It’s December 12, 2012 today! The ol’ triple date that seems to excite people on Twitter so much. Even though it’s happened once a year for the past decade, it won’t happen again for almost another 100 years. It’s sobering to think what the world will look like 100 years from now. We DO have a small record of things from 100 years ago: books, letters, newspapers, radio archives, etc. What will withstand the test of time 100 years from now? Will Mountains Beyond Mountains be archived in some way on a WordPress server? Will people still click on my article on Northern Ireland? (it is STILL the most popular post on here for whatever reason).

Will anyone be reading this?

If so, let me say “Hello future fanbase! Pull those flying cars over for a sec and let me give you a tiny bit of insight into the last decade of someone living 100 years ago.”

I can tell you that on 12/12/12 I plan on catching up on the last two episodes before the midseason break of Season 3 of “The Walking Dead” (after my daughter is in bed and my wife has gone out, of course), and hopefully knock a couple of chapters off of Justin Cronin’s “The Twelve” before hitting the “hay”. (Hay is what horses used to eat. Do they still have horses in 2112? You’ve seen pictures, though, right?) The Twelve on 12/12/12.

So let’s go back and look at my activities on the other triple dates, shall we?


Happy New Year! A new Millennium! Spent the Millennial New Year’s Eve at a modest house party. I remember opening up a shaken bottle of champagne and it going all over our friend’s parent’s venetian blinds. That wasn’t so smart. We actually don’t see those friends all that much anymore…


Heading towards the final push of First Year at Law School. I remember really enjoying that year, treating it like a personal challenge. You always hear horror stories about the stress and the workload. Heck, Scott Turow even wrote a nonfiction book about it called “One L“. It was a lot of work, for sure, but what else was I going to do that year? Training for a marathon is a lot of work too, (or so I’m told) but people like to push themselves. I was pushing myself just to see if I could do it. I ended up top of the class that year on something they called “The Dean’s List”. My legal career was off to a glowing start. But you know what? I spent so much time trying to see if I could, I didn’t take any time to think if I should. By the time 2nd year rolled around, I had pretty much decided I wasn’t going to be a lawyer. I started in on the classes anyway to see if anything would change my mind, but by November of that year I decided to try something else.


My girlfriend’s 30th birthday! We were engaged at that point, and I knew, unlike me, she liked surprise parties. I arranged this whole thing that we would go out to our weekly dance class (we were taking classes to get ready for our wedding reception later on in the summer) and then before taking her home I would say I needed to go by my Mom’s house for something…..and……SURPRISE!

The only problem was that she came down with a terrible flu that day and although I was able to get her to the dance class, she was all feverish and said that she just wanted to go straight home after the class. Good LORD, I had a house full of her friends waiting at my Mom’s place! I didn’t know what to do. Do I call home and tell them it’s all off? Do I take Marla home and just enjoy the party myself? As the night went on she was feeling a little bit better, and I convinced her to just come by for a few minutes. I’m terrible at surprises, so I think I said something like, “I think you’ll be happy” or something like that. Well she sure was surprised, and I think the presence of so many of her friends turned her around a little bit and she had as good a time as you could expect while also being really sick.


All I know is that it was April 4, so I probably listened to U2’s “Pride” at least once that day.


I’m pretty sure I went to see “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in the theatre for my birthday that day, according to my trusty journal, starring Martin “Tim, Watson, Bilbo” Freeman.


In Thunder Bay for a cousin’s wedding. That summer we had three out of town weddings: this one, one in Minneapolis in August and one in Toronto in September. I remember our old Plymouth Acclaim nearly didn’t make it to Thunder Bay, and when I took it to get it washed the morning of the wedding, the whole side chrome on one side came off in the car wash! We somehow made that car last for another year before going the Toyota route.


Just back from an epic road trip that included stops at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, cousins in New Jersey, a week in New York, a week in Cape Cod and a week in Boston. I didn’t end up going to my graduation from library school, because it was in December and we thought the roads would be too sketchy, so instead we saved our money and did this road trip which ranks right up there as one of the best.


Watched the opening of the summer Olympics in Beijing. The Chinese do like the number 8, apparently, so why not open the games on such an auspicious date?


More than likely a bit sleep deprived from looking after our little baby girl born just a few months earlier. Wait, who am I kidding? More like my WIFE was sleep deprived and I was slightly inconvenienced by the whole thing. Still, a life changing event. At this point, we were probably in Toronto about to see U2 360. We had bought the tickets back in February, before we knew our daughter was a possibility for us, and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a baby disrupt my secret pact to see U2 on every tour, regardless of where they play. I didn’t let that baby disrupt my plan until 2011, as careful readers may remember.


Visited for the last time with my beloved Uncle Barry. I didn’t know it would be the last time, actually. I knew he had some health issues over the last year, but they seemed to resolve themselves and we were all hopeful that this recent scare that had him in the hospital would be a short term thing. Well it was short-term, but not in a good way. The cancer had come back and spread and he was gone only two weeks after my hospital visit with him. At that time, I didn’t know how bad it was. I’m guessing he didn’t either, but MAYBE he had an inkling, I don’t know. I talked mostly about work, and a couple of books I was reading. I loved my Uncle so much, but he was definitely a curmudgeon. A LOVABLE curmudgeon. I remember a nurse saying in the hallway to me and my aunt Betty that “Barry was resting comfortably and was in good spirits” before I went in to see him. “In good spirits?” I said to my aunt, “that doesn’t sound like Uncle Barry at ALL!” and we both had a little nervous chuckle over it. I wish my wife and daughter had a chance to see him one last time, but they were away in Toronto visiting relatives when I went up and you just think you’ll have more time than you do. The next time I saw my Aunt was at the graveside service a couple of weeks later. She hugged me and said, “I am SO GLAD you are here!” and I stupidly said back, “Well I’m happy to be here.” Dumb, right? I didn’t mean it that way, and I know people say stupid and insensitive things at funerals all the time. I’ve been on the receiving end of MANY stupid comments before, but now that I am the one doing the stupidness, let’s just have a pact that anything anyone says or hears at a funeral is forgivable, okay? Let’s just chalk it up to stress and nerves and let’s all be a little more understanding.


You won’t BELIEVE where I spent last Remembrance Day. Do you remember a blog post about a wonderful donation of old musty books? Well, I traced the origin of those books to a small town about an hour and a half away, and we went out there on Remembrance Day. Why? Good question. I think it was my wife’s and my way to just have an excuse to go somewhere and have a bit of an adventure. I was going to right a light-hearted blog post about the day but then something happened while we were there that turned the day into something more, something that deserved a little more thought and respect, and so I never really got around to writing that one. It’s still sitting in a draft folder, waiting for the final edit, but I’ve never really had the time or inspiration to revisit it. I know, it’s hard to believe that we actually do editing and make creative choices on here, but it’s true.

So there you have it, future readers: a wee glimpse into a decade of my life as seen through the triple dates. Back to your jetpacks, your robot valets and your iPods v. 4500. Have they fixed the Podcast app yet?


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