Happy Year of the Metal Ox!

Friday, February 12, 2021 is the first day of the Year of the Metal Ox. This past year, in all of its chaos, was the year of the Metal Rat. We can only hope that the Ox is more laid back than the Rat.

As an exercise of interest and curiosity, here is a not-at-all comprehensive list of what was going on in my life in the previous four (-ish) Ox years.

2009 (Earth Ox) – Age 39/40. Working at Peopledesign. Started the year by wrecking my car, a 2004 Subaru Outback. Bought a 2006 Subaru Forester to replace it, which I still drive. Dad died of lung (etc.) cancer. Spent some time in Covington, Louisiana with my brother and members of my step-family. I lost a lot of weight. Took a trip to the U.P. and camped at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This was the last year I used Flash/Actionscript as part of my job.

1997 (Fire Ox) – Age 27/28 – Worked at Schuler Books and Music as special orders manager. Started helping the instructors in the kung fu and tai chi classes. Moved twice; once into one of six tiny apartments in a gigantic house, then into a room in an equally gigantic but undivided house. Involved with the renaissance festival scene. A little romance, but nothing which lasted. Wrote a lot. Experienced angst.

1985 (Wood Ox) – Age 15/16 – Lived at home in Springport. Was a sophomore/junior at Springport High School. Learned to drive. Was on the cross country, wrestling and track teams. Played trombone. I think this was the year I broke a rib in a wrestling meet. No romances, but lots of heartache. Spent a lot of time programming on my Commodore 64. Made money milking cows and stacking hay bales. Might have visited Dad in Louisiana.

1973 (Water Ox) – Age 3/4 – Lived in Jackson, Michigan. No job. Had to put away my toys now and again. Learned to read. Not yet allowed to drive, despite being obviously better suited to it than anyone else on the road.

1961 (Metal Ox) – In my previous incarnation I was a crow which lived primarily in the Appalachian mountains. I amused myself by imitating the sound of people arguing over personal hygiene habits, and dropping pine cones on small dogs.