Search This Blog

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy


from "The Mutts"

"Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality." -Holly Hartman,

Those born in ox years (including 2009) tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly

The Year of the Mutt is a little different. Mutts are fearless, obstinate and of course, friendly! In 2009, the Mutts are reminding everyone to celebrate the most important trait of all -- inclusive exclusivity!

An Inclusive-Exclusive Tale

Inauguration Day - January 20 - the two oldest Mutts were in Washington, DC, holding two of the hottest "blue tickets" in town that would give us inclusive exclusive access to a "close-up" on the swearing in.

It was to be more exclusive than we could have imagined. 4 1/2 hours in the frigid cold, driven like Oxen, in circles. At 10:30am the "Blue Gate" was in sight with only 5,000 others with exclusive access in front of us.

So, a decision was made in keeping with an old Chinese proverb:

"It is not easy to stop the fire when the water is at a distance; friends at hand are better than relations afar off. "

Rushing several blocks in search of a bathroom, warmth and a TV, we joined the celebratory sisters and brothers in a Mexican restaurant. Amidst multiple shots of tequila, the crowd finally beat the loudest brothers into submission so that we could hear.

As the swearing ended, a voice rang out, "When does he get the ring?" We turned, asking, "What ring? He doesn't get a ring; he just gets Air Force One and the keys to the big White House." The voice insisted, "Nah, I know he gets a ring. Bush has to give it to him."

And so, as the shouts of celebration grew louder than the television commentary, we knew (in hindsight, of course) that we had witnessed this moment in complete Inclusive exclusivity!

We leave you with a proverbial Chinese thought:

"A Wise Man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it."


Friday, January 23, 2009


Washington, D.C. will never be the same again. It was one very BIG celebration.

The days were also full of symbols & many tears.

"You'll Never Walk Alone" - our people at the WE ARE ONE concert at the Lincoln Memorial...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bad Dogs

With today’s entry, we initiate a new department: The Bad Dog List. When something or someone bothers The Year of the Mutt, we shall respond post-haste with a toss of the keys and a wagging finger of reproach. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that our stern calls of “Bad Dog!” will make our selections stay or sit, much less correct their unruly actions. But you have to let a Mutt know when she’s engaged in improper conduct. So here’s the first of what will, by year’s end, be a very long list of Very Bad Dogs:

As many of you have heard by now, Tuesday’s History-Making Event was ruined for thousands of ticketed would-be spectators who waited and waited and waited and waited for what seemed like eons (six-to-seven hours in 11-degree wind chill smushed with other cold, sullen humans qualifies as at least an eon) only to be told, as they approached their respective entrances with an hour before show time, that there were no more people, with or without tickets, being admitted.
Among the many galling things about this situation was the lack of substantial information being put forth by those allegedly in charge of the inauguration as to the reasons for the lengthy delays. For those holding blue tickets, for instance, rumors of a broken metal detector floated through the crowd, though there were still no indications given as to whether those blue ticket-holders should call it a day well before being locked out and find a warm place to watch the swearing-in.
Things were reportedly worse for those holding purple tickets, many of whom were actual Obama campaign workers. Those poor folks were forced to huddle together in an underground pedestrian tunnel for hours and hours before being told to leave – which, even for those ticket holders fortunate enough to have gotten cleared and seated for the ceremonies, was just as arduous an ordeal.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chaired the whole party offered apologies and promises to investigate. Sorry, but both ring pretty hollow to those who yearned to share in an unprecedented moment in our nation’s life. We hear there are going to be “consolation prizes” being offered to those who have unused tickets. OK, we’re consoled. We would still rather have been close enough to see Aretha’s hat.
BAD DOG, INAUGURAL COMMITTEE – and that goes for the Secret Service and the Capitol Police, too!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Year of the Mutt

What is . . .

1. the Triple AAA family (hint: think African-American Armenian)

2. January 20, 2009

3. January 26, 2009 - Chinese New Year

Wait, Wait - don't tell me.


And, so we begin!

Friday, January 16

Yep, we are going to chocolate city on Saturday while we can still get across the Memorial Bridge. This is a ceremonial "eve" celebration of The Year of the Mutt (aka, TYOM).

In past years, you have gotten our Christmas cards (we will be posting a few to help your memory).

At some point, life became a little out of control, which required us to shift to New Year's Cards (and yes, we will post a few of these too). For some this also included an invitation to begin the "new" year with a dose of hoppin' John, Collards & Gumbo) This was an add-on for those close enuf to get there (as opposed to those close by thoughts, words & deed).

To celebrate 2009 - with all of its momentous events & window-dressing - welcome to the initial entry to the annual Blog greeting - TYOM! Not as tasty, perhaps, as gumbo; certainly not likely to have the tradition of insuring coins (hoppin' john) and bills (collards) - but certainly the promise is that

1. it will be different - it may even be amusing

2. ah, it will be, as they say, "inclusive" since that's what we've always been about, for better or worse.

3. it will be timely - not too much nostalgia - except when you hear (if you haven't already) the "whb" story

So, follow it's strange twists and you can take it or leave it - the best of all possible choices.

The Year of the Mutt

It begins with a long family tradition. Grandfather, Eugene M. Seymour (Yup, same name as one of the authors), who referred to himself as a mongrel, proud as he was of the New England, African-American by default & choice heritage, a family named Seymour. During civil rights and black power years (the 60's, right?), this was not so popular. But in the 1940's - Hey, this is what's happening!

In 1989, we began to hold up the family tradition, when the Seymour & Nahikian clan sent a 1989 "new" year greeting -

In 1994, however, the tradition became even more pronounced clear with the "new" year's greeting . . .

We promised not too much fast forward:
* a President who would certainly fit into any AAA celebration - elected in part by Chafin's 1st Presidential vote in the great state of OHIO, only 40 years after I, his mother, spent the summer of 1968 in protest of it all...ending with a magnificent encounter with the Chicago Police!


*President-elect Obama's respect for the Seymour-Nahikian long-standing family tradition, when - in a speech on date?, 2008 (prize for who can fill this in from a google) - said "I am just a mutt."

Celebrate - The Year of the Mutt with us as we make the Seymour-Nahikian family tradition a national phenomena!

(TYOM on-line store, where you will be able to collect the appropriate celebratory gear, is not open yet, but will be available soon. It will include TYOM Hoppin' John, TYOM cornbread mix, and of course, the TYOM door knocker now being designed. Limited editors of the historic cards are now being uploaded, but we haven't figured out how to take credit cards, yet!)