As a deeply committed procrastinator, my impulse is to wait about nine hours or so to write this, but having been rescued from New Year's Eve solitude by a late-breaking invitation entitled "New Year's Eve for the Lazy and Fearful" (a gathering of low-key revelers who live near enough to reach the hosts' home on foot) it is unlikely that I will be sitting here nine hours from now.
This, the big finale post of Write Every Day December, feels as though it should be weighty with meaning. What's more, it is the last day of the year, so maybe so weighty as to require a crane to lift? Well, I have an idea. Let's all just manage our expectations. Let's pretend there's no reason for this to be any more weighty than anything else. I think that's best. It will be good practice for 2016, or, indeed New Year's Whatever (day, eve, resolutions, etc.) We don't need the pressure. January doesn't need the pressure. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to vow to eat a little less cake, but there's no reason for January to carry the whole burden of cake abstinence. I've sometimes vowed to eat less cake in, say, April. (I wish I liked whipping up a delicious vegetable stir fry as much as I like baking, but so far, no.) My point is, let's all just give ourselves a break, shall we?
Things I meant to do over winter vacation that I have not done:
- Read at least two books
- Do a thing for work that I failed to do before embarking on vacation
- Proofread a 100-page thing about post-colonial Portuguese refugees
- Learn to swing dance
- See Carol, The Big Short, and The Danish Girl
I still have a few days, so some of these things are still in the running. Though the two-book plan was derailed by a gluttonous consumption of three seasons of The Newsroom, I do have to finish one book. Even if I keep wandering off from it, and can't pronounce the characters' names, and find genocide a kind of depressing topic for holiday reading, a dozen women are coming here on Monday to talk about it, so. There's that. I think I can probably see at least two of those movies by Monday. It's an ambitious goal, in that it involves leaving the house, but I think it's possible. The poor retornados are in a losing battle, I'm afraid, being as they are in direct conflict with about 300 pages of the Nigerian civil war, and since a dozen women are not coming here to discuss Portuguese post-colonial anything, it looks like Nigeria is ahead. I've exhausted my supply of The Newsroom, however, so, with all that time freed up, I suspect I can get through another 20 pages. That thing from work? I offer you a derisive snort. That thing from work can go jump in a lake for all I care. Will I regret this cavalier attitude toward loathsome work task that will haunt me indefinitely? Oh, you bet.
That just leaves swing dancing. I'm probably not going to learn the rudiments of swing dancing in the next three days. You're disappointed; I'm disappointed. I really wanted to sneak in at least an introduction before my would-be swing dance partner gets back into town so as not to die of mortification to the sprightly strains of a big band. However, in the spirit of Giving Oneself a Break, there will be no self flagellation. Who's to say that 2016 won't prove to be the year of the lindy hop? Bright new horizon, and so forth. Will I be instantly transformed into a motionless plank of self consciousness? Quite possibly! But that is now officially a problem for another week. A week during which I may be fueled by something healthful and dance-inspiring, which is to say, something other than cake, despite having a kitchen newly overflowing with cake pans.
For now, it's just me, the Nigerian war, and the radio. First, I tried the local classical station, but found whatever the piano concerto du moment was to be obscurely depressing. Then I tried the local jazz station, but the vocalist was be-scooby-wattle-deeing in a slightly frenzied fashion. A little lightbulb went on over my head --ding!-- and I looked up TSF jazz, a Paris jazz station I'd forgotten about, where you get to hear the announcer charmingly morph "Count Basie" into "Coun Bazzy" and therefore feel rather cosmopolitan even while still in your crumb covered pajamas at 2pm.
Guess what they're playing?
Frank Sinatra. I mean, nothing but Frank Sinatra. Whole concerts, including a couple from The Sands, one along with Dean Marteen and Sammy Davees Jr., and another with le orchestre du Coun Bazzy. And, friends, if that ees not a bon omen, je ne'sais pas what ees.
Bonne année à tous.
And a hearty merci for sticking around for 31 days of this. Don't wander too far off. I'll be seeing you. Just not every day.