Why, I remember back in Ought-Five …

Did we ever figure out what we are going to call our years now that we are well into the 21st century? I think it should be “Ought-Five, Ought-Six, etc.” It is reminiscent of hearing old-timers talk about the early 1900s. But I don’t know if the people who formally establish that kind of thing — probably the government or Hollywood — have put their official stamp on how to refer to our years. “Two-thousand five” sounds like you are counting in a game of hide-and-go-seek. “Twenty-Oh-Five” just doesn’t have the right ring. “Two Zero Zero Five” sounds like you watched way too many Adam-12 episodes. “One-Adam-12 roger.” Aw hell, we’ll get it all figured out … by the time I’m gone.

I realize that we still have 2 1/2 more weeks of 2005. And it is entirely possible something great will happen in my life between now and midnight Jan. 1, 2006. It is entirely possible, though not entirely likely or not even entirely probable. For that reason and that I usually spend my end-of-year writing of dancing on the fat lady’s toes, I thought I would recall a bit of the year that was. Note: Not to put too fine a point on ‘fat’ but for the past 20 years I have poetically danced on the fat lady’s toes right around New Year’s Eve while the Black-eyed peas are cooking. The particular fat lady was this bitch on wheels I used to work for in an apartment complex at the beginning of my slacker days. More on the fat lady’s toes tradition at a later time.

Back to Ought-Five. Sheesh, what a year. I started it out with a full-time job and ended it working for myself. I covered back-to-back Iraqi prisoner abuse trials in January. I got a week’s comp time for it. In that week I climbed Enchanted Rock, drank a couple of beers in Luckenbach, Texas (minus Waylon, Willie and the boys), drank a few more beers with some Cajun guys in a Cameron, La., bar that would be blown away by a hurricane eight months later and hiked in the Big Thicket with my friend Sarah. That was an interesting week.

In April I flew out to Colorado for a week to visit someone I hadn’t seen in 27 years and only recently had begun e-mailing. I returned and after a few days back at work parted ways with my employer. I don’t know if there is a statute of limitations on the confidential agreement I signed. At any rate, I am afraid I won’t be able to divulge the details of my departure anytime soon. That was an interesting couple of weeks.

I stayed with my friend Ross near Dallas for almost a month until renting a place back in Beaumont. Since I’ve been back I’ve had some good times, got hit by Hurricane Rita, turned a half-century young and didn’t burst into flames, have done some work but not nearly enough and am now staring out the window at a stormy December day. It’s been an interesting six or seven months.

Oh, and I’ve been blogging since April. Ought-Five wasn’t bad really. It was a really weird year for me, one of change and transition, a change which I badly needed. Now I’ve got to start making things happen in Ought-Six. But before I get those gears in motion, I think I’ll just watch it rain for a little while.

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