Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Guest Post: New Year

(A note from Rachelle: I have known Jori since 2000 where we bonded over our lack of athletic skill in gym class. Little did we know that was the start of an awesome friendship. My bestie from the midwestie, is a fantastic story-teller and like my previous guest-bloggers, her post brings my blog's coolness up a thousand levels.)

This is a story of an old taped up Pringles can that has been residing for at least 14 years in an even older, brittle red paper box.

We called the can the Tine Catsul, because time capsule would be too obvious. My brother had one, too, but he was less militant about the whole ordeal, and he never even waited a whole year to open his. Charlatan.

Anyway. On New Year's Eve for several years, I'd hurry up to put together a stack of papers of my writing and drawings, roll them into a tight scroll that would fit in the can, and then seal it up, along with the very last air of the year, until the next New Year's Eve. And we did this as teenagers. We were the stay-at-homey sort.

The formula for filling the Pringles can seems to be fairly simple.

     1. Sneak some non-scrap paper out of the printer (two blank sides is a must).

     2. Devote one page each for:

  • serious resolutions (literally never kept or seriously attempted)
  • a letter to the Jori of Next Year
  • fake resolutions
  • a declaration of indiscernible intent 
  • various drawings (e.g. ducks, the Titanic)
  • my signature and more drawings
  • the bests of the year (movie, song, book, etc)

     3. Make sure they're all done and sealed (excessive amounts of tape) in The Pringles Can before midnight.

I'd share the historical pages from within the Famed & Ancient Catsul with you, but they are really kind of confusing. I'm just including some drawings as proof. So you can be as confused as I.

The years still preserved in the can are 1999, 2002, and 2003. And this may be shocking, but I don't think what I was writing to put in the Tine Catsul was ever very reflective. At the time I thought it was downright profound (sprinkled with comedic gold), but frankly it appears I was just trying to fill up pages to give Future Jori a picture of the person I was trying to be and to lay down some laws for who I hoped to become. Now we have social media to achieve those ends.

I gave it up in my college years, opting instead for going against the grain by refusing to make fanciful resolutions (or resolutions at all) and sitting up knitting or doing something distinctly non-New-Years-Evey. Because college = DOING CLICHE THINGS NON-IRONICALLY? UGH.

My problem with what I have in the can is that it was never really genuine. And even though it can seem wildly self-indulgent, I think there is value in reflecting at least somewhat seriously, and the turn of the calendar year is an obvious time to do such things.

I was going to make a 2013 Version of this to share with you here, but most of it is seriously non-reproducable nonsense. I've included a couple pieces, at the bottom here, though. And to be fair and as obsessive about my self-imposed guidelines, I am, in fact, writing this before the turn of the calendar. Because if it wasn't taped up by then, then... I don't know. Doom? The life of a childhood prig was rough.

SO here it is:

Favorite Song Discovered of 2013: The Parting Glass (Wailin' Jennys) OR Godless Brother in Love (Iron & Wine)
Favorite Artist Discovered in 2013: Lily & Madeleine
Best Movie Seen in 2013: I recently rewatched the BBC's Sherlock and that wins over any movie, I think
Best Book Read in 2013: I am in grad school. I don't read outside the discipline as much as I'd like. BUT the book I most thoroughly enjoyed was Doctor Sleep

Dear Jori of 2014:
I don't know where you are. When I used to write these letters, I'd have a fairly good guess as to at least what grade I'd be in, where I'd be living, etc. This year, this is not the case. I hope you have completed and obtained your Master's Degree with ease and grandeur, as planned. Did you end up going to that Vertebrate Functional Anatomy conference? Because that sounded pretty mindblowing. Do update, if so. And I hope you enjoyed it to the max.

Tonight I am sitting at home, watching Netflix with the husband and playing with the dog and his new toy, which he got for his birthday (because I am the type of person who bought her dog a birthday present, now and possibly even in your era). I'm sore all over because it's been too cold to run, so I've done Insanity for three days straight, which is painful. In a nice way. I am bracing myself for next week, during which I have an overwhelming calendarful of appointments with students to soothe their fears and guide them through material before their anatomy exam.

I am terrified of the path that takes me from Me to You. As a secretly avid believer in the old adage, "Announcing your plans is a good way to make G-d laugh", I'll keep my intentions to a minimum. But I hope, above all hopes, you (future Jori and readers alike) are as surrounded with Love and support as I am now, enough at least to continue driving you onward and shaping you for the better, and more importantly, I hope you're giving some back. And if not, I hope you find it.

Maybe the reason I used to get so terrible-jokey in these is because of the suffocating Self-Consciousness. Understandable.

2013 Jori

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