This Wednesday, of course, will be Christmas Day, a holiday that finds many spending time with their loved ones, or at least that’s the ideal. Of course, not every person, for one reason or another, will have that chance. That will be the case again for me this Christmas once again. For the fourth year in a row, the rest of my family will be busy, either because they’re working (my mom, in her caregiver role), spending time with the in-laws (my sister and her family), or just want a quiet day at home (my younger sister and her husband).
One of the nice things about living in Wisconsin is that the scenery is pretty awesome. Whether it’s the urban skyline of Milwaukee or Madison, the majestic natural formations of places like Kettle Moraine, or the peacefulness of Door County, this state produces scenes that can be all at once tranquil, exciting, awe inspiring, and breathtaking, no matter what the season may be, including here in winter. But the beauty of winter is served on a double-edged sword: The sight of a snow-covered field or wooded area brings serenity, but it’s best appreciated when you’re indoors looking through a window.
The past couple of weeks here in Madison have brought 3 different snowstorms of varying degrees of effect. The most recent of those storms occurred this past Sunday evening/Monday morning, when a storm dumped around 6 inches of snow.
That Monday snowstorm was actually the good news of the week, and not just because the original Madison forecast called for more snow than that. It ushered in what meteorologists call a polar vortex. Basically, it’s Mother Nature leaving her freezer door open and letting a lot of chilly air escape. This week, that vortex of cold, cold air dropped right smack dab onto the Upper Midwestern United States.
Let’s start this quick post with a quick question: What do you feel when springtime rolls around? If you’re like me, when I see the vernal equinox on the calendar, I start to get a sense of anticipation — at the thought of days getting longer, of flowers blooming, of trees blossoming, of birds singing, of no snow in sight…
A question for you: Have you watched any of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games at this point? Yeah, you knew I was going to ask you about the Olympics, what with the title of this post, the logo to your right, and the “BOOM! Boom! Buh-BOOM! Boom!” coming out of your TV set. Since Pyeongchang, South Korea is now in the second half of its Olympic fortnight, I thought I’d highlight some interesting notes about I’ve watched and read about the Olympics.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of these Games that I’ve noticed and taken a routing interest in is the performances of LGBT athletes in Pyeongchang. This article from The Advocate gives a nice summation of the performances by out athletes up to this point, but I’ll do a quick summary of what are perhaps the two most noteworthy feats, both of which happen to be in figure skating. First, there was out skier Eric Radford of Canada, who with skating partner Meagan Duhamel were part of the gold medal winners in the team competition and later won bronze in the pairs competition. It’s a bummer that both Eric and Meagan are retiring from competitive skating, but they are certainly going out on a high note.
Okay, okay, you’ve had your fill of me talking about the business world, and I hear you. You want to see an actual new photo of me? Well, let me take care of that right here and now. If you’ve noticed the calendar, it’s still February. And here in Wisconsin, February still means we’re in the grips of winter, no matter what some groundhog may say. And when it’s winter in Wisconsin, one really needs to bundle themselves up before opening the front door and facing winter’s chill and snow. And that includes…
Yep, a winter coat. The past year-plus, I’ve been venturing out of the house as Allison much more often, primarily to support group meetings. Before this winter, I never had a women’s winter coat. No, I don’t mean the leather or denim jackets that occupy my closet; as lovely as they are in their own right, they’re more suited for a season like spring or autumn, when the weather in Wisconsin isn’t as harsh as what winter regularly brings. So, back in December, I moseyed over to the Burlington that’s located here on the West side. When you think of Burlington, you tend to think of coats (it’s website is still BurlingtonCoatFactory.com), although it also features other clothing as well as home decor and gifts. But it’s that “Coat Factory” part of its old name that still makes me think of Burlington as a store for affordable outerwear. And sure enough, this purple Madden Girl coat was on the sales rack.
Okay, peoples, time to show off yours truly in another outfit.
Last weekend, I attended another meeting of the trans support group I am part of. This is the outfit I chose to wear:
Some relatively quick fashion tidbits to share with you, starting with this tweet I shared with the world last weekend:
In what may be the strangest (to me, at least) holiday dress I’ve ever seen, this display at Windsor in the West Towne Mall featured a strapless gown decked out entirely in pine tree needles. Clearly, this is meant to be a seasonal window display, one meant to encourage shoppers to check out their store. But if one were to actually wear this to a holiday party… well, for sure, it would be quite the statement-making eye-catcher, one that would be sure to strike up a few conversations about the wear being “fashion forward.” However, there would be issues with sitting down (“OuchOuchOuch!”), not to mention shedding needles (“Would someone please bring over the broom and dustpan? Or better yet, the vacuum cleaner.”).
While I’m spending part of my Saturday morning bathing in the euphoria from and thinking up a post documenting my poetry performance Friday night (an awesome evening all around), I want to make a quick addition to “Allison’s Jukebox.” Have a listen to “Diamonds and Pearls,” the 1991 hit by Prince and The New Power Generation.
So, here it is, the day after Christmas 2016, and you’re probably wondering how my holiday went. Well, I didn’t do too much on Sunday. The reason for that? For only the third time in my life, though the second time in five years, I spent Christmas Day away from my family. The reason for that is that my family had to reschedule our Christmas Day get-together as my little sister’s daughters had to spend the weekend with their father/her ex-husband (every other weekend, he gets to be with them, and Christmas weekend just happened to be his next turn). And since my other sister and our mom didn’t clue me in on any of their plans for the day, I didn’t make the 2-hour trip and instead stayed here in Madison.
This post is to promote a new video I added to my relatively spare but strangely bustling YouTube channel, and it’s about the Christmas tree set up in my apartment this season. But there’s something I must confess (no, not that): I haven’t really gotten into the Christmas spirit this year.
Now, you’ve probably taken a glance at that video’s title and thought, “Gee, Allison, you have a tree and decorations set up, so you must be in the holiday spirit.” Well, I decorate my apartment each holiday season for two reasons: To let the great decorations I have in storage out of the broom closet for several weeks at the end of each year (and I have some nice ornaments), and to try to perk myself up and get into the holiday spirit.