Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry (belated) Christmas!

Geez, I can't even get my Christmas posting done on time.

Seriously, all I had to do was type "Merry Christmas!" and then slap on this picture:

...and that would be it. Holiday well-wishing complete.

But I couldn't even do that, could I? Am I a shining beacon of the GTD philosophy or what??

Anyway, sorry for the posting lag lately. Took a bit of a breather from blogging the past few days and, instead, just sang Christmas carols as I ran circles around the inside of my apartment, hoping to slow my decent into snowbound insanity. Man, being stuck inside for a week does NOT make one want to be productive! I did work on one post, though. Here's a quick sample:
...All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. All work...
It was a bit long. (And I got distracted when I tried to kill my family with an ax.)

So! How was everybody's Christmas? Despite my little indoors holiday-themed marathon, I did knock out a ton of email. And - this was kind of cool - for the first time in my life, my "Drafts" folder in Thunderbird was completely empty! Go me! (I swear that folder was already full when I installed Thunderbird.)

See, I've had a pretty bad habit of starting an email - particularly to somebody I haven't written to in a long-ass time - and then saving said incomplete email into my "Drafts" folder thinking that one day I'd get back to it. Never happened. A "Drafts" folder full of 3o or 40 loose ends is not a folder I'd like to open. So there it sat.

But, thanks to my recent induction into the glorious world of Facebook ("It's like a social life, but you don't have to talk to anybody!"), I found a way to get back in touch with around 90% of these people without all of that "Sorry I haven't written lately" awkwardness.

Plus, it really reduces the "sending an email out of the blue makes me look like a stalker" factor. Although I did have one or two people on Facebook post something along the lines of:
"Wow! Matt! Uh... how, exactly, did you track me down?"
So, anyway, I deleted the drafts to any of the people I'd reestablished contact with via Facebook, and then, to the remaining 10%, I sent links to a Facebook photo album I'd made of my recent Japan trip and, bickity-bam... I had an empty "Drafts" folder.

Oh, and I also finally got all of my mail folders organized! Sweetness!

(If you have no interest whatsoever in my "getting organized" ramblings, feel free to skip down a few paragraphs.)

I used to keep all of my archived mail sorted into several different categories. For example, I'd have a "Japan Friends" folder which would contain folders for each of my non-work Japanese friends by name. I also had a "Florida Friends" folder and a "Former Coworkers" one and a "Nigerian Friends Who Want Money" one.

Then there were my non-social emails, similarly divided. Alas, folders for "Online Shopping" and "Acting Updates" and "Nigerian People I Don't Know Who Want My Money". My mail was sorted, yes, but it didn't make sorting new emails easy. So, eventually I just ended up with a massive "To Sort" folder (which made my "Drafts" folder look manageable).

Anyway, I did a big overhaul recently and narrowed it down to just 3 categories: Family, Friends and Information. Then, instead of subdividing them into further groups, I just put every folder that fit each category into their respective groups alphabetically. It's made things infinitely easier. So easy, in fact, that I've set up filters to pre-sort any new emails that arrive. Dare I say, it's heavenly? I dare.

(Non-organizational stuff resumes here.)

In other news, the snow finally melted the past 2 days and I actually got to drive my car yesterday (instead of using it as the lower torso of a giant snowman). Despite the snow, I did get out of the house on Friday night when I took a bus downtown to go see my very talented friend (and former neighbor in Japan) Stephanie St. James play Squeak in "The Color Purple" at The Paramount.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and have never wanted to be a large black lady more in my life. Plus, I got to meet up with Stephanie during the intermission and after the show. It had been far, far too long. And the whole experience really got me wanting to start performing again. Can't lie, I miss the hell out of it. I think I was secretly hoping that, by now, the book would be finished and sold and I'd be out entertaining people with delightful readings of selections of my best-selling memoir at fine bookstores across the U.S. and Europe.

Hmm... hasn't happened yet.

But, the good news is, the sun's not even up yet and I'm already off to a good start. Time for some writing!!

Just as soon as I finish these Christmas cards...

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