January: Superlatives and changes

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

-Zora Neale Hurston

I believe that 2019 is a year for answers. Life is changing, as it always does, but these shifts feel a bit more seismic, weightier, life-defining. If one holds to the theory of convergence, in that good things coincide with bad things then this year is shaped from a merging of various threads, some serendipitous, some foreboding. A sense of inevitability pervades the edges of my vision, just how well and effectively I’m able to navigate it all will be my measure of success and meaning in this year and in those to come.

Best moments:

Meeting up with my tribe, the Cleveland Indians, at Tribe Fest 2019- the day ran smoothly and the players were gracious, fun and welcoming. One cool highlight was meeting my favorite pitcher and spirited ace, Cookie Carrasco. I cropped my teen niece right out of this photo because hanging with Cookie was my personal fan moment (also I have a heart of stone). Plus, I tend to look twelve-years-old when I wear a ball cap, you know I’m posting any photo that captures that look, no matter how cheesy said photo may be.

Bloodiest: The books I read in January. Blood, Water, Paint by Joy McCullough shattered my notion of what a young adult book could be and shredded my heart and emotions, but carefully stitched them back together with a stronger cord. Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman, took lethal to a new level, introducing plot threads and escalating outcomes in the most insane manner. I loved them both, reviews to come.

Coziest: As a wax melter, it’s a rarity for me to choose the same vendor consistently. I bounce around and crave variety, which is why I’m surprised to be nearly finished with 5 bags of That Smell Good Shop‘s scents featured in my Nov./Dec. posts. The smokey marshmallows, warm coffee and cornbread and spicy fragrances have cozy-fied my home for a straight month. That’s the best testimony I can give to the somewhat underrated vendor.

Most repeated: album: Brandi Carlile’s By The Way, I Forgive You (2018). It’s raw folk-rock sound, haunting hooks and grittiness appeals to my inner truth seeker and general love for female power anthems.

You tube viewing: The A. V. Club’s A.V. Undercover videos featuring bands playing cover versions from a dwindling list of 25 choices. If you know and watch these performance gems, we are or shall be friends.

Biggest Change: I’ve gotten a new job! I’m still within the same library system, but I’ll be working in an office full-time performing technical services, no longer working with the public for the first time in my adult life. A promotion, increased responsibilities and hours will most certainly affect my blogging output. I’m uncertain exactly how much just yet, as I don’t start the new position for a couple more weeks.


Even more than my customers and books, I know I’ll miss my late mornings with this sleepy fella. Pre-work snugs with Johnny, lazy mugfuls of coffee and weekday morning writing sessions won’t be possible with my new schedule, but I’m determined to find a way that works for me.

Most infected: Me (second only to my husband). Since late December and for most of January, we’ve both experienced a vicious respiratory virus and for me, a nasty stomach bug. We seem to have finally leveled off into normal health, but will have to make up some lost holiday fun and togetherness later in February.

Wackiest: Being part of the 80% of the country hit by the polar vortex. Sandwiched between a dumping of 10 inches of snow and an upcoming balmy near 60 degree heatwave ahead, that’s the bananapants winter weather of Norheast Ohio folks.


I shy away from resolution-making for the most part, but, in light of an impending job change, lifestyle shift, additional responsibilities and a few other realistic concerns, I’ve adopted the immortal words defiantly scrawled onto a fridge memo board at 4 a.m. in the cult classic film, Shaun of the Dead: Sort life out! (mate) I’ve taken prickish Pete’s directive to heart and am commencing life sorting. It’s about time also, its not hip-hop, it’s electro.

10 thoughts on “January: Superlatives and changes

  1. Sort your fuckin’ life out, mate! Ha, another serendipitous moment – I shouted this at Will last night after falling into a loop of Shaun of the Dead quotes (also “And the front door is open AGAIN!” and “How many of them are out there?” “Lots.” “LOTS!”) Hey, speaking of Dylan Moran (pacifist David) have you ever seen a British show called Black Books? Have we discussed this before? I think it was on the BBC, or maybe one of their ancillary channels. He plays this total bastard grump who owns a book shop in London. Wackiness ensues. My husband was a huge fan, and I suspect you might like – or maybe even love – it.

    But, mate, it sounds like your life IS sorted, inasmuch as you know there’s big changes coming, and you’re trying to prepare yourself for them as well as you can. That’s all life is, just trying to prepare for the next thing, having no idea what that thing might be.

    But a new job! Congratulations, I didn’t know you were contemplating a move. That’s so wonderful. 🙂 We spend so much friggin’ time doing these things (jobs) and we should be rewarded – yay, promotion! – for it. Even if you can’t snuggle with Johnny in the mornings. 😦 That would make me sad, too. I always felt like such a jerk leaving the cats in the mornings, even though they couldn’t have cared less that I was heading out, because they were asleep, like the sensible animals they were. 🙂

    And I have also been sick – as has Will, off and on – since we got home from our trip at the beginning of November. It’s just all congestion, all the time. It’s been kind of brutal. Oh my god, are we characters from the first 350 pages of The Stand?


    1. HA! If a fitting Shaun of the Dead quote doesn’t apply to something, did it EVEN happen? Thank you for your words of wisdom, you are insightful in that I’ve been mentally prepping, but my life is far from sorted in manyways. Lol, but I guess you’re right, whose is? I’ll skip the anxiety and just be satisfied with taking the changes as they come (also, I’ll go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for this all to blow over).

      And thank you! I wasn’t contemplating a move, but a full-time position opened up and I tried for it, honestly surprising myself in getting it bc I had applied for a previous one in my system and didn’t even get an interview. Perhaps my attitude of channeling Red facing the parole board in Shawshank for the last time had something to do with it?–stamp your form son. Anyway, I’ll miss my cozy country library like crazy but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. As far as blogging, 80% of my posts are written in the a.m. and 90% of my photos bc the lighting in my house is shite. I’ll see if I can make it work, but wanted to put a heads up out there in case I”m MIA for a bit.

      Hmmm, been a long time since I’ve read The Stand, but I’m sure I’m hanging with Larry, oh no! Am I Nadine??


      1. Oh no, not a Shawshank fan! Every boyfriend I ever had (I make it sound like there were tons; there were not) LOVED that freakin’ movie. I’ve fended off more gropings mingled with daddy issue crying while that movie plays in the background…I’m kidding, but only a bit. 🙂 But yeah, not my jam, not even the story. I’m sorry!

        You are SO not Nadine, my friend. How about Larry’s imminently competent, understanding and resourceful lady, Lucy? She’s the least batshit of the women, and she’s got her act together in a normal person kind of way. Not in a “I’m compelled to bone ultimate evil” kind of way.

        I have a terrible time with lighting in my apartment as well. I have to take my photos outside for best light, and even then, there’s always weird glare going on because if it’s not so dim that everything comes out muddled, it’s overly bright. It’s a constrain, isn’t it? I’ve never been able to manage a lightbox situation for some of my nail art work, but that would be a better solution than freezing my butt off outside and still getting glare-y photos.


        1. Oh yes ma’am. Maintaining hope in the darkest circumstances, finding beauty in humanity, rising above the cards your dealt, overcoming oppression and recognizing dignity too often overlooked in fellow beings The short story, screenplay, movie are collectively some of the most essential, personally memorable and inspiring. And I have zero daddy issues. Plus having explored the prison grounds where the film was shot, it was a deeply felt experience.
          Forget the unworthy foolish gropers of your past, perhaps watch it on your own or read SK’s short story sometime, you might view it differently.


        2. As far at my lighting problem, I’m looking to next fall/winter when I’ll be leaving the house and arriving home in darkness 6 days a week with work/speech tourney Saturdays-that’s going to be a tough workaround. I have tried some smallish light box lights but they do nothing to combat the shadows and just end up looking unnatural. The stupid life-giving sun is vital for countless reasons yet I selfishly just care about it for proper photo lighting. First world probs.


    2. Forgot to respond to the Black Books question bc I must have prioritized the rhetorical Stand question instead! (if I’m answering comments during the day, I’m at work, and thoroughness is always a dicey prospect). So, my husband watched some episodes a couple yrs ago and recommended it, w/your’s and Will’s endorsement I’ll get on that soon:)
      Hope you are on the mend and fully recovered soon-gotta store up them health credits for your next Disney stay.


      1. Still kinda sniffly, but going to Disney anyways! Hey, let’s be responsible and spread the influenza or whatever, right? This truly is how The Stand starts…you know ground zero wasn’t actually a small town gas station but Disney World.

        Black Books, Black Books! Clearly we have excellent taste in men.


  2. Congrats on your new job!!! I hope it is fulfilling and just what you and your family need. May your puppers get more evening snuggles and may you find a balance. ❤ I am excited for you. I am right there with you 2019 has some heavy power behind it. Lots of change and lots of adventures for me. May we both have a great year.


    1. Thank you, eeek! I’m getting ants-in-my-pants waiting to start, I hope it’s fulfilling too, as it’s a very different role. 2019’s air is charged with something for sure, it’s a little obscured at this point, but I hope it’s happy for you and yours as well ❤


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