Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Taking Inventory

It’s time to add all the sounds, smells, sights and experiences of 2 thousand ten and take an inventory.
1. Home – Patching holes in the ceiling and walls, replacing pipes and drains, new bathroom fixtures, hot water, gas connection, new roof, paint, ceiling fan, locks, skylights, electricity back to Mansland, and HEAT.
I’m doing what I can for the economy.
Trying to make a budget of cost, but they vary so much this year with all the “Big Ticket” items.
A pretty good idea, but need another year to get a round figure on all the expenses. So before the New Year hits, I want to produce a complete inventory of all materials of value in my possession that are my responsibility to deal with.
Once wealth is set, then the distance can be evaluated to reach the end. A few more items for next year, then phase back to reality.
Retirement has certain limits; so learn to live within them.
Still doesn’t feel like home, but it is getting there.
2. Health – This is still the most important factor of life. Without health, life just sucks.
After finding a minimal health insurance plan out of state, they were taken to court for bad selling practices.
Like all insurance, you don’t want to us it, so stay healthy.
In the meantime, 10 miles a day is a norm for the morning, while next year I will follow my food intake to check if I’m getting enough stuff that keeps the motor running. Still considering a health club, since the pool is complete.
It is like war, keep running until you get shot.
3. Food – A necessary, yet not a pleasure.
Every food group was tried. Some had to be tried several times, but the palate is settling on certain taste to keep the substances and work within a budget.
A year of testing treats liked from years ago but today, not so much. Salads, fruit, pasta, chicken, grilled hamburgers, peanut butter cookies, coffee ice cream, chocolate cake, apple pie, pizzas, Chinese, Latino, and good old fast food.
Eating out has become a nonessential event, due to high prices, bad service, and inferior preparation of meals. The pretense of attending a restaurant is still used as a safe meeting place during construction.
Aisles containing cookies, cakes, colas, TV dinners and baby products are passed without any problems to diet or survival. The easier preparation and clean up is an essential element in choosing meal.
The first of the year, a new grocery budget will be made, referencing this year, double-checking the present cost of items to match with mid-year (do I have too much time on my hands?).
What cooking or preparation of food was due to trying different techniques with steaming rice, boiling noodles in a fry pan, baking and slow cooking. Perhaps a new kitchen will help. Put that on the list for next year.
Plus I have to find another clock instead of counting the day with 12 cans.
4. Style – Clothing is even less important now than ever.
A few sweats and shorts and I are done.
Once the t-shirts or socks become stiff, I decide to change them and throw them in the once-a-month wash. Then reverse the cycle. Only when the item of clothing has large holes or stains on it, then it for home use only. These may last another couple of years.
Dress-up clothes line the hangers gathering dust. Instead of wearing sports or school identification wardrobe, I wear what is comfortable, fits, and is clean.
Wearing the same clothes day-after-day, or not shaving or either bathing for a couple of days is a style that must be developed to be appreciated.
Did go shopping for new jeans, shoes and socks, gloves, and underwear, but nothing else is needed, so it is easy to pass.
5. Music – Went out and bought a turntable to listen and digitize the old vinyl recordings that have been following me for years. They need to be resorted and catalogued, but that is an update to an existing database.
That is the first of the year inventory on everything that is in the house. Found a couple of treasures in the pile so far, but some will be going to the sales bin.
Only shopped for music once at a large box store and once at the local up-to-date music leader. One only had the latest pop favorite while the other was full of vinyl. What’s up with that?
Without hearing anything of interest from the NPR or television background, I repeat the same songs that I still enjoy.
Digitized a couple of projects and am presently recording vocals for all 200 “C&/orJ” catalogue and sorting plus recording 11-CDs of playlist from “The Last Set” garage band dynamic book.
The two presents to myself this summer sit in their cases, awaiting some finger action. I strum the same songs, sometimes with different results.
Music is still wonderful to get lost in, whether listening or performing.
When music bores me, I turn it off and listen to the silence.
6. Travel – Did a little travel this year, but mostly within the 5-mile radius of familiar. Figured it was about 5,000 miles, even with a few days off for snow.
Took a bus ride downtown and back. Enjoyed the longer ride to north side through the potholes. Another crammed swaying sweaty box to Bill’sville for a cold stroll, drink at an empty bar, someone else’s bed, bad television, cold beer, and lots of mirrors and ready for home.
A train trip up north was exciting in it’s lack of excitement. Well worth the brief vacation. Did see the beach, which is a yearly goal.
Make a note: Next year take a vacation.
7. Politics – I have more time to listen to political high lights then look on the web or government sites and view the process as it happens.
It seems the elderly are the only ones with the time and knowledge to follow this stuff on a daily basis. (as us Boomers grow older). If you think you GOT Nixon, now the time to get that excitement back.
Listen to speeches, read political rhetoric, follow trends, document and Blog a message. Join groups who can overwhelm any political carpetbagger and lobbyist. Get connected and control the voting process in the size and numbers of your lobby.
Baby, the boomers are back.
And though, I know how my district and precinct will vote; yet I attend the procedure as a proud responsibility.
8. Writing – This is a surprise that I would enjoy writing.
Finding fantasy discovering fact and giving to the world without remorse or regret.
Nothing dramatic, but written as a journal; secret thoughts kept under lock and key, yet this time tossed into the wind, without any predispositions or agenda, only to fill the air with more useless nonsense.
Don’t want to cause a rabble, but perhaps create a thought.
Finished the “Ike and Ginger” series one, wrote the breakdown of “The Last Set” a garage band dynamic script and while other ideas flood into my mind as just simple words or thoughts or phases, I will continue.
It keeps the mind busy.
9. Art – Three art rooms are set up.
Tons of materials are available.
Time is plentiful.
But I have not been inspired.
I did some silly caricatures, scanned in some artwork, toned a photo for a friend, messed with some type, but I have not been inspired.
I’ve enjoyed the few brief sketches I’ve done, but to sit for days drawing and making a visual representation of whatever will inspire me… but not yet.
Note: Go to the museum more often. It is free.
10. Relationships – This has been a surprising find.
Either I’m wiser or more aware or not as interested, but the grouping of individuals for functions of conversation and contact is now viewed through an entirely different window.
The introduction of oneself to another alone is a topic.
Short conversations with one’s that are trustworthy, is more than enough. Without presenting a persona for acceptance by the other, makes the awkwardness comfortable.
I do realize I only talk to furniture, trees, wild animals or cute grocery check out girls (and the occasional contractor, plumber, electrician, or roofing supervisor who speaks English) I am more aware of the words I speak in fear of becoming the crazy old guy in all my early black and white television youth dramas. I also tend to gabber, possibly only to hear my own voice
Also, the rearranging of my footprint and an introspective evaluation has given an insight of what is important, at least to me.
And much like the department store, the variety is endless, but it all comes with luggage.
Now this is an interesting topic, you don’t have to know right now.

So how does this year wrap up?

Spent a bunch of money, checked off a “to-do” list, created an agenda, a daily schedule, but with no deadlines, and am calm and comfortable. I look around at what is supposed to be the “American Dream” and it looks fine to me, for now.

Sure a little pile of dust there, a few spider webs, hammers and screwdrivers about, tile coming up in the kitchen, ruffled sheets, scattered papers and piles of clothes, the process continue.

So let’s see what next year holds. What new adventure will present itself?

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