Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up. It seems like less than a month ago I was crawling on my hands and knees in a Kansas City ballroom, cleaning up the wreckage of New Year’s 2005. I bartended for a gigantic party last year that was thrown for a bunch of rich, corporate snobs and for the first time since I was 18 I didn’t bring in the New Year with a head full of acid. Not literally, of course, I just like to quote HST, but I digress…
Last year was a personal milestone because instead of blowing a quarter of my checking account on debauchery, I actually pocketed a few hundred, drank bottled water and stood witness to the march of the penguins instead of sliding on my belly like the people I served. I remember when people used to tell me when I was younger that time will begin to go by quicker as I got older. Wow, do the elders ever have a way of being right most of the time. As human nature has it, this requires us taking a few steps toward being an elder until we fully arrive at this realization. Time has all of us by the short and curlies.
This, of course, brings us to the body of this week’s column. The year 2005 will be in the books in maybe 48 hours, so let’s go over the latest and greatest year of the all conquering human race, and get Rev’d Up for making an effort of having a better 2006.
2005 will be a year that will forever live in infamy. For the last five years Hollywood has inundated us with end of the world, apocalyptic, movie themes. Maybe Mother Nature attended a few flicks under the radar and watched us all continue to go about our waste management (or lack there of) and global warming efforts. Perhaps she had seen enough and decided to kick us in the gut a few times to maybe knock some sense into us all? Tsunami waves, massive earthquakes, and hurricanes of unprecedented strength and frequency wrecked havoc on our beautiful planet. I saw a special on the Tsunami disaster last night on The Learning Channel that really shook me up. A group of scientists visited an area that was hit the hardest and were all brought to tears as they calculated how much time those that were lost had to react to the relentless surge of water that manifested from an underwater earthquake hundreds of miles at sea. We lost over a quarter of a million souls in the bat of an eye as the result of the worst natural disaster in human history. The scientists wept because they knew they would have recognized the signs and maybe could have warned people to move out. They also knew that there was no form of formal education available at tsunami vulnerable areas to teach people to do so themselves. They wept at the fact that the area was a prime tourist location and the focus had been placed on luxury instead of self-preservation.
Months later The Big Easy would fall victim to Mother Nature’s wrath. I can remember being in grade school and hearing a teacher talk to us about New Orleans lying below sea level and may someday perish under flood waters. I have never visited the particular area of our great nation, and know nothing of the local efforts made thru the years to preserve and solidify the levy protecting the city from its inevitable cataclysmic demise. Maybe they did all they could do to shield the effects of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane? Whatever efforts they made, it obviously wasn’t enough. As I lay in bed watching The Weather Channel monitor the ominous swirl of severe weather make its way across the Gulf of Mexico, the words of my grade school teacher rang through my mind like he was right there in the room with me. We had a hunch it would happen 20 years ago, and unfortunately we were right.
This brings me to another topic: New Years Resolutions. They are so cliché that it’s almost a cliché in itself to mock them. You know, everybody is supposed to stop doing this, start doing that, like going to the gym, and try not to eat so many honey barbeque potato chips or whatever. Go check out your local gym during the first week of January—I promise you the place will be packed! Nicorette stock will skyrocket during the first quarter, and by the end of the second quarter Lays and Marlboro will be back in the saddle. But, that’s okay. We are just people and we’re all different. There is nothing wrong with anybody’s choice of self-preservation. It’s their choice and their right. Ah, but when your actions effect others negatively, as most of the general population does, well we find ourselves in quite a pickle…
2005 was a bad year for us, folks. I know it’s easy to stand back and Monday morning quarterback the misfortunes of others and make uneducated (because I am) stabs against the human race. I am guilty of not recycling, not getting my vehicle smog checked, and not doing everything in my power to be a model citizen and human being. Last year I drank too much, worked too little, and gave less of a shit overall than I ever have in my life. And it’s not like I’m on the frontlines in the war on terror, either—not a whole lot of you reading this right now probably are.
Thus, I am, among other personal things, making a few New Year’s resolutions. I plan on being more conscious of the environment. Don’t get me wrong; I am far from being a tree hugging, Sierra Club “activist.” I’m just a deep-thinking, borderline paranoid advocate of all the things that are enjoyable in the world. So in 2006 I am going to recycle my plastic bottles, I’m going to have my vehicle smog checked (even though I am in Kansas and have no idea where to do so), and I am basically going to try to give more of a shit all around. We all need to. And I am going to do something that makes things a little better on a soldier or two out there, just to let them know that their great sacrifices are appreciated by me and my family.
All the same, I hope everybody goes out and has a good time this weekend. Go celebrate all of the good things in life and raise the roof of whatever party you attend. But when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. on the 31st, and the apple drops on Dick Clark’s Time Square Special, please take a moment to clear the fog and reflect on your year. Remember and respect the events in 2005 that brought you to that point in time. Then, kiss your sweetheart, turn the page, and let out a holler of hope for 2006! Let’s all do better next year; perhaps Mother Nature will notice our effort and give us a nod of tranquility for the next 365 days of our stupid little lives.
Thanks for reading, next week, it’s back to dirt bikes—Anaheim is almost here!