Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy Amateur Drunk Night

"Time won't leave me as I am, but time won't take the boy out of this man." -Bono, City of Blinding Lights

Ok, change the gender, you have my attitude towards mankind's (womankind?) arch nemesis- Time. Why do we celebrate a new year? Shouldn't we lament another year's passage, another year of time we can never get back, one step closer to learning the answer to the Big Question? Ahh, but why should we lament, when the precious few seconds of life we are given on this strangely spinning Earth should be a cause for celebration? If we must lament, it should only be to wonder why we didn't grasp more of it, hold onto it with all our might so that we may never say 'what if' again. Never let go of the wonderment of life!

Humans live by symbols- they help us to understand all that surrounds us, all that cannot really be understood. New Year's Day is a symbol- it symbolizes how time affects us all, gop or Dem, black or white, Bono worshipper or Mozart fan. You can't simply shrug off the New Year; even if you try, it is still in your mind. January 1 stands as a stark reminder of our mortality.

We are all different, yes. Some of us are so different we find it difficult to understand each other, be it language, customs, habits, lifestyles... but why do some people reject difference? We should embrace it. Just think of how freaking boring it would be if we were all the same. Imagine, for example, a Christian theocratic town, where everyone loved Jesus and there were no questions asked. Where, can I ask you, would you be able to find the joy of Christ? Without bad, there is no good. Without sorrow, there is no joy. For how do we know what is good or joyful if we have nothing to compare it to? Joy takes you up to a higher place, and to be that high, you have to start out somewhere lower.

Even in the dead of winter, I cannot forget the joy of the sunshine and the warmth that spring brings. I cannot forget wearing shorts and grilling hamburgers and watching baseball and being with friends and just breathing the outside air. There are so many little things, more little things than big things, that make Life worth living, despite all of the hardships, the sorrows, the deaths... even the most destitute of us all have celebrations, have loves, have things that get us through the day. Everyone feels better when the sun shines, everyone has a special song, everyone has a special memory that they will forever cherish.

The older we get, the more time runs together. I guess we get slower as we age, but time is forever young, isn't it? Everyone loses the race, and it doesn't matter if we are the wealthiest bastard on the planet or the poorest wretch. In death, yes, we are truly equal, are we not? God does not judge us based on our possessions, or maybe He does, for it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, isn't it? Do you think they have immigration laws in Heaven? If so, fat-walleted Americans are going to have a difficult time getting in. Do you think they'll erect the Berlin wall in Heaven, too? I wonder if Lucifer will personally answer the door when Pat Robinson's dead soul comes knocking. Dobson? Perkins? Baker? Ashcroft? O'Reilly? Bushie? Or will St. Peter open those Pearly Gates and say, "Why do you deserve to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?" He'll look at ole' Bushie and say, "Weren't you responsible for the deaths of 100,000 people?" "Oh, yes, sir, but it was all in the name of democracy." "Ohhhhh, I understand. Well, then, we have a special place for you." "I knew it!" Bushie exclaims like a kid. Boot. Tumble. Ahhhhhhhhhhh...Fire. "Oh, look, there's Joe Stalin, Addy Hitler, good ole' Pol Pot...why does it feel like I'm on fire?"

I'd think if you did not believe in God, Allah, Yahweh, or some higher power, you'd feel a greater sense of urgency to live life to the fullest. Go do it! Live! Whatever second passes now, you will never get back again! None of us will! Breathe! Let the blood pump through your veins!

How often do we go to work on on Monday morning with only the weekend as a goal? What can we do to embrace more of the week, even if we feel like we are enslaved by the office and the necessity of earning a living? We have to remember the difference between a living and a wanting, don't we? If we took a bit more time, gave up some of the wanting, we could actually make a better living, a better life. Forget that DVD you want. Go out for a happy hour with your friends. Spend an extra five bucks to eat a better, tastier dinner. Learn about the essence of life, stimulate your senses! THAT is living, not getting a plasma television when a 13" will more than suffice. Don't watch so much television- you are wasting your life away. Do something fun, do something creative, strive to make a mark on the world. Change someone's life. It's your world, you can change it. It's my world, I will change it.

Ten days from now, I will enter the last year of my twenties. After this year, I will never again have that 2 in front of my age. My body no longer grows- it will be in decay until my heart stops beating. It's quite humbling to think, to realize, to acknowledge that all of our hearts stop beating. You don't have to dwell on it, but if you have the "it's not gonna happen to me" attitude, you can never fully appreciate how fragile life is. And really, if you don't see that fragility, you can never fully appreciate how wonderful it is as well.

As I look back on the last year, I find many great things that unfortunately I will never be able to experience again. I will have to rely on that faulty camera in my mind to recall the events of 2005.

My highlights for 2005:

1. U2 Vertigo Tour- saw them in Philly and twice in DC. Getting to see my Cincinnati Reds on the same weekend in Philly was awesome.
2. Nationals debut in DC and have a decent season. Home opener was a blast, even with Bushie throwing out the first pitch.
3. Reconciled with a dear friend after three years of estrangement.
4. Family came to visit me in DC.
5. Went to NYC for first time ever. Loved it as I knew I would.
6. Went to Jordan.
7. U2 is inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
8. Saw Green Day in concert.
9. Finished first draft of first novel and wrote half of second one.
10. Tim Kaine's victory in Virginia.

Happy New Year!

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