Putting 2012 in the rear-view mirror


I took this one day last Spring, after a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The tradition at Wrigley is that when the Cubs win the game, a white flag with a blue W is flown from the flagpole on the scoreboard in centerfield. When the Cubs lose, a blue flag with a white L is flown instead. If you look in the mirror real closely, you’ll see that it’s not a white flag being flown from the scoreboard. Most years, the blue flag flies from the scoreboard more than the white one does.

This year’s baseball season is still a month away from Spring Training, and more than two months away from Opening Day. I’ll have to put all of last year’s losing–a whole lifetime of losing, really–behind me, just like the flag in my car’s mirror suggests. I’m willing to move on, in the hopes that the Cubs will win for once in my lifetime.

But it’s a strategy that can work for all of 2012, too. Some good things happened, and some horrible things happened, but we all need to keep moving forward to make things better this year. If the Cubs win more than 61 games in 2013, we can say, legitimately, that they’re better than they were last year. But life itself doesn’t come with such an easily-defined benchmark number.

Whatever benchmarks I’m using to measure my life, hopefully they’ll all trend upward in 2013. And for anyone else who might read this, I hope that yours do, too.


Looking toward the future


The internet is a tool that nobody has ever had before us. A few minutes online, and a few keywords, are all we need to answer nearly any question we can think of, or to see images that once took weeks or months to track down. If you had explained all of this to me just 20 years ago, I never would have believed it. None of us would have. And in another 20 years, it will be a rare person who can remember life without it.

And that’s one of the reasons I feel compelled to put as much as I do into this space. This blog is my memory book, in a way. My children, and anyone else’s children, will be able to read the things that I’ve posted here, even after I’m long gone. It’s exciting to think of these posts as being immortal, in a way that I never will be.

And so hello from 2013, to whoever happens upon this in the future. I realize that it’s odd to read this in 2013, and it’s odd to be typing it out, too. It will be many years before this post seems anything other than ridiculous. But time will continue marching along, just as it always has, and that’s why I’m laying down this marker for anyone who ever cares to read it in the future. May it be worth their time and mine to do so.

What would I do without coffee?


Not much to say here, just an observation as I enjoy the first of many, many cups I will have this year.

Looking forward to the Northwestern game, even if I don’t have the cable package to watch the game. I guess radio and Twitter will just have to do it for me, instead.

Happy 2013 to anyone who reads this.

Quarterly Report #6

isi2012 007

As the year draws to a close, it’s been quite a ride for me and my humble little platform for addressing the world, both present and future. As I have done before, I’m going to put a few words together to reflect on the quarter gone by, and also look ahead to the future a little bit. Like the guy in the picture above, the moments where I feel like I’m soaring are great, but there’s always going to be a landing to worry about when it’s over.

I wrote well over a hundred pieces in this blog for the final three months of 2012, on topics including the re-election of Barack Obama, the release of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, art from days gone by, current events, and things I have written for other websites. And, as always, there was also a healthy dose of stories about mundane things from everyday life. Truth be told, those are the things I most enjoy writing about here. If I couldn’t tell these dumb little stories, I’d have to find something else to do with my time, and I have no idea what that might be. So my thoughts and energies will continue to be directed here in the upcoming year.

For 2013, I’d like to get more of my writing out into the wider world. I probably said something similar a year ago, and to some extent that’s come to pass. There’s so many things to say, and so little time available to say them, that it makes for a challenge I truly enjoy.It would be silly to do anything else.

As the teen years approach


There’s just a few days left in the year 2012, which will be the BrownElephantfirst full year that I’ve written this blog. I have many posts from the past year that I’m proud to have written, and I’ll soon put together a retrospective on some of them.


It’s been an interesting year, as I suppose they all are. But like allIMG00080-20100619-1727 good things, 2012 couldn’t last forever. 2013 is now coming into view, and that’s going to be lots of fun.


So let’s all enjoy what remains in this year, and then move onto the teen years of this century. I’ve never thought of it that way before. Let’s hope they’re nearly as interesting as our own teen years.IMG00303-20100804-1939