And thus the second year of Irrelevant Opinions is over. Perhaps every November 25th should be celebrated as "Irrelevance Day", celebrated exactly two weeks after "Remembrance Day" to forget about those brave souls who fought for our country and reflect on things less meaningful.
It's been a strange year. While it has been very eventful from a personal standpoint, what was most notable for me about this year was how little had changed. While the first year of Irrelevant Opinions saw me move past the decades of academia, journey for several months to Saudi Arabia and India, and take my first steps in the professional world, this year by comparison has been quite stagnant. I expected to see a great deal of change, but not the sort of change that eventually transpired. Instead, the year was largely characterized as one of miscues, close calls, and near misses.
It was my first full year of working. While the academic life was always full of surprises and every semester was a new challenge, the professional life changes little from day to day. Granted, the very nature of my occupation precludes routine. And all that being said, I can't help but feel thankful for the life I have. While this year truly lacked much of the pace and progress of previous years, I still managed to move about and see the world. I spent time hiking alongside waterfalls and babbling brooks in the French Alps, cycled along the Fox River in Illinois, and scaled the snow-covered mountains in Whistler.
In terms of Irrelevant Opinions, it was a year in which readership grew considerably before losing most of it during my many extended breaks in the year. During my five-week hiatus in France, a few of the main referrers to this site pulled their links, while many more were removed during the technical failures that plagued these pages in the latter half of the year. Still, the readership that remains is dedicated and friendly, and it's great having you all around.
Like last year, I will opt against writing something meaningful in favour of recycling old material.
January 3rd, 2006: Bugs in my Cereal. Almost a year later, and I still don't know what I meant by that title. Strangely though, "cereal bugs" (or similar variations) is one of the most popular search terms that leads people to this site. For some reason, people seem to search for "irrelevant bugs in cereal" much more often than you would think.
January 13th, 2006: Havelli. This post still makes me laugh, knowing the story behind it.
February 11th, 2006: Legacy. It doesn't always have to be irrelevant.
March 5th, 2006: Hope Restored. I never quite finished writing this, hurrying to a conclusion without actually describing anything from the conference itself. I should get back to this someday; there were a few great speakers whose lectures I should have written about.
April 3rd, 2006: Was Better Alone. Writing can be very therapeutic, sometimes.
April 9th, 2006: Cryptic Voicemail. This also still makes me laugh; it turned out to be the product of the former and current MSA Presidents at my alma mater.
July 24th, 2006: The Struggle. Still one of my best stories.
August 15th, 2006: Muhammad, the Last Prophet (Animated Film). I wish my nephews would watch this more, and Transformers less.
August 25th, 2006: A Discussion over Chick Peas. This wasn't a very good piece to begin with, but there were lots of interesting comments here.
September 7th, 2006: Sidewalk Afterthoughts. I received a number of e-mails and personal messages expressing appreciation for this post, so it must have had some value.
November 16th, 2006: Litterbugs in my cereal. Not sure why I kept that "bugs in my cereal" theme going.
Thanks to all the readers; Google Analytics tell me you come from all over the world, speaking a number of languages and running a plethora of browser versions. Though many of you choose to remain silent, your support is much appreciated. Keep up the good work.