Thursday, December 30, 2004

Everybody goes home for Christmas

...and another year end list from yours truly.

Well the holidays went off without a hitch. For the record, without a hitch in my family means no one was seriously injured and no one professed their sheer hatred for one another. I am becoming aware of many peoples blasé attitude toward the holiday. I for one don’t think I can ever be anything but excited for Hanukkah or Christmas. Yes, the gift giving can get a bit psychotic. Yes, all families can get a bit…much. But, I think people are starting to miss the point. December is the one time of year where everyone HAS to get together. No excuses. No backing out. Who cares if giving presents has become the mere exchange of a good for another good worth the same exact price as said gift you bought for that person. Who cares if people fight and go crazy and yell and then hug and then yell some more. The point is we are doing this together. I have three of my great grandparents left. Thank God, they are all alive and healthy but I don’t get to see them much. The holidays help that. They let me see them for however long I will still have them here.

Christmas morning Josh and I went to his family’s house. His family is one of those great “All American” families. He has three husky brothers, a bbq cooking dad, and a very outgoing sweet mother. Around five it was off down to San Diego for my families shin ding. My family comes from a slightly different world than Josh’s. To sum it up, my very large family gathering, very loud family gathering, and very comedic family gathering was held at La Costa country club. Needless to say I slept like a baby that night.

So the year is almost to an end, I have a few more days of best of lists coming but for now I will give you what, in my life, where the ten best things or experiences to affect me this year. In random order…

1. Amy and Ethan’s wedding – After what seemed like years of planning and stressing, the wedding finally arrived. Thankfully everything came out beautifully. Well beautiful yet very “Kaplan” oriented. The rings were misplaced, the rabbi told the entire congregation that my Aunt Jenna was pregnant (she isn’t), and actually made fun of my brother during the ceremony. Aside from that…no hitches! I had never seen my brother so happy before. He has had this glimmer of life in his eyes since the day he met Amy. August 7th magnified that glimmer. Those two compliment each other perfectly and there is no one else I would ever want as a sister. Sometimes I find myself stopping to think, “Wow I can’t believe my brother is married! And he is only 3 years older than me.” We are growing up and pretty soon I will grow up too. Oh yeah, getting toasted with the whole bridal party afterward was some fun too.

2. New Mexico – We took a road trip to New Mexico to catch the last show of REM’s North American tour. Besides the concert being absolutely fabulous, the experience of a road trip with cool and fun people had to be the highlight. Between playing a game of “truth” for hours in the car, sleeping in the seedy Route 66 motel, and having one surreal party, I would have to say the whole entire weekend was the actual highlight. New Mexico was a time capsule. It is now a little bubble of time to be kept in the memory bank for safekeeping.

3. The Alchemist – this book was written years ago. However, I just read it this year. This is a very thin book written in simplistic language to resemble a fable. This “fable” of sorts changed my life. I identified with Santiago, the main character a someone who, at the beginning of the book, was in the same place I was in my life. Santiago was on a journey to find his own destiny. Along the way he meets teachers who are not teachers and friends who are not ordinary friends. I do not lead a mystic life or a life of an alchemist, but this book parallels my life and gave me inspiration when I needed it most.
4. My new friends and my new relationship – Between my new job and meeting fellow REM fans, I have made quite a few new friends this year. I have to say though the best part about all these new friendships is my new boyfriend. I started out the year not wanting to let anyone in, and somehow it just sprung up on me. It was a surprise. It was something I tried to fight for a while…but at years end I have found myself in love, no matter how hard I tried to fight it at the beginning. I guess sometimes things just happen that you can’t stop. It all happens for a reason and right now I am just glad it did.

5. Coachella – This was my first music festival event. I went with my brother, brother – in- law and a few other friends. Besides the concerts being unbelievably incredible the experience of being at an outdoor festival in the middle of the 110-degree dessert was the part that sticks out. I felt like a rock n roll princess. I stood in the pit smashed up against everyone for 7 hours and eventually, yes I did get knocked unconscious. It was the greatest day.

6. REM Tour – In four days I went to three REM concerts in October. I can go to 20 REM concerts and never get tired of it. There was a big group of us who went to all three shows and we managed to party for four days all the while seeing some of the best live music I have ever seen. Michael was in top form and seemed to really just enjoy doing what he did. Besides the LA show, the crowds were awesome. And, the tailgate party at Irvine was one to remember. Well….try to remember anyway.

7. Leaving the Dance Studio – I miss the dance studio with every fiber of my being. I miss my dance teachers and my fellow dancers everyday. It was just something I needed to do to grow up. I went and got a full time job. I started making my own money. By leaving the dance studio I became a full-fledged adult. If I had to pick one thing that CHANGED my life the most, it would really have to be this job switch. I attempted to learn time management. I became used to not being able to do anything with my day. At years end I can honestly say I have become a responsible adult…well at least as much of one as I will allow.

8. Rachelle and Lyndsey – It was nice to have my two best friends home all summer. What is even more amazing is that after all of these years we are still best friends. This summer, although very mellow, was one of the best summers because all we did was lay out and watch Sex and the City.

9. The entire month of November – My birthday is November 6th. However, I took it upon myself to declare November the birthday month. I must have had about 5 different parties with separate groups of friends. I got the best gifts, including my long awaited right hand ring, as well as a Disneyland annual pass. I went to see a concert, I saw my whole family, and had a drunken night of hell raising with the girls. It was a great month

10. Harry Potter – Harry got me through the rough patches of the year. I had not given in to the phenomenon so I had all five books to read this year. The books are classic fantasy fiction, perfect for escaping the depressed days and diving into this new world of bravery, action, redemption, and infinite possibility. Add on to that the three movies I also saw this year and I have to say Harry really helped me forget those “down days”.

I have no idea what this next year will bring me. However, like I said before I am now happy living with the questions, instead of always striving for the answer. Hopefully next year will bring more happiness, health and love to my life and to those around me. I have a slight feeling it will be a good year…just as long as we don’t behave too much.


ethank said...

Harry Potter is good for all of lifes little moments, I've found. Just reading the last part of book 5 makes me wistful. Sigh. Bring on book 6!

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