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I did, for want of a better phrase, some last minute Christmas shopping. It was mostly for food and other important things just in case I ran out and the stores were closed for the holidays. Lately that’s been a rare thing but it always pays to be prepared.

I had to get some bird food so I stopped at Pet Smart. While I was there I figured I would buy the birds a Christmas present. Pet Smart is not the best place to go when you have large birds. The toys they have are more suited to the smaller birds and those toys wouldn’t last ten minutes around these two. So I was browsing the meager offerings and decided on something for Zoey and, after a few more minutes, picked something that I thought Tooka might like.

That’s when a little bit more of my sanity ran out from under my shoes. I noticed that Zoey’s toy was more expensive than Tooka’s. I began to wonder if, maybe, I shouldn’t get him something else to even out the price point. For a minute, a short minute, I actually thought they would care. Sure, they’re smart birds, but it’s unlikely either of them will jump on the computer to find out that one toy cost more than the other. In the end they got what I picked out for them. And, for anyone who’s wondering, I did get Junior something.

Then I had an idea that would make me seem like a truly sad and lonely person: video the birds opening their presents. That should be easy enough; they like tearing up paper and making a mess. So I wrapped their presents (badly, because I can’t wrap anything much less irregular shaped things) and brought out the birds. I tried Tooka first, since he’s always going after anything he can get his pruning shears on. He took one look at the package and flew away. He wouldn’t get near it. Eventually I had to unwrap it and he seemed entirely unthrilled with his present.

Then I tried Zoey. I put the present and her down on the floor. She looked at it, walked around it very carefully, then made a beeline for her cage. So I put her on my shoulder and unwrapped it for her. She seemed overjoyed with her gift, though, going after it while still on my shoulder.

I gave up by the time it was Juniors time. So I just put it together and played with him for a while. He totally digs his new toy, which is a want with a beehive on the end and a bee on the end of a ribbon.

My Christmas was spent with my mom, which was great. She gave me a Keurig coffee maker, which is awesome. She also gave me more Starbucks gift cards. In theory, I shouldn’t have to sleep for the next month or so.

I tried to make some food to bring along with me in an attempt to do my part. I made a sage cornbread stuffing which tasted all right but was a little mushy. I also tried to make deviled eggs.

Now, you might think it’d be somewhat impossible to screw up deviled eggs but I managed to do it. They didn’t peel properly so they were all pock marked and ugly. I didn’t get the mixture right so they tasted funny. I gave up on them. But I will try again the next time I manage to remember to buy eggs. I don’t like to fail. Especially with eggs.

The world has completed it’s journey around the sun again, like it has so many times in the past. That doesn’t mean we’re in the same place, though. The Earth spins on its axis, it moves around the sun, the sun moves around the galaxy, and the galaxy trudges onward like a giant grazing cow. The universe doesn’t care that we’ve made it for another round, but we do. Or we should. We’re all we’ve got as far as we know.

By the time this is posted it should be New Year’s Eve. Oddly enough, my calendar doesn’t recognize it but that’s all right because I don’t either, really. It used to be a big deal when staying up late was something I looked forward to and wasn’t allowed to do often. So tomorrow is another day, another reason to buy a new calendar. Some people consider it a marker, not just of a new number, but as a way of improving themselves and making changes in their life. I’m one of those people — for the first four hours or so. My life has gone through many changes, though, especially in the last two years. Most of them were out of my control and, if you know me as well as you think you do, you know that I can’t stand things not being in my control when it comes to my own life. It sows discordance amid my soul.

And so, I have come up with my New Year’s Resolutions. So, follow along as we step down through them. If I make it past four hours on January 1st I may even post updates to them. Don’t be afraid to remind me of them, either, if you haven’t heard of any progress in these areas.

1) I hereby resolve to get my apartment in order.

It’s not dirty, it’s just messy and cluttered. But I don’t like it and it needs to change. Along with getting rid of the clutter, I would like to get rid of the furniture I have. I kept it for sentimental reasons but I think it’s best if I show them the door and wish them a bright future. I would buy new furniture to replace them, but someday I’m leaving this apartment and the less I have to drag out of here the better. The only exception may be a set of drawers so I don’t have to live out of my laundry basket anymore. Furthermore, I shall use the opportunity of having less clutter by building a family. I will do this by buying picture frames. The ones that have pictures of pretty, handsome, and fun loving people set in them. They have to be the ones without large words or prices, though. Then I’ll give them names and back stories. In the rare event anyone ever comes into my apartment (except, presumably, the person who might possibly be breaking into it to play with the birds) will think, “Huh, look at all these people he must know!”

2) I hereby resolve to go out somewhere

It’s no secret that I hate going out by myself. I feel bad for people I see eating dinner alone in a restaurant and I don’t want that to me. But I should get out and do something. If for no other reason than to realize that there still is a world out there with people doing stuff.

3) I hereby resolve to build my new website

Yes, build my new website and hope that someone buys it for a couple of million bucks. Then I can retire and not have to worry about money any more. Yes, I would happily sell out to the man. I have the idea and, with a little hard work, I’ll have the know how. If nothing else it’ll be handy for me.

4) I hereby resolve to get back to cooking

I will never be an accomplished chef. I know this because I don’t know anything about “layers of taste” or “explosions on your palette.” No, all I care about is that I can eat something and not gag on it. Lately I’ve been depending a lot of frozen foods. I aim to change that because it isn’t doing me any good. And if I can screw up an egg dish then I’m way out of practice. Too way out of practice.

That’s all I can think of right now. Aside from losing another ton of weight, but that’s a pretty common resolution. Someday, I will fit into that leopard print Speedos.

5) I hereby resolve to buy a Lamborghini Aventador.

Because there needs to be something that’s unrealistically unattainable.

Let's see... I've got $23.48 saved so far.

That’s all I can think of right now. Feel free to suggest your own.

So, that’s the end of another year. I’ve made it to over 300 posts, here on the web log. My readership numbers are still low, I guess, compared to other people with real “blogs” but I do have over 40 followers spread out among WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook. I thank you for making these posts seem worthwhile to do. And a special thanks to the people who leave comments. I like comments. To me, it says you’re paying attention.

Sadly, though, overall hits are down 5,000 from last year. A far cry from the banner year of 2009, with over 35,000 hits. Sure, I’ve read other blogs about how to gain readers but they all boil down to two things: Product placement and Finding a niche to write about.

I didn’t start writing web logs to make money (although, if you want to pay me for doing it I will; I’m not proud). I started it just to write. Having anyone else read this junk and enjoy it is a bonus. And, as far as I’m concerned, I am a niche. What comes out of my head is me, not a corporate press release. I don’t have books to sell, or products to get paid to review, and I don’t really care what celebrities are up to these days. I’m just some guy. With a vanity web site.

Let me wrap this up by saying I hope you all have a good New Year’s eve. May the coming year be kind to you and that you live in good health. If you know what I’ve been going through the last few years you’ll know how sincere I’m being right now.

And let’s hope the Mayans put out a new calendar this year.

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