Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

December 31, 2010

Crawling Towards December 31st; Battered, Beaten and Bloody


Like most people, I try to look at January 1st as a chance to turn things around.  Finally gonna do this or that.  I make a half hearted attempt and usually abandon my quests by early spring.  That's why I don't make resolutions.  I try to start the new year off with a positive outlook with high hopes that maybe this is the year
Bran will get work, maybe this will be the year our country turns itself around, maybe humanity will start working together.  Call it the 60's/Deadhead in me.

Unfortunately, these days, by the time late December rolls around, I feel like I've been beaten, mentally, emotionally and physically, into an exhausted, apathetic pulp, as I crawl towards another new year.  That said, I do try to project a positive attitude and spin on things because, let's face it, if I didn't, I would be huddled in a corner, completely catatonic.  If I let all the stressors in my life, all those really annoying "what ifs" that can drive me into a panic attack, get to me, I'll be in a bad way.  2009 is proof positive of that.  Worst. Year. Ever.  Compared to 2009, 2010 was a way better year, even if finances are getting very tight and work is 100x more intense and crazy.  But that's a sign of the times too.  Life just sucks right now, for everyone, everywhere.  People are pissed off and taking it out on everyone around them.  

I'm going back over my post from this time last year, with all the things I wanted to accomplish in 2010.  I actually did get my business started and have made a few sales on Etsy, which is cool.  I consider that one a huge accomplishment...for me anyway.  I said I wanted to start cooking more, and I guess I have but not like I used to back in California.  The bottom line is that I'm just too damn tired when I get home from work to bother.  Didn't really take many walks like I wanted to, but as I recall the weather this year wasn't actually conducive to it either.  I did spend a ton of time making stuff this year, both during lunch at work and on the weekends.  

I also wanted to get out more and see people.  That one didn't work out as well as I wanted but only because everyone, including myself, has a schedule and they don't all jibe.  And on the weekends I just don't feel like getting in the car and driving long distances.  I'm so tired by week's end.  I did get to see my dear friend Joe, from high school, in July up in Seattle, which also gave me the opportunity to finally play tourist.  And I got Victoria out of my system (for now) and had a great time with Moriah at dinner & Ghostly Walks.  Plus I went to Mt. Rainier in the summer and that was well worth it.  

I did way more blogging this year and that's been a great outlet for me.  My muse left me in 2009, but it returned last year.  I'd like to thank my photographer blogging friends for showing me new ways to view the world, and my photography has started to transform.  It amazes me the new frontiers that digital photography has opened.  I resisted it at first, big time.  I swore I would never stop shooting film.  I was too much of a film snob purist to use digital.  Unfortunately with film, you only have a set number of pictures you can take, so you really only get one opportunity to take a decent photo, and you can't take a ton of photos of just one thing either.  Digital has made it so that I can spend a couple of hours window shopping in Sumner, but take more than 90 photographs.  That'd be like shooting 3 rolls of 36 exposure film, which is something I've never done, nor would it have ever occurred to me to do on a short shopping trip.  Back in the 80's, when I was still vacationing in San Francisco before moving there, I marveled at the time I shot 6+ rolls of film in a week!  SIX!!!!  This year I went to Victoria and shot nearly 500 photos in less than 36 hours.

And then there's the whole 'instant gratification' factor, which is a huge plus, because I am an instant gratification kind of gal.  Gone are the days of filling out your film envelope, dropping it off, and picking up the pictures later on. often days later.  Now I shoot them and have them uploaded and on line like that *snaps fingers*, in less than an hour.  I can tweak them if the colour is off or the exposure is too light/dark.  I can look at them whenever I want.  I just had the Victoria photos processed and am finding that putting them into a hard-copy photo album is a real chore.  Of course I can't just put pictures in an album like normal people.  No no no.  My Craft OCD dictates that each page be a work of art.  So I'm over there cropping pics, working up a layout, seeing what stickers and travel-related doo dads I can add, whilst grumbling about all the other craft projects I want to start and get to.  It's freakin WORK, you guys!  Seriously!  I have scads photos to go through and put into that album, and I'm only about 100 in.  As Dorothy Gale once said, "I'm frightened, Auntie Em!!!"  I just got some really cool new ephemera, plus my new beads, and want to get to another altered book.  Not sure what it will be yet, but they always manage to evolve on their own.  So many crafts!  So little time!!

Overall 2010 was a more productive year, but we are still in a precarious financial situation right now.  I'm using my Christmas & b-day money to buy the craft supplies I want since it's not in the budget at all for next year.  And I also finally sucked it up and got a medicine cabinet at Home Depot, a store that really intimidates me.  I have always found the floor help to not be quite as helpful as the commercials portray, if you can even find anyone to help you at all.

New Years Eve has always made me feel melancholy.  I used to weep at midnight whenever they'd show Guy Lombardo leading his orchestra through Auld Lang Syne.  It makes me cry at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life" too.  Midnight on NYE , for me, was somewhat depressing and lonely because I was usually alone, as my parents always went out with their friends, leaving me in the care of a babysitter.  When I got older my cousin Diane used to spend the night and we'd tape the Top 100 hits of the year off WRKO and have Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve on the TV downstairs.  We'd watch the ball drop in NYC and I would choke back tears.  I hated it that time was marching on, and the fun holidays were over and now it was just another slog through another depressing January.  It was even worse once I was home from college on break.  The loneliness was crushing.   Only once I went to a party during those college years.  NYE was way more fun and less lonely after college when I was out on my own and especially after I moved to California.

I continue to hope that 2011 will be a better year, but it's getting really hard to psyche myself up for it and be hopeful. I am reluctant to list things I'd like to accomplish in 2011, because at this point, I'm just taking each day as it comes.  Thinking about the future is impossible because life is throwing way too many curve balls.  I'm afraid to hope for anything because I'm tired of having them dashed.  All I can do is just keep playing everything by ear, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.  That's life in the 21st century, I guess.

So I leave you with one of the few New Years pop songs that I can remember, one I love:  George Harrison's "Ding Dong Ding Dong".  Happy New Year everyone!  Ring out the old, ring in the new!


  1. JoJo, it's so nice to hear your thoughts on things. I'm not a resolution sorta person either, but reading your post about being sad on nye makes me think that maybe this year we should make resolutions to make resolutions and just by making the resolution we'll be happier on new years. i don't know. happy new years and i hope you aren't sad.

  2. Anonymous2:44 PM

    You may be bruised honey, but you're still standing!! I hope 2011 is much kinder to everyone that 2010 crapped on from a great height.

  3. I'm still trying to win that Lottery prize, honey, so that I can help you out.

    You are amazing, you keep at it even though times are hard and work is exhausting. You are a heroine and a star.

  4. I agree, Jo. 2010 was a very difficult year. But what doesnt kill us makes us stronger, right? Best wishes to you and yours for a WONDERFUL 2011. Lets make it better than last year! :)

  5. Anonymous4:50 PM

    JoJo, it's always a delight reading your post. They, on not so bright days have been that glimmer of sunshine. I really hope for brighter days ahead for you and your husband.

    I loved the bit about using 35mm film in your post today. I too was one of the diehards when it came to switching to digital. I still have my old SLR that I bought when I went to collage for Journalism Arts. I don't think I'll ever give it up. About 6 months ago I bought a really nice digital camera that takes amazing photos. There is something missing though, and I think it has to do with the lighting of the photographs, they
    're less warm or something. As far scrapbooking your photos I can totally relate. I started about 10 years ago with the scrapbooking but have gotten away from it. Which I regret. Maybe that will be my resolution this year, to get back into it. I haven't developed a single picture since. They're all still on my camera or the computer. I'm being sucked into the digital age.

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year. xo

  6. You are still standing and that says a lot! Here's to good things in 2011 :)

  7. Here's hoping for a better new 2011! Cheers! xoxo

  8. BTW, forgot to say yesterday a huge THANK YOU for the gorgeous George clip.

  9. Happy New Year everyone!

    I appreciate your support and comments!! Most of all I appreciate your friendships. You guys are the BEST!

    Bev-I brought my Pentax SLR camera both to Kalaloch in March and Victoria in Oct. It's loaded w/ black and white film. It's a roll of 36 and I've only taken 6 photos!

  10. 2010 SUCKED. Let's all agree on that, BUT I concur with a lotta comments have made it through, babe! YOU ROCK, and you don't let anything get you down.

    You'll see, things will look up for you soon. As for me also being melancholy when the old year dies....not surprising that 2010's demise had me shedding absolutely NO TEARS. I was not even a little emotional, aside from wishing I was on the other side of the world, but I don't think any of us will miss it ;-)

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  11. Dngrkitty9:06 PM

    Happy New Year! Yup... I think you speak for so many of us. Looking forward to a 2011 that sparkles and shines! ((Big hugs))

  12. Happy new year to yooooou! I am a wreck by New Years as well. Mostly because of all the freaking COMMERCE and working in retail. If I hear one more Christmas song (ever) I will shoot myself. I could gladly go several years without Christmas, seriously. Advanced capitalism trashes everything, just sucks the life out of it.

    Hope this year is better for all of us overworked ole hippies. :)

  13. yeah, i'm nearly catatonic in the corner. only thing that saves me are "Playins" like the one the Dead played on February 22 way back in '73.

    you'll dig it: