When I was quickly falling asleep last night I was thinking about the past ten years. 1999 was one of those years where it seemed everyone was on edge all the time. And, as December 1999 approached, that level of intensity just got to be so much I think I really just tuned out. But, before that…let’s look back.
February 1999 I remember was super rainy, super grey, and super dark all the time. Hole was big on the radio, and she was singing Malibu. Yahoo was the big search engine at the time. I was in the early part of semester number 3 of 5 at Evergreen. When I mixed the 4 things with a beer (or maybe a couple of beers) I had this brilliant idea to apply to graduate school.
Between February and May I was either in class, with classmates, at the Tacoma Bar and Grill, Grounds for Coffee, the Manette Saloon, at Mud Bay Coffee, or at home. I was also sending out resumes, doing interviews, all in preparation for graduating at the end of the Summer. (yes yes…I had to do summer school)
In April I visited Pepperdine’s campus and quickly decided that this would be a good next move for me. Thankfully it wasn’t up to me, and the decision wouldn’t come easily. I had to think about the $$$,$$$ investment I would be making, weighed with the $$,$$$ I would be making with just my bachelors degree.
So, go figure. June 3, I get two pieces of mail. One was the job offer to move to Portland and translate EIRs into something people could understand. The other piece of mail was the offer letter from Pepperdine. After an informal poll at the coffeeshop, a couple of beers at the Manette Saloon, and a chilly walk home from the bar, it was agreed that I would be going to Pepperdine.
That, and the conversation I had with my Grandfather that ended in him saying “You really do need to get out of Washington, and I think Pepperdine is a great place to improve on that liberal education you received at Evergreen”
Started classes at Pepperdine and Oh-Em-Gee…tough stuff, but I did end up finding an amazing group of people that even to this day, I respect and admire very much. Classes aside, there was still a lot going on in Washington that I could no longer be a part of.
But, I don’t want to tell you about that. I want to tell you about my stupid idea to come home for New Years Eve. Imagine my luck when two guys get picked up in Port Angeles with a car full of bomb-making mess, and ruin my New Years. New Years was C A N C E L L E D at the Space Needle in 1999. And, it was the only reason I traded NYE in Los Angeles for NYE in Seattle. I ended up spending it at the Manette Saloon (even though to Laurie’s credit, she tried to get me out of there before midnight before I made my somewhat regrettable mistake…which isn’t what you think, but…girls wear beer goggles too…LOL).
2000 came and well…George Bush was selected by the Supreme Court. What a way to deflate some balloons.
2001, finished grad school, got a job, quit drinking quite so much (getting a job does that), and started dating Alex.
From 2002 to 2007, I remember Alex, baseball, leaving TRG, starting and ending at eCivis (which will forever likely be known as the only real teenage rebellion I ever had), and going back to TRG.
2007: Alex and I went on a one night cruise to no where. Where, on the front of the boat, in front of a bunch of 50-something ladies, Alex asked me to be his partner forever and ever and ever and ever. And, ever and ever…and so on.
I remember that we were going to plan for something on a train. We were trying for the parlor car on Amtrak.
2008 came around, and so did Iolani. I could easily say that the Stork dropped her off with little warning and leave it at that.
Which brings us to 2009. On the somber side, this is the 15th Christmas without my Mom around, the 9th without Mommo, and the 1st without Margaret. The dwindling number of matriarchs in the family is unsettling, but new ones are slowly appearing. What that really means, I’m not sure. Families aren’t like what they used to be, as Mad Men has shown us. But, I think all in all – in the Brideau household, things are okay.
Things we’ve seen this year…Iolani’s multiple first this or that. Baseball games at the stadium or at home. New parent struggles. Childcare challenges. Vacations. And, of course a big wedding on the Red Car in San Pedro.
When I look back on the whole decade, it is easy to dismiss the huge national challenges…at least I find it easy to dismiss the economic downturn woes (um…because they were expected!!!). The electoral downturns…well…maybe we could consider 2000 the Supreme Courts an exercise of teenage rebellion?
But, if I could just set that all aside and look at the joys of 2009, then everything will be just fine. Happy Holidays to everyone, and raise a glass to the end of this decade and entry of the next.