewozik of the NY Times, I started watching One Day at a Time on Netflix. It's a remake of a 70s show and is a bit dated in the way it's filmed, but y'all. It is an amazing show. I just watched the season finale and was weeping in my apartment. The episodes are 30 mins and take no time at all. Give it some time (and get through like episode 5, you have to warm up to some of the characters).

6. Serena Williams' baby daughter is teething, and she recently posted to Twitter about being exhausted and frustrated and heartbroken and just wanting her mom to hold her until she went to sleep. The raw vulnerability was touching, as was the outpouring of support, from people offering home remedies and funny photos to people just telling her to hang in there, as every new parent has been here. Celebrities, they're just like us! And people of the internet can occasionally not be garbage humans.

7. I'm really excited for the new Star Wars movie. I've always enjoyed the original trilogy, never saw the prequels, and LOVED The Force Awakens (Saw it twice in theaters, which is high praise).

8. A trip back to Texas for Christmas always means a visit to the main shopping mall (for the Christmas decor and festivities more than anything). My mom and I grab festive Starbucks beverages (which I now order online through the app--technology is great sometimes) and go to my secret parking spot and just browse. However, we always, ALWAYS run into someone we know. We usually discuss which realm of life we might see someone: "Someone I went to elementary school with? Or you taught with? Or I went to college with? Or worked with after college?" Stay tuned to see who it was!

This holiday season may you have less anxiety than an unwed teenager pregnant with the Messiah.


  1. Wait, did I know you were a teacher??? Also, it's shocking how much the Queen has had to change during her lifetime. I would bet that with radio, TV, internet, cell phones, etc, she has had to make more changes than any other Queen or King.

    1. I wasn't, but my mom was, and most of her old students and colleagues are still in the area. But, we didn't see anyone we know this year!


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