2013 Was a Weird Year

At the end of 2012, we headed to Hawaii for a week on Oahu. Shortly after we arrived there, my Dad died. I knew this was coming, but it was strange to see the fireworks over Waikiki on New Year’s Eve, so removed from what I was feeling at the time.

When you start the year wrapped in cognitive dissonance, it should not be surprising that your retrospective reflects a certain… oddity. This year is coming to a weird end too, with some financial stress caused by a slow fall income and dental care expenses roughly equivalent to the price of a used Toyota. Loss and financial woes are so very human, and I am tempted to make an apology for appearing to equate the two, but my readers are smart enough to know that I’m not making equivalencies so much as saying, “These things were hard.”

I’ve also found the web a difficult place this year. Frustrated by the continued shift around what it means to be a blogger, I dialed back significantly on my quest to get upstream, though this did not stop me from complaining about it a lot, to anyone that would listen and to some that probably wish I’d just STFU and get over my preaching from the self-proclaimed literary high ground. If all you people who think that blogging equals marketing and that content marketing is a good way to make money would get the hell off my lawn…  Yeah, I gotta work on that.

Before Toe
Cheers, 2013!

But these difficult things sat side by side with many good things. Travels and visits from friends and publication credits and that time my cousin came to town and we watched the salmon fly out of the water in their not at all metaphoric journey. If the bank account is a little low and my family is smaller, it’s bigger, too, with the addition of those cousins I got when we lost my uncle. And there was so much music. My band made a CD which releases in January — that’s a very exciting way to start a new year.

One of the things I like about having a blog is that it allows me to look back and see what my year was like not in my memory, but as I documented it at the time. When I do that, as I have done nearly every December, I come out on the side of optimism. It’s not that there’s no bad news, it’s just that in spite of sadness and pain and the exorbitant cost of dental care in the US, there are things in my life that are nothing short of magical. And magic always wins.

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Yet Another Holiday Gift Guide

I’m an opinionated cuss and I’ve been reviewing gear for travelers on and off for nearly ten years. While Hannukah is behind us, it’s not too late to get the other folks in your family, chosen or otherwise, something excellent as a gift because it’s Christmas, Kwanzaa, Festivus, the end of the year, or just …
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