Happy New Year to all!
Last night was one of those quiet New Years Eve's at home: no gig, no date, just me and the TV and the cat. (Yeah, that might sound pathetic in a way, but at least I stayed out of trouble, right? The only party I was invited to was 40 miles away and probably would have gone a little overboard in the "milk and cookies" department, if you know what I mean.)
Since I was home, I actually got to partake of the longtime tradition of watching the ball in Times Square drop down during New Year's Rockin' Eve, with Regis Philbin subbing for the ailing Dick Clark. It was a bit premature, since New York is an hour ahead of us, but it was cool to watch the lights and confetti and fireworks and all that. The music was OK; Earth, Wind & Fire was pretty good, and lead singer Philip Bailey deserves props for singing both his part (the screamin' high stuff) and that of the ailing Maurice White (the lower-voiced guy), who no longer tours with the band. I didn't stick around for any more music for a while, since most Top 40 isn't my cup of tea (but as Halfling and I were discussing the other night, a New Year's Jazzin' Eve would be all kinds of cool, so long as it was actual jazz).
When it approached midnight in our time zone, I went back into the living room to see if they would replay the ball dropping for us CST-types. However, I changed the channel very quickly when I noticed (speaking of not-actual jazz) that the G-weasel was playing with EWF's rhythm section--ouch. So I turned to the Ryan Seacrest special on Fox, and I discovered that they were doing the whole New York celebration on tape-delay so that it hit midnight at the proper time for each time zone (smart idea). That means I got to see the same ball drop once again, an hour later, with slightly different camera angles. It was almost, but not quite, like Groundhog Day.
Today's been chill as well; got up early enough to watch the Rose Parade, a tradition that goes all the way back to when I was four and actually saw it in person. The 55-year streak of not having rain on the parade (and hopefully the game in a few hours) continued unabated, despite the fact that it rained yesterday and is scheduled to do so tomorrow.
The year 2004 was great for me, and I'm hoping that 2005 is even better for all of us.
A divulger's display of power: I don't usually do a year-end review on here, but I did make a posting to Divulge, a weekly five-question quiz hosted by a friend of James's who's also in Australia. You can read my entry here if you're interested, and feel free to add your own.
(Bonus points to the first person who figures out the meaning of the title of this subheading; it's related to a recent news story. Smart money says that Eric gets it first.)
Castle-gazing, part 3: Just as I did in the very early days of this blog, I took a drive to Fairview yesterday afternoon to gawk at the really huge houses again. I was actually checking to see how many people had lights up so I'd know if it was worth adding to the annual Tour of Lights or not. I sometimes wonder how many gawkers drive through there in a given day (there seemed to be one right behind me for a while), but I suppose it couldn't be too many, because the locals didn't seem to mind; I got friendly waves from several people on my journey. All I can say is...these places are huge. As much as I'd love to live in a big house sometimes, I think I'd definitely have to marry a doctor or lawyer to live in that neighborhood...or else hope for straight-ahead jazz to make a really big comeback without diluting its musicality. (Yeah, and then I woke up.) But still, it's nice to dream from time to time...