Why does it put me in such a bad mood do you ask? Well, the simple reason is that every single New Years Eve of my life, I've been that guy that was always standing alone while everyone else was kissing someone at midnight. This time of year has always put a fine point on that feeling. I live alone in my Augusta, GA, and for the most part, the closest any of my friends live to me is Atlanta. Of course, I don't have that many friends I talk to anyway, so it doesn't really matter that the two people I talk to on a daily basis don't live near me. Although, there is a possibility that Adam may move down to Augusta and share the apartment with me. That would make life a bit more bearable I think, to not be the only person there.
On top of this, I went home to visit my family this year. I know, you are thinking, "But Joel, that's a good thing." If you are thinking that, then you don't really know me. It's not a good thing. Going to visit my family means living in an environment that is filled with cigarette smoke, and a, to quote a famous comedian, glorious lack of sophistication. My mother's house is halfway through the remodeling process, and of course it's the 'guest' area that isn't quite finished (or in this case started). Add to that the fact that my mother doesn't actually like to do any of the same things that I do, and that none of my friends live there, and you get a rather boring, uncomfortable time. I spend most of it sick from the smoke.
Oh, and here's the last big thing. I am not a Christian, but all of my family is. I do celebrate Christmas, as the idea of the holiday, and the intent and meaning behind it are concepts that I find very important in a good healthy life. My family though, especially since my grandmother died, are very adamant about their beliefs, and while it rarely comes up, it does make me uncomfortable to be around them. Simply because they are so close minded, that it would be a full scandal that ruined Christmas if they found out. And I have no desire to ruin everyone's Christmas. I guess that in spite of all my family's best efforts, I learned better than that.
No, the holiday season is more oft than not wrought with pain, depression, and disappointment than with any kind of joy. Looking back on 2004, I think that it just might be the most fitting ending the year could have though. I mean, lets start with January 1st, 2004. I actually thought I was going to have fun, but I got called into work. How lovely was that?
January saw my Article 15 for using my government travel card for non-authorized purchases. I had to work for thirty days straight because of that, twelve hour shifts on normal work days and eight hour shifts on normal weekends. That was when I learned that no matter how much the Air Force claims to care about people, they would rather you get evicted than to break a regulation. It's not like I didn't pay the damned bills, but when they didn't pay me, well I didn't have much choice if I wanted to stay in my apartment. The worst part about the extra duty, is that I was the only one there for so much of that time.
The glorious 2004 also saw the introduction of Air Force PT, and of course, I failed the PT test. Wasn't surprised at all. Running PT on a regular basis, aside from showing me how much I'd gotten out of shape, but it informed me that my body was starting to complain about things. My arches are apparently falling, which has caused me pain ever since March, and there is, at least according to the Military, not much that can be done. When I went to get it looked at, they also informed me that I still was not actually in the military, and I didn't have access to use the medical facilities. When I did get to go see a doctor, the first one who saw me said that I had a cyst, but the actual podiatrist told me I had falling arches. So I probably have something like a tendon problem, and they're just too stupid to diagnose it.
Then my one real friend in Augusta moved back to Las Vegas just as we went back onto twelve hour shifts. Twelve hour shifts took a lot out of me, and seriously hurt my motivation. We finally moved off of them, but then I was alone on a shift, and that sucked more than I care to talk about.
In an attempt to have something enjoyable and rewarding in my life, I joined the LJ Abuse team. I knew that it would be a lot of work, but I figured the social aspect of it would be able to make it less stressful, and actually good for me. I was wrong about that, on top of the stress of the job, I was mostly ignored by the Abuse community, and that did nothing but give me that perpetual "not fitting in" feeling. So without the social aspect to help, I just couldn't handle the stress of the job. And so, I had to quit. That really hurt.
Though, December did bring something good for me. I got a new computer. A nice desktop with windows media center. Of course, this last couple days I've gotten pissed at windows again. I hate that OS, it does too many crashes and the security is horrible. I basically ran into a situation where I could only use half of the computer's capabilities. So, after some research I have found that my old favorite Linux will support everything I want to do on it. Unfortunately, I can't use the amd64 build right now, because there are no Haupague drivers for the PVR yet, but mind you, the second there are I will probably rebuild in 64 bit. I just finished installing Gentoo Linux with a 2.6.10-r1 kernel, with KDE 3.3.2, and an experimental desktop called Metisse. Currently MythTV is installing. MythTV is TiVo like application, that does the same kinds of things that Media Center did. After it's done, installation of cedega will allow me to play the games I want to play. So I will have everything I want. Thanks to a free product. Got to love that.
It was, all in all, a pretty crappy year for me. I did have good friends to help me through it, even if they were few and far away. And there you have my new years "Year In Review" post that took me a few days to finish. So Here's to hoping that the new year is better. My New Years Resolution? Let me see....
I resolve to be more motivated about myself, and work to improve the quality of my personal life.