We had a call from a niece who was phoning around the country trying to find someone who had heard from the family in Thailand. We haven’t heard, but are cheering ourselves with the knowledge that, first, they live in a different and perhaps safer area, and second, Thailand is (according to the Wall Street Journal) handling the emergency very well.

Ozarque’s Journal has been discussing the notion of whether we in the United States are in any way responsible for the  inequitable distribution of wealth that makes natural disasters so much more distastrous in some countries than in others. Here’s that discussion, if you are up for something serious: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ozarque/60853.html  If you are making New Year’s Resolutions, then you may find some good ideas there. Silkenshine has also made some good resolutions. She quit smoking last year, so we can see that she is a good example for the whole resolution process.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do make goals for the year. Last year I succeeded with most of my goals. I am going to recommit to the things I did not accomplish last year, and add a couple of new goals. I am also going to do what the Grand Plan calls “clearing,” which is a trip around my house, notebook and pencil in hand, noting down all the things I would like to change. Some of those things are strictly housekeeping — areas that need mending or painting or cleaning or rearranging. But sometimes, while doing this, you realize that your pantry is filled with things you shouldn’t eat or your closet is filled with things that no longer reflect your way of life, or that there is evidence in your home of disorganization or procrastination or workaholism or other things worth changing.

Since we have been slothful and celebratory all week at our house, I also have a lot of housework to do. My wonderful kids did the grocery shopping yesterday, so I do not have to do that, but the overall mess level is way too high for me. I also have one more feast to prepare.

Once I have done these things, I hope to tempt my family out to the First Night celebration our community holds downtown on New Year’s Eve. The weather is so mild this year, we will not have to worry about freezing to death if we want to watch the parade.

Here are the words and Midi for “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” This is a nice little song. Clay Aiken has recorded it, but why would you listen to him when you could hear Ella Fitzgerald sing it? Well, make your own choice on that. In any case, it gives you an alternative to “Auld Lang Syne,” which can only be sung right at midnight anyway.