Friday, January 07, 2011

On the triumphant return (again) of the Good, the Bad, and the Friday Random Ten

Okay, so we’re just on the far end of Christmas, and I both a) had a fantastic holiday, and b) was oddly glad to see the back end of it. Not whew-I’m-back-at-the-office glad, but at least whew-I’m-glad-to-be-back-in-pajama-pants-on-the-couch glad. In general, I try to keep my vacations short enough that I’m not ready to leave when it’s time to go, but I think I’m at the point in life where the winter holidays don’t really qualify as a vacation anymore. Sigh. Being a grownup sucks. I think I’ll stop doing it.

Things that don’t suck, though, in the form of a very special post-holiday

What’s good (for the whatever period of time ending 1/7):

- The Nook Color. This was one of my favorite Birthmas presents. Now that I have a single device to read a thousand books, listen to music, do crossword puzzles, and dick around on the Internet, I have no reason to leave my living room. (And as soon as they come out with a word processing app for it, I probably won’t leave the couch.)

- GoGo Gear. Not gear for go-go dancing, alas, but still cool. It’s protective scootering gear that looks like (really cute) regular clothes. This was another Birthmas gift. (Check out the site for a video of the founder throwing herself down a hill to demonstrate the effectiveness of the gear.)

- My 30th birthday. No, I’m totally lying; it sucked. I always said I wouldn’t be one to freak out about a number--and I almost wasn’t--but it was six months to the day before the event itself that I did, in fact, start freaking out. (Who knew?) I was teased for clinging to 29 like a piece of driftwood from the Titanic until the very last moment, although I like to think I accepted 30 gracefully when it became unavoidable. Still, it’s odd to think that my 20s are closed. (See below for the story of my 20s driving out of my front yard with a stranger behind the wheel.)

- A bangin’ ride. Through luck, friend-pricing, and machinations I still don’t entirely understand, The Boy managed to pick up a brand-new Toyota Tundra while we were down in Mobile. Normally I’m not a pickup person, but even I have to admit it’s pretty pimp: It’s the dealership’s show model, so it’s got a lift kit and fender flares and big tires and shiny wheels and flex fuel and Bluetooth everything and it’s about eleven feet tall and I need a spiraling library staircase to get in. It’s pretty okay.

- Being surrounded by friends on New Year’s Eve, and having someone worth kissing. And swilling lots of excellent champagne.

What’s bad:

- A white Christmas. Normally something I dream of, this white Christmas sucked ass because I wasn’t there to see it. The snow started in Birmingham on Christmas Day while we were waking up in Columbus, it continued in Birmingham while we were driving through passive-aggressive drizzles to The Boy’s family in Mobile, and it disappeared completely in Birmingham while we were driving home on Monday. My snow experience took place entirely from the wrong end of the Weather Channel. Fuck you, white Christmas.

- The end of an era. The aforementioned monster truck came at the expense of my darling 2001 Cabrio, Bonnie Blue. She’d been sitting in front of the house for too long, rarely getting driven, particularly in the zippy, borderline-dangerous way she deserves. So it made sense to trade her in toward a vehicle that would actually get driven, at the same giving her to a new driver who can appreciate her the way I did.

Bonnie Blue has been my constant companion for a decade now. I got her for my 20th birthday (my uncle tells the story of how I jumped this high), and she was with me through the rest of college, an engagement and un-engagement, eight moves, two jobs, a dog, a house, the happiest relationship imaginable, and numerous bad and good decisions and haircuts. It seems poetic that she now has left me around the time of my 30th birthday. It was comforting to me that the grandfatherly type from the dealership who picked her up expressed interest in buying her himself. Whether he pretties her up for his own use or hands her off to a granddaughter, it’s nice to know that she’ll have a good home. And maybe she’ll give some other young woman another ten meaningful years.

And yeah, I cried when she left.

The end-of-holiday Ten:

1. Londonderry Boys Choir, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
2. Frank Sinatra, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”
3. Mormon Tabernacle Choir, “Carol of the Birds”
4. Otis Redding, “White Christmas” (Oh, screw you, Otis.)*
5. St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
6. Darlene Love, “All Alone on Christmas”
7. Dean Martin, “Winter Wonderland”
8. Diana Krall, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”
9. Nat “King” Cole, “The Christmas Song”
10. Mormon Tabernacle Choir, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

Who’s your life-changing car? Or other life-changing inanimate object, for that matter (not that Bonnie Blue was inanimate, because she was obviously sentient, or else I wouldn’t have developed such an emotional relationship with her). Your stories, and your Tens, go in comments.

*Oh, Otis, I can’t stay mad at you.

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