"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


year in review

Goodness, how time flies. I believe I mentioned that I've been more-or-less living at the airport of late, a fact which has become all the more real today. It's somewhere around 70 degrees in Austin today, but apparently there's snow in Chicago, so no planes in Texas, and flight delayed for four hours, blah, blah, blah, blah. All I know is that when I showed up for my 2:20 flight at 1:14pm, they took my bags and put me in another line, where I was finally informed that it will be 10pm before I get anywhere near Nashville. I'm at Gate 11, in the comfy chairs with electrical outlets. Stop by and say hi. I'll be here all afternoon.

(This all happened after watching a gate agent scream at a mother traveling alone with her three preschoolers, one of whom absolutely deserved the non-abusive spanking she gave him. Apparently Southwest now hires the Parenting Police to run its customer service operation. I think everyone in the line will be writing a letter about that one. That poor woman deserves a voucher.)

Then my colleague R called to ask if he'd just seen me leaving the airport Maudie's. (Ahem, yes, of course I stopped at Maudie's. Five hours goes by a lot faster with some Maudie's enchilada goodness.), so we had lunch together before he left for Palo Alto on time with American. Apparently only Southwest is having trouble moving people about the parts of the country where it isn't snowing today.

Anyway, given that I've got nothing but time and three apples from the pantry, I figured now is as good a time as any to do a year in review post. Let's go month-by-month, 'kay?

January kicked off with a bang at the Wedding of the Century four-day extravaganza.
Then of course, there was the Mom of Twins' birthday sushi cake:Even the sushi cake, however, was topped by the wonder that is Miracle Wrap we found at the New Baptist Covenant:In February, I didn't eat the cookies at my last-ever GA Valentine's Day Cookie Sale,
then went to Lubbock for a much-needed dose of West Texas, which would've been awesome except for the black ice south of Sweetwater.
March began with an actual presidential campaign in Austin, and with a caucus during which we learned exactly which one of our neighbors is most likely to barricade himself inside his home with a weapons stockpile.
In mid-March, I met my longtime goal of reaching 30 countries before my 30th birthday with a visit to Steve the Lawyer in the world's newest country, the Republic of Kosovo. We also took a spin around Macedonia, and I had coffee in Albania and spent a couple of days riding buses across Montenegro. Seeing a Yugo in its natural habitat was completely worth the 22-hour blizzard-induced flight delay and reroute through Istanbul via Des Moines.
April meant a trip to Chicago to convene with 7,000 of my closest friends in political science. It also meant dinner with Melissa the Missonary, at which we had one of the single most disgusting things I've ever tasted: fried Twinkies. Ew.
May was rough, what with turning 30 and all, but it was made easier by the fact that a whole mess of other friends also turned 30, a fact which was "celebrated" by some of our other dear friends in June.
And by a quick trip to DC to catch up with friends, some of whom are newly committed to the spirit of Baylor:
June was long, hot, and slow. I taught summer school at an ungodly hour of the morning, then worked on my dissertation the rest of the day, all day, every day, including weekends. Luckily, camping with friends at Pedernales Falls was a great way to cool off.
In July, I got out of the heat and went to Peru, where I finally got to see Machu Picchu and learned what food poisoning feels like.
Nothing cures altitude sickness like paragliding over the Pacific coast:
August was even worse than June. My colleagues and I escaped to Boston at the end of the month to confer with our political scientist friends once again.

September was for football and music festivals, as per usual.
October meant a wedding in Vermont at which the bride walked down the aisle to "Sweet Child O Mine"
and Halloween, for which the polygamist Mormons definitely won the best costume prize in my book:
By November, I'd taken up residence at the airport, first to go to Chicago again, where they were apparently having trouble keeping their streets flat in their post-election ecstacy.
December involved flying all over creation for job interviews, then a musical extravaganza in the church Christmas pageant for which the Librarian and I dressed like a sixties girl group (and during which a very alert seven-year-old asked her mother if we were all drunk or what)
and the Librarian's magnificent birthday party, to which Steve Not the Lawyer brough a pinata and two Mexicans.
Oh, and I got a job. More on that later.

All in all, it was quite a year, and it's not over yet. In an unprecedented departure from tradition, la famille Texas in Africa is skipping out on Christmas altogether and heading to the beach. In the southern hemisphere. (I know. Up is down, green is red, and North Carolina voted Democratic. Strange things are afoot.) Bonus: for the first time in who knows how long, I'm using my passport to go somewhere that is 1) not a third-world hellhole and 2) not a site of ethnic cleansing in the last 15 years. I don't know that I know how to brush my teeth with tap water in a foreign country anymore.

I hope your 2008 was as much fun as mine was, that you met some life goals that were perhaps more significant than visiting Albania, and that you 2009 is even better.


Blogger Ann said...

No You Didn't.

Saturday, December 20, 2008 12:32:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Consider it a Christmas gift, full of hope, peace, and love! :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008 12:45:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered miracle wrap for all the people on my list!!


Saturday, December 20, 2008 3:20:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Darn it. I got you the same thing!

Saturday, December 20, 2008 5:32:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that you've visited 30 countries before your 30th birthday, that's amazing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008 9:30:00 PM

Blogger Ann said...

hope peace and love?! how about torture, embarrassment and mortification? i can't believe you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008 12:22:00 AM

Blogger The Linz said...

You had an amazing year, and I am j-e-a-l-o-u-s. But also, I'm slightly mad at you for not saying where your job is. But it's the Christmas season so I'll let it slide. Maybe. For now.

Have fun beaching =).

Monday, December 22, 2008 6:29:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't wait to hear about the trip and the job. :) yay for both!

Friday, December 26, 2008 10:39:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

So I can't tell you about the job until the contract is signed. And I can't sign the contract because I'm two hemispheres away. But I promise I'll letcha know when it's okay to letcha know.

Sunday, December 28, 2008 2:25:00 AM


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