#1: Crashes a car.
I made it through heavy rain. I made it through heavy traffic. I even made it through Nowra, before a telegraph pole gently shoved the bullbar into the front of a friend’s Terracan and brought us to an abrupt stop.
The impact also snapped the CB aerial. In two places. We found half of it in the grass.
Not to be outdone, two of my friends immediately set about smashing their own cars up in the following two days. God hates geeks with cars.
#2: Goes home early, bored, from a night out in Sydney.
The turning point was being served an alcoholic beverage in a sturdy plastic cup, in case I chose to be violent and glass someone with the more traditional bottle. I wasted about five seconds being slightly offended, before realising my drink was getting warm and just drank it anyway.
The train ride home was little better. I’ve never been on a train at night and NOT seen some poor git get fined for not buying a ticket. Then there’s the charming guy who speaks mainly in four letter words. And the wonderful lass from Bellambi who spat on some poor guy for the outrageous crime of air-guitaring within her line of sight.
I don’t belong in such an environment. I need a new city to play with.
#3: Rediscovers the lost art of Spending Time Reading.
In the wake of the James Bond franchise reboot, I’ve been into Ian Fleming’s old novels with a passion. There are a few lines of dialogue I flat out don’t understand – as you’d expect from books written in the 1950s – but it’s nowhere near as bad as, say, forcing high school kids to pretend to read Shakespeare.
Mostly it’s just good old-fashioned fun (“I telephoned the embassy directly I received your note”, he explained), and it’s a better way to spend your time than re-watching Moonraker for Roger Moore’s snappy one-liners (though I suspect a Pierce Brosnan marathon may be in order for the holidays).
#4: Gets thanked by complete strangers.
Currently I’m at war with my modesty complex, which seems hellbent against me registering anything but shyness in the face of gratitude, but every couple of weeks or so I get a random email from someone I’ll never meet, from a country I’ll never visit, generally in a timezone I’m barely aware even exists, just to say thanks for something I’ve put up on this site that’s helped them out with some sort of computer issue. The last one actually arrived mid-afternoon on my actual birthday, which felt pretty good.
Here’s the deal, internet: you keep googling, I’ll keep writing. Let’s do this thing.
#5: Be’s humbled by a bowl of cereal.
You poured rice bubbles into a bowl, you poured milk into the rice bubbles, you poured a big spoonful of white sugar over snap, crackle and pop, and then you downed the whole thing in four or five mouthfuls.
At least, that’s how it worked when I was seven. Age 22 I shook a tiny bit of sugar out for flavour, realised I actively didn’t want any more, and sat down to wonder when I lost my sweet tooth.
People don’t change. They just grow. 2008’s definitely the latest in a long, rollercoaster list of years that’ve been the coolest year of my life yet. It’s been a year of growing, of learning, sleeping, experimenting, winning, losing, and finding more than a few of my own limitations.
It’ll always be the year I broke Nathan’s car. And it’ll always be the year I finished Crysis a month before buying a 4870×2. And the first year I spent more money than I saved (collecting Pocket PCs is an expensive hobby – I don’t recommend it).
I’m sure I’ll accidentally destroy many more vehicles in my life, though. And spend more money on even more ridiculous toys. 2008 will still stand out as the year I grew some direction.
Merry christmas and happy new year everyone. In advance, so you don’t miss it amongst being full of ham and drinking yourselves silly.