December 31, 2011

Curious, George: How are you? Hey, Monkeyfilter, how've you been? What's been going on? Any year end highlights you want to share? Any must have experiences?

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year before the time zones start rolling. I'm not much one for tradition or conformity, but I'm all for an excuse to say hi and wish everyone all the best, give people a chance to talk about whatever is going on they find interesting, and hear about what is going on in the world. So, spit it out. Jabber. It's been ages. I've been busy. How are you?

  • I expanded my business a bit by opening a new office and hiring another lawyer. I am hoping that it makes things easier in the long run, but the holiday season was just as tight as ever. My father is not doing well (stroke, heart surgery) so my parents moved from central New York down to North Carolina where I live. In fact, they live next door to me. So far, so good. We are going over there for dinner tonight. Lastly, my wife turned forty this year and we are still baby-less. It is not for lack of trying. We have a young woman we are hoping to meet next week who is pregnant and wants to find someone to adopt. We'll see.
  • Pootling along quite happily this time last year, really getting down to brass tacks with unpacking in our new house. Moved interstate to a new city at the start of April. Said goodbye to the family hound in 2011. Bernockle - best wishes for the new year to you and yours. We're thinking about a family now and from the outside looking in "it's complicated" doesn't even begin to cover it. Happy 2012 everybody!
  • I am broke, alone, disabled, directionless... and having the time of my life. Maybe one of John Lennon's last songs, "Watching the Wheels", kind of explains it, but making a good life on a minimal disability stipend (but still more than some people get, thanks to 30 years working my ass off), not enough to afford a car (but there's good local bus service here) but enough to afford a $149 TouchPad, my only responsibility is living within a budget. With the former 'love of my life' institutionalized with a legal firewall between me and that psychic vampire (yes, that's harsh but I've learned it's true), with my father passing away semi-peacefully at 90 after decades of providing me an example of living out your remaining years UNhappily, the alone-ness is totally liberating for me. Already past the 50% survival rate for those with a similar heart condition, yet not in a really degenerative state (YET), I accept that every additional day I have is pure luck (I'd say 'a gift' but my personal philosophy has abandoned all hope of identifying who/what to thank). And with a world full of people burdened by circumstances worse than what I have, and realizing that I am actually living more comfortably than I ever have before, if I'm not happy, I certainly am content. Even if I die before the end of January, 2012 is going to be a good year.
  • Hey ethylene! We are consecutive numbers on MoFi! So good to hear from you after so long. As for me, 2011 was the worst. I don't care what the Mayan Calendar says, things have just got to improve.
  • The restaurant I work at was bought out by a larger corporation this year. I'm thankful I kept my job. My kids are getting involved in sports, and that is great. My wife lost her job this year at an insurance company. She is having trouble finding a new job. Here's to hoping that the economy picks up some in 2012!
  • I graduated from college this year (woo-hoo!) with a degree in psychology which is possibly helping me deal with being unemployed (no, wait, I'm a waitress!). I am sharing an apartment with two people I went to college with who also are not really working. I am hoping to live on my own in 2012! And, oneswellfoop, you sound like an inspiration to me. I would love to be able to have that great view of life that you have at the age I am. But now I am going to worry about you everytime you go a few days without posting!
  • I'm still around though I don't comment often. We're now taking care of my Mother-in-law in addition to our two kids; business is not good- the bottom fell out of the Film Scoring market, performances are rarer with the economy and people's increased propensity to stay home and commune with various types of screens so financially although things are still OK, we are closer to the edge than we would like to be. My wife has developed nerve issues in her arms and neck and has had to cut way back on performing the violin so that's both scary and depressing. OTOH, my kids are thriving, my parents are still doing OK despite being in their 80's and things could be worse. Musically, I have been a bit at sea since my dear friend and longtime collaborator, the brilliant drummer Mike Smith died. I'm tired of conventional Jazz and looking for a new direction. I've become interested in Bulgarian and Arab music and looking for people to play a Jazz-Arab-Bulgarian fusion that I have in mind but the problem is that few Jazz musicians can negotiate the considerable technical demands of Bulgarian music and most Bulgarian musicians generally suck at Jazz. Hoping to record a new CD this year but I'm not that optimistic I'll be able to do it. Sorry to go on, but you did ask! Happy New Year to all Monkeys, past and present!
  • kamus, it sounds like you've had a tough year. Fingers crossed this year is much improved and you find a new niche for music-making.
  • 2011 has been...interesting times here in Shakyville. But we are optimistic. I still check MoFi multiple times a day but I never seem to find postworthy tidbits so I'm overjoyed to see monkeys like BlueHorse and oneswellfoop and homunculus who always have things to say. Thank you to you three and to everyone who still takes the time to check in and contribute. MoFi will stay as long as there's someone reading, and I'll be here to keep the lights on. We have even had some new members recently (HI!). I have been flat out this year working full time and anyone who thinks teachers are lucky to get so much holiday time should shadow me for a week. My workday is 7:30am to 6pm most days, often with a ten-minute break and I eat my lunch while teaching, telling my kids not to talk with their mouth full while I munch my lunch. I love it though, and I'm at a great school. The minimonkeys are doing great at their school, both amazing readers (they get that from me) and a little bit crazy (they get that from #2). Anyway, one thing I haven't learned this year is to be less verbose. So.
  • Listening to Calisto now. Nice work, Kamus! Hope your wife gets much better on her violin as time goes on. But even if the Bulgarians won't do jazz, you'll do a great mix in any case, based on who you are.
  • Thanks Tracicle and Dan Folkus- nice to know you folks are still around. Tracicle's post reminds me that despite my problems, I don't have to actually worry about the earth opening up and swallowing me whole!
  • Merry new year everybody! I'm also still here, checking regularly, but failing to post. Resolution made to post more! 2011 was basically a world of suck, but with a couple of Good Bits, so on balance it was a net gain on 2010 which was pretty much the worst on record -- here's hoping 2012 takes a distinct upswing, for all of us. Sending big banana-covered monkey-hugs to monkeys everywhere.
  • Sounds like those monkeys who have posted so far have been having a tough time in the jungle. Me, just hanging on the branch, as usual. Still no job, and money's tight, but it's a familiar state. The daylight's increasing--Hooray!! I live for the 15 hours of daylight in the summer here in Idaho. It's getting time to look at starting seeds indoors. Planning to double the size of the garden next spring. Our old dog's getting up there, so I'm looking forward to raising a new puppy. Well, unless the old codger decides to live forever--thought we'd lost him three years ago, but he keeps growing more lumps, gimping around, and doing a superb stinky shedding rug imitation. Same with the useless old cat, Shiex. Quotes, the white cat, catches the mice, while orange cat, Dr. Steve, keeps my lap warm at the computer, and chases the mouse. I have a new horse that I'm madly in love with a Foxtrotter. Swore I'd never ride anything but an Arab and certainly not a gaited horse. I sold the one that dumped me 12 times in 11 months. I liked him, but he wasn't too reliable ;) I'm too old for that nonsense! Despite the slim wallet, the husband and I will keep our critters even if it means holding the temp at 65 degrees all winter and eating lots of beans. My grandkids are a delight as always, except when they're fighting. Sisters! The middle one is now my best riding buddy, and even if we haven't been able to afford to camp, we have a great time taking tinned sardines and bread and spending all day on the trail. Mr. BlueHorse has decided he really likes to cook, so I don't anymore! Happiness has ensued here from that particular life change. Other than not being able to lose any weight and needing a haircut, there's not much to complain about. I'm here to recommend that if you need a knee replacement, do it! Life is much better since then. Here's hoping 2012 is a better year for all monkeys everywhere. May you have health, jobs, babies (if wanted) fun with your critters, and quiet tectonic plates.
  • I still check the site now and then, since this site was my cyberhome for years. I basically spent 2011 doing some new things that I don't really do, just to see if I could. The answer is "yes, but they drive me crazy." And in the interim I'd been undervaluing the things that I really do, and have, and am. So this year is going to be about focusing on those. More singing; less annoyance. On the plus side, I moved house and got 2 cats. Pictures, OMG. I send the very best thoughts to all my fellow monkeys. It was a joy to work with mothninja on a theatre project this year. BlueHorse, I wish you luck with your new horse and many happy trails. kamus, I haven't forgotten how lovely it was to meet you a couple of years ago. I'm excited for your new direction; I love the way Bulgarian music plays with dissonance, and I think it will suit your style really well. May 2012 be generous and merciful to all of us.
  • Great to see so many old-time monkeys de-lurking. I too had a less than stellar 2011, health and financial-wise and look forward to 2012 with a mixture of optimism, trepidation and resignation. Glad to hear that Monkeybashi, desite her busy life and shaky realm, isn't giving up on us. Screw the financial worries - happy kids, good music, the love of fellow critters and robust health to all for 2012.
  • Great to hear from all my longtime Monkey friends. I wonder how many others of the longtime Monkeys have yet to de-lurk?