I don't think 2009 could've gotten off to a better start. Exhibit A:
The stern look on my face was hardly indicative of the general mood of 2008's New Year's Eve. Jackie's face (foreground right) is a fair representation of what was really going inside my heart/head. It's been so long since I've had such a fun-filled New Year's: rocking to Styx (!) with best friends, heckling drunks on the free light rail, consuming chocolate chip pancakes, and coining the official slogan of 2009... all in one night (this year was fun too, but let's be honest, it'll be quite a while before NYE 2008 is beaten). The following are how I will remember Make It Mine, 2009:
On the way back to BYU-I for my very last semester, I took the scenic route with Leah through California on our way back to Idaho (emphasis on scenic). We met up with Harper in Bakersfield and drove up through Salinas and Monterey... Leah and Harper were kind enough to humor my John Steinbeck obession, which resulted in this picture:
Relaxing on the steps of John Steinbeck's boyhood home in Salinas, CA. The next morning we made our way up through San Francisco, and we finished the day/night with a drive through northern Nevada to Utah (the only crappy part of the trip).
March: Jimmy Eat World Clariy Tour
No need for detail here since a perusal of previous posts will provide more than you would care to even read. What other band would devote a tour to playing one of their more obscure, less commercially successful albums in its entirety?
Have you ever woken up on the morning of your birthday and your dad or whoever asks you how it feels to be a year older? And you think about it and you realize that you feel the same as you did the day before? That's what graduating college was like. Sure, it was nice, I got a few gifts and some extra attention -- just like a birthday -- but I sure didn't feel any different or smarter when I left Rexburg on April 9, 2009.
Had I known how much I would miss my friends and how much I would pine for college life in the months to come, I probably would've had to have been forcibly removed. Instead, I was all too glad to pack up my car with little regard of when I would see Rexburg again.
April: Wolverine Premiere
Hugh tells the best jokes.
I moved to Colorado. For a few months I really hated my life.
August: Reunion Show and Emiglio Launch
I spent all of high school and a big chunk of my post-mission life playing in a rock band... so naturally I was excited that the stars aligned so well to allow a TMP/xyzebra/Felix/The Headline is Dead reunion show (TMP was my high school band; if a band could have a best friend then Felix was TMP's best friend; xyzebra was a synthesis of TMP and Felix, both in style and band members). While this show alone would be noteworthy in itself, it's how the night ended that really made it so memorable.
Earthbound but aspiring: When I tell people how we launched Emiglio (Whit's pet robot and xyzebra's mascot) into the outer limits of Earth's atmosphere with a weather balloon I generally get one of two reactions: a.) "Oh, that sounds like it was a lot of fun," or b.) "Why would you do that?" Regardless of how people react I've given up on trying to explain the bittersweet feeling we all experienced while watching Emiglio soar among the stars... the closest I can come to explaining how we felt is found in a song -- go listen to "Ara Batur" by Sigur Ros starting at about 4:45 till the end of the song... triumphant melancholy.
September/October: Sunny Day Real Estate Reunion Tour
I didn't go to too many shows in 2009 but the ones I did go to were some heavy hitters. A SDRE reunion had been rumored for some time so I was surprised -- and delighted -- when it actually happened. I was fortunate enough to attend two of their shows, in Denver and Seattle. During the tour they debuted a new song, "10"... perhaps a good sign that they not quite ready to call it quits again...
I keep coming back to the lyrics of "Fight Test":
I thought I was smartRemember at the beginning of last year when everybody was posting those "25 things about me" lists on Facebook? The last entry on my list read, "I'm not one to regret much of anything...." People who have no regrets either have life figured out or suffer from chronic apathy.
I thought I was right
I thought it better not to fight
I thought there was a virtue
In always being cool
So it came time to fight
I thought I'll just step aside
And that the time would prove you wrong
And that you would be a fool
For to lose I could acceptI certainly was the fool to think that I could live my life so perfectly that I would regret almost nothing. I'm so grateful for regret because it means -- hopefully -- that I won't make the same idiotic mistakes I made in 2009.
But to surrender I just wept
And regretted this moment
Oh, and that I was the fool