Sunday, December 16, 2012

Appetite for...Learnin'

I don't wanna be that guy, but I love learning. In my mind's eye, I'm constantly walking around in tweed, sucking thoughtfully on a pipe while carefully considering matters of academia. In real life, though–it's more of a melange. A stack of New Yorker magazines a foot high lies under my lamp, overfilling my brain with media criticism, international intrigue, and thoughtful profiles.

I've been known to keep the same book checked out from the library for over a year–usually for mastering a series of recipes. As a kid, I memorized baseball statistics for random regurgitation–a trait that recurs each time I check Baseball Reference to see how many triples Robin Yount hit for as Brewer.

(126 triples despite non-aerodynamic hair.)

This year, I felt like I learned a great deal–though I always feel like my appetite for learning makes me more cognizant of the exponential growth of things I don't know. Here's a quick run-down on five of 2012's life lessons:
  • To bake seriously–get a bench knife immediately. And when the retail shop hasn't heard of a bench knife, call it by its other name, "pastry scraper." Not only is it minimally cool and stainless steel, but you'll feel like a bad-ass when you utilize it to shape a perfectly round boule.
(Clean off immediately after using unless you want yer dough to turn to concrete.)
  • When flying internationally, allow for more than 3 hours layover time. Airlines will sell any combination of tickets to anyone, and customs agents will look at you like the poor (and getting ready to be way-more-poor) sap that you are. Also, flying through Heathrow is a fool's errand.
  • Drumming is hard. Keeping 8 songs in your head at once is even harder. The only thing that makes it easier? Practicing all the time. Despite my ungainly, quasi-proficiency, I'm convinced that becoming a "good drummer" is about as likely as shape-shifting into a giraffe. But! That doesn't mean I can't develop my own flavor...
(This is what I drum like in my head.)
  • Buying a bed is totally worth it. After waking up & feeling like hot trash for a number of months (and having said I'd buy a bed for multiple years)–we finally bit the bullet late this Fall on a low-platform & firm foam memory mattress. Now, each morning I feel outstanding, and every night, I exclaim loud enough for my neighbors to hear, "This bed is @#$%^&! awesome."
(Elli & Silva post-American breakfast.)
  • Couchsurfing has been restorative to my sense of & belief in humanity. Though we tried & failed to utilize it overseas, we've hosted guests here in Indianapolis. Guests that have been intelligent, charming, and way closer to old friends than wandering strangers. Best of all, they're a great antidote to the constant stream of negative media, screaming neighbors (pre-move!), and the general feeling of dissatisfaction that can wedge into your life like an invisible splinter. I hope 2013 brings a flood of similar experiences.

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