And There Goes 2009

In a few days another decade will close. In usual fashion, I will probably be asleep an hour or two before the ball drops in Times Square. Oh wait, I'll probably be awake for that, but I'll be sacked out by the time it hits midnight out west. Or I'll be reading, listening to or maybe flossing.

This has been a crazy year, though I guess that can be said for most years. But this year has felt even more dramatic and full of changes, shifts, anxieties, and on and on, than years past. And I mean this on a grander scale. Many friends and loved ones have gone through very trying times, as has what seems like the whole planet.

Now that all the lists are done (I think), I'll just note some things that I remember and that made this year, well, 2009:

  • I read somewhere that our friendships change up approximately every seven years. While this may be somewhat true, I can point to a number of friendships that have now reached three decades. To Bob and Dave, I do feel blessed. From Bob's driveway to the G to all the Son Volt shows, we're now mid-30s and still great friends. Buries that seven-year rule.
  • The inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama. We've had some disagreements Mr. President, but I'm still behind you.
  • The music. What an incredible year for discovery. 2009 releases may have been a bit light, but I have discovered so much excellent music from years past and rediscovered old favorites. Artists that played a huge personal role in my life: Tim Easton, Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley, Eels.
  • Thank you to Mohammed for not turning Fillmore Grind into some crap coffee shop. It's my second home.
  • Photography. I've never enjoyed it more than I do now.
  • San Francisco. I've finally fallen for you. And it had to happen when I'm thinking that my time here may be coming to a close. Can't say for sure, though. Whatever happens, it's been a beautiful and incredibly enriching place to live.
  • Animal Care & Control. You people do great work. Thank you for letting play a small role.
  • My trips back east. I always feel at home. Thanks DB, SC, SH, SW, BM, LB and all the rest. Oh, and thanks to damn Springsteen.
  • Support. Many of you have helped me through some of the crazy changes, disappointments and personal mistakes. Thank you.
  • My sister. I am very proud of you.
  • Records. I'm just getting started.
  • The Yanks. Eh, you had to spend $900 million, but thanks for the title. It was a blast.
  • Books. Man I've read some great ones this year.
  • Getting close. 2010 will be the year that I release my novel and collection of photographs. I hope one or two of you will get something out of one or both.
  • Lyrics. They've gotten me through so much.
  • Everyone else in my life. You know who you are and I wouldn't be where I am without you. You all give me strength, clear my vision and help me to put things into perspective. And you never fail at it. Thank you.

As Springsteen says, "It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive." Here comes 2010.