Column: At year’s start, these items finally achieve their potential

In Wednesday’s column, in an annual ritual, I clean my desk, mostly, of accumulated newspaper clippings, press releases, reader mail and other items that piled up as I wondered what to do with them or thought I might need them later.

I wish I’d had more time, but I made a good dent in the time I had. My desk hasn’t looked this good since last Jan. 1, and maybe not even then. Confidentially, there’s still a two-inch high stack of items from 2008 to 2010. It’s too late to pick through those for column items, so I’ll essentially give up on them and file them with other correspondence. Still, 2014 will start with a neater desk, ready for the year ahead. Can’t wait.

Oh, and Happy New Year! Any particular resolutions or goals you’d care to share?

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  • Ramona

    Happy New Year, David. I hope you got a slice of pie to celebrate.

    As you are clearing your desk don’t forget to recycle. Too bad I’m retired. I’d love to be able to “help” you clean off your desk. You’d be able to see the entire top of your desk – and any nearby flat surfaces – in no time.

    I celebrated New Year’s Eve with microwave popcorn – extra butter – and peanut butter M&Ms. Now you might think that I would be hangover-free but you don’t realize how lazy and out of it that change in a healthy routine makes me feel.

    I have made no resolutions. I have no goals. Just take each day as it comes and I hope that 2014 will be no worse than last year.

    Carry on. Looking forward to columns and blogs as usual.

    • davidallen909

      Extra butter? You’re a wild woman. I spent the evening at Buca di Beppo with friends.

      As long as you make it to this blog without a resolution or goal to remind you, Ramona, I’m satisfied.

  • DebB

    I’m glad I’m not the only one whose desk is covered in papers. I used to know exactly what was here in spite of the mess, but as I get older I tend to find things at the bottom of the pile that I’d forgotten all about!

    I don’t make resolutions. I forget that I made them, and then don’t follow through. I have told myself that this will be a year of change, but I don’t yet know what that means.

    Just a note to brag a little about two Rose Parade floats I had absolutely nothing to do with: the float of my alma mater Cal Poly won the innovation award this year, and my hometown Glendale also won an award for their float. I’m this close to greatness!

    Happy 2014!

    • davidallen909

      I avoid resolutions too, although I often try to set a few goals for the year.

  • Bob House

    Apparently, there is a book about Ms. Lovelace’s California/Claremont years.

    Also, shout-out to DebB on Cal Poly Rose Parade float – My Dad was Dean of Students at CP and advisor to the Rose Float team, both for many years. I spent every childhood Christmas break in Pasadena working on the floats – great memories!

    • davidallen909

      Several Maud Hart Lovelace fans have contacted me already, and the existence of that book was made known to me. It was only published in November, so suddenly this whole thing is like actual news.

  • Lois Robbins

    David, I’m anxiously awaiting your column on Lovelace and the Betsy Tacy books. I knew she had lived in Claremont but that’s all I knew.

    • davidallen909

      See Bob’s note below: There’s even a book about her Claremont years! In no time I’m going to go from never having heard of MHL (as fans call her) to being an expert. Does PPL have any MHL, Lois?

      • Lois Robbins

        They have her Betsy Tacy books and a few other children’s books. They also have a children’s reference book on Indian Legends from South America and also one adult fiction book. I don’t see any biographies but they do have reference books that have all of children’s authors. They are especially good for these older authors. They give full biographies and bibliographies on their works. I wish I were there to show you!

        • davidallen909

          I’ll ask for help from your (sob!) replacement. Good to know I can check out B-T for free rather than having to buy them online.

  • Doug Evans

    My resolution for 2014 is to finally finish Charles Dickens’ “Our Mutual Friend” and then read his last unfinished novel “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” which will complete my 15-year-long read-every-Dickens-novel-in-order project! I’m two years behind but I’m giving myself till my birthday this July to finish up guilt-free.

    I averaged four books per month over the past year, and I’d like to keep that pace up, though it will be harder with longer novels such as “Our Mutual Friend” and Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” on my reading list.

    Also: for Christmas I asked for 11 Doctor Who ebooks (geek note: one book for each Doctor, published last year in special packaging in honor of the good Doctor’s 50th Anniversary) and a third resolution is to read one of those a month from now till November.

    Also this year I’m planning to run two marathons, walk my dog more, be more timely in returning student work, and continue to be a good husband and father. Just thought I’d throw those in there too.

    • davidallen909

      Your wife and daughter will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Good luck meeting all your goals, and more!

      I haven’t set any goals yet. When I do, continuing to read a lot will be among them.