It's time for one of those obligatory looks back over the past year, complete with profound reflections on whatever major events happened and deep prognostications about their lasting impact. You know, like developments in the Iraq War, indictments of administration officials, deaths of beloved celebrities, natural disasters, scientific breakthroughs, and so on.
But this being my blog, I'm gonna ignore all that and focus on what's really important: the stuff that affected me in some personal way. After all, you can read about that other crap on CNN.com or whatever, at least if you feel like being alternately bored and depressed.
- Moved into a new, larger apartment that includes a cool downstairs neighbor and a yard and a nice deck for outdoor recreational activities (i.e., drinking and grilling).
- Acquired two stray cats who have turned out to be really funny and sweet little buddies. And amazingly, I don't seem to be particularly allergic to them. They also help me feel less insane when I talk to myself, since I can pretend I'm addressing them. (Isn't that right, Sammy-wammy? What do you think, Maxy-waxy?)
- Expanded my circle of local friends from "me" to "more than me."
- Had my heart broken (again) in spectacular fashion, thanks to the unexpected return of the White Whale and her stupid, cruel, and insane way of doing things. As a result, continue to feel mostly pain, anger, sorrow, and confusion inside every day, no matter how I otherwise seem.
- Witnessed the destruction of my favorite city and spiritual home, the irreplaceable town of New Orleans. Worry whether it will recapture its uniqueness or if it will just become another Boringville, USA, thanks to all the government money and opportunistic morons who likely will be involved in the rebuilding effort. (Ann Arbor, of course, is already well down the path of becoming another Boringville itself.)
- The United States proceeds on the fast track to becoming a scary police state. I don't really need to elaborate, do I? You've been reading the headlines, too. I don't comment on this stuff often, but that doesn't mean I'm not paying attention.
Some good things happened this year and look-on-the-bright-side and at-least-I-don't-have-cancer, etc., but overall 2005 was pretty lousy for me. True, it was a lot lousier for anyone who actually lived in New Orleans (and I've met a few of those unfortunates). Certainly, from a personal standpoint, it could have been much worse. But I finish out the year with a really bad taste in my mouth, and it's not just from cheap beer.
I think the reason is mostly due to the devastation wrought on two of my most cherished and deeply held ideas. In the back of my mind, I vaguely believed when the White Whale came back into my life (and I subconsciously knew she somehow would, eventually), it would be different the second time around. We'd have a chance at something together, even if it was only the occasional mutual vacation. But I seriously underestimated her ability to continue fucking up her life and, by extension, mine. Also, in the back of my mind, I believed New Orleans would always be there, ready for a visit, waiting for whenever the time was right for me to develop a closer association with it, perhaps as a resident. Maybe the city will rebound. Maybe I will, too. Only time will tell.
Anyway, fate or karma or God or Satan had different plans for me, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do now. Never underestimate how reaching your mid-30s and still not knowing what you want to be when you grow up can bum you out.
But I probably have a special talent for finding a way to be unhappy no matter how many good things I have in my life. It's a bad tendency, but I suppose it's just the way I am. I know, things aren't so awful in the grand scheme of things. And maybe in 2006, they'll be even better.
So happy New Year. Next up will be the obligatory effort at coming up with some resolutions and goals to fail to live up to in the year ahead. I apologize in advance for the excessive introspection and promise I'll have more stupid links and stuff again soon.