Vale, MMVI; Salve, MMVII!
Since I've had the flu recently, my summation of the past year has had to wait until today after I ended up crashing last night at 8pm (although I did get woken up for the east and west coast festivities!). Ergo, the year of aught-six, as it were!
January - I rang in the start of the year back home with my family, as always. Not much happened the first half of the month kicking around in Albany; went back to Boulder on the 14th in a huge delayed mess of flight travel that ended with the lovely event of loosing my car in the DIA parking lot and wandering around for two hours, lugging my rifle case and bags over what probably was a few acres in a feet-blistering adventure. After I got back to town itself, things settled back down into their spring routine: started my spring classes of Tacitus, Roman Imperial History, and the pièce de résistance, Survey of Latin Literature. I killed some weekends shooting, killed some translating the whole corpus of Latin written prior to 75BC, and killed the rest not being able to move after exhausting myself.
February - I settled into the groove of work by the first. I wasn't teaching in the spring, so I had all my time to devote to classes and then appreciate the small bit of free time I had afterwards. The month took a decidedly more crappy turn on the 10th, when I slipped on some water in the bathroom in the morning, fell over onto the rim of the shower, and dislocated my shoulder / sprained my thumb (which hurt enough to originally think that I had broken it). After missing three days of school due to being too loopy on vicodin to get to campus, I learned to type left-handed on my laptop for a good month and a half while still getting through all the work that had to be done on a daily basis. The stress/work/painkillers had really drained the life out of me by the end of the month, although I felt a lot better the last day of February for Mardi Gras with the other grad students at what turned out to be the only happy hour of the spring.
March - Kinky Friedman announced his intention to run for governor of Texas on the first of the month, spurning me immediately to forget about registering in Colorado and get registered back home in the Lone Star to be able to vote for him. There was a beautiful heat wave the first two weeks of the month, getting up to 65F almost every day in what had otherwise been a cold and dreary (but not all that snowy) winter, which got me up off my duff and out to the mountains just about every weekend day to shoot; got my first NRA qualification patch on the 12th. Of course, everything pales to the 25th, when I finally went back to Texas for the first time since I had graduated! Being Spring Break, I spent the week with Zach, Landua, Tanya, and all the then-Morconoreans between Houston and Waco; I got to fight; I taught a few classes of Latin with Dr. Froberg and Dr. A; I drank a lake's worth of Common Grounds coffee; and I soaked up the awesomeness that permeates all of Texas from top to bottom.
April - April began in Texas... what more can you ask for? I got back to Boulder on the 3rd and once again was thrust into the purgatory of my spring semester; had my last Tacitus test before the final on the 5th, and resolved to not go to Imperial History anymore until the final itself (which I didn't... skipping a class, 5000 level mind you, for a month is just sexy, and all the more when you get an easy A out of it). On the 12th, I got word that Tim Mosher, who was on the varsity lacrosse team while I was on JV, had been killed in Iraq as a captain in charge of a helicopter unit just outside of Baghdad. The funeral was so big it closed the road from the church all the way down past my house... hit home literally, eh? At the end of the month, I got word that I was being assigned a section of Myth to teach in the fall, and was getting paid well to do it for a change... about bloody time! And on the 27th, my parents got to go to a Robert Earl Keen concert without me... bastardi! The month-spanning story was dating the other Amanda from when I got back from Texas to when I finished finals; uneventful by all stretches, but noteworthy as the first dating since breaking up with Katie. C'est la vie, ein?
May - Wished my parents a happy 26th anniversay on the first of the month, of course. The last month of any semester heralds the beginning of paper writing, which really wasn't all that bad in the spring, or at least so in comparison to the previous fall and then this fall; I wrote about Sallust for Survey and Hermanus the German for Tacitus, so they were topics I enjoyed. By the sixth they had been finished, and I was into the studying for my hellish Survey final, which I managed to eek out a B+ upon and get out a B in the class; Tacitus and History were both better, but it lowered my GPA a bit anyways. I watched the Derby and hit the exacta, giving me a bit more spending money for the coffee I desperately need to get through the end of any semester. By the 12th I was finished, and began the time-honored tradition of decompressing the woes of grad school into the indolence and sloth of summer, mostly by playing NS all the time and probably gaining five pounds from the iced mochas. I watched the Preakness, but didn't place, so I lost $20 or so; this was remedied by my parents being awesome and sending me wonderful Greek food from St. Sophia's Greek Festival, which is always the same weekend as the Preakness back in Albany. I got back home on the 26th, after almost running into a burning plane on the runway in Philadelphia; feel free to search the web for that story, because I assure you it scared the crap out of me way more than the AP might have captured.
June - June was entirely boring, in the way all my trips home are: free food, lots of sleep, and spending my days split between the coffee shop down at the four corners and finding something to do while my parents are at work. In fact, just about the only thing worth mentioning is on the 12th (which seems to be a very popular day for things to happen, it seems in hindsight), when my old lappy finally died. And by died, I mean caught the fuck on fire. Complete with acrid electrical smoke and burnt motherboard. I got my new one on the 20th, which is a laptop so awesome that I'd marry it if I were in Utah where crap like that is allowed. I got back to Boulder on the 29th, and proceeded to sloth it up.
July - And my now, how I did sloth it up. I attempted to get a job to fill the vast empty hours of unmitigated boredom, but by the 10th or so it had become clear that everyone else had had the same idea about a month earlier and it just sucked to be me, as it were. I took the opportunity to study my Sanskrit back up to speed along with more German, with the fine folks down at Starbucks probably getting sick to death of me in the process. There was a Beausoleil concert on the 18th which turned out to be plenty fun, even though it was pouring rain outside (and had been pouring for almost a week at that point... wet mess, July was), and every chance to sing Acadian French with a fiddle playing is about as good as it gets, eh? I set about to starting my CAMWS abstract for the year, which finally was finished sometime in September if memory serves, and which in turn tells you about how much desire I had to do work at this point in the year. I did some ranting on the nature of organized religion (a short paper, actually) for the benefit of Dave, and kicked around Boulder with a gun in my hand every chance I got, making up to Sharpshooter 1st Class with Rifles in the NRA.
August - Faced with the inevitable end of summer at this point, I made a quick trip back to Albany on the 6th so that I'd be able to actually make it to Saratoga during the season for the first time in half a decade. We had a great series of block-party style barbecues with the new neighbors that had moved in since I had left for school, which were made all the more awesome by the fact that when all was done with dinner, I could retreat into AIR CONDITIONING to sleep... there had been a streak of days at the end of July and start of August in Boulder that had easily gotten over 100F for more than two weeks, leaving me to melt on the floor of my apartment in underpants as I cursed myself over and over again for not having bought a window unit when I had the chance to get one on sale. I spent most of the weekdays up at Saratoga, not betting a whole great deal but loving to watch the races in person for a change, including a true-to-form Irish steeplechase that lasted a mind-boggling three and a half minutes, something ye other aficionados of horse racing are liable to appreciate. I got to spend my birthday at home with other people for the first time in four years, which sounds more depressing that it normal is, as at this point I've learnt to live with the poor timing of my birthday... I can always blame my parents for that one, eh? I was back on the 20th, and by the end of the month, I was thrust back into the suck of the semester grind.
September - Started dating Julia the last day of August, but that got squozed out into September where it belongs. It seemed like one of those things that could've gone well, considering she arguably liked to shoot machine guns more than I do, was more conservative than even I am, and was smart to boot; but then again, she is a woman, and women manage to lie their way through things with less resources than even MacGuyver could. The 29th: "I just don't want to date right now..."; the 31st: "I'm dating someone named Erik." Bugger. Anyways, September also meant getting to know the new crew of grad students for this year, which resulted in the reinstitution of happy hour as it was intended to be and the formation of our cadre of Jessika, Jonathan, Jason, Jason, and myself, united in our tired dejection and hatred for all things De Re Publica. In looking back, September actually was pretty shitty; aside from the above, Morconor also reconvened and voted to leave Drandmir and join Kalladen... bastardissimi. On the plus side, my squire was now Ruling Lady of Drandmir, which meant that she was firmly stuck in the old kingdom, and at least that much was right with the world. I also fixed plans firmly for heading back down to Texas in October!
October - Firmly sick of school again at this point, but happy to be gettin' paid gettin' paid to be doing it, at long last. I was writing a ten-page paper a week at this point courtesy of Ovidian Scholarship, but the middle of the month signaled the transition to discussion over writing, so my tired hand was given a marque of reprise finally. The middle of the month also marked my mum coming to Colorado for homecoming, which stretched into the week before the game and the weekend after: free food, free gas, and a triple overtime victory for Baylor that left me jumping up and down in the stands in a state of excitement I never, ever would have guessed football could trigger! The last week of the month was hell thanks to my presentation in Ovid about the Calydonian Boar Hunt... a week solid of staying in the office nigh to midnight each night and writing, which culminated in a stressed presentation for two hours that must have had me looking like a detoxing heroin addict. But it got done, and I had a solid A for 65% of my course grade, and a day after presenting, I was on a plane back to Texas, and loving every minute of what was basically a long weekend sunning myself in the glory of the homeland.
November - After a teasingly brief shot of paradise, I was back in the suck again. Most of the early month was dominated by getting through a Cicero exam for 50% of my DRP grade, with many a night spent with the cadre slugging through it. The 19th brought the totally-unexpected news of my brother, yes, my brother, going to Baylor... as I wrote at the time, in the long history of least probably stuff in the whole universe, that's pretty high up on the list. But, it's certainly a good one, and I welcomed him home to Texas with a new Beretta pistol in traditional fashion. After being hither and thither with homecoming and Texas, I didn't have the time, money, or energy to go home for Thanksgiving, and spent the break sleeping to regain some sanity, or in the library doing research for the biggest batch of papers I've ever written. However, the month is dominated by the 17th just before break, when I met Amanda! And after surely irritating her family with talking to her all the time over break, we had our first date on the 24th, and it's just been uphill from there :-)
December - Utterly consumed by paper writing and studying for the first week and a half, I woke up each day around 9am and went to bed around midnight in an orgy of getting 75 pages or so out of my head and down onto paper: Calydonian Boar Hunt for Ovid, the Ideal Republican Leader for Cicero, and Doricism in Theocritus for Hellenistic Poetry. After slugging through that and barely surviving, I spent all the time I could with my lovely Amanda, probably driving her a touch crazy in the process, but I ain't complaining :-) We had a good week and a half or so to ourselves before the "Blizzard of '06" hit, a storm which dumped 31" of the white stuff on town and resulted in my being stuck in either DIA or Philadelphia for 30 hours in the trek back home. But, I eventually got there, and settled down into the normal vasty nothingness of life in Albany. We had a nice quiet Christmas, got myself a great new digital camera, and caught the flu just in time for being feverish on New Years. But, I got to spend it semantically with Amanda (twice!) on the phone/webcam, so, the old year ended and the new one began in the best way I could have asked for :-)
And that's the year, in a nutshell; things worked out pretty good, didn't they? And I do declare, for perhaps the first time in at least a decade, I'm optimistic beyond all reckoning for the new one. Joyeuse année, optimvm capvt anni, and άληθὲς ἔτος, all my friends! Vale!