Well, for a lot of people it sure the hell was. What a freaking year 2019 was, amirite?
I have to say that this being the second solid year I've lived here in DC, I've grown a little more comfortable here. I made actual honest friends outside of work which is fun. I had some amazing moments. I saw my sister more in this year than most of all the 10 years before... it's super easy to get back and forth between here and NYC, so we've been able to really have fun and connect.
One of the highlights for me was getting to see my favorite band a lot. Twice in DC at the 9:30 club, then in Philly, Ft. Lauderdale, NYC which got rained out in epic proportions and rescheduled, Vermont three times, and the rescheduled NYC show. If you don't count the NYC Central Park rain show, that is a successful 8 shows.
I even got to drive up to Maine and surprise my friends by appearing at a "Moth" radio hour style fan essay reading, where the drummer Brian Rosenworcel used some of our writing, and we kind of ended up making him cry a little. I wish I'd gone to the other shows that weekend but am super glad that I spent the time with Carrie at her cottage and had a wonderful dinner and lots of fun sleeping with the farting dog and giggling the night away.
2019 didn't suck in the Fun Department, overall.
Here are two pictures that sum up the greatness.
This image is of me, Brian from Guster, his son, and my friend Sara, after the Moth story hour. Brian is just amazing. I love this kind and gentle human. And to have driven up to surprise Sara so we could be there together while Brian read our essay, well, this was great. Highlight of the summer if not the year for me.
My sister won tickets to a Guster show in Fort Lauderdale. One of the Guster fans won tickets to every single show they did this year, and for the ones he could not attend, he had permission to give them away to other Guster fans. He raffled them off and Lin was the winner of that show.
Seeing as her best friend Ginger and family live in the Palm Beach area, Linda and I recently got Ginger into Guster, and we wanted for her to attend the show so close to home. Linda bought me a ticket so we could all go together.
But she plotted and schemed to deeper shenanigans.
She flew Jess down, and got Jess a ticket to the show. I arranged for after show time, so Linda had to also email Brian to let him know Jess was coming and to add her to the list but not tell me, because it was a secret. Brian was thrilled.
Linda also reached out to Michael and Jon, my dear loves who long ago moved to Florida. They couldn't come to the concert but Lin and Ginger threw a party for me to do the big reveal of Jess being there, and invited them to join. We laughed long into the night, it was a truly memorable time, and Michael took this group "ussie." I loved it. What a surprise and a blessing this entire night and weekend were.
There were a lot of stresses for sure, though. Doug ran out of unemployment and we were literally weeks away from having to borrow money to pay rent when he finally got a job in September.
We didn't suffer a great loss, like of one of our parents. Doug's great aunt Mae just passed away last week, she was 104 years old, and I'm sorry we didn't get to go see her before she passed, but we did get to visit a couple other times this year. What a life well lived. And I so enjoyed getting to know her.
We had friends lose parents; friends lost children. Those were the hardest ones, the children. Friends got divorced or broke up. A couple of those are still struggling with these events and I'm heartbroken watching from away.
The entire country has been stressed out. Working at a media organization has made me feel both extra stressed out over this whole year and also numb and not-caring.
We didn't travel as much as I would have liked, but did get to go to Massachusetts, albeit for a funeral. I got to make a trip up for meetings and see Carrie and my parents and others. I did several Drive-By Hugs of many friends. I miss so many people that going home I try to make it a goal to see as many people as possible.
I reconciled a little bit, but not fully, with a friend that I'd fallen out with. I'm happily watching from a ways off their life now and am happy to see them online and be reconnected.
I'm looking forward to next year. 2020 as a number signifies a clear vision, focus, a real sense of sight.
And at least one Guster concert coming up.
Happy new year to you, dear reader. As Jim's Big Ego sings, "Thank God It's Over." Watch the video here: