It’s the End of the Year As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

For the past 3 or 4 years, I’ve ended the year by saying, “Boy, the past year sucked! I hope the next year is better.” It’s gotten ridiculous, yet I still maintain my optimism that the next year will be better than the preceding year.

In keeping with this tradition, I have to say, 2009 was a really difficult year. If you regularly follow this blog, you have an inkling why. If you know me personally, you have an even better idea as to why this year has been…well, sucky as all get out. The good news is, it’s ending on an extremely good note. I know it’s tempting fate/karma/Eris/whathaveyou to say this, but I really do think 2010 will be a better year for me and the people I close to me.

So, with all due respect 2009, fuck off and die in a fire. And 2010? You’re on notice. If this isn’t a good year, we’re going to have words? Got it?

Happy New Year, everyone!


I’m as Excited as a Kid on Joshmas

This is it. Forty. The Big 4-0.

In a lot of ways, I don’t feel 40. I haven’t found any grey hairs. I still get pimples. I get back pain, but that’s been true for at least the past 10 years. I still read comics, I still watch cartoons, I still play with Legos, I still daydream about being a superhero or a mad scientist.

But I also feel like I’ve been going through a mental and emotional growth spurt lately. I feel like I’m seeing myself and other people with clearer vision. Dammit, I feel like I’m growing up–in a very good way.

Change is inevitable and unstoppable. You can run alongside it and dance with it or you can let it drag you along, kicking and screaming. Me? I’d much rather dance.

Making Waves

Most of the time, I think my optimism and enthusiasm is justified, because life regularly turns out to be at least as amazing as I expect and imagine it will be. But sometimes…not so much.

I was really, really excited about Google Wave when I first learned about it. I snagged an invite to start playing with it as soon as I could. And after two months of experimenting with Google Wave, I have to say…meh.

I’ve tried using it for conversation, but it doesn’t facilitate conversation any better than email, IM, Twitter or FriendFeed. I’ve tried using it for collaboration, but it doesn’t do that better than Google Docs. I appreciate that it’s in beta, and I’m prepared to believe that in a year or two or three, Google Wave will be where it’s at. But right now, it’s a lot like Second Life to me: flashy and interesting, but ultimately kind of boring and of little real use to me.

Looking Ahead

I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m an optimist, I love advances in science and technology, and I’m generally excited about the future. Which is why I love the graphic novel Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? by Brian Fies. It looks at how optimism and attitudes towards technology changed over the 20th century, seen through the eyes of a boy and his father. The characters age slowly in “comics time” as the century goes on, beginning with the boundless enthusiasm and optimism of the 1939 New York World’s Fair and moving decade by decade to the jaded apathy of the 1970s. In each decade, the boy reads an issue of a comic, included in the graphic novel as if it were an inserted artifact, that brilliantly mirrors the comics of that era (down to the advertisements!).

Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? gets more somber as the century moves on, but it ends on a terrific high note of optimism for both the future and the present. It makes you appreciate what we have and where we can be going. It’s a lovely piece of work.