Posts Tagged ‘Blogroll’

Year 4713

3 February 2011

Dear J-

When I started writing here just over four years ago I reserved this day — Lunar New Year — to reflect on blogs I read and things to look forward to in the coming year. I knew even then that the era of the blog was coming to an end, but didn’t anticipate how quickly it would. Of the blogs I cited in that first entry most have fallen fallow and my laziness has made me overreliant on RSS feeders (I’m using Google Reader) instead of actually visiting sites. Facebook has helped me keep track of people in my life, and the few minutes I do have are usually spent snoozing or playing with the kids now. The only change that can be reliably counted on, so they say, is change. Four years from now Facebook may be a distant memory and there may be an even easier way to apprise your friends on what you’re doing.

We are living in a world increasingly filled with stuff: not only are our physical lives full of things we may never end up using (who has old computers moldering in the closet?) our on-line lives are leaving a permanent record on servers and search engines. Yet these aren’t necessarily bad. The bigger the breadtrail crumbs, the easier it is to connect, the faster we understand each other and the distances have shrunk. Relativity says that as you approach the speed of light your Newtonian physics goes out the window — you get effects like time dilation. We are living in a relativistic world: how did twenty years — or four years — or one year — go by so fast?

So I’ve been following folks I generally know in real life — Ben and Sarah and then the Earls — like living Christmas letters, finding out fun adventures and exciting news. I’ve also tried to keep up with friends known only online — Junior, Doug, Darla, and Jen — who regale me with tales and coincidences. Our lives intersect in neat patterns. As much as I overshare they offer unique insights on similar situations I’ve been through and am about to embark on. On New Year you’re supposed to visit your relatives and wish everyone well for the coming year. It’s no substitute, throwing links around, but it’s a start, and that’s a good way to kick it off.

Mike

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Year 4708

14 February 2010

Dear J-

It’s New Year’s Day and even though I’ve got a small tradition going here already, I’ll take a small deviation to rethink the state of the state, right? Here in 2010 we live in a world of Facebook and smartphones, where I’ve read more books digitally in the last year than on paper. Times change. Even from 2006, when I started this chronicle (if you want, you could see it as an on-line extension of the same things I’ve been writing all my life) blogs have fallen further out of favor; they’re old-fashioned ways of expression, I hear, but it’s something I’ll keep up with until I can’t.

We went to the zoo again today, no great surprise there, I suppose; it becomes ever more difficult to keep her motivated up and down those hills, and why we try doesn’t always make sense. We’ve seen all those animals before, we’ve ridden the tram a million times, it seems, and the paths and stairs now hold no mystery for us. Yet it’s more about being comfortable; we know what to expect when we turn the corner heading down Tiger River or up past the Raptor Trail.

It’s why I write, too; we’ve managed to carve out a little neighborhood on the Internet here with my neighbors — Junior, now featuring in a hockey-writing gig that’s playing to his strengths; Sarah and Ben, whose lives and cultures hold such fascination; Jen, continuing to show us all strength and bravery; Darla, keeping us up to speed on life in Germany; Alexander, now in the midst of exploring the uncharted land of the story inside; and Missy, always teaching me how to juggle life, family, and career. Thanks to all for another great year, and I’m looking forward to how the Tiger treats us this year.

Mike

Year 4706

26 January 2009

Dear J-

According to the zodiac, this is now the Year of the Ox — the outgoing Rat had a reputation for being clever but lazy — the first animal to arrive at the Celestial party, but only because he’d hitched a ride on the Ox’s horns, and hopped off at the last moment.  On the other hand, the Ox has a powerful yet plodding nature, having planned for the slow pace by setting off early.  Then again, there are the other stereotypes — bull-headed, bucking bulls, etc. — that I may be confusing them with, but hopefully this Year of the Ox turns out to be relatively quiet; after last year I think we could all use a little break.

I think I read other blogs partly as an aspiration as much as for inspiration — hence the blogroll on the side.  Junior and Doug have proven to be a formidable brother-blog bloc between the Slug and the Heroes; I could read Junior’s anecdotes ad infinitum, and ditto for Doug’s visuals and memories.  Jen impresses me with the kind of naked emotional honesty I tend to conceal through too-glib phrasing, and Darla’s incredibly well-read:  I hope to one day have the breadth of literary comparison to match.  Alexander is the sort of writer and man you wish you could be:  fluent, fluid, and focussed.  Finally Missy shows me the art of parenthood; I am too often distracted to be the father I should be, but patience is an art rewarded by practice, as any maturation is.

When and how does New Year become code for dread, not anticipation?  One of the rituals is that everyone’s a year older on New Year, regardless of actual birth day; it’s hard to imagine that one day marks the dividing line between now and then, but time points ever onward, I suppose.  Me, I find myself crippled some times by regret — now already, where did the time go — and list-making — still left to do:  this and this and this.  New Year is a time to reflect on what’s to come, not to drive up anxiety over projections and predictions.  No one’s got a handle on the future; all I need remember is that we’ve got one more year rooted in past experience to get us over the next hurdles.

Mike