Sunday, December 26, 2010

S.A.D., much?

The thing about January is, it's such an anticlimax. Seriously, way to kick off a newly minted year with a gigantic letdown. The past five weeks or so have been such an amazing whirl of gaiety, I could hardly catch my breath, let alone cadge a decent night's sleep. Now? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing but merciless January, leaving me pondering my shortcomings, moping over what I did NOT accomplish in the year just completed. Did I lose the weight? A few pounds, perhaps, but not nearly enough to make a dent. Did I travel? Sure: all the way to Orange County. Did I write? Lamentably little.

January is what I imagine the next day feels like to a runner who has just completed their first marathon. Wow, I just did what I set out to do, and, I even have the t-shirt to prove it. Now what? Keep in shape for the next one? I already know I can do it, but I'll never really be a contender, so what's the point?

Don't get me wrong; I'm not normally a dismal person. "A Cockeyed Optimist" could've been written about me. But, faced with sodden January, I'd just as soon roll over and play dead. Winter has only just begun; spring, my favorite time of year, seems an age away. I'm grateful to whomever it was that introduced the mid-80s legislation that made MLK Day a national holiday; I think of it rather as a recovering heroin addict might look at a dose of methadone: an oasis in the desert of misery, whose sole purpose is to boost you from one place to the next.

January is so blah, even the Super Bowl abandoned it, in favor of the blessedly truncated February. (By the way, I'm convinced that February is so short because Pope Gregory knew that we'd all turn suicidal if we had to endure it for even one day more.) By the end of February, I've thrown my traditional Oscar-watching party. Spring seems mere moments from announcing its arrival. Why can't the New Year begin in March? Doesn't it seem more apropos to begin a New Year with the promise of renewed life that spring delivers, rather than the dreariness that is January?

So as this week, this month, this year draws to it close, I shall be dreading the miasma about to envelop me. See it? There it is, skulking in the background...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Uniquely Me (Clean Version)

In each of us are myriad experiences, facts, opinions, issues, and countless other aspects that make us unique. We are thus an amalgam. Here, in no particular order (a stream of consciousness, perhaps), are several things that make me different from you:

I detest Brussels sprouts, but I love asparagus, spinach, and broccoli.

I can't imagine how this could ever happen, but, should I ever be on death row and ordering my final meal, two friends of mine will be receiving phone calls: Steve for his kale, and Lynette for her artichoke dip.

I can't get through the day without a dose of vitamins R.E.M.

My antidote to a lousy mood: listening to "Laid" by James. Works every time.

I consider shoes optional most of the time. It's a good thing I work at a place where bare feet are acceptable.

When I do have to wear shoes, I prefer Birkenstocks.

The only bones I've ever broken are my toes. How? I dropped a manhole cover on my foot when I was in 8th grade. (Don't ask. Suffice it to say that it's lucky for me that I did have shoes on that day.)

Despite my father's constant attempts to convert me to the "dark side", I am still a liberal Democrat.

I am militant about recycling.

When I was little, I wanted to be an oceanographer when I grew up.

When I got a bit older, I decided I wanted to be a teacher of the deaf, so I did an internship in a summer-school program for deaf kids. That experience showed me that I definitely did NOT have what it takes to teach deaf kids.

Isn't it funny how life turns out? Now I am the Mommy of a deaf kid...which definitely makes me a teacher of a deaf kid, by avocation if not by occupation.

I was contacted by a C.I.A. recruiter in my senior year of high school, and gave serious thought to it.

I entered university as a poli sci major, but switched to language when my first professor urged me to enter a competitive honors program through Johns Hopkins. (It was only my third week at UC, and I couldn't picture spending my entire life as an academic.)

I have studied eight spoken languages, in addition to sign. All are European.

Many students spend a year studying abroad. In my relentless quest to be unconventional, I spent my sophomore year in Spain, rather than the more typical junior year.

Upon my return to the States, I went goth, refusing to wear anything other than black for an entire year.

My favorite day of the year is the one on which I first spot a daffodil close to blooming, because it means spring is near.

Running a close second is Academy Awards Sunday, which is a national holiday as far as I'm concerned and ought to be celebrated accordingly.

Ranked third favorite is the fourth Sunday in Advent, which at WCPC is known as "Hallelujah Chorus Sunday".

I rarely bring my music folder into the chancel when choir sings, because I prefer to memorize my part. Ironic, because I am the choir librarian, that I am the choir member least likely to have their music handy on Sunday morning.

I can recite, in order, the names of all 66 books of the Bible, plus the Apocryphal/ Deuterocanonical books.

I have always wanted to learn to play drums. Should The Smiths ever reunite, I'd like to be prepared to volunteer as guest drummer.

I was a prospective contestant for College Jeopardy. I was eliminated in one of the final rounds; I had the opportunity to do a mock round on-stage. (It's a really tiny set, incidentally; at least, it was then!)

I want to try out for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

I had crushes on three different guys in three years spent at Northgate High School. As adults, every single one of those guys is gay.

Between mine and Calyssa's activities, we are so busy that I rarely get more than five hours' sleep per night. I am, therefore, chronically sleep-deprived.

I'm really good at undoing knots.

The American Red Cross loves me because I have, to date, donated in excess of twelve gallons of blood platelets.

I was born in a Minnesota snowstorm.

I slept through two tornadoes. My dad just carried me to our "safe room", AKA the downstairs shower. I'm still annoyed that I missed them, so I have a great desire to storm-chase in my dotage.

I can never stop thinking. Even when I want to, I can't seem to turn it off.

I once spent the night in a cell at Alcatraz Penitentiary...

...but I've never been arrested.