Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy Last Year of the Aughts, or Double O's or Zeroes!

I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the New Year. I know all the media and the economic news shouldn't make me feel this way, but I'm thinking a positive outlook is the way to go right now.

And there's something to celebrate. This is the last year of the first decade of the new millennium. So we're nine years in and we haven't figured out what to call this decade. We called this decade the "early 1900s" the last time it happened. Should we dust it off with a smidgen of an update and refer to this long trek through terror, war and economic uncertainty as the "early 2000's"?

It doesn't have the same ring as the "nineteen hundreds" does it? The "two-thousands" just doesn't have the same historical weight to the term to me.

Then there's the Aughts, which is what people in the "early 1900's" called zeros. Professor Harold Hill in "The Music Man" is supposedly a member of the Indiana Music conservatory's gold-medal class of aught-five. (05) But he was lying about that. So should we trust the aughts?

I've heard some people propose the "double-o's". Like 007. Bond. James Bond. So last year would be double-o-eight? This year is double-o-nine. Licensed to chill.

And then there's the Zeros. Which brings me to this:

There's nothing like Schoolhouse Rock to put things in perspective. Where would we be without zero? My hero. How wonderful you are.

7 Secrets About Me

Thanks to my co-worker, Mark Tosczak, I've been tagged in a meme. Which is different than being tagged by a mime, I'm sure. So now I have to come up with seven things you don't know about me.

1. I have ridden an elephant. I got to be honorary ringmaster of the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus when I was a TV news anchor. I was thrilled and terrified at the same time. That elephant was so tall that I had to duck to get into the tent. And they are very scratchy. I loved it!

2. I’ve met Vanilla Ice. I interviewed the Ice-ster during his 21st birthday party, 2 weeks after Ice, Ice Baby was released and was racing up the charts. He was in Wilmington for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. He was "celebrating" and rapped all his answers. Between the slurring and the rapping, I couldn't understand anything he was saying to me, so turning that video into a story later was a big challenge. On a cooler note, I also got to interview Melissa Etheridge a few years later. I understood everything she said, thought she was amazingly cool and the story was very easy to put together.

3. I have sat out a Category 3 hurricane on the porch of a motel in Carolina Beach. It was Hurricane Bertha, and three news crews from my station were stuck at that hotel when the bridge back to the mainland was closed due to winds. I knew something they didn’t. Carolina Beach flooded during an afternoon rainstorm in those days. Luckily none of us were seriously hurt, but a photographer was injured when he was struck in the forehead by flying shingles. Hurricane Fran, a couple of weeks later, was worse. But that's another story.

4. My hubby and I were born in the same hospital six months apart, but grew up on opposite coasts due to military deployments. We're both Marine Corps brats. It's an official term, and one we're both proud to hold. We came within a day of never meeting when he was offered a job at my TV station, which I pressed the news director to extend. He took it. The next day he was offered a job at a much, much bigger TV station, but he's honorable and stuck with my small market station.

5. I have seen ball lightning. I know it exists. It happened during 1989's Hurricane Hugo, when I was foolishly standing on Carolina beach at midnight, holding a cell phone antenna in the air so I could broadcast back to my radio station, which had nonstop coverage. It was at the exact moment when Hugo made landfall to my south, I believe. The wind all of a sudden became a wall, sea spray blew into the power transformers on the pole and they started exploding. I saw ball lightning (different from the transformers exploding) and immediately whipped that antenna down and simultaneously crouched. I crouched over so fast I actually strained my back. Then I cautiously made my way back to the radio station's Isuzu Rodeo, which was parked on the OTHER side of the exploding transformers, which continued to blow and shower sparks down on me and the DJ who was escorting me. My breathless report once we got back to the truck earned me a spot on the CBS Early Show the next morning, where I was interviewed by Harry Smith.

6. I collect flamingos. Not in a scary weirdo way. They are delightfully tacky, but I am picky about which ones I collect. Basically, I have some coffee mugs, a few stuffed animals, a pin or two, Christmas lights/ornaments, a bath mat (present from my hubby) and a sweater. My criteria: they have to be both cute and tacky. Mostly cute.

7. I read voraciously. All the time. Like when I’m blow drying my hair. (Which may explain why I look the way I do. I don’t mean to brag, but I also did this as a TV news anchor, when good hair is a must.) I have some books autographed by the authors, which I treasure. I don’t usually lend my books. I’m starting to get better about this though. I like mysteries the best.

8. Bonus secret. I’m hooked on Animal Crossing for the Wii. I find fishing at night strangely soothing. Plus I have new areas to chat about with my tween. We talk about the people who live in our town, gifts we’ve been given, milestones we’ve achieved. We’ve been sending each other messages through the town’s mail system too, which is always fun.

So now I have to tag other bloggers I know. This is the tough part, because most of the bloggers I know have already been tagged. I'm gonna have to think more about this part and do some tagging later. If I don't post this soon, I never will.