Mark (orko224) wrote,

  • Music:

Ringing In The New Year

Good-bye 2005, Hello 2006

Trying to sum up a year is difficult – and of course all the stuff that just happened is fresh in mind meaning that all the madness of early last year has faded away. It’s like leaving HS and all you can remember is senior year, the last 25%.

Anyway, it’s been quite a year for me. I started with Nielsen in November of ’04 and my first full year here has been incredible. This job is everything I hoped it would be and more. I hope everyone out there finds a job they look forward to doing every morning.

Family life has had its ups and downs. I thought I was making some progress with integrating Jason into the family but in fact I didn’t. At Thanksgiving and Christmas I found myself caught up in my old web of lies to explain to Grandma why I wasn’t with the family for Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve and why I went to see them so late on Christmas day. (The lie: Lots of friends have their families out of state and that’s why I spent time with them. Lame.) One of my resolutions is to force the issue with my parents and make sure they come to dinner with Jason and me.

Keeping up with friends has proven more difficult this year as my job has me a lot busier than city government. I hardly ever post to LJ anymore and I aborted the mass emails a long while ago. I still think I’m better than most of the people I know about initiating contact but it’s definitely a resolution of mine to do a better job at keeping up with the people that really matter.

In KDR-land, the Alumni Board is functioning as well as it can. I’m keeping in contact with the chapter and emailing the Alumni and staying on top of things. Fundraising is a whole other headache but at least the ball is rolling, however slowly that may be. Still, the “job” is one I enjoy and I’m glad I’m getting positive feedback from people.

In Gay-land, I’m really trying to build a core group of gay friends – ones who actually live in the state. So far, so good. VNU Vinny, who just started at Claritas, has quickly become a good friend and through him Jason and I have met a couple of other really cool guys. It’ll be nice to have some other guys to hit the bars with and not have to worry about dragging my female friends around. Also, if Jason wants to stay in, I’ll have people to party with.

Speaking of friends, there have been a lot of engagements/marriages this year – Sylvia and Ethan, Ben and Margie, my cousin Erica and her boyfriend Shawn, and my cousin Gina. Happy times. I wonder if there’s a pretty ring in my future…

Anyway, things are going really well with Jason, probably because we don’t have to deal with the stress of possible marriage anytime soon. LOL. While we have some key differences, which are only exasperated by the fact that we live together, we get along better than ever. There’s definitely long term potential here. All my friends who know him also say he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I definitely agree. Because of him, I’ve grown up a lot. Some of that is a product of moving out of my parents’ house while the rest is realizing how to have an adult relationship. It takes work and mostly it requires listening, something I’ve improved in greatly and will continue to work on in 2006.

I’ve also changed in some small ways – like my tastes in music. I never thought I would be a Nine Inch Nails fan but he got me hooked up some really great musicians. We balance each other very well so he’ll take me to Depeche Mode or Duran Duran and I’ll take him to Lourds or Eric Himan. Overall, we have a good amount of dissimilar interests but enough of an overlap to do a lot of fun stuff together. I saw more concerts and shows this year than probably ever other year of my life combined. I’m seriously always busy.

Being “busy” was often an excuse of mine to avoid dealing with real problems. My social life was my way of getting out of the house and sort of validated my existence since my last job didn’t. I’m actually very happy now (with work and my relationship and friends) so I don’t need to fill my time with crap. The plan for ’06 is going to be similar to Kraft’s big corporate restructuring: Simplification. Fewer, bigger, better. I’m going to do less, but make what I do bigger and better.

Like most people, I have a list of resolutions. Near the top is get back into shape. I’ve been going to gym at least 3 days a week pretty consistently since Jason and I joined. I would love to be able to do 4 days but by the time I get home from work I am too tired on some nights. And our weekends are disappearing by the minute. I swear I’m going to hibernate all of February.

It’s been a great year personally but as I look at the future of the country, I have serious doubts about where we’re headed. I don’t trust the Republicans in our government, especially as they continue to try to take away my rights. I also doubt that the Democrats will pull together big victories in the ’06 Congress elections unless everyone wakes up from their stupidity. Having visited Knoxville, TN and by reading about all about the ignorance throughout the Red States, I fear that the country is in the hands of manipulative maniacs who can easily control the weak of mind through the rhetoric of good Christian values. There’s no reasoning with God-fearing farmers, there’s only strong conviction in a poorly translated ancient text that tells them what decisions to make. I guess if I were uneducated, I would let someone tell me what to do all the time too without asking why. Fortunately I know enough to question and I hope everyone else realizes it too. That’s my real wish for 2006.
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