Saturday, October 30, 2010

Living the Life of a Nomad No More (Or At Least, Not As Much)

This has been a weird year for me, but not for a reason you might think. For only the second year in the last seven years, I haven't moved anywhere.

Okay, there's still two months left in this year (!!!), but barring some crazy circumstances or changes in the next eight weeks, I'm staying put for an entire year.

I have a good idea as to what you're thinking. I'm guessing it's something along the lines of, "Why exactly is this weird? And why on earth have you been moving so much over the last several years? Do you just like being a nomad that much?"

Let me start by saying that I'm really not into moving or being on the go that much. I don't have to go into great detail over the stress of moving since I'm sure anyone who actually reads this blog (all three or four of you out there) already knows how awful moving can be. Frankly I don't know how I was able to move that much over the last several years, but I was able to do it.
I an closely relate to one of my best friends though, since we had a running joke about how the both of us moved somewhere about the same amount of times over the course of the same number of years. Whenever one of us had to move, the other would be expected to help packing and moving boxes into the new place. However, she wasn't able to help me moving to Virginia last year, so I am up one on her. I just haven't figured out how she's going to pay me back for it yet.

But here I am, in the exact same place where I had first moved to Virginia last year. When it dawned on me in August that I'd been in my place for a full year and I had no plans to go anywhere else, I almost felt like the year was missing something somehow with me staying put. I'm not complaining by any means of the sort, but it's an odd feeling nonetheless.

Maybe my staying put is a bit more symbolic in nature. Last year was definitely a year of flux for me, for a number of reasons, between changing jobs, moving to Virginia, and the chaos in my family. This year has been more stable overall, and I'm sure staying in my place played a big role in that. It's certainly possible that I'm reading too much into things, but maybe it is for the best that I didn't move this year. Staying in a place for more than a single year worked out well for others, and maybe it'll do the same for me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

News That's Not Really News

I read one of the more bizarre news articles that I've read in quite a while today. Sony of Japan announced they are ceasing production of the Sony Walkman devices as of December this year. This is the same Sony Walkman cassette tape player that was introduced in the year that I was born. I went through a couple models of them growing up, too; my personal favorite was a bright yellow Sony Sports Walkman when I was in high school. I even remember loving how awesome it was that the later tape players that I had could automatically flip to the other side of a cassette instead of me having to remove the tape and flip it over manually (my, how times change).

Two thoughts immediately came to mind when I first read this article. First, I felt extremely old knowing that a device that I was very familiar with as a kid is going the way of Betamax, 8-track tapes, and the Nintendo Entertainment System. You know those articles that are released every fall that discuss what that year's incoming college freshman are too young to remember? The latest lists includes not knowing what life was like before the internet, cell phones, or Johnny Carson being on the Tonight Show. We are now on the verge of adding cassette tapes and cassette tape players to that list (if they haven't been added on the list already).

Second - and this thought is a bit ironic given my first thought - I was surprised to read discontinuing the Walkman wasn't done 10 years ago. Once iPods and MP3 players hit the scene, who even used cassette tape players anymore? They were as obsolete as videotapes were once DVDs became commonplace. Cars stopped having cassette players built into them over six years ago. Why still manufacture and sell cassette players?

Granted, Sony of Japan announced this, and Sony of America last produced a cassette Walkman in 2002, so it's not like I could've walked into a Best Buy or Wal-Mart in the last eight years to buy a Walkman if I had wanted one. I'm certainly not missing the Walkman or cassettes in general. And yet, at the same time, I feel like a part of my childhood is gone forever. I guess that is a sign of getting old(er) - when items I'm familiar with as a child are phased out completely.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Law of Averages

It's official - my sister is having a baby girl!

I got a text message from her this morning with the news, and frankly I wasn't that surprised. We were kinda expecting her to have a girl for several (completely unscientific) reasons, but we're all still extremely excited. For one thing, her husband's side has all boys. He has an older brother who has a family of his own (okay, the oldest kid is a girl, but he's her stepfather anyways) with boys. He also has one cousin who's also a guy. No sisters, no female cousins, no aunts, nothing. Virtually all boys.

Naturally, somewhere along the line the law of averages had to even things out, and a girl would come around. To add to that, my sister had a boy's name already picked out, but was completely lost on a girl's name. Now she doesn't have much choice, but I'm sure she'll have fun picking out a name.

Of course, having a niece doesn't change my plans as uncle at all. I still fully intend on spoiling my niece rotten and giving her everything that my sister says she can't or shouldn't have. I will take her to Orioles games and feed her all the cotton candy and ice cream she desires. I will buy her the loudest birthday and Christmas presents imaginable, and my sister will hate me for it. Oh sure, she'll get me back in a few years when I have kids of my own, but like I said before I will enjoy this as much as humanly possible.