Happy Birthday, Hawkeye.

I am momentarily at a loss to remember how I usually ring in a New Year here on the blog. There is something about tradition that I always feel bound by, and when I forget it, I have these... solemn moments.

I took down the tree today. All the other decorations too - it makes the room feel a touch sadder, there's too much space now, to much room for things. It's the mandatory concession, is what it is, the acknowledgment that all the pomp and pageantry that I put so much work into, to try and make the holidays special, that's over, and there's no time to squeeze one more gesture of goodwill out, no trappings of the season for me to lean on as I try to make those who matter to me feel... special, unique, loved. Now we are in the long winter, the gray of January and February, where I'm left, not entirely unlike I was before Christmas this year. Hoping for a clean, white snow.

I lament too much.

Finished my last review just after Christmas. I'm fairly certain I have enough banked to break even for the holidays. Saving money has been so important this year, that even though I feel a little more secure, I find it kind of digs its heel in, insist that I keep those numbers up. Anywhere near my once usual poverty-line bank balance and I get nervous now. There are worse habits, and some would say such worries are just a sign of growing up. Shame on them.

Still, it's a load off. The next one's already in the mail.

Got a Christmas e-mail from Ander - apparently he's had some internet-related problems. It was great to get back in touch, and wish him a proper Merry Christmas. It'll be great to start talking to him again, once every thing's sorted..

Had the privilege to be a beta reader for a friend's novel. Talked about it a little here. I am not entirely sure if "beta reader" entails something more specific than "reading, editing, and being critical," but that is how I approached it nonetheless. I'm used to looking at fairly large pieces of finished work by friends of mine, but this was, or is tied with, the largest thing I've ever given notes on. I got through it twice - one time less than I wanted to, but it felt good. I enjoy doing this kind of thing, not the same kind of enjoyment I get from my own writing, because when doing that there's no middle man, there's what I wrote, and what I think needs changed. And the hand-wringing goes here. Plus, I'm never worried about not reading too close, or offending myself.

Still. It's writer's work. I know some writers who wouldn't think so, and I'm not sure I'd call them real writers. I suppose that's as close to a public judgment as I'm comfortable making. Funny learning things about yourself like that.

Enjoyed the experience, and my friend has an impressive of novel on his hands. Exciting enough to make me want to get back to work on... something.

Not sure how this week is going to go yet. I'm hoping to see an old friend, and a new friend of hers, soon. Good chance Justin and I will resume our weekly meetings too. My sleep schedule is just strange, and getting stranger as of late. It's to the point where I don't think I care when I get it, I just wish that when would be at the same time every night... or day.

Today is the birthday of someone very special to me. I remember when I was very young, having the difference between birthdays and holidays described to me, and thinking it was all very unfair, that someone's priorities were fucked. Years and years later, I met someone who put it all into perspective for me, in a way that... well, is very easy to get through to me with - Alan Moore - and just conveyed to me what an amazing thing it is any of us - specifically us, as we are now - are here, so each birthday for someone you know is really special, a true one of a kind thing. And it's easy to forget that, because there are so many us who are special in that way. But it's true.

It's also so funny to me to just think that a year ago, today was just the 2nd of January. And yet, during the passage of that time, I found someone who, by today, by this 2nd of January, has made me want nothing more than to fly across the country with a particularly large cake and celebrate with. Though, I'm sure those TSA bastards probably have some kind of problem with I don't know, frosting or something, but still. It's an amazing thing, the people who come into our lives, so unexpectedly.

Many happy returns.