Whatta year. Globally, of course, 2004 was absolutely terrible -- from this questionable war to a bitter presidential election and finally, with last week's tsunami a horrific coda to a year I think few people will remember fondly.
Except Red Sox fans. And us. Maria and I kicked off the year by visiting the Philippines in February -- my first time back in 21 years. Maria got to show me where she grew up -- and I got to show her where I once lived. Talk about a nostalgia trip -- finding what used to be my house inside what used to be Clark Air Base. It hasn't been an American military installation for 12 years, yet most of the buildings are still there. Some are completely abandoned, while others have been converted into other uses. (We ate lunch at a restaurant that, as I discovered later, used to be the base morgue!)
Then, of course, came our house buying adventure. Did we buy at the top of the bubble? I'm still holding my breath. And cursing the evil Expercent Real Estate guy who sold us the house -- but was a complete and utter jerk about it. (Just a warning to you folks who happen to Google said company.)
For most, buying a house would be a big enough event in one year. But of course, we saved the best for last: The birth of Evan Michael, on Christmas Eve.
We're still getting a handle on this whole parenting thing. I never thought I'd love changing diapers, but I'm excited when Evan soils his -- after all, it's a sign everything's OK. We haven't quite figured out what to do when a baby just won't stop screaming at 2 a.m., but I'll get back to you if we somehow crack the code.
And for all of you wondering, no, Franklin Avenue is not about to turn into the baby blog. Yup, Evan will impact our lives in ways we still haven't realized, but this is also a blog about living in Los Angeles and our love for this city. Posts may be a little light over the next few weeks, but we'll still be here! And who knows, Evan may provide us with a few more hints about living in L.A. too. (He's already promised to reveal his favorite local pastry shops, once he learns to talk.)
Thanks again for all your good wishes -- and here's hoping for a little less craziness in 2005.