You might be wondering why there’s a photograph of a rain-drenched car at the top of this post. I’ll get to that. But first…
1. A quick look at 2011 on this site
Which, really, is a look at only November and December since I didn’t do any writing in the prior ten months.
Total productivity: 5,870 words and 2 videos in 12 posts (average post length, 489 words)
Your favorite posts, based on total views in 2011:
- My mother’s plan for me to marry a brown girl is doomed.
- Is it Un-American to Ride Public Buses?
- Things I learned in Sweden
(In case you’re wondering, my favorite post to make was this one because I learned something really useful along the way. And of everything on this site, this post received the most views in 2011 – and remains the all-time most-viewed post.)
All that being said, I’m glad you’re reading this site! The site stats tell me that, while I might indulge myself writing about serious things like the bus system’s finances, the fun stories are what resonate with you – so I’ll keep writing them! I enjoy the off-site dialogues that spring from these posts, and I feel great satisfaction when you say that you found a post like this one useful.
2. My Goal for 2012
I have one goal in 2012 as a writer: to write 2 pieces that are featured on sites where I don’t have editorial control.
I’m not 100% certain what I’ll write or where I’ll contribute. I read a few personal finance sites – like Get Rich Slowly, in the sidebar – so, maybe a piece on how to find value in the used car market? (AKA why Saad drives the Crown Vic in that photo.) Or maybe essays about the stuff that everyone relates to, like relationships and dating and social stuff. (Sorta like I did with that piece on marrying a brown girl.) Or maybe fiction like short stories posted in installments. (No ideas yet, just throwing it out there.)
I am open to your suggestions, as well… What do you want to read? Let me know in a comment!
And of course, I’ll keep writing on this site like I always do – experimenting, trying to make things fun, make things sexy.
(In a way, I already write for another site, with my occasional, brief contribution to Em & Lo like this one. But I’m greedy and I want to inform, entertain, and help more people! By the way, bookmark Em & Lo and visit them because you will enjoy their columns!)
Happy new year!
Where I lived in Sweden, we didn’t own a toaster. I love toast with my eggs in the morning, so I figured out another way to make toast that was fast and easy.
With the holiday this week, I’d love for people to make this for their folks and tell me whether they like it – or don’t like it, however unlikely the possibility.
Why did I make this video? I’m probably not the first person to think of buttering the bread before toasting it… My point is to demonstrate that preparing tasty food from basic ingredients can be painless!
(Many thanks to D. McGovern for help with the “script” and filming it.)
4) Drinking more coffee than ever before: To say coffee is big in Sweden is an understatement. I’d say it’s one of the irreplaceable threads in the social fabric there. Two folks can discuss anything, so long as coffee’s been offered and accepted If you have a day full of meetings, my thought is to select the espresso shot from the machine. The smaller volume of liquid will save you from repeated bathroom trips.
5) Meaningful relaxation: Interestingly, when you go to a coffee shop over there, you don’t see people studying. No laptops. (Working all afternoon in a cafe while hunched over that single coffee you grudgingly paid for – a most American phenomenon!) I was never a study-in-cafe type in the U.S. but being over there certainly nurtured my love for going into places that serve cake and pie along with their coffee… in the company of friends… to have actual conversations.
6) Identifying ways to create value: I was extremely fortunate to complement my research work with a program on how to commercialize new technologies originating in research. During the program, I got to actually develop some new partnerships along the way of testing one of my ideas on graphene dispersions. (I won’t go into the details here; I did give a presentation about it in Stockholm last month – watch it if you’re interested.) The great thing about doing this program was (a) the new thought processes I absorbed and can implement for future ideas, and (b) discovering that I find this new area of work – related to technology transfer, not the same as basic research – super interesting, challenging, and worth pursuing further. And of course, (c) getting introduced to a fantastic mentor who wasn’t hesitant to share wisdom from his broad life and business experiences. Thanks, Sten.
I’m going to end here. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. For example, I learned plenty of other good and useful things from my colleagues at Uppsala University. But those are for only me to savor, right now.
The first part of my list is here.
[Picture: This cat lived at our house. She came to me for all her head-scratching needs. Yes, even in the bathroom sink.]