Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Road to Hell or Helium, Your Choice

Image of a helium filled discharge tube shaped...
Image of a helium filled discharge tube shaped like the element’s atomic symbol.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Judging by the aphorism, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions," apparently I am cruising that highway.  My road is extremely well paved, wide, and with lots of those little places along the way where you can pull over, have a picnic lunch, and take photos.  There's a word for those places, but after being so proud of my vocab skillz in being able to use the word aphorism, my brain is apparently tapped out.

Did you realize if you start but can't finish the word Hell it looks exactly like the atomic symbol for the word Helium?

Did you realize that while America was fretting about the Fiscal Cliff and the Debt Ceiling and the debate over whether it violates our freedoms [sic] to limit the access of homicidal maniacs to weapons with clips/magazines/drums enabling them to  mow down vast numbers of people in mere seconds, that somebody used up all the helium?
Who knew there was a nationwide helium shortage?
I mean really, America, where is our sense of proportion? (she asked in a squeaky voice.)

Back to He.  The Phone of Good Intentions.

I got a smartphone, intending to use it to text, email, comment on blogs, Tweet, and all the wonderful things smartphones can do, that my old, grandma-style cell phone could not.

I actually printed out and read the 190 page manual, set up the phone (Galaxy II) to link to my email and Twitter and FaceBook.  This was in May. Since then, I've sent and received about, oh, maybe 40 texts.  Taken a few pictures with it (not too bad) and a few video clips (quality is crappy), managed, after laboriously entering all my Contacts by hand from my old phone, to overwrite them with FaceBook data which erased most of the phone numbers.

The damn thing keeps running out of juice because all the FaceBook and Twitter and email updates use up the battery, so when I want to make or receive an actual phone call, half the time I'm SOL. And I can't remember how to UNlink the bloody thing from FaceBook or Twitter or Gmail, though I intend to whip out the three ring binder where I stored the manual.  Real soon.

Thank goodness I never got around to learning how to use Instagram.

The Camera of Good Intentions

Besides, I already have a nice little camera that takes good pictures and excellent video.  Even if, at 5-6 years old, it is considered practically a dinosaur, and I have to use a cable (or remove the memory chip) to download my pictures.

It works great, except... apparently rechargeable lithium batteries don't last forever. I alternate two of them, and right now I can get as many as 7-8 pictures (less if I use the flash) out of the thing before I have to switch batteries.

Maybe I should get around to ordering a couple new batteries.

The Bookpile of Good Intentions

Because I love my fellow authors, and know how important reviews are, I try hard to review all I read (unless I think a book is... let's say problematic). I did read and review 65 books via GoodReads and other sites.

But in the last part of this year, because my stupid arm was bothering me, it was easier to read than to sit down and type a review.  So the ones I read but had not yet reviewed, I stacked up on my dining room table, lest I give them away or shelve them till I reviewed them.

Then the holidays rolled around and I wanted to clean off the table and make it purty with a tablecloth and candle and such. So I moved the books to my recliner, because obviously, it looks so much more decorative and festive to have the books piled in a chair than stacked on a table.  (Whimpering at the thought of how many read books are queued for reviewing on my Kindle, too...)

You may notice the flowered skirt in the background - this chair also serves as The Mending Pile of Good Intentions.

The Bookpile of Good Intentions

The Duster of Good Intentions

I would include a photo here, but truth? I took my duster to my day job, intending to dust my many bookshelves there and my desk, prior to putting up some holiday decorations in my office. 

I know you will be shocked, shocked! to learn that I did not complete this project. I Swiffed 2-3  shelves, then said, "The hell with it!" and threw up a few bits and pieces on top of the layers of dust.

From a distance, the effect is charming. I do cling to this wistful idea of not only dusting all surfaces, work and home, in 2013, but even giving all my wood a good orange-oiling. Not gonna call it a Resolution, though.

The Holiday Tree of Good Intentions

How pitiful is it that, with a tree only about 14 inches tall, that I put the lights on it, then ran out of steam to hang decorations?

See, I own about 200 very special ornaments, and I get them all out, then carefully choose a dozen or so that will fit on this itty bitty tree, so they are different each year. This year... it simply felt like too much work, immediately after I put up all the other decorations, and I was gonna get around to it...

You will notice next to the Tree of Good Intentions some holiday cards that I usually arrange on display, as well, but...

The Holiday Tree of Good Intentions

And, speaking of cards, I had 3-4 cards that kicked back last year for bad addresses,that I intended to contact my friends via email or FaceBook to update, and despite an entire year to do it, did I? Hell, no!

I did get a few things done in 2012. 

At last year's mammo & ultrasound, I got the welcome news that my lumps and bumps have remained unchanged for long enough that I no longer have to get 'em every six months.  Go, boobs!

I wrote lots of blog posts, including February devoted to Black History, April devoted to My 26 Favorite Ways to Piss Away Time Do Valuable Research on the Interwebs, and October to Domestic Violence Awareness. I did write those 65 book reviews, and I finished Les Misérables - the unabridged version (1500+ pages, mon Dieu!).  I finished my novel Close Knit and submitted it to my agent; entered a few contests (finaled in one), wrote several short stories and three articles for the LARA Confidential, and have started a new book.

I marched for women's rights, almost got arrested handing out books on World Book Night, and worked for two non-profit organizations (go, Words on Wheels!) in my spare time.  (Yes, I do have a full time day job.) Joined Toastwriters, attended meetings for five different writers' groups, and went to my first RWA conference!  (Below some of the pictures I took.)

Such a hardship, being at RWA among the mostly female writers, agents and publishers, but somehow, I managed to avoid an estrogen overload.

Most recently, I exercised my newly acquired ToastMaster skills to put together a memorial for my beloved and much missed friend Sidney Patrick.  And lately there's this shoulder thing which has gotten in the way more than a little.

All in all, my list of stuff I got done is actually bigger than the list of stuff I intended to do. So maybe I can give myself a pass on the unfinished dusting and slacker tree decorating. I'll pick up on my Good Intentions in 2013, and add whatever treatments the shoulder specialist I'm seeing next week recommends. Crossing my fingers for a cortisone shot, which everyone says works wonders. I'm really tired of sleeping on the "wrong" side and eating more Advil than chocolate. 

I plan to see if I can't finish the new novel, review some of the bookpile (because I truly do want to use my recliner again, in this lifetime), and stop getting outsmarted by my phone.

What's on your good intentions list being carried forward to 2013?
What happened in 2012 for you that was 
as awesome or awful as a zombie apocalypse?

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