“Two-thousand Five, Alive!”

Welcome, welcome. There are seats for everyone here, and it looks like our progress towards the End of Time is proceeding smoothly into the latest chapter, as measured by western civilization. Normally, a new year signals not much more than a big party and about three months of mis-dated checks for me. This year, something feels different. Who knows what’ll happen? I know I’m looking forward to it, particularly since we got to start it off in Philly with friends.

Our group of friends (which is really more of a loose, ever-shifting collective) congregate in one of our respective cities each New Year’s to celebrate and, now that we’ve spread out over the country, to prove that we aren’t just a bunch of web-based response programs interacting on a bboard every day. It’s always awesome, and this year was no exception. So, thus far it’s been: NYC, Burlington (VT), Philly, Boston, Ocean City (MD), DC, Philly. That’s seven years running so far.

There’s too much to cover from this year, but it was great fun. Great food, lots of good drinking, and warm weather. All with close friends and new ones. Plus, we didn’t watch a lick of New Year’s coverage on TV. In fact, we counted down using my great uncle’s watch. There was something telling about that group decision, which happened spontaneously about 5 minutes before the final countdown. Those who were aware that the countdown was being orchestrated all agreed: we’re from different time zones, and different cultures, but here we are, together. And, by being together for these few days every year as a group, we are creating our own New Year.* So, with a watch that’s been across the ocean, kept time for a group of men defending Europe, been handed down from generation to generation, and needs to be wound and set each morning, we counted down to our New Year: another cycle of seasons as friends, even as we change and grow. And together we cheered.

Maybe that’s what makes the opening to this year feel so different. Perhaps this year we won’t be watching the world move as much as we’ll be part of making it move. Here’s to that.

*I’m articulating it with perhaps a bit more cohesiveness here than was actually present that night.

Check out some of my photos in the extended entry. I’m waiting for photos from our other friends, as well.

The group, drinkin' on NYE
Set and Mortal Kombat, what more could you need?
Brian and Jon rock out
Brian literally weilds his guitar like a gun
Adam is hungry for The Hungry Lady Special
Jon is overcome by thoughts of his Hungry Lady hand
The lovely ladies of NYE '05
Formal wear, casual people
2005 is here
Good friends hug
Becca tells it like it is: Nyaah!

More pictures to come.

NOTE: They never came. This is my fault and the fault of others.

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