(Pictured: Alicia Keys and Usher perform in 2004.)
I am occasionally asked to bring this feature into the new millennium, so here.
November 26, 2004, was Black Friday. Network news reports tonight say that retailers expect this year’s holiday sales figures to be similar to those in 2003, and that gift cards are growing in popularity among holiday shoppers. The networks also report on the continued unrest surrounding the disputed presidential election in Ukraine and the request by political groups in Iraq that elections scheduled for January be postponed due to continuing political violence there. Speaking briefly with reporters in Texas today, President George W. Bush doesn’t have much to say. He hopes the Iraqi elections will go forward as scheduled and that the Ukraine crisis “will be resolved in a way that brings credit and confidence to the Ukrainian government.” Also during his five-minute press availability, Bush teases a reporter he does not recognize for being unshaven. In Duluth, Minnesota, it snows today; it is the latest date recorded for the first measurable snowfall of the season since records have been kept.
Three of the nation’s top college football teams are in action today. Sixth-ranked Texas defeats #22 Texas A&M 26-13 and #14 LSU blows out Arkansas 43-14. Thirteen games are played in the National Basketball Association. The Seattle Supersonics run their league-best record to 12-and-2 with a 92-79 win over New Jersey.
The top movies at the box office this weekend include National Treasure, starring Nicholas Cage, and The Incredibles. Two holiday-themed movies, Christmas With the Kranks and The Polar Express, are also in the top five. On TV tonight, CBS airs Joan of Arcadia, JAG, and the top-rated show of the night, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. ABC presents Eight Simple Rules, Complete Savages (a sitcom starring Keith Carradine as a single dad raising five sons, executive-produced by Mel Gibson), Hope and Faith, Less Than Perfect, and 20/20. FOX airs the 2002 theatrical movie Mr. Deeds, starring Adam Sandler. NBC has two episodes of Dateline NBC, including a two-hour retrospective on Tom Brokaw’s 22-year career as anchor of NBC Nightly News. Brokaw will leave the anchor chair to Brian Williams after next Wednesday’s broadcast.
On the Billboard Hot 100, “My Boo” by Usher and Alicia Keys is #1 for a fifth week. (“There’s always that one person that will always have your heart / You never see it coming ’cause you’re blinded from the start”) “Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg is #2. On the adult-contemporary chart, “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys is in its ninth week at #1. The top song on Hot Country Singles is “Mr. Mom” by Lonestar. The new #1 album on the Billboard 200 is Encore by Eminem.
Perspective From the Present: We spent Thanksgiving 2004 with Ann’s family in Virginia. Here’s a page from my journal about Friday, November 26:
We had been playing with puzzles early in the evening, and later, while some of the family was making smores out on the deck, [my niece, Jocelyn, who was two] realized she had lost her sippy cup, which she carries constantly. We searched for it high and low, upstairs and down, and when Laura finally found it, joy reigned supreme. “My sippy cup!” she exclaimed while jumping up and down. (Her favorite thing to do is jump up and down and giggle, which just melts me every time I see it.) She was so excited at finding her sippy cup that she ran back outside without filling it up. I ran after and pointed this out to her. She ran back inside and grabbed the handle of the refrigerator, pulling with all her might, grimacing as she was unable to open it. After I helped her, she grabbed the gallon of milk and gave it to me, again so excited that she ran out of the house without filling the sippy cup. Well, maybe you had to be there, but it was the most sweetly hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. Later, Cheryl took her downstairs to get ready for bed, and I assumed I wouldn’t see her again until morning. But just as I was about to turn in myself, they came back up and Cheryl said, “Jocelyn wants to sit on your lap until it’s time to go to bed.” And so she did, playing with my beard and snuggling and giggling, and leaving me utterly smitten yet again.