Farewell, 2018, the Year of Hobbies, Home Repair, and Amusements.
Well I almost stopped Hobby 1: this blog, because I forgot the key finding from Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: the smaller the topic, the easier it is to write. And the more tedious it is to read, I am sure, but for now I'm on this strange daily post bobsled and I cannot get off.
I went on vacation and was inspired to work on Hobby 2: the guitar. The year began with the doubled-up vacations to the Rock Boat and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. That visit inspired me to pick up my guitar and up my finger-picking game. I am not making steady progress there. One day I will sound glorious, and the next I can't tell if I am more twangy or more plinky. I am doing it, though.
Speaking of vacation: I wrote that I lost my passport card and a pair of earrings on that trip. A week later I found the earrings in my trash can, and a month later I found the passport card slid under the seat in the car we used to return from the airport. So, sorry NOLA, for falsely accusing you.
Now it's been almost a year since I went on that vacation. Instead of taking any mini-vacations we spent August and September shunting money into the house. There was the new mailbox, plus the landscaping wall, and then there was the less conspicuous consumption: the attic insulation, toilet, and the termite protection racket.
A trivia game in the summer got me started on Hobby 3: oil painting. That's working out well, if slowly. I'm about half-done with the value study for the teacups. It's nice to try glazing, because it requires that you wait between coats, so instead of feeling guilty that you haven't painted today, instead you can say "I would have painted today but it's still wet."
Speaking of trivia, this was the year we finally won the United Way Trivia match. That was probably the high point in the year of trivial amusements, even though we saw the Frank Lloyd Wright house, concerts by Cowboy Mouth and Lyle Lovett, Guster, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Steven Page and his Trio.
Finally, I have to acknowledge the activity that used up almost all of my husband's time: hating on the President of the United States. While I was a part-time hobbyist hater (Hobby 4), Gary took to it like it was his job, sending out an average of six Facebook posts a day. Since we avoided the Women's March because we were avoiding the flu, our protest schedule dwindled down to seeing Kathy Griffin when she came in with her World Tour. Other than our aborted attempt to go to the anti-Attorney General rally, I didn't do much protesting. We voted as hard as we could, though.
When you spend a year and voting is the most significant thing you can point to, when the rest of the year is typified by they way you scream I LOVE YOU at the toilet every time you evacuate your bowels (and I do), then that is a shallow life. Perhaps I will find use in the coming year.