Too much introspection is probably bad for you. I'm pretty sure it's bad for me. Not that I'm at all likely to cut down on the infernal navel-gazing any time soon, of course: it gives me an opportunity to discuss a topic I have some familiarity with me and even if I run out of angles, I can always revisit earlier ones.

Which is by way of saying that what's here this week is a second look at a couple of the things I've said around this time of year, a period when I tend to be at my yearly lowest, a time when I'm given to curse my fate at having been born practically on the cusp of the farging holidays fercryingoutloud. Some of the most intense and, simultaneously, some of the most inane things I've ever said were said in the context of Yet Another Birthday, and having had fifty-one of them, I've had ample opportunity to sound like a complete dork.

Then again, I liked this particular turn of phrase, which dates back to 1998:

"Aha!" says the reader. "A mid-life crisis waiting to happen!" Not so. My life for years now has consisted of a series of minor irritations, punctuated by major anxieties; there's no place in the schedule to fit in a full-fledged crisis.

I have perhaps fewer anxieties than I used to, but the minor irritations seem as inescapable and as annoying as Ashlee Simpson. On the other hand, when I revisit this page some time in 2009 or thereabouts, I really hope to be able to say "Who the hell was she?"

Hmmm. Something to look forward to. A reminder, perhaps, that it's not always doom and gloom as November melts (slowly, because it's cold) into December. From 2001:

For the last forty-eight years, I have operated under the premise that biting the hand that feeds me should be considered one of the major food groups. And I continue to believe that the most sensible way to avoid criticism is to avoid doing things that deserve criticism. If you're the sort who can read through this and think, "Why, you insufferable so-and-so, if you were working for me I'd fire your ass in a minute," there's at least a measurable chance that someone is already writing about you.

With the rise of blogdom, those odds have improved markedly. And I suspect my spirits would improve markedly if my joints didn't ache so much.

The Vent

  1 December 2004

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 Copyright © 2004 by Charles G. Hill