Flip the Otter searched: Do you have any goals for New Years?
I have a lot of things I’m looking forward to accomplishing this year:
I want to get ahead on this blog and figure out how to write without every panicking at midnight.
I want to start making YouTube videos with one of my best friends again.
I want to finally learn to drive a car. It’s so long overdue.
I want to move across the country.
I want to finish a first draft of my novel. It’s also long overdue. And I’m excited about it.
I want to write a twisted fairy tale. And have a ton of fun with it.
I want to finish this cross stitch project that has the most gorgeously annoying stitch pattern.
I want to be able to hike a mountain again, without feeling like my lungs were going to press the self-destruct button on the way up.
We’ll see how much of it gets done by next December. I think this is the first time I’ve even bothered to write down the list.
Kate Kearney searched: Do you make resolutions?
Not really. I’ve never thought there was a good reason to wait until January 1st to start aiming for better things for yourself. I’ve preferred to start as soon as I make the decision that it’s something I want or need.
You can call those resolutions, if you’d like, but I don’t.
They’re both necessary, but one of them should always lead directly into the other.
You should never spend time at the beginning of the new year listing mistakes. Look hard enough to know where you fell short of what you wanted, then decide how you’re not going to fall short this year.
Don’t ever rest on laurels. You’re supposed to wear them on your head and run off on the next adventure. If you lay them, you’re just going to smash them.
Neekers searched: Where does the phrase “winging it” come from?
The phrase has been around since at least 1855, and was originally a theater term. An actor “winged it” by performing a scene or entire production without having learned the lines. He memorized the lines for each of his scenes in the stage wings before he went on, or he was coached by someone hiding in the wings, or both. Whatever it took for the show to go on.
Flip the Otter searched: Do you have any New Years traditions?
My family and I have always had fairly quiet New Years activities. We have grilled steak and seafood for dinner, and we stay up late, watch the ball drop on television, and hand out hugs as the very first thing in the new year.
When I was younger, we always brought out a new jigsaw puzzle on New Year’s Eve, and spent the next week trying to put it together. The pieces just sat on a table in the living room, and everyone tried to fit in pieces as they passed it. I’m not entirely sure why we stopped, if we really stopped, or if it just hasn’t happened in the last few years.
Now, we always invite my uncle over for dinner, catch up, and say how we should really see each other more often than once every six months.
The last few years, anyone who needed to be somewhere the next day went to bed shortly after midnight, and the rest of us stayed up to the large hours of the morning (four, five, six, or seven) watching movies.
But it’s always pretty quiet, and besides the feast, there isn’t much we have to do.
Kate Kearney searched: Owl or hedgehog?
I have some history with these animals. Some weird history.
When I was little, my church had a wooden owl that sat in one of a hundred holes in the outer architecture. I don’t know whether my parents explained what it was the first time I noticed it, or whether it took me a while to ask, but it’s probably one of my earliest memories that that owl was there to scare away other birds so they wouldn’t make nests in the holes. And I thought that was one of the coolest things I’d ever heard. I think I thought I’d just figured out what good luck charms were: neat tricks that worked whether the person holding it knew how the trick worked or not.
My older sister really loved hedgehogs in high school. I don’t know why. But we ended up with some cute rubber stamps of hedgehogs with bows and kites and shy little smiles. My sister wanted to own one, I think. That would have been cool.
The Classics Honors Society has an owl as a mascot. I got into a couple of honors societies in college, and I was proud of them, but I loved this one. And the owl was always done in purple and gold, which are excellent colors. And it had the good sense to be surrounded by a Greek motto on the insignia, instead of a Latin one. It was an owl of excellent taste.
I dated a guy in college who was hiding a pet hedgehog in his dorm room at a military school. There were six guys in that dorm room, and this hedgehog, and they loved the thing. They made it a facebook page. They showed it off at every opportunity. It was actually how I met the guy I dated. He’d shown it off one place too many, and gotten dragged off campus to be “the guy with the hedgehog.” After a little while, I wasn’t sure whether he actually loved the hedgehog, or the rebellion, or the way it brought people near him. But it was a nice hedgehog.
I think, over all, I’d take the owl. (So long as it didn’t stare too hard. That’s a little creepy.)
Flip the Otter searched: What three films do you want to watch this time of year, regardless of seasonal appropriateness?
I don’t think I have any that come up every year around this time, but my current three are:
1) Ever After
2) Stage Beauty
3) Captain America: The First Avenger
I’ve been itching to watch all three for a week now. I haven’t been able to decide which one I should watch first, so I haven’t watched any of them.
Flip the Otter searched: If you could stand in the gap between New Years Eve and New Years Day and use it as a time portal to gaze into the future and or past what are two events in the past and three events in the future that you would want to see?
In the Past:
1) The Fall of Troy – I’d never be able to prove it to anyone else, but at least I’d finally know what was going on in the Mediterranean at that time, and what disaster was knocking down so many cities. I just don’t think it was a wooden horse.
2) The Day I Got Left Behind at the Auto Dealership Because the Door was Too Heavy for Me to Push Open – I was too little to remember it. But I think it’s time I know my side of the story, not just that I was adorable and pitiful and had squashed myself up against the glass.
(Have I made any history majors irate? I’m sure there were better options, but… Come on. Would you choose anything better at midnight on New Years Eve?)
In the Future:
1) A Top Twenty Music Countdown in 2115 – I just want to hear popular music from one hundred years in the future.
2) The Premiere of the First Harry Potter film, the Next Time They Decide to Film It – How many film versions of Pride and Prejudice do we have? You know they’re going to do Harry Potter again. It might be a while – I hope it will be a while – but I want to see it.
3) When I Put Down My Keys Right Before the Next Time I Lose Them – I lose things so often.
Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.
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