January 15, 2023

I discovered this morning that the hard drive I’ve had for lo at least 15 years finally crashed. To be quite honest, I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did.

In the age of cloud storage, the only thing that I really used it for was music storage, as it was the most dense amount of files that I had (somewhere in the neighborhood of 32GB). Creating a backup solution for that music was a can that I’d been kicking down the road for as long as I can remember.

I did have enough room on my Google Drive to backup all the music that I had on my phone – which might be all of my music, period. So, I spent an inordinate amount of time taking all those files off the SD card, cleaning them up (removing duplicates, moving some files around, etc.), and getting them into Drive.

I use MediaMonkey to organize everything, and by some miracle, it has a feature that finds your missing files. So, instead of having to re-add all of the music back to my library by hand, it just went into Google Drive and updated locations.

As an aside, I think MediaMonkey is hard af to use, but it’s the only thing I’ve found that isn’t OS-tethered, so you can use it with any phone and any operating system.

I’ve ordered a new hard drive – storage has gotten cheaper and plentiful in the 15 years that I’ve purchased a hard drive – but I’m not sure if that’s going to be the option to store files going forward.

On the plus side, in the age of The Culling, I guess this was as good an opportunity as any to trim the musical fat from my library.

January 13, 2023 – Friday 5

I took a look at this week’s Friday 5 and immediately felt weird. I have issues about talking about myself positively. It’s a whole thing. I’m working on it.

What’s your best physical feature?

My face, I think. I get complimented a lot on my eyebrows. The dirty secret is that they’re mostly drawn on.

What aspect of your personality do people seem to appreciate most?

My humor. I know women aren’t funny (/eye roll), so it’s been mentioned a couple of times by people that I am funny. I do like that about me.

What skill are you proud of?

My strategic skills. That I look at the Gordian Knot and start picking apart the loops to a cogent step-by-step plan of execution.

…The executional tactics need a little practice.

What are you right about?

My superpower is being able to identify people by voice alone. It’s turned into a fun party trick. If I know the person’s name, and have heard them speak (TV, real life, podcast, etc.), I can nail it.

I have to know their name, though. If I didn’t match the name to the voice, I can’t do it.

Who appreciates you?

I’m coming to find in my growing life experience that a lot of people do. I’m working on getting better at recognizing and appreciate people appreciating me. It’s a process.

Source: Friday.5

2022 Year in Review

Previous Years: 2017 | 2016 | 2011 | 20102009

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t make new year’s resolutions anymore. I’ve learned to accept my ADHD for what it is.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

The Neighbor Kids next door had their first baby in October.

Did anyone close to you die?

Sweet baby Roxie crossed the rainbow bridge on May 29.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I can’t remember what I did, but I turned 38 this year.

Did you travel anywhere in 2022?

I attended a national conference in Las Vegas in April, and another national conference in Fort Lauderdale in November. Other than that, I stayed close to home.

What dates from 2022 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 29, 2022 – The day Roxie crossed the rainbow bridge.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d made more of an effort to send birthday, Christmas and general holiday cards. I think about how much I love to receive them, and I really should return the favor.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Spent a lot less time dicking around on Instagram reels.

How did you spend Christmas?

This year was the second year in a row that my father-in-law and I got to make good on our threat and watch Death Wish instead of going to Christmas mass.

Holy crap, these movies are so bad, they’re good.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Professionally, it was a difficult year- there was a lot going on, and for the first time, I was the one that was “in charge.” I think I handled it pretty well, all things considered.

What was your biggest failure?

The times where I knew that I was going to have to overcome my own executive dysfunction, could have set up scaffolding to help me over those hurdles, and I didn’t. I copped out. Which is not to say that I’m not giving myself grace about it; but I knew I could have done things to set myself up when I did have the mental energy to do so, and I didn’t. Recovering from “just scraping by” is always a complete mess, and there is still some fallout that I’m dealing with, that I didn’t have to.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I did end up succumbing to COVID-19 when I came back from a national conference in April. Also had some end-of-year munge.

What was the best thing you bought?

Not bought, but Flo has been a wonderful addition to our home after we said goodbye to Rox. We waited about 4 months, had no intentions of looking to grow our home, but she kind of “fell into our laps.” The house was too quiet without a little creature waiting for you to feed them.

What did you want and get?

At this point in my life, I get the things I want.

What did you want and not get?

There are graveyards upon graveyards of online shopping “Saved for Later” and “Wishlist” items. And truly, it’s for the better that I didn’t get them.

Who did you miss?

Roxie. To this day, I miss the RoxBox.

Who was the best new person you met?

Met a few people this year in life, from Twitter, mostly. K and we added Ess to our now-triumvirate, so that’s probably the best new person we met.

Where did most of your money go?

The usual: the mortgage, the HELOC, paid off a car, installed new floors, bought a new car. Spent a lot less on dining out, a lot less on makeup than years past.

Most-played music of 2022?

This is probably where having a Spotify account would probably serve me well. I listened to a lot of Lo-fi on Pandora while I was working.

Podcasts in 2022:

Bigtime culling of podcasts in the last two years. The only subscriptions I have now are:

I basically stopped listening to The Dork Forest because it would no longer update on Google podcasts, and I can’t care more than the podcaster does, so….

I was also listening to The Jackie and Laurie Show until Laurie went on a rant about how ungrateful the subscribers were, and I didn’t feel like I had to consume content from someone that couldn’t stand me.

Smartest Man in the World isn’t the same when podcasting from his home office, so I dropped that.

What was your favorite TV program?

I’ve long given up on keeping up with TV. I did finally make two airplane trips this year (thanks, COVID), and I got mostly caught up on all of the Bosch that I save for flights.

What was the best book you read?

Reviewing the books I read (and listened to on my commute) in 2022, the ones I liked the best:

What was your favorite film of this year?

I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed The Hunt for Red October. I cannot think of any other movies that were new (or new to me) that I watched in 2022.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022.

You gotta put your own oxygen mask on first.

December 30, 2022 – Friday 5

1. Among people with whom you are not personally acquainted, who most made you laugh in 2022?

Pat Finnerty’s What Makes This Song Stink

2. Among people with whom you are not personally acquainted, who most inspired you in 2022?

All of the different Zentangle artists I saw and used for inspiration for my own work.

3. What were your food discoveries in 2022?

  • City Pop Sushi in the old office neighborhood
  • Monarca Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood

I also discovered that I can exist on a semester-long diet of occasional fruit, occasional carrot sticks, occasional snack bags of nuts, and pizza. I am not proud of this; I’m just saying.

4. What were your music discoveries in 2022?

5. Where will you be when the clock strikes midnight on January 1?

Zonked out at home.

Source: Friday 5 for December 30: Out with the old

December 30, 2022

End of the year culling is ruthless. I went through my Amazon Wishlists (4 of them), my eBay watchlist (98 items), my Etsy wishlists (7 different lists, 600 items) and wiped them out.

I’m NEVER going to buy these things! I don’t need 16 different butter molds! No one does! I haven’t pulled the trigger on that Anne Klein dress in the 9 months since I listed it. I’m never going to buy it! (And if I do after 9 months, I can assure you it’s not because I needed it.)

I know why I hoarde these things – we all know why I do these things – I’m just mashing on that dopamine button and getting that tiny thrill by “capturing” it. It’s akin to a demented version of Pokemon catching.

The problem becomes when these items sit available and waiting in shopping limbo. Then I see them sitting and waiting while I’m shopping for things I’m actually going to use; “Well, shit: might as well get that completely unnecessary thing, too.”

Better for my wallet and my real estate, then, to make a concerted effort once a year to do a ruthless culling and obliterate the lists.

Every year, my sister in law gets rid of [year] number of items for the corresponding year. 2022 items in 2022; 2023 items in 2023…you see where this is going. I’ll have in the back of my head to do the same thing for 2023, but I’m ALSO going to count all of those wishlist items, as well as YouTube & podcast subscriptions, Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest follows.

It’s all still “stuff;” physical, digital, and mental clutter.