Friday, January 31, 2014

Like a Song Stuck in Your Head, Only Different

You know how, when you get a song stuck in your head, sometimes it just won't go away? Everything you do, say, or hear for the rest of the day somehow re-triggers that same song. And you get to a point where you just want it to go away. Even if it's replaced with a song you can't stand.

When my sinuses act up, I get kind of the same thing - but with scents. I know that my sinuses are really getting bad when suddenly everything smells the same. And I never get to choose what that "same" will be.

Sometimes, it's a really sweet smell. Sometimes it kind of smells like the pooch has had an accident.

And, for the course of 2 or 3 days, everything is kind of tainted with that smell.

I bought some flowers, today, and went to sniff them, only to find that they just smelled "sweet" - like smelling white sugar. I went to dinner tonight, and my chicken club burger-thing also smelled sweet - which made the first few bites kind of perplexing since scent and taste are so tightly intermingled.

I realize that in the grand scheme of things, this isn't exactly earth-shattering. But it can definitely leave a strange taste in your mouth. (And it's making me hope the weather changes even more than I already was.)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Post Number 1,111

I don't know why I find the idea of post 1,111 to be so interesting. But part of why I've been clearing out the old drafts is so that I could know which post was the 1,111th.

A while back, I found this image on an anti-bullying site that is run by the StandUp Foundation - a foundation set up by Ben Cohen, who is a former English rugby player.

Since he left professional rugby, he's become known for his work against bullying, and he's become a kind of gay icon - which might seem a bit odd, since he's not gay. But the thing is that he takes a stand for people who really can't - and in his anti-bullying he overlaps a lot with the groups trying to fight against other hate crimes, such as violence against gays.

And he seems to do it all kind of "nicely." You don't see him out there pushing people around or getting up in the media and yelling and screaming. You see him praising good works and congratulating people for jobs well done. Granted, I have no idea what he's like in person, but he's doing pretty darned well with his public persona.

So... Anyway... A while back, I came across this image that they were using, and it struck a cord with me. Not just for children, but for people of any age.

The idea of learning to stand up for others (or ourselves) in the same way that we - as kids - once stood up to dragons. That's kind of powerful, you know?

1,111th post-worthy, I'd say.

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's hard to blog when... (2)

Back to trying to clear out the Draft posts, and I came across a draft with the name "It's hard to blog when..." The original talked about the logistics of typing with a puppy next to you in a chair. (You can read it all here.)

When I saw it, though, I started to think of things that could make it hard to blog. These were my first thoughts: 

It's hard to blog when...

...your laptop is frozen in a block of ice. elephant has snuck into your house and played hours of Words With Friends on your laptop without ever plugging in your power cord. 

...your Internet has been hacked by the feral cat down the alley, and you can only get "cats playing piano" videos on your screen.

...your fingers are just one key over on the keyboard, resulting in words like "n;phhomh" when you want to type "blogging."'re eating peanut butter dipped in Nestle Quik off of a spoon and trying not to get it on the keys. 

...gravity is inverted and everything floats to the ceiling.

And, of course, it's hard to blog when...'re sitting on the couch and your partner is at the other end and the puppy is snuggled up against your arm between the two of you on one of the coldest nights of the year trying to stay warm. 

Yeah, the last of those is probably the most probable. Although I'd be lying if I didn't say that the Nestle Quik one runs a close second on warmer evenings.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bad Quote Quotient - Forgive Me

There are some times when you're working on a book and you think "In any other context, this would be fine, but..."

I started proofreading one of those this week. 

You see, it's a book all about forgiveness. Bible-based forgiveness. Lots of scripture quoting. Lots of capitalized pronouns (He, Him, His, etc.). Lots of prayerfulness.

And, throughout the book, there are tips and prayers offered. Unfortunately, I'm currently at the beginning of the book. I haven't read through enough of it to see how these all work together to make a whole. Based on what I've read so far, I suspect that this is fairly well thought out. Fairly well organized. Fairly innocuous. 

But before I can get to any of that, I had to get through the table of contents, which lists the following topics. Of course, I was scanning through as I was proofreading, so I kind of read them all as one long sentence. Which probably makes it worse.

Please note: I swear that I did not make any of this up. I did not alter any of them or rearrange them for effect. This is, truly, one section of the tips in the ToC: 

Forgiveness Can’t Be Forced
Making Sex Versus Making Love
Small Groups Grow Disciples
The Largest Sex Organ in the Body
No Pain, No Gain—Going Deep in the Healing Process

So... umm... yeah... there's that. 

The worst part? I'm proofreading, not editing, so I can't make big changes and tell him to rename things or re-order them. God forgive me.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

With Customers Like These...

I haven't posted any "Bad Quote Quotient" posts, lately, because work hasn't given me any.

That isn't to say that I haven't worked with a decent amount of bad text, but it hasn't been funny. Or mockable. Or anything that seemed to work for the blog.

But I found the following quote last week, and after sharing it at work I've found that people find it pretty humorous. So I decided to share it, here:

"Bank robbers are just self-regulated bank customers who naturally prefer withdrawals to deposits."

I found that in the midst of a book about the American economy and politics... Even so, it was an odd comment in the book, and kind of stuck with me in a "did he really say that?" sort of way.

So now I share it with you, with one caveat: Maybe not all customers are good customers.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What's in a Name? More Than You'd Think.

We did a quick study, of sorts, at work today.

After months of suggesting that we have some generic business cards which everyone on staff can use (the kind that simply list the company name and generic email and phone number), a whole bunch of people - myself included - got business cards today.

But here's the catch: Most of the cards had titles on them that are different than the titles we've all been using in and around the office. (And, as a co-worker pointed out, different from what is on our contracts.)

Mine simply dropped the word "Coordinating" and I am listed on them as "Editor." Now, yes, the primary job I do is editing. But I also coordinate about 15 freelancers, and do about 3 hours of other tasks every day (out of the 8 hours I'm at work).

Does the change from "Coordinating Editor" to "Editor" make a huge difference? No. But is it one of those small things that simply grinds away at the back of your mind that makes you wonder about your place in the world? Yes.

On the other hand, though, a few people found out - via these cards - that their "Director" titles have now become "Manager." Yes, it's semantic. No, it doesn't change their roles in the company. But - you know - when you're talking to someone who is the "Director of Whitewashing," you probably figure they have more power to get things done than the "Whitewashing Manager." And, honestly, we're all kind of wondering why the changes happened - and what impacts they will have in our interactions with clients.

None of our jobs changed. So, yes, the roses still smell as sweet. But I'd have to disagree with Shakespeare about one name being just as good as another. And the office atmosphere this morning is definitely proof enough for me.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stuff On... My Mind - A Tiz List of Sorts

The votes are in, and the overwhelming winner in the poll of "What is the best way to finish the phrase 'stuff on...'?" was "my mind." (Yep. That write-in answer received 100% of the vote.) (No. Not "100% of the votes," just 100% of the vote. The one vote. Which, I must admit, made tallying it all up really fast.)

So tonight, I offer you a list of things that have been on my mind, lately:

1) I think I might have an ulcer. Or a gallstone. 

2) I didn't realize that you could have gallstones without a gallbladder, but apparently you can. Ever since I learned that, I've started to wonder whether that could be the odd feeling I get in my gut sometimes after eating fatty foods. 

3) I'm kind of enjoying letting my beard grow out. But I really hate that it's getting too long at the back of my jawline - and it seems to want to curl OUT, there. It's really not very curly anywhere else, which makes it that much more annoying.

4) The mustache/chin/cheek areas look really good, though. Except that I've found that now my entire chin has gone grey, and the grey extends down onto the beard on my throat. Kinda skunk-style. 

5) I really need a haircut. 

6) When I see ads for Rogaine, I immediately consider whether or not I have the money in my budget. So far, I don't. 

7) I also really need to start looking into getting a new car. 

8) Since I can't afford the money for Rogaine, you can imagine that a new car payment might also be out of my reach at the moment. 

9) I don't hate winter. But the fact that this one got so cold, so early has really made me dislike this one. It doesn't help that the 1-3" of snow we were supposed to get the other night looked more like 4-6" when it was done. And when I got home from running around this afternoon our driveway had been "plowed in," so that I had to shovel out a path from the street to the driveway before I could drive in. 

10) I really want to run away somewhere for, like, a week. Somewhere vacation-y, not somewhere where I have to do anything. Maybe New York, or DisneyWorld, or Paris. (See also #6 and #8.)

11) If money were no object, I would travel a lot more. I would fly first class, even though I probably wouldn't worry about upgrading accommodations and such. 

12) I really love good train travel.

13) I'd kinda like to take off a summer and just drive around the country. I'd love to drive along Route 66. Whenever I go on roadtrips, I've always got somewhere I have to be, so I never really get to enjoy the drive - which is probably why it sounds like fun. 

14) Honestly, I suspect I'd get really bored of driving that after the first few days. Even with a really good set of CDs in the car with me. 

15) If heaven is a place, I think that I'd like it to be the kind of place where you can instantly go from one location to another. So if I decided I wanted to check out the Great Wall of China one day and Machu Picchu the next, I could do that. 

16) One of the things I miss most about living in Paris is the streetcorner shops where I could pick up flowers while on my way home from work. I don't work/live near anywhere that I can do that at the moment. 

17) Once, when I was visiting London, I went to a street market and bought flowers. It's amazing how people stop treating you like a tourist and start treating you like you live there when you're carrying flowers. 

18) Fresh flowers may be one of my favorite luxury items to have in the house. We currently have yellow roses with red streaks in them on the table near the couch.

19) Recently someone who mis-heard my name when we were introduced thought that my name was Trevor. I apparently don't look like a Robert, because that's never the name people guess when they get my name wrong. 

20) I kind of miss the days in college when - for reasons way too long for this post - a group of my friends all thought my name was George. 

21) I'm way behind on 8/28 Cooking Challenge blog posts. 

22) If I were ever to open a restaurant, it would have to be like the "Homesick Restaurant" in Anne Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. The chefs only made what they wanted, and they served diners what they felt the diners needed. Basically, it's the same way I feel about having people over for dinner. 

23) I just pulled a feather out of the couch cushion I'm sitting against, because it was sticking out and jabbing me in the back. 

24) That feather just completely derailed my train of thought - if you can call #1-#23 a train of thought - so I think I'll be stopping now.

Friday, January 17, 2014

stuff on

You know, I really have no idea what the title of this post means.

I've been trying to go back through and dig up any of the "Draft" posts, and then I've been editing them out and writing new posts, just so that the count of the number of posts I've written gets to be as close to correct as possible.

Many of the posts have a title, and then one or two lines. Some have a title and then most of a post. And there are a few with parts of a post, but no title. (I'm guessing that a lot of these were created by Blogger trying to save copies of posts when my Internet connection is being flaky.)

Even so, most of the posts are at least figure-out-able. You can kind of tell where it was going. And many of them are listed immediately below a completed post with the same name.

But I came across this one tonight. Completely empty except for the title "stuff on".

Not immediately next to another post with the same name, even. I mean... I know I did a post about "stuff on top of cars" (or maybe trucks?) a while back, but this wasn't next to that when I opened it.

So, for tonight, I leave you to contemplate "stuff on."

If you can think of anything it might have meant, please let me know and I'll work from there.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fessing Up

Okay. So... Maybe I wasn't totally honest about what I say in my head when commuting when I wrote about it last week. (That would be in the A Mostly Internal Monologue post.)

And, yes, a reader who may be one of my sisters, but who shall remain nameless (unless, well, you go back and read her response to that post), commented that her commuting monologue might be a bit more colorful than mine. Of course, she does live in the LA area, so her commute is - on average - much longer than mine is on the worst of days (although I'm guessing the mileage isn't too different - as the crow flies). So she has a right to that language.

Of course, as you might guess, since we come from the same family, our language just might sound about the same. (In other words, I'm admitting that my language when stuck in traffic is probably a bit more colorful than I said it was in that last post.)

Here's the thing, though: It's really not that much different. Tonight, during a light snow, for example, it took me about 75 minutes to get home from work. (Last night, with no snow, it took me 35 minutes - and that included a stop at the grocery store.)

And I was trying to pay attention, again, to what I was saying. A lot of it was the same. I still yelled (in my car) at the person behind me who obviously wanted me to pull forward onto the train tracks when I knew that I wasn't going to get across before the light changed.

I was happy to see that the "No Ma Dy Inn" is back to being the "Normandy Inn."

I played along with a couple of games on the radio.

And I think I may have used the word "shit" a few times when I realized that the lane I had just moved into was now fully stopped for no apparent reason, while the one I had just left was moving right along.

Christopher will tell you that my language often gets rather colorful in the car. When I'm frustrated (usually if I'm running really late to get somewhere) I call other drivers some fun names. I say words that are written in the Comics as "#%*@!!".

Yet, when I'm stuck on my commute and mainly just frustrated because the longer I'm in the car the longer the pup has to wait to go outside, I really don't seem to swear that much. I do a little pleading, sometimes, wishing people would just MOVE. I whine a bit. I even call people names. But, oddly enough, I don't swear that much.

So... Hmm... I guess this is more a "nonfession" than a "confession."

Sorry for being so anticlimactic.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Movie Monday - Whoa.

You can only make one first impression. I know it's cliche, but it's also true. 

When you first meet someone at a party, and his handshake is kind of limp-fish-y, you know that you're never going to forget that. He's always going to be "limp-fish handshake guy." 

If the first time you meet someone in the office is when she is standing next to a cubicle wall gossiping about another co-worker, you're going to assume that she's always going to be gossiping. 

And when the first time you see an actor is when he's Harry Potter, you're probably always going to think of him as Harry Potter. Until he performs in Equus on the West End in London, then transfers to Broadway with the production after he comes of age enough that the show doesn't get shut down for child pornography. One stint on stage as the crazy naked kid blinding horses, and suddenly he may look like Harry Potter, but you know there's another side to him. 

Then there's Keanu Reeves. Unfortunately - for all of us - he will always be that spaced-out dude from the Bill and Ted movies. Or the surfer cop from Point Break. I mean, even in the Matrix movies, he still had that same kind of speech pattern going on. I absolutely love the movie Speed, and I don't think he says "Whoa" at all in it, but for some reason that didn't break the spell. 

So tonight, when I went to see 47 Ronin (which is based on the true story of 47 warriors who defeated an army in Japan - a "ronin" is a samurai without a master), and I watched him on screen, I was of two minds. 

On the one hand, I thought he was quite good. The movie is gorgeous to look at, with effects that a lot of movies try really hard to get, but only end up looking like they tried really hard. In this, the effects are gorgeous (as are the costumes), and it all seems kind of effortless. 

Many of the actors - I'm guessing - may not be native English speakers, and they have strong accents which make the dialogue a little hard to understand at times, but at no point is the movie hard to follow. It's a pretty straightforward piece, really. Even one of the kids in the family seated at the front of theater was able to figure out "This is where the action part of the movie starts" (which was okay, since we were at the Cinema Grill, and you just don't expect quite the same level of quiet as you do in a regular theater when your waiter keeps coming in and out to check on you as you munch on waffle fries). 

I went to the movie with low expectations, and it was definitely better than I expected. But, even so, when we got to the end, my not-a-date date (oh... yeah... the waitress said, as she walked away early on "You're really picking on her - this must be a date!" and we LAUGHED...) turned to me and said "He never once said 'whoa.' I was paying close attention." 

And we were back to that angle of Keanu. I mean... we'd just seen him doing all sorts of cool stuff in Japan in amazing clothing. He really doesn't even look like the same person any more. His body shape is different, his face is different. There's nothing about his look that says "I'm the surfer dude." But, still, you expect the "whoa." For better or worse. 

What I definitely will say, though, is that the next time he shows up in a movie I'm going to expect that a lot less. Granted, he didn't blind any horses in this, but maybe - for me at least - he finally found his Equus.

Overall score: I totally give it a B+, dude. (Sorry. Had to.) Honestly, it was gorgeous to look at, some very cool effects and all, but there were a few moments that were supposed to be emotional that fell flat. And a few emotional moments that worked, but not well enough. Definitely either a big screen or Blu-ray/HDTV kind of show, though, if you can. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Last Week at This Time

As I was sitting down to write this, tonight, I found an old post from last September with the title "Last Week at This Time." Oddly enough, I'd been thinking about last Saturday for much of today, so when I opened the post and found it empty, I figured it was a sign that this was my topic for tonight.

You see, last week on Saturday morning, I got up early so that I could try to shovel some of the frozen whatever off of the sidewalk, then go run a bunch of errands before the temperature dropped as the "Polar Vortex" came into the state.

That afternoon was followed by really frustrating cold. No, it apparently wasn't record-breaking, but it certainly did inspire more "I do not want to live with this cold anymore" conversations than I've heard in a while.

And then we started looking at the forecasts for this weekend. The light at the end of the tunnel was a sunshine icon on the weather maps, with a notation for temps in the 20s or even 30s.

We all spent the week shivering on the sidewalks. I don't know that the interior of my car ever warmed up on any of my commutes until Thursday. I wore my gloves for driving, because the steering wheel was so cold that I think I got a contact "freezer burn" on my right hand on the one day I didn't put my glove on right after fishing my keys out of my pocket and getting into my car.

But the weather did change. And on Friday people started walking around without hats on. And I walked the pup yesterday without my gloves or hat on. And the forecast kept looking a little better.

So I decided that I would try to get up early, today, and take care of a bunch of errands - not before the temp went down, but before the crowds went up.

By the time I was at the gas station at just after 9am, I was 5th in line for the car wash - which had obviously been a very popular spot already. I did a drive-through deposit at the bank. I ran to the grocery store and didn't feel the need to bundle myself up.

When I walked the pup this evening, we went all the way around the block even though she didn't wear a coat - she didn't fuss about her feet getting cold at all. The warmer temps offered her more to sniff than she's gotten to experience in a while.

And tomorrow it might actually get up to almost 40 degrees - that's a "feels-like" difference of about 80 degrees over last week at this time.

And I'm okay with that.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Mostly Internal Monologue

For no apparent reason, the past couple of days my commute home has taken a strange amount of time

At the beginning of the week, when the temps were in the "holy crap" cold range and schools were closed, there was basically no one on the roads. I was able to get home in about 25 minutes - even with driving through downtown.

Yesterday, with everyone on the roads for the first time in a while (to some degree not since before Christmas), it took me about an hour to get home. On perfectly clear roads. With no accidents. About 30 minutes of that was spent driving - or sitting - and waiting for the lights to change in the middle of downtown.

Today, when I was worried that I might again be entering into that weird molasses-in-January speed zone, I started to notice what I was thinking. It went something like this:

No. I'm not pulling onto the tracks. No. I don't care how close you get to my bumper. I'm not pulling onto the tracks. Why is he doing that? Why would you pull onto the tracks on a red light? 

That guy looks like he's in pain. I wonder if he realizes the faces he makes while running on that treadmill. Is he watching TV? Or is he staring out here at us? 

Don't turn. Don't turn. Don't. Don't. Don't turn into that lane, you'll fill the lane and we won't be able to pull forward. Don't turn. Don't... Holy cow - Who in the world turns left in the the 3rd lane from the middle lane? 

No. Ma. Dy. Kinda like Hot 'L' Baltimore, only different. The NO MA DY Inn.

Go. Go. Go. GO. GO GO GO GO GO GO. GO!

And, about then, I think I finally made it to the freeway entrance. All without any swearing. And all in only about 15 minutes. I even had time to get to the grocery store and still get home before the pup got too urgent. We'll save the grocery store parking lot inner monologue for another time. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Style Versus... Well... Anything

Driving through Minneapolis in the winter is always a bit interesting. Not the roads or the traffic, but watching the pedestrians.

There's a strange blend of people who are dressed, shall we say, "normally," with the group of people who look like they put on everything in the closet without looking in the mirror.

I mean... I know that it's cold. And I know that my heaviest coat is kind of frumpy and ugly. But I have nice scarves, and ear muffs that match my gloves. And, in fact, for Christmas, my mom made me a matching hat and scarf that one of my office mates was totally raving over, yesterday. (True story, Mom!)

While I was driving in yesterday morning, though, I saw someone with a yellow, purple, blue, and white argyle stocking cap with a yellow pom-pom on top. Nothing he was wearing went with that hat. Honestly, I don't know of anything that would have gone with it.

Sure, we see the people who are dressed for the "funk" factor. And many of them are probably even doing pretty well at keeping warm. But then you see the women who seem to be wearing skirts made of down-filled ripstop nylon, and you wonder what the heck people are thinking.

We all have our reasons for looking forward to spring. Occasionally mine just happen to be sartorial in nature.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

After a While, It's Just Cold

(FYI: If you usually only read one post at a time, you may want to notice that Friday's post didn't go up until just before this one did. Not sure why it got stuck in the "draft" stage.)

I fully admit that, after having heard for the past week about the Polar Vortex that we're feeling the effects of beginning this weekend, we've come to a point that it just sounds ridiculous.

I mean... The idea of -25 degrees below (Fahrenheit) doesn't really compute. The idea of a -45-degree windchill seems insane. The fact that most of Minnesota is going to leave the house and go to work like it's a bright spring day is just bonkers.

So tonight, when I walked the dog and it was -11, it just felt cold. Cold as all get-out. Cold enough that neither the dog nor I wanted to stay outside longer than necessary. But not earth-shatteringly cold. Just cold.

At the same time, I saw on the news, today, that something like 60% of the lower-48 states is going to be below 32 degrees in the next day or so. About 20% will be below zero at one point or another.

While being up to 32 sounds like absolute heaven to some of us (it was almost 20, yesterday, and while I was out shopping I had my coat open and saw other people with no coats on at all), it truly does boggle my mind that areas in central Texas and central Florida will probably be below freezing.

Around here, we've all been saying "we just have to make it to Wednesday" (which is when we're next supposed to get back above zero), and I heard someone on the news today say "in three months we'll be on our way to spring."

And, of course, at that point, we'll also be about 7 months from putting the Christmas decorations back up. With a brand new "remember how cold it was last January?" story to tell.

Un-Decking the Halls

(Not sure why this post didn't go up on Friday night. Sorry for the delay...)

I think that the hardest part of the Holidays is taking down the decorations. Not so much due to any real work involved. I mean... there is work involved in hauling boxes and packing things up and cleaning up after yourself - because even a fake tree leaves behind needles - but that part isn't really so difficult to me.

The hard part is compartmentalizing it all for another year. It's the act of putting away all of the cards that have come in and reminded us that we've got friends near and far who are thinking about us. It's putting away the decorations that we only see for about 5 weeks every year.

And, worst of all in my opinion, it's taking the lights off the tree and putting them all away.

The first night after we take the tree down, there always seems to be a void in the room where it used to be. It's amazing how quickly we get used to having it there. And it's always surprising how much we've grown to enjoy the light it gives off.

When I'm the last one up, I find myself leaving the tree lights on as I turn off everything else in the room before bed. The main lights get turned off. The other Christmas lights go dark. And all I'm left with is the light from the tree. There are all of the shadows cast by the branches, but the light from the tree is always brighter than I expect.

Either tonight or tomorrow night will be the last night for the tree this year. The lights will come down, and it'll all be packed away until next year. By the time the weekend is over we'll be adjusting to the empty corner of the living room, and I'll go back to stumbling over the pup's toys as I make my way through the room after turning out the lights.

And I'll look forward to that time just after Thanksgiving when I can dig it all back out and start all over again. I guess that comes with the Holiday territory

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Starting 2014 "An-old"

I know that most people talk about starting a new year as if the slate is wiped clean and everything is starting anew.

I've been thinking about that a lot as we came to the start of 2014, and I've come to the realization that I'd rather start the year "an-old."

After all, I've got more than 46 years under my belt, and that didn't go away with the hanging of a new calendar.

I completely understand the desire to use the changing of the calendar as a good place to start over. It's kind of like moving to a new job without having to find new lunch places. Or moving to a new town, but without having to pack and unpack.

Suddenly, there's an expectation that slates are wiped clean, past transgressions are forgiven, and we're all in the clear.

Unfortunately, I've still got a car with some issues. I continue to work a job which I enjoy doing, but which barely pays the bills. And the belt which those 46 years are under isn't getting any smaller.

But I've also got an incredible partner, a great family, and amazing friends around the world. I've got decent health and company-provided health insurance for when I need it. And I have the luxury of being able to consider what to do with any leftover money I can squeeze out.

All of that is coming with me into 2014 - some for better, some for worse. Yes, I made a few wishes as the clock ticked over last night. Yes, I formed some ideas in my brain that I might try to focus on in the new year. And, yes, I bought another lottery ticket - just in case.

Even so, I'm okay with (most of) what I'm bringing with me into the new year. It's taken me a lifetime to get to where I am, and although there may be some "Geez, why did I do that?" points tucked in along the way, pretending that I didn't make the choices that got me here isn't going to make the new year any easier to face.

So, instead of considering today as a day to start anew, I'm declaring it a very good day to start the year an-old. I invite you all to join me since, after all, you're all part of why I am who I am. And if we all started anew, imagine the stories we'd have missed out on.