Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Decade of Discomfort.

In the end I was too callow to leave up the mortifying karaoke video that I posted here briefly, but 2015 is calling for just one more tumbleweed of a post on this lonely corral. Believe it or not, Uncomfortable Moments turned 10 this year. Who knew? It doesn't look a day over 45, in Internet years.

Saying I tried to update the template to my blog yesterday—which is true—is like saying I tried to change the batteries for my Discman. Even an "updated" look for this hoary platform looks absurd, so I'm just going to keep on keeping it real here.* I used to be fairly adept technically, but that was back in the 90s.

Every December, Sir UncMo, who is an excellent photographer, makes me a book of pictures from the year. The book of 2015 has a lot of goodness packed into it.

First, we got a house, snow piling extra quietness onto the little street of 1950s-era colonials. The next month after moving in, we left for Iceland.

I expected it to be cold. I expected horse meat on the menus. I did not expect it to be so freaking relaxing. It is so open, and empty, that it feels like you can just let your worries fly out into all of that space.

You will try to capture it with your phone,  hanging out car windows and hovering above steaming geothermal pools, and your phone will simply blink at you and say look, I'm doing the best I can here, but why don't you just chill out and use your eyes?

After that came a trip to Hawaii for the third and final wedding among my San Francisco friends. And even though there are now children and husbands and many miles involved, the four of us still managed to escape for one more wine weekend this fall, before L. moved back to Oahu with her new husband.

Back at home,  Sir UncMo discovered the joys of Home Depot. "I think it is like Sephora for men," he said. I think he is right.

We zoomed in on the moon from the backyard, watched fireflies, and then butterflies, got startled by rabbits, cursed at squirrels.

In a year of unmitigated Trump and tragic headlines, I got another week at the beach with my mom and sister. Another year of being employed. Of health. Of holidays with family. Of angst over dumb stuff.

There's always angst over dumb stuff, which makes you temporarily unsee all the other important and good stuff, such as the thousand permutations of sunlight that you keep trying to capture with your phone.

Though the five-year diary tradition continues, other things have fallen by the wayside.  This blog, as usual. Any attempt to write with a pen in a journal. My Japanese studies. I also mostly stopped trying to figure out and record multitrack snippets of songs for fun.

"It's just a waste of time," I said of the singing. That's how I felt about the journals, too, and even this blog sometimes: They were pointless distractions keeping me from doing the Real Writing that I only fitfully manage to do after spending all day at work.

"I don't agree," Sir UncMo said. He argued that any one creative expression supports all the other creative expressions. Well, he said it much better and clearer than that. But I started to think that he had a point, and that it wouldn't hurt me to waste a little more time on "unproductive" pursuits. Just a little more.

So that leads to my vague set of guidelines for 2016. More instinct. Less fear. Fewer glowing screens. More real light, in a million new permutations.

Happy new year, friends!

* Update: After all that bellyaching, I am experimenting with a new template so that I can display photos at a better size without breaking the homepage. I don't know about this. It involves change.

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