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31 December 2023

A Sine of the Times


I'm not sure where to start closing out 2023 but "welp".  Since I'd ended 2017 with a similar sentiment, I'd posit that maybe it has something to do with years ending on a Sunday — which does feel weird to me despite years beginning on a Monday feeling quite natural — except 2006 was pretty awesome, so it's probably just a periodic coincidence.

It being a Sunday, there are the usual distractions of football as I write this.  But I have to write this earlier than usual, because Mom is performing in tonight's New Year’s Eve Concert at the Erie Playhouse which, while it will surely be entertaining, will take up a bit of extra time this evening.

So despite the fact that it is still light out as I write this, there is still much of the familiar time pressure to distill the year into something digestible for this blog.  Since I hear that a picture is still worth about a thousand words (more or less, adjusted for inflation) and I'm still a math geek at heart, I think my 2023 can perhaps be most concisely described by this sinusoid:

Very rough and not quite to scale, of course, but still freakishly accurate in spite of its simplicity.

In short, while the first quarter of the year certainly wasn't perfect, most of my 23-based cautious optimism was ultimately panning out.  By March, I was feeling pretty good about most aspects of my life.  That lasted for most of the spring, but heading into May and June things got a little rougher, and then the setbacks truly began in July.  Just as April and May were a new apex, October and November were a new low.

Most people who are close to me know a few details of some of the setbacks that befell me in the second half of this year, and I'm sure those who don't can understand why I am not really going to say much about them here at this time.  Frankly, there are very few people with whom I feel comfortable talking about all of them.  Needless to say, each was significant in its own way and I've been working with those around me to move forward from each as I'm able.

And don't despair for me: I wouldn't have plotted the end of the graph as I did if I didn't truly feel that they're collectively moving toward resolution by this point.

Huh.  "Resolution."  A bit unorthodox, but I'll take it.  Such unbridled optimism is normally far too sanguine for my liking, but I really do need a good dose of it in the year ahead.

So anyway, much like the passing of the seasons are sinusoidal, so, too, has my year gone.  Sure, it's out of phase with the seasons by about 2½ months, but the extremes felt just as wide.

It's not like I'm hoping for a sigmoid in 2024.

And so for a math geek like me who still likes the number 23, all that's left to do is to celebrate one more numerological quirk as we waltz into the new year on 12/31/23, or 1,2,3; 1,2,3.

Ah! Ah! Aah!

Random tangent: NBC has Sunday Night Football tonight, but as hoped ABC and CBS are both breaking their New Year's Eve programming for news at 22:00 EST for a second year.


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14 May 2023


It's Mother's Day, so I spent some time this weekend with family as usual.  Yesterday's food drive went smoothly and brought in a lot of food, albeit lowest returns in many years.  Economic effects have brought more need to the community, which means fewer able to give, and even those who can giving less.

I also watched my parents perform Mozart's Requiem with the Erie Philharmonic Choir last night, which was wonderful.  Although I guess the lesson is starting to be reinforced on me that I really need to bring my glasses with me to events like that if I want to be able to discern faces from more than a handful of meters away.

Since I had to be back in Pittsburgh tonight to get ahead of the coming week, my mother and I kind of explicitly didn't have any plans for the day.  But spur-of-the-moment externalities caused it to be a day full of adulting and similar obligations which, while enjoyable, tired me out more than I probably needed.  So this is all hastily written (and designed!) in the waning minutes of the day with far less planning than I would have liked.

Perhaps having adulted today is more appropriate than blogging, though, now that this blog itself is eighteen years old.  Old enough to be legally an adult; although in blog years, I think it qualifies as "ancient".

But even adult blogs — er, hmmm, grown-up blogs? — want some bloggy cake!  And I won't disappoint!


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01 January 2023


For the last couple of months, it definitely felt like 2022 just started, and yet now it's over, and 2023 has begun.  I guess that's partly the general pace of life getting back to normal, which of course entails a lot of the mechanics of normal, even though nothing feels normal about how it's getting back to normal.  "New normal", I guess.  (Bleh, I do hate that phrase, but occasionally it's apt.)

Anyway, 23 has long been my favorite number, so despite any awkward feelings, I'm determined to make 2023 a good year in at least some ways.  And as I start to ease out of vacation mode (and down from the overstimulatory sugar high), I'm already setting it up for a good start, I think.  Still: Approaching cautiously.

Like in 2013, I leaned toward a serifed three for today's doodle.  I think it's a good reflection of where I'm at and where I'm heading.  It doesn't so much reflect the old strained "hopefully" anymore, but rather — really — genuine hopefulness.  And that feels good.

Random tangent: Realizing in the waning days of 2022 that my parents didn't yet have a calendar for the new year, I picked up a Dayspring "Kittens 2023" calendar while passing through a Wal-Mart.  Only when I put it up behind the old calendar did I then realize that the old calendar (which I hadn't bought for them) was a Dayspring "Kittens 2022".  Kitties!


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