Friday, December 29, 2006

The Year In The Rear View Mirror

When a year starts out with a visit to the cardiologist, you know it's not going to be a good one. Despite that, and despite the subsequent health issues, 2006 turned out to be a pretty good year.

Of course, I am concerned about my health, but setting that aside for the moment: I met a lot of nice people this year, many of whom I've grown close friends with. By "met", I mean on-line, but also in person. Early on in the year, I shed some baggage that needed to be pruned away last year, but once I did, the world opened its arms wide to me.

I'm proud that friends whom I had coming into 2006 have remained friends and many have become closer, while enemies that I've had have been pushed further away. I lived, I laughed, and I even loved. When you sum up a year that way, it can't get much better, especially as I look around me at a deteriorating world, personally and on a more generic note.

They say that time heals, but it also decays, and that was brought home to me this year in many different forms. The moving hand writes, and having writ, moves on. The ink dries, then fades.

The worst loss of the year for me, besides a few precious hairs, was my cat. I was there for that last moment, when he looked up into my eyes, his filled with fear and panic as he could no longer gasp for air, walked in a small circle, collapsed and died (yes, he really did circle himself). I don't remember that I ever let out a noise the kind that I did that Sunday morning, as I knelt by his lifeless body. To this day, the tears flow freely. I had to walk away to get a glass of water to type on.

As life takes, it gives, and I am blessed with ThumbPer. He is a joy, a lively kitten who promises to grow up to be the best cat I've ever been owned by. He has these quirky little habits, like riding on my shoulder when I walk thru the apartment, or jumping up on the sink anytime anyone goes to the bathroom, to play with the faucet (I swear, he looks like he's trying to figure out how to turn the water on!).

Other good things this year: This blog is one. In September, just past my one year anniversary of blogging, I had my 50,000th visitor. I project my 100,000th within the next eight (five...Crooks and Liars linked to me again) weeks, maybe sooner. I find that the quality of my writing has improved with the daily discipline of posting here, and analysing the strange and important stories that I come across each morning. Hell, I even got off my duff and wrote a book (I may turn that into a full-fledged novel in time for next Christmas).

My Mets finally made it to the playoffs after six brutal years of frustration and incompetence. They could have and should have done better, but it is what it is. I don't really follow American football, but nominally I'm a Jets fan, so I can take a small sliver of pride in them, too. My Rangers made it to the playoffs this year after ten long years of looking thru the plate glass window. Arsenal made it to the European Club Champions League championship game, and lost a heartbreaker to Barcelona.

Politically, it could not have been a better year for me. I endorsed seven candidates, and six won (excluding Ned Lamont, but that was an early endorsement, and who'd have figured he muck up THAT campaign so badly?). My blog was picked up by three candidates.

Which brings me to another good thing: the syndication of the Actor212 Information and Entertainment network (you'll find the links on the right). I'm pleased that I am now read internationally on college campuses as far away as Sydney, Australia, and as close by as Greenwich Village, and in newspapers across the country. Just another wholly-owned subsidiary of Actor212 Enterprises (a Cayman Islands corporation).

A door closes and a window opens, you see. I owe many thanks to so many people; most important are you, my readers. To Katrina, my able-bodied assistant and sometime psychotherapist, I owe a very deep debt of gratitude for pinning my arm behind my back and pushing me down this path. Her angels have watched over me, and I thank her. To Miss Cellania, for our link exchanges and general spirits-keeping-up when things look bleak. To Blogenfreude, for keeping me laughing, both at his various blogs, and in e-mails. To Mr. Doggity, who always has a thought that makes me think even harder. He's kept me in line when I've tempted to slip into moonbat lunacy.

To everyone on my blogroll who has reciprocated with a link back, I thank you all, but in particular to Mike over at Mike's Blog Round-Up at Crooks and Liars, who has linked to me more times than Jones has sausages, to the Chief Bottle Washer of Blogtopia (and yes! He coined that phrase!), Skippy the Bush Kangaroo (he of The Daily Show fame), who put up with a lot from me, and Lydia Cornell, with whom I've developed a good friendship, and who also has her hands full with me. Oh...and the gangs over at Martini Republic and its sister blog, Big Apple Martini, including Tristam Shandy, who has to put up with my nonsensical commentary as well.

Oh, and I nearly forgot...I conned Targa into blogging! And since I'm picking on people who comment here, let me add my thanks to Jacq and one of my newest regulars, Susan (who, if she blogged, would get linked in a heartbeat!). And NOI. And CathCatz...and Gnu.

2007 promises to be another year of some ecstatic highs and some deep lows, but I must recharge my batteries, so I will be taking some time off next week, and spending it on the island of Bermuda. The weather promises to be quite lovely, near 70 every day, and I'll be staying at a spa. Nothing will whip asthma like a long sauna (that's pronounced "sow-na" (as in the female pig), not "saw-na"...if you're going to speak Finnish, speak it properly, dammit!) followed by a dip in a pool. It won't be a hole cut in the ice, to be sure, but it will help. I will be blogging from the hotel, so you won't miss much, and I'll be bring a camera and a vidcam, so I'll share my trip, catch as catch can.

This is not my last column for 2006, but I suspect it may be the last time some of you are near a computer. Don't drink and drive, please stay safe, and please enjoy and have a Happy New Year.

And thank you. Again. I'll probably update this post throughout the day because I'm sure the second I hit "enter", I'll remember something I thought about saying last night. :-)