Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blue notes

I've been feeling a bit melancholy of late, due to a number of coinciding factors. In no particular order, here are some of these factors that contribute to my current state of mind:

The onset of the holiday season - to tell the truth, I've never been a big fan of the holidays, except for the welcome break from school or work. And being Pagan, I generally don't get as whipped up into a frenzy as some Christians do about Christmas, perhaps because they only have that and Easter to show up with bells on. To me, Yule is just another celebration of the turning of the wheel, one of eight Sabbats I celebrate quietly, generally by myself.

And yet sometimes it's hard for me to ignore the fact that for the rest of the world, the holidays are about reconnecting with one's birth family as evidenced by the upcoming busiest travel day of the year tomorrow. And while my family here in New Jersey is wonderful and we have our own traditions, I am still apprehensive about the actual appointed days (Nov. 22 and Dec. 25) when I feel like I'm the only person in the world who spends these days alone (although of course that is an imagined feeling, because I know there are many, many people who are doing the same, and perhaps in less fortunate circumstances than me). But this is my pity party, so I don't have to be reasonable about it, especially since I really don't have any desire to connect with my birth family. I think I just miss the idea of having a birth family that accepts and loves me unconditionally. Given the choice, who wouldn't want that?

Missing AP - it's been a week since meeting my friend and I miss her. Nothing too complicated about that.

Work - things have been both dull and stressful at work. My productivity numbers are down because there hasn't been a lot of work to do, which isn't my fault, but reflects poorly on me nevertheless. I've actually been sending some feelers out in the job market looking for new opportunities, but probably won't make a move before the end of the year, unless the perfect fit comes up. It's also been a strain on me to not have any days off since I took them all in January and February when I was out for surgery. The last time I had significant time off was the July 4 holiday week, then one day on Labor Day, so I'm feeling pretty burned out. I can't wait until 2008 when I have a full slate of paid time off (three weeks plus sick time and holidays). Also, we're lucky to have Christmas week off until Jan. 2, so that will be a nice break.

Health - I've been dealing with allergies pretty much constantly for the last two months, and it has taken a lot of energy out of me, not to mention enough Kleenex to reconstitute a forest. With the season's first real snow arriving this week, I'm hopeful I will start to get over that soon. Also, I still haven't done any meaningful exercise this year, while the whole rest of my family has been diligently walking each day. Gotta get around to that.

Relationship issues - too private to talk about here, but this is a pretty minor quibble. I actually had a very nice time with Tara last night. We went to Fuddruckers for hamburgers and shakes, then I wiped the table with her in a game of air hockey. Then she bested me in a car racing game, and we ended up shooting basketballs together on a mini-hoop and both made the same number of shots. It's just some of the long-term issues that we have that are always going to be a source of dissatisfaction for me.

Anyway, the thing I am looking forward to is setting up my front video projector I ordered from ProjectorPeople.com yesterday. As some of you know, when I'm feeling down, I usually cure it by shopping. I ordered a Panasonic high-definition (720p) projector, a pull-down, 16x9 Draper screen that measures 82 inches diagonal and the necessary cables. I still need to add an HD-DVD player (which I'll probably get on Black Friday coming up) so I can install the whole setup on Saturday.

I've done several such installations in the past, but this will be the first one I've done for myself. I'm excited to finally work on my own setup, although since it's in an apartment, I can't do a lot of things like I've done in the past (like ceiling mounting, in-wall speakers and wiring, etc.) Still, with the rapid progress of digital video projection, this should be by far the best-looking theater in terms of picture quality I've ever done. I can't wait to get started on it over the long holiday weekend. I'll be sure to post pictures later.