A week from now we’ll already be a couple of days into 2014. A year ago, who would have imagined we’d get here so fast? All in all, it was one of those years we’ll either all remember or all forget or split the difference.
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I’m sitting in my house on Monday, late afternoon, getting ready to watch the mayhem at Candlestick Park which I predict will result in a number of injuries, a dozen or so arrests, unrelated to the game itself.
UPDATE: I was wrong, and it’s good to be wrong about such things.
Other than skiing in a blizzard one time, the coldest I ever remember being was at a Giants game one August night at the “Stick.” Coffee sales trumped beer sales by quite a bit, I heard later, which probably set a record that will never be equaled.
But, back to 2013-14. I remember going to Italy and France in July. It was really hot and humid, unseasonably so, they said. And I remember going to my grandson Thomas’s second birthday party in September. Those were good, and memorable events. I don’t remember much between January and the end of June, not counting the Super Bowl, which brings me full circle right back to Candlestick Park, home of the 5 and 1 Super Bowl winning San Francisco 49ers.
I went to a dozen or more games at Kezar Stadium in the old days before the “Stick.” My parents had 49er season tickets from about 1950 through the mid-1970s. My mom stopped going to the games sometime in the late ’60s I’d guess. My brother (the conservative) took up the legacy and went for another 15 or 20 years.
And speaking of years past, how about old 2013? The year of almost going to war in Syria, the year the war for and against Obamacare hit full stride.
While I’m on “hot and humid,” I remember a certain Monday in May of 1961. I skipped school and went to a Giants game with my grampa. The ‘Stick” was ferociously hot that afternoon, and I was nursing my first big time hangover headache. I’d been to a Christening party the day before, and the responsible adults thought it would be cute or funny to get the 16 year-old godfather (me) drunk. Or maybe I thought it would be cute and fun to get drunk, so I went around finishing up other people’s drinks – and then some. And then some more and before long I was so toasted I didn’t know up from down, right from left.
I spent the night on the bathroom floor where my younger sister administered cooling towels to my forehead after each attempt at turning myself inside out over the toilet. I don’t remember anything about the game, just the fact that I was roasting at Candlestick Park, the only time I could ever say that.
I believe I’ll make a New Year’s resolution to never do that again, just like the one I made this year. Doesn’t look like that will be much of a problem since I’m sure I’ll never be in Candlestick Park again. Of course I’ve never met a New Year’s resolution I couldn’t break within three or four days. Frankly, I find them to be overrated.
Remember the “fiscal cliff?” This time last year we almost went over it, whatever that would have meant exactly. It seems kind of quaint now. Now we have the “debt ceiling” fight looming, I think, and Iran. Who could forget Iran? A few months from now, I guess we’ll know if our Iran-strategy worked or not. No doubt it will represent another Apocalypse or maybe an Armageddon no matter how it turns out.
One Apocalyptic event I recall was when my brother (the conservative) and I almost got kicked out of a 49er game at Kezar one time. For no accountable reason, he suddenly threw a cup of beer from our seats down onto the field. By the time it hit the field, it was pretty much empty, having spilled out over any number of people on the way down.
“What the hell did you do that for?” I shouted as the ushers and security people raced up the steps shouting “What the hell did you do that for?”
There was no explicable reason of course, and back in the day, that was obviously good enough that they allowed us to stay, albeit as targets of some pretty grim grimaces from below. I should ask him again about that but I doubt the answer will be any different than it was 50 years ago, something concrete along the lines of, “Seemed like a good idea” or “I don’t know, just felt like it I guess” or “How about you (meaning me) STFU?” All of which translates into just another mystery of life.
And speaking of mysteries of life, have you noticed that just about this time every year, it gets dark a couple of minutes later in the afternoon than it did just a few weeks ago? I like that. That phenomenon just screams “New Year” and sure enough it is. Happy 2014.
Chris Daley is a weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat.