Monday, November 29, 2010

Normal Shopping Carol

Here's a little holiday song to get you in the mood for shopping!

Uptown in Normal

Uptown in Normal shoppers pause
Thinking they just saw Santa Clause!
Down through the alley with lots of toys
For Normal tykes
Bringing Christmas joys.

Ho, ho, ho!
To Normal we go!
Ho, ho, ho!
To Normal we go!
Uptown in Normal
Fun, fun, fun!
Buying some presents
For everyone.

First on my list
Are my friends so dear:
Bikes, books, perfumes
Will bring them cheer.
Maybe some comics
Or fresh baked bread
Will be the gifts
That I buy instead.

[Repeat Chorus]

Next are my co-workers --
What a team!
Restaurant gift cards
Will make them beam.
Just for myself
I think flowers will do.
And Merry Christmas
To all of you!

[Repeat Chorus]

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Normal Thanks Giving

There are so many things to complain about that distract me from all of the things directly around me that I should be thankful for, so I wanted to take this opportunity to express my thanks for...
*clean air and water
*autumn (my favorite time of year)
*friendly, helpful people at local stores
*the abundance of products and services to choose from
*first responders and everyone who devote their lives to our safety and well-being
*great co-workers
*a wonderful town to live in
*town staff and elected officials who work to make this a wonderful town
*opportunities to help others
*technology that is used to improve life
*favorite authors who keep writing novels that I enjoy
*all of the people who do the behind-the-scenes work that makes life better
*chocolate :)


[Not a complete list, by any means, and the items are not in any particular order.]

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Normal to Jesse: Happy 202nd Birthday!

Today, November 10, is Jesse Fell's birthday. Jesse Fell played a significant role in Normal's history. Everyone in Normal should do something today in recognition of Fell's contributions to this town: plant a tree, take a stroll around the ISU campus, visit the new statue of Fell, Davis, and Lincoln that is in front of the Center for the Performing Arts (in Bloomington), or drive down Fell Ave. and honk your horn in celebration. (Just kidding! I wouldn't want to upset the residents along that street.)

Jesse Fell has no Facebook page, Twitter account, or silly nickname like J-Fell. We can just think about him as a founding member of this community and imagine what his life was like as he played out his role in the history of Normal.

Happy Birthday, Jesse Fell!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Normal TV Shows

Some re-purposed TV shows with a Normal twist:

"Normal Days" -- sitcom about a middle-class family in Normal and "cool" family friend who rides his motorcycle up and down Veteran's Parkway

"Mr. Normal" -- oddball show about a talking horse illegally kept in a local subdivision

"Real Housewives of Normal" -- reality show about bickering fashionistas who spend a lot of time at local bars

"Welcome Back, Normal" -- heartwarming show about an ISU graduate who returns to teach misfits at a local school

"Big Normal" -- reality show in which a group of annoying people are locked in a (putty-colored, vinyl-sided) house with a tiny back yard for 3 months, waiting to see who hangs on to their sanity the longest

"Amazing Normal" -- 10 teams race around Normal, taking on challenges such as finding a parking place near the Post Office and going out to eat at a restaurant without reservations

"N.O.R.M.A.L." -- set during the Korean War, this show follows the antics of anti-government doctors (with funny nicknames) who amuse viewers with their sarcasm, sexual harassment, and mean-spirited pranks; occasionally makes fun of the local culture

"Futurenormalama" -- cartoon featuring various creatures (evil robot, absent-minded professor, intelligent but odd looking female, and one Normal guy) living in Normal of the distant future (still lots of restaurants but they're floating in space)

"South Normal" -- cartoon featuring the adventures of snotty, foul-mouthed, completely selfish youth (will probably get canceled because it isn't cartoonish enough)

"Ally McNormal" -- special effects-laden drama/comedy about a skinny lawyer and her ongoing dating difficulties as she goes through all of the available (and a few of the married) men in Normal; only enough episodes for one season

"Normal Pickers" -- two Normal guys who try to find valuable items to buy and resell for a profit, but who can never seem to find anything over 15 years old in Normal

"Normal Anatomy" -- hospital drama focusing on the personal lives of doctors as they handle kids injured on the soccer field, teens with repetitive motion injuries to their texting fingers, people who were trampled when the store doors opened the day after Thanksgiving, and local elected officials suffering from hearing loss due to angry residents yelling at them for spending money on anything other than fixing the streets

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Normal Street Safety

I could never be a police officer because, among other things, I have a very low tolerance for traffic violations. Just today, I saw a bicyclist run two stop signs (at least he was riding in the street instead of on the sidewalk!) and I saw someone in a "big truck" (my description for any vehicle not a car) run a red light. And I was only driving for a grand total of maybe 15-20 minutes. So, I was impressed when I read about the traffic safety efforts being made by the New York City's Department of Transportation and the NYPD. They are working to make streets safer by getting the word to drivers about the importance of the 30 mph limit: "Hit someone at 40, there’s a 70 percent chance they’ll die. Hit someone at 30, there’s an 80 percent chance they’ll live. That’s why it’s 30." They are also going to ticket bicyclists who ride on sidewalks, go through red lights, and ride the wrong way on streets.

Raising awareness and increasing enforcement should make a difference, even in a huge city like NYC. Of course, they got a $150,000 grant to fund these efforts. If Normal is serious about encouraging and increasing safe bicycling around town, perhaps there is some grant money out there that could help.