Monday, January 01, 2007

auf wiedersehen, adieu

I recognize happiness by the sound it makes when it leaves.Jacques Prévert

Is that too depressing a sentiment upon which to begin a new year? I guess I don't really care. I was going to blog late last evening, toasting in 2007 and bidding a sparkling farewell to 2006. Somehow, I changed direction long before an improved-but-still-working-on-it Dick Clark rocked in the new year.

The truth is that I go to great lengths to keep myself, my life, and this blog as upbeat and focused on the positive as possible. The simultaneous and unvarnished truth is that, sometimes, things are not so cheery. But who wants to hear about that? So, I craft and polish and hone in order to present the most chipper accounts of the most innocuous anecdotes. Oh sure, I occasionally rant, and the intermittent complaint slips through. But for the most part, it squeaks for its cleanliness.

There are reasons for that, both obvious and not. I think that a lot of it is the construction of self-fulfilling prophecy: if I act happy, I will be happy. I actually believe that it works much of the time.

Admittedly, another part of my reticence is protection. Personal struggles -- no matter how reasonable, justified, or tame -- wouldn't advance my cause should certain people read of them. I wish I could be brave. I'm not there yet. Too much depends on me keeping up the appearance. Especially now.

So, why the sour puss? My long, holiday weekend was dampened by a nasty cold. I'm still hacking and sneezing and blowing my nose beyond raw. But that's really just the icing on the cake. The cake itself is comprised of two ingredients. My symbolic window -- which I've repeatedly attempted to wrest under control in the past year -- has recently turned the tables and flung itself against me, smashing into shards, puncturing and cutting, bloodying me. A second window of a completely different sort quickly stepped into the spotlight (one day after the first attack) and similarly shattered in my face.

Clearly, the timing of these two incidents (mysterious for the purpose of this medium) are a sign that it's time for me to wake up and pay attention. I defensively assert that I had been proactively attempting to make changes for some time, albeit unsuccessfully. Irrespective of the level of my involvement in these matters now, my life (and that of my husband) will undergo significant change during 2007 because of them.

As much as I believe that the place we land will be better for us, it's remarkably difficult to remain optimistic when faced with two major life changes (one of which may create a third major life change) at exactly the same time.

I must get over this pessimism in precisely nine hours and three minutes. Don't expect much in the way of updates here. Maybe there will be a day when the true identity of the windows can be revealed. Until then, I'll crank up saliva production and grab a polishing rag so that future entries will be spit-shined and spiffy.

Completely not related. During the holidays and my maniac music uploading, I ended each entry with the song that was playing at the time. There's no specific need to do that anymore (not that I needed to do it then), yet I'm compelled to continue with the practice.

Having finally uploaded every song I own on CD (song count: 16922) and having completed the annual ritual of holiday music immersion, I now get to listen the whole of my non-holiday library and tend to little details -- song titles transposed, missing album art, other details that need to be fixed in the database. One of the more pressing tasks is to rate the songs on a 1-5 scale. This will allow me to create smart playlists of only my very favorite songs by genre or other such combined criteria (I love iTunes).

Sometimes, this is more difficult than it should be. I think it should be a scale of 1-10. Three is too broad on the 1-5 scale. If "5" is classic, and "4" is excellent, then "2" is mediocre, and "1" is bad. The "3" star rating has to accommodate both songs that are perfectly good and those that are better than mediocre but not among my favorites. Yes, the scale to 10 would be better.

Moot point because I can't change it! So, the song playing as I finished my entry needed a rating. It's from the 70s, and thus has been around long enough that (providing its innate quality as a song) could be categorized as "classic." But it's one of the more sweet, gentle (dare I say, cheesy?) songs of that decade (or ever, really), and the critic in me debates the fifth star under those circumstances. It clearly deserves the four stars, for its staying power and quiet insidiousness. Hmmm. An interesting conundrum.

For your listening pleasure, here is "Diary" by Bread.


30 Something Girl said...

I hear ya.... that's why I am not bloggong at the moment. I am feeling way too sorry for myself.

Michelle said...

Hey Kel,
I admire your courage! You say you are not brave, but what you wrote tonight is pretty courageous and revealing. Everyone struggles. Some are just more willing to wear their heart on their sleeve than others. Not sure what kind a bombshell it is that dropped into your life, but keep your eyes on the bigger picture and don't be afraid to be "real", really real, in your blog. I'm one of the "wear your heart on your sleeve" brand, and no one has criticized me yet in 2 years....
Love ya! Meetshell