I know it when I see it...


December 2, 2010

How can it be that it is only December the first and I feel like I am already terribly, irrevocably behind schedule?  I skipped Black Friday (it was 27 degrees in Michigan) and missed Cyber Monday altogether, but it wouldn't have helped me anyway because all I want for Christmas this year is a Batmobile.  Not a toy, not a model- a REAL Batmobile.  Ahem. It's not for me.
Over Thanksgiving weekend the relatives began asking for my boys' Christmas wish lists, so when we got home I offhandedly asked my younger child what was on his list this year.  It went something like this:
Me:  What's on your Christmas list this year?
Him:  Well...(thoughtful pause),

Scotch tape and all, the 1972 Sears Wish Book (Photo by: Sears) Scotch tape and all, the 1972 Sears Wish Book
since Santa didn't bring me the real Batmobile I asked for last year, I guess that's what's on my list this year.
Me: (Stunned, horrified and guilty silence)
Okay, never mind that we live in the city and there's no place for a four year old to drive a mini Batmobile or that I myself have chuckled heartily over items like this in the Hammacher Schlemmer and Frontgate catalogs, but the real problem with this is that there is no such thing.  And believe me I have searched.  Marx made one sometime in the 1970's and they occasionally turn up on Ebay, but they are jealously hoarded by collectors and are actually pretty lame looking.  The last fairly decent model was made a few years before my son was born and may have been involved in a safety recall, but you still can't find one.  I actually saw one on Craig's List once for $20 but it had to be picked up in Akron or shipped for $450.
Checking in with him again a few days later, I tried to reason.  "Isn't there anything else you'd like for Christmas?  What if Santa can't find a real Batmobile?"
"His elves can make it" says he, with the air of someone talking to a person with extremely limited faculties.  "So my BODY can fit in it" he added,  gesturing from head to foot for emphasis and reminding me of the many, many Batmobiles of every size and style we already own, but none that can be ridden.
My mistake last year (when he was three) was thinking that he wouldn't notice the lack of said item when he saw all the other Bat related merchandise under the tree (not to mention the never touched substitute scooter) or that since he has moved on to Spiderman and Iron Man he wouldn't remember last year's request, but there seems to be some kind of four-year-old principle involved: when you ask Santa for something, he is supposed to bring it.  Who am I to argue?
Despite the limited time frame I have actually looked at purchasing plans on line for building a Batmobile out of wood, and considered the level of my artistic skills to ascertain whether or not I could paint or stencil some other black sports car on the market to look like the Batmobile, but I know these will never pass muster with Old Eagle Eye.
In the meantime does anyone have a Sears Wish Book from 1972?

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From Aspen to Ann Arbor...Thanksgiving

November 23, 2010

Aaah.....Thanksgiving.  A day to reflect on the many blessings life has given us:  family, friends and French's Fried Onions.  And what better way to observe the original American holiday than...canoeing in the Everglades?

At least that's what my sister thinks.

At a recent gathering I heard about ski trips to Aspen and weekends in Paris, but few if any were planning Thanksgiving dinner with family in Washington.  I guess that's because so many people who live here aren't "from" here (myself included).

Growing up in New England, my Thanksgivings consisted of going to Grandma's house where we started the festivities by watching the Macy's parade on television. At dinner, ten or twelve adults were seated around the dining room table and an equal number of children were sitting in the kitchen and all were enjoying a giant turkey feast topped off with lots of commotion, dessert and uncles watching the football game. It was all pretty Norman Rockwell (at least from my kids' table POV).

Nowadays, our family is scattered from California and Michigan to Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland and Florida.

My husband and I decided to do something different this year and have planned a good old fashioned, fun-filled, family road trip with our two boys for Thanksgiving. We'll be loading up the car with gifts and games (as well as a few bottles of wine) and stopping in on relatives on our way to the Great Lakes region to share Thanksgiving dinner with a branch of our family in the freezing cold.

While we will be going over the river and through the woods, it's not to Grandmother's house we go this time, but I'm looking forward to playing Punchbuggy and the license plate game with my kids and staring out the window for a while.  I think it's going to be a great Thanksgiving and if it's not exactly Rockwell-ian, maybe it will be one that my boys look back fondly on some day.

At least there won't be any alligators.

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Fashion helps Flood Victims at Pakistan Embassy

November 18, 2010

A downpour may have dampened the coiffes and chic ensembles dashing toward the residence of the Pakistani Ambassador near Dupont Circle to launch Fashion for Pakistan Flood Relief. But it was barely noticeable compared to the deluge the Pakistanis have been through.

Organized by Georgetown resident Shannon Grewer after she witnessed devastation firsthand after floods swallowed up entire cities last summer, the event was designed to help victims, raise awareness, and bring people together.

Over seven million people in Pakistan are currently without adequate shelter or food and large parts of the country are still submerged underwater.  Through a newly created program, the private sector in Pakistan and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will coordinate funds to rebuild homes and provide basic agricultural supplies to displaced people. "We created Fashion for Pakistan Flood Relief to increase awareness in the US of the conditions in the flood-affected areas of Pakistan.  By combining fashion with philanthropy we hope to share with you a different image of Pakistan."
Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani, wife of the Ambassador and a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan greeted guests at the top of the stairs wearing one of the beautiful creations of the Pakistani designer Deepak Perwani and ushered them into the tent covering the garden. 
Ambassador Husain Haqqani pointed out that most disasters aren't covered by Anderson Cooper and CNN -- and Pakistan's current crisis is one of those disasters.  As a result, most Americans are not aware of the extent of the devastation in Pakistan.  The Ambassador then introduced the designer Deepak Perwani, who emphasized that Pakistan has much more culture to offer than many of us are aware of (including beautiful fashion).  A slide show of intensely moving photos followed the comments and spotlighted the many faces of the flood victims.

The red carpet, which had only hours before been mislaid at Dulles airport and rescued by Shannon's resourceful husband Jether Grewer moments before it was rolled out, then became the scene of the beautiful, flowing and fantastically colored and bejeweled dresses and tunics that the designer had brought from Pakistan for the occasion and soon to be available in this country.  As one model after another strolled the carpet, the audience was captivated by the stunning beauty and unique nature of the designs.

After the fashion show concluded the men retired to the cigar lounge and the women stormed the table where the tunics designed expressly for the event were for sale.  What started as an organized table with neatly stacked piles of brightly colored tunics soon resembled the bargain bin at Filene's Basement as the corner of the room became an impromptu Loehman's dressing room and women tried the well-priced tunics on over their party dresses.  The designer's staff dug valiantly through the piles for specific sizes and hurried back and forth replenishing the supply, which went quickly.
For more information on programs to aid flood victims visit  http://mjsf.net/floodrelief.php  or  www.fashionforpakistan.com.

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