New Year's Resolutions

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, a new month begins. Happy New Year, 2008 begins. I haven’t come up with any New Year’s resolutions yet this year, everything seems way too uncertain at this point. I wrote 572 blog posts last year. Some of the NaBloPoMo are talking about trying to write a blog post every day for the whole year. Should I resolve to write at least one blog post every day? Two? Where would vacation fit in? What would happen if I get a job that takes me away from writing. I wrote over 270,000 words in blog entries last year. If I sought to write a novel’s worth of blog posts each month, that would be 600,000 words. That seems excessive.

Beyond that, there is the question of “to what end”? For some reason the old joke about women grousing at a restaurant comes to mind. One complains about the food not being very good, and the other concurs and adds that the servings are too small as well. Do I need to write more? Do I need to write better? Do I need something different?

The old saying insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Is writing this blog insanity?

Perhaps not. From a NaNoWriMo perspective, there is the aspect of simply writing everyday, the importance of discipline. There is a discipline to my writing, and it has been becoming more disciplined over time. Then, there is the aspect of a favorite word of mine, palimpsest. The words pile up, to provide a palimpsest of a digital social political life. Where it goes, I’m not sure. Will any great insights emerge? I don’t know.

I read the political blogs, I read the technology blogs. I read books I received for Christmas, William Blake, Jean Baudrillard, and Rudy Rucker. How does all of this weave together? I don’t know.

Then, there are the greater questions. What are the parallel processes taking place between my family life, the mailing lists that I’m on, blogging communities that I’m part of, and our nation and the world? Is there some sort of master narrative that can be found? Where do dreams and ideas like Social Dreaming fit in?

Perhaps that is some of the core angst that I face. As I look at 2008, it appears as a blank page, the blank page that terrifies so many writers. There is no clear master narrative at this point. I have no resolutions, other that to persevere, or, as a philosophy professor once suggested, to live each moment more fully and more lovingly than the previous.

Yet perhaps, that is the best that any of us can do.

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Chasing After the Wind

2007, the year that wasn’t. At least it feels, in many ways, that way to me. I’ve gone back and looked at the year. I wrote over 4,500 emails during 2007. I wrote 572 blog posts, totaling over 270,000 words. Over 2,000 people a month read something out of my blog.

I wrote my first draft of my first novel, adding another 50,000 words to the total. I went to Washington to blog about the Libby trial. I wrote extensively about the Avery Doninger trial. I went to the National Conference of State Legislatures and wrote about their annual conference. I wrote about various marketing conferences. I wrote about Second Life, and especially the developing financial markets.

Yet in the end, I find myself in a small rented house on the verge of bankruptcy without having made any discernable difference during 2007. The words of the prophet comes back to me, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

I know I’ve written other posts recently that are not all that upbeat. I don’t want to drive people away by being a downer. Nor, am I looking for sympathy. Yet I also feel that I should write about things as I see them and I can’t seem to find my rose colored glasses right now.

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Second Life Major Stock Holders

As I watch stock trading in Second Life, I like to pay close attention to who some of the large stock holders are, and what they are doing. When looked at on a day-to-day basis, the information isn’t often all that interesting. Marc Attenborough has bought an additional thousand shares of INC. Maelstrom Baphomet has bought 500 more shares of DGD and Skip Oceanlane has sold 3,000 shares of ITA.

Sometimes, however, larger shifts are noticeable. For example, Patrickj Ah recently sold 50,000 shares of AVC. Stryker Yoshikawa bought 27,890 shares and Monkey Canning bought 44,000 shares. This caused me to take a closer look at the major holders of AVC.

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At church today, Father Peter spoke about his phone call with Evelyn. Evelyn is a priest from Kenya that has often visited our church. She is back in Kenya, as things are getting a bit dicey there. She is in western Kenya and her family is in Nairobi.

For those who haven’t been following politics in Kenya, they recently had a presidential election. In what is being reported as a very close election, the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki narrowly defeated Raila Odinga in an election that the New York Times calls “deeply flawed”.

Peter said that Evelyn and her family are currently safe, but things seem to be worsening in Kenya since Church this morning. After church, we went to Kim’s parents house. I went online to get more news about Kenya.

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RIP Fred Lemieux

Fred Lemieux was my uncle. This morning, I got a phone call from my mother. Uncle Fred has died. Uncle Fred was my mother’s sister’s husband. I’m not sure how old he was, but I’m going to guess he was in his 80s. My understanding is that both he and my Aunt Susie have been fairly ill, so this didn’t come as a great surprise. The wake will be Wednesday and the funeral Thursday. I’ve spent some time figuring out my travel plans. It isn’t all that far from where we live, but I have to figure out how to juggle everyone’s schedule.

When I was young, we would see Fred and Susie and their kids a few times a year. My mother was the youngest of seven kids. Susie was the next youngest, so Fred and Susie and their family had the cousins that we closest in age. When my grandparents grew too old to live by themselves, they moved in with Fred and Susie. My memories of the visits are vague. There was a mulberry tree and we would eat mulberries. There were large bamboo stocks. They lived on a long road and we would walk or ride bikes. There was an old house behind the main house which is where my grandparents initially lived when they moved down there. Later, they moved into the main house as their health declined.

I remember that the TV was usually on in one room or another, that many of my relatives smoked and that there was an endless supply of food. I believe it has been thirty years since my grandparents died, one soon after the other and I can’t remember the last time I was at Fred and Susie’s.

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