Pleasures and Joys
One of the pleasures of being an academic (as distinct from an intellectual or smart person, etc.) is occasionally gathering with colleagues for an evening of conviviality and camaraderie.
December is a season of stress for many US academics. The weather east of the Rockies and north of 34º is intermittently terrible. As I mentioned to K. and a few others, ten years ago it was meaningful to say "this time of year the weather would normally be." A decade later, what the weather would normally be seems a memory from a bygone era. Fast like the Internet but faded as in dream.
Other stresses: research deadlines, job security, professional prestige, curriculum creation, holiday traveling, financial pressure (fueled by unnecessary gift exchange in a culture where consumption is practically an inherent evil for many, including me), etc. Combine with variable amounts of winter-enforced sedentariness and altered consciousness (sundry substances) and you can be in for an evening of fun!
I love my homies because, after all is said and done, they're my kind of crazy and my kind of sane.