Sunday, December 28, 2014

There's a First Time for Everything

I'm leaning on the Holidailies prompt today. When I first got up I thought I'd just get under a throw blanket in my chair and watch CBS Sunday Morning. (Which is already on but recording on the DVR.) I'm up later than usual because it's cold and rainy out and we don't have any obligations today. Then I remembered that I'm trying to write something in this space every day for Holidailies so I decided to get that done.

Anyway. The prompt is:
What did you do this year that you've never done before?
Whoa! That's sort of depressing. I read that and started sorting through my year and, exciting as it was, it didn't hold many first times. Maybe none.

My travels? New Orleans, New York, Denver, Boulder, Aspen (aha! first time there), Maine, Oregon and Washington and Oregon Portland area, New York (again). Mostly visiting places I'd been before. I think we stayed in a different hotel in Portland, OR. I stayed in a motel in Augusta, ME I'd never stayed in but Comfort Inn? OK. The Aspen jaunt was all new to me. Independence Pass (we drove from Denver), the wonderful St. Regis condo where we stayed with friends, the night at the music festival, the walks and meals with friends.All new if predictable adventures.

Hardly ground-breaking in the travel department, though. The road trip to get to Colorado was not unlike ones we've taken together before and was very much like ones I'd taken with Mom and Dad. We did take our friends from the west coast to New Orleans with us so that made it sort of different although we visited some of the same restaurants (with a few new ones) and stayed in the same hotel as the visit the year before.

Well, we must have shaken things up in the living arena, though, right? We must have redecorated or gotten things organized in a different way or developed a new household habit? Well, in a word: no. We haven't made many changes since we painted and put in tons of built-ins and furnished this little apartment. We replenished linens a couple of times but not this last year. I'm still trying (with mixed success) to clean it myself in a timely fashion.

Our recreation has continued along the same lines. I play tennis (doubles) with women who are either older than I or not too much younger. I play on the schedule of a friend who will turn 84 next week. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Mornings. Usually 9 in the winter, 8:30 in the summer. I didn't shake this up by scheduling to play in workouts or tournaments. I didn't play singles with anyone. Rinse. Repeat.

I work out a little. Usually just cardio on a recumbent bike. While (choose one or more) listening to music, watching TV, reading newspapers. Same as last year. I do some weights or machines occasionally.

We walk. For the six plus years we have lived downtown we have made many walks. This year a new boardwalk opened on the south side of Lady Bird Lake so we had some new paths. But really there is lots of repetition. The city changed around us, of course. Buildings are going up we can see from our apartment and balcony and a bunch we only see on walks. I usually walk once a month with my friend Allan. He's a gay playwright. We eat lunch, maybe see a museum show.

FFP and I see almost every special event at the Blanton and Harry Ransom Center. (To shake things up I guess we should go to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Musuem.) When the two of us are in New York, we almost always go to MOMA. We saw the Matisse cutout show in October. If there is a show of interest while we are there, we do that. We'll also see something on Broadway and a jazz show or two. We'll eat at old favorites and try new restaurants and we almost always invite people who live in NYC or are there at the same moment to a little dinner or lunch party.

We eat out. We tried a few new restaurants this year. Trying new ones, of course, is part of our routine. We gave dinner parties in some of them. Again: routine.

We go to the ballet. Everything Ballet Austin does, we see. We go to their gala event, too. We also go to plays or other live events. We see almost every show put on by Austin Cabaret Theatre. No shake ups there.

A fun routine but a routine all the same.

I read. We get three newspapers everyday. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and our local rag, The Austin American-Statesman. I try to work the puzzles. I get behind on the papers and they stack up. I read a book before bed. I never get through all the books I buy. It's the usual.

I think I bought a new gadget this year. An iPad Air. FFP got a new phone. (I have to get a new one myself soon!) While he was getting the phone, I decided to get an iPad with a cellular connection. But I'd had a WiFi iPad original so big deal. All year I kept telling myself I'd switch to Windows 8. I already had a laptop running it and had purchased the Office 365 to run on it. I also told myself that I'd learn the Creative Cloud software instead of limping along with my old knowledge using only a fraction of the programs and a tiny fraction of their features. But. I really didn't.

I did learn new things. Hardly a day goes by that I don't learn a new word or some new Internet thing. For example, see the picture above? I took it at the Austin Rocks store in our neighborhood. But when I took it I didn't know what the hashtag #OOTD meant. It means, the Internet instantly told me, "Outfit of the Day." I take reflection pictures all the time. I love it when there's a mirror or reflective thing in the window. Layers. Nothing new there, been doing it for years. Also, the outfit? I wear that Polartec jacket all the time. Nothing new there. My clothing choices have not broken new ground indeed I'm mostly wearing the same clothes as last year.

Wow. I really, really need to shake things up, huh?

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