December 2007


The Show Must Go On

Check out this great spot on Woods Tea Co (my brother is on the left) from WCAX-TV in Burlington, VT. They talk about the loss of member Chip Chase and founding member Rusty Jacobs. The page has a link to a video spot so you can hear some of the interview as well as some performing.

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There are two official Christmas trees in Washington DC: the US Capital tree and the National tree at the White House. Here they are:

US Capitol tree National Christmas tree

Capital Tree is on the left; National (White House) tree on the right.

Which do you think is nicer? I like the Capitol tree – and not just because it’s from Vermont. It looks like a real tree not a fake tree like the White House tree. They both use LED lights to save energy but the Capitol tree is decorated with ornaments from Vermont and it has the right shape – one made from nature. And what’s with all the bows on the White House tree? It looks like a big glow stick.

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NPR : Crumpet the Elf Reads from Santaland Diaries

If you haven’t read or heard David Sedaris, get ready for a real treat. Please (I beg you), click on the link and listen to the excerpt from his 1992 “Santaland Diaries”. The adventures of Crumpet the Elf (Sedaris) is a complete scream. Hearing him sing “Away In A Manger” in the style of Billie Holiday is priceless.

I read “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” this summer – mostly while walking the cat outside – and I nearly fell down a few times while reading it.

Below is a clip of a reading on David Letterman on the “Stadium Pal” accessory for men.

Enjoy!

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Like Charlie Brown, Christmas depresses me on the whole. Perhaps because the build-up is so long and disappointment is practically guaranteed by the time the day arrives. I agree with Loudon Wainwright III on this one:

Outside it’s positively balmy
In the air nary a nip.
Suddenly it’s Christmas
Unbuttoned and unzipped.
Yes, they’re working overtime
Santa’s little runts.
Christmas comes but once a year
And goes on for two months.

I’m not complete humbug about it all. I love buying, wrapping and giving gifts. I love getting them all the more. However, it’s just the length of the holiday that gets me down and know that a long winter is about the begin. Too bad Christmas doesn’t come in the middle of winter – something to look forward to during the long, cold, dark days.

I’m not a Christian but I do appreciate the wonderment of the occasion.

Merry Christmas. “God bless us every one.”

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US State Quarters

D.C. Gets 25 Cents’ Worth of Respect – washingtonpost.com

The District has no vote in Congress, its laws can be trampled by federal legislators and even its streets can be closed by the feds on a moment’s notice.

But after nearly 10 years of fighting, the city finally won a new mark of respect this week.

It will have its very own quarter. The measure, tucked into a giant federal spending bill, puts the District on the same level as the 50 states, at least when it comes to the popular coins showcasing home-state icons such as mountains, birds, race cars and fiddles. The D.C. quarter is due in 2009, with a design yet to be determined.

“Can you believe it? How many years have I tried to get that?” exulted the city’s congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who has repeatedly introduced bills to get the District a place on the quarter’s flip side.

Despite Norton’s vigorous lobbying and arm-twisting, it was not the District’s quest for equality that ultimately carried the day.

It was Puerto Rico’s.

Yes, the District doesn’t get any respect. People in and outside of the region belittle it everyday. I don’t think that most Americans know that it’s a city without true representation that must endure indignities no state would tolerate.

So what should be on the DC Quarter? Evidently, portraits and flags are not allowed or else I would say Frederick Douglas. I’m certain they will pick something safe like the Capitol, the Washington Monument or some cherry blossom trees. I think it should be simple: “Taxation Without Representation”.

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Development puts squeeze on Orleans House – – The Washington Times, America’s Newspaper

This isn’t some great gourmet find but Tom Sarris’s Orleans House has a 43-year history at it’s current location. It has a massive salad bar and serves the best Prime Rib for the money in this area. I came here often with my parents when they visited me. It has some of the most garish interiors but the food has always been good – the Prime Rib great.

What kills me is that they will erect another ugly high-rise building on this spot. Right, we really need another one of those.

Sigh.

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I work in DC where there is a Starbucks on every corner (so it seems). While I was out in the distant burbs of DC (near Leesburg, VA) I saw this Starbucks drive-thru – complete with 6 cars in line. I hate to think of all the emissions being released as these cars are idling in line. It’s just a coffee, people! Get out of your car and walk in. Or just make it at home, huh?

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