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That crazy, crazy year 2000


Last night, I was with some very good friends of mine at the Continental Club. The place was crowded, people wearing the little 2001 tiaras, spinning their New Year's Eve spinners, drinking lots and lots of beer. We had listened to one great band and we were waiting for the infamous and very dirty Mojo Nixon to hit the stage.

Greg comes back from the bathroom. He talks about the crowded conditions there. We get into a conversation about that. The women were complaining about when they have to share tiny bathrooms with just a curtain separating them. Ladies, do you not realize that this is Privacy Heaven compared to where men are expected to go? When we go see a football game at a stadium, a lot of times we are expected to urinate into a trough. A TROUGH. Like a long metal thing where men stand shoulder to shoulder letting fly.

And you know what? There's always an unspoken but terrifying possibility that you'll cross streams. I call it The Ghostbusters Quandary. Trust me, you don't want to cross streams. It is quite possibly the most socially awkward entanglement a man could ever bring upon himself. It's like wearing pink in prison. Just don't cross the streams. I beg of you.

New Year's was a lot more fun that I thought it would be. We hit a fantastic Japanese/Sushi place called Umi's that just opened in Austin. Then we saw Mojo Nixon later on and he was as profane and funny and energetic as we'd been led to believe. The guy is crazy and he got the crowd going. It was an excellent show.

Right before midnight, they passed out plastic wine glasses and champagne. We toasted and I was again struck by the fact that most years I haven't had anyone to kiss on New Year's. Usually I'm either not dating someone or if I am dating them, they're out of town or with family. It's okay. Andy bought me a shot and a beer chaser, and after the beers I'd already had, I probabably would have been a bad, sloppy kisser anyway.

The whole rest of the weekend had been spent going in and out of weird sleep cycles. I took an ill-advised evening nap on Saturday and ever since then, I've been staying up until all hours (9:30 a.m.?!?!) and living like vampire. I haven't even left the house much except for the New Year's festivities.

Now it's Monday, a whole new year, and I am sincerely creeped out by writing the date as "01/01/01." That's just strange, ya'll.

The LCP show Friday night went well. We only did three sketches, but one of them was very long. By the time we got on stage, the crowd had already been manhandled and abused by two of the funniest guys I've seen on a stage in a while. Chancla, as they call themselves, completely tore it up. They did some hilarious songs and I've found myself at a loss to describe them except to say they're like a Latino Tenacious D., only funnier. They did a song called "Chancla" that you can download from their site,, that is about the funniest song I've ever heard. Especially if you ever got beaten up with a sandal as a child. We're hoping they'll perform with us in our April show. They are far too talented for this Earthly plane. Go give them your support.

I was thinking a lot about the year 2000 and what I got out of it. A lot of my friends had very tumultuous, scary years. People moved away. Some people transitioned into new jobs they didn't like. Some of my friends had babies or are going to have them. There were a few marriages. There were some deaths. One of my closest friends told me 2000 was the worst year she's ever had.

I feel really lucky. This was a good year for me in some ways. It was also terrifying. I moved into a new position where I felt over my head and I had to sink or swim. I started this site, which has been a lot of fun and very rewarding in the short period of time it's existed.

Places traveled: Las Vegas, Los Angeles (twice), Toronto, Miami, Oklahoma City. Places I wanted to see again, but didn't: Barcelona, New York, Albuquerque.

I made a huge deal last New Year's about wanting to do more traveling this year because last year I didn't go anywhere. In 2001, I definitely want to go to New York and I already have a flight booked this week for Albuquerque for some skiing.

I made a small self-awareness breakthrough: I can choose to be a bad person. Not that I want to be, but most of us go through life thinking we're the Good Guy of our personal life drama. And sometimes you have to step back and see that you're not always a good person. You don't always do the right thing. And that can really mess with your self perception. I had to accept that I don't always do right. That sometimes, I screw up. Sometimes, I can be petty or cruel or say things I don't mean. It's a sad, hard realization, but I'm working with it and trying to be a better person despite it. Honest.

I made some new friends who have become very important -- mostly over e-mail, but still. They're smart and funny and make life better.

The comedy troupe had a huge year and a lot of transition. We lost some people I really loved working with. We added some people who I think are going to be great. We sold out the Paramount Theater, something none of us would have thought possible at the start of the year. We won some awards. We made a lot of people laugh.

I considered leaving my job and then came back and decided it's what I still want to be doing. I started writing for MightyBigTV and met some of the smartest, funniest people on the Net.

This year was a year where I felt I was starting to lose touch with some very important people from my past. I still feel that way a little. It hurts to know that some of my friendships will never be the same. I won't have people in my life the way they used to be. And it really should make me feel better that there are new people who've come into my circle who make me laugh and are good friends. But it doesn't make me feel better. I know it should, but it doesn't always.

No health scares or family strife to speak of. My brother grew up, like overnight. One day he was sitting in front of the TV playing PlayStation, now he's dating, has facial hair and can drive. My friends from Oklahoma City don't believe it either. They think I doctored the photos of him that I showed off.

I think I'm happy. I really do. But it's scary because I "think" that. It's hard to know anymore. Things are so much more complex, and even the things that bring me happiness sometimes have strings attached.

I wrote more this year than I think I ever have in my life. I hadn't written so much since I was in high school. The recaps I wrote helped a lot -- it got me into the habit of writing for long stretches.

It was a crappy year for movies, but a few managed to sneak in and move me. Dancer in the Dark made me weep. Requiem for a Dream shook me to my core. I finally saw The Exorcist in the theater and it scared me for days.

I think I've grown. I hope I've grown. Otherwise, aging would just seem pretty pointless, huh?

Photo by David Kennedy, AA-S

In the interest of helping you disseminate your own year, here's the Terribly Happy 2000 Quiz. It will tell you how exciting a year you had. Good luck!

1. How many times did you have sex in the year 2000?

a. Does Spankie count?

b. I finally became a man/woman/animal-lover this year.

c. It's like clockwork, baby: every Tuesday at 10:35 p.m., right after M.A.S.H.

d. I'm having sex right now.

2. To ring in the year 2000 last year, I...

a. Cuddled tightly, alone in a bunker.

b. Bunked with a cuddler, tightly.

c. Drank until Jack Daniel's seeped from my pores.

d. Was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List

3. Where did you travel last year?

a. A place called home.

b. To yo momma's trailer home.

c. The lost pyramids of Egypt.

d. I jet-set my way through Buenos Aires and then purchased a midget in Trinidad.

4. Your year most resembled that of...

a. An introverted schoolmarm.

b. The guy who bags my groceries at Albertson's.

c. Courtney Cox-Arquette

d. Robert Downey Jr.

5. Your friends would describe the year you had as...

a. A fucking drag. A long, boring fucking drag.

b. One long party with a stomach pumping at the end.

c. An orgy, but with attractive people involved.

d. I don't even know you. Seriously. Get the fuck away from me!

6. Catch any diseases this year?

a. Small bout of allergies when I left my oxygen tent to retrieve some analgesic.

b. Mononucleosis.

c. Complete liver failure.

d. At the penicillin clinic, they teasingly call me "Lucky."

7. I most aspired to have a life similar to:

a. Nelson Mandela

b. Judd Nelson

c. Nelson from The Simpsons

d. Willie Nelson

8. Words of wisdom for Y2K:

a. "I kind of wish the world had ended."

b. "The year was a bitter experience of loss, hopelessness and severe depression broken up by minute moments of bliss, usually involving precribed drugs."

c. "My ass is still sore. Don't even ask me why."

d. "Who's up for some toad licking?"

9. Biggest achievements of 2000:

a. Finally realized that if a magic potion made you invisible, it wouldn't make a damn lot of difference in your life.

b. Got a job. Got fired. Repeat.

c. Finally asked that one girl out who is not really ideal, or even attractive, but she's the only person you could concievably hope to convince to spend an evening with you.

d. Conquered nations, spent millions, ate breakfast off a groupie's chest, had streets named after me, turned down an invitation to meet the queen, overcame public backlash.

10. I will look back upon the year 2000 and remember:

a. The lonely, wretched sound of my own shallow breathing as I lie in bed at night.

b. The party at Joe's house. GodDAMN, that was some good sangria!

c. A tumultuous year full of political strife, technological change, divisions in class and money and an economy headed into turmoil by raised expectations of a new information industry. Oh, and some notable blow jobs.

d. Nothing. Can't remember a damn thing.


Okay, tally up your score like this: For every "A" answer, don't give yourself one single damn point. For every "B" answer, give yourself a point. For "C," give yourself two points. For "D," three points.

If you scored 0-8, your chances of survival in 2001 are probably not good seeing as how you're already dead. Rent American Beauty and try to glean something from it.

For scores of 9-19, recognize that you had a better year than a lot of people and you should probably stop your bitching.

For scores of 20-25, you are definitely treading on a scandalous life as a hanger-on or one of Leonardo DiCaprio's bitches. Start working on your memoir.

For scores of 26-30, e-mail me immediately. We should hang out.

Happy New Year!



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