New Years Resolutions

I realize it is about a week premature, but I have settled on my New Years Resolutions for 2012, the final year of the world.

1. You already know this one if you have been following my health and nutrition blog, but in case you are not following it, I am going to try to follow a 100% Paleolithic diet to the best of my ability. The difficulty is not a matter of will, but one of feasibility and availability of relevant foods. Starvation trumps strict adherence. But to stay optimistic, I am very confident I can do it. I may allow for brown rice occasionally and I will definitely allow for legumes as a protein source given the low availability of grass fed game meat and the toxicity of agricultural meats.

2. I am going to practice and learn jazz piano. I just heard a radio piece about my all time favorite jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson. I have been trying to learn piano on and off for the last couple of years, but now I am going to fully immerse. Some of this will just be learning plain old piano, because I am a beginner. But I will make a lot of progress as a result and that will be energizing to propel me forward. I am not going to take lessons, because I tried that and it is no good. I will also listen to tons of jazz pianists that I like, such as Thelonious Monk and the guy from Medeski Martin and Wood, in addition to my idol Oscar Peterson. I feel that subconscious influence of the greats will pervade my soul and aid me. The key will be getting comfortable on the piano so it becomes second nature. Drumming should help, because there is a separation of limbs required for piano as well.

3. I am going to finally learn Welsh. I have Rosetta Stone's Welsh language program on my old beige Mac G3 and I have been learning it on and off for years too. But now I am really going to and reward myself with a trip to Wales at the end of 2012. That should be a good incentive. Welsh is such a tiny language, I think it would be cool to have a skill set no one else has.

On the piano and Welsh, I am going to commit 30 minutes minimum to each (using an egg timer) every night at least 5 times per week. That will parallel my ongoing quest to achieve five 45-minute workouts per week as I have been doing for November and December 2011 already. It will be in addition to, not instead of, my normal bass and drum practice for Jeebus Preebus, my rock-n-roll band.

Senses and Their Associated Thoughts

There is a book on the bed, a novel I am reading. It is "Blood of the Prodigal" by P. L. Gaus.

My nephew Ty is changing out of his pajamas into daytime clothes of his own choosing. He is six. School is out for Christmas break. Usually his mom - my sister - prepares his clothes for school, so it is a treat for him to be able to choose his own wardrobe for the day. He's color blind, like me, so it will be interesting to see what ensemble he eventually lands on.

He is singing a childrens song about pumpkins, with his PJ bottoms still clinging to his ankles. It's a song from the holiday musical at his school.

My sister has returned from grocery shopping. Outside it is snowing lightly; about six inches accumulated overnight, bringing morning excitement to my niece and nephew, and a walk down to the local neighborhood park for a snowball fight.

Ty has relocated to the living room and "grandpa" is helping him design paper airplanes, that he says "look like small missiles." My dad, a retired mechanical engineer, is trying to explain the fundamentals of aerodynamics in terms a six year old can understand, but Ty is more interested in firing "missiles" at his twin sister, Millie.

It's a calm snow day. The snow is the light fluffy kind, impossible for snowmen and difficult for snowballs, but it has an insulating effect, drying out sound so that it stops instantly, muting the world. The shrieks of the children playing in the snow were cut short as soon as the sound left their mouths. I wonder if music could be recorded outside after a deep, light snowfall. Would it sound boxy and constrained?

My nephew Ty is precocious, obsequious. Millie is more reserved, sensitive. Both will boldy go where the other leads. My sister always has half of her brain tuned into what the kids are doing, ever vigilant and anxious for their well being. Even when they are elsewhere, she grants her mind no peace. She does not allow herself any down time. She is always doing. Restful sleep is a rare treat. Ty and Millie have turned out well, excitable but obedient.

I am staying in the guest bedroom, which serves as a children's wardrobe and "big girl" room when family is not in town. A cheap acoustic guitar, with a broken G string, sits on a stand in the corner, next to an electric piano with weighted keys. There are not enough electrical outlets in this room, which might explain why it gets less use than other rooms in the house.

Invest in a Good Comfy Pair of Slippers for Work

There is nothing worse than uncomfortable formal footwear at work, when you are already stressed and overwhelmed.

Last Christmas, my dad got me a high end pair of LL Bean camo slippers with fleece lining and rubber soles. They were so comfortable, as well as easy on/easy off, that I started wearing them to work.

It was blissful. Other than being camo (a feature my supervisor still gives me no end of grief about), they are pretty much all purpose. The rubber soles handle all but the wettest weather. On rainy days I usually wear my boots, but then change into my comfy slippers at the office.

There is just something pacifying about wearing slippers at work. It is a real stress reliever.
For Christmas this year, my dad got me another pair, only these ones are made of beige suede and look a lot more like actual shoes than slippers. They are also fleece lined. They are not quite as easy on/easy off as the camo ones, but I think they will be once the leather breaks in.

And now my boss won't be able to give me as much grief as I crank out my work in comfy bliss.

Why the Mainstream Media is Useless

It is not hard to see how corporate cronyism in government trickles down to emasculated media.

Politicians compete for corporate donors. The media compete for access to politicians. It is logical to assume that the media who expose the seedier side of corporate cronyism in government are not going to be invited back to the press room.

Who agrees with this logic?