The Year of Aging Ungracefully
Oh, 2004, I hardly knew you. Twelve months isn't a lot of time to get to know someone (some year) but let's just say I'm glad - for the most part - that we got to spend some time together. Sure, our relationship was somewhat rocky and there were times (as in all my past relationships) I wished you would just die already, but we saw it through to the bitter end. As our time together winds down, it would only be right to take a scrapbook trip down memory lane. Actually, no. I don't have the self-indulgent will power necessary at the moment to go through a year's worth of posts and rehash the whole damn thing here. That might change, of course, as self indulgence is one of those things that comes in waves. The tide is out right now. I will say this: The best and worst thing to happen to me this year was becoming a homeowner. It's a joy, it's a tax write off, it's an investment, it's the most wonderful feeling. And it's a lot of work. Home ownership will suck your bank account dry like nothing else. You start off with all these grand plans and realize soon enough that you will need ten years and fifteen side jobs (this one sounds interesting) to finish off those plans. So you end up living in a place of halves - half finished bathroom, half finished office, half the moldings need replacing, half the hallway floor is warped, the previous owner had only half a brain, hey, can we pay half the mortgage this month? But it's my home, mine all mine. It may be a crap box, but it's a decent crap box and I'm (mostly) proud to call it my own. So that was the standout moment from 2004, which wasn't really a moment, but more like an eternity from the first day we looked at the house, right through the buying stage, the packing, the moving and the moving in, which, six months later, we still feel like we're doing. The move has consumed my year. I suppose this is a good thing, as previous years have been consumed by things like poverty, divorce, , really bad football teams and who can forget 1997, which was consumed with buying vintage Star Wars figures? How times change. This year I was consumed with not buying anything George Lucas related. I think this was the first year I really started feeling my age. It wasn't turning the ripe old age of 42 that did it for me - no, it was when the Beastie Boys released their lastest album. To quote myself (here comes the self indulgence!): Listening to middle aged white men rap is sort of like watching a 70 year old clown tell fart jokes to a room full of kindergarteners. Something about the gray hair and Geritol coated voice shouting All you klingons in da fuckin' house really set me off. Once Ad Rock and the crew are old, you're old, man. Talking to myself here, not you. 2004 was a mean mistress in that respect. It forced me to relive my youth again and again, shoving the idols of my teenage and young adult years down my throat, forcing me to puke up memories that were best left dormant. Duran Duran. Dio. Europe. Heart. Motorhead. They all released albums this year. Can't these people just let it go, already? Why must they hang on to the frayed ends of their careers like that? Live off the past accolades, guys! That's what you're supposed to do. I'm talking to you, Motley Crue! At least when Danzig hangs around, he knows how to make it interesting. I'm gonna be eatin' my cereal out of the bottom of your fucking skull. Verstšndlich? You know what else aged me? Natalie started high school this year. That's like taking a poison tipped arrow and sticking it in the heart of my inner child. It wiped the youthful glow right off of my face and, I swear, two days into Nat's high school career, I had wrinkles, a full head of gray hair and I was saying things like "when I was your age...." I'm not supposed to have a child in high school. I listen to heavy metal! I watch cartoons! I'm only 18, I swear... damn, you, chronological aging. Oh, the hell with this recap. It's too painful. I started off the year full of vim and vigor and I'm ending it hoping that my company leaves at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve so I can get to bed at a reasonable hour. What the hell happened to me? Damn you, 2004! I shake my fists in fury at your cruel, cruel, aging mechanism. Anyhow, you just knew where this was headed. Below, a list of my favorite posts from 2004 which, while a somewhat rocky year, was a pretty decent year for me, writing-wise. Salad blogging obsessive compulsive zombie disorder Ben Franklin and the Magic 8 Ball All I Want For Christmas - A John Kerry Adventure George Lucas Almost Ate My Soul (in which I fend off the power of the dark side with the help of Green Day) Channeling Grandpa Simpson Culture Wars: Disco Sucks! Babies, Songs and Stepford Mommiesl Stay gold Dissecting Popeye on the Occasion of his 75th Birthday Happy Birthday Donald Duck, You Dirty Old Man There's probably more that I liked enough to put on this list, but I'm too damn lazy (or old and tired) to go through the year in posts. If you've got a suggestion to add to the list (surely you have memorized each and every thing I wrote, no?) feel free to add it. And that was the year that was. Unless something of great magnitude (my breast suddenly lift up again, the wrinkles disappear, George Steinbrenner retires, Motley Crue cancels their reunion) happens in the next day or so to make me feel like this wasn't The Year I Got Old.