Auspicious, Sort Of

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Last year, in the holiday season, I saw a Christmas tree that was decorated with white origami cranes. It was so simple and beautiful, and was located, of all places, in my local Ace Hardware store.

The idea stuck with me, and so this year, I decided to do something similar.

I bought real Japanese imported origami paper and I chose to decorate our holiday tree with origami cranes this year.

In the tradition, cranes are said to be a special gift or a very auspicious thing. So heck, The Good Man and I could use a little auspiciousness (<-- not a word) in the new year. So I folded and folded and soon, I had a pile of 100 cranes I then placed on the tree. We’d intended to add more decorations, but found that the colorful cranes were simple and elegant and more than enough to make our Christmas tree really beautiful.

They are quite pretty and a nice alternative to the regular ornaments.

When I look at my tree, it just all feels very auspicious and good luckish (<--also not a word) and makes me happy.

But I have a question. What is the impact on the auspicious meter when The Feline callously rips a crane from a low branch, bats it around (playing a game of cat and mouse), then leaves the crane for dead on the train tracks that encircle the tree?

That can’t be good.

Rather inauspicious (<- actually a word!)

All photos by Karen Fayeth, taken with my iPhone 4

S’long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good byyyyyyye!

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Well 2009, here we are.

It’s been fun, you know. Well, sometimes, anyway.

I mean, you’ve provided some laughs and all.

Remember that time we celebrated my wedding anniversary?

How about all the tweets we shared?

The endless blog posts?

Remember that vacation where we laughed in the summer sun?

Yeah…those were special times. Really, I’ll always hold those memories deep in my heart.

It’s just…

Well…

It’s not working out.

You see, despite all the fun, you’ve ravaged my wallet.

In this year, you made me have to *gasp* cut coupons, lower my thermostat and NOT buy this ever so delicious navy blue leather bag with a cute little strap and matte finished hardware and the most adorable zipper front pockety thing.

I haaaate not buying a delicious handbag with a really cute pockety thing!

But I didn’t buy it. I walked away.

And I’m still sad about that.

I’ll always remember that stuff too, 2009.

How you made gas prices stupidly expensive. How you let all those celebrities die. How you let Tiger cheat on Elin.

You have a dark side, 2009. I see it now. I see it so clearly.

I’ve been fooling myself all along

I think it is best if we part ways.

Really, stop trying to cling to my leg.

We’re done.

Seriously.

Fine. You want me to say it?

I’ll say it.

But when I say it, it’s really over.

Ok. Here we go. I’m saying it.

It’s not you, it’s me.

There.

Feel better?

Now get out of here. We’re through!

Have I met somebody new? Well…maybe.

2010 has been coming up in conversation a lot lately.

Maybe 2010 will treat me the way I deserve to be treated.

Let my retirement recover some of its value and help me possibly find another cute little leather bag to assuage my grief.

Until then…to you, 2009, I can only say….

So long.

Farewell!

Auf wiedersehen

Good byyyyyyye…

Conflicted emotions

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The times, they certainly are a’changing.

One place this is perfectly evident is in the world of newspapers and reporting.

A number of key dailies have either gone out of business or gone to internet only publication to cut printing costs. As these papers scale back, they must also downsize their staff.

Just last week, I was referring to something that Gene Grant had written about in his column (published in the Albuquerque Journal). I’d said that I had always liked Gene’s work, whether or not I always agreed with him.

I find him to be both eloquent and articulate. Something lacking in so many of today’s so-called journalists.

Just two days after I had been extolling Gene’s virtues, I read his last column for the ABQjournal.

Said Gene: “A small story in the historic and difficult choices newspaper owners and editors are facing. It’s tough out there.”

Gene and his opinion column have fallen victim to the world of the internet and the ever present blog-ready online world.

I love my blog and the forum to be able to openly express my opinions on a variety of topics, but I realize that the blogosphere has taken down talented journalists like Gene.

And I have conflicted feelings on that subject.

On the one hand, I lament the lack of real journalism with integrity and reporting “just the facts.” This is, I know, an antiquated notion. Opinion has made its way into the media, as each paper has its own axe to grind. My own local rag, the San Francisco Chronicle, is one of the worst.

So although I wish for strong, precise journalism, it just doesn’t exist anymore.

Then again, on the other hand, I think the rise of blogging is a good thing. No longer am I subjected to only the forced opinions of my local paper or other media outlets. I can seek out a variety of dissenting opinions, take them all in, and then make up my own mind. Knowledge is power.

I wonder if blogging wouldn’t be quite the force it is if our journalistic outlets gave us the unbiased news we desire? Or perhaps it would be popular, but in a different way.

So while I’m sad to see the demise of newspapers and the downsizing of talented writers like Gene Grant, I think it was inevitable.

The newspaper world is a stodgy old industry and it’s high time for that old dog to learn some new tricks.

Change or die is the motto these days. Newspapers aren’t immune.

Something tells me 2009 is going to be a wild ride.