Sunday, December 29, 2019

Looking Back on 2019 (Part 1)

Aztec Sun Stone seen at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City.

The year 2019 will probably be one I always look back on as an important year in my life. While it was an extremely busy period where my work life expanded significantly and bled its way into my personal life, complex projects keeping me up nights and perplexing me on weekends trying to solve tech company conundrums, I also managed to make time to surf the waves of my passionate interests to new heights. The peak of the latter was an adventure in Mexico City where I delivered a lecture at an international literary conference (the fourth country and fifth university where I've got to share my work as an independent scholar) and visited the Avenue of the Dead in Teotihuacan. I also got to contribute to some meaningful projects, had my first piece to appear in a book (link below), made a bit of income from literary work, and opened up new avenues for 2020.

In 2019 we also got a puppy---a sweet, playful, and loyal pit-shepherd mix who has transformed my life. I'd never had a pet before, ever. Growing up, my parents hated animals. My dad only refers to dogs as "shit machines." But I've always loved dogs. Our little tank boy ROA (named after my lady's favorite street artist) is a rescue we got this past September when he was 5 months old. He's huge and he has been a handful but he's kept me grounded and brought me an abundance of joy. Dogs are the best. A new thing I've learned is that one of the most peaceful feelings in life comes from simply laying on the couch at night after a busy day and watching tv with a puppy sleeping by you. For anyone paying attention to the news in 2019, the world is sort of in shambles right now, and for people like me who dive headlong into the news for weeks at a time it can get depressing and heavy. A big, energetic, playful and sweet puppy is a perfect antidote to that. Now that I have a dog I feel like dogs are essential, that dogs belong with humans and vice versa. They're not just loving and loyal and protective and playful, they're funny. Our boy ROA, when he's super tired he sticks his head under the couch and passes out. Here I'm gonna share a bunch of pics of our new doggy that we adopted this year (his full name is ROA Haymitch Flynndrino, I also call him Tank Boy and Baby Kangaroo), then I will share some lists and expanded thoughts on the stuff I did in 2019.

In Part 1 here I'll discuss the things I wrote and the places I traveled to in 2019. In Part 2, I'll share the list of books I read this year and Part 3 I'll discuss my favorite new albums from 2019.