I'm landing on two guiding principles for 2015. First, renew the focus on the four other balls (besides work) we are trying to juggle. Second, take more active control of the shape of your days, months, and year. Out in the world, 2014 was crazy. For me, in career, home, and health, there were peaks and valleys, but the sense I get when trying to summarize is one of drifting. Don't be inert; don't be complacent. Define what you want and work towards it.

One practical application and corollary resolution is to plan a wedding.



It's been a year of good reading overall. I loved reading Swamplandia! best.

What becomes of the family and the family-owned gator-wrestling theme park in the aftermath of tragedy? Three siblings take different paths. Ossie develops mystical powers. Kiwi ventures mainland to a rival tourist attraction called The World of Darkness. Ava schemes to win a wrestling competition, until she is drawn into a journey to the underworld.

Sign me up, please!

The narrative eventually follows Kiwi and Ava.  Ava's swamp scenes were more interesting to me, but there is great language used to describe Kiwi's encounters in Floridian suburbia:

  • "Every day, Kiwi's colleagues taught him what you could and could not say to another person here on the mainland. This was a little like having snipers tutor you on the limits of the prison yard."
  • "The two girls spent the whole ride whispering and doing horsey eye rolls and hand mannerisms in their mysterious female language. So far as Kiwi could tell, they managed to agree that Rollie, a mutual friend of theirs, was in fact a fat bitch and not their friend, and also that Enormous Gladys needed to get some self-esteem, stupid! But Kiwi assumed a second, secret conversation must be happening below this. Otherwise how to explain all the gesticulating? Wrists and elbows went flying through the air in some jujitsu of lady-empathy."
I saw echoes of my childhood in both the studious Kiwi and the imaginative Ava.
  • "It's a book for witches, Dad. And the underworld isn't heaven or hell, it's like a whole separate country. Like a, a Germany under the world."
  • "I was a fairy-minded kid, a comic book kid, and I had a bad habit of looking for augurs and protectors where there were none."
I enjoyed reading a book where characters set out on their quests in order to save their strange little family. "Mothers burning inside the risen suns of their children."


It's Friday

Let's listen to Dar Williams!


A Field Guide to the True American Diner

"Hello, I am an American from New Jersey and I care about diners."


Key Change: Voices of Protest and Hope

NYCGMC and Natalie Douglas performed a cabaret called "Key Change: Voices of Protest and Hope." Outside around the city, protests formed after the grand jury decision in the case of the death of Eric Garner.

There were many great songs and performances, some heavy, some uplifting. For me my favorite was probably "Mississippi Goddam." (A previous Natalie performance found on the interwebs here.) Because today, Staten Island Goddam. Ferguson Goddam.