Good News Friday

So we didn’t have a peaceful and uplifting inauguration this week, but there were some good things that happened this week that I wanted to mention…

In Thursday’s post, I talked about all the good news surrounding the inaugural poet/star, Amanda Gorman, including her best-selling books, her modeling contract with IMG, and her upcoming poetry appearance at the SUPER BOWL, of all things.

Yesterday it was announced that a second young inaugural star just got a MAJOR career boost. Ella Emhoff, daughter of newly-install “Second Gentleman,” Doug Emhoff (husband of Kamala Harris), ALSO just signed with the modeling agency IMG. Observers were quite entranced with Emhoff’s gold-bedangled plaid coat at the inaugural ceremonies, and internet searched for Miu Miu, the fashion line that made the coat, rocketed up 455% within 6 hours of the event.

Cole and Ella Emhoff, stepchildren of Vice President Kamala Harris, attend the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. (DOD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II). Photo used under a Creative Commons license shared by the copyright holder, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United State

Ella is a textiles student at Parson School of Design, and apparently fills her Instagram accounts with photos of our colorful, self-made knitwear. So, again, while her family connections brought her into the spotlight, I’m sure years of work went into her ability to take advantage of the world’s attention to her outfit. So congratulations to Ella for her courage and creativity. I’m sure “Momala,” as Kamala Harris is known to her stepchildren, is very proud!

A little less monumental but closer to home…I have an update on the aloo channa I made for last Monday’s Meatless meal. It was OK, but it didn’t know my socks off. However, I’m happy to report that letting the flavors meld for a couple of days did improve it. I ended up serving it on top of some braised purple cabbage, and that helped as well. The purple cabbage brought some contrast in terms of color, texture, and taste, and made it a less carb-heavy recipe. I’m not sure I would make it again, but my son and I have been enjoying having it for lunch this week.

But the best news of the week, in my opinion, was related to one of the happiest bits of news from 2020 that I never got around to talking about in the blog. Amongst all the darkest in 2020, there was one beautiful spark of light–the birth of a new baby panda cub at the National Zoo in Washington DC! Little  Xiao Qi Ji, (SHIAU-chi-ji), which means “little miracle” in English, made his debut on August 21, 2020.

 Xiao Qi Ji at 3.5 months old
Used under a Creative Commons license provided by the photo author, Bobbymartinez14

If you know anything about DC, you know we love our pandas. Unfortunately, any babies born in the US must be sent to China when they reach 4 years old as part of an international panda conservation program. So the city had been mourning its lack of young pandas since the latest one,  Bei Bei, left for China in 2019. The adult female panda at the Zoo,  Mei Xiang, was thought to be too old to have any more cubs, but the zoo officials gave it a try anyway. So when Xiao Qi Ji was born, Mei Xiang became the oldest panda to give birth in the US, and only the second oldest in the world. Little Miracle he was indeed, especially arriving during one of the least uplifting years of our history.

The zoo doesn’t put the panda cubs on display until they get older, although it is a moot point right now because the entire National Zoo is closed right now. However, on Wednesday the zoo held its first livestream featuring Xiao Qi Ji. So, YAY– I got to see him live via the Internet! How exciting!

You can’t see him live, but you can watch a recording of the livestream program below.

So more poetry and fashion to look forward to, rescuing some disappointing food, and an adorable baby panda appearance–pretty good news for a week, don’t you think?

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