Goodbye 2014 I've learned a little along the way - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Goodbye 2014 I’ve learned a little along the way

Photo above: the view of La Jolla, CA from the surf.

The year of our Lord — Vader for some — 2014 is about to end. Gotta wonder: what do people in other religions think about the major calendar in use around the world being based on the religion of the ancient Romans? Some religions are more ancient than Christianity, like Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism, and some are younger, like Islam and Scientology.

That’s the kind of thing that goes through my head. If you didn’t know: most religions have their own calendars, but ours, the Gregorian Calendar, is the dominant calendar used by everybody because we are indeed a global economy. We have been ever since European explorers figured out they could sail around the world collecting and selling goods. And of course they also killed a lot of indigenous populations in the process … but that’s a rant for another day. But, we use the calendar named after Pope Gregory XIII.

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This the last day of 2014. It wasn’t so long ago that I was thinking about the final day of 2013. In 2011 I based an entire end of year soliloquy on the foibles of the GOP primary race for president. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was high up in the polls at the time, but falling fast as people began to realize that shit was getting real.

This is funny: with the new Congress being gaveled into session next week there is a campaign going on to elect Trey Gowdy to be Speaker of the House. Just what we need: a leading Tea Party clown leading the U.S. House of Representatives. More than likely John Boehner of Ohio will retain his position as the head of his party. As we saw the past two years it’s principally a ceremonial position with no real power or authority within the GOP.

Everyone else is doing the “best of …” or “the most sensational news of …” or “the biggest of …” so, no bueno for me.

  • Si, that is how you spell “bueno.”

So anyway, yesterday I was thinking that I have not misspent my older years at nearly the rate I did my youth. Not because I’m any wiser, but mainly because of age. The body and mind just can’t keep up with that shit.

For instance: in the 1990’s my brother Carl and I made four or more trips to Las Vegas every year. One time his car was broken down so I picked him up at his job one Friday and as we were heading home on the northbound I-15 we came up with the brilliant idea to just keep driving until we got to Vegas.

We forgot our medications, toothbrushes — clean underwear — and just went, stopping somewhere in Riverside County to gas up. As I recall we left really, really early Sunday morning to beat the traffic — seriously, the southbound I-15 heading to L.A. and SoCal is 150-mile long parking lot — and changed our skivvies.

Then there was all the snorkeling, six days a week at the local 24-Hour Fitness gyms and so much more. Life is a lot slower today. There’s no greater reality check than thinking your body is still 21 and finding out in a most viciously painful way it is not.

Nearly 19 years ago I had a massive myocardial infarction — heart attack — that nearly killed me. The E.R. nurse looked down at me and said, I kid you not, “You’re too young to have heart attacks.”

What do you say to that? “Well, no one informed my heart because whamo — here I am on a gurney in your emergency room.”

She also told me, “There will be no more riding murdercycles for you!”

She was flipping through my Harley-Davidson wallet, looking for my health insurance card. I liked that wallet and maybe I’ll get another one. They all come with that chain you hook to a belt loop, but I always remove them because, WTF! It just doesn’t look good.

The view from the handlebars of the Trusty Trek as we pedaled around Lake Miramar.

The view from the handlebars of the Trusty Trek as we pedaled around Lake Miramar.

Anyway, I was driving through the San Diego neighborhood of Mira Mesa in my relatively new Mazda RX-7 when I was pulled over by a cop on Capricorn Way. As he was writing out the ticket behind me I could feel the heart attack begin so I waved him back over and told him what was happening. He called an ambulance, which got there within two minutes and into the ambulance I went, speeding through the streets of San Diego to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. Long story short: I got out of the ticket.

But, I would like to add: having a heart attack is really not a good method for evading a traffic citation.

  • RX-7’s are nice, fast cars, really sweet to drive, but they are expensively hellish to keep up, so if you’re thinking about a brand new RX-8, keep that in mind. The Wankel engine has its downside.

•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••

So what can be said about 2014? We got this L.A. Post-Examiner thing up and running. Limping on occasion, but we’re still going. Anyone interested in a sales position? Online ad sales, just click the “Contact the Author” button below for more information.

This past summer I did some snorkeling with the GoPro camera. A short video will be added below. Last year I had some video from bike rides that rarely were exciting, not that the snorkeling videos are exciting. But at least with the snorkeling we have video of the Pacific Ocean kicking the hell out of me for 30 minutes at a time. It was wonderful.

What else happened? Life happens, the day-to-day of living. We do what we need to, sometimes what we want to do, and often enough a lot of what we do is just habit. One habit I seemed to have kicked is I don’t spend much time on social media anymore. My Facebook and Twitter accounts will go days without any posts or tweets.

Life under water off the shores of La Jolla.

Life under water off the shores of La Jolla.

It’s just daily living, one day at a time, realizing that nothing lasts forever — not the highs and definitely not the lows. There are many friends around me who keep that from happening and maybe my friendship provides the same for them as well. I go to lunch once a week with a friend I’ve known for 15 years. That’s a much kinder reality check. There are other friends with whom I have dinner every Friday Night.

It’s a full life really; it just doesn’t feel like it some days. That’s what I’ll try to remember every morning when I wake up, the three truths to every life:

  1. It’s just one day at a time.
  2. Don’t sweat the minor details.
  3. There are no major details.

You see! I did remember something from Cardiac Rehab all those years ago. It’s the living it that gets complicated.

 (All photos by Tim Forkes, the tweet is a screenshot from his Twitter account)


About the author

Tim Forkes

Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that. Contact the author.
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