Something To Do with January
Happy New Year. As we recover from our holiday parties and work through the darkness of the post-holiday blues (Nicole tells me I need a sunlamp: “Just 10 minutes a day!”), the March 2011 issue is moving, invisibly, to our friends at the pre-press and we prepare for the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in glitzy Las Vegas. We leave tomorrow and return to the office on Tuesday, the 11th, but, while we’re away, you can keep up with us at our CES Blog (empty now, but not for long). Please visit often as we attempt to cover every inch of hi-fi at the enormous show.
Immediately upon returning to New York City, we will begin work on the April 2011 issue, which includes our “Recommended Components” list. It was around this time just last year that I traveled to lush and wild California to visit our webmonkey, Jon Iverson, and work on the 2010 version of our great list. But it seems so long ago; Big Sur seems a lifetime away. Much has changed since then: Our offices are on a different floor, we have new neighbors, Ariel Bitran has joined the magazine as a full-time editorial assistant, I am now writing a monthly column for the magazine.
Jon and I stepped out of the Phoenix gift shop at Nepenthe just as the rain died down. Above us, a watercolor sky. The air tasted like salt and smelled of soft, wet wood. As we walked along the gravelly road, Jon pointed out to the ocean and noted the curve of the earth and told me a story about Henry Miller. I regretted not buying a plastic figurine for a girl named Melissa. I almost asked Jon if we could go back.
I think Jon wanted to go for another hike, but the sky was again threatening to fall and we decided it would be best if we got back to Lucia Lodge. Jon dropped me off and said goodbye and made it home just before they closed Highway 1 due to the sudden, violent mudslides. I would be the only guest at the Lodge that night. And I felt like the king of my own private paradise, and I felt so alone.
I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with January. January is daunting and desperate, messy and cold. I look out at the curve of the year ahead and I doubt whether I can achieve everything I want to achieve, everything I merely should achieve. And I feel so alone, even when surrounded by friends. I fall in love in January and I feel miserable in January. Maybe the universe gives me “Recommended Components” in January because it knows I need to focus on something other than myself. Maybe I do need a sunlamp. Maybe I’ll find one at CES.