Monday, December 29, 2008

Clean Sweep!

I don't know about you, but I still have Christmas decorations up. Far from being proof of my tendencies toward laziness, I've held an Epiphany party in early January for the last few years, which provides a legitimate reason to leave my ever-so-slightly tacky tree and porch lights up a little longer.

But Christmas is over and New Year's is a-coming. One of my favorite New Year's traditions is the hanging of a broom on the front door. The idea is to provide a physical reminder of the "sweeping away" of the old year. However, I don't do the black-eyed peas and collard greens thing. I'm Southern; I don't need to prove it. Pass the sweet tea and hush puppies, y'all!

At any rate, it's a good time to look back over the year and I must say, there's more on the "good" side of the scale than on the "not so good" side. I had the thrill of being published. I was a "roving chair" (I still prefer the term "ottoman"!) for the third biennial Slayage conference. I grew tomatoes and basil. Hey, I even started a Facebook page and reconnected with friends from decades ago!

Life is good. Really. I just need to remember that a little more often.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Facebook Revolution!

Sigh. I avoided it as long as I could. No, not wrapping Christmas gifts (although I really need to get on that). It's also not writing Christmas cards (although now that I mention it, I really need to get on that, too).

No - I refer to joining Facebook. I really have put it off. I mean, I have this blog and I'm pretty good about writing here on a regular basis. It just didn't seem like Facebook (or any other "social networking" site) was something I needed to tinker with.

Until today.

Instead of getting an occasional "hey, I'm out here and I'd like to hear from you, don't you remember me?" I was barraged today. Fully a dozen college chums hit my inbox, all with invitations. I'm not too sure what's going to come of this - many of these fine folks I haven't spoken to in - gee, fifteen years. But I'm willing to find out.

So I'm in the process of setting up a Facebook page. I'll let you know when it's a done deal, although I bet I just set up a skeleton for now. Is this the beginning of a brave new world for Mockingbird? Or just nothing but trouble?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

'Tis the Season

Unfortunately, "'tis the season" includes things other than holly boughs, decked halls, and shiny ornaments. It also includes any variety of nasty bugs that circulate and breed in closed environments such as offices and schools. For many a year, I'd been lucky enough (and nearly obsessive about hand-washing, truth be told!) to avoid catching anything more than a sniffle, but the law of averages caught up with me recently.

It was the polar opposite of fun. Furthermore, while a stomach bug is never to be mistaken with a stroll through a sunlit park, I can say with great authority that the recent consumption of chicken teriyaki does absolutely nothing to render the experience more pleasant.

Luckily, it was a short-lived bug - a basic 24-hour variety. (Okay, it seemed a lot longer at the time, but it was only a day according to the clock.) The truly odd thing about such an illness is the opportunity it provides for the "sickee" to contemplate the concept of gratitude.

Told you it was weird. But it's true.

You discover how many friends you have. For example, Stacked Librarian and I were scheduled to go for our annual Christmas tree hunt; an outing that we had to put off. She couldn't have been kinder about the delay. FryDaddy brought me soup (Chicken 'n' Stars - my childhood favorite) and tucked me in. My colleagues (to be fair, I was [legitimately] described as "peaked" by these same people) basically told me to go home and not answer my phone.

It's nice to know people care. It's also nice to know that the world can spin without you for a day or two when you feel sick. And it's especially nice to know that it's okay to ask for some help when you feel too shaky to be vertical for eight straight hours. And it's sheer heaven to wake up and realize that you're well again.