Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home for the Holidays

"Leaving for the big show!"

A great meal at Fleming's followed by a great concert at the Colonial Theatre. Mr. Connick was fantastic! Timing can be everything when traveling. I had that small window of when the storm died down on Saturday and managed to get home very quickly (considering some of the other delays, a 3-hour delay was quick). Spent some time with a Nichols student on his way home to La Belle Province. It's a cold day but I am quite pleased that the snow has died down and there is some sun to enjoy from the parents dining room.

"2008: The Year of the Ph.D." probably needed AND deserved a Harry Connick concert to end it. As always I am very pleased to see the holiday season is here... World Juniors to watch and many a glass of wine to drink with plans of spending New Year's in Halifax. A Christmas poem...

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him -- at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; -- and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept.

-Excerpt from Robert Frost's "An Old Man's Winter Night"

Like the old man in Frost's poem, I am at home and I am in sleep mode full of reflection... from "backspins at the Worcester Train station" in January, the "FA Cup trip to McGann's" in February, "First Date #6" in March, my visit with Ev and Josh in early May, the big defense in mid-May, "7 in 75" at Fenway, Vermont and reuniting with the nephews in June, the "Joel Gott Ph.D." party in July, my first NCAA win in any sport in August, getting acknowledged in a book in September, Cape Cod in October, drinking celebratory Obaminator Ale in November, Thanksgiving/Birthday and the end of a long semester, it has been quite a year. Highpoint: May 14th talking with friends and family drinking J. Lohr from N8's place on 16th Street in Albuquerque. Lowpoint: a long night waiting for a plane in Denver with too much time on my hands even if I was smart enough to remember the lessons of December, 2006 that "Silence is the loudest parting you would never say" (Ben Harper in "Amen Omen").

I knew the freedom of finally obtaining the highest degree would bring responsibility. The social burden has been somewhat unexpected (online and in the "real world") so I would like to close 2008 with a special thank you to everybody who continues to read this blog. It's the "you haven't updated your blog in awhile" reminders that keep me on here.

Wishing all my faithful blog-readers a safe and happy holiday season while recalling what Alan Fotheringham used to annually predict in his McLean's column that "the Montreal Canadiens will win the Stanley Cup and people will fall in love" in wishing you all the best in 2009.

-"Dr. Joelly"