Tuesday, January 6, 2015

One Last Look in the Rearview.

I gazed down at the Christmas tree’s lifeless body, its gangly husk jutting into the street. What had for three weeks been the aromatic, bedazzled showpiece of a season, now lay askew on the parking strip, shivering and naked. 

Whatever. Let’s face it—it felt pretty freaking good banishing that needle-spewing fire hazard for another eleven months. Baby new year is here, still too young to screech her colicky wails. So, like Mama Duggar waiting for a fresh batch of stitches to heal, let’s let the little chump snooze in our lap while we look back on the year Two Thousand Fourteen, Anno Domini.

A lot of heavy stuff happened—the Ebola outbreak, drowning polar bears, ISIS, the divorce of The Captain from Tennille—so let’s not tackle the issues we can’t poke a little fun at. Because, while a lot of the year’s events appear negative on the surface, I’m confident we can sew a shiny new silver lining into 2014’s sweat-stained seersucker before tossing it into the old foot locker.

In entertainment news, we witnessed the passing of some true giants: Mickey Rooney, Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, to name a few. Such full careers these folks had. At least we can embrace the few wizened icons who continue to walk the earth—the Clint Eastwoods, the Morgan Freemans, the Betty Whites—but yeah, we’re gonna go ahead and just fist bump the ones with colorful sweaters who offer acting lessons by the Keurig. 

In 2014 technology developments, Facebook offered “lookback videos” to its subscribers. I’ll admit, I felt sort of guilty forgetting so many milestones my friends had marked throughout the year. Thank God for another opportunity to remember that gorgeous paleo froyo my friend Dave photographed at Menchie’s back in March. These captivating slide shows also reminded me that for every charming meme with an unfortunate typo, there’s another with two.

In sports, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling faced banishment from the National Basketball Association for his recorded racist remarks. Ever the humanitarian, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer scooped up the franchise for two billion dollars, ensuring that generations of rabid fans can arrive in the second quarter, buy a twelve dollar Bud Light, and be on the freeway by the end of the third.

Also making sporting news in 2014, Jim Harbaugh abandoned the NFL’s best rivalry by resigning from the San Francisco 49ers to assume the reins at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. I’m not going to lie; I’ll miss Coach Harbaugh, with his Sharpie necklaces and eight-dollar khakis. A true scholar of the game, he utilized every tool at his disposal to thwart his adversaries throughout four years of masterful manipulation. See how the drool smears down his chin? That means fullback dive. 

And finally on the local scene, legal recreational marijuana became available in Washington during 2014, marking an historical blow to the ill-advised, Reagan-spawned war on drugs. Finally, our legal system has freed itself from the shackles of inequitable drug sentencing, racism and prison overcrowding.

Wait, what? Hungry. Mmm, pizza. And cake maybe. 

Happy New Year.

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