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New Year's Eve

I’ve returned from the MLA adventure, and the Louisiana adventure before that, and the London adventure before that. I’m not, as Liz is, the kind of person who ordinarily prefers sleeping in her own bed, but after the better part of three weeks on the road, it’s mighty nice being home.

MLA was alternately arduous (long hours of interviewing) and fun (meeting up with colleagues both old and new [and newer], and extending the ongoing tenure celebration). I made it to precisely one panel during the four days I was in San Diego, and even had to run out on that one before the discussion ended in order to get back before my next interviewee showed up, so it didn’t feel much like a conference to me this year, but rather just a lot of people milling in and out of a lot of hotel rooms, occasionally enlivened by martinis.

After four such days (during which I got no time alone, due to the unexpected presence of one of my colleagues in my hotel room), I was more than happy to get back home, and not especially eager to make New Year’s Eve plans. And so I went grocery shopping yesterday, did organizational nonsense today, and have settled in this evening with a big pot of gumbo on the stove and a pile of DVDs to watch.

And I may even go to bed before midnight. Just because I’m tired.

In the spirit, though, of Liz’s call for year-end blessings-counting, a brief rollcall:

First and foremost, the love of my life, who will be back from London in a few days, and who plans to spend most of 2004 with me. After more years than really seem possible, he’s still more interesting to me than anyone else in the world.

Second, the fact that I’ve got a job I actually want to keep for the rest of my life.

My family, who are mostly only nutty in fun ways, and who always manage to make me feel cared for.

My friends, who, though scattered across the country (and around the world), always manage to pick up right where we left off when we get together.

My colleagues, who keep me energized.

My students, who keep me honest.

My cats, who keep me on a rigorous petting schedule.

And — not least, by any stretch — my health, which has been better these last two years than ever before.

May all of you be so blessed into the new year.


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