Sunday, January 31, 2010

Busy Hands are Happy Hands

That was one of the things my father would say as he doled out a list of chores for us to do and we were grumbling about it. Who knew I would so embrace the idea later in life?

Another great day at Wave Hill. Despite the cold, we had a nice group come by, including some of my favourite people on this fine earth.

And when some of your favourite people on this fine earth are sitting near you, quietly spindling...well, it is very, very nice.

When I started this project, I thought one of the key components would be the trust between me, as the maker of the yarn, and the knitters, who had no real obligation to return with a hat. But somehow that issue seems a small point, almost besides the point. The real point, as it turns out, is the experience of making the yarn together. Even the hats are besides the point. Everyone is enjoying seeing them come back, and some people are doing great things, but they are like little pieces of candy after a great meal. The meal, as it turns out, is being there together.

As is the way lately, I must almost immediately turn my mind from dyeing, carding, spinning and talking to the next big thing. For me, the next big thing is the project at Simmons College. I will head to Boston on Monday for day full of meetings with faculty, art students and a visit to their archives. It will be a long day with lots of train travel but I plan to take full advantage of this to get to work on the first of (I hope) several crochet pieces for that exhibition.

In amongst the pounds of fleece I have been dyeing each week, I managed to drop in several skeins of merino sock yarn I had on hand.

This was an attempt to re-create the fabulous cochineal red. After reading more about it, I tried adding cream of tartar to soften the effects of the tin mordant, which can be harsh on the wool and make it brittle. The final result is a totally different colour, but still a good one!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Catching and Missing

No new pictures today, I am afraid. Just words. Or maybe I will dig around and find something.

I decided to wean myself from Facebook. Like many, I love it and hate it. But clearly it is too seductive for me because I spend much too much time there. I didn't have the nerve to completely deactivate my account, but I am challenging myself to stay away unless I have something urgent to say or add. Too often I felt like I was repeating myself here and there. So I am choosing here rather than there. I like this format better - strangely more intimate yet, in actuality, more open. Who knows, maybe it will encourage more people to comment. I do so like getting comments, by the way.

Now free from Facebook, I want to take a moment to reflect more on the Knitting Sprawl exhibition in Peterborough. I must confess that I left Peterborough with an unsettled feeling. Unsettled because I knew in my heart of hearts that the work presented there isn't quite hitting the mark. It feels too unfinished and uncertain. The project is so large - the topic, the media, the scale - that I have been having a hard time distilling it down into something new. While knitting is at the center of it, it isn't necessarily the heart of it and I am thinking that perhaps me knitting in response isn't actually the answer. Or perhaps only me knitting isn't the answer. I aspire to have my work be 1 + 1 = 5. I think I have only hit 1 + 1 = 2 here.

Then again, I wonder if I am just uncomfortable about being back in the more traditional gallery/studio world where it is so much more crowded than, say, on a Manhattan rooftop with a water tower. If you remove the "wow" factor, is there anything left?

These are the thoughts that I have been walking around with lately, in between dyeing and spinning sessions. Perhaps they are coming forward because one of the successes of the Wave Hill project has been that, in creating a format for people to come together and focus on this rather simple topic, something new has been created. Something intangible but very real nonetheless. I know it when I feel it and it is definitely happening at Wave Hill.

I just haven't felt it yet with Knitting Sprawl.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


House Study/Handmade went well yesterday. When I arrived, there were three people waiting and they dug right in. I have been granted a fantastic assistant named Stephanie, who has eagerly learned about carding and spinning and now actually does most of the teaching so I can spin.

The light was lovely yesterday in our sunroom studio.

Stephanie is the person standing in the back. Notice how she is demonstrating the spindle for a visitor. I found it interesting that, while many people gravitate to the bright colours, Stephanie cards up the most subtle combinations in very limited palettes. For example, here is one of her's:

Here are yet more skeins that were carried away. I am having trouble keeping up!

This one was carded by a volunteer who helps out on Saturdays. She decided to card together all the odds and ends that come off the carder when it is cleaned.

This one is mostly wool dyed with orange peels, tea and black walnut.

I see indigo, tea, orange peels and natural white in here.

If you look closely at the foreground in the first photo, you can see the first hat to be returned - a felted hat made from fleece that the participant carded. I think she has two more coming.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I confess that when I had my moment of shock when Shawn of islandsweet admitted she was having some issues with being vegetarian and working with wool, I may have had an ulterior motive. Witness:

I ordered this skein from her a couple of weeks ago and it ended up being even better, that is to say, way better than I had pictured it. I love this skein of yarn so much that the mere thought of Shawn giving up wool...well...I just couldn't bear it. Ain't no cotton in the world that can do that!

I bought a couple of other skeins on etsy as well. Let's call it a paypal moment.

These are from naturallyspun, a woman who lives in Washington state and spins all her yarn on her spindle. Truly amazing skill on display here. Check it out.

It is actually a little finer than I thought it would be, so I will save it for something delicate and beautiful, like a lacy cowl. I can already picture it.

And finally, one crush I have had recently was actually of my own doing. After years of trying, I finally achieved the deep reds I so desired from cochineal. Look, my friends. Doesn't it make you want to weep for joy?

You, yes you, dear reader can work with this and all the other reds, blues, greens, and yellows I dyed up yesterday. I am bringing it to Wave Hill this morning as part of Home Study/Handmade.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The weekend was full, to say the least. Lucy and I were out the door early on Saturday so that she could be at her first chess tournament of the year. It was held at the Spence School, a very fancy, private, all-girls school on the Upper East Side. As her coach says, it is a very civilized tournament. A nice way to get back into the craziness of chess tournaments. Lucy came in 7th in her division (she lost her tie-breaker game or she would have been 4th - not exactly sure how that all worked out but it did). Congratulations Lucy!

I had only a little time to absorb the white glove world of the Spence School, however, because I had to get myself to Wave Hill for a Saturday of spinning, carding and talking. It was great. Two experienced spinners showed up - one with her wheel - and they dived right in. I have both my wheels there so we had three wheels going at one point. Then everyone got into carding and I have a stack of batts to spin up tomorrow. Everyone was learning and busy and having a great time. Even Helen showed up. If some natural disaster had struck Wave Hill at that moment, the knitting and spinning world would have been much the poorer.

Here are a few of the skeins that walked out the door:

Some indigo dyed wool and corn fibre blended with some natural grey wool as well as some cochineal and orange peel dyed merino, along with some odds and ends.
Mostly cochineal and orange peel dyed wools - merino and mohair.

Mostly cochineal with some of the natural grey wool.

This one was a real crowd pleaser for all its subtleties. It is a blend of white and orange peel dyed merino and tea dyed mohair. Lovely!

This was our "Valentine" skein - lots of cochineal dyed merino blended with sari silk and white merino. I didn't spin this one - it was carded and spun by one of the visiting experts whose name I think is Caroline. IN any case, she goes by Miucat on ravelry. Look her up!

It was such fun. And I am enjoying how the art staff are getting into the act - teaching people to card and spindle spin and talking to people about the dyeing process. There is something about this whole thing that touches a nerve for many people and therein lies the art.

Yet even then I could not spend a lot of time reflecting on human nature and its affinity for wool. I got into our car and drove from Wave Hill up to the Zen Mountain Monastery, where I had an appointment on Sunday to meet with their Guardian Council. To say that Dan has had a field day with this name is an understatement. For weeks he has been going around the house saying "The Guardian Council" in his best sci-fi, alien leader voice. No worries about feeling self-important in our household.

This meeting was an important and (almost) last step in officially becoming a student of the Mountains and Rivers Order and officially asking Shugen Sensei to be my teacher. They have deliberately set up "barrier gates" for people so that those wanting to become students really have to work out quite a bit before committing. At first glance it might seem overly fussy or even elitist but in reality it is quite a good thing. It is a mutual relationship of giving and receiving and it is smart to take steps to ensure that everyone is ready for it.

Meeting the Guardian Council was rather intimidating, and I think it is supposed to be. They asked some very basic but very big questions such as "why do you practice Zen?" and I had to answer as articulately as I could without fainting or crying or worse. I have no idea how long we spoke, probably only about 10 minutes, but in the end I passed through the gate and was welcomed as a student.

It was a moment of huge relief and happiness for me. Now I will have to spend a day sitting zazen, which is called Tangaryo, and then enter the Zendo and ask the Sangha for support of my practice. I have been present as a sangha member for this and it is quite moving.

Then it was back in the car and a slightly icy ride home, where Dan had purchased celebratory cupcakes and we all cheered for a great weekend.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Never Underestimate the Power of Knitters

This, from the Yarn Harlot:

$ 1 000 110

Knitters who read here
(the YH's blog), who make up this community, have donated more than one million dollars (and we aren't finished tallying) to Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders since we began the effort in 2004. That matters. Kindness, humour, decency, yarn, passion, interest, participation in the world around us... it matters, even when it sucks sometimes...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lost My Train of Thought There...

First, take a look over here for an insightful, if disturbing, essay by the wonderful Rebecca Solnit about Haiti and the media coverage of the earthquake there. I also highly recommend her book on the history of walking.

There have been provocative things happening in my little world of blogs-that-I-follow. Over at Dangerous Harvests, Nathan has taken up the question of whether parents who are convert Buddhists should actively teach their children to follow Buddhism. He gives an interesting explanation of the term "indoctrination", among other things. He was provoked to write by another blogger who suggested it was most definitely wrong to do that. From the trenches of our family unit, I can say that even if I wanted to indoctrinate my children, they wouldn't have any of it anyway. They are already so secure in their ability to think for themselves that they never take what I put forward as a good idea at face value. Believe me, even things like "taking showers" or "changing your socks". If they come to Buddhism, it certainly won't be because I told them it was a nice thing.

My teacher often says that the best way to "teach" children about Buddhism or Zen is to live it yourself. Want to teach children about compassion? Be compassionate! I agree; it is as simple as that. It may not be something that you can assess on a standardized test later, but it will appear.

Then, over at Islandsweet, Shawn dropped a little provocative bomb, saying she has been considering "the hypocrisy of spinning with animal fibres" as a vegetarian, wannabe vegan. Shawn and I have been encouraging (enabling?) each other in our spinning habits for a couple of years - we have had a fast but deep friendship - but this comment really left me blinking.

I have heard of people, let's call them vegans, who eschew wearing wool just as they would leather. They consider it part of a system that is cruel to the animals. While I can wholeheartedly agree about leather - it is a by-product of the meat industry which is one of the most unconscionable blots on the face of humanity. But wool? Ok, you could make a case that ANY domesticated animal is wrong and cruel but to me, that is living in la-la land. I don't think humans are going back to hunting and gathering anytime soon. Or I guess just gathering if you are a vegan. So let's make it a given that there will be domesticated animals - animals whose sole purpose in life is to work for or entertain humans. One of these is the sheep. Sheep's fleece will grow and, if not shorn, it will become a matted, dirty mess that is more likely to do harm than good for the sheep.

My friend, blogless Janine, raises sheep, among other animals. She has told me quite a bit about her experiences learning to shear and observing other farmers in her area. Yes, some of them are not so nice to their animals, some of them use lots of drugs and chemicals on their animals, etc., but others treat their animals like an extension of their family. Even on small scale, there's a range.

In the same way, one can go to the green market and buy a chicken that has been raised with full dental coverage, as Dan likes to say, or you can go to the supermarket and buy something raised by on a factory farm that vaguely resembles chicken. Know thy farmer is probably a good idea all around.

I say all this, of course, with a big box of fleece just arrived from Louet, where I don't know my farmers. I do it because it is just too much work to buy raw fleeces and clean them for the volume that I need. A trade off. Am I contributing to the suffering of the world? My best answer is: maybe.

And further...I would add that most of the plant-based fibres like bamboo, corn fibre, etc., are so heavily processed that I really wonder how eco-friendly they are. I suspect that they, like cotton, are possibly more polluting (and cruel on a more global level) than wool.

Now, I had wanted to write something about Knitting Sprawl....but I forgot what I wanted to say.

ETA: Just want to be clear that I am completely supportive of Shawn's decisions about wool, whatever they may be. Even to write that seems a little funny to me, but I don't want anyone, least of all Shawn, to think that just because someone doesn't like wool - swooning slightly at that - I can't get along with them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We watched the Massachusetts Senate election results come in via the internet last night, our hearts sinking as the night went on. I didn't need to see how my hometown went - the fact that nearly every single person I attended high school with is a devout Republican gave me my answer before voting had even begun. Still, it was hard to believe the results.

How is it that we have so little patience now? Somehow Americans managed to be ceaselessly patient when it came to eight years of wars started under false pretenses, corporate/government shenanigans, selling off our public natural resources to the highest bidder, and more. But now, now even The People's Republic of Massachusetts can't stand one more day of it. Throw the bum out!

On a brighter note, the newly-installed governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has made some efforts to create an atmosphere of what seems to be a genuine sense of bipartisanship.

Which way will things go from here?

ETA: If you don't mind strong words, here's a take on the Mass election. No apologies.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Small Things

Because you can't live on high end, conceptual art alone...

Yarn purchased at the Knit Cafe in Toronto - in the sale bin. I started it immediately on the tram but quickly feared I would not have enough for the whole hat. Luck was on my side, however, and there was even a little leftover.

My bonnet pattern, although ever-changing with small modifications. This time, more shaping at the front and a crocheted edge. The i-chord bind off just wasn't working.

Satisfying little projects that finish up quickly. They are a welcome relief after all the intensive knitting of the past several weeks. And they are a small way of gearing up for the next major undertaking - a series of crocheted works for my project at Simmons College. But more on that another time.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

House Study/Handmade

My winter artist-in-residence project at Wave Hill has begun. I am now in-residence each Tuesday and Saturday from (at least) 11 am to 3 pm and welcoming visitors during that time. Everyone is invited to come and stay awhile. I am spinning yarn made wool that I am dyeing from both plant dyes and from materials I am collecting from the staff - their tea bags and coffee ground, orange peels, onion skins, and so on. All the yarn I am spinning, I give away to visitors with the agreement that they knit a hat with it and bring the hat back. All the hats will be on display and, in the spring, we will have a hat party. Everyone who knits a hat, gets a hat. Extra hats will be donated to a worthy cause in the Bronx.

I started this past Tuesday and, amazingly enough, I have had a steady flow of visitors. I have been scrambling to keep up with the yarn. Most people leave with a slightly damp skein in hand. I tried to prep for today but again, I was scrambling. Right at 11 am a large group arrived expecting a workshop. I did my best to teach them the basics about wool, carding, and spinning all the while feeling a little panicked about how I was teaching, not spinning. And still people poured in. Fortunately everyone was happy and eager to learn, and happy to wait a little for their yarn.

Unexpectedly, people really love carding, so I have been taking advantage of this phenomena but having visitors card while I spin. Somehow it all works out and no one has gone away without yarn. It is very gratifying to see people, all ages, genders, ethnicities, deeply interested in how to make yarn.

Here is a view from Wave Hill - that little strip of blue is the mighty Hudson River. It is hard to believe we are still within city limits here.

This is the Glyndor Gallery - home to four artists this winter. As you can see, it is not exactly roughing it.

This is the view of my studio space from outside. I have the sunroom.

This is the sunroom from inside. It looks so lovely and peaceful, doesn't it? In a few minutes, it would be chaos. But a good kind of chaos.

Here are some photos of the yarn that has gone out the door.

This skein was carded by two brothers, I am guessing not older than six or so. They picked the most lovely colours. In fact, if I may generalize, boys love carding and spinning. Or so has been my experience so far.

This was the wool table by 3 pm. See, good chaos!

Join me, if you are around. We will have some fun together making good chaos.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Lately I have been having flashbacks of a chubby baby, a talkative toddler, a six year old who dressed in a suit and tie at the playground, a Lego fanatic, a young man with a dry wit. Today, we found a hungry teenager.

To what shall
I liken the world?
Moonlight, reflected
In dewdrops,
Shaken from a crane's bill.

Eihei Dogen

Monday, January 11, 2010

Because the World Needs Hundreds of New Spinners

January 11th has been a date I have held onto for several weeks. If I could just make it to today, then all will be well. The prospect of preparing for the exhibition in Peterborough followed immediately by leading two days of workshops at Wave Hill was sometimes a little more than I wanted to think about so I would imagine the leisurely feeling of January 11th. I did sleep in and enjoy my morning cup of tea but many tasks await in addition to the usual schedule of activities of a Monday so we move forward, ready or not.

I did manage to accomplish most everything I intended over the past couple of weeks, thanks, in no small, to Dan stepping in and taking up all the things that I would normally do. Partnership has its advantages. As an added bonus, Finnian admitted to feeling a new sense of appreciation for me after two weeks of Dad Time. You can't buy that kind of thing.

Over the weekend, we had well over 200 people come through the workshops and many of them actually learned to spin on a spindle and/or fingerknit. They were nearly all very enthusiastic and genuinely excited about learning about spinning and all things wooly. I don't think I will ever tire of seeing children become enthralled with how a spinning wheel works. In the age of Wii and iPhones, keeping a child interested in something like a spindle or a wheel for more than 20 seconds feels like victory. I think children liked to learn that spinning was something that children have always done as an important contribution to family life. They want to contribute in a real way and there are so few opportunities these days. And it amuses me to no end to see the dads get juiced about how the wheel works - I had to shoo a couple of them away so the kids could try it.

I have long maintained that we humans have been too clever for our own good in inventing all sorts of automated stuff. I know we can't help it, in a way, but in doing so, we have denied another aspect of our nature - the need to use our hands to make stuff. We need to do it and our lives are better, richer, when we do do it.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Knitting Sprawl at the Art Gallery of Peterborough

The exhibition has a few finishing touches to be done - tweek the lighting, install two small pieces, hang some labels - but it will be done without me. I head back to New York early tomorrow morning. I have lost all perspective on whether or not it is good, bad or ugly. But it is done (mostly).

Here are some sneak preview pictures. I feel like there could be more, better, etc., but I did all I could given the amount of time I had. It is a work in progress.

The main piece, reflecting our travels across southern Ontario. Not so sure about little Ottawa up there. I wanted to take it down but Pam, the curator, wanted it up. The lighting isn't great in this photograph, but in real life, the natural light is actually quite lovely.

A detail....Hamilton.

Here was the shocker - the mile-long ramp. I had no idea this was part of the show. I had two days to make something of it and what I made was a kind of map-like narrative. I cut aerial views of suburban developments out of the papers I had collected on our trip - maps, brochures, directions, even my pattern charts - and connected them with pieces of double crochet.

A detail.

The video installation with three of the ceramic pieces.

If you are in or near Peterborough tomorrow evening and want to see it live, stop by from 7 - 9 p.m. My show is but one of three exhibitions opening tomorrow. In fact, it is a small side light to the main attraction: Allyson Mitchell's Lady Sasquatch.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Safe and Sound and Snowy in Peterborough

I am sure it is only the most important artists who get invited to experience Peterborough in January.

How was the flight, you ask? Flight? Was I flying to Peterborough? Is this a weekday?

At 4 am this morning, I got out of bed, looked on googlemaps at how to get to Peterborough from Sunnyside and made an executive decision - I would drive to Peterborough. The weather looked fine, the ride was listed at 8 hours, which to me is actually somewhat reasonable, and it would allow me to pack more things and not worry about breaking my porcelain pieces. So, by 5 am I was on the road.

I pulled into the Holiday Inn in Peterborough at 3:30 p.m. It snowed most of the way but not enough to cause worry, just slowed things down a little. Actually, it was quite a lovely ride. I am thrilled to be back in Canada - ah, to breathe easy again! But I am a little disappointed in myself for letting my fears get in the way. I need to get over this fear, which is based on irrationality but I guess that why it is a fear, not reality.

But this no time to examine such matters. I walked over to the gallery to check out the space and it is, ahem, much larger than I anticipated. Looks like there will have to be some site-specific work created, pronto. Even in my trip-addled brain, a couple of ideas vaguely poked their way to the surface so I need to get cracking. I'll post some photographs when it looks presentable.

Meanwhile, what growing national chain is glowing across from my window? Hint: should of named their bite sized doughnuts L'il Timmies instead of the stupid name that they did name them.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Before 9 AM

Another early morning. Today I needed to be up early in order to dye 20 skeins of yarn for the family art workshop happening this weekend at Wave Hill (THIS weekend?? Seems like I have a lot to do and far to go before it arrives). I will be sharing a lot of information about wool, sheep, carding, spinning, dyeing and knitting. Everyone should be able to try everything and then we will use this fabulous plant dyed yarn to finger knit and make a little site-specific installation. Fun for all ages!

Got my indigo pot going - it had been sitting for over a month but it got right back to speed and made some gorgeous colours. How can you not love indigo? That florescent pink colour is actually cochineal mordanted with tin. The yarn sat in the mordant water for a month (I am sensing a theme here) and look what happened! Sometimes a little benign neglect can be good.

I had our kitchen stove on full tilt and our basement stove going. Six colours in all: indigo, cochineal, brazilwood, black walnut, tea, onion skins.

I wanted to get all this done and on the drying rack because I still have a bit to finish before heading for Peterborough tomorrow morning.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

More Darkness, More Light

Every once in a while I have a little flash of understanding about what it is I think I am doing as an artist. It is kind of unpredictable when these insights will happen - yesterday it happened while reading a magazine at the gym. Oh yeah, a total Zen experience - doing two things at once in an already over-stimulating environment. Nothing like mindlessly moving one's body while surrounded by 10 televisions and loud thumpa-thumpa music to bring up the insights.

Anyway, I was electrolyting or chair mastering or whatever you call it and reading my copy of The New Yorker (hey, I got me a little class). I was reading an article about Van Gogh cutting off his ear - apparently some new sh*t has come to light and some people think Gauguin actually cut his ear off during a dispute on the street in Arles. I guess Van Gogh was actually something of a bore and liked to talk and talk into the night about Big Ideas and Gauguin, who was himself kind of a jerk (and by "kind of a jerk" read: a violent, self-centered, misogynist), got fed up and left in anger. Van Gogh followed him out and when they encountered each other on the street, Gauguin used his fencing foil on Van Gogh's ear. Or so the new version of the story goes.

So anyway, it was that little snippet about the Big Ideas that suddenly got me thinking about what the hell I am doing with all this knitting and mapping and traveling and talking. It hardly fits into any idea that Van Gogh might have had about What is Art. Am I just diddling around? Why do I even do this? It just pisses off my family, interrupts my zazen and yoga time, drains my bank account and generally makes life more difficult.

I didn't really come up with answer to those questions but I did see something. Something about looking deeply at life and recording that process. For me, that means using the experience of living in this family, knitting my stitches, talking to other people about their lives as a way of explaining things. Formal ideas, hard-hitting political ideas, sexy art ideas may or may not ever enter into it, which means that sometimes it doesn't look like art. Even to me. But it feels like something bigger than me. It is dark and I don't understand where I am going - I can't see even my foot as it steps forward.

But there is something there. I'll keep looking.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


What is time?
I haven't got time to tell you.

This poem was written by Gaetano LaRoche back when he was still called Norman. He wrote it when we were students at Cooper Union. We laughed about it then but I have been quoting it ever since.

I have been feeling the pressure of time in the past several days. The metaphor of knit stitch as a marker of time may be overused at this point but I have been sorely aware of this relationship each day this past week. I have felt the frustration of being unable to knit any faster no matter how I try. At moments, I feel like I am barreling towards the deadline of January 5th on the verge of being out of control. The results may not be pretty if anything goes even slightly wrong.

Today, I was even more than frustrated when an idea I spent hours and hours on failed miserably. Precious time! Was it wasted? I didn't want to think so. The mistake forced me to change direction slightly and revealed a way that this piece might actually be ok, if different, from how it was shaping up only yesterday. So that was good, right?

Here is a small piece I finished (ah, sweet sounds!). Porcelain and wool, approx. 10' x 12"

Friday, January 01, 2010

Let the Bells Ring Out

And ring in a new year.

This photograph has nothing really to do with the new year except it feels vaguely victorious. It was taken at the end of a long hike in Gros Morne last summer.

I have been reading lots of blog posts and facebook posts with the general theme of "good riddance 2009". I agree that 2009, on a global scale, was pretty awful but I wonder if it actually contained more misery and suffering than usual. Or is it just that more of it came to our shores and knocked on our doors?

Although it is hard for me to switch gears from my get-the-work-done mode that I have been in for the last week, I did do a little reflection on 2009 and, for me personally, it was actually a pretty good year. It was actually a pretty great year. I feel like I should apologize or something for saying such a thing.

In any case, good year or terrible year, the thing is to keep moving forward. The past is gone, the future has yet to occur, so what is left? We have been given the gift of a new year to answer that question. Let me know what you find out.