Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! The above image was a behind-the-scenes photograph of New Year's Eve in Times Square in 1907. I love old photographs just as much as old printing presses, so I figured it a fitting image for this blog post.
Anyway, what to say about 2009. It's really a difficult thing to try and sum up in a short blog post, especially when it's been a year filled with both awesome and tough things all at once - but I suppose all years are like that really.
Probably one of the most major events of 2009 was the inauguration of the United States' first ever African-American President, Barack Obama. As my friend, Joe, wrote in his blog post today,
"Yes, there's lots of problems with the health care legislation, and no, Obama didn't magically fix everything with his ultra-charismatic Jesus-like wizardry, but it's still fantastic that the U.S. elected a black dude. And, despite Proposition Eight passing in California [in 2008], gay people are getting married in the U.S., and we will have it sooner or later. There's gay marriage in Iowa! That's pretty amazing..." - Source
Along with this we've made amazing advances in technology over the last decade. Think about it: when my mother was in college a computer was an enormous and highly-specialized machine that ran off of paper punch cards. Today the computer is something most of us have at least one of at home, possible along with our other handheld devices which we use to do business, connect with the world, educate ourselves, record our thoughts, and create and share a plethora of amazing things from videos, to websites, to printable art, all at the touch of a few buttons. It was kind of fascinating when I was traveling through airports earlier this week, on my way back from my holiday break, that nearly everyone at the airport had either a laptop, iPod, iPhone or other device. We are all connected, and computers aren't the only thing; other technologies have advanced substantially over the last decade as well. Lasers for instance - once a subject of science fiction films, we can now do everything with laser technology from performing heart and eye surgery, to scanning barcodes, to cutting out intricate designs, patterns and shapes in wood, plastic, metal and paper. It's really all pretty cool. Go us.
Along with the good of the year and decade though there always has to be some not-so-good. The main complaint I hear most people talking about these days has to do with the recession, and I agree, it's not something to be taken lightly. We may be in the worst recession we've seen since the 1930s, but as awful as it is for a lot of Americans, at least we don't have people standing in bread lines or trying to sell pencils in the street. We've been through a long, crushing recession, and in spite of it all, we've managed to avoid total destitution, which, in and of itself, is really pretty great. Despite financial hardship, many of Americans are still doing amazing things, starting businesses, and volunteering for the causes that matter to them most.
For Twin Ravens Press, 2009 has been a great year. I feel so very fortunate that I'm able to get up in the morning and do something I love for work everyday. When we're living in an era where the majority of employed people don't actually like their job and where there's another hefty percentage of people who aren't employed at all, I feel amazingly fortunate to do what I do. I was able to help over 75 couples announce, invite and celebrate their weddings with lovely letterpress printed stationery this year, along with also creating paper goods to celebrate births, businesses, holidays and other celebrations. That's pretty cool. I'm already working with several new couples who are getting married in 2010, and I can't wait to tell you all about them and everything else I have in store for you this coming year. 2010 is going to be fantastic!
As Carl Sagan put it, "We live in an extraordinary age." He wrote this back in the eighties and it's just as relevant now, if not even more so, than it was then, and it's getting even better all the time. So to everyone out there, have a very Happy New Years Eve, and here's to 2010!