Thursday, December 31, 2009

at the turn of the year

I stood on a rooftop in downtown Seattle, waiting for the clock to flip from 11:59 to 12. This, despite the fact that I had been suffering from some kind of cataclysmic sinus infection-flu-fever trifecta since Christmas. I was wrapped in a wool plaid blanket that I'd borrowed from my friend's couch and I did my best to stand up straight. There was talk about the voracious flesh-eating plague sure to hit each and every ATM come the strike of midnight. A three character disaster churning in the bowels of every computer in the universe: WHY TOO KAY. Every city on the planet was holding major celebrations marking the shift from the twentieth century to the twenty-first. Every city (including BOISE, IDAHO) with fireworks and downtown gatherings. Every city except Seattle. The fireworks that had been shot from the Space Needle for every New Year celebration since (sometime... I have no idea... but it was a long while) were canceled due to a bomb threat. We stood on the roof and wondered over a world where Boise had fireworks and we did not. Clearly, we had a lot to worry about.

Since that night, I've celebrated nine other New Year's Eve's. Some of them much quieter. Some of them much warmer. Some of them less plague-ridden. All of them much happier. Because my life has changed so much since that night.

Ten years, baby. Can you believe it? What were you doing ten years ago?

10 comments:

Swistle said...

Oh, I LOVE this topic! We were living with my parents because we'd just moved from our state to theirs and hadn't found an apartment yet. We had one child, and he was not yet walking. We had three cats. We had two huge boxes of non-perishable provisions of the sort we could use anyway if nothing bad happened (peanut butter, canned stuff), and we filled half a dozen 6-gallon jugs with water Just In Case. We stayed up watching the news and putting a puzzle together, feeling relief as midnight hit each area of the world ahead of ours without causing any problems.

Erin P said...

My life has changed completely too. I was pretty sure my marriage to my now-ex was ending (he was out with friends through the evening, then went to bed at 9:30, leaving me to open the millenium champagne and watch TV by myself); we though we had the y2k monster under control at the hospital but I had my beeper just in case; I spent the evening wondering why I was so alone. Life is so different now, thankfully.

stacie d said...

I was at a party my friend had at his office (sounds dumb, but they had a really cool office at the beach in Santa Monica). There was a fog machine there and I can't resist those. As it was getting close to 12 I decided to crank up the fog and create some "atmosphere" ... I got carried away (oops) and it set off the smoke alarms in the whole building. The fire dept was automatically called and we were all in the middle of the street as the clock struck midnight! Good memories!!!!

Chad said...

Ten years ago I was in a quaint suburb of Wellington, New Zealand called Karori. I was in bed by 10:30 but was awakened by my companion's alarm clock, set early because he wanted to get up and see the sunrise. It was overcast. We didn't get up. I was mad because I was awakened earlier than usual. Then I think it was a typical day in the life of missionary, though perhaps somewhat quieter in the pre-noon hours. Also, no Y2K catastrophies as we all found out.

Chad said...

Now, I am working tonight. It's been slow all day (only 2 calls) and I am hoping for an interesting if not exciting night. I don't wish harm on anyone, but the nature of my job means that what is exciting for me in my job and lets me do what I am here to do (and hopefully do well) means someone loses some property or gets hurt. I don't want that to happen, but a structure fire or a roll over on the highway tonight would make my New Years Eve this year certainly more interesting.

Sibley Saga .... said...

I too was being a missionary. Turns out most of our neighbors owned several firearms a piece. We found out when they all fired them in the air at midnight.

Not a smart thing to do when you live under the flight patterns for O'hare Airport.

Shelly Overlook said...

Corny as this sounds, I stayed home alone with my cats. On purpose. My 9 year old cat had been diagnosed with a fatal liver tumor just 2 days prior and I knew my time with her was limited. I also had a 3 month old kitten who was just becoming brave enough to torture her big sister, not realizing she was sick. I remember my mom calling after midnight to be sure I was okay and not sad I'd skipped the big party to be with my kitty. In hindsight, I'm so glad I stayed home. There were many more drunk stupid nights ahead in my life and missing that one was not a sacrifice.

Spadoman said...

I don't remember.

kately said...

ugh. Same story as Erin ... I was with my Ex ... marriage was awful - and I honestly can't remember that evening. I do remember wondering if any of the computer catastrophies would actually come to fruition. Other than that - it's a blur and I'd prefer to leave it that way. SOOOOO thankful for all the wonderful blessings and ways my life has changed ;-)

Midnight Rambler said...

Ten years ago, I was in Sydney, Australia, having a b-l-a-s-t with my then-boyfriend, now-fabulous-husband. This year I am in .... wait for it ... Boise, ID. And if you'd asked me 10 years ago where I would be now, I can guarantee, Boise was not even a blip on the radar. Of course, now that I live here (all of 4 months), I'm loving it and am entirely protective of/defensive about my new city--and yes, it is a city, however small it may be, so there :-) Happy New Year!