Like a lot of bloggifiers, I took a week off for holiday merriment. And when I say "merriment," I mean heavy drinking.
I hope you had a good Christmakwanzukkha. Our was fine. I didn't do a lot of Yuletide posting this month, mainly because I just didn't have a lot to say about the season. I'm not a huge Christmas fan anymore, so I mostly just kept my head down throughout the whole extravaganza. I did, however, enjoy reading holiday posts on several of my favorite blogs, as well as great stuff by my compatriots at DadCentric and Culture Brats.
All good. But I'm ready to put the holiday behind me. In fact, I'm all set to put 2010 in my rear view mirror and hit the gas. Not that nothing good happened. This year had a fair share of crap baked into it, but there was some good stuff too. The handy thing about maintaining a personal blog is that you can actually go back and see what you did throughout the year, see what you felt was worth documenting at the time, and reflect on the whole hot mess.
Of course, you have to make sure you look past your own creative spin when you do so. Most of the blogs I follow are written by great storytellers. They embrace the part of blogging that we all love: turning our messy lives into tidy chapters and essays. We take our day-to-day-interactions and knead them into something with a narrative structure: there's a premise, rising suspense, a climax, all the good literary devices. We try to find Funny in events that maybe weren't so amusing at the time. Plus drama. We bloggers love good drama.
And best of all, we get to place ourselves at the white-hot center of our little pocket universes. Which means we get to portray ourselves any damn way we want: in some posts we're the Hero, in others we're the Victim, and every so often, we decide to be the Bad Guy.
And then sometimes we don't realize exactly how we do illustrate ourselves until we go back and read later.
When I read over past posts of mine, I seem to present myself in one of three ways:
1. The Village Idiot
I know such a portrayal is not entirely accurate. I don't live in a village.
In several of my posts from 2010, I illustrated myself as the dumbest guy in the room, despite the fact that I'm a teacher with one degree more than I need behind my name. This is because I do feel that way a lot of the time in real life. I frequently assume The Idiot Stance when I'm around other people, selling myself as your basic good-natured dumbfuck as a result.
People who know me (*sheepish wave at wife*) call me on it. A friend of mine once said it was my default shtick:
"You do it all the time," he said. "You expend a lot of energy in social situations claiming that you're a know-nothing moron. It's like a pre-emptive defense mechanism."
"Duuurrrfff?" I replied at the time, looking up from my drool cup and trying to keep my dunce cap from toppling off. We would've discussed it further, but I was distracted by my toes.
2. The Cranky Old Man
When I go back and read some posts, I swear I sound like I'm 90-years-old. I'm actually 40. I don't know how this particular ethos surfaced. Whether it's about dealing with "young people" today, or grousing about current music, there have been several posts where you'd think I wrote them while standing on my front porch in a bathrobe, black socks and slippers, grumbling at the world while shaking my fist in the air and clamping my teeth down to keep my yellow dentures from slipping out.
"Do you think I act older than I actually am?" I asked Saucy recently.
"Not at all," she soothed while tucking my Snuggy around my legs and giving me my camomile tea and rheumatism medicine, "Now stopping fretting and tell me another story about the Depression."
3. The Bad Cop
And then there are the posts about my daughter or my students where I tend to present myself as Terminator McBadass: a hardcore ass-kicker who wields his power with unholy, unstoppable fury. I talk the BIG talk about making foes cower. I say my day wasn't productive unless I made at least three students cry. Is that portrayal even remotely true, you ask?
Yes. Yes that one is actually completely and totally true. I am a pirate, after all. A ten-foot-tall, cyborg pirate enforcer with laser eyes. So don't piss me off. I will eat your babies.
I think I'm getting a little off-track. Sorry. All I really want to do here is link up to a few posts from the past year that highlight the big events that we on the Didactic Pirate Ship experienced over the last 12 months. For example:
The time my daughter and I considered how social gender rules apply to Godzilla.
The time I had to fight The Walking Dead in my 8:00 am class.
The time I killed four elderly people with a single assignment deadline.
The time I couldn't keep up with that goddamn twenty-year-old.
The time Mini-Pirate went from battling knights to crushing on them.
The time we all wondered why Saucy stays with me.
The time Mini-Pirate fell in love with the guy who made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
The time I was "the meanest Daddy of all the Daddies in the Land."
The time I totally could've solved that dead animal problem on my own.
Not to mention the time Saucy and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary. Or the time we sold our house. Or the whole Movember ordeal.
Turns out this year made for some pretty ok storytelling. Good times, 2010. Thanks for the memories. Now get the hell off my lawn.