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Two Thousand Four

Started: 2004-01-01 00:06:55

Submitted: 2004-01-01 01:10:48

Visibility: World-readable

Yanthor, Humblik, Bitscape, and I returned to the Temple of Castor and Pollux a few minutes ago, with just enough time left before midnight to whip up xdaliclock on Bitscape's and mine monitors and count down the last few seconds of two thousand three. I distributed chilled bottles of Bawls Guarana and Yanthor queried: Why do we celebrate the new year? (Might it just be an excuse to party?) What makes new year's celebrations different from birthdays? Why do we have so many questions about the existence of life?

Two thousand three was an interesting year in my life. I started the year with a college degree but without a job. I actually managed to pull off a few in-person interviews, one which completely ignored my existence afterwards, one which decided I was unworthy, and one which eventually assigned me to assemble web transport printers and eventually sat me down in front of a Windows NT workstation and told me to write some C code and figure out how to coerce LabView into functioning properly. Gem spent the year working as church secretary and finished her masters in library science; two thousand four will be the year she goes through what I went through last year. I spent the month of January feeling generally odd; I fixed Hydrogen and finally said goodbye to the evil Cobalt Buildmeasite had been running on for entirely too long. I'm not really sure what happened in February besides capturing Babylon 5. In March, Yanthor and Humblik descended upon the Boulder Compound for a most entertaining multi-day megafest, the first of many to follow. "Spring Break" proved a demarcation point; in April, I showed up at iTi to figure out how to build the web feeds, and in May they actually started paying me for my time. In June, I helped iTi move, visited Walla Walla for graduation, and started writing code for iTi. In July, Gem and I finally managed to move out of my parents' basement into our very own apartment, where I now sit typing this changelog, surrounded by my friends, all typing their own web content documenting their thoughts about this "new year" thing. In August, Gem and I celebrated our one-year anniversary, Gem started the fall semester of her masters, and iTi shipped a very expensive ribbon cable. In September, I turned twenty-three, got one step closer to fixing Willy's computer, took possession of a second vehicle, started having trouble breathing, and spent a most entertaining half-week in Lincoln hanging out with the same people who now sit around me in my living room. In October, I figured out that I didn't have asthma and began to wonder what I did have. My work at iTi turned to smaller projects; I began to contemplate how much longer I might be working at iTi. In November, Gem bribed me with an iPod, I got my hands on an expensive handheld GPS receiver, and Gem and I flew to Portland to visit her parents for Thanksgiving. I was promised a job offer that eventually materialized the first week of December, finally answering the question of where Gem and I would end up living. December was especially stressful for Gem; she had papers for her classes to write and entirely too much Christmas-related music to do. We survived; we're enjoying our end-of-year vacation.

Two thousand four should be interesting as well. I start work as a real employee (with benefits and worthless stock options and everything!) next Monday. Sometime or another, Gem will start looking for job; now that I have a real job, her geographical options are significantly limited. Whatever happens at iTi, my work will be interesting. (There's even a rumor I might end up on a business trip to make sure one of our products is behaving properly.) In May, Willy graduates from high school, and Bethany finishes her internship at Campion; in June, my mother moves to Oklahoma to rejoin my father. Bethany and Willy head to Walla Walla in September, spreading my immediate family across three time zones. My twelve-month lease runs out at the beginning of August. The Temple is comfortable, although Gem feels cramped in the kitchen; one of these years we'll consider one of these "house" things everyone else keeps talking about.

Sitting at my right as I type this is Bitscape typing a rambling. Although I try not to make him nervous by reading what he's reading over his shoulder, I occasionally sneak a peek, and I know his experiences in two thousand three differ significantly from mine. He started the year working in a grocery deli living with his parents and ended the year working for Scott, still living with his parents. I started the year working for Scott living with my parents and ended the year on a significantly higher note. Through my excitement at making it through two thousand three with a better outlook on life, I am reminded that not everyone is as fortunate as I. I want to do what I can to support my friend, but I don't know what that is. So I muddle along and hope I'm doing more good than harm.

For two thousand four, I want to change a few aspects of my life. I need to exercise more. I'd like to document my life on a regular basis (some resurrection of the "journals" I once diligently kept). I'd like to be more active in BLUG and Hacking Society. I'd like to contribute to one or more open source projects. I want to make sure that I never take my beautiful wife for granted. I want to vote intelligently and carefully in November. I want to continue to be financially responsible.

Here's to two thousand four.

All is quiet on New Year's Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it's true it's true...
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I... I will begin again
I... I will begin again

Oh...
Maybe the time is right
Oh... maybe tonight...

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we're told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

like a lot of geeks, I can run risky meatspace things
through my head until a faulty value comes out that
suggests there's no need to actually do them.
- Caleb John Clark, "Linux and the Lady", Salon.com 27 September 2000