Killing time on New Year’s Eve

I am killing time by blogging, I’m not saying that it’s time to kill. 

Sometimes what I write is crap.

This time, I’m blaming Eli. If you don’t frequently read my blog, you won’t know that Eli is my son. He’s twelve. His favorite activities are computer use and destroying shit—usually by fire—but always under adult supervision. Luckily, I’m fairly fond of destroying shit as well, so I’m always the aforementioned supervision. By computer use, I mostly mean his cell phone: You Tube videos, that sort of thing, but he also likes to play Mindcraft with his friends on the Internet. To play Mindcraft, he needs to use a computer… my computer.

Yesterday while he was playing on my laptop I broke out our Chromebook to write a story. A Chromebook is a teeny little laptop with no word processing software. In order to write, I needed to access an internet program that I could type in. At first, I thought about opening up a new email message and writing a story in the email body. Then I considered writing directly in WordPress, which I’m sure many of you do.

Finally, I remembered that I can write in Google Docs. Which in truth, is no different than writing in gmail or WordPress, but I’m unlikely to prematurely hit publish or email a half-finished story to someone by mistake.

So yesterday, I wrote in Google Docs. On my tiny Chromebook. And what I wrote was crap.

I carefully pecked out two paragraphs and went back to edit twice. As I was ready to move on with fresh content, my father called. Often on Saturday mornings, I’ll let the phone ring through to voice mail. I’m not ready to interact with others until three coffee cups of espresso are gone. But I wanted to talk, and writing on the Chromebook was unsatisfying, So I put away my writing until tonight. And when I pulled it out, it’s crap, garbage.

I was writing about the job-change that has ruled my life over the past six months. There are no synonyms for “job.” In two short paragraphs, six sentences, I wrote the word “job” six times. An average of once per sentence—although one of my sentences had “job” in it three times.

Tonight, New Year’s Eve, my fifteen year old daughter, Sophie, is at a friend’s apartment downtown, a few doors away from the center square. Eli, Susan and I are trading off between live TV and solitary pursuits. Right now, Eli is watching You Tubers destroy stuff. Susan is reading and trying to stay awake for the midnight fireworks, and I’m killing time by writing this. We’ll make it to the fireworks, we need to. We’re meeting Sophie there, and she needs a ride home.

Do you ever wonder what changes you would make if someone put you in charge of everything? Sort of a cross between God and the king of the world? When I’m in charge, December 31 won’t be New Years Eve anymore. The new year would start on the winter solstice, December 21st. And we’ll no longer mess around with months of varying lengths. They’ll all be twenty-eight days. Thirteen months, 364 days. Only the last month would have an extra day, New Year’s Eve. It would be a holiday.

20171231_234245On TV tonight, they told me that this is the third coldest New Year’s Eve on record in New York City. It’s twelve degrees there right now. One degree away from tying for number two. I have no doubt they’ll will make it; there are two more hours until the ball drops. In Gettysburg, it’s currently eight degrees. I’m guessing we’ll bottom out around five degrees. Eli just returned from his bedroom with a bunch of those packaged hand warmers. It’s going to help us gut out thirty minutes in the cold. Ten minutes of walking, a ten second count-down, nineteen minutes and fifty seconds of fireworks. We’ll be leaving shortly, so I’ll go gather my clothes.

So, if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading these ramblings. I have no point whatsoever, and I feel guilty for wasting your time. Happy New Year. May all your resolutions this coming year be fulfilled.

16 thoughts on “Killing time on New Year’s Eve

  1. The fact that you re-read and edit your work automatically puts you 10 steps ahead of many bloggers.

    Here in Madison, we have a predicted low of minus 11 for tonight. Wind chill predicted around minus 30. It’s now about 40 minutes before 2018, which I hope will prove to be a much better year than the last one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year Jeff, Susan, Sophi and Eli….We snuggled up and spent the eve just warmly tucked in. We did hear the fireworks. I just enjoyed a weekend of reading, reading and reading, relaxing.


  3. Isn’t it funny how selective writers are about what they write on and their process? Only on this computer, only on a typewriter, only on paper…. I’m the same way. I was working until 11 pm this year, so I was actually awake for the drop of midnight this year, though not out in the cold like you. I always enjoy your ramblings. Thanks for sharing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy New Year, Jeff. Enjoy your stories, even the ones you designate as crap. Emotional tone is communicated well. Once again, I admire your willingness to show up for your kids. Very cool, in my opinion.
    I’ve surprised myself in learning to write/edit on WordPress over the 6 months I’ve been at this. Still miss stuff, but as far as I can tell, that’s normal. I didn’t imagine that I would be able to write online or on computer at all, having been a very kinesthetic person/longhand writer forever. Still start there sometimes, and I’ve adapted. How very odd.
    Happy New Year to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just ordered a chrome book because my MacBook Air is on the Fritz and I refuse to spend that much money on a laptop again. Looks like it’s time for me to familiarize myself with google docs! I may need your help 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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