Monday, December 29, 2014

Freedom (but only for a week)

Good post-Christmas Monday to all.  Hope you had a great holiday, and that, like me, the giving was more enjoyable than ever!

I titled today's epic diatribe thusly because I decided to take a well-deserved break from my current job that began at 2:00 PM local time on Christmas Eve and will have me returning to work, eventually, a week from today.  So I am free for the week!

So far the thing I've noticed is that I am sleeping better and longer.  I cannot recall if I've mentioned it in this space previously, but for about a year and a half I've had difficulties getting back to sleep during the night, on those nights when I wake for a trip to the bathroom.  And unlike my mindset in my former job, I am not lying awake agitated by the job or my responsibilities.  So this is likely some physical change that I have not yet fully identified.  Therefore, I keep my iPad close by and read a few articles until I feel a little drowsy.  Far better than staring at the ceiling or the clock.

Back to Christmas for a second--my kids used some great creativity and pooled their resources for my Christmas gift, giving me (and my wife) tickets to a Beatles tribute show called Rain that will appear here in Lexington in mid-February.  This group is supposed to be the best of those that do what they do, and, as I believe I've noted here, I am a HUGE Beatles fan.  They also added a gift card to a nice restaurant to make it a very complete date night.  Really great gift, and I'm excited for the date to arrive!

I don't follow the NFL that closely (no fantasy football for me, or baseball, either) but I think that a few coaches will receive pink slips and some nice parting gifts.  The day after the regular season ends is now known as Black Monday, and it has nothing to do with holiday shopping.  I told my wife last night near the end of the Denver Broncos' disassembly of the Oakland Raiders last night that I felt it was possible that eight coaches would be shown the door.  I know of one who's already agreed mutually to leave, combative Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers.  How would you like for your job to work that way?  Things don't go that well, and you're out--but with a year or two (or more) of pay.  Not bad, eh?

I'm pretty active on Twitter and periodically adjust my feed to add or delete people who either aren't adding anything or are adding too much.  I recently dropped a famous business writer whom I respect greatly, but because he would ask open ended questions and then retweet EVERY RESPONSE HE RECEIVED I could go less than an hour between times I viewed my timeline only to find 200 new items, most of which were related to one of his statements/questions.  So I bade him adieu.  Likewise, someone local in sports media whom I do not like or respect wrote something that made it indirectly to me:  "So, Twitter is like an ongoing election.  You and only you make hits.  Just ignore what you don't want to read that raises your blood pressure."  Despite being incredibly self-absorbed, this man made some sense to me.  I probably change that feed more than I used to for that reason!

I have to confess that, other than trips to the grocery, I've managed to avoid the retail scene for a few days, opting to let the furor of merchandise returns and gift card spending to wain a bit before dipping a toe back into those waters.  I have a couple of items to return to a couple of adjoining stores, so that will probably be the first return.

Finally, will be working to catch up on some movie viewing in the next few days.  My wife and I took in a showing of "Exodus:  Gods and Kings" on Friday.  Dandy retelling of the Moses-frees-the-slaves-from-Egypt story from the Bible, and, more commonly, Cecil B. deMille's epic "The Ten Commandments."  This version is a little less self-impressed and, of course, chock full of modern special effects that enhance the story.  Christian Bale made for a muscular and effective, if somewhat doubting, Moses, and Joel Edgerton was quite good playing the thankless role of Ramses, the Egyptian ruler with whom Moses clashes.  Good picture.  "The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies" is most likely next.  And, just to recap, the third "Hunger Games" picture was very good, and I am still thinking about "Interstellar" six weeks later, if that tells you anything!

Enjoy your week--I know that I'll enjoy mine!

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