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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When the tax man cometh, what are you gonna tell him about your charitable deductions?

Throughout the development of US civil society (and credibly, the non-profit sector), citizens have had the unique privilege to decisively care for, protect, and preserve the institutions that have enabled the growth of American society, and the charitable tax deduction has been a significant part of this social exchange.

The non-profit community consists of hospitals, universities, libraries, museums and theatres, civil rights organizations, community development organizations, and a myriad of other social assistance providers. Creating this protective layer within our society has enabled this country to supplement government services in a way that is unmatched in other nations, and charitable contributions have been an essential part of building such a strong sector.

The Revenue Tax Act of 1917 ensured that Americans would be able to receive attractive tax benefits as a result of offering contributions to government recognized charities. While this model has been replicated in different corners of the world, the early century timing of this legislation enabled the non-profit sector in the United States to grow during times of both economic growth and hardship, political celebration and uncertainty, military peace and warfare, and both decline and regrowth in the private sector, as we are now observing.

In every aspect of preserving the values and advantages of civil society, our national history points us to the time during which leaders encouraged citizens to create organizations (and provide resources that support them) so that we may enjoy healthy communities and the standards of an excellent quality of life. Supporting non-profit organizations was not simply an act of generosity and benevolence. Instead, it marked a time when strengthening the voluntary sector was a privilege of those who were able to do so – and more importantly, it was a responsibility.

As shareholders guide the success of corporations in the private sector and elected officials direct growth in the government sector, the onus is on us, the general public, to drive progress in the Third Sector – the voluntary world of non-profit organizations. While volunteering, donating, and serving on the boards of non-profit organizations are certainly the most well-known ways to strengthen the sector, there is also the opportunity to partner with policy thinkers to think though how we can ensure the continuity and expansion of legislation that protects the sector and the key component that sustains it - the charitable deduction.

Conversations are currently underway in Congress about how laws regarding charitable tax deductions may be altered, which would severely impact the system of 1.6 million public charities, private foundations, and religious congregations governed by current legislation.

Here are a few ways that you can be an active participant towards ensuring that these conversations work towards a most beneficial end for the Third Sector:

1. Stay informed – Organizations like Independent Sector have a strong grasp on the conversations that shape policy related to the non-profit sector. At the very least, checking the website once a week (www.independentsector.org) will enable the non-profit community to remain aware of relevant news.

2. Add your voice – In 1976, Congress passed legislation that outlined the types of nonpartisan lobbying activities that non-profits may conduct. With guidance from the non-profit organisations that mean the most to you, be sure that your voice and presence are part of the important conversations that are happening now.

3. Do something…and NOW – The economic messiness of the past three years places us in a unique position: with the devolution of government programs and services, the non-profit sector has the opportunity to strengthen the laws that govern its impact and ensure a much more sustainable voluntary sector. By being in touch with your elected officials, offering support to the non-profit organizations in your community, and actively convening to build knowledge and familiarity with proposed changes to legislation, your voice can be part of the movement to further protect and preserve the sector that has added tremendous benefits to Americans.

By strengthening the support for legislation (like the Revenue Act of 1917) that ensures the wellbeing of a strong Third Sector, we as a national community can continue to provide and benefit from the superior services, care, and human connections provided by healthy and sustainable non-profit organizations.

Know that you can be a part of building something big, and be sure to take steps now.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I've got to be the most unemployed professional you know

Seriously!  My career has been FULL of amazing experiences, but nothing beyond 2.5 years. I've had short term contracted work, fellowships, and gigs that were more work-visa dependent than I'd prefer. Is this normal?!?!?!?

I've been thinking about researching cities (and that, girlfriend, means booking a flight/train/bus ride!).  I've rung the alarm and put in some resumes at organizations in Philly, NYC, DC, Raleigh, etc.  Just the other day, I set my sights on Toronto.  It's a fantastic center of culture, commerce, and great living.  The festivals, concerts, restaurants are never-ending.

It'll be tough, though, to find myself in a new city, aiming to live in a new country (I've lived in Canada for 2 years, but I still need to take care of all the legal stuff),  and getting myself into a new job. But this challenge, my friends, is one that I can't wait to take on.

Here are a few ways that I've pounded the pavement - please please please, send along thoughts on how you've aimed to do the same.  Would LOVE to put your ideas to the test!
  1. Network like crazy.
  2. Volunteer at events, meetings, and conferences.
  3. Find mentors in the field you work in, the city you want to live in, and those golden folks who you want to be like when you grow up.
  4. Get noticed (for me, it's on platforms like my blog, my LinkedIn profile, and making special requests for e-introductions.
  5. Getting in front of people.  Whether it's a 15 second elevator chat or an hour long pow-wow, getting in front of people gives them a sense of who you are - genuinely - and that means as much as a well oiled resume ANY day!
Cheers,
(an unemployed, but faithful) Allyson

Sunday, May 8, 2011

If I were a Community Foundation President

I've been involved in community philanthropy since 2006 (entered the nonprofit sector a few years before), and I've gained a lot - it's what I know, and it's what I do. I've sacrificed a lot, too (family, community, personal life, etc). I've moved around quite a few times to chase the occupational ladder (South Carolina, NYC, Italy, Canada....) in a short time, and I've begun thinking on how my next transition could be a more permanent one. 

I'm thinking heavily about what it takes to lead a community foundation.  Whether its an older, asset heavy CF in the States, or a blossoming, passion-rich fund getting started in South America, I'm thinking and praying heavy on what the Lord has in store for me.

Some critics may argue that you need years in the field to take the helm of a foundation.  I couldn't disagree more.  With much purpose and intent, I've banged on this door of professional opportunites, secured the work visas, packed my bags, and shuffled from contract to contract to gain experience worth its substance in years. A community foundation doesn't need a leader with years' experience supporting why something shouldn't be attempted.....it needs a leader with vision, persistence, and resilience encouraging why a project should be attemped, and will be accomplished!


My mom always says to believe in what I want, and speak it.  So I am.

If I were a community foundation president, it would be in a diverse community where there is a democratic concern for equal well-being.  On second thought, if a community doesn't have this kind of culture, maybe it's EXACTLY where I need to be............

ciao y'all!
a

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tips 5 of 100 to become a Health Nut

We're on the brink of spring, and do you know what that means?!?!?!?!?

IT'S THE SEASON FOR MORE HEALTHY, REASONABLY PRICED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!!!!!

I can't WAIT to get my grocery store shop on...I've already stocked up on papaya and avacados....just waiting for some other seasonal goodies to come in.  It'll be a welcome relief now that spring is getting closer. 

I came across this list of  100 Habits to a Healthy Nutritional Lifestyle.  I'll try to adopt 5 per week.

Here goes Week 1:
  •  Make sure that 80% of food purchased in the grocery store is 100% in its natural form (fresh/unprocessed).
  • Cut out butter, margarine, sauces and sugars.
  • Choose plain nonfat yogurt - add natural ingredients for taste.
  • Consume at least 8 glasses of water per day.  (Check!)
  • Use natural nut or seed butter.
Sounds interesting.  Will keep u posted on the progress :)

Ciao y'all!
Allyson

Friday, March 11, 2011

80 Days till the Career Touchdown


Yup.  That there be a Clemson Tiger, Numbered at #1, making a touchdown (in Carolina's FACE, by the way!)  It's been only a few years since James Davis made that move, but a touchdown of a different kind is coming up in 80 days.  I hope.

I love, love, LOVE my work in Canada, but like all good things, my contract is coming to an end, and while my awesome colleagues have worked hard to extend my stay a little bit longer, an environmental change is imminent, and I've got to admit....I'm a bit nervous!!!

These days, the job search is harder than ever -  we're just coming out of a really bad economic downturn and obscene levels of unemployment have a whole lot of seasoned professionals lined up for the jobs that I'm hoping to pursue.  This is a tough reality.

The one thing that brings me confidence is recognizing the victories each day. I've got some awesome friends and colleagues who sprinkle bits of sunshine on the search everyday, and they reach out in ways that I could never imagine.  My girlfriend Gabrielle told me a few months ago (when my furious search started) that I've been planting seeds - and it was such an assuring realization....I HAVE been planting seeds - every day, and it's so satisfying to be able to hear from admired colleagues that they've got their ears to the ground for me, that they'd love to write a letter or serve as a reference.  I had a few victories today, and I can't tell you how good it feels to know that there are people who really do want to lend a hand in a productive way.

So - nothing really special about today's post.  Just that this job search isn't easy by any means - it's even harder now because of all the chaos in the market, which stretches itself across all sectors.  If you're in the same boat as I am, it'd be great to connect - just to share ideas, encouragement, and resilience in what we're about to do.

Ciao y'all!
Allyson

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Wish List for Days Like Today (when a pick me up is long overdue!)


I keep an ongoing list of fun and quirky things that I really want, and in some cases, I treat myself to, but only when they're on sale.   Some of them, like a Mercedes 560sl, I won't get on impulse, but I like to keep an evolving list, as it's great to keep in mind what "I'm always looking for" in case I happen upon it.  Here are a few things that have stayed on the list for a while......

  1. 5 well fitting short sleeve white t-shirts
  2. The original version of TableTopics
  3. 3 white sweaters
  4. A cool bow tie
  5. Some CD's by Israel & New Breed CD , the Dave Matthews Band, and Nelly
  6. Some flattering gold-toned lip gloss
  7. Wreath making tools and station set-up
  8. Really supportive sports bras (like the outdated UnderArmour one I got a few years ago)
  9. A Hudson's Bay Point Blanket
  10. An Ottawa sweatshirt/jacket
  11. A few bottles of Moscato d'Asti
  12. The Travel Book by Lonely Planet
  13. Cosby Show DVD's (all the seasons)
  14. Cirque du Soleil performance DVD's
  15. An iPod
  16. An awesome wrap dress from Kania
  17. The perfect facescrub
  18. Cashmere Socks
  19. Janet Jackson's Red Velvet Album
  20. A great long sleeve formal dress

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Edmonia Lewis

  • Mary Edmonia Lewis (ca. July 4, 1845 – ca. 1911) was the first African American and Native American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world. She was of African American, Haitian and Ojibwe descent.
  • Lewis crafted her own sculpting tools and sold her first piece, a sculpture of a woman’s hand, for $8. She opened her studio to the public in her first solo exhibit in 1864.
  • A major coup in her career was participating in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. For this, she created a monumental 3,015-pound marble sculpture, The Death of Cleopatra, which dramatically portrayed the queen in the throes of death. Of the piece, J. S. Ingraham wrote that Cleopatra was “the most remarkable piece of sculpture in the American section” of the Exposition. Much of the viewing public was shocked by Lewis’ frank portrayal of death, but the statue drew thousands of viewers. After being placed in storage, the statue was lost. After 120 years, it was discovered in a Sotheby’s auction. After authentication, it was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Lois Mailou Jones



  • After marrying Haitian artist Louis Vergniaud Pierre-Noel in 1953, Jones traveled and lived in Haiti. In many of her pieces one can see the influence of the Haitian culture, with its African influences, which reinvigorated the way she looked at the world. Her work became more abstract and hard-edged, after her marriage to Pierre-Noel. Her impressionist techniques gave way to a spirited, richly patterned, and brilliantly colored style. Further travels to eleven African countries enabled Jones to synthesize a body of designs and motifs that she combined in large, complex compositions.
  • In 1980, she was honored by President Jimmy Carter at the White House for outstanding achievements in the arts. Her paintings grace the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of American Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Portrait Gallery, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the National Palace in Haiti, and the National Museum of Afro-American Artists and many others.
  • As her biographer Tritobia Haves Benjamin told Beth Baker of "Ebony", "She is a reflection of the varied facets that represent American art. Just as American art has unfolded, embracing different styles and different cultures, so too has Jones' career."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Augusta Savage

  • Augusta Savage (February 29, 1892 – March 26, 1962) was a sculptor whose works were associated with the Harlem Renaissance. In New York, she enrolled in a free art program at Cooper Union while taking in washing to make ends meet. Subsequently, she was selected to participate in a summer program in France but was denied by the French government because of her race. Savage publicized the incident and while the decision was not reversed, she did receive an offer to study with a leading sculptor, Herman Atkins MacNeil.
  • In 1934, Savage became the first African-American artist to be elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.
  • Known for her figurative sculpture and devotion to teaching younger African American artists such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence and Ernie Critchlow, Savage was an icon of the Harlem Renaissance and Works Progress Administration periods.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thank you Lord today for...

The future....

Not knowing what's in store...
Being inspired by the infinite possibilities...
And having faith that you've got it all in Your Hands. 

I love you, Jesus!

Love,
Allyson

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Deborah Willis

  • Deborah Willis, PhD, MacArthur Fellow, photographer, scholar, historian and griot, is widely acknowledged as the doyen of Black Photography.
  • She is the award-winning author of "Reflections in Black," a prodigious book published in 2000, which documents the photographed lives of African-Americans by African-Americans, 1840 to the present. Willis is the chair of the photography and imaging department at the Tisch School of the Arts, and in the lead-up to the eventful 2008 presidential election, she penned the best-selling book, "Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs."
  • Favorite Quote - And never would I ever dream that someone was actually watching my work and compiling information until I received the call about the MacArthur Genius Award in 2002. I didn’t even know that anyone was thinking that I had created a new field that was overlooked in the larger field of photography. That’s something that changed my life in terms of thinking about this work…what a way to say: “good job, girl.” That’s why I never think about the future, I just live for the day.

Who is behind camera #1?

I've got to admit - when it comes to black women in the arts, I can chat about literature, theatre, film, and dance, but I'm a bit rusty in the disciplines of the visual arts.  I know my ladies whose skills represent the lowcountry of South Carolina - Cassandra Gillens and Dianne Britton Dunham, to name a few. 

And I've been introduced to ladies whose works frequent the Studio Museum in Harlem - Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker are the ones I really really admired. 

But on a national and historical scale, I've got to do my homework!!!

And that, I'm happy to say, is a profound lesson in my Black History Month Journey - exploring the impact of black female artists on the visual arts world is something I can't wait to dig into!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Nikki Giovanni


  • One of the most widely read American poets of our time, Giovanni has taught writing and literature at Virginia Tech since 1987, where she is a University Distinguished Professor. She has written more than two-dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books, and three collections of essays. She has also received 21 honorary doctorates.
  • With ever-growing popularity, Giovanni has received many honors and awards for her work, including numerous honorary degrees, the NAACP Image Award for Literature in 1998 and 2000, and the Langston Hughes Award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters in 1996. She has also been named Woman of the Year by several magazines, including Mademoiselle, Essence and Ladies Home Journal.
  • Favorite Nikki quote - Her book, Love Poems (1997), was written in memory of Tupac Shakur and she has stated that she would “rather be with the thugs than the people who are complaining about them.”

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Ruby Dee

  • Dee is a member of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts shares this of Ruby and her iconic husband, Ossie Davis: They are one of the most revered couples of the American stage, two of the most prolific and fearless artists in American culture. As individuals and as a team they have created profound and lasting work that has touched us all. With courage and tenacity they have thrown open many a door previously shut tight to African American artists and planted the seed for the flowering of America's multicultural humanity.
  • Favorite Ruby quote – “God, make me so uncomfortable that I will do the very thing I fear.”

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Lena Horne


  • Horne was long involved with the Civil Rights movement. In 1941, she sang at Cafe Society and worked with Paul Robeson. During World War II, when entertaining the troops for the USO, she refused to perform "for segregated audiences or for groups in which German POWs were seated in front of African American servicemen",according to her Kennedy Center biography.
  • "What people tend not to fully comprehend today is what Lena Horne did to transform the image of the African American woman in Hollywood," said Donald Bogle, a film historian.
  • A favorite Lena quote - It`s not the load that breaks you down, it`s the way you carry it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Eartha Kitt


  • What can I learn from Ms. Kitt?  When you're forced to leave (a job, city, country) - BRING IT ON!!! When First Lady Claudia Johnson was offended by Ms. Kitt's perspective (Kitt remarked, “You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot.”) - she was blacklisted from performing in the U.S!!!  So she made a name for herself in Europe and Asia.  That's how big girls do it!
  • What would I ask her? Given your clear reputation as a sex kitten (which you carried with class!), what is your perspective on how black women are portrayed in today's hip-hop culture (videos, lyrics, and overall image)?
  • What's my favorite Kitt quote?
I`ve always said to my men friends, If you really care for me, darling, you will give me territory.
Give me land, give me land!!!

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Anika Noni Rose


  • You may know her as Yasmine from her fierce role in For Colored Girls, or you could even remember hearing her lovely voice in Disney's first animated movie featuring an African American princess (remember Tiana?!?), you might also remember her role as Lorrell Robinson in Dreamgirls
  • What would I ask her?  How can we, as moviegoers and Broadway supporters, strengthen the demand for leading roles for black actresses?
  • One of the clearest memories from For Colored Girls is Yasmine's monologut in the hospital scene.  Take a look at an interview done by Cinemablend.com:
That hospital monologue is where you see the change, with the camera that just pushes in on you. Were you more prepared for that because of your theater background, and how did you prepare it?


I prepared it the same way I prepare theater, absolutely. I think the words are so poignant and so strong, I wanted them to be heard. I wanted them to be heard for every single woman who has gone through something when they're had their spirit stripped from them. So that was my focus point, deep within those words, to find out where she's coming from, and to make sure that I understood it as strongly as I could.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Day 8 - Alma Woodsey Thomas



  • What can I learn from her?  Never say never.  Ms. Thomas really embraced her career as a painter at age 68, after a long career as a teacher. 
  • What do I admire most about her? I appreciate that she always pursued art:   promoting arts in the community - particularly with youth, engaging in networks of artists, and always training so that her own skills could be honed and sharpened. 
  • What would I ask her?  There aren't many women artists that are noted in the Harlem Renaissance.  Who would you say was at the forefront of the visual arts at that time?
Ciao!
Allyson

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Day 7 - Toni Morrison



  • Toni Morrison is a literary giant of the 1980s and 1990.   Her book Beloved won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize; in 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Her other major works include Song of Solomon (1977), Jazz (1992) and Paradise (1998). Morrison was named the Goheen Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University in 1987.
  • In 1968 Toni Morrison moved to New York City, where she became a senior editor at Random House. Authors who were published as a result of her work include Angela Davis, Henry Dumas, Toni Cade Bambara, Muhammad Ali, and Gayl Jones.
  • As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.  - Toni Morrison

Go grab something sweet and warm, and have coffee with Toni here

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Day 5 - Keina Davis

  • One of the major goals of Keina’s work is to “inspire us to make connections between our ancestors and ourselves, between one culture and another, between the community and the individual.”
  • Mrs. Davis is featured in Imagining Ourselves: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women.(I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!) This is an interactive exhibition and anthology that debuted on March 8, 2006, organized by the International Museum of Women . A preview of the exhibit debuted at the United Nations in March 2005.
  • See Keina's works at http://www.sivadart.com/intro.html.
Ciao, lovelies!

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Day 4 - Kathleen Battle

  • Kathleen Battle's lyric soprano voice and unique artistry have captivated audiences around the world, making her one of the most acclaimed singers of our time. She has appeared on the stages of the world's leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the opera houses of Vienna, Paris, San Francisco and Chicago.
  • Kathleen Battle's appearance on the PBS broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera's 1991 season opening gala won her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Classical Program on Television in the USA.
  • The question is not... if art is enough to fulfill my life, but if I am true to the path I have set for myself, if I am the best I can be in the things I do. Am I living up to the reasons I became a singer in the first place?  - Kathleen Battle
See Kathleen's rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot with the Boys Choir of Harlem here .

Ciao y'all!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Day 3 - Thelma Golden

  • Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, USA
  • In 1991, Thelma took a position at the Whitney Museum of American Art, one of the nation's premier art institutions. Golden used her position to open up the museum to previously under-represented artists including women and people of color.
  • Golden serves on the Graduate Committee at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, is on the boards of Creative Time in New York and the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA) in London, and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Grab a coffee and hang out with Thelma  - her TED talk from 2009 is here: 
http://www.ted.com/talks/thelma_golden_how_art_gives_shape_to_cultural_change.html

Ciao lovelies!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Day 2 - Debbie Allen


  • Studied with Ballet Nacional and Ballet Folklorico (Mexico)
  • While still a cast member of Fame she became the first African American woman hired by a television network as a director in prime time. In 1989, after directing episodes of Fame, she co-wrote, produced, directed, choreographed and starred in The Debbie Allen Special for ABC.
  • For over twenty years, Allen's contributions to television, on the three major networks and in syndicated programming, have highlighted the maturity of a performer and artistic producer with an impressive spectrum of talents in the performing arts.
Grab a glass of water, and hang out with Debbie here. 

Ciao lovelies!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Day 1 - Judith Jamison


  • Artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 1989
  • Was honored with the Kennedy Center award alongside Stevie Wonder in 1999
  • Under her leadership, the company built a gleaming new $56 million headquarters at Ninth Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan.
Grab a tea and spend some time with Judith here. 

I Love her Fierce! 28 Days of Black Women in the Arts


Hey hey hey!

I'm back to being 100% and IT'S ABOUT TIME!  January has passed, and I'm got to connect with my girl, Jami, from Atlanta - and chatting with girlfriends always makes me feel sooooo much better.

I was thinking - Black History Month is such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate those that have paved the way before us, and I'd really like to honor black women - especially those in the arts.  It's great to learn more about those that have made the field what it is, and I'm really happy to be a part of it!

What's your Black History Month gonna be about?

Friday, January 21, 2011

21 Reasons for January to be OVER


Live every day to the fullest.  I'm trying dang hard to, but these winter blues have me wanting February, March, and April to high tail it into 2011.   The New Year wasn't the best (had to say goodbye to Mom, King Oui Oui (my hilarious Bichon), and South Carolina), so January wasn't too joyful this year.

I'm really pressing to get through this month happily, but I'm really looking forward to the days ahead. I'm gonna limit my venting to 21 statements.  After all, it is January 21 today, and I shouldn't have more than 1 complaint per day.

I think through this writing excercise, it'll make me acknowledge the blessings that January has brought along with the complaints.....
  1. January wasn't as fun as December.  There is no competition. 
  2. January in Ottawa is just too darn cold. The wind chill makes it go soooooooo way below 0 that I sometimes think I've been transported to the Arctic like Dorothy was blown to Oz.
  3. January requires too much wardrobe consideration.  I'm from South Carolina, and I'm running out of winter clothes to wear (but no shortage of coats, mind you..a lady's gotta be warm!)
  4. January is too windy.  January's winds make my skin is so dry even presciption creams, Aveeno (3 DIFFERENT KINDS!), Palmer's Cocoa Butter, and even Vaseline can't help me.
  5. January has no big special events planned for me.  My girl's wedding isn't until FEBRUARY!
  6. January doesn't give enough time for beginning-of-the-month stuff to get done. When people get back from the holidays, it takes a good week to get back into the groove of things.  By that time, the month's almost done!  
  7.  January has short days.  I know they're technically longer, but my office has no windows - uffa!  It's dark when I get here and dark when I leave.
  8. January doesn't offer the best fruits and vegetables.  All the produce is so expensive now, and the fresh stuff...well, doesn't look so fresh.
  9. January has expensive flights.  I'm not sure why, but flights to SC are now $100 more expensive than they were last month - even for travelling in May!
  10. January skies aren't blue.  At least not here.  Here, they are quite gray, even when the sun is out.
  11. January makes me sleepy.  Not sure why, but I'm sooooooooooo tired.  EVERY day!  I bumped up my iron intake, but it's not helping....
  12. January nightlife isn't July's.  Who wants to shovel snow off the car at 2 AM after the club?
  13. January has awful grocery uptake.  I don't drive, so getting groceries in the winter is an extra-curricular project in itself. 
  14. January has no holidays in Canada.  No, Jan. 1 doesn't count.  Since we're not at work in January before January 1, there's nothing to take a holiday from.  At least there's MLK day back home. 
  15. January has all the sick people in the doctor's office.  I don't know why, but all my regular doctor's appointments were scheduled for January.  Wrong move. 
  16. January has all the sick people in my office.  Colds seem to jump from person to person.  Glad I've had my round!
  17. January doesn't give the best photos. There's so sun, so I'm finding that I look sooooooo pale in pics. I use a bronzer, and that's helping.
  18. January adds on lbs.  Whether it's from all that comfort food, or all the layers of clothes, I just feel heavy. 
  19. January sees everyone at the gym.  Just when Gym and I were forming a special bond, all these resolution-keeping-lunatics got in the middle of what we had.
  20. January sees higher utilities.  I haven't seen the bills yet, but I'm home more in January, so it makes sense, right?
  21. January is in a space that's hard on the soul.  December was joyful, and February will be romantic.....but what has the commercial world done for January? 

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