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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The final post of 2011

The dust has settled on Christmas and it's already New Year's Eve.  I am coming to you via our new Dell Inspiron laptop that my wife bought us (i.e. the two adults in this family) for Christmas.  I have vowed that the children will not get their grubby little hands on this computer as they did our previous laptop, which is only buying time until it's inevitable trip to software heaven.

It was a good Christmas.  I have stopped comparing Christmases to previous ones and worrying about whether the current holiday celebration outstrips previous ones.  The older I get, the less important that becomes,  I'm just happy to still be standing upright and be able to be with my family.  As it is, the holiday celebrations are constantly evolving over time as generations get older and/or pass on, while new generations make their appearance on the scene.  And for me, Christmas really is mainly about the children and how excited they become in anticipation of the big day.

Now, we've reached the final day of 2011.  Where did the year go?  The older I get, the more time seems to fly by at supersonic speed.

Overall, it was a decent year for me personally.  I have a decent job in a comfortable and friendly environment, my health is good (knock on wood), I have a new laptop that I can use to bore all of you with the minutiae of my life, and most importantly I have a loving and supportive family who put up with my foibles and faults.

Let me just conclude this brief post by wishing all two or three of my readers a wonderful and prosperous 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A breather before Christmas

While I'm feeling reasonably inspired, and don't currently have a son playing "Minecraft", "Team Fortress 2" or "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit" on one of our two functioning computers, I will at long last write a blog entry to let my loyal legion of readers (all two or three of you) know what I've been up to and what I've been thinking about.

First of all, I'm finally coming down off my seasonal football fever.  If you don't already know (or care) the Michigan State Spartans lost the Big Ten football title game to Wisconsin, so there will be no Rose Bowl trip for Sparty.  Two weeks later, I'm finally over it.

Secondly, I actually read a novel written for adults (and not for children).  The first time that has happened in quite some time.  The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes, was quite wonderful and I highly recommend it.   It touches upon the fallibility of our personal memories, and the regrets we may harbor over decisions we've made throughout our lives.  Truly a thought-provoking novel by one of Britain's finest writers.


A few days ago I saw the AllMusic roundup of the year's best music and, my oh my, do I feel old.  I haven't heard of at least 80 percent of the musicians mentioned.  I am officially an old fart.

More and more, I seem to fall back on music I liked when I was young.  The last few days I've been in a Smithereens mood, and have been listening to their first three albums (Especially for You, Green Thoughts, and 11).  It's always pleasant when music you liked way back when still holds up years later, and I have to say that is the case with those three albums.  There's something about the Smithereens' music that is perfect for a cold and grey December--I can't quite explain it.  Perhaps it's the romantic gloom-and-doom film noir aspect of Pat DiNizio's lyrics (combined with the power pop punch of the rest of the band--of course I can't really explain why "power pop punch" has any corrolation with December).

Speaking of December, we only have one more week until Christmas.  I don't ask too much from the holiday, but my only requirement is that it be a white Christmas.  It doesn't have to be a lot of snow, just enough to cover the ground.  In recent years, it seems that this is a dicey proposition--and I can remember a few Christmases of late that have been greenish-brown (or brownish-green).  Only a few days ago, temperatures in mid-Michigan were hovering around the 50 degree mark, but I'm happy to report that we're back in the 30s and we have a dusting of the white stuff on the ground.  I may now safely dream of a white Christmas.

Remember earlier in this post when I said that no kids were on our computers?  Well, that changed--and I am now writing this post at 11:30 at night.  I'm tired and devoid of inspiration, yet I will publish this now and add to it if I get a chance tomorrow--but don't count on it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm still here!...just consumed by football fever

With my beloved alma mater Michigan State playing in the Big Ten football Championship game tonight, I have been in a football frame of mind as of late.  Once this whirlwind of a college football season ends, I'll try and be less neglectful of this blog.

Quite often I feel that my life would be so much easier if I wasn't a sports nut, and didn't (quite illogically) feel that the fate of the world rested on the result of an essentially meaningless sporting event, but then I conclude that life would be so much less interesting for me if I WASN'T a sports fanatic.

Sports fandom seems anathema to intellectual pursuits.  Then again, people like George Will (baseball nut), Frederick Exley (football nut), and David Halberstam (all-around sports nut) have all managed to balance the two.

Anyway, I will be back when my college football fever subsides, which depending on the result of tonight's MSU/Wisconsin tilt, could be either early next week or early January.