Saturday, December 31, 2005

Year-End Apathy

Bloggers everywhere are writing year-in-review entries about their chosen topics, but I just can't muster much interest. As one who often dwells on the negative, it is probably just as well. Some people see the glass as half-full, but I see it smashed on the floor with several shards of glass embedded in my bloody feet. Eric Zorn put out the call for Bloggapalooza for anyone reviewing state and local happenings, and I considered participating for, oh, a nanosecond or two.

I'm politically exhausted lately, so I won't write about any of that. I could write about pro cycling, but most of my favorite riders have been charged with using performance-enhancing drugs, so it would be embarrassing. I can't even write about music since I don't own any 2005 albums. Oh wait, I bought a greatest hits CD produced in 2005 last week, but that's old material anyway. Forget about books, too -- I read such a broad range that I can't imagine picking favorites.

That leaves only myself to write about. Gee, what a great year -- our dog Teddy died in August, and my parents' dog could die anytime. Our other dog Rosco needed $3,000 knee surgery. My wife's grandmother died on my birthday so we never celebrated it. Our old car died after I sank $500 into it. My desktop PC died this summer too.

What else? My two-year weight loss experiment has officially ended with my current weight being exactly what it was when I started. Look for my new book: How to Lose 65 Pounds, Gain it All Back, and Loathe Yourself More Than Ever. The great thing about putting the weight back on is that I have become a walking billboard for my own failure. Every time I see someone, they are thinking, "Gosh, his cheeks weren't that chubby the last time I saw him." Or, "Isn't that shirt a little tight?" Or worst of all, "Jesus, he's put it all back on!" It's much worse to be the fat guy who used to be skinny than to have been the fat guy all along. Now I wish I'd never bothered, which pretty much nullifies my biggest accomplishment of 2003. You know it's been a great year when it retroactively ruins other years.

What about my bicycling? Not much to say. Sure, I wrote a book about it, but aside from those 60 great road and trail rides, I probably didn't ride more than a hundred miles. My heart just wasn't in it, and not just because riding was my "job." In fact, I haven't been on a bike since the day I did my last three rides for the book, more than four months ago. Okay, what about business? I managed to postpone the aggressive launch of my copywriting business for the entire year with one excuse after another. I got my first copywriting client, but one of my jobs has gone unpaid thus far (seems to be just an oversight, and it's not for a lot of money, but still). I finished writing my first book, Biking Illinois, but I didn't manage my time as well as I had hoped and slipped my deadline by nearly a week (Teddy died days before, which didn't help). Being late may not matter much in the long run, but it deadened the joy of completing a huge project. Finances? Well, we spent as much on Teddy in his final month on Earth as we did on Rosco's knee. The expenses incurred writing my book were far greater than the advance I received (though I knew that would be the case when I took the assignment). I lost out on more than $120 worth of expired product rebates over the year. And I'm still fighting with our dental insurer over a $2,500 bill which they reimbursed so generously with $155. But I still have my health, right? Well, in addition to my unhealthy blubber, the cough that I blogged about before Thanksgiving never quite disappeared. It's probably tuberculosis (on the bright side, at least I'd lose some weight).

Of course there were a few good things about this year. I didn't beat my head against the wall until I lost consciousness, no matter how sorely tempted I was. I didn't start taking crystal meth, or any other controlled substances for that matter. I didn't commit any felonies, at least none that anyone witnessed. My wife hasn't filed for divorce yet.

So it's been a great 2005. I can't wait to see what 2006 will bring. War with Iran? The collapse of the dollar? Yippee.

Our neighbors invited us to their New Year's Eve party this year. We went several years ago. Lots of people dancing, drinking, socializing, having a great time... ugh. I've always hated New Year's Eve, and I refuse to celebrate. One of my favorite bands is playing downtown tonight, but since it's New Year's Eve tickets cost an outrageous $85 instead of the usual $20. Since my wife is working, I'll just lay low here with the lights off, eating the Reese's peanut butter trees mentioned in a previous post, and pretending to be out having a good time. Resolutions? Heck, just read this post backward.

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