Thursday, January 01, 2004

Begin obligatory New Year's reflection:

So last night I was working at New Wave City for New year's Eve. This works out well, I have no interest in New Wave Music, and I have no real interest in New Year's Eve. Generally speaking, I don't really care for the drinking-holidays: St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Eve, etc. This is when all the amateur drinkers come out and yell "woooooHoooo!!!!" while they stumble down the street and then puke on each other. They're like Christmas and Easter Catholics. While the rest of us are drinking regularly, finely honing our drinking skills, they just show up for the holidays and annoy. Besides, there's so much pressure to have "fun" on NYE, you wouldn't believe the stress some of the people had last night trying to get everything right.

I mean to enjoy every day. There are no scheduled good days.

This year, I travelled very little, but did some really incredible things. On my dirtbike. The things that stood out were the Sheetiron 300 Dual Sport ride and my ride out to the Nevada Desert on my dirtbike. Both were incredible experiences. I'm surrounding myself with images of these trips and posting them in profiles not because I'm some great dirt rider. Actually, I'm a really stinky dirt rider, and I'm terrified of the dirt. But these are images of the person I want to be. And I'm looking for the people who will help me become this person, by helping with their experience, or just joining for the journey.

Oh, and there was a bunch of other stuff over the year: I went to New York for work, and Seattle with my family. I've been working at a new job since last January. New York was fun, I got to spend two and a half extra days there by myself, just walking around. Seattle is one of my favorite towns. I really wish money and vacation time allowed for more travel there.

Burning Man was a shortened trip this year. I have little vacation time at the new job, and I'm hoping to horde enough for a trip to Ireland in the next year or so. I rode the dirtbike to Nevada this time, and took a different route (not the slab of 80) which was led by another charles on a BMW. The CA section up to Orosville is just the same as the long straight freeways connecting the rest of the state, but once we passed Orosville, we quickly reached an incredibly perfect twisty highway. Perfect pavement, greenery, rivers, waterfalls, little bridges, and tunnels cut from the rock... it was absolutely stunning. Reminded me of all the family trips around California from when I was little. Living here all of my life, I largely forget how beautiful this state really is. We stopped for lunch in Susanville, and dropped over to a 60 mile dirt road which led us to about 10 miles north of Gerlach. With Charles out of my sight ahead of me, there was NOTHING and NO ONE to be seen for miles along this bumpy dirt road. This is also where I learned that my new street tires (gripsters) did not like to be taken above 60mph in the dirt. They reacted violently several times. I did not fall off, but got a good scare. When we arrived at the gas station with the rest of the burners, I was bouncing off the walls with delight and grinning wildly. What a great ride! Oh, yeah, Burning Man was cool too.

Earlier in the year, my aunt passed away from cystic fibrosis and ovarian cancer. It's been a bittersweet year. About fifteen years ago, she taught us what cancer really meant, and has touched thousands of lives in the time since. This year she taught us how to die. No one could have done it better. Carol had nothing in this life worth noting: no money, crappy job, crappy car, and people treated her poorly in restaraunts because she didn't look like much. But the world is just a little smaller now that she has gone. A master of the poison pen letter as well as self-sacrifice, she's my patron saint of being a royal pain in the ass when the world needs to be changed, and of being simple, loving, and open at the same time. I hope to find a little of her strength and wonder. We blew bubbles at her funeral.

Before Mr. Bush invaded Iraq, I got the immense pleasure of marching in San Francisco with a couple hundred thousand other people in San Francisco, next to my grandfather and mother. It felt really good. Although it looks like another year of bad behavior from our governments, I was and am still touched by the millions of people who come together all over the globe. Threat levels, extra security, and a rollback of civil rights will not stop terrorism. The only answer is to try to understand the hatred, and address the underlying issues. I think the people of the world mostly understand this, but we need to teach our governments. If I have a new years resolution, it will be to make a gesture to make the world a better place, once a week, attend a meeting, write a letter, plant a seed...

Peace and joy in the new year and every day...

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