who dat? contest.

none today.

last game:

It's Montana's governor, Marc Racicot.

first correct answer:

Oy. I once again misplaced the name of the winner. I'm sorry. It was a very hard one and you, whoever you were, rule.

so that happened

Two nights ago I was at a party at midnight and the ball dropped, as balls do, and everyone cheered and toasted and kissed. And I said that 2000 sucked and fucking good-bye to it, and everyone around me started agreeing, saying "Worst. Year. Ever." Everyone. I was shocked. The millennium started rough for everyone it seems.

In all fairness, it wasn't the worst year for me. I know which one that is very clearly. This was just a terribly difficult and confusing and emotionally trying year. This year things changed for me. No, I didn't move. No, I wasn't able to quit my job, despite promising this time last year that I would. I didn't get sick or hurt. My family is fine, despite a few deaths. I still have much the same goals and dreams and desires as I did last year. But yet, everything has changed.

Finally I feel like my career has begun. I have people. I have a team of people behind me. It's scary. It's scary because I'm no longer totally free to do whatever I want to do. Sounds weird, but it's not a bad thing. I have people who press me in one direction or another -- people I trust. People who know things about the business that I don't. I am still the ultimate decider of my future, but my decisions are no longer madeein a vacuum. They affect people. And that's OK. I can use a bit more of that in my life. I think that's coming. I mean hell, I got a cat this year, another development. I'm living for two. Well, for one and one-fourth, maybe.

I made it to the finals at Slamdance. Then I won The Austin Film Festival. I'm working with a well-known director on a script of mine. I am now a paid freelance writer, which feels good. I begin taking meetings next week. I have an evening of plays I wrote running right now without me having anything to do with it. I run this website and I help run a online forum that seems to give people pleasure. Things are happening. These things make me happy, but they're also scary. I know what I'm doing, but I'm not sure I really know what I'm doing. Luckily, I'm both a good faker and a quick study. As an actor, I shot a movie, which finishes shooting this month. I instigated bringing our comedy group back from the dead, and after six months of insanely hard work, we had a terrific sold-out run. We're rejuvenated, planning now to move away from the stage and focus on film and TV projects with the group. Aided by the SAG strike, I sort of made a tacit decision not to audition for commercials anymore. There are enough things in this world that suck my soul -- I didn't need one more. It's very hard but feels very good to make the hard choice to get rid of something that is no good for you anymore. That's a hard lesson to learn.

I made some good friends this year. My Christmas list last week was about three times what it was last year. I made friends at work. People who make these dull days all the more tolerable. I made friends through the industry. People who make the notion of only idiots and pricks working in Hollywood a wholly false idea. I've even met people online, which a bit over a year ago would have been astounding and sort of embarrassing for me. I no longer find it so. I no longer care how I find the people who fill my life with happiness.

Monumentally, this year, of course, my five-year relationship ended. People say that when two people break up, the relationship "didn't work out." Well, I think in our case it did. It just did for a finite period of time, which came to an end this year. I don't think of it as a failure. I learned so much from her -- so much about myself and life and love -- which I think has only made me that much more ready for whatever comes next. For all that, and for so much more, I am thankful. I am no longer sad about it, or wistful. I do not think of her longingly or actively miss her. I have, for a while now, moved on. Which is good. Which is what people do.

And thus, this year found me back in the ultimately frustrating world of dating after five years away. I have had fun, yes. But. If my casual dating experiences of this past year were an equation along the lines of A - B = X. (A being the fun I had, B being the emotional and psychological turmoil of the whole thing -- X would barely be a positive number.) I really don't know how you serial daters keep it up without wanting to jump off a building.

But shit, I had some fun this year. So many nights of laughter and friendship and great art and drinks and moments when I was just amazed to have such a great group of people who love me. Movies sucked this year, but 1999 was so good that I can almost forgive the industry for being tired. I travelled this year. I got around, boy. I went to Chicago and Berkeley four times and Madison and Seattle and, of course, Austin twice.

Looking back, the year doesn't seem that terrible, does it? It wasn't. Not bad. Not bad. Tough. Hard. Trying. Distracting. I left my original purpose. I surprised myself with my need to find something outside of myself. I also surprised myself with my tenacity. My shocking level of self-involvement. My bullheadedness. By lack of control. My capacity for disappointment. My desire to be a good friend. And ultimately, my dumbfounded realization that in the middle of chaos can arise something truly gorgeous.

I didn't like you, 2000. But for many reason, I will always remember you, and probably in some way, I will always love you. In some way.

So, 2001. I approach you a bit like I would a large barking dog that I really need to make friends with. I hold my hand out and talk in gentle tones, and perhaps you then see that I'm not going to give up. And maybe, just maybe, you let me pet you. I hope you do. And just remember, you may be wiser and stronger than me, but I have thumbs.

My pick for topic of the day at Three Way Action:

Ugly bands.

The Robert Downey Jr. Happy Song Corner

Tears on the sleeve of a man. Don't wanna be a boy today. Heard the eternal footman bought himself a bike to race. And Greg, he writes letters. And burns his CDs. They say you were something in those formative years. Well hold on to nothing as fast as you can. Well. Still. Pretty good year. Oh, pretty good. Maybe a bright sandy beach is gonna bring you back, back, back. Maybe not so now, you're off. You're gonna see America. Well let me tell you something about America. Pretty good year. Oh, pretty good. Some things are melting now. Some things are melting now. Well, hey. What's it gonna take till my baby's alright? What's it gonna take till my baby's alright? Greg he writes letters with his birthday pen. Sometimes he's aware that they're drawing him in. Lucy was pretty, your best friend agreed. Well. Still. Pretty good year. Oh, pretty good. Oh, pretty good year... speaking of which. Have you ever shot Drano into a vein in your penis because the rest of them had collapsed over the long holiday weekend and besides, the make-up crew would see the arms like last time when you had to lie and say you were attacked my leeches when you fell in the pool at Michael DeLuca's birthday party? No? Yeah, me neither. Just checking...
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