A Year In Review

Below I’ve compiled what I consider to be (in ten minutes of glancing at the archives–my archives are NOT VERY EXTENSIVE!) the best of the Blogbytom oeuvre this year.  A lot of it comes from the India blog, which makes sense, as I was actually thinking a lot about “life” and “meaning”–and how we attach the latter to the former–when I was abroad.  Now?  Not so much.  Now?  Trying to find a job, and piece together a story (FOR SALE, FOR SALE!) of precisely what the hell happened in the California marijuana scene in the past three months, while taking myself out of it as much as possible.  (HARD TO DO WHEN YOU’RE AN EGOMANIAC!)

Maybe you missed these when they were published, maybe you’re stumbling here for the first time, or maybe you’ve just been waiting to read Blogbytom until I published my first annual Best-Of list, so that you wouldn’t have to wade through all of the dreck I’ve found reason to put up here over the course of the past twelve months.

Without further ado, then:

On Lying

On Haiti

Welcome to Bombay

Going to Mass in Panjim

Goodbye to Goa (And All That)

The Monkey Temple

Shy Up Close

Living and Dying in Varanasi

A Haircut

A Drunken Punch-up (On Being White)

An Imperfect Day (A Haggle Gone Wrong)

The Tea Party (Or, Fifteen Minutes With Sarah Palin…)

The Back Porch

Vignettes (Montreal)

On Lobstering

Vignettes (San Francisco)

Tantric Shadow Puppet Sex (Or, Big Sur)

Coming Into Oregon

Adieu, California

I’m deeply dissatisfied with a lot of this stuff, but it’s my hope that you might not be.  I blog as a first-draft writing exercise, as a way to clear my head, as a means to communicate with the world.  E.M Forster lived by the motto, “Only connect,” which I’ve always considered to be pretty damned unobjectionable.  And it’s true, too, you know?  The implications of “connecting” with other people–connection for its own sake, not with an eye on using connections as a means to an end–are pretty profound.  The more we connect with other people as people, the better equipped we are to recognize our common humanity, our shared dignity, and our fundamental sameness.  In other words, I don’t have much in common with a lot of the people I met this year–from the Northern California hippies to the Muslims of Dongri–but I found it invaluable to hear their experiences, to share my own, to shoot the shit with them, and to learn.  Whether I communicated that learning in this forum is debatable–the onus, after all, was on me.  But I hope that I did.

Anyway.  See you next year.

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2 responses to “A Year In Review

  1. Cool. Glad I came across your blog. Be looking forward to seeing more. 🙂

  2. wow… you’ve been around
    and I always thought I’d save Varanasi for the end 🙂

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