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New Years Eve Midtown. Are you happy to see the year end? Or are you happy to start a new year?

Hmmm…. time to think about this last year. It was a good year for me. I wrote, went to a beer festival, tried new restaurants, went to see some live entertainment, and started to commute to work by bicycle.

New Years resolutions? I do not have many. Lose weight? No. I have already lost weight riding 22.4 miles daily to work. As I tell my wife, “I have legs of STEEL!” as she rolls her eyes to the heavens. Maybe I do need to pick up the free weights again. I need to write more. Instead of placing projects on the back burner, the projects need to be placed on the front burner. I just read an article which stated, “It’s better to get things finished, than it is to get things perfect.” That project will never be perfect. Work to get it completed, not perfect. I need to attend more baseball games. I rode my bike in the “Tour d’ Bird” group ride to see the Redbirds play downtown months ago. Let’s see; bike ride, beer and baseball. Yeah, that works. Funny, I ran into a Redbird cyclist along the Madison bike lanes a month ago. We chatted for a bit. I doubt he remembered me. And I still have that video of us riding around the outer field prior to  the game that I have yet to post online. What else is on the list for 2012? I have to try Cheffies and Rizzo’s restaurants. I know, I know. I ride by Cheffies DAILY and have yet to try the place out. I was called out TWICE this month for not giving the place a chance. Rizzo’s; your on my list as well.

The best blogs and websites from 2011? Check out www.lifehacker.com. I read the site daily. Good stuff. Next up is www.paulryburn.com/blog/. Paul always has good stuff about downtown Memphis. www.ilovememphisblog.com/ is a great blog about the city. Need to find cool things to do? Check out the blog. For you cyclists out there, read Doug’s www.bikinginmemphis.com/. Doug provides great insight about biking around the city. He points out what works, and what doesn’t work. I am surprised the city doesn’t pay him to write his blog. The city should. His blog inspires Memphis to get up off their butts and onto a bicycle. Some of my best days are sitting at a coffee shop, reading Doug’s blog and then riding my bike to work.

New Years memories? Probably the worst New Years Eve party I attended was a couple of years ago. The Cordova Flying Saucer was having a bash. Our party arrived early and we settled in at a table. The m.c. that night was terrible. I think this was his FIRST paid gig. The songs were bad. He had to ask the waitresses what songs to play. It was so bad, we couldn’t leave. I mean we had already stuck it out for nearly 3 hours. Why leave now? Go down with the sinking ship is what I say. As midnight rolled around we waited for the countdown. And that is when I noticed the clock had ALREADY struck midnight. The m.c. had MISSED the New Years countdown! Are you kidding me?

A year prior we headed to New Orleans for New Years. This celebration has to be good right? The hotel we reserved had a problem from the time we checked in. The room we reserved wasn’t available, the heat was broken. The next day we complained and were told we could move to a much better room. THEN we were told 30 minutes later that room was now NOT AVAILABLE. What? You can’t just offer a guest a room, then rescind the offer. I called my credit card company and explained the insanity. We were then offered a room at the company’s sister hotel. And yet again, “There is something wrong with the heat”. It is FREEZING outside and we can’t have heat in our room? Are you kidding me? I shook me head in disbelief. We settled into the new room, and then the NEW digital camera broke. Yeah, that was a bad New Years Eve. In the end, the hotel refunded everything claiming that the reservation computer was down, and the hotel had no idea what guests were booked where. The hotel did offer a free nights stay at another time; no thanks. I wrote several letters to the hotel, making sure they understood we would NEVER stay at that hotel again. Every year we go back to New Orleans we walk by the hotel. “Look, it is the hotel from hell!”

Strangest New Years Eve? I was in Munich, Germany for New Years. An hour prior to the new year, I loaded up my winter coat with beers and made my way to the subway to head to the main square. (This was a repeat from a New Years in Paris. I loaded up my winter coat with beers in Paris. At least 12 beers. As I rode the subway, the beer bottles began to make a “clinking” sound from the vibration of the subway. And that is when other people in my subway car looked at me funny. Why is his coat “clinking”? I later learned to just get a large bottle of wine while in Paris for New Years.) In my rush to get to the main square, I boarded the wrong train. I happened to notice another man who had made the same mistake in my car. I explained to him we had to go in the OTHER direction. So we exited one car and boarded the subway going in the correct direction. We began to talk about why we were in Munich. He was from China. He was with a travel group. The tour group had minders and were with the tour group at all times; except tonight. The tour group had a curfew. From what I understood, the group couldn’t go to any churches, could not watch t.v., could not go to any libraries and could not talk to any political groups. But he was allowed to talk about german food. We spoke at great length about all the great foods we had sampled while in Munich. Soon we arrived at the main square and New Years was just minutes away. I opened a large bottle of beer and asked him if he wanted a beer of his own for New Years. He declined the beer. More for me. The countdown began and the clock struck 12:00. Fireworks went off all around us. We were laughing and saying happy new years to everyone. This guy from China could barely speak english (I certainly could not speak chinese), but we made ourselves understood. He went back to his tour group, and I went back to my hotel shaking my head. I am in Munich, celebrating New Years, talking to a guy from China.

Or the Y2K New Years. Remember, the world was to end because of the Y2K computer error. I sat at my computer that night, waiting for civilization to end. I was SURE that my computer screen would go dark, then the city would do the same. Our world would be plunged into chaos. I was ready! If Y2K would bring us to our knees, I had a plan. I didn’t say it was a good plan. At midnight I would take off all of my clothes (except my running shoes) and run naked in the streets! I mean think about it. If the world is ending, the authorities would have better things to do than to chase me down. And as the digital clock struck 12:00… nothing happened. I waited 5 minutes, just in case doomsday was running late (caught in traffic perhaps), then I turned off the computer AND kept my clothes on. Oh well, there is always 2012.

Plans for tonight? An early dinner and then we will stay in. I’m not getting into the crowd downtown.

The best song I heard today? “Waiting for the Sun” by the Doors. “This is the strangest life I’ve ever known”. Or you can just go with, “It’s the end of the world as we know it” by R.E.M. Hello 2012!

Have yourselves a great New Years and I wish you the best for 2012. Thanks for reading and I will see you next year!