Ruination & Despair!
Certainly, it's important to start the new year off right, and I'm happy to say that my friendly local rheumatologist has not suggested that any of my own joints need replacing, although I'm sure my dentist would be happy to give me another crown or two.
On the other hand, not everything in life can be fixed, so right around now one of my relatives is going off her respirator and getting the last painkillers. We hope it's a comfortable exit (her son says she will "expire," which is definitely a step up from "passing away") and that she ends up where she'd like to rather than in what is sometimes referred to as "the other place" (although in my immediate family "the other place" now refers to New Zealand after my father's memorable remark that not only did we know people who had lived in Australia but also in "the other place"--our apologies to the inhabitants of New Zealand).
And I've been invited to a year-later memorial for my friend Milt Wolff. I won't be able to attend due to my hectic teaching schedule, but I've been contemplating getting a framed enlargement of one of my livelier photos of Milt, which I think would look nice somewhere on the wall. It would definitely be better than the photos I took the week before he died, anyhow.
In the general spirit of getting everything off to a good start before we all get too excited about the Obama inauguration, I direct everyone to the new Archelaus blog, Ruination & Despair. You can discover the perfect name for your six-fingered child, learn the correct diet for walking on water, and even find out which new Archelaus cards have just debuted. It's just the thing!