New Year’s Eve Day,

New Year’s Eve Day, and it rains. Beauty and Dorothea went to the Quaker meeting because Beauty asked to go. I went to the Y this morning, and at the last minute, though I had been planning to go with them, it suddenly felt better to just stay home. I had planned since yesterday, when Dorothea had told me that Beauty was going, that I would go too. The idea yesterday was what to do with the children. But that is a non-issue since they are at Mary’s house, where they spent the night. I don’t know. It just didn’t seem like my thing. It was a Beauty and Dorothea thing. It is disturbing to me that I go and I go, and I go alone. Oh well. I will just chalk it up to the split-brain thing.

So last night, I dropped the children off at their aunt’s. Dorothea had asked me to look into what could be an evening. She had been interested in what she had originally called a “Bangladeshi” restaurant that one of her friends recommended. Dorothea recommended that I call that friend and check it out. I wasn’t interested in that restaurant, and didn’t call the friend. I heard about the British commercial awards on the radio, but, like always, every year, by the time I hear about that annual event at the Walker Art Institute, it is already sold out. There were two musical things that I found in the paper that met my primary criteria–that they start before 9:00 pm–and that looked interesting. The Big Wu with Dean McGraw (I love listening to and watching Dean McGraw play–just makes me all tingly and goose-bumpy.) That was at the Cedar Cultural Center. At the Dakota was Nachito Herrera.

I had heard a recording of Herrera the day before on the Morning Show, playing Night in Tunisia. It was quite engaging. I have been listening to music on public radio quite a lot lately, especially since I have gone to the gym just about everyday for the last two weeks, and have listened to their music while I have been on the elliptical trainer. Also, I have been sitting at my laptop at the dining room table listing to 89.3 The Current while studying, writing, playing Tetris.

So anyway, I was frustrated when Dorothea came in last night and the first thing was she’d gotten the address of her restaurant. And she was not interested in the Big Wu. We went to the Badani, actually Kurdish. Quite good, very authentic. And we ended up stopping at the Gingko Coffeehouse, and listened to a folkie for a while. It was all okay. The Gingko is a place way under utilized by me. I think that they’ve got first rate music, and it is very simple to go there.

I think that humans

I think that humans imposing meaning on the world, whether it is really there or not. For instance, humans have great facility for recognizing faces. I see faces in wallpaper patterns, the grain of floorboards, see bunnies in cloud formations.

whydoesgodhateamputees has a good point. People are constantly attributing someone’s miraculous recovery from some disease or malady to devine intervention. If this happens, why don’t we see amputees limbs spontaneously regenerate?

It is all a story. We want our lives to have meaning.

Jesus Christ is born; James Brown dies; Gerald Ford dies; Saddam is executed. Is there meaning in the conjunction of there events?

The German Johnny Cash. The French lyrics of The Brazilian Girls. Anoushka Shankar and Sacred Indian Chants. (Googling “Anoushka Shankar” “sacred indian chant” returned only listings for eBay.) Some ideas of music that I have heard, that is in different languages. I like that.

Ah, to be a simple biological being. The universal energy. The brief flicker of the reality of life.

I cut my finger, I stub my toe, I curse. I am petrified by the thoughts of the terrible things that can happen.

The

madeline is knitting a

madeline is knitting a scarf for yuna. dorothea is knitting hats for premies in africa. liam has the knitting ring thing going on. i have addicted myself to tetris? also have started to dig into pmi cert. am at nina’s and this is from my pager.

Thoroughly addicted to Tetris.

Thoroughly addicted to Tetris. Even Liam, when he tried it, said “wow, that’s too addicting.” I am on my last days of vacation from work now. I hope to get into the groove of studying for my Project Management exam. Twistedly, I had this notion that I want to combine the addictedness of the Tetris with the studying for the exam. I need some way to get meditatively hypnotized into studying. That is a hard one, I know. I was just thinking that maybe I should sign up for the Spring quarter Project Management class at Saint Thomas. I am probably eligible for another pot of money for the New Year. Hmm. Sounds self-destructive.

I did try to sign up today for the MindRiver’s Buddhist class for January to March. Don’t know if that worked out. Their website was into PayPal, and I wasn’t. I sent an email to them but they appear to be gone until January 11.

Well, at least I have my Project Management stuff out. I did the practice test from one of the books. Am starting to get into the groove.

Tomorrow, we drive to see my mother. The children and I drove to my work so that we could fax something the the Amity organization for Yuna. We gassed up and got the car washed, and we stopped also at my cube and I got the binder from the exam prep class that I took this summer.

So my hope for these few days of vacation is to get myself addicted to studying, to exercise, and to not over-eat. Yikes.

I still have some Christmas cards to send, too. And it seems like I am on the cusp of some interesting stuff at work. Could turn out to be horrifying stuff. There is always that threat.

Well, it is off to bed for me.

Christmas come, and Christmas

Christmas come, and Christmas go. Well, actually, this is it. I am past it, in a way. The presents are opened. There are glockenspiels on the dining room table. We went out to eat last night at an Asian restaurant, though that may be the end of the tradition–no one seemed very pleased with the experience.

I am defraging the harddrive. Had trouble last night installing Microsoft Windows Media Player 10, which was a requirement for the little Memorex MP3 and radio player that I got Liam. So, now I am deleting programs (Java development this, Java development that, Harry Potter), moving files to the downstairs computer, and defraging.

Dorothea and the children headed off to her sister’s house. It is my Christmas present to have the day off. I am looking forward to a nice bath, perhaps a monthly cigar, and working on the Project Management certification. I need to, want to get back into that groove.

Madeline’s and Liam’s gifts

Madeline’s and Liam’s gifts are wrapped. I hate wrapping presents. No Christmas Eve shopping this year. I am ahead of schedule. I ended up at Target in Roseville. I was extraordinarily calm and serene. I had both children’s Christmas listings. The Playstations, iPods, digital cameras and so on–ha. But it is done.

All except the Christmas letter to Dorothea. Yikes.

The Solstice party here went off. It rained. That is first. Some familiar faces and some new ones. Pretty traditional. Yuna got a ride to the train station. People just don’t get dropped off at the train station that often in the United States.

Lying in the draining

Lying in the draining tub, not wanting to get out, I wonder if the correct word is “laying” or is it “lying?” January National Geographic article tells of the mystery of humpback whales floating in the water of Hawaii. Why would they do that? Not such a mystery to me.

Sunset Blvd.: Joe–he lied

Sunset Blvd.: Joe–he lied to Betty, he lied to Norma, he lied to himself–he never would have gone back to Dayton, Ohio. The actress wanted a comeback–and she got it. Max got one last chance to direct. Joe and Betty would have been happy together–poor, but happy. Gloria Swanson plays a character heavily based on Mary Pickford. Cecil B. DeMille plays himself. Gloria, I think, really does get to do a comeback picture. She looks like a mixture of Mary Pickford and Bette Davis. She had Joseph P. Kennedy, father of John F. Kennedy, as a lover. Joe financed her 1929 movie Queen Kelly, which was directed by Erich Von Stroheim. It was Stroheim’s copy of Queen Kelly that they were watching in the movie Sunset Blvd.

The movie title is an abbreviation. Blvd.

In 1950, Betty was twenty-two. Norma was fifty. I don’t know how old Joe was supposed to be–thirty-something, probably. Fifty, of course, don’t seem that old.

Life is an abbreviation.

I am in a similar situation, I think, at work, in that I am in a mainframe sort of group, converting to server. The mainframe guys don’t care for server.

Mary Pickford, who I think Norma Desmond was in at least part based, turned down that role for Sunset Blvd. It wasn’t that she couldn’t make the transition to sound; rather, her persona was that of a little girl, and she simply grew up.

Sitting at the diningroom table

Sitting at the diningroom table after taking Stella for a reasonably long walk. Headed south into the Macalester College Tangletown area. Nostalgia since that is an area that I came to the Cities to visit fellow college students the odd quarter century ago. Tonight for the first time in a long time it is cold outside. A bit of a nip in the air. I haven’t worn my scarf for some days, and didn’t tonight for the dog walk, but my neck was cold, and I wished that I had.

Just checked my junk email account, and thankfully all that is in there is less than twenty pieces of junk mail, not almost five hundred spam blog comments awaiting approval or rejection.

Also at the table are Christmas cards and Dorothea writing Christmas cards. I have gotten sidetracked. I got out the Palm Pilot for looking up addresses. The batteries–dead. So I have been waiting (a walk with the dog) for that to resynchronize. (Now realized that I could have just used the copy on the computer. Oh well. Such is my life.) So, now the Palm is resynched, and the Windows patches are updated to boot. So I am going to reboot.

Few and far between

Posts have gotten to be few and far between. I have made a few abortive attempts lately. But, as the Quakers say, none have risen to the level of ministry. I have thumb-typed my work’s two-way pager while riding the bus; I have started posts in the Google document editor; one day, I even sat down at Nina’s, got out the Palm Pilot, and was already to go, only to find that it was hung from the previous synchronization. Is it possible that the fates are against me?
Another deterent has been the amount of spam that I have been getting. I have tried the Moveabletype preferred method of queuing up unapproved emails, but all that has done is fill up my mailbox. I am sure that it’s possible that I have deleted legitimate comments while getting rid of the bad ones.
I just got back from picking up Madeline from a sleepover, and will soon depart to take her to a basketball game, her first of the season, and first in several years. She didn’t play last year. Liam is looking through the change jar for state quarters and filling a folio. Dorothea works. Yuna sleeps. Stella needs a walk. A brunch awaits me.
Better a short post than no post. I am on the verge either of quitting blogging, or I have to find a new groove.