Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Janus Has Two Faces

Today is the third anniversary of this blog. I'm not sure where I thought I'd be in three years the day I started it, but let's accentuate the positive: I'm still around. I did think that I would have moved by now and am mildly surprised that that hasn't happened, but the amount of traveling I've done has probably made up for it.

January is named for Janus, a two-faced Roman god with one face looking forward and the other looking back. I admit I haven't made any resolutions for 2013 or written down any goals. There are things I'm working to accomplish, but I also like to leave a lot of room for events to just unfold. Not only is that my character, but I've learned to expect not just the unexpected but the totally improbable.

Actually, I'm more inclined to do a year in review. This is not your mother's year in review, but mine, so I'm almost positive many of these events won't be in the history books. I'll leave it to someone else to chronicle those Great Historical Moments none of us will ever forget. This is a personal reminiscence (Mnemosyne, here we go!) of highlights for each month of 2012. Are we ready?

January: Seeing Elijah Wood (or his doppelganger) in a restaurant in West L.A. Giving a present to a friend with bows made out of paper napkins from the same restaurant. (There's no real connection between those events.)

February: Being told that my dissertation was done and I needed to write an abstract.

March: Surviving a John le Carré-style journey to Carpinteria, CA, that started with a plane and ended with a can of Red Bull, a rental car, and a very stimulating drive to KY from Atlanta, GA. Somewhere in there was my oral defense.

April: Having to think fast when the situation called for de-training (that is, getting off a train) but the compartment door was locked.

May: Reading the words "Your manuscript is on its way to the printer" and "We are all so proud of you" from the dissertation office.

June: Publishing my first book. Wow, was that exhausting. But it's bound to make me rich.

July: Eating an ice cream cone and watching dogs play in a wading pool on the courthouse lawn on a sweltering July 4th.

August: Walking into the City Winery in Chicago, suddenly awash in a sea of romantic blue light and glowing candles.

September: Realizing how American Graffiti is like Egyptian mythology.

October: Wow, where do I start? How about Springfield, Missouri?

November: All Saint's Day and those wide open spaces. I started to say "standing in line to vote," but that was actually a bit anticlimactic.

December: An otherworldly dulcimer. Avant-garde jazz in a belly-dance studio. Faces from the past. Children opening presents. (December was active.)

I'd like to thank everyone who played a part in 2012 and to say that I sure hope the cameras were rolling. And if 2013 isn't the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, may it at least be a year of blessings, pleasant and intriguing surprises, wrongs righted, old friends meeting, vacations in exotic places, three-hour meals on the Italian model, peace, love, mint meltaways, and an Eileen Fisher silk comforter for everybody who wants one (it can't be just me).