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And another new year

I keep a date book. It is a tiny and portable book, slim, hardcover, Moleskin. I keep a date book because I like the order it provides. There is something soothing about flipping through a month, a year of entries and seeing my future plotted out. My memory does not require its use, but my predilection toward routine favours having one. I have in it birthdays, event days, appointment days, important calendar days for the university I teach, when to have my car sent in for routine service, etc.; really, anything I can plan now, I put inside the book. Everything else added as necessary and a year wans on.

It is familiar. I always mark the end of a year by filling in a new date book. I can be so very tediously plebeian. Dreadfully common, yes. But don’t we all have our quirks.

It got me thinking, however. Most people mark the end of one year and the start of another with a bit of reflection. They use this pondering of the recent past to make promises toward the future– the New Years resolution.

I do not make resolutions. I don’t find them to be pointless, but I haven’t a want to make midnight promises to myself. But I know them to be quite important to people.

So tell me. What is your fondest memory of this year? What is your resolution? What do you look forward to in this dawning 2013?

53 thoughts on “And another new year

  1. Ha, I keep a date book as well but I’d be utterly lost without it. It’s probably the most intimate and personal thing I posses. But I always have notebooks which end in July or August, not in December. For me a new year is a new year of school or now, a new year of university.
    Nevertheless I’ll take the train to see Laertis this afternoon and welcome 2013 with her as is our custom. My best memory of 2012 … mh, the week in Barcelona I think. But it was a good year in general, with lots of bright days.
    I never make special resolutions for the new year but I have aims set for the future of course. 2013 will be an important year for me. I’ll write my Bachelor thesis, leave another temporary home and lots of good friends behind once more to start my master courses in another city. I’m also looking forward to my next Taekwondo promotion test, a concert of one of my favourite bands and summer.
    I hope for experiences and challenges which make me more self confident and show me ways of dealing with my eternal inner dichotomy: being weird and loving it vs. my longing to be respected and accepted.

    1. You have some great things in store for the new year. What are you writing your Bachelor thesis on? Are you looking forward to your Master’s courses? And even more, I imagine, to your Master’s thesis. Only one step away from a PhD. And, as I understand it, a Master’s thesis is a good start to a PhD dissertation. I did my PhD dissertation on the sacred landscape in Late Antiquity.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being weird, so I am glad to hear that you love it. I am always trying to tell people that you don’t have to pick to be one or the other of anything, you can be both. You can certainly be strange and be respected and accepted. In my field I am fortunate, because I have yet to meet a Roman historian who didn’t have a wonderful sense of humour, or a medievalist who wasn’t insane. We sit around and imagine what would happen if Daleks invaded Ancient Rome. You will find that most people who are very intelligent, like yourself, tend to be strange people and you will fit in without judgement.

      1. Good question. I won’t have much saying in what I’m going to write about. I hope I’ll be accepted by my study group of choice (research about phytopathogenic fungi). Then the professor will give me a little project, usually a part of the study groups recent research or somebody’s Master’s or PhD thesis. The problem is that 3 months are a very short time for scientific research.
        I’m looking forward very much to my Master’s. I hope I’ll get accepted for “infection biology” or “plant sciences”. In my field a Phd (or Dr rer. nat. as it’s called here) is more or less obligatory if one wants to get a good job. Personally I watch that development very critically. Fortunately I love to learn and even though it’s often very tough I love what I’m doing. I would have done my Master’s in any case and about the PhD I’ll worry later.

        What was it like to write your dissertation? Besides many hours in the library (that’s the same in any field I suppose), did you also do any field research? Did you come to a satisfying conclusion?

        1. If anyone could get through both a Master’s and Dr. rer. nat programme, it would be you. A lot of people are “smart,” but there is a category of people who are beyond that simple label, beyond “smart.” And you are one of those people. Not only do you have the brain for it, you have the creativity, and the love of what it is you are doing. Academics is tedious, stressful, and a tremendous amount of work. You need a lot of personal drive and will to make it through.

          I did a lot of field research, and I met a lot of great people in the course of my research ventures. For my dissertation, I needed a lot of archaeological evidence, so I was all over the place when I wasn’t spending my semesters teaching night university courses. At first, I looked at everything that I had and asked I myself, “is this possible?” I think it is natural, no matter how intelligent a person is, that they doubt if they can do what they set out to do. There is always that worry that you will have a wonderful idea, an amazing conclusion, research it, spend hours and money collecting evidence, only to find that you don’t have enough evidence to make a supportable conclusion. Then you have to abandon the idea and find a new one. Repeat. I was fortunate that my conclusion was quite sound from the start, so it was just an exercise of finding my evidence and creating a chronology of development throughout Late Antiquity.

  2. Michelle and I will spend New Year’s Eve together. She will arrive in 2 hours. 🙂

    It was a “normal” year. Nothing really special happens except that the vampire Marius came back. ^.^

    I want to go on vacation next year. But I’m still not sure where. Japan again or perhaps Africa. But I need someone with me. Because of health reasons.

    1. How wonderful that you and Michelle can spend New Years together. What will you two do besides, I imagine, drink (though to not excess, I hope)?

      A vacation sounds wonderful. I would throw in my opinion toward Japan, but that’s just because Japan is wonderful after dark.

      1. Drink? I don´t drink alcohol simply becuase I don´t like it. It tastes awful XD And Michelle dosen´t drink because I don´t drink. Besides she gets drunk very fast. So as you can see you have 2 innocent mortals on your side…pretty boring eh? XD

        We have already talked a lot and played a video game. Besides we admired a cute pic of you and another vampire … I have forgotten his name, somthing with “S” ^^

        I got a wonderful X-mas gift from Michelle!!!

        Right now we make chocolade fondue and enjoy “Dinner for one”.

        Later we will watch the firework from my balcony. ^^

        Yeah, would be cool but Japan is much more expensive. So I still dont know it.

        1. There are certainly better things to do than drink. And innocence is a virtue to applaud these days, as it seems to be so scarce.

          A name that starts with S, hm? I shutter to think, but I can only guess what name that is. Horrific, the mere thought.

  3. I adore date books too, though I use them not so frequently ’cause I also got an electronic tablet, so I often write my dates on the daily agenda. I prefer “Lett’s of London” date books with their colourful covers and timetables for school ^__^

    I loved watching people waiting the non-arrival end of the world this year, i laughed a lot 😀 Did you ever care about it? Now they say it would arrive in march. What a mess!

    For me, my resolution for 2013 is just to carry on and stay alive. I don’t believe in midnight promises. I wish to erase this 2012 from my memory very fast.

    1. I cared about the so-foretold “end of the world” only in as much that people would not stop going on about it. Try as I might, I could not get a great many frightened people to see the reason in my statement, “I am sure they just ran out of room– we always must stop somewhere.” So if they insist on being scared and silly, I am not going to try to stop them.

      Though I have to say the people of the world are more civilized than I give them credit for. I had expected at least someone somewhere to do something utterly insane with the imagining that the world was about to end anyway.

      Staying alive is a good goal to keep. Though I am sorry to hear that 2012 was not a good year for you. I sincerely hope 2012 becomes just a fading memory.

      1. Oh but most people did something insane at least. The cities marked as ‘untouchable’ have been literally took by siege, people around the world spent a lot of money to stay there on their ‘last night’ in this world. What a stupid wish, dying poor and ignorant.
        I guess no one thoughts to kill himself just because this wretched end of the world moved within three months.

        1. A bit of chaos is inevitable. Earth shattering things happen to people, but the “civilized” world continues on unmarred.

  4. Good Evening to you dear Marius. Wow, it is a true pleasure to find your writings here. First, I would like to thank you for having us all here with you, and allowing our questions. I look forward to reading your entries more and more as time allows.

    Well, I look forward to new beginnings in 2013. It is always the best time to start over, a bright chance to start out on a clean slate and touch the lives of others. Even if it is only a few, there will always be those who need warmth and love. Everyone has needs to feel wanted and loved, and there is nothing like giving it to them. To me, there is no joy like the joy of sharing one’s love, and the prosperity of conversation with others. Everyone has something new to say, they have their own unique ways of expression as well. I look forward to all of these, and the laughter that will be shared in the next year to come.

    Oh, and a very Happy New Year to you darling, may it keep you well and joyous throughout the year.

    1. Lucia, it is rather my pleasure to have you here. I could write endlessly into a dark night, but it is you who chooses to come here and read my words, and to reply to them. Though I operate, this venture depends entirely on you.

      Sharing love and warmth, what a wonderful plan for the future. Tell me, how will you go about touching the lives of others, and to bring them such soothing comfort?

      1. Thank you for the kindness Marius, I look forward to reading even more of your entries in the future and commenting on them.

        Well, I find that being open to others and listening to them when they speak is one of the greatest comforts I could give really. So many have so much to say, and even share. All the more, each idea or thought is precious in its own right. So many think differently, they see things differently and many just want to be heard and noticed.

        It’s the small things that one can do which seem to touch people in the sweetest ways.

        Overall, I plan on keeping my eyes and arms open to others when they need a friend. I think it will be the perfect place to start this year. 🙂

  5. Marius, i know your thoughts on books being replaced by electronic reading devices, i am afraid that the date book has gone the same way for me. Google calendar! everything goes on there.

    Not so much in the way of resolutions, perhaps just to not be so stressed out by work, maybe get myself in better shape than i am currently in (soccer has bit the dust recently because of work commitments) and to finish some writing projects instead of tweaking them endlessly.

    We have a few plans for the coming year… Italy is one, we have Venice, Palermo for the catacombs, Naples for pompeii and Catania for Etna on the list. There is our film festival in October to look forwards to, now the 5th year… a whole week of vampire and horror films in the land of Dracula, Whitby.

    I keep nudging the ladies ^^ to visit England one year, for gothic weekend… think they would love it! Do you have anything with a big red ring around it in your date book Marius?

    unrelated question, I know. have you seen “the man who sued god?” Film by Billy Connolly. if you haven’t, go find.


    1. Sadly, this is so, and since then I have acquired both a Nook and Kindle Fire. Sometimes I question my own dedications to my own values.

      I have seen people keep their calendar through a smartphone or tablet, and have it accessible online. I suppose I just like the act of carrying a date book for now. And yes, I do have my own smartphone and tablet, but I have ye to utilise its planning utilities. I am still terribly old fashioned that way. Perhaps one day I will update that particular habit, as well

      What writing projects are you currently working on?

      If I can say, when you visit Naples do try the seafood. I understand it to be some of the best. I was in Catania last summer, and it was quite lovely. You will have to take a lot of pictures and share with me everything you experience. And you must absolutely tell me about the Bram Stoker Film Festival after you attend because I love horror festivals.

      The girls would love it, I am certain of this.

      Don’t I wish I had anything of great important on my schedule enough to circle in red ink. Unfortunately, I do not. It is still early in the year, at least, with plenty of time for opportunity to arise. Summer brings with it so much possibility.

    2. You’ll love Italy, Paul. Have you been there before?
      I would really love to come to Whitby but it’s going to be the same problem as every year: Obligatory university courses and if not I’ll never know in time.

      1. University does comes first, as it should. Fun and exploration can be had when you have degrees tucked safely under your belt.

        1. exactly what that wise man said. Once university is done though, maybe?

          Nope, not been to italy before… really looking forwards to it!

        2. Perhaps give it some time. Wait until Italy is done imploding from its failed economy and leadership. Then come and spend money here, please.

        3. Ahem. I come first. That’s the most important lesson I learned at uni so far. I have to take care of my well-being otherwise I can forget the rest. ;p But I fear vampire festivals are a luxury and not a neccessity.

        4. Vampire festivals can wait until after you have finished your education. Yes, we must have priorities. Still, do not forget to take time out to have fun and relax a little. You will take years off your life otherwise.

      2. University does comes first, as it should. Fun and exploration can be had when you have degrees tucked safely under your belt

        Ahem. I come first. That’s the most important lesson I learned at uni so far. I have to take care of my well-being otherwise I can forget the rest. ;p But I fear vampire festivals are a luxury and not a neccessity.

        Tsk tsk tsk Michelle, do what your master told you!! (And yes I like that. Muwahahaha)

        1. I hope she does not chastise me for my well intended “advice,” which can seem like annoying preaching.

        2. I admit a little grin stole on my face when I read this advice but I took no offence. How could I? Besides, I’m quite a disciplined student usually. No wild parties, no getting drunk, no planning of revolutions, no cheating and vampires only after I have finished preparing for my current courses. 😉

        3. I cannot help it, I am an insufferable giver of advice. Especially to those who do not need my advice.

          Wild parties, drinking, revolutions, and vampires are overrated anyway. In any case, they can wait. That being said, I can’t see you as a wild party and drinking sort of person, anyway. Perhaps a revolution when you have the time, though?

    1. I will find Pandora, and together the two of us will sit somewhere close and quiet and read to each other from our favourite books.

      1. …there’s something wrong. If the world comes to an end, all that it contains will come to an end, books included.
        And where you will seat if the world doesn’t exist anymore??
        I think I will stay up all this night wondering about =__=

        1. I would hope, if the world were to be annihilated, I would be destroyed with it. It would be terribly lonely to be one of the few left behind, some sort of vicious rapture and purgatory. No, I would want to be taken with the rest. Imagine my boredom.

  6. >A name that starts with S, hm? I shutter to think, but I can only guess what name that is. Horrific, the mere thought. There are certainly better things to do than drink. And innocence is a virtue to applaud these days, as it seems to be so scarce. <

    Indeed, indeed, black humor or not, I´m still innocence. Very innocence. So very innocence that you could never be bad with me.

    1. A name that starts with S, hm? I shutter to think, but I can only guess what name that is. Horrific, the mere thought

      Well what can I say?

      The Roof…The Roof …The Roof is on fire…
      (And now I hope you dont know that song XD)

      1. Ummm…oh…well..pfff what could you do to me if yes? You can´t use a whip or a cane or somening like that, not even your fangs. Ha.

  7. I hope she does not chastise me for my well intended “advice,” which can seem like annoying preaching.

    I will not tell any girls secrets but you have no need for worries. And now let your fantasy move on… 😀 ( You would love our mortal- girls talks)

      1. There are plenty topic´s, very privat issues who only girls can understand, a lot of emotional and sentimental stuff 😉 ,discussion of different views of art, policy, history ect. Another topic you can guess. Men. Oh and of course, vamp men as well. It is really interesting what Pandora says about you, your what Celeste says about you. ^^ Michelle, Celeste and I had a nice talk about vampire men. Which also involve you. *grin
        Oh yes, now you can ponder.

        But of course, this is only a very superficial explanation. You must be a girl to join and to learn all the secrets.

        1. Well, if any woman should know me (or rather women), it would Pandora and Celeste. A strange thing to desire two women who seem to be stark opposites, but have so much essential in common. Both are strong, out spoken, and independent. Both are beautiful, and vicious, and servant to no man, but still the epitome of feminine beauty, one dark and melancholy, so delicate and strong at the same time, and the other dripping with burning and consuming seduction. I am certain you know which is which.

          I know many thought it strange when I developed my relationship with Celeste because they thought she would not be my type. I had to wonder if they really saw her, understood her, at all. Her loyalty was impressive, her devotion sincere. That is why I was more than content to share her with other men, and to be, as I realise I should have been, less in her heart than Santiago. I did not writhe jealousy over him any more than she did over my being with Pandora. We were content with our shared lust. Though I think it was more than lust, and I think if we had the time, it could have been so much more.

          I do not think I can become a girl, and I doubt I could even fake it. I have a deep voice. Maybe one day someone will tell me some of the delicious things women speak of about me in close female circles.

  8. I would wag my finger vigorously at you, of course.

    …ok thats not very scary. Beware or your Laertis will tease you until you get angry. Too bad I cant hit any doors. 😀

  9. “So tell me. … What is your resolution?… ”

    I make a resolution not fix to a temporal events. The word “resolution” is connected for me always to want accomplish a good action but never to do it. (If I see it by friends.) It is only a word. Hence, I hurry fast with it, just to do a desired thing to change.
    And these things mostly always refer to me and my internal world. So also I have a resolution make before some nights. In the antiquity one spoke of “Areté”
    I would describe it as “ability” or discipline. I was in the past as paralyzed. I think it is a question of the internal position (ethos) and a selfeducational process is. I work on myself.

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