Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dec. 25 - Lisa's Musings on Every Day Life

Christmas morning. Rain and muddy paw prints when I was hoping for snow.

My two dogs, Ryan and Driver, spent about 10 minutes dismantling their Christmas presents. Both not-so-tiny reindeer were previously purchased at post-holiday prices last year.

Ryan, the older and larger one with the brown reindeer, is a master at removing anything that squeaks from a toy. I probably should just quit wasting my money buying him toys. But he gets so much pleasure from dismantling them; it's one of his true pleasures in life.

He doesn't have many.

Driver, on the other hand, the one with the white reindeer, savors his toys. Well, until Ryan's done destroying his, and sees that younger brother's is still intact. Then he uses a couple of plans to get the other toy, which can include, but are not limited to, wrestling and distraction techniques.

This morning, distraction seemed appropriate, and it went something like this. Jump up, run to the picture window, barking loudly. In dog-speak, I think this means 'Hey, Driver, there's something really good outside. You don't want to miss it.'

At some point, Driver will smarten up and realize when he's being played and bring his toy with him to check it out. This morning, he left the toy unattended. Bad choice.

But Driver's just a pup, 10 months old, and he already runs circles around Ryan in the brain's department when it comes to things like retrieving and agility. Eventually, he'll figure it out.

He'll go look of course, but he'll start carrying his toy with him.

As for my Christmas? As mentioned yesterday, I pretty much blew to bits my plan not to spend any money on Christmas. That'll teach me not to go to a store like Borders where I am not capable of just saying no.

Since people are already reading this new daily blog, I've had several ask what I bought myself. I promised them an answer today.

So, shamefully, here's the list (with some self-delusional justifications for each.)

"The Christmas List," by Richard Paul Evans, which I'll have finished by late afternoon. I'm already 87 pages into this very sweet 350-page book about a guy whose obit mistakenly appears in the paper and he finds out just what his supposed friends really think of him. Ironically, he reads the comments posted on the newspaper's Web site. How's that for fitting?

What can I say? It's Christmas. One must read a sweet story that you know will have a happy ending one day out of the year, right?

"Return to the Hundred Acre Wood," by David Benedictus, in the tradition of A.A. Milne.

I'm a sucker for Winnie-the-Pooh and friends, so what's not to get excited about when presented with a new take on his adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood?

Plus, I plan to draw a few pictures in crayon when I'd done. They'll go on the 'frig as promised in a column earlier this year.

And yes, I'll share my attempts at being an artist.

"The Calorie King's Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter," in preparation for the Great Diet of 2010, which you'll read about in the paper on Dec. 31. Perhaps even sooner, if you can convince my editor to put the story online under the opinion section.

So, if you're chomping at the bit to know about this adventure sooner, e-mail Michelle at and bug her to post it asap.

"The Old Farmer's 2010 Almanac," and companion calendar.

It's a family tradition. And a handy guide when it comes to fun gardening trivia. Some farmers tell me they still follow some of its advice. I look at it as a trusty resource for when to plant what in my garden.

I figure it will come in handy in 2010 as part of a personal quest to be a bit more self-sustaining by growing some of my own food. That's if the deer and rabbit fail to figure out how to work around this year's new fencing. Then, there's always the Ann Arbor and Chelsea farmer's markets to frequent.

And last, but certainly not least, "U is for Undertow," by Susan Grafton. I've read all the other letters, I certainly can't stop now. It would be unAmerican. Or something.

So as the noon hour descends, it's time for some leftover Christmas Eve ham and yams and a quiet afternoon of reading.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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