Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Warm feelings

I was acutely aware of Xmas much more this year, and I didn't even put up a tree or string any lights! The only way you can tell it was Xmas in my apartment is the number of gift cards on my table and the gifts I have yet to put away. I've become lazier somehow (I blame it on being unfamiliar with so much free time), but life calls and I have a sink that need tackling! I also have books that need tackling (Bronte Sisters Super-Book!). On the leisure front, I'm getting further in 'Dragon Age: Origins' (better than Oblivion - I CAN CHEAT!) and I've rediscovered 'Dragon Ball Z'. Anymore dragon stuff and I'll start dreaming of the creatures! I've got a copy of 'Flight of Dragons', so maybe this is a sign. I'm feeling warm fuzzies (either from Xmas or from the fact that I've got an apartment - over a year old - powerful fuzzies!) and am looking forward to 2011. I haven't made any resolutions - no sense doing that if I have no intention of keeping them.
On the literary front, I'm toiling away at 'Villette' (which I'm finding to be rough going) and have started reading a thick little book called 'Zen pioneer'. It's a life of Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who's claim to fame is that she helped bring Zen into the West. She among many names who have been lost over time. Apparently she was Alan Watts' mother-in-law. I'm not too familiar with Watts, but for some reason, I think he's a little controversial. I could be wrong. Meanwhile, the weather is very nice out today and I have no plans to go out this afternoon. Tomorrow I'm back with the xtended rels for a belated Boxing Day. Meh.
Time for me to close this up. The next time I post it will be 2011. BYE.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Countin' it down!

Although my space is not decorated a la Xmas, I'm more aware of Xmas' approach this year than in previous years. Maybe it's just because I'm looking forward to the 2 weeks off from the loonies on the road, the nuts at work, and from my alarm clock-radio. This should be a pretty stressless time, considering I don't cook or prepare anything (beyond wrapping gifts) and I don't have people over to my little hovel. The weather has been just wonderful of late (apart from that cold snap from last week) and as long as the snow stays on the ground until the end of December, things will continue to be great. My last day at work is this Wednesday coming up, so definitely I'm counting the days down.
I just finished reading a grotesque little book about everyday life England during the 1600's and 1700'. I'm not deriding this book, either - life in England was pretty nasty and uncomfortable in those days, and the author of 'Hubbub' eagerly discusses all parts of this grubby time. If you have a weak stomach, steer clear of the chapter called 'Mouldy'. You will not regret heeding this advice. Ignore this advice and read this chapter, and you may never want to eat again. Just kidding, but you have been warned. Those who like the works of William Hogarth are in for a good time, as his more famous pieces come up in this book (hey, who better to show the scummy underbelly of English society?) - Step right up for 'The Rake's progress', 'The Harlot's progress', and of course, the pathetic pillars of society as seen in 'Gin Lane'.
Now I've moved on to the life of Sam Pepys (again!). He was no stranger to the underbelly of society. It made sense to read more about him after finishing up with 'Hubbub'. That's about all. BYE.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Listening to James Blunt tonight. Reminds me of songs that matter a lot in my life. Starting with Xmas carols, since the season's right for it. My favourite non-traditional Xmas carol is John Lennon's 'Happy Xmas (War is over)'. I was writing in my first serious diary when I heard that song, and since then, whenever I hear it, I think back to Xmas 1992, when I received the Muse fully into my life and began my life as its slave. (For the record, my favourite traditional Xmas carol is 'O Holy Night' - can't just sing it, you have to belt it out to get it right) The next song that speaks of memory is a James Blunt song. His song 'High' reminds me of a time in my Red River days, when I crossed paths with a former classmate from the University of Winnipeg. We chatted briefly and then went our separate ways. What struck me most was that he remembered me and was able to call me by name. That sent my self-esteem a mile high. Around the same time, I met up with a classmate from my school days and he too called me by name. Again, my self-esteem rose to new heights. Just like that line "Sometimes it's hard to believe you remember me." Since then, I dedicate every playing of this song to those two. God keep you safe and on your paths through life, guys.
R.E.M. also figures in this recollection. 'Aftermath' always reminds me of a particularly tempestuous time in my 20s. Just those times when I just had to sit down and cry because things were happening that I was powerless to make better. 'Scared' by the Hip also figures in this, for it reminds me of a friend from those tempestuous times. I listen to these two songs with a fond smile on my face now. And then there are those songs that remind me of summer. Summer days in my childhood were always spent at the lake, so when I hear these songs, I smile all the way back to summertime in the 80s and 90s. Sigh....
There are other songs but it's too soon to speak of them and the events connected with them. I'll save them for my diary and chew on them a while. It has been said that everyone has a soundtrack to their lives. These songs must form part of my own soundtrack. Amen. Okay. Time to listen to some Rush. Rock on!