friday random elevenish: “clockwatching away on the last day of my year” edition

14 Dec

Today is the last official* day of my work year, and I’m counting the minutes, as the watermarked stock photo image above suggests. I haven’t taken that much time off in 2018, and given my level of seniority and the kind of leave I earn, the concept of “use-or-lose” comes into play, so I have two weeks or so to burn. It’s also the habit I’ve gotten into over the last few years anyway, as it works for me, and let’s be honest, here in the public sector, we basically shut down (let’s hope only figuratively, though my department won’t be subject to this one, we’re one of the few that got full-year funding) anyway.

As is also my habit, I’m not making much in the way of plans for the holidays, either. My two week constitutional will largely consist of me sticking close to home, and not doing much of anything unless I or the household chooses. As I say every year about this time, I made the choice to not do the typical holiday-obligation travel a while back, and my sanity is so much the better for it. My lovely spouse and I dragged three young kids and their attendant stuff all over the place for years, and it wasn’t at all relaxing or enjoyable. I’m not going to do it now with three adult-sized kids and their different attendant stuff now. If people want to see me, they know where to find me. I’m going to take two weeks of “me/us” time, just chilling at the house, cook some meals, catch some Pokémon and maybe a couple of movies, hit a few breweries, and just relax.

It’s been a hell of a year, full of senior-level briefings and program “murder boards”, exams, apocalyptic current events, the 24 hour news cycle, and all kinds of other stress. We all deserve a break where we don’t have to think about it too hard and just enjoy the days as they come.

I do have a short overnight planned for the weekend; the Blibbering Humdingers (along with our friends Hawthorn and Holly) are playing a couple of sets each at Cavendish Brewing Company’s “Christmas in Hogsmeade” event down in Gastonia, NC on Saturday. Cavendish (which I discovered at ConCarolinas’ “Heavy Metal and a Pint” panel last year), tends to do some neat, geeky events and this Potter-themed event is one of them. They’ve got stuff going most of the day, and the lovely spouse and I plan on getting down there a few hours early, enjoy some time with friends, drink a few pints, and generally get a break from the snowed-in conditions from earlier this week.

It’s actually been a pretty good week for music overall; with the light crowd at Isley this week, I ended up playing a 40 minute solo set to a small-but-enthusiastic crowd, including a few weird Christmas tunes and a handful of my own compositions, and it went *really* well (there may be some video out there online if you look hard enough). I also got some feelers this week about a potentially cool development in town that might open up some more performance opportunities, though I’m not going to say anything more for now, so as not to jinx it, but if we pull it together (I’ll know more next week), it’ll be pretty neat.

So, that’s it, really. I kinda doubt I’ll be as regular about posting in this space for the rest of the year – if something cool comes up, I’ll talk about it, and I’ll probably do my semi-traditional year-end wrap up posts, because I’m so very anal about that, and while it hasn’t posted yet, The A/V Club’s annual “Year in Band Names” will arrive shortly, and I always share my enjoyment of that with my adoring public, such as you are.

In any case, that’s the state of CdPdN for now. All that’s left to do, given that it’s Friday, is to share my random play-list; a little longer because I’m just enjoying the background noise while shutting down the shop for the year. While heavy on the modern indie, it of course devolves into what every playlist for Pandora eventually devolves into for me – Zappa, Bowie, and The Donnas. That last one though is always a welcome surprise, as it’s got one of the best guitar solos of the hair metal/power ballad era on it – never not worth a listen:

  1. “Right Before My Eyes” – Cage the Elephant
  2. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers
  3. “Chicken: 30” – The Coathangers
  4. “Simply Irresistable” – Robert Palmer
  5. “No One’s Gonna Love You” – Band of Horses
  6. “Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
  7. “Overkill” – Men At Work
  8. “Heroes” – David Bowie
  9. “Pygmy Twylyte (live 12-10-73 – show 1)” – Frank Zappa
  10. “Broadsword” – Jethro Tull
  11. “Laid” – James
  12. “Decide” – Heavens to Betsy
  13. “Drivin’ Through My Heart
  14. “I Remember You” – Skid Row


* – I shall have my work laptop within reach at home should I hear that the project goes pear shaped, but I don’t expect that to happen, and I’m not one to choose to work on my own time, even if other suckers people around here do.


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