Thursday, December 31, 2015

the annual year-end post

A distressful year in many respects, but inside our cottage, at least, the two humans and two cats are still warm and cozy, so let's be thankful for that. Our roof has been replaced, I learned how to make turkey meatloaf, and I've just cleaned a lot of stuff out of the refrigerator that shouldn't still have been there.

I think the only things I had published this year were my usual concert reviews and my work in vol. 12 of Tolkien Studies, which just came out a couple weeks ago. Besides being co-editor, I did much of the work on the bibliography, one section for the "Year's Work", and a book review. Over in the music field, I wrote 29 reviews and two brief feature articles (both celebrating local conductors' thirtieth anniversaries) for my two outlets.

Travel has been more exciting. Here's the list of cities I stayed in when away from home:

Paradise Valley, AZ
Oracle, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Nogales, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Seattle, WA
Rohnert Park, CA (twice)
Fresno, CA (twice)
New Orleans, LA
Thibodeaux, LA
Lafayette, LA
Concord, CA
Ashland, OR (twice)
Kansas City, KS
Johnston, IA
Norfolk, NE
Carter Lake, IA
San Francisco, CA
Colorado Springs, CO
Pittsburgh, PA (twice)
Romulus, MI
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
Redding, CA (twice)
Austin, TX

That includes three conventions - Potlatch in Seattle, the Popular Culture Association conference in New Orleans, and Mythcon in Colorado - plus two nephews' weddings (in San Francisco, which is nearby but for which we stayed overnight, and Austin), four trips just to attend plays or concerts (twice to Rohnert Park and twice to Ashland, two of those also going to Fresno), one business trip to Michigan (which also included play-going in Ontario, and brief stays at either end with my brother in Pittsburgh, whom I accompanied on the trip), and two actual vacations, one in Arizona (during which I also got to two symphony concerts) and the presidential sight-seeing trip in the Midwest (also with my brother). Three trips were with B. The four California/Oregon trips I drove on; the others all include plane flights.

Besides the ones I stayed overnight in, I also visited the state of Missouri during the Midwest trip (the better part of two days, but stayed across the border in Kansas), and the state of Sonora, Mexico, whose border town of Nogales I popped into by foot for dinner during my Arizona trip. This makes it 1) the only new high-level jurisdiction of this year's travels; 2) the third state of Mexico I've been to, in all three cases just to border towns; 3) the only state or province of all my travels in which I haven't ridden in a vehicle, well, save only the Vatican City; 4) the only time that I've visited both Mexico and Canada in the same calendar year.

Next year Mythcon means I'm going back to Texas again, and I'm going back to Ashland at least once; but Potlatch is local, and no PCA this year. Other trips may be in the works. I hope some writing is also in the works.

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