Really, 2004 was the best year of my life...

February/2005: Personal - I'm 25 years old. Big 25. Quarter of a century, I be. And the best year of my life was 2004. Easily. I hadn't really thought about it until a month and a half into 2005, but 2004 was balls out great all year long. I really had to think about it though, as there were other years that could have contended, but the "goodness" was fleeting. For example...

2000 - I fell hardcore in love that year with a great female and had my best relationship ever. Nothing before or since has been able to touch it. Just a great relationship. Problem was, it ended that same year. So 2000 is out of the running because as great as it started, it certainly went to shit pretty fast. Great, great, grreeea-crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crappy. Crappier. Crap. That was the year.

2001 - Well, September 11th happened. Phoebus moved to Oregon. Otherwise, shitty year. I don't remember anything else from it. Pretty shitty year. I had a one-way relationship earlier in the year that I didn't realize was a relationship and that sucked. I'm friends with the female, friends... and suddenly we're dating I guess. I never agreed to date. But we were dating. It was a stealth relationship. Those are the worst. I started writing at and learned much more about the internet from doing that. That was the lone good thing. Otherwise, crap.

2002 - For some reason, that year is even less memorable. Started this site (it was crappy) and started PeeJ. That made 2002 okay, but PeeJ wasn't anything until 2003. I literally cannot remember what I did at the start of the year. The female from 2000 visited for a long time and I thought we were back together, but then she went back and we weren't. Boy, that sucked. Hmm. Otherwise it was pretty crap. I played a LOT of civilization 3. Oh, and I got Colby Jones. Well, it wasn't all crap, but it mostly was.

2003 - Was pretty crappy until August when PeeJ got big. Had a long relationship in 2003, a very long relationship actually that had started in 2002... but it was just a relationship. The fact that it ended in late 2003 was a good thing, because it was one of those relationships where the female was very "Oh, this is the greatest relationship ever, you're the first guy to ever treat me well!" and I'm quite... "Oh... uh... okay... please don't say that :(" because I actually want to get out of the relationship, but I can't, because I know it will make the female I'm dating cry a lot and I don't hate her so I don't want that to happen but I don't really want to continue the relationship either? Not a bad person at all, a good person, but not the person, you know what I'm saying. I wanted to break up about four months into it but didn't want the guilty conscience from doing so. So it went a year and I found the perfect time to break up that caused no pain whatsoever. Damn that was good. That was really, really classy. No self-loathing over that breakup. Otherwise, year sucked until August and then it was busy which was very weird. Oh, yesterday we got 50 visitors, cool. Oh, today we got 15,000. Oh... shit. Plus, I got Moxie. And she's great.

2004 - What a year! What a year! Professionally, greatest year ever. I helmed PeeJ to incredible success. Just incredible. Stuff I would never dream of. Convictions, arrests, the Dateline piece, just amazing groundbreaking stuff. The entire year was great. Handling the transition from the way it was with Frank around to then getting respect from law enforcement and the media... the entire metamorphisis happened in 2004 for PeeJ. We went from a concept to a reality in 2004 as everything I had sat around and envisioned actually came true. I wanted arrests, we got arrests. I wanted great contributors, we got great contributors. I wanted national media to educate people and we got it. I wanted... oh yes... convictions, and we got it.

Additionally, as weird as it seems, locating the 14 year old in September of 2004 simply put it over the top. It was an absolutely amazing experience to meet someone you were able to help. It wasn't real until the Montel thing and then it was just incredible. While I've always been concerned about the problem of online predators (obviously), the whole episode just took the entire mission of the site to a different level. Truly a life-changing experience. Adding that to the arrests, the convictions, the group media busts, and all the great new volunteers to the site, the expansions to the site, the new technologies... what a year on the professional side of things. I don't think it could've gone better. I know I wouldn't have changed a thing.

On other fronts, I made the current design of this blog/personal site in 2004 and I'm still so fucking happy with it that changing it seems like heresy. I really, really like what I've done with the place. When it comes to design and the creative endeavors I do, I'm rarely happy. What I've done with has made me very happy.

I worked a great job for a few months in 2004, one where I actually won a freakin' iPod. Watched some great movies. Had a relationship that was pleasant but was just that, pleasant. Nothing more. Kind of like the relationship in 2002/2003 and I was starting to fear that it would carry on for a year but then she came to the same conclusion I realized that I had come to, which was that long-term, nada work out-o. The best part was, it was the smoothest breakup ever! EVER! I couldn't have asked for a better breakup. I've realized that while not as good as a great relationship, a very very good breakup can be almost as artistic. Literally, we both agreed to stop dating at the same exact point. No angst, no BS. Just a total agreement that the whole dynamic was simply not working. That's a thing of beauty. So while I didn't have a great relationship, I had a great breakup, which is pretty damn good by itself.

Plus, what a year in movies! Halo 2, BF1942 was much played, I discovered the modding community for Civ3 (Rise and Rule!) and the weather was impeccable! I also made some great online friends and reconnected with a very good online friend.

The problem with having a great year, or for me, the "best year ever" is that now I have to deal with 2005. Is there any chance that 2005 could beat 2004? Hmm. I really don't think so. Literally, at least some of the following will have to happen...

- Get into a great relationship that lasts and is full of the wub. The female will also have to like movies and the internet for there to be any chance. Video games are a plus but not required. So literally, no chance.
- Have the last-update-mentioned REALLY COOL THING happen. If that happens in conjunction with a couple other things, it could be as good a year as 2004 because the REALLY COOL THING is a REALLY COOL THING.
- Many more convictions. Already we have two. I'm talking serious double digits here. After checking my rudimentary calendar of upcoming trials, there's a good chance of this happening.
- I don't think the media can top 2004, no matter what comes up. I'd have to do an interview with Reason magazine, another national GMB, the Conan O'Brien show, in-studio Unscrewed appearence (if that show is even still going), and hell if I know what else. Nothing will beat 2004 because no scenario is feasible that will be as cool as Al Roker asking me if I'm a nazi. You can't beat that.
- Write some really good blog entries. I'm already failing at that. I wrote some good blog entries last year. This year, not so good already.

I don't see this happening. For the year to be better, it'll take a great relationship, the really cool thing, and lots of convictions. Or, the blog entries, the primo year in media, the really cool thing and lots of convictions. Anything less won't measure up. The even larger fear is that perhaps 2004 can't be topped. It is possible that I will simply never have a year as good as 2004 again. That's a screwed-up possibility to imagine. All the years I have left in front of me (I plan on sticking around until my later fifties) and none of them able to measure up to 2004. Goddamn.

There's only one conclusion...

I shouldn't have had such a good year last year.