Christmas, 2008

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

This past year has been one for the history books. And the sooner it gets over with and into history the better.

It began with Cathy having a mid-life crisis and leaving me right after New Year's Day. Then the roller-coaster ride began. I spent the beginning of the year in a major funk, which only started to lift when I started going out and rebuilding my social life. Then I discovered that a social club I had started in Texas many years ago had gone on to become a Big Deal, and it actually made me a minor celebrity in certain circles here in L.A. This was the Turning Point. This was when I truly began to believe that things were going to be all right.

The thing I'd done years ago turned out to also be the hook that led to my connecting in a romantic way with my friend Susan, who I had met while bicycling. And this led to a very wonderful and sweet love affair, which was just the thing I needed to lift me up out of my pit of despair. We had great fun and lots of adventures, including a trip to North Carolina to meet her family, a trip to Texas for the 15th anniversary party for the club I started, and also a trip to Lake Tahoe for the Tour de Tahoe bike ride around the lake. I am eternally grateful for the time we've spent together. It's been a wonderful experience.

As of this writing, it is nearly the end of the year, and I'm reflecting back on my experiences of it. And it's really all right. I started out deep in the hole, and now things are just so much better than before. I have a social life. I have good friends, and I have hope for romance and love in the future.

As for the actual practical adventures of the year, there were many. I took Lucinda and her friends to Disneyland three times. I never used to like Disneyland before, but it turns out I have a friend who works there and can get us in for free. So without the exorbitant admission charge, it suddenly became great fun. We also went to see Les Ballets Trockadero again, which is always fun. And of course, no year is complete without seeing the international drag chanteuse Varla Jean Merman. As I mentioned above, I took three trips this year, all with Susan: North Carolina, where we visited Jesse Helms' grave to make sure he was dead; Texas for the big 15th anniversary party for my club; and Lake Tahoe to ride bikes around the lake. In local tourism, I did the Dearly Departed tour of Hollywood, as well as visiting the newly-reopened Museum of Death.

Other adventures included the JPL Open House, seeing Buzz Aldrin in Hollywood, Cheech Marin's art collection at the L.A. County Museum of Art, and another exhibit on set decoration at the Motion Picture Academy. I also saw art by Robbie Conal, who is the guerilla artist of Los Angeles, and also attended one opening night party at the Museum of Neon Art. Local sightseeing included trips to The Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine of Aviation in North Hollywood, and the L.A. County Fair. Maybe next year I'll enter my perfect blueberry muffins. I also took Lucinda to see the National Track Cycling Championships at the velodrome in Carson.

Movies this year includes "The Unforeseen", "Heavy Metal in Baghdad", "Trouble the Water", "Religulous", "Bigger, Stronger, Faster".

And as always, all of these adventures and pictures are available on my web site: