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31 December 2016

Taking a Step Back

It wouldn't be New Year's Eve if I weren't semi-frantically running around — physically, metaphorically, or otherwise — to cram things in before the end of the year.  Today has been no exception.

Part of that involved doing duty for the Pitt Band Alumni pep band at this afternoon's basketball game against Notre Dame.  Since I got a couple tickets to give away, I invited my friends Ed and Erin to watch the game.  Unfortunately, Pitt lost 78–77 in overtime, but fun was had by all.

It's also the end of an era in Pittsburgh, with the Port Authority of Allegheny County changing its fare policy for the first time since its inception on 1 March 1964.  Among other changes, paper transfer slips are being eliminated, so I spent a little time to get a small keepsake.

And of course, there was the leap second this evening at 23:59:60 UTC (18:59:60 EST), which obviously had to be celebrated by a nerd such as myself.

Now I'm racing against the clock blogging, and I'll be eating hastily-made New Year's Eve Nachos shortly.  You'd think I'd learn...

But enough about my day... this is the day I traditionally talk about my year.  So let's take a step back.

At the end of 2014, I wrote that it had felt like a continuation of 2013, "with many of the same accomplishments and many of the same struggles."  I think 2015 and 2016, taken together, can probably be construed similarly for me.  Maybe part of that is simply the natural course of things, as my personal perceptions of time accelerate.  Certainly there's been a lot of adversity in my life this year, but there have also been several successes, and most of what happened in both spheres this past year have simply built on what happened the year before.

Probably the most notable for me has been my recent shift into the once-elusive "gainful employment".  I still can't quite believe it — to be honest, I don't think much of what 2016 actually brought was on my mind at the start of the year — but that's certainly something I'm pleased about.

In a lot of other ways, though, 2016 has been rough for a lot of people, and I think almost anyone would be lying if they said they'd come out unscathed.  But amidst all of the chaos and uncertainty, I think that there's a lot to have gained from this year, and that I'm all the stronger for having lived it.

Random tangent: It's a Ryan Seacrest year here tonight, although that's made much easier by the fact that Carson Daly's show is only airing from 23:30 to 00:30.  There's a little of Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin mixed in, though, for flavor.  At least "twenty-seventeen" has clearly won out.  Can you imagine "two thousand seventeen"?  It's already a lot of syllables as it is!  (Gloria Estefan said "it's almost 2007".)


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