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A tediously detailed account of my first three days of the new year.
Shining and New: 2006 Year in Review (thus far)
Some of you may or may not know that I just had a birthday (it's OK if you forgot). My birthday is New Year's Eve. Funny thing about having a birthday on the day before the new year is that you feel a certain synchronicity with the calendar. You and the year get older at almost exactly the same time. Since I've been lax about updating I thought I'd share my first few days of 0028 AA (Anno Arjini).
Day one was expected to be 41°C. It ended up around 45 instead. I think that hit the record for most insanely hot day I've ever experienced in Sydney. The plan was to get a big bag of ice from the 7-11 and put it in a bucket in front of the fan. I got up around 11am and it was way to hot by then to go outside. I thought about taking the umbrella with me, but then I'd have to carry an umbrella and a big bag of ice at the same time in sweltering heat. Instead I put a few ice cubes in a big bucket of water in front of the fan. That kind of worked.
Mr Wiggins and I decided to try out my new birthday present: X-Men Legends II: The Rise of Apocalypse for the PS2. Mr Wiggins played Wolverine (of course) and switched between Nightcrawler and Colussus for his backup team member. I played The Scarlet Witch (because I had just been reading an Avengers trade) and Storm (because flying rocks). It involved minimal movement and maximum distraction as we dehydrated our way through to about 6pm. Then the voltage converter I needed for my PS2 (which was purchased in the States & doesn't have a universal power supply— silly Sony) finally gave out. I was kind of impressed that it survived as long as it did. At least we had recently saved. Hopefully the PS2 survived the burnout :-/. My new voltage converter is on its way.
Sometime after dark, a big wind stirred up and the air cooled down by about 20 degrees or so. We went out in search of DVDs and pizza, because it was now unbearably hot inside compared to outside.
Sometime early in the morning, maybe around 3AM, a huge downpour woke me up. The rain thundered to an almost deafening degree, and then calmed. The next morning was relievedly overcast and rainy. The house was still hot even with the windows and doors open.
A friend took Mr Wiggins and me to the cinema to watch King Kong. Peter Jackson really knows his giant bug grossouts. I almost fell out of my seat when the giant centipedes showed up. On the surface it's an action flick; there was some interesting irony with the reference to Heart of Darkness, when the young kid Jimmy says to his mentor Mr Hayes, "this isn't an adventure story, is it?" The other key to the story is near the end, when the great Kong is in chains on Broadway and Driscoll reflects with Preston on Driscoll's (the movie producer who engineers Kong's discovery and capture) dream of finding mystery and letting everybody have a piece of it "for the price of an admission ticket."
"That's the thing about Jack," Driscoll comments. "He always destroys the thing he loves." (Or something to that effect— fuzzy memory of the exact wording.)
King Kong was entertaining but long. Ate some sushi with Mr Wiggins & Big Daddy (our lovely chauffer for the day). Did some grocery shopping.
Day three started out sunny and warm. I got up early and headed back to work for the first time in two weeks. It was quiet at work. We're still officially in "skeleton crew" mode and only a few people are actually around. I took home my Christmas bonus: a brand new Sony PSP. Unfortunately, it doesn't really come with anything to play (I can't complain too much, since I did get it for free, although I paid for it with my soul through devious, immoral, but perfectly legal, means). That means spending at least about 60-70 AUD to do anything other than web browse at home.
But it's still really cool to have one.
Started reading The Tipping Point, birthday present from The Dad. It's interesting, although I'm not sure I'd completely agree with all the conclusions it draws. I did enjoy reading about the research and effort that went into the creation of children's television for Sesame Street and Blue's Clues. Very interesting stuff.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I hate New Year's Resolutions. Usually because I don't know what mine are. And then I change them by February. So since it's all totally arbitrary, I think someone else should decide them for me. Feel free to enter your opinion on the following, even if you don't know me at all.
- What language should I teach myself this year?
- Welsh - you know you've been wanting to learn it for the past 8 years
- Japanese - I can't believe you haven't osmotically absorbed it after all that anime
- Spanish - All those semesters in high school and college, wasted
- Other - (Insert personal scolding here)
- What type of art should I pursue?
- Poetry - All Things White and Circular cries alone at night, missing you
- Watercolours - They're just going to dry out if you don't use them
- Hand Bookbinding - You like books! Make your own
- Drawing - That one page of a comic book script that you started to write could use a friend
- All of the above - You spend too much time watching Buffy on DVD anyway
- Select a "Get Organised!" goal for me:
- This year, you're going to apply Getting Things Done to everything
- Make it to the gym every other day
- Keep your spending perfectly balanced in GnuCash without any adjustments for that $30 that you have no idea what you spent it on
- Blog at least 3 times a week
- How politically/socially involved should I be?
- Start writing your own messages when sending a letter to a congressperson instead of just filling in your details in the MoveOn form
- Apply for dual citizenship— you're eligible now. Then you can vote twice as much!
- Click on The Hunger Site every day
- Go to one of those kooky Socialist Alliance talks that are always advertised around Newtown and get into arguments with them
- Actually use some of the stuff mentioned on Treehugger
- Free-form random resolution x