Friday, January 23, 2009

The First Day of the Obama Administration

We had it timed perfectly: as soon as Chief Justice John Roberts said "Congratulations, Mr. President", we popped the champagne and cried as we toasted the man and the occasion. What a great day for this country and the world. And although the sentiment may have been expressed by others more than once yesterday*, my husband said it best: "Makes you feel proud to be an American again."

*(We watched the day's activities on commercial/commentary-free C-Span, so, except for the principal speeches, we were spared the incessant babble of the experts happily telling us what we could see and hear for ourselves. It was also an amusing game to correctly identify members of Congress or any number of familiar faces. I think we nailed most of them.)


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Recommended reading: "The Private Patient" by P.D. James, Knopf: The Baroness writes yet another delicious mystery demanding every ounce of the amazing deductive skill of Commander Adam Dalgliesh, plus the genuine fun of discovering a brand-new word here and there. For example, I was curious about "uxorious". Grand word. Sounds like a disfiguring skin disease of some sort, but it means "excessively fond of or submissive to wife". I am not, nor have I ever been, acquainted with any man who might even remotely be described as submissive to his wife.

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Recommended listening: The new cd from Rebecca Kilgore and Dave Frishberg on the Arbors label: "Why Fight The Feeling", Arbors ARCD 19356, features the music of Frank Loesser. The composer has long been a favorite of Dave's, and in this collection, Rebecca sings the songs to perfection. No fuss, no unnecessary embellishment, dead-on pitch. Hers is a cheery sounding voice and her diction is impeccable. My kind of singer. Dave's jaunty piano style is the perfect compliment for her, and they include a great many verses sinfully ignored by many. Five Stars for this one.

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Steven Wright is one of my favorite stand-and-pace comics. He creates memorable, terse, and highly amusing material, delivered in a dry, thoughtful, dead-pan expression. Much of his best work can be found at YouTube. Here's a good example of the Wright stuff: "I went to my local 24/7 store but it was closed. When I asked the manager for an explanation, he said: 'We ARE open 24/7. Just not consecutively."

Apropos of that little vignette, I was looking for fresh thyme and rosemary at my local Stop & Spend only to find empty bins. I asked the teen-aged clerk if she'd check in the back for me. She returned and said "No, there's [sic] none, but we always have them sometimes." (I should have asked her if she ever worked part-time at the 24/7 store.)

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One of my resolutions is to write on a regular basis. At least once a week. Stay tuned.