Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Denouement

All right, for all you gossip columnists out there, I have found a best man (Joe Boxman) and my groomsmen (Forrest and my brother Eric). I've asked Nick to sing "In My Life" by The Beatles. He claims to be learning it without sheet music, which means he'll learn it in the wrong key and then insist he's right. Oh, well. At least the lyrics will come through clearly.

Is it weird for me to say it didn't quite feel like Christmas for me this year? Maybe it's because I was so busy with work and school (and the lack of a television, meaning I didn't see any Christmas commercials), or the fact that I was in Bloomington until the night of 12/24, and back within 48 hours. I don't quite know what it was - probably all of the above factors.

Regardless, with this being the first year ever that I bought Christmas presents with my own money, I learned a new meaning to the Holiday. I got used CD's and DVD's for my family, but I made sure it was something they would love.

Perfect example: Any time a song by Three Dog Night would come on the radio, Mom ALWAYS mentioned how this was the first band she ever saw in concert and how the song takes her back to 8th grade. So I got her the best of Three Dog Night. See? Thoughtful!

On an unrelated note, Kieth Buchanan (Graham's ex-boyfriend and my former roommate) has left Bloomington. He didn't have everything quite as ready as I'd thought he would for move-out day, so between that and the awful ice storm we had on 12/23, I couldn't take him up to the Greyhound station in Indianapolis. Thankfully, a friend of his came over from Cincinnati to help him pack. He took him up there, so everything worked out.

I don't know if I mentioned this, but Kieth was gone from just before Thanksgiving to 12/18. He originally thought it was going to be a week long excursion to be there for his mother in the wake of his parents' divorce. It turned into a month because of the infrequency of buses going through his corner of Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Graham has been dating a new guy since before finals. One night Graham was having him over and had a table and wine glasses and candles set up. It was really sweet. He asked me not to tell Kieth about it. Unfortunately, Graham is such a damned slob that all the dishes and the candles and EVERYTHING was still out, including a wine spill on the tablecloth. It would have been a little difficult to convince Kieth that what he saw was my mess since I'm never over there for recreational purposes.

Since Graham left the entire place looking as though the Rapture had occurred in the middle of a dinner party I had no problem telling him what had gone on in his absence.

Graham is now moving into a new phase of his life: he has started going to church. Anyone else I would be happy for them. For Graham, I don't know - something doesn't smell right about this.

I don't want to go into too many details, but Graham was scheduled to fly out 12/22. When he heard Kieth was going to be back on the 18th, he rescheduled for a flight on 12/17 so that he didn't have to see him. He also took a piece of Kieth's luggage and his modem. Graham also left Kieth a very impersonal note saying "I hope you find what it is you're looking for in life. Please don't take anything that isn't yours. Happy Holidays! --- g "

I'll admit, my first impressions of Kieth weren't good. But in the time I got to know him, I really came to like him a lot. Hey, hey, my, my, how the tables have turned.

There is a sense of melancholy about all this in that I may never see him again. Life has taken him to Colorado, and for me, well, that's still yet to be decided.

An acquaintance of mine on Facebook had this posted on her profile as a note. I figured this would make for a better year-end recap than any sort of uber-verbose rant:

Q: What did you do in 2008 that you had never done before?
A: Visited Bowling Green, OH. I worked as the grading assistant for Zappa, Hendrix, and (in a limited capacity) Beatles. I also got engaged to the right woman.

Q: Did you keep your new years resolutions?
A: My secret resolution was to win Shelley back, but that stemmed all the way to November after Kate and I broke up. Still, it was only 6 days into the new year that it happened. So, yes. I did.

Q: What would you like to have in 09 that you didn't have in 08?
A: A career in a graduate program somewhere. Anywhere but here. That and a wife.

Q: What dates in 08 will remain etched upon your memory?
A: January 6th, June 13th and 14th, October 31st (for good and awful reasons), November 20th - 22nd, and December 13th.

Q: Did you suffer from any injury?
A: Broken spirits and crushed egos count, right? Then yes.

Q: Best thing someone bought for you as a gift?
A: Shelley got me The Boondocks DVD back in January. It made me really happy.

Q: Where did most of your money go?
A: An engagement ring, CD's, the occasional DVD, groceries, pizza, gas, Alabama...

Q: What did you get really excited about?
A: The prospect of asking Shelley to marry me (I started making payments in July), working at Spencer's, working at the school (yeah, I know...), my senior year as an IMP student, going up to Bowling Green and seeing Rick again, living off-campus, buying a cat.

Q: What song will always remind you of 08?
A: Oh, yeah, right, this will be a brief answer...
JANUARY - "The Boondocks Theme" by Asheru, "Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young (I just saw - I had this for January of 2008 when I wrote my 2007 recap! Care to know why? The song reminded me of Shelley!)
FEBRUARY - "Mammon" by Todd Rundgren, "King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown" by Augustus Pablo
MARCH - "A Day In The Life" by Jeff Beck, all of Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart
APRIL - "Swastikas On Parade" by The Residents
MAY - "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues" by Skip James, "Killing Floor (Live)" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
JUNE - "Mama Talk To Your Daughter" by J.B. Lenoir, "Changes" by Band Of Gypsys
JULY - "Orange Claw Hammer (Acoustic)" by Captain Beefheart & Frank Zappa, "Morphine Song" by Ray Davies
AUGUST - The entire After The Gold Rush album by Neil Young
SEPTEMBER - "Like A Hurricane" by Neil Young, "King's Lead Hat" by Brian Eno
OCTOBER - "Hey, Hey, My, My (Into The Black)" by Neil Young, "The Train Kept A-Rollin'" by The Johnny Burnette Rock 'N Roll Trio, "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins
NOVEMBER - , "Kick Out The Jams" by The MC5, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" by Gil Scott Heron
DECEMBER - "Ever Fallen In Love?" by The Buzzcocks, "Everything I Own" by Ken Boothe

Q: Favorite TV programs of 08?
A: The Office

Q: What was your greatest musical discovery?
A: Um...Neil Young, Captain Beefheart, and The Residents

Q: Best book you read this year?
A: Ray Davies: Not Like Everybody Else by Tom Kitts

Q: Favorite Film of this year?
A: Burn After Reading and Harold

Q: How would I describe my fashion concept of 08?
A: Hmm...I invested in a Che shirt and a hammer and sickle shirt early on this calendar year. I'd say that set the stage fairly well. Seeing as we now have a Socialist president. (Oh, and by the way, I'm BEING sarcastic!)

Q: Which celebs did you fancy the most in 08?
A: Ray Davies, Jimmy Carl Black (RIP fellow drummer), and Neil Young

Q: Who do you miss?
A: Rick Chandler and Eric Condon. Easily.

Q: What countries did you visit in 08?
A: Papua New Guinea, Equitorial Guinea, New Guinea

Q: Biggest achievement?
A: Engagement.

Q: Did you fall in love in 08?
A: Yes. And it's a beautiful thing.

Q: What's one thing that would have made your year more satisfying?
A: For Condon to put his violin down and apply himself, for Sarah to butt out of things she knows nothing about like people's relationships, for Gill to break up with Amanda, for Johnson to get his license, for Shelley to be assertive and honest with her parents, for Mom to mind her own damn business, for Mary to cheer up and be happy knowing she is alive, for Andy to have not jumped to such asinine conclusions and not written me off as a thief and liar, for Joel to have been a better bandleader, and for Laura to stop being a crotch-hopping pothead who flirts with any guy she sees.

Q: Did you learn anything valuable?
A: I learned not to waste people's time with blogs and emails and shit.

"A very Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year. Let's hope it's a good one, without any tears." Or is it "fear"? Whatever, I like "tears" better.
(No, seriously. This year kind of sucked. I really don't know how I could have gotten through it without Shelley. I wish I was kidding.)
Alex

2 comments:

Shelley said...

I know this year was horrible for you, and I am so glad I was able to soothe it at least a little bit. Next semester will be great, fun, and amazing.

I like how many of the recaps included me. (smile).

I had no idea Keith's last name was Buchanan.

Merry Christmas Mr. Bean

And a Happy New Year.

Loves

m@ said...

Not to be a Debbie downer, but years are years man. You're going to have crap years. Who knows, 2009 could be even worse. That's why God puts people in our lives to get us through it. Without all the crap in 2008 you may not have realized how MUCH you love Shelley.

Look at everything that has happened (and will, believe me) as something that has built you and your relationship up.

James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing off your faith develops perseverance."

Not to make it theological because it's easy too look BACK on crap and find significance. It's not, however, so easy to find it at the time. This verse has always been my mantra "Consider it pure joy...consider it pure joy..." No lie.

God's peace in the new year brother.