Friday, December 15, 2006

First Christmas Tree!

It's almost that time, and, well I'm a sucker for Christmas. Really any excuse to hang out with my family is a good time, but Christmas is just more. I have spent the past few weeks listening to Christmas music non-stop, baking the hell out of some Christmas cookies (we baked double batches of 12 kinds of cookies two weekends ago at the Turner Compound), and wondering what to get for the people in my life. When people tell me they hate Christmas, it makes me angry. I don't want to hear that. If you aren't enjoying it, you're not doing it right, and that's a personal problem, not Christmas' fault.

So Paul and I got a Christmas tree (a first!) and decorated it at his house. The cat hasn't knocked it over yet, and it has yet to catch fire.

Last weekend we had dinner with the folks (mine and Paul's mom) at Priya, the oh-so-yummy Indian restaurant near Paul's house. Sunday, we went to the International Motorcycle Show in San Mateo. Which was bigger than last year, but a lot of it was crap. I witnessed the ugliest motorcycle I have ever seen, and wouldn't you know, it had a little sign next to it saying that it had been voted #1 best in show? The most offensively ugly motorcycle I've ever seen in my life, hands down. The best thing was a 50cc cafe racer a guy had made so his two-year-old son could have a bike that matched daddy's restoration project bike. So cute. And, well, a whole lot of fun stuff over at the Husqevarna booth! We entertained the idea of dual-sport sidehack riding again for a bit, then jumped around on some ATVs and a Honda Ruckus. I got some stickers and signed up to win all kinds of crap. Which I never win. We saw people, and that was nice.

I'm pretty sure one of those Husky motards will be in my Christmas stocking? Or maybe that's why Paul put the tree on a table, so bike could fit under it...

I, of course, never got around to making Christmas cards, so consider this yours.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, quit your complaining.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Saturday we went down to San Joser to see friends who we have not seen in way, way too long. I am so sad I haven't spent more time with my friends lately, whatever the reasons are. However, I am a little scared of the fact that it seems like I blinked, and parties are now baby parties. There were like a million babies there. That is frightening. Charles took some time out to offer some career advice outside, and we were joined by all the other folks that were skeered of babytown. I guess I am of that age now? Where everyone else starts having babies? I do not know the first thing about the little creatures, so I hope this does not mean we'll drift apart.

Sunday I got to hang out with my sister, who is now happily back to her own last name and officially dee-vorced! Yay!

We went to the Dickens Fair, which was a lot of fun, and I ran into a few people I know.

I feel so overbusy these days, but I can't quite put my finger on the "why." My class is pretty unintrusive, and the hours flexible. I am tempted to do two classes next semester, and also tempted to do none at all. Chinese is so hard, especially with the semester I took off to forget everything... It would be nice to have time to sew, now that I have a new sewing machine. It would be even nicer to keep seeing people I mean to see. But when?

Monday, December 04, 2006


I decided to get a handle on my finances a year or two ago. This year's big goal was to get my net worth to zero.

I know, yes. ZERO.

I have student loans. this is something our country has decided is a good thing: crippling college graduates with outrageous loans, and discouraging potential college students from saddling themselves with a debt and education. Educated masses are no good for the route we are on anyway.

but, whatever.

I have reached my goal: I am worthless. The positives slightly outweigh the negatives. (and, no, I did not pay off my student loans. I am too smart for that: the interest rate is lower than my savings account interest rate, and student loan interest is tax-decuctible.)

December is the time when I need to map out my goals for next year, but with career change hanging in the balance, I may actually end up bogging back down into the red. Leverage, I hope, for a future payout. But for now, I am just where I hoped to be: worthless.


I got hung up on posting because I got stuck at Thanksgiving. Normally, I have a lot of thanks at the ready, but frankly, this past year hasn't been the kind you would be readily thankful for. Should I be thankful for the disastrous ending to my dream of going to the Isle of Man? How about thankful for one of my best friends being in the hospital with a major head injury and no good prognosis (I still think he'll do well, just slowly)? Maybe about my grandfather passing quickly and too soon. And then sprinkle in the crappy work environment I suffered for months, the bleak occupational outlook and accompanying feelings of being trapped and being a failure, the speeding tickets, the weight gain and generally feeling like ass, the horrible luck we showered onto my brother's house, the inability to move into a new place, and, gee, while I'm feeling sorry for myself, we lost the good cats!

Well, OK, you know, all said and done, this has been a shit year. So the thanks didn't come readily, but where I can find them, they are meaningful.

I'm thankful for the late night conversation I had with James when he crashed at my house. I got to tell him exactly how much he meant to me, point blank. I'm thankful that I showed him how much I admired him. I'm thankful that sitting on the couch at the SFMC alone one evening, he said to me "that's the nicest compliment anyone's ever given me." Because I don't think we'll ever have those times again. But I made myself known. James was one of those presences that changed my life for the better. I'm glad I told him that when I had the chance.

I'm thankful for the home and family that my grandfather built for me. I'm thankful for the wisdom and meaning he passed on to me, for the time we got to spend basking in his character and frighteningly broad intellect. I'm thankful for all the love, and for the love I witnessed him giving to the world at large. I'm thankful for all the too-strong hugs and the courage he's given by example. Mostly, I'm thankful for the last time Paul and I made it up there to help with the garden and enjoy my grandparents without the rest of the noise when we had the chance. There's just not always another chance when you think there will be.

I'm thankful for the courage I've been given, to tell people what the mean to me, in the time that I have with them.

I can't find too much thanks for missing out on the Isle of Man, but I did learn this, and it's got to be worth it:
Paul and I have had a lot of good times, so many it seems unreal. But good times are easy, and it's easy to love someone when times are good.
I'm thankful for the knowledge that Paul and I can withstand extreme stress. I know what it looks like when we are angry at each other. I know how Paul will care for me when I overextend myself, when I have great loss, when I feel overwhelmed, or face failure.

Overwhelmingly, this has been a shit year. Next year, I hope to be thankful for much less heavy things, but for now, these will do.