You are currently browsing the daily archive for December 29, 2021.

What’s top of my mind: New Year’s Eve. Normally we don’t do anything on this most festive of nights; driving out to a bar in Arizona traffic is something to be avoided. I fall asleep around 1020 PM local time, after watching on television the ball drop in Times Square.* This year Someone and I exchange our Christmas prizes this evening. I plan to have some shrimp, something I associate with the holidays. There is a bottle of ‘the boy’ that is getting old; perhaps I will open it for the sake of the evening. Happy new year, everybody!

Where I’ve been: Barnes and Noble. Once upon a time long time ago in a faraway land, going to bookstores was a regular pleasure of mine. I have not been to one in a long while. On Boxing Day I went to the B&N in the nearby mall. Fascinating! – and not in a good way: the store seemed bereft of books. Rather it had a coffee shop doing a fine business, and a large section for puzzles/games. I went looking for blank journals, a daily planner, and some face calendars. These were minimal pickings at best. Alas, Babylon! These objects are going out like the antiquated bookstores that house them. This makes me sad.

Where I’m going: The nephrologist. The Good Doctor wants me to see one, based on my recent KFTs (kidney function tests). I can accurately predict what this doctor will say and do. I will be asked to do a 24- hour urine sample. He will redo the KFTs, and declare they are indeed ‘down’. He won’t have any advice, other than to keep hydrated and follow up with him in another six months so he can watch them decline. All docs is quacks.

What I’m watching: Statistics. Each December I review my goals and compare them to previous years. This includes my weight, the number of books read, the number of shirts made, the traffic stats on my blog, and the number of times I have rolled down grass hills. The scientist in me loves doing this sort of stuff, to see patterns and correlates to make predictions and plans for the new year.

What I’m reading: My 2021 journal. It’s amazing (and a bit disturbing) the events I forgot happened each year until I reread my daily entries. After I go over them, I make a list of the ‘highlights’ and put these in a summary in the back of the book for future reference.** Every year I read my former self fretting about the crisis de jour and realize not only have I survived them all I don’t even remember most of them. It is a comfort. Note to future self: keep this in mind when 2022 delivers onto you fresh crisis.

What I’m listening to: The little match girl. Every New Year’s Eve since I was a boy I read or listened toa recording of Mr. Anderson’s tale ‘The little match girl’. I had a Walt Disney LP with his stories; I was happy to find it on The Tube of Yous so I can hear it again. I suppose ‘The Mouse’ would not make such a recording now, as the story has all sorts of disturbing elements by today’s standards. While it is a sad story, it ends in glory, appropriate for entering into a new year.

It’s what’s on the menu

What I’m eating: Black-eyed peas. Every year Someone insists on black-eyed peas ate on the first day of the year. Last year we waited until New Years day to buy some, and Uncle Albertsons was fresh out! This sent Someone into a gummy panic of potential twelve months of bad luck. We managed to find a tinned version and ate that, to great relief. This Friday, as part of his prizes, I am giving him a bag of dried peas that I purchased a few weeks ago. Who says I ain’t considerate?

Who needs a good slap: No one leaps to mind. I can’t think of anybody at the moment. It’s too bad, as I’ve had some rancor rising on and off this week and it has no cathartic outlet. I need a Backpfeifengesicht. Spo-fans are requested to leave modest proposals in the comments and I will rate them on my now-legendary 1-5 scale.

What I’m planning: New Year resolutions. I have three for 2022; two are concrete/measurable goals and one is a philosophy of which to be mindful:

Every day have five minutes of sitting doing nothing.

I don’t remember a time when I had any. This shall be done with no music, no podcasts, and no activity – just sit still with my eyes closed and be quiet. Five minutes per day is the starting time; maybe in time it will expand towards 15 minutes. I think this will do me a lot of good. Let us hope so.

Every day discard a useless or unwanted item.

I wrote about this yesterday. I start 1 January with the bowl of replacement bulbs for strands of Christmas and Halloween lights we no longer have.

“No hurry; no pause

I recently read this and thought it a good slogan to apply to my 2022. I rush doing everything, as if there is some sort of timer goin. This rushed approach often causes emotions of vexation and feeling worn out – and mistakes are made. This is apparent when I am cooking: I bungle , I get frustrated, and by the time the dish is done I’m too tired to enjoy it. The point here is to slow down but keep going, like The Tortoise in the Aesop fable. I read 95% of the results wanted can be accomplished calmly putting one foot in front of other. “slow is smooth; smooth is fast”. Worth trying.

What’s making me smile: George the Cat. Every year at Christmas Brother #3 makes us all a calendar full up with family photos. He didn’t made one in 2020 and 2021 as nobody went anywhere to make such photos. For 2022 he made a ‘beefcake’ calendar for our niece, Warrior Queen, using twelve photos of Gorgeous George, B#3’s cat, in provocative pussycat poses. Yes yes yes I want one too; he is sending me a copy.

*I wake up briefly at midnight local time when the neighborhood idiots shoot off guns.

**I wish I had a shilling for each time we fail at recalling in which year so-and-so visited or which year we went to that-place. When this happens, I pull out my journals and look in the backs at the summaries until I find it, and then I read the actual entries – and remember. Many events would be lost to memory otherwise.

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December 2021

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018