Friday, December 10, 2010

21 vs. 21: The Year the RT20 Became Legal!

Wow. I can’t believe the RT20 is now old enough to legally drink! Dudes, let’s take this pile of papers out and get it wasted on shots of Rumple Minze and a case of Coors Light and then watch it throw up in the bathroom!

Whoa, my 21 year-old self grabbed the keyboard for a second. It’s amazing to think that I wrote out my first list in 1990 when I was 21 years-old. Do the math—I’ve been doing this thing for half of my life.

(Other things I’ve done for this half of my life: breath, eat, sleep, crap, brush my teeth, shower, shave, listen to Neil Young, fail miserably with the opposite sex, drink beer.)

(Hold on. Yeah, that list made me get up from the keyboard and punch the chair behind me. Better now, thanks.)

The number 21 made me think about what it takes to get the RT20 finished now, and what it took keep my 21 year-old self going. Let’s break it down list style:

List at 21: Made partially under the influence of Rolling Rock.

Steve at 21: Bloodstream partially replaced by a stream of Rolling Rock.

List at 21: Is distributed in 13 states in the U.S.

Steve at 21: Was excited when he drank 13 beers on the Micwaber’s beer list.

List at 21: Struggles to make cracks about 21 year-old singer Taylor Swift.

Steve at 21: Struggles with his crack addiction.

(Umm, let’s move on.)

If I had to rank this year’s list in degree of difficulty to finish, it would be in the top two. (The other being the 2002 edition when I got the flu and finished it a month late.) Perhaps it’s the hangover from devoting so much effort to the 20th anniversary edition. Maybe after 21 years it’s time to retire it? Or is it that I’ve done so much writing for my daytime job that my brain just doesn’t want to work in concert with my fingers anymore. Or could it be that recording podcasts ( seems much easier and more fulfilling? It’s certainly a less solitary process (well, except for the editing) and I always seem to gleam something new after each one. I certainly don’t have the answers.

Enough with the downer talk—I’m here to say that my 40th year on the planet was perhaps the best of my life. Seriously. I lost a ton of weight and seem to be keeping it off with (you’re gonna be shocked) actual physical activity, i.e. working out. I think it’s going to stick (unlike my previous two weight loss attempts) because I’ve gone to workout when it was 35 degrees. At 5:30 in the a.m. Which is quite insane.

Before I wrap things up, I need to give a shout out to three people that played a big part in making my 40th a great year to be alive. Allison Keiley, who reignited my love of corned beef hash and helped me escape the comfort zone (a.k.a., the rut) I’d lived in for a decade. Captain Jon Quinn, whose infectious enthusiasm at 6:15 in the morning made me actually enjoy exercise for the first time in 13 years. And Heather Scott, who played the 15 year card to make this fall an outstanding time. I couldn’t have made it through this year without the three of you, so thanks a bunch.

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