Belated Happy New Year

Woof. It’s been a second, huh?

The past twenty days have been a conflicting bunch. I’ve spouted for years that my two favorite holidays, as a devoted contrarian to the Christmas Crowd, are Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, in that order. And I think it’s in no small part, if I check the depths of my soul, because they’re holidays that most folks kind of hate.

With Thanksgiving, people dislike needing to get dressed up in their starched Sunday Best for the sole purpose of eating a dry bird and navigating a fight with their uncle over politics; and a lot of folks seem to like making fun of New Year’s for the resolution aspect, pointing out folks running or going to the gym and preaching about how the commitment will only last a couple of weeks.

Well, I say poo-on-you to both of those opinions. Thanksgiving is great (genocide notwithstanding) for the simple fact that it’s a holiday boiled down to its base and most important aspects: togetherness and feasting. Boom. It’s a classic combination, and you don’t mess with a classic. Of course here in the States, I observe the irony that Thanksgiving, a holiday meant for appreciating what we already have, comes mere hours before Black Friday, an annual excuse for the public to stampede over strangers for a deal on a television they never needed.

And if you’re going to crap on someone’s resolutions, wafer-thin commitment or not, I say you’re just projecting your own fear of failure. Allow yourself the wiggle room to try something new, the opportunity to fail, the exercise of discipline and see what comes of it. Sheesh.

Anyway, my 2022 holiday season was great. Halloween saw an awesome house party take place, and Thanksgiving and Christmas both were terrifically cozy, intimate, and memorable affairs, they way they ought to be done, in my opinion. But New Year’s…

2023 ain’t that great yet.

I know this is way too easy to say in retrospect if I didn’t record myself for posterity’s sake, but when all the “2023 is going to be my year, I can feel it” talk started going around a few months ago, I won’t lie, my gut reaction was a little, “I don’t know…kinda feeling 2024 is really going to be what’s better.” And so far, I haven’t been wrong.

I woke up on the 1st of January with a monstrous cramp in my back, and it took me almost two weeks for it to get right. I’m sort of a caveman when it comes to self-care, meaning my first line of defense when it comes to fixing health problems is to just isolate in a cave until the problem goes away. Worked great for the pandemic, not so much for dental issues, vision problems, a hernia, this back thing, etc.

My usual New Year’s tradition is to buy a calendar and start off on some of the resolutions I’ve written, but hot damn have I not been able to giddy-up for much anything yet. Here in California it’s been raining heaps, which further incentivized that “hole up in a cave” tactic, but lot of good that does when the muscles in your back feel like someone mistook you for Dracula and rammed a stake through your chest.

What the time inside did afford us here in the Davis household was some TV time (just what we need), and we finally checked out the Wednesday Addams Family series on Netflix. It was good. Didn’t love it, maybe, but liked it a lot. For some reason, my main takeaway was the episode featuring Wednesday’s birthday, and she refers to birthdays as “another year closer to the yawning oblivion of death” or something. For some reason, I set aside my usual curmudgeonly old man pants and fought that sentiment.

As opposed to another year closer to the grave, I thought, I like to think of each new year as another collection of memoires to cherish when I’m old – if I get old, you never know. Even the bad stuff, the struggles, the loss, you wind up thinking back on those times when you’re past them as notches in your belt, things you overcame or survived, things that added to your story; and I think that’s increasingly important to hold onto, as sentiments go.

Something else I’ve tried in the numbing excitement that’s been my life since last writing was that I tried out Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

For the uninitiated, Kingdom Come is a roleplaying video game that places you in the role of Hal, a peasant boy in 1405 Bohemia. And you know what I’ve found?

I suck at life as a peasant boy in 1405 Bohemia.

In the tutorial town alone, I was: beaten up, berated, covered in shit, and killed, mostly in that order. In the TUTORIAL. I eventually started it up again after some time away, hoping to gain some new ground after learning from my failures, only to find that I can add “ability to eat correctly” to my list of failures. When I wasn’t starving, I was apparently making my character overeat to the point of dizziness.

Dude, f*ck life in medieval Europe. That sucked.

Like, I applaud the game’s commitment to realism or whatever, but dang that was rough.

Anyway, back-ish into the swing of things here, and life is truly good enough that the complaining I do is just for fun. I’m currently taking part in NYC Midnight’s Microfiction Challenge 2022, and while I’m sure my second round submission has a good chance of flopping, I did come in 1st place in my heat in round one. So that was cool. Otherwise, I have some stuff coming out later this month I should probably announce on the day of…so I will, I guess. (I’m not even trying to be funny, the words you just read was my train of thought as it happened. Just felt like being honest with you.)

Ciao, beautiful people.

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