2014. Let’s get this show on the road.

Blog post song: 

To a certain extent I don’t like to make a big deal out of the new year. I like to make continual improvements and find the big bang approach puts too much emphasis on waiting or framing things by the calendar year. New Year’s day is just another day. But hell, with everyone doing it, it’s an opportune time to look back and say how was last year? and what do I want to get out of this year?

2013 felt pretty stagnant. I’m not so happy with my progress in sleeping patterns, sports, music, my apartment renovations, learning languages and to a certain extent my career. This year I want to be “done” with Dutch. Done? Of course you’re never *done*, but I want to hit a threshold where I am more comfortable and can say “Good, I am satisfied with where I am. Now I can move on to the next.” Which in this case is Spanish.

So the key is sleep, perspective & motivation. With perspective comes prioritisation. So I have to be more careful about where I spend my time. I can stay out late, but *how* late? I can spend time browsing Facebook content, but *how much* time?

On the sleep front, 2014 got to a bumpy start. I was busy on a deadline driven (surprise) sewing project, created a new project of putting together my new computer hardware, then got sick. But ok. Today is a new “Day 1”.

My computer now tells me what time it is every fifteen minutes (like starting 15 minutes ago). Let’s see how this helps me be aware of how much time I spend “here”.
I got a sports injury last March because I did a few stupid things. So anyway, now I will see if I can overcome said injury and move forward with sports.
Sleep will start with trying to maintain regular patterns and I have a handy-dandy wake-up/fall asleep clock that pretends its best to be the sun. And it does a not too shabby job.  With good sleep come focus and motivation. The rest tends to just follow…  But sleep has never been easy for me to maintain. And this year I want to lick it for good.

Great. American English has watered down the term ‘privilege’ and quite possibly enhances discrimination.

Blog post song: Nofx — You’re wrong

It has recently come to my attention that an extended definition of privilege is now in common usage. For me a privilege is a benefit that one is *not necessarily* entitled to. To me a right is something one, or usually everyone in (a specific) society, is necessarily entitled to. Now I see that privilege according to dictionary.com has been extended to include rights whereas Cambridge online’s definition, does not (thank you Cambridge).

Great, so now both benefits we are not entitled to are no different than our rights. Thanks America.

So now I see blog posts and newspaper articles about various forms of privilege such white, male, thin, able bodied privilege.

Now if you use the Cambridge, non-watered down definition of privilege, then these articles subtly whitewash discrimination. So either, by referring to not being discriminated against as a white person means that said white person is privileged. Lame. And great, that $100,000 car you drive being rich privilege is no different than not experiencing classism. To me those are very different things that need to be kept separate and handled differently.

So either we will require extra clarification just because the language is watered down. Or the wrong idea is going to be conveyed. Or even worse, people are going to start seeing being extended rights as no longer being the default. Marvelous.

Won’t you be my neighbour?

Blog post song: Won’t you be my neighbour? (ok, fine, “neighbor”)

Hi Granny,

This title is misleading. Ok, only a bit. Today was “burendag” (neighbours day) in the area where I rehearse with one of my wind symphonies. (So, not my neighbourhood per se.)

We played easy stuff, not the regular repertoire from the group. Pop music (Dutch and American), jazz tunes and Dutch waltzes (the epitome of cheese quite possibly) with a reduced group (not the whole wind symphony). It was fun. My improvised solo in “On the Sunny Side of the Street” was nothing to write home about. But I guess I am anyway.😛 I meant to look at the chords ahead of time and work something out, but just couldn’t get to it. #notenoughhoursintheday (Maybe Ang can explain hashtags to you if you don’t know them already.)😉 Or Jes, or I can do it another day.🙂

More asap. (whenever that may be…)

Oh, and I just got a picture by e-mail:
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Some days I wish I didn’t care.

Yes, it’s true.  I see so many news articles/facebook posts about the world that come through and I would like to fix them.  Right now, I’m trying to get my own house in order.  Then I will think about how I can help.  I know I can’t help every cause.  But at least a couple I believe in.  And not with a monetary donation, but with real actual involvement. More on this…

(Oh and the blog post theme song: Pierre by Carole King)