Christmas is really my thing.
new year's, not so much.
i don't have anything against it, but i'm not one who looks forward to the party and all that jazz.
however, i have made a couple of changes that make me cooler for the new year.
first and foremost, i now have a gmail account, after repeated insistance by my sister that i sign up so that we can chat on g-chat.
i've been feeling the need for a new email address for a while, anyway; when i got back from my mission six years ago, signing up with yahoo as 'macavity_0' seemed pretty cool--a nice reference to t.s. elliot.
but now, well, it seems a little sophomoric, not to mention confusing on a couple of levels. so i often give out 'email@example.com', which ends up in my yahoo account anyway.
the chance to get a new account was a fresh idea--and becky pointed out that it's cool to just use your name with a gmail account anyway. i was planning on just doing 'jg@gmail' and leaving it at that.
after several rejected tries, i was beginning to wish i had signed up with google a few years ago, when they were still new-ish, and there were still choices available.
'jg@gmail' was too short.
so was 'goose@gmail'--it has to be at least six characters.
'jeffgustafson', 'jeff.gustafson', 'jeffreygustafson', 'jeffrey.gustafson', 'j.gustafson', 'jeffreyg', 'jeffrey.g'--all were taken. ....and i really liked that last one.
but, like most e-mail services, gmail offers you possible suggestions based on your crushed hopes. for example, 'gustajeff' was available.
but my favorites were 'gustafsonmeister' and 'gustanator'.
now, i've always held google in the image that they were 'cool', leading the e-world pack.
and i think that still stands, which makes the '-meister' and '-nator' suffixes so baffling; those were barely cool in 1992 anyway....
after much frustration [and giving up once, until i got another sisterly-invite to gmail], i finally came upon a name that i liked and was actually not taken:
'gustafson' isn't as difficult to spell as a polish name, but it's always been a little frustrating to give, because i usually have to spell it out for someone and then tell them how to say it [but without any great stories like 'bytheway']. after over two decades of this, i finally realized the perfect trick to pronouncing my surname:
'it's like a 'gust of wind', but a 'gust of sun'.
that works like a charm.
and so that's what i chose: gustofsun@gmail.
i've also been introduced to the quintessential chinese pastime, mah jong. reportedly quite popular with old jewish women, i'm adding myself to the ranks. friends of mine bought identical sets for one another for Christmas, and after having me and becky over to play, i was hooked. they offered to sell me their extra set on an installment plan [$5 down already], so i now have my own very nice mah jong set [complete with very poorly translated instructions]. i know the rules well enough to play a game, although we find ourself wondering about certain aspects everytime we play. so we make up our own rules and press on.
if you're interested in learning to play, stop by my house sometime. i'll be happy to teach you.
maybe i should have chosen itslikeagustofwindbutagustofsun@gmail.