Wave Bye-Bye 2006

Can you freaking believe it? 2006 and is almost over and out. I’m still finding it quite hard to comprehend how freaking quickly this year has gone by for me. Maybe it’s due to the lack of concentration I’m experiencing from sinus difficulties. Or could it have something to do with the fact that I seemed to pack in a lot of stuff, but I still feel I accomplished very little throughout the year.

Whatever the case, just noting the promise of a new year on the horizon always brings occasion for reflection, redemption and ever-feared “resolutions”.

Here are some highlighted reflections from the year:
· Spending time with friends and family (without any bloodshed*)
· Loads of live music experiences
· Traveling (oh how I missed discovering things by putting one foot in front of the other)
· Making new friends
· Discovering new music and then sharing it on wicked awesome mix cds**
· Collecting many a fortune from fortune cookies (seriously- I’ve probably eaten more then my fair share of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food in 2006)

Here are few things I’m going to try to redeem in 2007:
· Be less sarcastic to my family and friends
· Put less pressure on myself
· Try to complain less
· Live more in the moment
· Learn to listen better and not interrupt

Finally here are my resolutions. I must preface this with the fact I normally, never, ever announce these out loud for public consumption, but just this once I’m going to try it out. Let’s see if I can stick with some of these now that they are out here online. My hope is that it will even motivate me a tad:
· Write at least 1 blog a week (that’s right folks 52 new postings will be happening in 2007)
· Train and complete a half marathon
· Complete one entire Bikram Yoga class (this means every position, every set without laying on the floor belly aching about it)
· Take at least two trips (which MUST be non-work related, unless there is a way to piggyback fun with friends for more then a day after the work has been completed)
· Prepare dinner for someone else (I know many folks believe this is a pipedream, but contrary to popular belief I can do things besides bake)

There you have it. I’ve laid it out there and let’s see if I can make good on these resolutions. Now I better scoot on out and enjoy my remaining moments of 2006. I leave you with my last minute Ipod shuffle of the year:

1. I’m Waiting – All American Rejects
2. Breakfast at Tiffiany’s – Deep Blue Something
3. Purple Stain – Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. Undone - Weeezer
5. Move Along – Chris Isaak
6. Picking Up The Pieces – Widespread Panic
7. That’s Incentive – Death Cab for Cutie
8. Bullet Proof…I Wish I Was – Radiohead
9. Inaudible Melodies – Jack Johnson
10. Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind – Badly Drawn Boy
11. I Never – Rilo Kiley
12. Memory – Sugarcult
13. Beatnik Beach – The Go- Go’s
14. The Finish Line – Snow Patrol
15. Into Dust – Ashtar Command

* My philosophy has been the same since I was a young soccer player - “ No Blood, No Foul. Yes occasionally we might hurt or get hurt, but we are quick to recover!”

** These CDs are strictly for personal use only and should not be copied without explicit consent from the artists!!! (Sorry my lawyers have instructed me to make sure this comment appears.)


How Do You Spell Hanukkah?

Ok, for most people it’s the season to be jolly. That’s not quite the case for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I'm pro or con against Christmas. Plus I wouldn’t classify myself as a scrooge either, but it's a season of commercialization and craziness for most of the folks that surround me. And it seems to get earlier and earlier every year.

And I can consume and get excited about all the spiffs that entrap us during the holiday season. In fact I think many companies look to me and my friends throughout US to hit their target sales budgets between November to December. But this year I'm really trying to curb my appetite for goods and services. I’ll admit it, I’m not going to turn away gifts that people give me, but I do realize that the holiday I celebrate is not based on 8 days of presents.

In fact Hanukkah isn’t even the real Jewish holiday where you’re supposed to receive gifts. In actuality that holiday is Purim (a subject for a later date). But in American society based on good & services, we’ve chosen to compete for space and attention by commercializing our holiday. And now the festival of lights is filled with 8 crazy nights full of gifts (at least in some households).

It’s especially shocking when you have to explain this to co-workers. Either they really know very little about Hanukkah outside of the fact there are 8 days of gifts. Or they don’t quite comprehend that you don’t celebrate Christmas too. Over the years I’ve tried to get over some people’s insensitivity about workplace “Holiday Celebrations” that excluded not just my religion but others. But my threshold for being wished “A Merry Christmas” sometimes wears thin as we get closer to December 25th every year.

I do however appreciate the fact in the past few years many people have tried to make Hanukkah much cooler and hip. You’ve got Adam Sandler singing about who is Jewish to the world. So many of my Jewish friends and Non-Jewish friends alike have been educated on who grabs their harmonica and puts on their yarmulke.

And last year my friend Sarah introduced me to The Leevees who ask the age old question – how do you spell Hanukkah? The rest of their Hanukkah Rocks! CD really brings a smile to my face during the season filled with “Oh Holly Night” & “Little Drummer Boy”. Seriously The Leevees music is fun, witty and dare I say hip.

They’ve become a great way for me to ring in the holiday season with a little Jewish flare. What more can you ask for during the most commercialized season? I guess this really turned into more of rant about holidays then anything else, but it’s just a little something for ya’ll to ponder during this time of the year.

But seriously I do wish each of you a Happy Holiday season (no matter your faith) and a wonderful new year on the horizon!