Nine Things I've Realized Of Late

9. I'm not too old to learn new things, and when the software I learn is comparable to programs I'm already familiar with, the learning curve is easier. In my professional career, I've always done my design work with a program called Quark XPress, but we're in the process of switching to Adobe InDesign now. I attended 2 three-hour seminars giving an overview of it this week, and found that it was similar enough to other Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator, that many features were intuitive and I was quickly figuring out keyboard shortcuts. It's like programs I know in some ways, but so much more powerful in others, and I can't wait to really apply it, because using a program in practical applications everyday seems to be the best way for me to learn.

8. I continue to be faithful to my new rule of keeping my personal computer off each morning. I get to work a half hour earlier, which means I get done with work a half hour earlier, which means I get to the gym sooner and have been adding as much as an hour to my workouts. I've been feeling healthier, I've dropped another five pounds in spite of the holidays, my mind has been clearer, and I function better despite losing sleep to movies and blogging. Let's hope this trend continues; I don't develop many good habits that last.

6. There are a lot of beautiful women in this world. Water, water everywhere; restraining orders if I try to drink...

7. I can rob a format from the Unseen Blogger by changing things just slightly. It's a perfectly original crime....

5. If you can't win and don't try, and they think you tried to beat ‘em when you didn't, you will ultimately have to join ‘em anyway.

4. I WILL see every movie on the top 100 as soon as possible, before Kelly, who's trying to see them all, or B13, who probably doesn't care about the ones he hasn't. I saw The Exorcist Thursday night, and Magnolia and The Third Man will be done before the weekend is over. A competitive, borderline autistic Sicilian can't be stopped when something trivial is on the line. In similar news, my latest craze Perilous! continues to attract contestants, and it's still anyone's competition at this point...

3. A little alcohol can free my inhibitions, and allow me to do and say the things I should always be able to do and say. Too much alcohol can make me do and say things I should never, ever do or say. Everything in life boils down to balance.

2. Day Break is a great show. I wasn't sure how they'd pull off Groundhog Day as a 24 style series, especially since the unfortunately short-lived Tru Calling had its protagonist reliving a different day each episode and this would be 13 episodes about one day. Since Taye Digg's character gets new information to solve his case with each variant decision, and his injuries carry over while everyone else resets, so far they're pulling it off quite nicely. I just hope all 13 episodes get aired, since Adam Baldwin stars in this one as well, and every show featuring him that I liked from The X-files to Firefly to Angel to The Inside has been short-lived if he was part of the original cast, or canceled shortly after he joined. At least this one is on ABC and not FOX.

1. I'm not in the mood for Christmas just yet. I cringe when radio stations like KJOY play nothing but holiday music, and I couldn't get out of the kitchen fast enough when my mom started humming a carol. I like the holiday, but not the season, which expands further and further each year. Stores are a nightmare right now. It all seems too soon, and yet I realize, suddenly we're in December. I guess I should probably finish my shopping soon; I bought a few things, but only scratched the surface of the glacier...


Blogger The Unseen One said...



Well alright then...

12/01/2006 7:23 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I watched Goodfellas yesterday and will have Magnolia and Pulp Fiction finished before the end of the DAY. You're going to have to work hard if you want to win this, Mr. MCF!

12/01/2006 7:26 AM  
Blogger TheWriteJerry said...

Magnolia is a very powerful film. Very complex, with some very stirring performances. It's one of the very best movies I've ever seen, but it can only really be watched once.

12/01/2006 10:32 AM  
Anonymous theGreek said...

MCF, I'm going to disagree with you on Point 1. Afterall, "The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer, is Singing Loudly for All to Hear."

A few years ago, I would have agreed with your concerns that the Christmas push happens far too early. I would have dimissed it as a clever Marketing scheme developed to maximize sales. Similar to the near-frigid temperatures in clothing stores in August when they introduce their fall lines, earlier and earlier, the Christmas decorations in the department stores and malls go up. I used to always gripe that there was no emphasis on Thanksgiving. "We're skipping an entire holiday" was my argument. Since then, my perspective on the matter has changed.

There IS an emphasis on the Thanksgiving holiday. In the supermarket. Anywhere else is ridiculous. The holiday is a one-day event.

However, Christmas is a season. The idea of a season is not one that was devised by clever sales at the mall, but rather something that we have done ourselves. For starters, we mail out Christmas cards, a few weeks in advance and we do our shopping in advance. We also decorate in advance. We often have several and various family and friends gatherings throughout the weeks. And, only a few days after Christmas is New Years. It is a season by default.

This year, for the first time, I developed Christmas products available for sale to the general public as well as retail outlets and churches. I thought I started my peddling early enough when in late September, I began visiting potential clients. I realize now that September is just not early enough. Let's not forget that we live in a complicated time. Our focus is much wider, our lives busier and less time to focus on one thing. While my sales have been good for a first year, I realize that next year I will need to start sooner and entertain the idea of some focused advertising and mailing.

So, I was looking forward to the marathon Christmas music on the radio and couldn't wait for it to begin. In fact, the year after 9/11 I decided I needed to make up for skipping Christmas of 2001. Due to those horrible events, I don't think there were many who enjoyed the holiday that year. We may have gone through the motions but nothing more than that. The following year, it was Christmas music in my home form as early as I could manage it and still have my wife and kids at least amicable towards me. The outdoor decorations went up the weekend before Thanksgiving and were lit for the first time on Thanksgiving night. If Macy's can end their Thanksgiving celebration ushering Christmas in, so could I. It was by far the best year ever and I know that it was magical for my kids. (By the way, taking care of your Christmas decorations the weekend before Thanksgiving also provides with warmer weather and less hectic schedules. It makes a lot of sense and every year, I look to convert as many people as possible. Apply within.)

I also tend to enjoy the seasons, be it Christmas or Paschal and as for the actual holidays, they mean less to me than the overall experience.

So, MCF consider a different perspective lest you be visited by three spirits and stop being an angry elf.

12/01/2006 2:44 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

I love Christmas ... I HATE Christmas music, mostly due to oversaturation. A local station goes with a 100% Christmas music format on Black Friday ... and I make every effort to avoid that station until somewhere around December 20 at the soonest.

12/01/2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger Xtine said...

I agree, 24/7 christmas music kills the joy.

12/02/2006 11:35 AM  

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