Year in Review

Well, it’s time for my year in review.  I’d like to take a few moments to look back and see how things went.   Let’s start with my New Year’s Resolutions for 2007.  Number 1, I’d like to imagine that I spent more time with my family, but I don’t really remember doing so.  I think I made some effort, but not much.  Still there are times when I call my mother and she asks “Who is this?”  She’s a funny one, my mother.  Number 2, I managed to cover more than 900 miles (916.8 to be exact, thus far) so that’s good.  I have a couple of goals that I want to shoot for in the New Year, but you’ll have to wait for the resolutions to come out to find out what they are.  And Number 3, I chose to learn a new instrument.  I managed to make the clarinet make a decent amount of noise that sort of conglomerated itself into a song or two.  I’m still practicing (need a new reed) and I’m hoping to get much better at it.  I’ll probably be looking to get some clarinet music soon.  So all in all, not too bad on the resolutions.

Overall, the year has been good.  I finished my penultimate semester of college with an “A” and I have a good jumpstart on finishing my thesis next semester.  I recently joined the Episcopal church which has been a great boost to my spiritual journey.  I finished 2 half marathons and have managed to keep my blood pressure under control.  We managed a move upstairs to a new bedroom with a limited budget and we also built a new fence in the backyard.  It’s been a good year and I imagine that this next year will be good as well.

Check out the movies and events pages…I finally got those updated.  Seven movies reviewed, so it’s been a while.  This isn’t the last post of the year (I hope), but I’m not sure what my time will be like during the holidays.  So, if I don’t see you before then…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you in the funny papers!

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55Fiction Friday

Okay…I’m only working a half day today, so I’ll make this short. First, Happy Birthday to my Dad! And on a sadder note, Requiescat in Pace Melisa Augustson. Finally, the 55Fiction, sponsored by Ms. Wurdibitsch:

The wrapping paper lay in tatters on the floor of the living room.  Everyone had gone leaving the Williams’ staring longingly at the tree.  Ma wrapped in her blanket and Pa holding her close to his heart.  She snuggled into his chest on the crisp morning, thanking heaven they had escaped a Christmas Eve fire.

See you in the funny papers!

So far behind…

I haven’t posted in a week. I have about 3 or 4 movies and a couple of events that I have yet to review on my other pages. I have a stack of work on my desk. And yet, I am at peace. Why?! Because I gave my thesis proposal presentation yesterday and by all accounts (at least the ones I’ve heard from) I did a very good job and I am extremely pleased to be finished with the semester.  That said, I promise to get this site updated this weekend at the latest.

ONE SEMESTER TO GO!

See you in the funny papers!

A Psalm of Life by H.W. Longfellow

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;–

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

A light gone out in a darkened world

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.~Dalai Lama

…as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.Matthew 25:40

Saturday morning, I awoke to find myself with several tasks and very little time to do them. The most pressing, in my mind, was the removal of leaves from our yard. I was expecting heavy rain on Sunday and I did not want to deal with both the clogged street gutter and pounds of wet tree debris. So I hustled on out into the brisk morning and found the task not all that tiresome, but still time-consuming. Regardless, the point of this post is not to bore you with ordinary yard work, but to relate a life lesson…at least for me.Extinguished candle

About halfway through my task, I noticed a young woman and, presumably, her son walking down our street. Now, our street is not situated to invite a lot of foot traffic, unless of course you live in the neighborhood. And another odd thing was that they eschewed the sidewalk, preferring to saunter down the middle of the road. I continued in my raking and bagging until the woman approached me to ask for directions. In an effort to assist her I asked her where she was going and the address was rather far away still I proceeded to give her the best directions that I could. She said thank you and walked away, child in tow. I watched them walk away and wrestled heavily with the thought of calling out for them to stop, offering to take them in my car to their destination given the lengthy distance to their destination. Several times I put my rake down only to stifle my own good nature and resume raking. This moment has haunted me for three days now and I still wish that I had done more than just provide directions.

Several people have weighed in with their own concerns ranging from my personal safety, to the thought that I will one day be presented with a similar opportunity and will have knowledge to make that decision, to the lady and her child preferred the exercise. All of these are valid points, some having more bearing than others on my conscience. Yet, I still can’t get the image of those two people walking away slowly, probably desperately looking for someone to help and directions was all that I offered. I still consider it to be a lost opportunity to be a light in a dark world and I probably won’t soon forget that experience.

I’d be interested in other opinions, but I don’t expect that any of them will change my feelings on the experience. They will merely assist in, hopefully, softening the devastation I felt at not being a compassionate human being; to fail at the most basic level of kindness.