December 31, 2009 - Finally, 2009 is done. At last! I don't know about you, but - with the noted exceptions of some of the positive events and trends in the larger world - 2009 was a sucky year for me. And it wasn't so great for most of my friends and family (like you), for that matter. I guess that's how it goes sometimes. In past years, I've managed to sum up the previous twelve months, good or bad, with a "Top Ten" list here in the ol' WOMP-Blog, but, as I began to compile a similar list for 2009, I realized that it was virtually entirely negative...and who wants to read that? Heck, I've barely posted two dozen entries for the entire year, so the last thing I need to do is end the decade with a list of gripes, pains, and sorrows. Instead, let's try something unusual. Here's a year-end list of...
The Top Ten 2009 WOMP-Blog Stories That I Forgot to Post (Because They Never Happened)
10) January 20, Inauguration Day - A wonderful recounting of my trip to Washington to attend the Presidential Inauguration as special guest of the Obamas. Favorite memory; huddling with Al Gore as we attempted both to keep warm and from laughing out loud at Aretha's "giant green zipper tied in a knot" hat.
9) February 14, Valentine's Day - I must admit that I outdid myself this year. It was just barely over-the-top when I flew my wife, also known as the beautiful WOMP Staff, to Paris for a romantic dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower, but I think I really jumped the shark when I hired the Sarkozys to serve and serenade us as we ate. What can I say; I'm a hopeless romantic.
8) April 3, Monkey's Birthday - Imagine my surprise when a choir of small children gathered outside my studio window to sing birthday greetings to my most famous cartoon character. Unexpected, but, in light of the coinciding release of the Pixar film based on The Adventures of Monkey, not entirely unimaginable, I suppose.
7) July 4, Independence Day - Almost lost in my reporting on the 100th Anniversary of Pete's Hamburgers was the commemoration of the 233rd Anniversary of The United States of America (not to mention the 955th Anniversary of the "Birth" of the Crab Nebula Being Observed on Earth).
6) August 21, Hawaii Statehood Day - Celebrating the 50th anniversary of becoming the 50th U.S. State, Hawaii threw a crazy awesome feast. I ate until I nearly passed out, and still I performed a hula kahiko like a lifelong islander.
5) September 7, Labor Day - In spite of the economy (or because of it?), and in honor of Labor Day, I finally quit my dreaded "real" job, in favor of my cartooning. Now that I am no longer there, I can finally reveal that my "real" job had been working as Senior Manure Inspector for a fertilizer company. And you thought your job stinks!
4) October 31, Halloween - For the first time since I was a kid, we turned WOMP Headquarters into a massive haunted house! "Mundt Manor" had hundreds of visitors, gave away about seventy pounds of candy, and officially became the most elaborate "haunted house" in city history. In my role as "Phantom of The Manor," I had lots of fun scaring anyone who I heard say aloud "This isn't scary."
3) November 11, Veterans' Day - We stood ten to twenty rows deep on both sides of the street as all local troops marched through town when they came home from Iraq and Afghanistan. I certainly never expected everything overseas to end so quickly and so well, but I'm happy to have been wrong.
2) December 8, My Birthday - Ugh. One year away now from the big one-two-oh. Turning 119 years old this year may seem impressive, but there is some sort of psychological threshold that turning 120 represents, so I am already dreading the countdown to my next birthday. I mean, when I turn 120, I can no longer really claim to be "just out of my 100's" anymore. Yep, no matter how I look at it, I have a year left to make my mark before I am officially "old."
1) December 31, New Year's Eve - That brings us to here and now. I don't know how 2010 can top 2009, especially in light of the kickass party that is going on in the next room as I write this, but I am optimistic. With a little luck, everything will just keep getting better and better!
Hrm. That...that all still rang a teensy-bit negative, didn't it? I really just wanted to be optimistic for a change, but it's not in my nature, I guess. Still, I do have some reasons to think that the next year may be better than the last. I am healthier going into 2010 than I was for 2009, for example. I have just recently been able to get back up to speed drawing stuff (although none of it has increased in quality yet). Moreover, for the first time in years, I have a plan. In fact, I have a redesigned "master plan," and several smaller sub-plans for 2010. Even though my plans can (and usually do) collapse, just the fact that I have some is a big step up from this same time last year. Sneak Preview; back to the "Art is My Job" mantra. I hope that we all will have a better year in 2010. See ya!
BONUS! Here is an extra "Top Ten" list! It's...
The Top Ten Years of The 2000's
6/5) 2006/2003 (tie)