Merry Christmas, and goodbye to the 2010s

This is going to be one of those blog posts that could turn into a real monster if I’m not careful. I’ve got no particular plans for today, and a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head. I’ve started seeing a lot of “top 10 (whatever) of the 2010s” articles on the web lately, and that’s gotten me thinking about this last decade. Honestly, if not for all the click-bait articles, I don’t know if I’d even have noticed that a decade was ending. It’s been kind of a blur. Now that I’m thinking back on it, though, there were a lot of changes in my life, and maybe a few things worth commenting on. This might make more sense as a New Year’s Day post rather than a Christmas post, but, well, I’m thinking about it today, so it’s getting written today.

The end of the previous decade was pretty eventful for me, with my Dad passing away in 2009, my Mom passing away early in 2010, and the company I’d worked for through that whole decade going out of business in December 2009. So I started the 2010s in rough shape, without my parents, and looking for a new job. I don’t have a lot of Christmas day blog posts, but this one from 2009 is a little glimpse into how I was doing ten years ago.

I started using Day One in 2014, though I didn’t start using it regularly until 2016. Prior to that, I was using five-year journals, having started one in 2007 and another in 2012. So I’m looking at those, and Day One, and this blog, to try to piece together a bit of my progress over the decade. My initial impression when I started thinking about this decade was something along the lines of Comic Book Guy’s reaction in this Simpson’s clip: “Oh, I’ve wasted my life.” But then I started thinking, and realized that I’ve actually made some progress over the last ten years, and, in some ways at least, I’m in a pretty good place. So here’s a couple of personal highlights from the 2010s:

  • At the beginning of this decade, I wasn’t paying too much attention to my general health or weight. But I had started logging my weight on New Year’s Day in my five-year journal, and I see that on January 1, 2010, I was 223 pounds. I was in the 220s or 230s through to January 1, 2013. I started my diet in September 2013, and got down to 200 pounds by 1/1/2014. I was down to 150 by 1/1/2015, and I’m now maintaining my weight in the 135-140 range.
  • I started the decade working on a time-limited consulting job for the company that bought up the remnants of NMS, the company I’d worked for though the 2000s. That ended in March 2010. I spent April looking for a job and started a new one, with Electric Vine, in May. I took a significant pay cut for that, but it was fun and challenging. I stuck with EVI through to January 2013, when I accepted a job at SHI. I’m still at that job, in pretty much the same position. I’ve been doing pretty well, and I’ve managed to get back to a pretty good salary level. I have a good relationship with my boss, and I think I’m generally doing a good job. I have some concerns about the dangers of professional stagnation, but I’m doing enough interesting work that I’m not too worried about that yet.

In looking through my old paper journals and in Day One, I see some other positive trends over the last decade, but nothing else that I really want to blog about in detail. My personal relationships have changed a lot over the course of the decade, mostly due to people passing away, including my parents and my friend Gloria. The fact that I’m spending Christmas alone in my apartment, writing a blog post, should probably be a warning sign or something, but really I could be spending time with other humans if I wanted to. I’ve just been fighting a bad cold on and off since Thanksgiving and I’m probably better off taking it easy today.

Anyway, that’s about 5% of the thoughts that are rolling around in my head right now. Sorry for writing a self-indulgent and maudlin post on Christmas, but I needed to get some stuff out of my head.

I’m thinking about going out to see the new Star Wars movie today, though I’m not sure that’s a good idea, since I’m still coughing and blowing my nose a lot, and maybe staying home and resting would be better for me. I watched the first two Harry Potter movies last night, with RiffTrax commentary, and that was fun, so I’m thinking about watching some more RiffTrax stuff today, and/or reading some comic books. I’m not planning on doing anything fancy for food today, though I might indulge in some Chinese food for dinner later. So that’s what a sick, single, 50-something nerd does on Christmas, for anyone who was wondering.


Eighties Nostalgia and weird Christmas stuff

The new Netflix series The Toys That Made Us looks like it should be fun. It looks like it’s concentrating mostly on toys from the 80s. I’m old enough that I was pretty much done with toys by 1980, but I did (of course) have some Star Wars toys. (Though maybe those were my younger brother’s toys, technically. Either way, they were pretty cool.)

My old friend Mike Pajaro is a guest on a recent episode of an 80s-themed podcast called Stuck in the 80s. The two regular hosts and Mike each pick a Christmas special from the 80s to talk about. Mike, of course, talks about the Alf Christmas Special. I was never a big fan of Alf, and have never seen this special, but it sounds like it’s a doozy. (If you’d rather read an amusing text summary of the special, rather than listen to my friend Mike describe it, read this.) The podcast is pretty funny. The other two Christmas specials they talk about are the Pee-Wee Herman special and the He-Man special.

Which reminds me that I added the Pee-Wee special to my Netflix queue when they added it a few years ago, but never watched it. I may have seen it when it originally aired, but I’m not sure. Either way, I should watch it this year. I haven’t really been in the mood for Christmas stuff this year, but I think I’d enjoy the Pee-Wee special.

And speaking of oddball Christmas stuff, I could really use a new Christmas-themed Radio Rashy episode, but I guess they stopped doing Radio Rashy, since there haven’t been any new episodes since 2015 or so. Maybe I’ll go back and listen to the Santa Claus is a Bitch episode, one of the last ones they did. (I’d love to grab one of their old Christmas Jukebox episodes, but I don’t think any of those are still available. I should have saved those mp3s.)

Merry Christmas

Looking at the “On This Day” sidebar on my blog, I see that I don’t normally write a blog post on Christmas day. But, well, I don’t have much to do today, and I woke up at 5:45am, so I might as well write one now and kill some time. So, Merry Christmas!

Due to circumstances beyond my control (as the saying goes), I’ve found myself on my own with no particular plans today. So this is, I think, going to be my first “free-form” Christmas, with no obligations or expectations.

It should be in the low 60s today, and cloudy (but hopefully not raining), for most of the day. So maybe I’ll go out for a walk or two. I’m thinking about hopping on a train into New York, but I’m not sure what I could do in NYC on Christmas day on my own, aside from just wandering around aimlessly.

I think maybe sitting around at home and watching old Doctor Who Christmas specials might be a good way to spend the day.

more Christmas music

And just to get carried away with the whole Christmas music thing, I also just downloaded the bonus tracks from A Charlie Brown Christmas that are available on eMusic. (I downloaded the original album from them a couple of years ago.) And A Bing Crosby Christmas, just to use up my remaining credits for the month. Boy howdy, I’m in a Christmas mood now!