It's made me realize how distant I feel from those dead-tree publishing days. I don't think editor will ever not be part of my self-identity, but these days it tends to be in a different context, outside of that machine. I'm used to a different set of mechanisms now and have become a differently shaped (mutable, extensible) cog.
I tend to think of 2012 as full of change -- "the year I had 4 employers," not to mention the election and the non-ending of the world, and so on. But on the zoomed-out scale, I think it'll just be a slight squiggle in my overall trajectory. Where I am today doesn't feel like a radical shift from where I was last year, though on the whole I think the changes, the self-transplantation from one environment into another, has been a good thing.
It's easy to be distracted by seemingly big changes, but every so often I'm struck by the constant evolution of things, of lives, of selves. Cells that die while others are born. New memories formed while others fade or morph into a new version of truth. The imperceptible shifting of habits.
I am slowly iterating.
WORK STORY: Colleague Harry and I were talking the other day about Mesopotamia, and the associations with the region that came to mind.
"Well, I think immediately of Hittites," he said.
"Hittites? Not Sumerians? Hittites weren't even in Mesopotamia -- they're from Anatolia."
(Wikipedia, of course, notes that they did at some point inhabit "Upper Mesopotamia" even though I maintain it doesn't really count.)
Anyway, this led to an ongoing debate about which tribe was better, the Hittites or the Sumerians. Harry maintained that his Hittites would beat up the nerdy Sumerians "carving on their little clay tablets" without breaking a sweat. I countered that he was making a rather large assumption that the arena of competition was a military one.
"Well, it's obvious, isn't it? What else would it be? You're just too intellectual about it all. I come from a tradition of warriors who would paint themselves blue and go conquer neighboring tribes."
"Whereas my culture values things like, I don't know, the contributions that a people have made to civilization."
"I get that," he nodded. "And I feel for you, I really do."
Anyway, this caricature of Hittites and Sumerians (and disregard for the fact that their civilizations flourished during entirely different periods of history) has turned into a handy shorthand, especially in the wake of acquisition, where the merging of our product group with other groups previously existing in $ParentCompany is not unlike the clash of two proud civilizations. Occasionally, as Harry expresses an opinion on something, I'll tell him, "That's very Hittite of you."
IT SEEMS LIKE a long time ago, but on reviewing my Twitter history (!) it was only February (the beginning of the brief Red Fish era) when I created a playlist as a soundtrack for achieving escape velocity. New personal soundtracks have cycled through my CD players and playlists since then. I revisited it over the holidays, when I went through a period of re-loving all the things I've ever loved and forgotten were awesome.
One of the more obscure tracks on the list was by a band I discovered through D. (Is there a German word for pointing someone to a song via a YouTube video of a live performance on Second Life? Or is that just "einundzwanzigsten Jahrhundert"?)
I have a fondness for "un-" words to begin with, but I think what I love most about the line, "I can't earn your love; it's unconditional" is the pronouns and how they are flipped from the way they are deployed in 90% of love songs. ("Unconditional" is also one of those words that tends to go with only a few other words: "love" and "surrender"; like the way "profusely" only ever seems to modify "bleed" and "apologize.")
SPEAKING OF UN-words ... wait, let me back up.
The new year is traditionally a time for reflection and aspiration, though I've never been one for resolutions. So I decided to create a GitHub project instead.
The reasons are many and frivolous. I don't even know how to use git, and there is as of yet no actual repository, but opening up a new sandbox seemed like the thing to do. Like most open projects,* it is likely to fizzle in a pre-alpha state, but there it is.
Unreliable. Won't you join and help me feel less silly about the whole endeavor?
* Like most new year's resolutions, too.
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