Wednesday, December 28, 2005

2006 - is THE Year

I signed a one-year lease in Omaha for 2005. I knew I wasn't going to go anywhere, so 2005 was about repairing the damage done in 2004. Not really 'damage' - just getting everything focused. Beef up the savings and checking account. Sharpen a skill or two. Continue to work out and do a triathalon.

So - the only thing I didn't accomplish was securing two freelance jobs, both national and both paying.

So, in a quick wrap-up, here were some of the highlights and voids left in 2005:

Life-changing moment of the year: Surviving a layoff that eliminated about 40 percent of our staff. The weeks leading up to 'black Monday' were filled with uncertainty, mad dashes to Kinkos and giving tips to the with the writer who I edited (who lost his job). I basically told him during the lead-up to black Monday that there's no way this job can be done with one person. That said - update your resume.

I think he let me down when he didn't disappoint me: I met a grad student. We clicked. He was graduating with a masters at the age of 24. He was warm, bright and intelligent. I fell for him. He fell for me. Then - stuff started to surface. It was during the layoff time, so I was stressing over that. Suddenly, his quirks became annoying (the constant phrases of "Hellooooo!" and "Too much information!" dug into my skin like scabies. The gaps began to widen, but no arguments ensued. Finally, I told him I really didn't think I was the guy for him. We broke up amicably. Still, he was the most stable and warm guy I dated. It ended bad, but I loved how it started.

Lessons learned from a trip to wine country: Bring at least two hard rock or metal CDs. Mapquest is no substitute for a good, internal compass. If you're lucky enough to secure reservations to The French Laundry, try your best to get a reservation before 8 p.m.

Albums of the year: There were a ton of great releases this year. I feel guilty for just having a top ten. That said - here it is...

10 - My Morning Jacket - Z
9 - Sigur Ros - Takk
8 - Eagle Seagull - self-titled
7 - Andrew Bird - Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs
6 - Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise
5 - Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
4 - Gorillaz - Demon Days
3 - Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
2 - Sleater Kinney - The Woods
1 - New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

Who we have lost: Johnny Carson taught me humor is all in the timing. Peter Jennings taught me how to balance eloquence with objectivity. Richard Pryor made me laugh and wince at the same time. If you ever need tips on how to tell a story, rent any of Pryor's stand-up routines. And Hunter S. Thompson has always kept the journalism fires burning inside me. If you are going to report on a story, report the hell out of the story.

2006 -
This will be the year I will either move out of Omaha or get a dog. Two places are striking me - Tucson and Albuquerque. My friends and family quickly point out that Tucson is dirty and consistently hot. A good friend of mine sent me an article that stated Tucson was the number two nation in the city for property crime (woo! we're number two, we're number two!). My sister said when she turned on the news in Albuquerque, most of the news was dedicated to murders. That said, much of my CD collection will hopefully be moved to the IPod and most thieves don't care about books or hand-me-down furniture. Just try moving my couch out the door, I dare you.

You are going to find fault in any city. Google the stats and you'll probably find that Omaha has the highest rate of thefts of metallic green 2003 Toyota Camrys on streets named 'Military.' (This is probably false, just making up a stat.) The point is that you approach an age where you absolutely have to move out of your home environment - even though you will most likely return. I know Omaha is cool. Conor Oberst and Alexander Payne just purchased a house and a condo here. But they also live elsewhere.


Blogger Nic said...

Here is 2006! Btw, don't over look the Mile High City aka Denver.

2:13 AM  

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