Welcome to 2003, the year of the cyber-athlete. Actually—I’m sorry—that was 1999. I apologize for the misrepresentation.

I write to you from slightly snowy Hartford, Wisconsin. My last two weeks have been only mildly illuminating. Since the 23rd of December, I’ve celebrated the holidays and visited nearly every place I’ve called home for any length of time. Tomorrow, I’ll spend time with more of my family—my brother and I are here at the same time, in our mom and stepdad’s house, for the first time since about Christmas 1999. Wednesday at 4:30, I’ll fly back to Oakland International.

Wisconsin and Minnesota are pretty much exactly what I expected. The Midwest, in a wide arc stretching from Minneapolis to Chicago, feels like home to me. No surprise, really.

2003 having recently begun, I have ahead of me the traditional task of setting the year’s goals. Last year I blew almost every one of them except for moving to California, and where has that gotten me? (“California,” you might answer, to which I would reply, “Ask a stupid question….”) The effort of preparing to move across the country took a lot of energy away from some of the other things I wanted to do in 2002. I think that I need to listen to myself more this year.

To be honest, one of my first thoughts every morning these days is “I can’t believe I quit my job.” Don’t bet that I’m going to be making that mistake again anytime soon. I know I shouldn’t be obsessing about the past, even (or especially) the recent past, but it crosses my mind rather frequently.

I also like what I did last year, picking out the top ten moments of the previous year. I’ll probably do that again.

In a shocking development, 2002 ended, as have most recent years, at the end of December. Wide-ranging speculation posited that 2002 would continue on in the new, media-friendly month of Smarch, which never materialized, to the disappointment of millions.