It's the end of the world as we know it.

Okay, maybe the R.E.M tune isn't called for yet, but we're getting there bit by bit. Sort like the story of the frog in the pot of water, that doesn't notice the temperature gradually rising until it's too late. 

I watched the SOTU last night - AKA the State of the Union. It was a fantastic extravaganza, a reality TV show hosted by a master showman, a campaign rally targeting his base and anyone else with a preference for bumper sticker style politics. I was expecting at one point all the Republicans would be told to bend over and look under their seats for a prize. Unfortunately, they'd only see their own asses, which is where all too many of them have inserted their heads. I did appreciate that Nancy Pelosi followed up his theatrical bombast with a small gesture of her own - she tore up his speech. 

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Today's thoughts

I'm getting tired of The Facebook. Yes, it is a good way to stay connected with people and discover interesting things.  And share them. However, the vast majority of people don't give you back more than a like or a handful of emojis. And of course, none of your data is safe, all your info, as well as anything you post, is sifted through and sold. Or lost in yet another data breach. Not that a personal blog is private of course. Today I won't bother posting there, I'll just keep my own list here of "stuff", including a bit of a catch up on me. 

(Edit - I may do more of these, so subscribe if you want. And feel free to comment or email me.)

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All alone

Christmas Eve, and I'm home alone. And it's a good thing, because alone is different than lonely.

I had all my Christmas/Holiday shopping done so headed up to Wellington Street. It was a cold, but a sunny day - no more snow and the sidewalks are now walkable. I stopped to buy a loaf of bread from the bakery and some coffee beans from Bridgehead then dropped by O'Connell's pub. Shared a couple of beers  and some laughs with friends that were there, and had a pleasant phone call from my little sister. She wanted to know where/how she could get my book (iTunes) and just chat, Then it was handshakes and hugs all around and off to one of my other favorite haunts- the Carleton Tavern. Tomorrow is the annual Christmas dinner there, with free food, as well as gift parcels - for anyone, poor or not. I dropped off a couple of more of my books for the gift pile, then visited with the more friends. And got waylaid into helping, in between beers - rearranging furniture, folding cutlery and paper napkins, and opening a case of Stove Top Stuffing boxes. Last call was 6, but we stayed longer to help with last minute odds and ends, then finished off with some turkey sandwiches - courtesy of Sam. Finally headed home, past all the closed up shops, to a bowl of chili from the freezer, with toast. Not that fancy a meal, but still enough to encourage a bit of a nap. 

CBC2 is playing "Christmas Night Stream" now - non-stop classical Christmas music. Beautiful music, but my only regret was that there wasn't a playlist, so I didn't know what I was listening to. Then I remembered Shazam on my iPhone. Yay for technology! Nice music to browse the interwebs, share greetings with online friends, and sip some red wine. 

Tomorrow will be another visit with my daughter (and hubby and new baby) then an early dinner at the tavern and back home for the Doctor Who Christmas Special. 

All in all, a nice balance of time with friends and family, and time for me.

Merry Christmas Eve to all.

Happy New Year - 2013

... or New Years, if you prefer.

Once again, many of us will think of of resolutions, statements of intent, suggestions, vague possibilities - whatever we choose to call them.  2013 01 01_0002
Perhaps your process is to just take last year's to-do list, still full of tasks, relabel it 2013, and put it away again. Perhaps you start afresh with all the things you've always wanted to do in life. Perhaps you have only a few minor areas to focus on.
My suggestion would be to think small, do that Bill Murray tiny steps thing. Later on, when that task is done, or maybe when it's put aside - nothing wrong with recognizing a change in priorities - go ahead and pick something else.
I used a site last year for writers, called A Round of Words in 80 Days. The blog for the site describes it as 'the writing challenge that knows you have a life'. You decide on some SMART objectives, mostly related to writerly things, publish them on your blog, and report back on there and to the site twice a week - for 80 days. The cycle repeats, four times a year, with about a 10 day rest in between.
There is a strong community of writers via the site, as well as many on their Facebook site, a community always willing to praise and nudge as you work on developing new habits.
Seems a good way to effect change: pick some SMART objectives, commit to them publicly, gather a support group, repeat until a new habit.

As for my own resolutions - health has bumped up the priority list a bit. After putting out my back December 16, and spending days in bed, on painkillers, I eventually dragged myself out and started (or re-started) some back exercises. They are ones I got a few years ago last time this happened, ones I did a while, then stopped. Also added into my mornings some yoga routines, just to limber up. Plan is to exercise, write, take a break, then work on editing and publishing what I've done so far. Then - rest of the day for whatever.  

BTW - photo is view from my kitchen window, nice place to sit and write. Or just stare out and think - that's allowed too.