Alright, dearies, 2018 is coming to a close, and I feel the need to scratch out some kind of send-off, as I am feeling particularly grateful (albeit exhausted) from all that has transpired this year.
“Of course, you’re grateful, Iron Paul. You’ve got an inheritance.”
#1 – Screw you. Everybody died. That’s how I got this money. I lost all four grandparents and both of my parents, along with my favorite aunt who was violently killed by a drunk driver… all before I turned 40. They will never see my beautiful half-Asian babies. They will never get to see how high I soar.
I also lost a few family members to greed, so again I say screw you.
#2 – I spent half of the money on my wedding, taking care of my wife, fixing up our marital home, taking care of friends, and tithing. So again, screw you.
#3 – Maybe try being happy for a person who has a change in their luck, especially when you know how tough this particular person has had it, asshole.
#4 – Try to imagine yourself in my position. Try to imagine people you really love completely flipping their script as a result of your change of fortune. Try to imagine all the mooching and the pandering I’ve had to endure. You know I have a hard time turning people away, so the disappointment has been pretty devastating. It ain’t fun.
But now that I’ve gotten that business out of the way, let’s look back at 2018 and see all the wackiness that has taken place:
- Sasi and I tried our hand at a few business ventures. Nothing really panned out, but it was fun getting out there and learning new things. Actually, I can’t say that nothing has panned out, because I do get random work from the universities in the area. My name is finally out there, so I’m hoping for a few Spring semester papers to wind up on my desk soon. I have a shiny new red pen filled with the blood of a dire wolf and the tears of my IEP students. Bring it.
- I lost a bit in the stock market trying to figure out how to day trade. No regrets, however, because, again, I learned something new. Plus, if anybody ever buys out Neovasc, your buddy is going to end up with a very nice return. It is entirely possible.
- I started reading more. Actually, I started a dozen books and finished maybe two or three. Still, it counts. And if you factor in all the tiny snippets I read day in and day out, then I’m sure that adds up to a couple of full-length books. Regardless, I’ve enjoyed learning new things from all the reading as well (especially my in-depth study of the Torah).
- I’ve learned a lot about marriage during our first year. Lots of laughter, lots of tears, lots of compromise, lots of late nights racking my brain trying to figure out how to do things better. Wouldn’t change a thing.
- Restarted my writing project, with some rather incredible results. Looking forward to getting this thing off my desk and out there in circulation.
- Reconnected with some family! It has been wonderful catching up with Cousin Kayla and Sista Sherri… ummm… Sister Sherry (couldn’t resist the old school WCW reference).
It hasn’t all been a bed of roses, however. I’ve had to cut quite a few people out as a result of the mounting hysteria over He Who Apparently Must Not Be Named. I’m truly disappointed in many of the people I have had with me on this journey. Stuff just started getting good, and some of you people just lost your damn minds. Now you are no longer welcome to share the road with me until you figure out how to apologize.
And, no, this time I’m not apologizing first just to help you save face. I said precisely what I meant. Try focusing on the people you love, and you may come to discover that who our Commander-in-Chief is should have very little bearing on what is truly important in this life.
We also had a couple of health scares. Sasi and I are both on the mend, thanks to some rather persistent efforts to figure out what constitutes a proper diet and exercise program. At least we figured it out. I’ve got a doctor appointment in a couple of days about my back, and while I am a little nervous, there is a feeling of relief knowing that I have access to some great healthcare. Furthermore, at least I will finally find out if it is just a bulging disc or a pinched nerve. Operating without a diagnosis has made it a little harder to figure out the right exercises for the injury.
I did spend quite a bit of time lost. We’re out here in the suburbs, so finding a job for me that fits our situation has not panned out at all. Of course, what came of it was a very patient wife insisting that I stay home and finish writing my book, so I can’t quite chalk it up as all negative.
I also spent quite a bit of time in a bit of an emotional rut. I may have not gotten along with most of the people in my family, but only when they die do you lose your opportunity to see eye to eye (cue Mike and the Mechanics). It kinda messed with me that I never really got that opportunity. I did get to talk to Grandpa Pete and Grandma Joanie a few times before they passed. I also was in constant contact with Aunt Lynn, so I’ve had to remind myself that some people were rooting for me all along. However, it’s how things ended with both of my parents that has been messing with me. I did all I could to honor and respect them. I have needlessly blamed myself for how a lot of things turned out, and now I just need to pick myself up and carry on. In then end, my mother did take care of her firstborn, and in a way I would have never imagined. I miss you, Mama, and I love you so much. Shine a light on me and let me know you got the message.
As for 2019, you know I’m not big on resolutions, but this year I’m making an exception. As the great poet Muscle Man once said: “It’s hard to make a New Year’s resolution when you’re always bringing your a-game,” and that’s basically how I see it. However, there is always room for improvement, so it is my aim to do the following:
– Exercise more.
– Eat better.
– Read more (and not just my random, 1 a.m. fact checking on how old Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are).
– Try harder at the things I attempt (and not give up so easily).
– Love my fellow man and try my best to forgive acts and deeds that are borne of fear and frustration.
That’s a full enough list, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m already hard at work on all of them. Stay tuned, dearies, because we’ve only just now reached the cool part of the book.
With that all out of the way, I want to thank the following people for sharing the road with me this year:
Drew and Todd – I had to put you two at the top of the list for reading so much of my gibberish. I don’t care if I end up with a billion readers. The two of you remain OGs.
Nicole – Where would I be without my bitchy, more than slightly intimidating big sis? I love your grouchy ass more than you realize, girl. I’ll let you know when we get a Taco Bell. Can’t have you starving when you’re out here.
Erin – You may as well be another sister. I’ve enjoyed our long talks. You have so much to offer this world. Still got them Spellfire cards?
Josh B. – Another grouchy oldster, but a great dude. I appreciate all the encouragement, especially since I know I drove you nuts back in the day. You’ve damn near morphed into my big bro by this point.
Vo – There’s a lot more to you than I realized. Now maybe you will realize it as well and start smiling a little more. Don’t give ‘em too much, though. Always keep ‘em guessing. Also, if you find any weird Kit-Kats, you know I’m game.
Risner – Man, you’ve had absolutely no reason to stick with me, but you’ve done it all the same. You’ve also played a MAJOR role in this book, and I will not forget that.
Pammy Terkins – We love the crap out of you, girl. Keep the faith. And if you ever need a vacation, we’ve got you covered.
Holly – Thank you. You know why. The invitation stands.
Brother Chang – Next year, brother. Just you wait. A new era awaits us.
Pearson – I think I bitch at you more than any of my friends. It’s because I probably love you the most and wish the world would stand by and let you do your thing. Don’t ever start taking me seriously. It’s the secret to a long-term friendship with me (though I suspect you already knew that).
Matthew – We don’t talk very often, but until you tell me otherwise, we’re still friends. My opinion of you remains slightly above average, and I dislike you less than almost everybody. You are one of the few people who I do not actively root against.
Shivers – Buddy, buddy, buddy… how much can things change for two OGs like us? Following your story has inspired me and really made me so much less cynical about life. Looking forward to scotch, cigars, and bad golf once we find a nice break in all the action. Stay safe, keep bumping SOAD, and give Craiggers a good ear-scratch for me.
Groves – You are one of my favorite people on this planet. We shall meet again. Just lemme get this paper first. We’ll do another batch of brownies, then you can teach me how to play Texas Hold ‘Em.
Dr. Jamison – How much can one professor influence and inspire one student? I’m at a loss, really, because you of all people know just how perpetually stoned and panicked I was during those challenging times. You embody what it means to be a professor and a mentor, and I wish nothing but the very best for you and your family. Let’s see what happens with this book in 2019!
Pastor Harvey – I love you guys so freakin much, man. Looking forward to sitting down with you all and feeling that spirit again one fine day.
Spicy Jeff – I’m not giving up on your ass, so don’t get any ideas. Real talk, I love you, brother, and I pray for a good year for you.
Aunt Brenda – I love you and I appreciate all you’ve done for my brother and I. I’m gonna keep sending you sweets at random until you tell me to stop.
Aree – You know I can’t split without giving you a shout. Love it when we talk. You’ve got one amazing mind, brother. Wishing you continued success. We shall meet again. Bank on that shit.
Also, lots of love and respect to the following people:
Lisa Amani, Feather, Shawn Sattazahn, Skipper, Robby (mad gropus), Sterling, Tim Bond, Mama Karen, Morgan, Michelle, Big Carl, Porkchop, Judy, all them Kerstens (and Pedro), Laura Slaughter (Sarah Laughter), Kim ‘Bassinger,’ Willum, Mandy, Mark and Denny (save me a spot on that fishing boat), Miss Netta (a true all-star), Noble Travonius (so glad to be back in touch), C.A. (maximum respect), Dr. Morris, Dr. Town, Dr. Torres, and finally Pluem, Nont and Yudai for being my staunch supporters (I hope, hope, hope you remember the smart things I said and not as much of the crazy shit).
I also want to thank my Thai family for being so loving and patient. I have to admit, I’m not quite used to the kind of tolerance and patience you’ve shown. I am truly humbled. Khun Niwat, Khun Yupin, Pii Noi, all my sweet aunties and cool uncles (and the cousin who always feeds us well)… I love you guys and I hope I don’t confuse you half as much as I suspect I do.
Lastly, I need to thank my wonderful, beautiful mermaid wife for being my rock and my inspiration to be a better human being. I will never find another person like you. I love you more than words can ever say (and you of all people know how much I talk).
That’s all for now, dearies. Keep your eyes open for one or two freshly edited chapters, and with a bit of luck the winds will stay strong and I can get back into a lot more writing in the coming months. Also, we’re hoping to have some news for you all very soon… wink, wink.
2018 was a great year. Looking forward to riding that wave of momentum into 2019.