2011 Year in Review / Thanks


CS Lewis once said that, The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

With the utmost respect to Mr. Lewis, there’s something about the world, when you get a certain age, where hours seem to drag but the years seem to fly by. 2011’s almost over and it feels like it just began.

In 2011, I:

  1. Made five resolutions. Kept three of them.
  2. Got married. (!)
  3. Got food poisoning for the third time in my life.
  4. Turned 38. (!)
  5. Had a second wedding celebration.
  6. Had a third wedding celebration wedding celebration and a fourth one as well. Man, we are just fulla ourselves – and then traveled to Europe to give some lectures.
  7. Nuthin really happened in July, just a lotta quiet summer weekends in NYC. But man, was it hot.
  8. Went to Bermuda, then dealt with Irene.
  9. Gave another lecture and spent a lotta time in the Down Town Association.
  10. Finished my manuscript. (!)
  11. Had my first Thanksgiving without going to my parents and instead had it with my wife (and sister-in-law – both of which I’ve not had in previous Thanksgivings).
  12. Made this here self-referential blog entry.

There are a few things that I keep to myself that I don’t put here just for a small semblance of privacy.

For example, I had six resolutions actually, the sixth was to marry Heartgirl. But I couldn’t actually put that up when I made those resolutions.

On the topic of Heartgirl, don’t think that I’ve ever said I love her publicly. Love is a word we all banter around; for example, I love rum and chili. Not together, per se, but conceivably even then.

Think it’s kinda obvious how I feel but maybe that’s just what it is in my head. But I do. Love her, that is.

She’s who I’ve been looking for since I was a fat kid in Flushing, NY. My person I can’t put inna words. And I’ve tried many times and yet I can’t.

So I won’t try. Instead, lemme say again that life’s a tragedy fulla joy and that she’s my greatest joy. She’s also funny, smart, and easy on the eyes, all of which doesn’t hurt.

Finally, I want to say thanks to her. For being the person to whom I don’t gotta prove my worth and for making sure I always have someone with whom to spend New Year’s Eve.

As for you, as always, thanks for reading.

Well then, it’s almost 2012.

Off we go…(!)

Location: the end of 2011
Mood: psyched
Music: Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
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All of your life’s problems can be divided into health, wealth, and relationships

LED snowflakes on a building in NYC

Her: (cleaning) Do you know you have a can of chili up here behind the dishes?
Me: Yeah, that’s my emergency stash.

It’s a funny season for relationships – at least three couples I know that “broke up” are back together again, while my FB feed is exploding with “XX is now in a relationship with YY.” Assume that’s the Lockdown effect and it’s contrapositive.

Health, Wealth, and Relationships – all of your life’s problems can be put into onea those baskets.

My relationships seem to be stable, with the occasional hiccup. As for health, nothing major – thank goodness – although I think I’m coming down with something or just run down.

And the reason I’m run down is because of that wealth part: on the negative side, it’s been a busier Nov/Dec than it’s been in years.

On the positive side, it’s been a busier Nov/Dec than it’s been in years. All this means less time for side projects like this blog and the other things I’m trying to get started.

Since we’re talking about wealth, been thinking of that formula mentioned a while ago, which I’d like to slightly modify. Think that scratch and time have an inverse relationship that shifts as you age.

When you’re young, you’ve got a lot of time, so you concentrate on making scratch. When you’re old, you hopefully have more scratch but you’re running outta time. Then there’s that place in the middle, which is where I am and mosta the people I know. It’s a tug-a-war between conserving one and making the other. And we’re all hoping, in some small way, it’s important somehow.

Suppose there’s time for more philosophy later. Right now, got deadlines.

In case I don’t see you until next week, and if you read the same book as me, wish you Happy Xmas. If you don’t read the same book as me, wish you happy holiday.

If you don’t read any book, not sure what I wish you, but assume it’s something positive.

Location: getting dressed to go to the post office
Mood: sick maybe?
Music: I am a seeker, I seek both night and day
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Yes, but it is not I

Church in NYC

My insomnia is back in a big way. Feel tired and irritable all of time. Worried that all the things I do to manage it aren’t working any more, which then keeps me up even longer. No fun.

The Professor was in town over the weekend so the wife and I went with him to the local dive bar. He’s one of my oldest friends but, oddly, we never really hung out until after college. The other funny thing’s that he was a wrestler in high school and some 20 years later, I’m trying it out.

Him: (to my wife) When I was a kid, I was a busboy at this restaurant. It was fine except one day they caught me trying a wrestling move on a bag of rice.
Me: (to my wife) That’s not what they were mad about. They were mad because he was naked and put lipstick on the bag of rice.

Old friends that make the cut are always good to have around. The problem’s that people change and you change. Sometimes the people that once mirrored you no longer do. Learned long ago, this isn’t a good thing, or a bad thing. It’s just a thing.

Coincidentally, went to church the next day and the pastor repeated a story that I wrote about over five years ago.

The story is that St. Augustine was once this womanizer who once famously prayed, da mihi castitatem et continentiam…sed noli (“Grant me chastity and continence…but not yet”). It should be noted that he’s also the patron saint of brewers, as an aside.

Anywho, he was a frequent visitor of prostitutes before he changed his life around. Afterward, he went back to visit an old place and ran into a prostitute he used to know in that biblical way. He continued on his way so she tried to get his attention for his usual and called out to him, Augustine, it is I.

To which, he replied without stopping, Yes, but it is not I.

I think I’m a better person now than I was a decade ago; actually, know I am. But to get here, had to let some people because they don’t reflect who I am any more. It’s like that Cowboy story I told you.

Sometimes you go away, sometimes they do, and sometimes people just stay. It’s how the world is and how it’s supposed to be. Accepting it’s the hardest thing, yeah?

Now if only this insomnia would go away.

———-

This is one of a few songs that plays in my head when I’m up late at night.

————

Started a Twitter feed for a project I’m planning. The account’s called MenMadeOfStone add me, follow me, etc. There’s nuthin up there right now but there will be.

I’ll tell you more in a bit.

Location: last night, in misery
Mood: guess
Music: in the morning i will wake up in the shivering cold
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You become less self-reliant after marriage

Building being torn down in the UWS, NYC

While I love the Honeymooners, it did always bother me that since that show, most family shows I know of have been about a clever wife and dimwitted husband. Think everything from The Simpsons to The King of Queens. There are some exceptions but by-and-large, that’s the go-to situation for most sitcoms.

Still, now that I’m actually married, I think there’s something to be said for men and “marriage brain.” Find myself relying on her regarding things on which I was once fairly self-reliant.

Me: Have you seen my toothbrush?
Her: I packed it along with some floss, toothpaste, and other toiletries in a plastic bag. I also packed a snack bag.

Which is not to say I don’t pull my own weight around the joint. In addition to being the official killer of bugs and other critters, I keep the place humming.

Her: Why’s it so bright in here?
Me: I put in two more fluorescent light tubes.
Her: (shielding eyes) Take them out – it’s like we’re living on the sun.

Although it is interesting since we got married, we’ve somehow managed to read each others minds so that often seem to be thinking the exact same thing at the exact same time:

Me: I like married life.
Her: (simultaneously) You look weird.

Well, not every time.

Location: in fronta an enormous cuppa joe
Mood: still wide awake
Music: nobody knows that her eyes are as big as her bubbly toes
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the air of December, I swear I remember it that way

Sculpture on Broadway in the UWS, NYC

My insomnia has made it’s usual reappearance. No idea why. It’s irritating.

Less irritating is that people have been making reappearances in my Venn Diagram lately as well. There was my friend from church that I ran into on the street. She’s moving to Boston and starting grad school next year.

There’s also my buddy from my fencing class that disappeared for a while after Mike passed. Guess cause he took it pretty hard.

And about a half-dozen of my friends just had kids; been running into them in the big city here and there. Like I say, NYC’s a small town.

The thing about running into people’s that it’s a lot like running into a different version of yourself, like running into your possible pasts. Back when the church friend and I were hanging out, we were both single and enjoying single life. And my fencing buddy met me when I was still with my ex and had two cats.

Planning out some things for 2012 and every year that goes by, I’m constantly amazed the number is what it is.

2012? How could it actually almost be 2012?

Me: Do you remember when you thought 21 was old?
Her: (laughing) Yes – 30 seemed ancient back then.

Location: the same place
Mood: wide awake
Music: the air of December, I swear I remember it that way
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