Monday, January 01, 2007

Should auld aquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Goodbye, 2006.

New Year's Eve always, always reminds me of a Counting Crows song, "A Long December." This is probably due to it being about New Year's Eve.

Drove up to Hillside Manor some time after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her

And it's been a long December, and there's reason to believe
That maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on
To these moments as they pass

Follow the train of thought with me, friends: New Year's Eve reminds me of the song. The song reminds me of my mom telling me what the song always reminded her of, which was depressing as shit. Ergo, vis-a-vis, concordantly: I am depressed as shit.

But not this time. I'm tired, 'cause it's sometime after two a.m.; I feel shitty, because I'm dealing with the second cold I've had in two months (thank you for sharing your germs, Stephen, oh friend of mine); and I'm bored, waiting for a download to finish so I can move my computer out of our neighbor's wireless internet zone and go to bed. But I'm not sad. Or even depressed.

Wherefore? 'Cause I don't think I really have anything to be sad about. I think I might be remotely happy with life.

A few weeks ago, I finished paying off my computer. On Thursday, I repaid all the back rent I owed. I am about...hmm, three months away from paying off everyone and everything to whom I owe money. (And that includes you, FRINAN. And you, too, Steve, for that matter.) And when that happens, when I'm no longer chained to the anchor of debt, I can quit working at fucking Pizza Inn. That "temporary" job has sucked almost five years of my life away, and while I like the people I work for, I absolutely loathe that place and every second I spend there.

And the events of 2006 have aligned to lead me to a place where I might achieve that freedom. Even those that seems disastrous at the time -- like, say, my car getting repo'd -- have turned to be somewhat fortuitous. (Without my car, I was forced to get another one, which is partially responsible for the financial hole into which I've fallen; but the car I had was literally falling apart, and I assure you would not still be running today. Having a functioning automobile allowed to not only keep my first job but acquire a second, which is what will allow to quit Pizza Inn and be free again. So, yes, in the long run, it was good.)

When I look back on the year, I'm confronted with lots of conflicting memories. It started in Hell, Mark II, the den of shit where I lived with Tommy. I was miserable then. I mused that if we didn't end up paying the Pine Forest Rent Nazis what we (read: Tommy) owed them, we'd end up living in a dumpster. Then I looked around the apartment and realized that we already did.

And then Tommy got engaged, and Tommy moved out, and I struck out to the eastern side of town with FRINAN. He was living away from home for the first time, and I was getting really tired of moving. Luckily, I love this place -- we're downstairs, it's a good size, I like the landlord, and the number of drunken idiots is far lower than at Chez Chernobyl. (Though it's still not zero, as FRINAN can attest.) It's one of the few places I've lived in my life that I haven't completely disdained.

And living with FRINAN for six months was great. Of course, we ended up grating on each other's nerves pretty severly at times -- not only were we living together, we were working more or less the same hours at the same place, meaning we were in each other's presence practically every waking moment. Multiply that constant proximity by how much we get on each other's nerves already, and you have a strong Insanity Cocktail. But I remember those six months rather fondly: our long-running, never-ending Vampire game could be played whenever we wanted with the both of us under one roof, and we were very quickly playing every day. And then it sort of became a constant game, one that ebbed and flowed in and out of conversations wherever we happened to be. We saved the majority of it for the regular gaming sessions, but little scenes and downtime stuff would pop up everywhere. When I think of those six months, that's what I think of: a wall-to-wall Vampire game, broken up only occasionally to watch Oz or Carnivale, or to yell at each other about what big douchebags we are. (I think the final tally of the votes will show that it was I, in fact, who is the bigger douchebag. I'm sure he agrees.)

But then the lease ran out, and FRINAN went back home, and now Steve's here. More or less the same, only with less Vampire, more guitar-playing, and lots more nerdy discussions about Star Trek. So, completely different.

That was 2006 -- a messy, stop-and-start car crash of events that have somehow left me in a far better position. Looking back, it feels an awful lot like the conversations I still sometimes have with FRINAN regarding a game I'm running. He'll say it was good, but then complain that "nothing really happened." I'll fire back that things did happen, thank you, and might even name a few. And he'll consider it, and then say, "Yeah...but nothing really happened."

2006: Nothing happened. Everything happened.

One thing that didn't happen? Me learning the benefits of brevity, huh?

I leave you with the traditional New Year's Resolutions. Interestingly enough, I've never made New Year's Resolutions before. They are infamous for not being kept, though, so I'll be satisifed if I keep a third of them.

1. Pay off all my debts.
2. Save some money.
3. Quit Pizza Inn.
4. Write at least six episodes of Revolver.
5. Make headway toward that novel I've had kicking around my head for, oh, ten years now.
6. Same as 5, except subsitute the word "screenplay" for "novel."
7. Write at least three songs, lyrics and music, and add them to our standard musical repetoire (I've already got the music for one).
8. Play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which I purchased, played for fifteen minutes, then put back in the case and forgot about.
9. Stop being such a douchebag. (Hey. I can't throw in the token "Quit smoking" resolution, because I don't smoke. Consider this in its place.)
10. Make another short film. It's been more than three years since "Burned." Too long.
11. Keep our Vampire game running until 2008.
12. Keep our Hunter game running until it reaches the end. (And recaps are coming guys, I promise.)
13. See the Dave Matthews Band in concert again.
14. Try harder to find the positives in every negative situation. (This is closely related to number 9, actually.)

And finally:

15. Figure out why I can't write a word of Revolver, or a short story, or a novel, or a screenplay, or a fucking Christmas card, but I sit here for an hour and blab non-stop into my blog.

Happy New Year. May the current year bring you much joy and happiness.

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