Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Compendium II - NYE edition

I know I have a fondness for comparative listing.

I know several of my mates do as well and I can recall a time (circa 1987 you might guess if you're a faithful reader) when driving to various sporting events we'd pass the car ride by making lists of favorites or posing either/or questions to each other now more famously called 'would you rather' questions. Juvenile perhaps but it was still clean entertainment and made a four hour car ride go surprisingly quickly.

One listing that I've been logging in my head for years emerges this time of year and always adds one new contender. Actually there are only a few true contenders as I see little prospect of anything in the future coming close. "In the category for best New Year's Eve, the winner is..."

1. December 31, 1987 - Two college friends, who shall remain nameless, let's call them D and R, and I met up right after Christmas to travel to Florida for a nice winter break. Our plan was to drive non-stop to Ft. Lauderdale and spend a few days there, head out through the Keys to the southermost point in the US, and then back to Ft. Lauderdale for NYE. All went as well as possibly could right until I got (inadvertently?) shoved into a swimming pool at the bar, (Summers On The Beach, now long gone) we chose for NYE. I never saw who did it and neither did my compatriots. Hmm... January 1, 1988 - appx. 12:45 am - soaking wet, laughing hysterically, and knowing this would be one for the record books. Later that day we lounged by the pool and then watched The Orange Bowl game featuring #2 Miami Hurricanes and the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Two prolific college football schools in what many writers penned 'game of the century'. Miami won and all you would hear on the radio that night and into the next day were requests for The Scorpions' "Rock You Like A Hurricane". Not totally surprising since it was nearing the apex of the Hair Metal era anyway.

2. December 31, 1988 - D (again), J, and several other friends were in Chicago for NYE. Geno's pizza dinner and clubbing downtown were on the agenda (Mother's, I think it was called then). The afternoon of NYE we watched the Bears game on TV which now is famously known as 'The Fog Bowl'. The thickest pea soup fog you've ever seen decended upon Chicago in rapid fashion rendering TV cameras nearly useless in covering the game. It added quite a mystical element to this NYE in which two of our group had disappeared downtown, the temperature dropped some 25 degrees to near zero while we were in the club, and the two lost ones were later seen on local TV coverage as being in the first fight of the New Year. Apparently soon after midnight, some fracas developed which involved two of our group that we lost around 11PM. Approximately 4AM they were released from the city pokey and made their way back to the hotel. After that, NYE was really never the same for me. Thank goodness.

3. December 31, 1999 - In our current neighborhood, outdoors with a neighbor banging on pots and pans to ward off bad luck. While clearly unconventional, it sounded like an idea with little downside since Y2K mania (remember that?) was in full effect. It was almost as if we were waiting for the sky to fall in that night. The thought of that makes me laugh to this day.

Many other worthy and enjoyable times and places were had, but the above were the classics I'll remember for a looooong time. Things have changed quite a bit for me regarding this holiday and I wonder if I'll ever feel a weighty significance of the passing of a year again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Compendium of DZ's All-Time Favorites, Part 1

There has been too, too much going on since my last post to even know where to begin, so I'll simplify the process by not posting any of it and getting on with other things.

I've dabbled with the 'favorites' themed post a few ago but now I thought it prudent to just give my list of all things favorite with no particular order or category. These are items that without question are indellibly etched into me as of this day, 2008.

Favorite Year of my life - 1987. I'm 19, turning 20 - ending sophomore, starting junior year of college. I've got college figured out. I've got the essentials of friendships, fun, cars, food, and females all figured out (what more could there be?). To this point, I've never had such a mature (read muscular) physique and I feel like any task physical, mental, or emotional is totally covered. IU wins the NCAA Basketball Championship. My favorite Indycar driver, Al Unser, wins his fourth Indy 500 in spectacular and legendary style. I meet my sports hero, Dr. J, in person and get a pic and an autograph. Oh, I could go on, but I won't... At that time, those sorts of events were paramount in my psyche.

Favorite TV Show - Hmmm tough one, but I'll go with Seinfeld edging Friends in a photo finish. I could watch those shows anytime, anywhere, over and over, and still enjoy them immensely. As a kid, I rarely missed ZOOM, Mr. Rogers, and The Electric Company. Also, I think I may have every single punch line to Bugs Bunny cartoons memorized.

Favorite Food - Pizza. No questions asked.

Favorite Beverage - Again a tie, Milk and Fresca. Not together of course.

Favorite Movie - Caddyshack comes to the top of this sort of list quite often, but The Big Lebowski is often right there of the modern flicks.

Favorite Car - Hmmm, several come to mind... Porsche 911 - Mid 1980s with the 'whale tail'. Nothing else seemed to wrap performance, luxury, esteem, and function in a tighter package.

Favorite car I've ever driven - 2004 Panoz Indycar
(at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway no less).

Favorite Sports Event - Indianapolis 500. Another 'no questions asked' item.

Favorite Season - Spring. So much I like about what happens during Spring just edges out Summer.

Favorite Color - Blue.

Favorite Jelly Bean - Black.

I'll stop there for now. More to come later on this subject but for those who need extremely-last-minute Christmas gifts for me, here's your help. If Indy 500 tickets or an Indycar driving session is out of your budget, I'd gladly settle for a 1/2 pound of all black jelly beans. I'm not sharing either.