~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve you come and you go

As the year draws to a close, I’m feeling a little melancholy; in part, I think, to the fact that I have a cold (everyone feels a little meh with a cold) and also in part to the fact that we had a nifty plan for tonight, but it fell through.

There’s a 5K run into the New Year starting at 11:55 pm tonight. Unfortunately, while we both said “That sounds like a good idea,” neither of us added “So let’s actually sign up.” Then I caught this cold…. We decided a couple of days ago to do it, probably just walking the whole thing, while discussing our goals and plans for the New Year. Walking with intention is how I thought of it. Intention feels like it’s going to be one of my mantra words in 2012 (and in life in general). But the run is on a military base, and although I knew we had to sign up ahead of time, I didn’t realize how far ahead, and we missed the deadline.

So. We may take a walk at midnight, or we may just sit and talk. Ken’s not much into ceremony or ritual, so it’s really just another night to him, but he respects where I’m coming from. He’s also taking a nap right now so he’ll be awake at midnight.  ;-)

It’s been a tough year. It’s been a tough couple of years, really, but 2011…oof. Yet, as I think about it, a lot of good came out of all the stress and sickness and problems and tears and fears. Flying to GA every other month was exhausting, but my sister has gotten better and better—better than anyone expected. Ken was in a horrific accident, but he’s going to be 100%—and it’s spurred him to focus on his own health. I’ve battled a variety of health issues, but I also ran/walked my first 5K, and intend to fully run one early next year, and then who knows? I’m not sure what my overall goals are there—I’ve never felt the urge to run a marathon—but we’ll take it one step (or 5K, or whatever) at a time.

So many good things did happen in 2011: Styx shows, more friends than I can mention, fun travel (Boise, Sedona, Monterey, Albuquerque, Vegas, LA, Tahoe), writing workshops, a new tattoo, TV show tapings, story acceptances. Seeing Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer on Halloween. Meeting the women who saved Ken’s life. Ken being alive and well.

Good things are planned for 2012 already: Styx and Gowan shows, NAMM, writing workshops, Phoenix Comicon, friends and family. Writing. Publishing.

What about resolutions? I don’t make them, per se. I dream dreams, and then set goals that will help me achieve, or get closer, to those dreams.

What’s the difference? Goals, you have control over. Dreams, not so much. A dream is to lose 20 lbs. A goal is to work out 5x/week, or cut out dairy, or whatever.

I haven’t figured out all my goals yet. Right now, they’re more about me than about things out there. Like, continuing to take better care of myself (Health is a big focus for both of us right now). Pondering intention. The concept that The Obstacle Is the Path. The truth that success is often buried in what looks like failure. (If you don’t set a goal or dream, you don’t have something to work towards. And even if you don’t achieve what you hoped, you achieved a hell of a lot more than you would have achieved if you didn’t have something to shoot for.) Meditation. Silence. The Good Catches Up.

I’ll probably ramble about some or all of this in the coming days. Because one of my goals is to blog more. (Whether that ends up being for myself or things I actually post, I don’t know. I just missed a lot of this year, and I like to be able to look back.)

At any rate, as always, here’s the Neil Gaiman quote that always resonates with me:
Strangely, I’m not feeling too melancholy anymore….

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hamming it up

When I post something on FB/Twitter/G+, I never know how it’s going to be received. Almost always, the things I expect to garner the most comments get few, and the things that are just off-the-cuff observations get the most reaction. I’ve learned to just sit back and be amused.

The response that’s made me laugh and laugh recently, though, was to my two innocent—and, it turned out, unclear—questions about leftover ham.

I thought all the lovely people who responded would like to know the outcome.

Split pea soup FTW! It kicked some major ass, especially paired with some shaved parmesan and Trader Joe’s whole wheat nommy bread (that should really be its official name).

I used this recipe, modifying only by adding the ham in last, after I’d puréed everything else with the immersion blender, omitting the bay leaf because we were out (WTF?), and using dried parsley because I’m lazy and the rest of an enormous bunch of fresh parsley would’ve died in the fridge waiting to be used.

And there’s still ham leftover for sammiches, fried rice, or omelettes!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Favorite Holiday Songs

A re-post for a few years ago, while I take the time to craft a proper entry!

1. "All I Want," Styx

2. "All I Want For Christmas," uh, the kid from Love Actually (I really need that soundtrack!)

3. "The Chipmunks' Christmas Song," The Chipmunks (stuck in your head yet? hate me yet?)

4. "December Will Be Magic Again," Kate Bush

5. "Dickens’ Dublin," Loreena McKennitt

6. "Do They Know It’s Christmas?" Band Aid

7. "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," Loreena McKennitt

8. "I Believe in Father Christmas," Greg Lake

9. "Mid Winter’s Night," Blackmore’s Night

10. "Ring Out, Solstice Bells," Jethro Tull

11. "Ring the Bells," Styx

12. "The Twelve Days of Christmas," Bob & Doug McKenzie (and a beer…in a tree!)

13. "Wizards in Winter," Trans-Siberian Orchestra (it inspired my story “The Queen of Christmas!)