Sunday, December 23, 2012

As 2012 draws to a close

It's weird: the Winter Solstice marks the point when days start to get longer, just like the Summer Solstice is the point where days start to get shorter. We're on an upswing now, but it doesn't feel like it.

I haven't been blogging much, at all. Not here, not on NEPA Blogs, not on any of my other blogs. I'd like to say it's because I've been writing, but I haven't been writing much. (One of the short stories that I wrote is being developed into a play by an award-wining playwright, so that's something.) I have been doing some art stuff for NEPA Blogs, creating headers. That used to take a few minutes per header with my old Adobe PhotoDeluxe software that came bundled with my printer. (Or was it my scanner?) But I lost that when I got hit with a virus a few weeks ago. A lot of people suggested I downloaded GIMP, but that has turned out to be a clunky, unintuitive program that tries to do a lot of things but doesn't make any of them simple. (You want to change the transparency of text in GIMP? Just follow these twelve steps, each of which involves learning a new facet of the program. You want to change the transparency in PhotoDeluxe? Just enter the percentage transparency desired in this little box.) So I worked on the next NEPA Blogs header for about four hours last night. It would have taken, at worst, a half hour with PhotoDeluxe, mainly because I wouldn't have had to throw everything away and start over each time I made a mistake.

When I worked at the DVD factory I wasn't blogging much because I would come home physically spent after working twelve hours a night on my feet and running, with nearly an hour in the car on either end. Now I spend eight hours sitting with an easy commute of ten minutes or less, and I come home completely exhausted. On each call we take, whether it's thirty seconds or two hours, we're supposed to "connect" with the customer. Technically we're just supposed to make some small talk regarding their travel and provide some feedback to the customer. In practice this can turn into an emotionally draining exercise. Doing that on call after call for eight hours or more gets to you after a while.

This may be my last post for 2012. I don't know. I'll have limited access to the internet for the next week or so. I'm working two hours tomorrow (it's a long story, and I could have had the whole day off, but I chose not to), I'm off on Christmas, working Wednesday and Thursday, off on Friday and the weekend, and then I'm working 10:30 AM-5:00 PM New Year's Eve and, I think, New Year's Day. (Unless that's a full eight-hour day.) I still have three hours of vacation coming to me.

Resolutions for the New Year? The usual. Being able to say "Oh, I'm a writer, and an award-winning playwright is developing one of my short stories into a play" may help me with one of those resolutions. Plus I will try to blog more, and write more. Blogging isn't dead, so I shouldn't act like it is.

Merry Christmas. Spare a moment to think about all those families that have just buried children they thought would be opening presents on Christmas morning. And in the New Year, why don't we resolve to make sure this thing doesn't happen again?


cooper said...

A good thought, Harold.

David DeCosmo said...

Always glad to read your material whenever it's available! Merry Christmas and a appy New Year!

hedera said...

Sometimes we just have to stop for awhile, but I hope this isn't permanent. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and " next year all our troubles will be out of sight." (Did you see Linkmeister's post on the original wording of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"? If not look it up when you have connectivity...)

Stephen Albert said...

Merry Christmas Harold...and here's to a great 2013!