Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The photo with a person in it is my older sister on her computer (researching guinea pigs, no doubt) in her messy lair beside her fierce stuffed tiger, named Tiger. The picture on the left is my room. Back to the picture on the right! My sister has a sullen look on her face, as she often does when I take pictures of her. She is currently looking over my shoulder and making comments about every word and censoring some others. She has quite a variety of posters, artwork, torn-off calendar pictures, cut-outs from magazines, and miscellaneous objects dotting her walls, not to mention all the thingamajigs on her shelf. I have quite a few things on my wall as well, but they are hung up in near-perfect normality (if there is such a word), while my sister's posters are hung up in many strange ways for effect. Her room is, in my opinion, cramped and bright, while my room is the spacious, dark, room. Not really dark--I have three lights in my room (my bedside lamp, my usually-never-used by-the-closet lamp, and the regular ceiling lights) that are all in working condition. But have a look at my curtains, which are dark, imperious green (my favorite color other than crimson), and then move your view to my green, cushioned chair with a foot-rest. It feels like it is made of velvet or some sort of luxurious material. In the picture of my sister's room, you can just barely see the seat of a chair with wheels that is blue and shoved into the small gap between the end of her bed and the wall. There are national and international maps in my room instead of a "Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras" and a movie poster (from England), and instead of a dark wood shelf, I have a white deskshelf (it has desk space but it also has drawers and cupboards), with gold paint. I admit that a great deal of the posters in my room are also dedicated to my own glory. There are posters saved from speeches at various places, certificates, etc. There are also bookmarks and postcards hung up on the wall (my mom doesn't approve of "wasting stamps" on postcards, so I usually hang 'em up, and we hardly ever use bookmarks anyway, so they're taped up to the wall), and some of my artwork. In any case, I feel that I have compared our rooms thoroughly and I hope you find this interesting.
Adora Svitak

Monday, December 25, 2006

Eating at Todai (Redmond Town Center), Christmas Day 2006

This Christmas we went to Todai, a resturant at Redmond Town Center, to eat. My mother said things like "It doesn't open until 11:30, what's the big deal?" while we looked at each other and thought in unison, "We're bound to be late". My dad's birthday was on Christmas day and he got the free birthday deal.

To start from the beginning of my Christmas Day. My sister, Adrianna, woke me up at eight thirty or so, shaking me from my strange but interesting dream about being in jail in outer space with a spoiled brat. I was quite groggy and wanted nothing more but to go back to sleep. I was cold, as my covers were falling off, and I was grumpy--I hadn't slept very well.

I didn't want to bother to get dressed, as I assumed I would be going back to sleep, and scurried downstairs (doing our best to make sure the stairs didn't creak, without success) with my sister. I insisted on staying in our classroom under the heater (which was located on the ceiling), warming up my freezing toes, while my sister fetched our presents.

I recieved a Santa hat from my fifteen-year-old cousin, a card and five dollars from Adrianna (I gave her ten), and a shirt, also from Adrianna, which I had worn before anyway. But all the presents were insignificant in the face of the present my mom gave me--a digital camera! With this productive present I was to snap picture after picture and blog about them, every day.

Right now I am in bed under my lumpy, bulky covers at 11:17 p.m. The Winter Solstice (or whatever it's called) is said to be the shortest day of the year, or something, but Christmas Day seems like the shortest day. Sometimes I wish it were like the old days with weeks of festivities. Remember the song "Nine Days of Christmas"? (Maybe it was six days, I forget).

Our Christmas tree looks like a gnarled old man
With a wrinkled old body and wrinkled old hands
With striped candy canes.
Some presents are big, some presents are small
Some are hand-made and some are from the mall
Some cost four dollars to buy, others cost twenty-three.
But my family's love is the best present for me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006


My sister and I were fortunately allowed to take care of our aunt and uncle's kittens (Zena and Sophie) over the week. They are sisters. Zena is the thinner and somewhat smaller--and smarter--kitten. They have become well acquainted with the downstairs area of our house and know their way to the litterbox. They do, however, have a tendency to jump on our kitchen table/counter, or the electric piano in the large room, at which we immediately shout "Zena" or "Sophie" in loud voices.

Just thought the cat lovers out there would like to know.



My sister and I were fortunately allowed to take care of our aunt and uncle's kittens (Zena and Sophie) over the week. They are sisters. Zena is the thinner and somewhat smaller--and smarter--kitten. They have become well acquainted with the downstairs area of our house and know their way to the litterbox. They do, however, have a tendency to jump on our kitchen table/counter, or the electric piano in the large room, at which we immediately shout "Zena" or "Sophie" in loud voices.

Just thought the cat lovers out there would like to know.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Redmond City Lights

Where there is food and music, there is life and excitement. After dinner, we drove to Redmond Town Center to participate in the Redmond City Lights. There were many different Redmond vendors giving out samples of food. We were stuffed from our own dinner, but we couldn't resist the temptation of tasting and smelling free food. We lined up in different booths to get a variety of foods.

We ate quite a bit of food. We had soup, sweet rice, carrots, and vegetables from "Thai Ginger"; we had spicy pasta with chicken from "Desert Fire"; we had hot tomato basil soup from "Cosi", accompanied by dipping bread; we had eggnog from an eggnog maker (don't know that one!)...it was wonderful. The one thing missing was ice cream. Oh well.

I was amazed by the brobdingnagian Christmas tree. It was not very wide but it was quite tall and seemed to go on and on. There was a warm, cheery little "house" surrounding the tree. There was also a Christmas trolley. There was quite a long line waiting for rides, however, and we decided it would probably be very expensive, so we didn't go. We had no regrets.

Redmond Lights was a fun, friendly, fast-paced event with great smells, great tastes, and great sights, from the smell of hot soup and fresh bread, to the taste of fiery, spicy pasta, to the sight of an enormous Christmas tree and Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. I definitely hope we can do this next year!

The Christmas Time

What Santa's Ho Ho Ho Means To A Lot
Of People. Partially written, and assembled
By Adora Svitak.

Written by Adora Svitak
Thanksgiving is sometimes thought to be the more "foody" holiday, but it varies. Christmas can be quite a "foody" time as well. After all, if you're having a large Christmas with almost all your relatives coming to your house, you'd like 1), your house to be presentably clean, 2), your kids to be presentably well-behaved, and for kids, your parents to be presentably well-behaved (or bad-behaved), and 3), you'd like to have enough for everyone to eat. TV talk show hosts blather on and on about "how to keep thin for the holidays". In my opinion, if it's a once-or-twice in a year thing, it's fine to eat as much as you want. Especially of dessert.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What Santa's Ho Ho Ho Means to a Lot of People.
Assembled and partially written by Adora Svitak.

Written by Adora Svitak
The majority of Christmas-celebrating citizens in the US get Christmas trees, dig up those dusty Christmas lights from the basement, and hang kind, grandmotherly-looking ornaments on their tree. Some people may have small trees that fit in tiny pots and can barely be seen from the window, while others have brobdingnagian show-off trees that reach from the floor to the ceiling. I love having a tree around the house and the wonderful smell, and I love the excitement of putting up lights and ornaments and putting presents under the tree, but I am very worried about two things--the mess to clean up and the effect on the environment. When your tree starts drying up, the pine needles fall to the floor and it's quite bothersome to pick them out. And for the environment debate, I'd like to point out if almost every family who celebrates Christmas gets a tree, every year, and there are thousands of families who do this, then it seems quite dangerous. I have struck a deal with my mom that we will get a Christmas tree this year, because we haven't for about...two, three years, but we will only get it every other two years. How's that for a plan?

Written By Joyce Svitak
I don't have the statistics to back up my claim, but I have observed that more and more products produced during Christmas time are solely for the purpose for people to buy them as presents. Most people won't buy such products for themselves, but they can always find somebody else who may enjoy them, or they find that the products present well and impress lots of people. When products are given out as presents, the utilitarian characteristics are not as important, the statement such presents can make is more important. If you browse Costco or any other retail stores, you will find endless items that make impressive presentations when you give them as gifts, but you find little practical use.Buying and giving presents in today's world has expanded its meaning, or has it? We give presents to show our love and to fulfill our obligations, to show our respect, to express our gratitude, to make sure that we are following tradition, to avoid feeling embarrassed in case presents are given to us, but we don’t have anything to give back; to connect with people so we won’t be forgotten.The problem here is most of us already have too many material goods, personally, I’d rather buy my own presents if I really needed something. I’d rather people who spend their time shopping for me to spend time for themselves. Time is more precious than any material goods anybody can get for me. Show your love with a focused and sincere ear; show your respect with a promise you made; show your desire to connect with thoughtful words; you don’t have to do things because of tradition or expectations.

Go to http://www.wonderofthegreatminds.blogspot.com for more of Joyce Svitak's great articles.

To Be Continued In The Next Issue of:

Christmas Time

Christmas is a time of trees, ornaments, advertising, shopping, contradictory feelings...
Christmas is a time of presents, gift wrapping, secrets, surprises, expensive plane tickets...
Christmas is a time of tourists, uninvited guests, meat, tree-cutting, noise, music, snow...
Christmas is a time of snow, rain, hail, sleet, slush, ice, thunder, lightning, power outages...
Today we're proud to present--

What Santa's Ho Ho Ho means to a lot of
People. Assembled and partially written by
Adora Svitak.

Written By Joyce Svitak
It's the time of year when many people buy wrapping paper for the traditional gift wrapping ritual. I am never fond of spending money on buying things that are not meant to last. I can never understand, or more accurately speaking, I refuse to understand, the purpose of spending money and time wrapping presents to hope to get few seconds of anticipation and excitement from the receiver. The receiver of the present often has to prentend his/her excitement when the present itself doesn't meet his/her expectations.Are a few seconds of excitement (seemingly) really worth the trouble, furthermore considering the effect on the environment? This type of short lived euphoria doesn't have a long lasting effect on our overall happiness, does it? Shouldn't we spend more energy and time on creating more sustainable happines in our lives?

Written By Adora Svitak
There was a mad rush about a week ago. What was it about? Why did hundreds of anxious, worried, pessimistic, optimistic, tired, eager, or happy shoppers crowd stores nationwide? Presents. Christmas presents. Black Friday was quite a day for both shops and shoppers. Video games, MP3 players, iPods, cell phones, and laptops fell into the "technical" category of presents. Everything from plastic bracelets to porcelain dolls to new backpacks to--everything fell prey to gift-shoppers. Advertisements flashed across the TV. Great New Deals At So-and-So! So-and-So has the best bargains on winter coats! So-and-So has wonderful discounts on high-tech gifts! I have gotten a variety of presents over the years. Frisbees, P.J.s, gift cards, books...one of my favorites was a red "Happy Pig" T-shirt from my aunt and uncle, last year I believe. The T-shirt showed two pigs, front view, in the front of the shirt, and the pigs' rear ends in the back of the shirt. It was not only a nice shirt, it was big enough that I could wear it for at least two years. It still fits, although of course I wouldn't think of wearing it in this weather. The kind of presents I have objections to are ones that only last a few days, a few weeks, or a few months, and are parasitical objects that require your time and attention but are not very useful at all and do not produce anything. My laptop, for instance, requires time and attention, but I produce things with it. This blog, for instance, and my political satire, Yang in Disguise, and a variety of other things. So if you haven't gotten your shopping done, try to get a useful present. And also don't sweat if you haven't gotten presents yet. My sister's birthday is on December 16th, and I still haven't bought her anything.

To Be Continued In The Next Issue of:

Comments, Please

Dear Readers,
This is the time where I throw myself upon your mercy and most dramatically beg of you to leave SOME COMMENTS about my blog, your feedback, and your own miscellaneous ramblings. Of all the 1000 something people who have viewed my blog, not a lot of people have left comments!
So, audience, please be kind and leave me some comments.
Very Cordially Sincerely Truly Heartfeltly,
Adora Svitak