New year is an open canvas

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I have tried to write this column several times today. In fact, I started about 11:30 this morning to come up with a topic that would stimulate the brain cells.

Unfortunately, I fell flat about 12 times.

This is attempt number 13.

First, I started out with the obvious, duh.

At this point in the year, it’s an absolute given one should write about the New Year, one’s various plans and resolutions and all that jazz.

I tried. And failed.

Couldn’t really come up with anything other than the traditional “eat less, exercise more” avenue, and I’ll be the first to state that never works for me. I’m lazy and I like to eat. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

The next topic that I thought I’d write about was this neat story on the Web, because when my brain runs dry, I turn to Yahoo! to, as my granny used say, “comshaw” an idea.

I read about how wealthy Chinese men are trying to negotiate settlements in their divorces while their assets are low, which isn’t really applicable to those of us in lower Alabama.

It wasn’t long before I moved on to how GM and GMAC plan to ease lending rules in order to entice car buyers. That looked really promising for a while until I realized that I could actually do something a little different with that for another paper — which means it wasn’t a total loss on the idea scale.

Then it was on to a story about how the skies are set to play host to a spectacular show today just after sunset when Venus, brighter than all other planets and stars, will dangle just below the thin crescent moon in the southwestern sky. The story said it’ll be visible — impossible to miss, in fact — just as the sun goes down, assuming skies are cloud-free

It said soon thereafter, Mercury and Jupiter will show up hugging the south-southwestern horizon (just above where the sun went down) and extremely close to each other. Jupiter is very bright and easy to spot; Mercury is faint and harder to see, but it’ll be apparent by its location just to the left of Jupiter.

The two planets will set less than an hour after the sun, so timing your viewing just after sunset is crucial. You’ll also need a location with a clear view of the western horizon, unobstructed by buildings, trees or mountains.

Interesting read, but I don’t know diddly about astronomy so, there was no pulling a column out of that.

I finally decided enough with the serious stuff and moved on to something a little more lighthearted — Hollywood.

That was when I read about how the world was shocked to hear of the deaths of Hollywood actors Heath Ledger and Bernie Mac.

It was then I discovered there was a hidden New Year’s message in the stories I had read…imagine that.

New Year’s Day, like life, is all about beginnings and end, and depending on how the stars play out, you might end up in Hollywood or married to a wealthy Chinese man who’s about to divorce you.

Either way, it’s up to you.