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Things. What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How
will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things
change your life? _

1)socks with holes 2)Microsoft Windows 3)The junk in my garage 4)The junk in my basement 5)30 pounds 6)T-shirts size Medium 7)Doubt 8)Free Floating Anxiety 9)Chairs 10)Tree Limbs 11)Cassettes

All of these taken together are meant to lighten my load as I travel through life.  I’ve a feeling I’m going to need to be light on my feet. I’ll eliminate them systematically, one by one, like a sniper taking out a patrol.

Body integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated
with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn't mind and body, but
simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?_

Jesus, another feely-meely  bullshit question that’s supposed to plumb the depths of my Zen pool.  Hell, as far as I know I’m ALWAYS “alive and present”. Gawd. Next!

Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It's
about making ideas happen. What's your next step?_

I wanna introduce some molecular gastronomy techniques into my cooking repertoire this year.  First step, research and practice.  I wanna get published.  First step - query letters sent, awaiting rejection.  I’ll give it a year – after that – I’m self publishing.

Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in
the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

I appreciate single mothers with multiple kids.  I’m a single dad with only one kid and some days the feeling of drowning in anxiety and stress is so great that hitting myself in the head with a mallet would be sweet relief.  In fact – I appreciate single mothers with just one kid.  Anyone that tells you its easier these days for a woman alone or with children needs a punch in the face. Period.

Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the
world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

Actually it was a group of friends.  They showed me that no matter how big an ass you’ve been, there will still be people who think you're worthwhile.  I was stunned at the depth of feeling these folks had for me.  I had no idea.

Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself
this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

That perseverance pays off, and earning respect is sometimes as easy as keeping your head down and pushing through.  But it is oh, so slow.  I’ll keep pushing that rock up the hill trying not to get rolled over in the process.

Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you
wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn't go for it?

It’s a pipe dream at my age and physical fitness but I’d like to take a shot at hiking to the end of Angel’s Landing trail at Zion National Park in Utah.  It’s a vertiginous trail that is, in spots, essentially a goat path with 3000 foot drops on either side.  And its long and steep and takes people in good shape all day to accomplish.  Zion Park is one of my favorite places in the world and I love hiking in it.  The only thing holding me back is a bad ankle and money.  If not this year, I’ll likely go out in 2012 in the summer after my daughter graduates from high school.  I’ll do it to celebrate.  Hopefully I won’t fall and die.  That would be epically tragic.

Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip
evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

Tough love from my boss who sat me down and told me to snap out of it because he needed his hot-shot chef back.  We fight like cats and dogs, and he’s the total opposite of me, but my boss really does care a lot about the people he supervises. And evidently he cares a huge amount about me. The guy’s a total Christian Republican social conservative, but he walks the walk with people and I respect him a lot for that.

Alright – so I’ve sifted through the remaining prompts in my Reverb Year End Contemplation and I’m going to leave out the ones that I think are repeats of the prompts I’ve already riffed on.  So what follows are what’s left – tomorrow is the last day of 2010, which started out kind of sucking but finished strong.  I’ll try to ride the good vibe wave out into 2011 as far as I can…

 Ordinary joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during
ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Last spring, on a day off, I sat on my front stoop in the morning watching the sun rise and admiring the blossoms on my weeping cherry tree as they waved in the breeze.   My cat, Siam, was hunkered down underneath the tree and I felt a few moments of utter stillness as I watched him drift in and out of sleep with the wind gently rippling his coat.   You had to be there.

Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget?
What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

A five year Cheddar, a Dutch Gouda and a smoked Bleu cheese brought to me by my best friend Ted who was passing through town on his way home from Up North.  He’d stopped at a gourmet food shop and spent some large on 3 pounds of imported cheese.  We stood in my kitchen eating chunks of baguette and slivers of these exquisite cheeses while we caught up with what each other had been up to in the 6 months since we’d last seen each other.  Best cheese I’d eaten in years.

 Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What's
the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

A Circular Polarizing filter for my camera from my daughter – she got it for me all on her own without asking me any questions.  She even got the lens size right. Second best was a book on the history of the National Lampoon.

Photo - a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you
from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are,
or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand
words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about

This is 4th of July weekend with my friends.  Two of these guys I hadn’t seen in 25 years, but we picked up where we left off.  We spent three days just filling in the space and having lots of laughs.  This picture was taken by the wife of the guy on the end on the left side of the pic.  He’s a Colonel in the Air Force and we made him in charge of bringing the fireworks.  About 5 hours after this picture was taken we were launching massive fireworks that eventually caused my neighbors to call the cops because of the noise and all the fun we were having.  The cops were cool and only wrote me a small citation.  I went around the following week and gave my neighbors cookies by way of apology.