Thursday, January 03, 2008

Here's to the New Year...

Because it's c-c-cold here in New Orleans, and because I've had a cold, I've not been relishing the first moments of 2008. In fact, I've been doing a whole lot of exactly what I'd resolved to do less of: watching TV. I've just turned off some Travel Channel show about Jack Osbourne's mission to lose weight and climb mountains. Before that was a Top Model marathon on VH1. Last night: Project Runway (which has not been nearly so much fun to watch without the fine company of my friends who've moved to California.)
Last night, it was so cold that I woke up with all four cats piled on top of me, and with my hand trumpeting my nose so I could breathe something other than ice-cold, throat-burning air. I bought a new alarm clock from Brookstone, and it projects the time and temperature onto the ceiling, so I was awake, watching the red LED-flash of the seconds ticking and the temperature dropping: 48, 43, 36. As you might imagine, these wonderfully-charming old New Orleans homes lose a bit of their charm in the few weeks of winter. I fell in and out of sleep. Dreamt Simon wanted a divorce. Dreamt my car wouldn't start. Woke up coughing green loveliness. I suppose I can be forgiven, then, for doing nothing but boobing around all day. Right?

I also have found myself needing a bit more time than usual to recover from the holidays. I can recall detailing an argument that occurred last year while we were visiting family in Atlanta, and I might do the same this year were the subject of the fight not so painful and this blog not so public. Anyway, it was one of those arguments that rocks your world--the family sort of fight that you will never forget (try as you might.) One day I may find the head-space and heart-space to write about it, but for now, it's just a big ol' painful stain on the exit of 2007. Good riddance, '07!

In fact, the rest of our holiday was quite nice. My sister-in-law's belly is growing splendidly and beautifully. I gathered with old friends, held a baby, sang carols with my mother, and cooked and ate lots of wonderful food. Christmas day, itself, was particularly wonderful. My mom (a.k.a. Santa) spoiled us wonderfully, my dad was in good, picture-taking spirits, and we "kids" enjoyed a trip to suburbia-land to see "Sweeney Todd." Simon and I cooked a wonderful butternut squash lasagna, and we popped English "crackers" which contained whistles and crowns that were used with mucho-hilarity. It was nice to spend time with family--especially since this is the last Christmas where we "kids" will still be kids: come February, I will be an aunt! I sort of hope that Christmas doesn't change once the kiddies come along, and yet, I am also excited about how another generation will influence changes to our current traditions.

Anyway, with the new year comes reflection, and of course, resolutions. Simon and I made one: to recycle. Once upon a time, we had city-wide recycling here in New Orleans, but curbside pickup of recyclables was yet another casualty of the storm. In thinking about our new neighborhood's commitment to becoming carbon neutral, I've realized that in fact, we do very little to help. Partly, I think, because simply making it through the day continues to be a bit of a struggle. How can one commit to being carbon-neutral when one is trying hard to staying mentally stable?

I learned from some friends that we can pay to have curbside pickup using Phoenix Recycling. It sucks that we have to pay for what should not be considered a "luxury," but I suppose we've become accustomed (or resigned, rather) to paying more to live here in New Orleans.
Speaking of paying more--we sent off our first mortgage payment, and soon I'll write a hefty check for property taxes on a house that's nowhere near livable. I'm trying not to get crazy about what I can't control (read: the contractor's work-pace,) but our living-expenses during the renovation will be triple what they are now. It's gonna be tough. As a result, Simon and I made resolution #2: to get through the renovation and the move. And by "getting through," we mean that we hope to fight as little as possible, and approach every decision (of the hundreds we'll be making) as a TEAM. Yes, Team DeBacHand is in full effect for 2008. Go team!
In my personal life, I've resolved the following:

1) To write more thank you letters. Ideally I'd resolve to simply "write more"--perhaps even to write some fiction, or try to publish some--but the writing that gives me the most pleasure comes in thanking people. This may sounds strange, but it's true. I love to say thank you, to write it, and to send that happy message out in the mail. Even a thank you email works wonders for my soul and makes me feel rosy. Maybe my real resolution should be simply, to thank others more often--in writing and in speech. I do have so many people to thank!
2) To be more productive. I have so many things I want to accomplish, and not accomplishing them makes me feel like crapola. So, I want to:

3) In order to do that, I will need to watch less TV. I am embarrassed to admit that I need to resolve to watch less TV, but there you go. Even worse: I love to watch the kind of crap that people make fun of us Americans for watching (see above).

Realistically, if I am able to accomplish 1 and 3, 2 will follow. So, I will focus on turning off the TV and saying thank you. Hey--I'm doing well with turning off the TV (since I turned it off to write this!) Next, onto the thank you's...

Since you are likely not all that interested in reading my resolutions, I'll share that Simon and I went to the bonfires on Orleans Ave to ring in the New Year, that there is a very vocal and un-neutered orange cat howling under the piers, and that I found a piece of newspaper in our new/old house that's dated December 15, 1927. Also: last night I made a delicious but forgettable broccoli raab pasta, and tonight I'll cook stir fried veggies with tofu. Two days ago, I sorted through hundreds of CDs and came up with 100+ to sell in a yard sale. Oh, and I found some lovely lighting fixtures at IKEA that were gifted to us by my mother, and which are now sitting in storage, waiting for installation.

That's the report. Now, happy new year, dammit.


1 comment:

satrog said...

Hi ya Dimon & Darah, Roger Hand wishes to pass on the following message. I empathise with your thoughts Good Luck.
I too wish you Good Luck and strength in the face of adversity.
I have read your blog right back to June 08. Great to see the home front progress,I'm reassured by your posts and I'm still looking forward to hearing from you when you can reply