Thursday, December 31, 2009

A great goodbye to 2009.

This morning started much like yesterday's. I awoke and was promptly greeted by a breakfast laid out by my grandmother, and an open newspaper. It yearned for my reading. So I gladly obliged and my day was off to a great start. Unfortunately, I spent the next FIVE hours merely sitting around. My sister and I were starting to think the day would never get better. And my nose wouldn't stop running! But then we went into town and saw a production of Dylan Thomas's play for voices, "Under Milk Wood." My sister and I went alone and we were two of the few who weren't old enough to collect social security. Overall, the production was a bit peculiar, but it was a whole lot better than what we had been doing. When we returned to my grandparents' house, my two sets of aunts, uncles, and cousins had arrived and that was quite the welcome home. It was really good to see everybody, and it was the first time I had met my littlest cousin who is only a few months old.
My family made all kinds of really good food, so I stuffed myself. That may not have been the wisest decision because I had a 5k to run half an hour later, but it ended up being fine. I threw up in my mouth a couple times and was notably slower than normal, but it was still a good release of energy.
Then we went around looking at the light displays and ice sculptures that the town has up before returning home to even more food. I am "that guy" in the family. The one who, if there's food left, is capable of finishing it. So I have quite had my fill. But anyway now I'm sitting around writing with a little time that I stole away from my family, but I'm having a really great time. So hopefully, I'll get today's nod.

In 1759, Arthur Guinness begins brewing. I guess for a lot of Irish people that's a giant positive.
In 1923, Big Ben's chimes are broadcasted on BBC for the first time. That's slightly neutral, I would suppose on the verge of a positive.
In 1946, Harry S Truman states that hostilities of WWII have ended. Very good!
IN 2007, the Bocaue Fire kills seven in the Philippines. Significantly less good. :(
Overall, I'd have to call this one a draw. History proved a noble opponent today, so I am more than content in our outcome.

Hope it's a good one,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An exhausting, terribly frigid day.

This morning I woke up and read the newspaper over breakfast. That's one of my favorite things. It makes me feel like I know what's going on. And my grandma made me breakfast so it was doubly awesome!
I had a haircut in the late morning, and haircuts are another thing I love. I look like a stud now too. At that point my day was soaring high. Then we started shopping. I didn't mean for that to sound ominous or anything though. I WAS having an awesome day UNTIL WE WENT SHOPPING. I'm all for a good shop. The problem was I've been having backaches lately, and it was so cold outside walking between the stores. But I did get a wonderful "Penn State Water Polo" shirt and I got registered for a 5K here tomorrow. Sounds awfully exciting to me. They call a Resolution Run, and I guess there aren't many better ways to start off the new year.
At this point I was probably hungrier than the entire Pittsburgh Zoo so we went and got grilled cheese and shakes at the fabled establishment "The Corner Room." So good! And french fries were free!
Then I came home and tried to read Gulliver but I accidentally fell asleep somewhere between when he was learning about how the natives bury their dead upside down so that when the world flips over and the dead are resurrected they'll be ready to haunt, and when he was destroying the fleet of a neighboring little nation. It's an oddly interesting little book.

I'm not entirely confident about my efforts today, but I could catch the old timer off guard.
Today in history, the USS Monitor sank off the coast of North Carolina in 1862. That's a real tragedy, but there's a really good song by Bishop Allen about the history of the ironclad entitle "The Monitor." (go figure.)
In 1953, the first color tv set went on sale. Ritzy!
In 1977, Ted Bundy escaped from prison. A second time.

Aside from the color tv thing, history was a real letdown today, and I didn't even include some of the more grotesque bombings and executions that also made the list. Regardless, I'm happy to accept the title of winner today.

Hope it's a good one,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A decent day, despite prolonged cramping.

Today I woke up early. But not to anything exciting. I was awoken to my mother's demands for my bags to be packed. So I did. But yet we still sat around the house dilly dallying for a few hours, and there's nothing I like less than dilly dallying. Then we departed for my grandmother's house, which is indeed an excellent prospect, though the four and a half hours prior in the car I was dreading. Fortunately before we left I was afforded the opportunity to say goodbye to my girlfriend so that was good.
The car ride wasn't as bad as I expected. I learned a lot of new stuff listening to NPR. There's nothing like periodic classic music and a host of interesting stories from around the world. Today I learned the story behind "The Men Who Stare at Goats," the plight of the Hopi Indian, and a little about the inner workings of the genius of Thelonious Monk.
When we arrived at my grandparents house I was very happy to see them so that put a better tone to the day. We had a wonderful dinner with some spicy soup.
But now the Sabres are losing to the Penguins by a hefty three and I doubt they'll come back. I had my BuffSabes slippers on and everything! Man!

Today being merely average, It will be no surprise if history can take this one from me.
In 1845, Texas was annexed as the 48th state. So that's one giant plus.
In 1851, the first YMCA opened in Boston Mass. Thank God for that too, what would we do without the dance?
In 1937, Ireland adopted a new constitution, obviously beneficial to its citizens.
Finally, in 1966, the Beatles started recording Penny Lane which I know I grew up singing as I'm sure many others have.

I think the clear winner today is history, but hopefully tomorrow I'll make a comeback. I guess you can't win them all!

Hope it's a good one,

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28: An Unbelievably Wonderful and Wintry Day.

Once again, as usually goes with winter recess, I was slow to get up. But I guess there is nothing wrong with an easy morning. Upon awakening I was ecstatic to see that snow had returned to the ground after a few days of grass. Then I curled up for a few hours with a few books. One of them a biography on Edward Moore Kennedy by the staff at the Boston Globe, which is really a phenomenal book if you ever get the chance, the other Gulliver's Travels, which I also am thoroughly enjoying.
Though the day seemed to slip through my fingers, I was perfectly content in my big red armchair with a few good reads. I put the finishing touches on my Secret Santa present for the party I was going to tonight and then headed out to dinner with a couple friends. We went out and got pizza, my favorite food, and the good company only made it better.
At the party some of us went sledding. It was such a beautiful night and there's nothing like doing the most childish things to bring a wave of nostalgia head on. But if you give a mouse a cookie, he'll ask for a glass of milk. And similarly, if you go sledding, you get cold. The only solution: Hot Cocoa. The perfect remedy for a shivering group.
Finally we ended the night with cookie decorating and Secret Santa. As shocking as it may seem, I've gone my entire life without one of these experiences. I was so excited, and I really lucked out. I guess I was good this year because Kris Kringle gave me a super mustard colored sweatshirt and a starbuck's giftcard. Great stuff. Now I'm watching Conan with my mom, so all in all, a truly wonderful day. :)
I don't think my day could have been overshadowed by any of history's vast events. But here's its attempts.
In 1835, John C. Calhoun became the first Vice President of the USA to resign. Man did he have crazy eyes. A cross between fear-instilling and mesmerizing.
In 1879, the Tay Bridge Disaster killed 75 in Scotland.
In 1908, an earthquake in Sicily killed 75,000. Man these are horribly depressing.
In 1973, the Endangered Species Act was passed in the United States. Much more uplifting. Who doesn't like pandas?

Overall, I think that my day came out on top. That's two in a row! But tomorrow I've got a four hour car ride. Nothing worse than a lack of leg room for a prolonged period of time, so maybe the past will capitalize on my dearth of fun.

Hope it's a good one,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 27: Good Day.

This morning I overslept, staying in bed until eleven thirty, truly validating the phrase "Lazy Sunday." Immediately perturbed at my waste of an entire morning I sprang from my bed and got ready. The day did not look promising.
Fortunately, my girlfriend asked me if I would like to go for a walk, and we wasted no time in meeting up. It was brisk, but by no means was it cold for Snowsville, NY and the sun was shining making for a wonderful day.
Unfortunately, I forgot to eat breakfast in my mad dash, and was beginning to feel the repercussions. And hear them. The embarrassing stomach growls grew louder, but I pretended not to notice them and I think she did the same. So we swung back home and I took two of my family's fabled "Sticky buns" left over from Christmas to sate myself, and boy did they ever.
Next we got a little post Christmas shopping done at half price. Marvelous!
Topping it off, we made Christmas cookies for a party she's hosting tomorrow and played a card game which I won despite my inclination to throw the game in her favor. It's certain she would have realized if I had and would have socked me for it!

So despite some early falterings, I'd say that was a pretty great day.
But history brought some game.
In 1831, Charles Darwin began his expedition on the Beagle which started a further study of his evolutionary hypothesis.
Also, in 1978, Spain became a democracy after forty years of dictatorship.
On the other hand, in 1836, the worst avalanche in British history occured killing 8 people in Sussex.
In 1939, Ezrincan, Turkey was hit by an earthquake.
In 1985, Palestinian guerillas killed eighteen in Rome and Vienna airports.

All in all, I think I came out on top today. Despite Darwin revolutionizing science and the birth of Spanish Democracy, I think that the natural disasters really lashed out on this day, and those guerillas' display of immorality is utterly disgusting. Not to mention I did have a really great afternoon with my girlfriend. She's great.

Hope it's a good one,

An Introduction.

As an avid user of Wikipedia, I have often found myself perusing the "On this day" section. In many such a circumstance I envy citizens of yore for their "good days," or thank whichever god that the much more ominous "bad days" were not my own. The idea in starting this blog was to either make myself, and maybe some of you, feel better about the crummier of afternoons by commemorating the anniversary of an even crummier day in history. Or if you are having an ego trip and could especially use a bit of grounding, then look to the annivesary of an entirely spectacular day, so on and so forth.

Hope it's a good one,