A Tribute to the Year that Was
2008 - A Wrap
Well, it has now occurred to me that keeping up with one's blog is kind of like keeping up with one's correspondence with friends - it's a joy to keep in touch but it's a bitch to make the effort. Thank God for Facebook status updates and the opportunity to use the two-byte very-public wall post to prove you're still interested in your friends (and friends of friends... of friends) lives: "I hear you're pregnant again! (Hope this one was planned!) Congrats!"
But in the blogging world, there are no shortcuts to staying up to date - I have learned the lesson the hard way that you really have to put in the effort and blog ALL the time if you want to keep your blog interesting, relevant and visit-worthy. And you really can't show up a month late and blog about things that happened forever ago - that would be like going into my Outlook calendar and putting a new appointment for something that happened last month just because I forgot to put it in. It does make my social calendar reflect me as a busier and therefore more interesting person, which is why I do it, but also, it's kind of pointless. So if you're going to blog, you must only include the most up-to-the-minute, relevant social commentary.
Unless of course it happens to be the end of the year, in which case you can get away with a year-end summary of the year's events. Which, in this case, works out kind of conveniently for me.
Before you furiously start hitting the Back button to avoid a lengthy recap of recession woes, elections, Palinisms, coalitions, snowmaggedons and underrage Olympians, I want to tell you right now I'm not here to go into great detail over the year's major landmark events (such as the US' first black president) major disappointments (pretty much the entire 2008 box office? I'm sorry, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull actually made a profit?), or major shockers (Heath Ledger died!!??). Frankly, being the narcissist that I am, my Holiday Wrap is all about me. In no particular order, here's some of the best and worst moments for me in 2008:
#1 Quarter-Life Crisis
In 2008, I turned 25. This apparently means I've moved into an entirely new bracket. Gone are the days of checking off the 18-24 box in those free surveys that you fill out for fun to pass the time (anyone?); I have moved to a new box: the 25-34. Yikes. The world of refined tastes, enhanced cash flows (at least in theory) and friends with babies. No longer can I get away with wearing mis-matched socks to friends' houses, eating fish-sticks for dinner, or waking up with yesterday's make-up smeared across half my face in someone else's bed (not that I ever did that). The 25-34 box is all about maturity, elegance, and "grown-up-ness" (also you should start working on a more refined vocabulary by this age). This is also about the time when university-age kids whining about how much life sucks because they have to get up for Friday morning classes start to gnaw on your nerves, all-night benders followed by routine trips to your favourite porcelain god start to lose their lustre, and you start hearing your favourite songs being played on the easy-listening adult contemporary stations. Eek.
But, being the Libra that I am, in my effort to balance out my default pessimistic outlook, I have tried to see the silver lining in all of this abysmal aging process. For one, I can now get into 25+ clubs! Don't think this is that special? Spend one night at one of these clubs and it occurs to you that you are in fact the youngest, and therefore, by default, the best-looking person there! hurrah! Note: You're also the youngest and probably the most annoying person there. Don't waste a good thing by getting drunk and embarassing everyone. Apparently the 25-34 box is all about drinking WITHOUT the intention of getting drunk. This takes some getting used to.
Finally, my last recommendation for surviving the Quarter Life crisis is to simply date someone much older than you. They might make fun of you for having been in diapers while they were rocking out to Genesis, but you can always remind them that they are going to die first. (Just kidding, honey).
#2: I got a job! Unfortunately, it sucked!
This year I joined (and left) a company that gives new meaning to the phrase, truth is stranger than fiction... er.. maybe truth is funnier than fiction. Only, it wasn't actually "ha-ha funny" to work there. More like... "this job is so unbelievably awful I can almost find humour in it?"
But, as I did recently leave this job (and have since started a new one - more fun stories to come I'm sure), I have had the privilege of being able to look back and reflect on some of the most memorable aspects. I've decided that the following is what I'm going to miss most of all:
My desk. Or, more specifically, the location of my desk. My office was home to the always aesthethically-pleasing cubicle maze system. Ahh yes. These cubicle facades can be a tricky business, especially if you employ a staff of people who don't seem to quite understand scientific realities such as depth perception, the power of sound waves, or the fact that out of sight does not necessarily mean out of ear-shot. These walls seem to be present enough to invite the fantasy that there is in fact a barrier -- and therefore within the confines of said cubicle you're safe (and somehow encouraged) to reveal every inappropriately personal detail about yourself that you possibly can -- while also not quite present enough to prevent everyone in a 30-foot radius to hear all about who dumped you (again), who you plan on *expletive"-ing this weekend, and what colour chunks you spewed out all day Sunday after your cousin's gongshow of a birthday party Saturday night. Sometimes, in life, you get to learn way more about people than you ever wanted to - and though I may have spent about 5% of my day doing real work, I'll always cherish the other 95% I spent being involuntarily exposed to way, way TMI.
#3. Movin out and movin up.
With the job came another landmark - moving out of my parent's house. And this was not psuedo-moving out, like I did to go to university where my living expenses were still covered by my parents and my only purpose in life was to think for myself, write some papers and roll out of bed for noon classes (yes, I was that annoying kid who complained about it too) - this year I actually left. Left to never return. Exhilarating, yes, but also daunting. Mostly because, as I also turned 25 this year, I actually had to learn how to cook (see above on how fish sticks are no longer acceptable food fare).
Learning to cook proved interesting and challenging. I got to know ingredients I had never met before - I must have paced up and down the produce aisle 15 times before I finally caved and asked the teenaged stock boy what cilantro looked like. Luckily, being the teenaged stock boy that he was - he had never even heard of cilantro, so I got to give him a condescending look instead of the other way around (whew). And I felt even better when I took a cooking class and watched one of my classmates spend 8 minutes trying (unsuccessfully) to open an upside down can of kidney beans. Thank God my growing up on tuna and ravioli taught me at least the right-side of a can.
Though I may still be a slow-learner when it comes to cooking great meals, the important part is I AM learning (things like - when you go grocery shopping with a long list of ingredients and chicken is the most essential ingredient in your dish, don't forget to buy the chicken).
Anyway, a lot of other things happened to me in 08, but I'm tired of writing and if you're still reading this, you're probably considering suicide, so I'll stop here.
So, that's all folks. I'll try harder to be a more diligent blogger in 2009.
Best of luck. Here's hoping the dwindling economy doesn't piss away your life savings. Happy New Year!