1. The Christmas gifts I bought for everyone. I don’t know if y’all know this about me, but one of my best skills is buying gifts. I am good at buying gifts and it is also one of my favorite things to do in all the world. I feel happy whenever I think about the gifts I have bought for everybody (except Mumsy; I don’t feel good about my Mumsy gift this year) and how pleased they will all be to receive them. And just Christmas gifts in general. Legal Sister is (probably) receiving a particularly excellent gift, and I want to tell y’all about it because I think you need to know but I can’t until after Christmas. Remind me, though. It’s a good gift. Y’all are going to want to hear about it.
2. Adorable videos starring Drew Brees. Drew Brees is one of my favorite people in all the land. He loves New Orleans, is gracious and courteous, and throws the football with more accuracy than an Olympic archer. Whenever I see his face I remember the glorious, glorious day on which the Saints won the Super Bowl. Anyway, here he is with his baby, whose face of course also reminds me of the glorious glorious day on which the Saints won the Super Bowl, and here he is measuring Elmo with a potato, thereby maxing out my brain from all the adorability.
3. I don’t talk much about work on this blog, because I like to compartmentalize, but I do really love my job. I just cleared one work project off my desk, I’ll have another off my desk by the end of January (God willing), and I have been given a project that I really, really wanted. It’s a massive project and is going to be a crazy nuisance but I’m excited to have it. If you do not currently have job satisfaction, I recommend trying to have it. It is awesome. All the things I miss about Louisiana are not awesome enough to make up for the everyday awesomeness of having a job I really like.
4. RadioLab. Gosh I just love RadioLab. RadioLab introduced me to this, which is a machine that you can feed a bunch of Bach pieces to it, and it will analyse the musical patterns and produce a new piece that’s Bach-ish. RadioLab also taught me the useful-for-tax-fraud fact that there are more numbers in the world beginning with 1 than with any other number. Every episode is full of interesting people and information. If you don’t know about RadioLab, I advise you to get on that straight away.
5. Christmas carols. The Roches’ We Three Kings and Peter, Paul, and Mary’s A Holiday Celebration are two albums that fill my heart with joy. The latter includes my favorite Christmas carol since I was three, “Hayo Haya”; it is very depressing, is in a minor key, and is not about Christmas. Baby Jenny used to listen to it over and over again on cassette. Present Jenny does the same but without the boring nuisance of having to rewind. Thanks, digital technology! I’d link to it but the internet barely even knows about it.
6. Apropos of nothing except that I suddenly remembered they existed the other day, the Krewe of ‘tit Rex, most adorable Krewe in all the land. They make teeny weeny little floats (teeny pictures here). I know Mardi Gras isn’t until February, but I sure do hope the rotten killjoy Krewe of Rex doesn’t shut the Krewe of ‘tit Rex down forever. Oh Louisiana.
7. Paul Robeson. Paul Robeson! How is he so insanely great? For your delectation and delight, here are “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel”, the final monologue from Othello, and Paul Robeson talking about Othello. Here also is Paul Robeson singing “Ol Man River”, and if this doesn’t make you a smidge teary you must not have even a little bit of a soul.
I love Paul Robeson. He is totally my hero. But I love his life story more than his singing, which he only had to do because prejudice precluded him from doing anything else, so I don’t feel too good about his singing even though it is wonderful.
Mmmmm, okay, but on the other hand, he had a voice like an angel. I obviously wish he’d been able to do everything he wanted, but I’m also glad we have recordings of his voice. It is one of the most beautiful male singing voices I’ve ever heard in my life.
You seem to be in excellent Christmas spirits, Jenny, and I would love to know if I could borrow some of your extra enthusiasm! I love to hear about all the things that are making you happy right now, and I was so glad to read your happy post today! I hope your Christmas festivities are just as exciting and happy!
Oh they will be! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too! 🙂
@rhapsodyinbooks, I’ve always thought that doing something supremely well would feel kinda good, as long as it is not plotting the destruction of millions. So even though singing might have been only one thing among the many he might have chosen to do, I should think it would still have brought him joy. Hopefully yes? (If you know for sure that the answer is “no,” maybe I would rather not know that. ) 😛
@Jenny, can’t wait to see you – and my gift! I am sure I will love it.
Aaaa, I don’t know if you will! I’ve considered and discarded three possible additional gifts to make up for how lame your regular gift may be.
My favorite devastating explosion is in the “Rusty’s Learning to Listen” video in the movie Elizabethtown, which is one of my favorite movies of all time.
And of course Othello is my favorite play and it makes me happy when people even mention it.
Also yes, it would have been completely awesome if Robeson could have played Javert.
It makes me happy that you like your job.
I saw Elizabethtown but I barely remember it now. I saw it ages ago. Othello is your favorite play ever in the whole history of plays? Macbeth is my favorite of the Shakespeare tragedies but not my favorite play in the world.
Okay, if you pin me down, I quote The Importance of Being Earnest as much or more than I quote Othello. One of our ambitions, Ron and me, is to get to a point where we speak almost entirely in quotations, like Mrs. Who in A Wrinkle in Time.
These are wonderful reasons to be happy! And you’re right…job satisfaction is a great thing and should always be appreciated when one has it. 🙂
I adore RadioLab! They did a taping in DC a while back, and I got to usher for it and ended up sitting in the front row. It was so amazing to see how they sync up everything. And Jad Abumrad is utterly adorable.
Swooning a little now at the thought of Paul Robeson as Javert.
How cool! How cool, how cool. Jad Abumrad sounds adorable. I was so thrilled when he got a MacArthur genius grant earlier this year.
I could use some job satisfaction. And some of your Christmas spirit. 😀
I wish I could send you some of my Christmas spirit! I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO MUCH.
Numbers 1 and 3 in particular really made me smile. So glad things are going so well for you. And I will remind you to tell us about the gifts!
Good, do! Because I think it is something the blogging world would be interested in.
All wonderful things! Especially job satisfaction. I’m always onboard for that one!
Same! I underestimated it for so long and I never should have.
Devastating Explosions. It’s going to be a really slow week at work, and I am going to need to witness many explosions, so thank you for that.
But! I’m also with you on #3! Come January, I’ll have been working for this company for 5 years – FIVE YEARS! And while I’ve always loved working in this industry and there have been elements of my job I’ve liked, job satisfaction wasn’t all that high until earlier this year. New responsibilities & an awesome new group of people to work with? All good things. So, even thought it’s going to be a slow week, it won’t be completely horrendous 🙂
Congrats on your big new project! I hope it goes swimmingly.
I’m afraid there aren’t an infinite number of explosions. There are only five or six. But they are very satisfying, and at the end you get to see them all in succession, which is pretty great.
Happy Joy Joy Full Christmas to you and your mad gift-choosing skillz.
Thank you for introducing me to RadioLab though I have yet to do much more than click over to it and see what exactly it IS. I want to know more so I will explore. Thank you.
And can someone recommend a good book on Paul Robeson since I’m woefully ignorant? I am most astonished at loveliness in his voice.
I think you will really like it! It is full of fascinating information presented in interesting ways. Actually it seems right up your alley.
I have no information about a good book on Paul Robeson. I’ll ask Social Sister, I think she did a project on him once. I’m glad you love his voice though! It blows me away every time I listen to it.
It sounds like you’ve got some great reasons to be happy.
I love giving presents but am so bad at picking them out so the only people I really buy presents for anymore are my kids who are happy with whatever I give them, even a new pair of socks. I really hope they never outgrow this.
It is such a wonderful thing to know you have bought someone a gift they will love. I managed to do that well this year, which is a rarity for me. Usually I stress about it. 🙂
Glad you’re so happy, Jenny! 😀
Isn’t Devastating Explosions basically awesome? Someone told me about it a while back so I ended up playing with it over and over and over again. Naturally after I post this, I’m going to play with it again.
Jenny, I am just happy that you are happy! And spreading the love, which you do so well. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and don’t forget to tell us about the gifts! I love hearing about the gifts that have been exchanged – getting the perfect gift for someone is a real kick.
I wish I was as good as gifting as you are, I am simply terrible with gifts :(. I also am totally with you on the job satisfaction front. It’s great to be able to do work that you enjoy.
Wish you a very happy new year!