If you don’t live next to a vacant house, or at least near one, chances are that you know someone who does.
It took me a while (Ok- about one meager paycheck) to rationalize my job. Nineteen months and two bump-ups later, I am still there and as committed as ever. Any sympathy from this left-leaning, environmentalist loving, why-can’t-we-all-get-along dude gets left at the door when I see the condition most of these “homes” are left in. Sadly, the pictures say it all.
And – seriously – why does the exercise equipment always get left behind? The paint, I understand. But isn’t everyone always running from something? And, if so, wouldn’t it stand to reason that being in good shape is a plus?
Now, with that little preamble out of the way, let’s launch into the recap…
Moments to Remember: The trifecta of mini-vacations (Inks Lake, Mustang Island, Colorado Bend SP). An award at work. Family time at cousin Brandon’s in Houston. Solving the problems of the world with Clif in the garage. Seeing the dog – Bodie – in the water for the first time and realizing that he was a natural. Adopting Guster (AKA Gus, Augustus, or Senor) to give Bodie someone to torment. Being Lebowski on Halloween – and the much needed haircut that ensued about a month later. Dawn’s new position at work. Bargain shopping on Craig’s List and at garage sales (the hutch, the artwork, the mini-fridge). Getting stuck in the ice while driving to Fort Worth on Christmas Eve.
Moments to Forget: Getting stuck in the aforementioned ice. February 15 and 16. Remember that I mentioned Mustang Island? Well, I forgot to mention just how invasive sand can be. (Insert ubiquitous “How do you make a hormone?” joke here.)
(Sidebar: Wow. That has to be the shortest list of forgettable moments since I started doing this little interweb thing.)
Music: Not one single live show, even though I won tickets to Morrissey thanks to KGSR. We also had a chance to see the great Robyn Hitchcock (featuring Peter Buck of R.E.M.), but it sure sucks being old and lazy. Instead, I’ll pass on a few of my favorite songs of the year with links: Bob Schneider’s 40 Dogs, Charlie Robison’s Yellow Blues (it was the best I could find online) because the first time I heard it I thought that Dramarama was making a comeback, Charlie Mars Listen to the Darkside, pretty much anything by M Ward (especially when it includes Zooey Deschanel), Andrew Bird’s Fitz and the Dizzyspells (bonus points for featuring whistling and a confusing title), Paolo Nutini’s Candy, Pearl Jam’s continued dominance/maturity on Just Breathe, and Say Please by the Monsters of Folk (because how can you go wrong with M Ward and Conor Oberst?).
You Will Be Missed: Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, Edward Kennedy, Les Paul, John Hughes, Walter Cronkite, Karl Malden (anyone who plays a character named “Skag” deserves mention), MJ (though I doubt we will ever stop hearing about it), Ed McMahon, David Carradine, Dom DeLuise, Jack Kemp, Bea Arthur, John Updike, and co-worker John Cornejo.
Especially Missed: This is a new category created specifically for the great Paul Harvey. May he now turn the page to the rest of the story…
Things to look forward to in 2010: New opportunities/challenges at work. The Girl moving in. Financial cushion? Rich Harden in the Ranger rotation. But really – how could anything top 2009? Dawn and I moved to Austin in October of 2007 to start over. I had just finished a contract job for the State and she had just been laid off. Then 2008 was a year of flux, getting our proverbial feet wet in an unknown environment. Now here we are, celebrating our third New Year in our new hometown, and it’s like… It’s like we have always carpooled together because we work in the same building, like we have always had a Parks Pass because of the proximity of picturesque state parks, like we always had great FM radio, like we still can’t find a kick-ass Chinese buffet.
But I’ll give up the Asian cuisine – no problem.
Because we are home.
Happy New Year. Be safe.