This is true (and it reveals more about me than most of my posts). In 1999, I began to fret about the aughts.
Not that Y2K thing, because worrying about complicated techy things is well beyond my scope of practice.
Instead, I was genuinely concerned about how we were going to say what year it would be.
2000. That one was easy. Two-Thousand. Done.
2001. Two-Thousand-One. Or, Two-Thousand-AND-One? Twenty-Oh-One?
For that first decade, we pretty much settled into the Two-Thousand model.
But, for the past few years, it’s back to the back-and-forth. Here it is the dawn of 2015, shouldn’t this be cleared up by now?
Is it nearly Twenty-Fifteen? Or, Two-Thousand-Fifteen?
Did they have this problem 100 years ago? Or, was Nineteen-Whatever always the unassailable, easy winner?
Will we ever decide?
So Happy Twenty-Fifteen.
If that’s what you call it.
Here’s some of what I learned in 2014.
(Twenty-Fourteen? Two-Thousand-Fourteen? Your choice.)
** Things Change.
I don’t like change … just to change. It should serve a purpose.
Strangely though, things often have a way of changing on their own without asking my approval.
Like this year.
Nick Markakis, the Ever-Oriole, goes to the Atlanta Braves.
I’m forced to find a new home for my Yoga studio.
I didn’t approve either change. But, I’m stuck with them.
But, my new Yoga studio is now twice as large so people won’t have to press themselves together like ship stowaways anymore, huddled and smacking into each other whenever they twist.
It’s going to be great.
Maybe change is good afterall.
But, if Orioles GM Dan Duquette has an amazing January Surprise in store that will fill the outfield corners and bullpen, I might forgive him.
** Some Things Aren’t What They Seem.
I really like this photo I took in Charlottesville during the NCAA Super Regionals last June. It was the deciding Game 3, University of Maryland vs. University of Virginia.
That’s UVa closer Nick Howard (currently on the fast track with the Cincinnati Reds) on the mound looking a little harried. And, in the dugout, is a Maryland Terp, not troubled at all.
Which is funny, because it was the ninth inning and the score was 11-2, UVa.
Nick had it in the bag. And, that Terp’s season was two outs away from over.
But, you don’t get that from the picture.
In any event, I mostly like it because both players appear to be tipping their caps. Even though, that’s also not what it seems.
Other things that aren’t quite what they seem that I’ve written about this year?
The boy in Little League that turned out to be a girl – Tubby Johnston, the first girl ever to play Little League.
And, Buttercup Dickerson, who’s credited with being the first Italian American to play major league baseball – except that I discovered he wasn’t Italian American at all.
** Be Prepared.
A photographer friend reminds me that a good photographer must anticipate where and when the spontaneous moment – and perfect picture – will occur.
I have yet to get my anticipation right at a game. Stolen base, breathtaking play in the outfield, close play at the plate? I’ve seen ‘em all and every single photo is just a little late. Never in the nick of time.
It was right after that Nick Howard photo. One out, ninth inning, UVa is up 11-2.
What happens when a bunch of college boys are about to advance to the College World Series?
So, with one out, I pointed my camera at the mound, fussed with the shutter, held it there, and waited.
True, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
Maryland singles. Man on first. Pop out. Two out. I kept checking the camera to make sure I still had it right. More waiting. And, then, strike three. Three out. Game Over.
Cue, dog pile.
** War & Peace Is A Very Long Book.
Unlike baseball games which are not nearly as long as you think they are, War & Peace is long. First there’s peace, then there’s war, then more peace, then back to war.
Look, I’m halfway through …
And, there is a central character named Nick. (Nikolai Rostov for you Tolstoy purists.)
He’s an ordinary sort of fellow. Some pages ago he lost a bunch of money gambling. It was quite stupid of him and his ordinariness annoys me. When he shows up for a chapter or two, I find myself wondering what the more interesting characters are doing.
To be fair, Nikolai would agree with me. At one point, he tells his sister how tiresome and boring his life is.
But, there’s still a long way to go.
And, if there’s one thing I learned this year, things change and you gotta roll with it. Maybe things will change for Nikolai.
That’s my 2014 wrap-up.
Done, just in the nick of time …
Now, I’m off to teach my first classes in my new Yoga studio.
(See, change is good.)
See you in Twenty-Fif … Two-Thousand-Fift …
See you next year.