Monday, January 03, 2005

And a new year begins...

Goodbye 2004, welcome 2005. Turn the page on the old and begin the new.

It's just amazing to me how fast time goes these days, especially the older I get. Seems like it was just a few days ago we were beginning 2004 - an Olympic year, a presidential election year and - maybe - the year I finally get my life settled into what I think it should be.

Took some good steps in that direction in 2004 - got involved with a Unitarian Universalist church in Urbana, IL, about an hour away from where I live in Charleston. Did some good things with a community radio station in Champaign, WEFT-FM, which is a lot like KDHX-FM in St. Louis.

Other steps didn't turn out so well. I met a minister who lives across the state, thanks to an Internet dating site, and we talked for a bit. Got along really well. Then came a fateful September Friday in Springfield.

We got together, saw a movie ("Wimbledon," with the always-cute-and-sassy Kirsten Dunst) and had dinner. I thought maybe there might be a connection there, despite some small differences in religious approach (she was a minister in the Christian Church [Disciples of Christ], a pretty progressive group.

Two days later, an e-mail - she didn't "feel" anything for me and was breaking it off before both of us got hurt. She apologized for hurting me but knew it couldn't continue.

It stung. It stung badly. I felt a lot like Charlie Brown - I can't even get a woman of the cloth to be a girlfriend.

I got over it fairly quickly - I'm used to romantic disappointments like that - but it still reminded me that even, in my mid-40s, the game of love is still something I can't figure out the rules for. (Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, where are you when I need you!!)

Romantic entanglements aside, I do have a few goals I've set for myself in 2005. Chief among them is to find a good-paying job so I can go back home to St. Louis. Failing that, I wouldn't mind moving up to Champaign-Urbana - a progressive college town where I feel a lot more comfortable anyway. Nothing against Charleston, but I think it's just too small a place for me, a place where a lot of the available females are students at Eastern Illinois University.

Maybe Champaign-Urbana would be a better fit for me if I couldn't get home. But we'll see how it goes.

New Year's Eve was a real bummer. The biggest thing I did was wait for an AP story from the Illinois-Cincinnati basketball game - I had to work. There was nothing I could do about it.

Finally got done and got home by 11:30. So what did I do? Went to the web site timeanddate.com and saw a countdown clock bring in the new year. They had a clock for all the world's time zones n a simultaneous countdown to 2005.

Checked it out today and guess what - they're already counting down to 2006!!! Must be nice to avoid the rush!!

Counted down the last 10 seconds and then welcomed 2005 with a can of Diet Coke with Lime in my hand. Really exciting, huh? No kiss, no hug, no nothing - just a guy in his apartment staring at a computer welcoming another year in.

How pathetic is that, I ask?