To be brief, 2008 was not a bad year.
To be drawn out; Yes, quite a bit of crap happened but I must say for the most part I was able to continue to eat food, I felt loved, I had a warm house, and I have a job. I didn't lose my house. I could afford the gasoline and the overpriced rice. But for the most part I am happy and comfortable, even more so given that the tides of human attention are now turning towards the thought of renewed hope and action, when anything is possible and there's a slim chance they just might buck their usual habits and thought patterns and run free on the fields of possibility. It's good, and occasionally it bears permanent fruit from the seeds planted in these gathered days.
It was a good vacation. I got to see the niece, who is much less tiny now and a LOT more interactive. She can see you coming and react, and she seriously has the commando-crawl down pat. I told my brother if we ever encountered concertina wire in a hostile situation, we knew we could count on the niece to belly crawl and get away to freedom. All we would need to do is strap a note to her back and watch her scoot in to the jungle with our hopes and fears resting on her.
It's a funny image in my head, anyway.
It's interesting to watch someone start from scratch and figure out how to interact with what's around them. It's the unique perspective not granted to one who is in the middle of doing all of that sort of thing and doesn't have the luxury of experience or reference to analyze what's going on. Watching her crawl up to things and touch them, expecting to sense something about them, is a bit of wonder. Her laugh each time she does this stuff is also. I don't know that I've ever heard such a noise of pure joy from something before. Perhaps it's because she's being presented with something and takes it at face value. Humans after this will make happy noises, but it's with the tinge of expectations met, or surprise at not expecting something. My niece, she's just cool with anything that comes up. I should take lessons in no-mind from her. Part of me wonders how long it will be before she has judgment in her eyes when taking things in, and I'm thinking that day will be a sad one.
This was a good year. I turned 30 and didn't die, which totally caught me off guard. It wonders me bigly if others carry their thought of "I'll never get that old!" to the extent that I did. I was struck dumb with the realization, frankly. Still trying to figure out what's going on with the rest of my life after this, but I've got a good start with figuring out that what I'm in now isn't it. Enough process of elimination and it will reveal itself!
We said goodbye to our old calendar today, hanging up the lovely one with Hiroshige's block prints given to me by my mother and step-unter-jaju. Bob remembered so much, I was embarrassed to not recall it. We did a LOT. Otakon, ConnectiCon, our epic birthday trip to DC, Longwood Gardens (which I never really wrote about but certainly meant to because it was awesome). Looking back, it was an incredibly active and enjoyable year.
I made three official New Year's Resolutions, despite my general sneering regard for them. New Year's, to me, is rather arbitrary and carried only by the energy of those who believe in it. A thought is a thing, and the decision that January 1st marks new beginnings for so many does carry weight. At the same time, there's also the general idea that few people keep the resolutions. So if you're going to make them, do it for yourself and not because it's expected. For me, the new year is pretty much always going to start November 1st, so really my letting go of old habits ritual was done 2 months ago. But in the spirit of the common celebration, I decided to do it now.
Resolution 1: To be awesome and bombastic.
Resolution 2: To publish a story some time in 2009. I'm thinking more of a short story than a novel, but eh... whatever happens.
Resolution 3: To stop buying things and enjoy what I've already got. To this end, I am not purchasing anything that isn't 100% necessary (a.k.a. gasoline for the car, food) For the next 3 months. That means no new books, CDs, video games, or craft stuff. I just have to deal with what I've got and make do. The lone exception might be stuff for Valentine's Day.
We've purchased some exercise equipment that I'm looking to using. Treadmill for walking, which will be nice for when it's freezing cold and windy but I still want to walk.
Also got my hands on a crochet booklet from Japan of Sanrio/Hello Kitty patterns. I'm looking forward to working with it, and translating it as it's mostly in hiragana and very little kanji. Of note - apparently the kanji for "eye" is used to represent a loop of yarn as well as the opening in a button or bead. Kinda cool.
I'm looking forward to catching up on the last season of Lost over the long weekend here, playing more Little Big Planet (we found the greatest ocean-themed level this evening, user-created, and it was AWESOME), and drawing a bit with the super-groovy copic markers my honey got me for Xmas. More on that later.
This evening we greeted the New Year with raw oysters, a $7 bottle of twist-top champagne that was actually pretty good, and some lobster bisque from the local seafood market. A kiss and a toast at midnight also marked the occasion, and I'll be damned if Dick Clark didn't do the countdown in spite of a stroke. The man will NEVER die.
Happy 2009, folks. It'll get better. I swear it.