Saturday, December 29, 2007

my 2007: a reminiscence

This hasn't been a bad year, I must say.

Academically speaking, things went well. The previous semester, in particular, went better than anticipated, with higher-than-average attendance overall. While much of the academic year was tiring, it was a pleasant fatigue, not the fatigue associated with being given too much work by an unfeeling boss. Quite the contrary: I chose to do most of the work I did-- some of it paid, some of it unpaid-- and that made all the difference.

Financially speaking, it was good to begin the year totally free of credit card debt (I remain debt-free in that regard, as I simply don't use credit cards anymore), and to free myself of a personal debt to one of my relatives; this last happened about a month ago when I made the final bank transfer. While my recent trip to Europe sucked my US account nearly dry, I still have some stores in my Korean account, and will be saving like a madman from here until the end of my contract. It was nice to have a bit more purchasing power than I'm used to having, and to do all the purchasing with a check card, not a credit card. While I'll need to make some big purchases in the future, I can put those all off until I'm done with my walk.

Blogologically speaking, the year wasn't great, but wasn't bad, either. I wrote some decent posts, some not-so-decent posts, and got acquainted with the strange and annoying online phenomenon called Facebook (mentally, I call it Fecesbook). Blog traffic was down from last year, I think, which may indicate that the glut of Koreabloggers has pulled the core audience in many new and different directions, sadly leaving fewer readers for each of us. It's possible this blog has jumped the shark, and as I have no plans to become a slave to site traffic by focusing on gimmicks that bring in the hits, I suppose I'll just ride the traffic down to oblivion... at least until next spring, when I'll be switching over to Kevin's Walk.

Constitutionally speaking, 2007 was a bad year, as I experienced a good bit of weight gain at the beginning of the year and never really shook the weight off. I'm pretty sure the upcoming walk is going to ameliorate the situation, but the point is to stay healthy, not merely to get healthy. That's going to mean lifestyle changes of the sort I've been hesitating to enact-- not merely in terms of eating habits, but also in terms of general exercise.

Televisually and cinematically speaking, I probably caught about five times more TV shows and movies from illegal online downloads (and YouTube) than from legitimate DVDs, streaming videos, movies in the theater, and so on. While I'm still behind the curve regarding What's New on American TV, I find that age has made me care less and less about what the general public finds interesting. The two most gripping series for me have been, as my readers know, "Battlestar Galactica" and "24," the former of which I'm completely caught up on except for "Razor," the latter of which I still need to finish (I've yet to watch Season 3, the season where Nina gets hers). I saw the pilot episode of "Prison Break" and wasn't wowed. I saw the pilot of "The Bionic Woman" and merely shrugged. I've never been a big fan of "CSI" or "Law and Order," and can't say I've been motivated to watch series like "Heroes." In a sense, it keeps life simple to like only two TV series; as for movies, I find that I'm attracted to an increasingly narrow percentage of new films; I watch all the previews over at, and most of them leave me shaking my old and crotchety head.

Authorially speaking, it was a good year: this was the year I finally gave birth to Water from a Skull, a long-promised compendium of essays and research papers on various religious and philosophical topics. I'm grateful to my parents for having arranged the book-signing event we had in June in northern Virginia, and was happy to see both old friends (Go, Hoyas! shout-out to Charlie) and some new faces-- DC-Metro bloggers who showed up out of the blue, including the elusive Corsair and the intrepid Jason of Wandering to Tamshui.

Socially speaking, 2007 saw me remaining the hermit I am (true since, oh, 2005). My students think I'm an off-the-scale extrovert despite my protestations, but the fact remains I prefer to spend my free time alone and in the quiet, avoiding both phone conversations and visits to my relatives. While I do have half an eye on one purty Korean lady, I know that I'll be leaving in April, so I see no sense in pursuing the matter. Advice from my guy friends has been primarily of the "Oh, just have a fling!" variety, but... nah. When I say "half an eye," I mean it-- this isn't passion, here. She just seems sorta cute. I'm actually curious as to whether I might meet someone during my walk. My inner romantic kind of hopes that that's what happens, but you never know.

Funny thing... did I tell you there's a rumor about me at Smoo? Somehow, the gossipers got it into their heads that I have a son. Yeah, that Kevin-- what a stud, eh? Heh. This is what comes of students being convinced I'm an extrovert.

So now we all look forward to 2008, which I hope will be even better than 2007, not just for me, but for all my readers and for everyone of good, noble, industrious character (I don't include myself in this group, but I hesitate to wish a happy 2008 to the evil and lazy). We Yanks have got our own presidential election coming up, and at this point it seems as though anything goes. Enjoy the ride, stay safe, and don't step on any land mines.



Charles said...

Don't worry, Dad. Your secret is safe with me.

Anonymous said...