Two Hundred Thoughts
Just ask any of my close friends or immediate family members; I am one painfully, obsessively, ridiculously fanatical guy when it comes to celebrating (or at least recognizing with great fanfare and proclamation) any and all milestones. Be it birthdays (yes, even our dogs’), anniversaries of any kind, new jobs begun, old goals reached, pounds lost, memorabilia found, first steps or last graduations. My poor unfortunate family members will often pretend to be as excited as I am about any given commemorative occasion. More often than not, however, I’m met with exasperated sighs and rolled eyes whenever I ask, “Do you know what today is?!?”
For example, each Oct. 24 for the past 15 years, I’ve made it a point to take my dear wife out to dinner in recognition of another year of my self-employment. Granted, some years we’ve had a whole lot more to celebrate than recently. But nevertheless, not having to deal with combat driving to and from an office in the mid-Wilshire district and waste hours of every day in meetings listening to some self-impressed marketing monkey with an MBA and a penchant PowerPoint decks is reason enough, I think, for an annual dinner out to mark the occasion.
One of my favorite annual rituals is to sit at a table on New Year’s day with a drawer-full of various colored Sharpie and highlighter pens, last year’s calendar, and three new, unwritten-upon calendars in front of me – one to hang in our kitchen for our primary family use, one that will live all year under the wireless keyboard on my office desk and one small, day-planner type that I carry with me to client meetings. I spend hours the first day of every January transferring each of the birthdays, anniversaries, school dates, work dates, planned trips and outings, and anything else that I feel deserves recognition during the upcoming year.
Depending on its perceived significance (in my mind, at least) each event listed will either get a simple underline, a colored underline, “stars” drawn next to it, a colored highlighter frame, multiple colored, concentric highlighter frames, lovingly drawn red hearts of various sizes (for wedding anniversaries and Valentine’s Day, of course), cartoon fireworks, streamers, balloons, confetti and well, as I said – I’m a tad bit obsessive about this stuff.
With that in mind, you’ll understand why I can’t let this, my 200th official “My Thoughts, Exactly” column, pass without at least a mention. So, ta-da! Consider it mentioned and duly celebrated. I have now had the joy and privilege of writing two hundred weekly columns for editor Robin Goldsworthy.
Some readers may remember that my first 70-some-odd columns were published when Robin was editor of the now-defunct Crescenta Valley Sun whose parent company was the Los Angeles Times. When the above-mentioned dysfunctional parent unceremoniously killed its offspring in 2009, Robin recognized the resulting void in community coverage, held her breath, said a whole bunch of fervent prayers and boldly launched the Crescenta Valley Weekly on her own dime. (Many locals have celebrated her efforts ever since, I might add.)
So what’s next on my calendar of celebrations? Since you asked, tomorrow just happens to be “Near Miss Day” to commemorate that fateful event in 1989 when a mountain-sized asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth. Whew, that was close.
Then, Saturday marks the birthday of legendary magician and escape artist Harry Houdini, although it’s probably too late to make reservations at the Magic Castle.
Next break out the ouzo because Sunday is Greece Independence Day. (Already? Wow, time flies.)
Monday is actor Leonard Nimoy’s birthday, may he live long and prosper.
And Tuesday marks the annual Blessing of the Horses, Tractors and Cars in Osweiler, Luxembourg. Just because I won’t be attending in person, doesn’t mean I can’t raise a glass to the occasion.
I’ll see you ’round town.