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26 January 2004 @ 11:11 am
What happens in January, and Writing  
January is a special, sober time of year for me. January is all about setting up the year for something resembling personal success. It's about cutting unneccesary ties with the past, reducing clutter in my house, and getting ready to tackle the coming year.

Computer: I do yearly back-ups of all the data I've saved on my computer (On CD-R's, which has its own problems). Since I switched to running
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January is a special, sober time of year for me. January is all about setting up the year for something resembling personal success. It's about cutting unneccesary ties with the past, reducing clutter in my house, and getting ready to tackle the coming year.

<lj-cut text="Gory details"><b>Computer</b>: I do yearly back-ups of all the data I've saved on my computer (On CD-R's, which has its own problems). Since I switched to running <a href="href="www.gentoo.org">Gentoo</a> Linux, I do a clean re-install, clearing out libraries and programs that I don't normally do. I delete every file I don't want to save, without backing it up. I pick a new desktop image. This is all about a clean break.

<b>Memory Box</b>: Things I've saved over the course of my life - most people have something like this, I imagine. If I don't need to remember it anymore, or I feel I've learned my lessons from it, I set it in a pile to be burned. If it isn't something that can be burned, in the dumpster it goes.

<b>Pictures</b>: I don't take a whole lot of pictures, and the ones I take are usually pretty suck. Every year I winnow the pictures from trips I've been on, and camps I went to. They're pretty firm this year, but it serves as a handy reminder of where I've been, and some people I've met.

<b>Books and CD's</b>: I buy too many books, especially books worth keeping. I want the books around my house to be books worth reading, not just some kind of over-priced decoration. This means that the unworthy books have to disappear, or I won't be able to get anyone to help me move <em>ever again</em>. I give away the ones I think are good to read (and I know somebody who wants to read them), and sell the rest. I'm getting pretty good at selecting "keeper" books by now, but most of them aren't small. I no longer have a goal of maintaining a comprehensive private library - the Web has seen to that almost entirely by itself.

I listen to music from CD's less and less every year, since I got into <a href="http://www.ocremix.org">OC Remix</a>, and the dance CD's are consistently awesome. But I've paid too much for CD's I don't plan on listening to again, so I need to get rid of them. Look forward to a post selling a bunch of them in the future.

<b>Culch</b>: This is stuff you keep around because you might use it again some day - like CAT5 cables, phone line, screws, old flashlights, etc. Every year I have to be realistic about it again, since it's taking up space, and some of it needs fixing. In the case of taking too much work to fix, I pitch it or donate it to somebody who might want it. I've officially taken over my Mom's role of disposing of electronic shit from our house in a responsible way, extending the offer to my friends whenever possible (I have computers, monitors, and assorted electronic crap in our closet from <lj user="masui">, Cam, roomie, and my folks, to name a few).

If you gave me a present which is kinda kitschy, or a knick-knack, I'm giving it to somebody else. I don't mean it as a personal affront, but I'm not going to keep owning something just because it's a gift. I don't believe in owning things that are not valued in and of themselves - if I appreciate the effort that went into it, or what it represents, or what it can do, I'll keep it.

I usually have to throw out candy too (the normal kind, not the from-another-country kind), since I rarely eat it when people give it to me (hint hint).

<b>The Ultimate Goal</b>: Spend less on crap I don't need, so I don't have to throw it away, I don't have to think about it, and the world is a better place. It is a goal I aspire to.

This ended up being a little more comprehensive than I originally planned, but such is the nature of all things organic.

<hr>

<lj user="gunn"> reminded me that I'm one of her favorite poets (which is something I routinely forget). I haven't written poetry in a long time, and I'm planning on doing more of that - more writing in general. And if not more writing, then better writing. I'm planning on heading back to <a href="http://www.eevrything2.com">E2</a> and noding an ass-tonne of new things - my projected goal for the new year is Level 3 by December's end, so I can cast <i>Melf's Acid Arrow of Down-votes</i>.</lj-cut>

As a sample of what I've been working on in my writing, I include this paragraph:

<i>Most intelligent readers regard the idea of a sustained outbreak of zombie attacks much like the idea of the Olsen twins starring in hard-core pornography - while widely regarded by domain experts as statistically unlikely (in both theory and practice), a documented incident would hold grave implications for the future of civilization as we know it.</i>
 
 
Current Mood: oddly cheerful
Current Music: Tina Turner - The Bitch is Back
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on January 26th, 2004 11:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, but some of it is really cool junk.
quasi randomkaolinfire on January 27th, 2004 01:17 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Happylittledevilhappy_l_devil on January 26th, 2004 11:25 am (UTC)
Hey, Doc. Give us a call some time, we should hang out. Also, got any useful electronic stuff to redistribute (hard drives, etc...)
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on January 26th, 2004 11:46 am (UTC)
For the foreseeable future, I'm free from 6ish-10:30 on week-nights that are not Thursday (which is always game) - it all depends on when I get back from work. Weekends are always tricky - but I can be pretty flexible. Once I find out when campus people are free (which is harder to do from off-campus than people seem to realize), I'll call people there more often. I'm up for picking people up in the car, and for driving over there. In other words, I can do a bunch to see people.

Let me know what nights you have free, and I'll try to set something up, kay?

I have an ass-old computer (pre-Pentium 586), an assortment of peripheral cards, and some 1-3 gig hard drives that I have no plans on using. They may or may not work, and are scheduled to be recycled at some point in the future.
A Carnot engine of self-loathingcalypsomatic on January 28th, 2004 07:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you need inspiration when you're doing your writing, but I thought of this post today when I was listening to 'Mexico City Blues' by Jack Kerouac. If you're ever in need of ideas or even just a way to break writer's block, listening to (preferable to reading, because it opens up most of your attention and your eyes) that or probably any other poetry by Jack Kerouac, and possibly most other beat poetry should do it. It doesn't always make immediate sense, but he throws together so many wonderful words and phrases that it just mushes up your brain until it's soft enough to get flowing again, without actually implanting any stolen ideas.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on January 29th, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks - it's been years since I've read Kerouac, and I appreciate a good brain marinade :-)

Still working on getting the e.e. cummings poetry I promised to read, but I only have so many hours in a day.