It's the last day of 2023, and according to our friendly national media, Las Vegas is gearing up for a record day since the date is 12.31.23 or 123123 (a lucky day). It's kind of comforting--it really is-- to know that they've prepared by setting up a marriage license stand at the airport and have 6 Elvis impersonators ready to go in addition to the regular officiants. I've never been to Las Vegas, but it's nice to know that the regular Las Vegas institutions seem to be intact & unchanging.
- Speaking of changes, the airline I'm taking to MLA in Philadelphia has sent me notifications of flight schedule changes every week (literally) since September, so I'm kind of excited to see if they keep to the same schedule until departure.
- This has been a strange year: we're nominally post-pandemic, according to the WHO, yet my students regularly got sick with COVID or something suspiciously like it (and so did I, for three weeks, though the tests said it wasn't COVID). After recovering, I walked into the doctor's office & when they asked "what shots did you want?" I channeled Marlon Brando in The Wild One, who, in response to being asked "what are you rebelling against?" replied "Whadda ya got?" (What I really said was "all of 'em.")
- Speaking of things that do and don't change, in this year of our lord 2023 no home printer that exists will regularly and reliably connect to wifi. Instead, they hold their hands to their foreheads and stagger to a fainting couch, telling me that they are offline. They are not offline, but I have to dutifully unplug/disconnect wifi/etc. and go through the whole dance, sometimes re-adding them under an alias, until they come to life and enthusiastically spit out documents I unsuccessfully tried to print several weeks ago. I've tried printer cables, but the Princesses, as they are known in our house, sometimes don't want to work with cables, either. I've read that The Youth don't like printers, and I sometimes warn the Princesses that with attitudes like theirs, it's no wonder The Youth (and the Washington Post, which says you can just drive somewhere and print, easy-peasy--so much better than home printing!) are dubious about their utility. I spent 5 hours with the Princesses the other day, scanning class materials to print and then to an underlying .pdf with OCR, but I had to use them both, since one would make copies but not scan to any recognizable location on earth and the other would do the reverse. (The Princesses are from different countries--one from HP and one from Epson--but they are united in their resistance to functioning as anything other than shelf decorations.)
- It's been an odd year: it feels as though we're doing what we're supposed to do as though there was never a pandemic and as though there isn't world chaos, but it feels like the conversation between the Red Queen and Alice:
“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”
“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
We're through the looking glass and running twice as fast to stay in the same place.
- Here's hoping for a smooth, peaceful, and joyous 2024, and Happy New Year to you all!