2019: In The Rearview Mirror

(originally written 3/19/20)

Longtime FB friends of mine may (or may not) have noticed the end-of-year/start-of-year blogs I write every December. I didn't do either in December 2019. Not really sure why not. But in the wake of the authorities "asking" us San Francisco Bay Area residents to essentially shelter in place for the time being due to COVID-19, I find myself with a lot more time on my hands.


(I also find myself with a full-time daughter yet again. Yay.)


So here I am, ready to relive the 365 days that comprised my 2019.


Much of the year I spent battling some type of recurring groin injury that feels like more than a pull, but less than a tear. Simple tasks such as getting in/out of chairs were painful. At times I couldn't lift my leg from pedal to brake without aggravating it.
But other days, the injury was almost non-existent, and I had to go out of my way to feel the hurt. I never found out what exactly was wrong with me, ultimately deciding to Advil through any pain until it got unbearable. 


In mid-2019, the great Greg Papa (former Raiders announcer), whose fine sports talk show I made a point to never, ever miss, suddenly abandoned his show (on KGMZ 95.7) for what I'm sure was a more lucrative offer from the rival sports station KNBR. I went through the seven stages of grief before it hit me—I could simply follow him to his new show.


Unfortunately, it was just not the same, and like so many other programs I've grown fond of over the years on TV/radio, I had to accept the disappointment of prematurely losing The Afternoon Delight With Greg Papa. Luckily, I discovered KGMZ's weekend host Rick Tittle, who's equally great in a vastly different way. By year's end I had an entire library of Tittle's past shows downloaded to my hard drive; still, it took genuine effort to not attach myself to him too tightly, lest he be yanked away from me a la Papa.


Many of Tittle's shows I listened to from my parked vehicle as I waited for my mom to finish whatever errand she was running. You see, she had knee replacement surgery in July and I— with a little help from Josie—cared for her over the following weeks. Now, I love my mother dearly, but the experience proved without a doubt that I am NOT cut out for any type of professional caregiving.


Speaking of Josie...
Long story short, her mother had difficulty getting her to and from her Los Banos school in early 2019, so I stepped in as full-time dad for the first time. (I'd been full-time dad while mom and I were still together, of course, but that was eons ago and I'm not here to talk about the past.) It was challenging, to be honest, but in a good way. Josie made new friends and really grew up a lot in those few months.
(Her mom moved back to San Jose in July 2019, which restored our previous arrangement.)


In April, my friends Ryan and, coincidentally enough, April, appointed me godfather of their new son Ashton. I was deeply honored. I knew absolutely nothing about being a godfather, of course. But I did know I'd take the role seriously. Ashton...good times ahead.


On March 23, my boys and I celebrated my 39th birthday with a wild night in the city. I hadn't really celebrated my birthday all decade, and I ain't gonna lie—it felt damn good being the Man Of The Hour. Thanks again, guys. I don't deserve you.


Lastly, I'll talk about The Beast.
My downstairs neighbors were generally nice, if sloppy, people. The lone part of them I disliked was their beast of a pit bull. He turbo-crapped constantly and never knew when to shut up. I'd gotten in several shouting matches with him over the past three years.
Then one glorious August 2019 day, something went wrong with the toilet and our apartment flooded...which in turn flooded their apartment, too, to the point they had to vacate it. One thing led to another and by September they were gone for good. NO MORE BEAST!!!


Sometimes I still look down on the downstairs patio where The Beast used to roam, unable to believe he's been gone for six full months and counting. I'm genuinely sorry for what happened to his owners; I'd have never flooded them out intentionally. But I am NOT sorry The Beast was dispatched to parts unknown forever. He was not a good boy.


Unlike past years, I stayed medicated and kept all my psych appointments in 2019 so as not to go all stabby stabby again—nobody needs that. As a result, 2019 was a solid, positive year, and I hope to ride the momentum well into the new Beast-free decade.