Starting a blog is a bit like keeping a diary, which I did for so many years–throughout my teens and twenties. While the diarist tends to keep one’s thoughts private, guarding them from curious eyes, the blogger hopes to speak to others, but is never entirely sure whom he or she is reaching. Today, I’m much (much!) older, and no longer keep a diary; the existential scribblings of my youth have been disciplined, and most of the writing I do is for others– academic articles, books, and the occasional newspaper op-ed. And yet I’ve never been all that enamored of scholarly prose, which I tend to find ponderous and often flat. Why should we limit ourselves to those who speak our specialized languages? While there’s certainly a time and place for doing so, straying outside those worlds opens up new, exciting possibilities. For now, then, I write for myself, hoping that others may occasionally join me.