The resolution will not be televised.

I’m not making any New Years resolutions this year. I haven’t been good about keeping them in past years.

Instead, I’m making decisions. And I make those every single day anyway. Today’s are no different; they’ll have to be renewed tomorrow too.

I’ve been neck-deep in self-analysis and behavior modification for months now already, trying to change my very nature. It’s been about as fun as it sounds. So, calendar, I say it’s about time you caught up.

Doughty @ The Loft, 10/27

I saw Mike Doughty perform with a backing band at The Loft in Atlanta last week. The other times I’ve seen him perform, he’s been an opening act, and it’s just been him and his acoustic guitar. I kind of think his vocals were mixed a little low this time, they had a hard time competing with the band. I knew almost all the songs already, so Mike’s artisanal wordsmithing wasn’t lost on me, but if I didn’t know the words I would’ve found it hard to discern a lot of them. So I was a little disappointed on behalf of the friend I had brought with me to the show, but he assures me he enjoyed it too.

I sang along a lot, which always feels good. There were a couple of moments where Mike got mixed up on the verses and somehow I made the same mistakes along with him in real time. It was kind of uncanny. I felt very present, if that makes sense.

The opening band was an act called Moon Hooch, who claimed to have been plucked from the streets of New York by Mr. Doughty and invited to tour with him on the spot. They were two sax players and a drummer; their whole performance was instrumental, but their pure musicianship was mesmerizing to watch. These guys can BLOW.

It was great to get out, even on a Thursday night. I need to commune with sound more often, it’s so therapeutic.

Location, Location, Location

The new house has been everything I hoped for and more. We’re fitting into it perfectly now that we put up a storage shed in the yard. Looking out through the back windows to see all the trees, with the shadows of their leaves dancing on the skylights back there, lifts my spirits so easily. The open layout makes the most of the space we’ve got, and it feels cozy, not cramped at all.

But the biggest difference I’m feeling is from our location and our neighbors. We’ve got tons of families with young kids on our block. The kids play together outside just about every day. It’s like my own neighborhood was when I was a kid, except with more parental supervision. But the parents cover for each other all the time, which gives more moments of freedom than I’ve had in years.

We also walk the kids to and from school. I love doing that so much. We get to stretch our legs in the fresh air instead of creeping the van along a line of cars at a dropoff point. It’s a privilege I’ll be exercising at every opportunity. Maybe I’ll change my tune once winter digs in, but I really hope not.

I really can’t overstate how this neighborhood changes the whole game for me. I already know more people here, within a half-mile radius, than I knew in Knoxville and Fayetteville put together. I’d even call some of them good friends already. And now that the loneliness of the past few years isn’t gnawing on me all the time, I’m kind of amazed to see how much of it I tolerated.