Happy New Year 2018


-- चार हजार दो सौ बीस-दो --

Is time an illusion? Honestly, I don't recommend just Googling that question. At least not if your intellectual capacity is within striking distance of mine. Of course, how would either of us know that? I suppose if you're some kind of genius then you'd know better than I would. In which case, why the fuck are you wasting your time with my blog? Hmm. Maybe because time is an illusion!

I always felt like we only perceive time because of movement: the rotation of the Earth is how we perceive each day. If we lived on a planet that did not rotate, how would we measure time? I tried to bring this up with Gabriel once and although I can't recall anything specific that he said, the basic gist of his response was that how I was thinking about time had it all wrong. Okay, whatever. He teaches science and technology to elementary school kids who could probably answer this question better than I could. All I can say is . . . his staff photo on the website of the school where he works is a very good picture of him.

Why am I even thinking about this right now, anyway? Well because it's the New Year, of course! Brought to you by the human construct of a Gregorian calendar. Who the fuck was Greg, anyway? Oh, I guess he was a Pope. I like to imagine his friends coming to his papal quarters in 1575 and saying, "How's it going, Greg?" Okay, fine. They probably called him Gregory. Or maybe Your Excellency or some such bullshit.

It's January 2, the holidays are officially over, I'll be taking down the Christmas decorations in my living room this evening, the sparseness of all our offices from last week is now a thing of the past. It's 2018. I'm 41 years old and in slightly less than four months I'll be 42, all because I rode on this rock around the sun that many times.

I realized yesterday that I've been making these "Past Year in Ten Minutes" year-end video retrospectives now for five years -- I used to post a list of photos from the year every year before that. Making them into a video, with added music, always makes for a more engaging experience, I think. I didn't realize I'd already been making the videos for that many years, though. I was going to put them all into a YouTube playlist so they could just be played continuously one after the other, but YouTube pulled the 2016 video for violating copyright with the music I used. It's one of only a couple of videos they've done that to, but it has really fucked things up for me. That said, curiously, the embedded video still posted over on LiveJournal still works! So actually, using the "year in review video" tag, I can direct you to all four videos from 2013 through 2016, and you could scroll down to the bottom and work your way up if you wanted. For the fifth one, posted this year, of course, you'll have to jump back over here to FruitcakeEnterprises.com for that post. Anyway, burn through all five videos in fifty minutes!

I'm honestly surprised I haven't been dinged yet by YouTube for this year's video, which features two songs by Kesha. Maybe the copyright holders of Sia's music -- which I had used for the 2016 video -- are just a lot more militaristic about this stuff. Regardless, I actually signed up for a Vimeo account thinking maybe that would be easier; turns out I have to have a paid account in order to upload a video as long as ten minutes, so that didn't work. I still uploaded the video directly to Facebook instead of just posting the YouTube video for the first time this year, for two reasons: Facebook is far less likely to get their panties in a bunch about copyrighted music being used in a personal video, and also uploading it as a Facebook video likely gets it shown in more people's actual news feeds. The video did get a pretty positive response on Facebook.

Anyway. Five years I've been doing those videos already. 2013, the first year I did it, was the year I turned 37. I could have been doing these a lot longer if it had occurred to me earlier. Sometimes these things take me a while.

And now we're back to business as usual. Another regular work week, although this one is slightly shortened since I took the day off yesterday. I suppose it may happen but I have no plans currently to take any more time off of work until my Birth Week. I find myself looking ahead to the coming year, and some things I already know are to occur and be specific to it, fairly big things: Ivan will move out next month. Shobhit wants his mother to come visit for three months, probably soon after that. As of this year I plan to incorporate themes to my Birth Week -- 2018 will feature several visits to local botanical gardens. It will be Garden Birth Week. Uncle David and Mary Ann will be visiting Seattle again in May -- I just realized yesterday, by then it will have been nearly three years since they were last year (in September 2015). Shobhit and I have a trip booked for Yellowstone National Park for our anniversary in June. And all that is just within the first half of the year. God, I hope Shobhit finds a permanent full-time job.

-- चार हजार दो सौ बीस-दो --


-- चार हजार दो सौ बीस-दो --

And now, the brief look back at the rest of the weekend, which, as it turned out, featured far less activity than I expected since I posted about Friday and Saturday on New Year's Eve late afternoon. Shobhit had taken his last-minute evening work shift. Ivan left to meet up with Drew for dinner, and seemed to expect not to see me for the rest of the night, telling me "See you next year!" as he left -- obviously because he had seen my sarcastic post about people saying that as though it were actually funny.

But, Ivan returned with Drew maybe an hour and a half later, and said, "Matthew's still home!" They evidently abandoned plans to go to a New Year's Eve party with Drew's coworkers -- my assumption being largely due to Ivan himself, who clearly had no interest. So they hung out at home for a bit, at first in Ivan's room. And then the two of them came out, and sat down on the love seat, and asked what I was watching. "Lady Dynamite," I said, positive that neither of them would be into it when Ivan replied, "Maybe we can watch it with you."

I said I was open to watching something else if they wanted, and he presented me with a horror movie he had from Netflix called Nurse, which after I read its synopsis held no appeal to me. I mentioned Black Mirror and they both seemed open to that. We watched the new season's first episode, and Ivan went ahead and suggested we go for the second episode as well. So, we watched two hours of that show.

Ivan and Drew were both stoned, Ivan especially so. He had one of the cookies I got for him as a stocking stuffer from Uncle Ike's and I guess it was pretty potent -- "I got it from Matthew, it's his fault," he said. I don't think I'd ever seen him so stoned. Several times he had giggling fits for no particularly sensible reason -- other than being stoned, of course. At one point, as Ivan was all snuggled up with Drew but otherwiser had his head under his fleece blanket and was giggling, I said, "Is he all right?" -- and he laughed even harder.

They had plans to attend a New Year's eve gnostic mass from 10:30 to just past midnight in West Seattle, and because Drew parks his car before getting on the ferry in Bremerton whenever he visits, they planned to take buses. They left a fair amount of time before Shobhit and I did, and much to our surprise, were back when we returned, only about half past midnight. It turns out they didn't actually make it to the gnostic mass; they seem to have gotten lost on one of the buses and decided at a certain point that they were way too high (or, I suspect, it was Ivan who was way too high) to go, and so they just came back. They were watching American Horror Story on the TV in the living room when we came back into the living room.

Shobhit got home from work while the other three of us were still in the middle of that second episode of Black Mirror. After Ivan and Drew left for their bus they apparently got lost on, Shobhit and I killed some time for a while -- in the end, it was just him and me who went down to the PCC office to watch the Space Needle fireworks. I had conversations over the past couple of weeks with both Danielle and Evan that put me under the impression that they would both be joining us, but Danielle texted me Sunday that she wasn't into the idea of braving Seattle traffic to get back home -- last year, she stayed overnight, but this year she was with the girls. Overnighting was clearly not an option. I was still disappointed. And when I messaged Evan to ask if they were still coming, she replied, "Probably not."

Shobhit said he was fine with it just being the two of us anyway. Nothing against either of my friends, I don't think -- he just liked the idea of having me to himself. I was still disappointed, but in the end it was fine. I was concerned it would result in a New Year's photo set unduly short on pictures, but it actually still wound up with 36 shots -- only 15 of them of the fireworks themselves, and those usually take up the majority of my New Year's photo sets. This year it was slightly less than half. The size of the photo set is actually in line with the average over the years -- much less than last year, which was an unusually large photo set thanks in large part to Dad and Sherri coming up -- but more than every year between 2014 and 2016, and actually matching 2013. So really, it's all good.

Our original idea was to take Yahtzee down and play games for about an hour before the stroke of midnight, but since it ended up being just the two of us, we just left home at about 11:15 and got to the office at about 11:30. We waited around for the fireworks and watched them for ten minutes together, alone, in the dark of the office, again no one else who works here having thought to come down. I wonder if anyone ever will? Maybe not; no one lives closer than I do, so it's easier for me to get here and back, even with the Seattle traffic. As I said, we managed to get back home by about 12:30.

Shobhit had actually tried to convince me not to go down to the office at all -- I was too much looking forward to it, and why waste that opportunity? We'd have to be out in the cold to watch from the roof of our building, which defeats the purpose of taking advantage of watching from far closer and from within the warmth of the office. At least it didn't rain this year. He tried to tell me we could just watch the fireworks on TV and I could take pictures of the TV. Why he would even suggest such an insane thing is anybody's guess. Maybe he had a stroke?

I think even he enjoyed ringing in the New Year with me down here at the office anyway. We returned home and I actually got to bed much earlier than usual on New Year's Eves -- I was asleep by 12:46 am.

And I actually slept in until a quarter till 8:00 yesterday morning! -- that's really late for me. But I got up to feed the cats at around 7:00 so Guru wouldn't pester me, and fell back asleep, and whenever I do that, I wind up sleeping a bit later than usual.

Shobhit had an already-scheduled work shift yesterday from noon to five, so I spent much of the day on my own. He did make us skillet-fried turmeric-spiced potatoes with scratch-made puris that I helped deep fry, for brunch; it was a spectacular meal. Ivan and Drew didn't get out of bed until well after 11 a.m., and they predictably went off to brunch soon after. Drew was not with him when they returned, while I was in the middle of the next episode of Black Mirror -- which was so unsettling I literally had to shake it off when it ended -- presumably having headed back to the ferry terminal. Ivan was changed and headed off to work within about half an hour.

I had nothing better to do so I went off to Steamworks, which was unusually satisfying for what little time I needed, just a bit less than an hour this time. They had a bunch of Hostess-like products set out fot the taking at the check-out window, which I found rather odd -- a gay bathhouse is not typically the kind of place you want to encourage the consumption of sugary pastry snacks. I made note of the brand, which I had never heard of, and then forgot; I had to do some Googling this morning to figure out it was Marinela, which seems to be a Mexican company. Anyway, on my way out I grabbed to of the items: a packet of strawberry cookies (I only ate one and tossed the other as I walked home) and a product very much like a Hostess cupcake. They didn't have any beef fat in their ingredients like Hostess products do, I checked.

Having gotten back home far earlier than I expected -- my time at Steamworks can seriously vary, up to three or four hours -- and I wound up just laying down and taking a nap. I don't know why I was so tired; I did get plenty of sleep the night before -- although it is common for me to feel tired for much of the day if I sleep too late in the morning, and sometimes for me even 8 a.m. qualifies. So maybe that was it. I made myself the last of the Field Roast Celebration Roast -- which I also made myself for dinner on Sunday -- that I got free with a coupon gifted by a broker months ago (we took it to Thanksgiving with Gina and Beth in Olympia and about half of it got eaten there).

Shobhit was home yesterday at about 5:30, and we spent much of the rest of the evening watching Golden Girls episodes, breaking to do the New York Times crossword. And that was it, the end of the last holiday weekend of the holiday season.

-- चार हजार दो सौ बीस-दो --


[posted 12:25 pm]