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New Year's Eve not my favorite

By Zach Porter

My least favorite day of the year is rapidly approaching, the 365th and final one. Why does it have to come so soon? I was just getting used to writing 2003 on all my bank checks. I'll still be writing 2003 and scratching it out for the next six months. The 31 will be here in a few days but I still don't know what I'm going to do to celebrate.

New Year's Eve feels like any other day except for this tremendous pressure I feel for it to be one of the most exciting nights of your life. The biggest, hardcore party you've ever attended. Year after year I went to parties I didn't want to go to, dragged along by friends and continuously disappointed.

So on New Year's Eve of 2001 I rode with an acquaintance and a friend to my favorite city, New York, New York. During the day we paid a visit to Ground Zero, which was still very much alive with giant cranes, bulldozers, construction workers and of course camcorder-handed tourists. This was really why I made the trip, because I thought it was something that my friend Lee and I should see and have pictures of for ourselves.

After that the plan had been to head to Times Square to stake out our spot and stay there for the rest of the day until they dropped that ball and all that confetti. The plan was to take pictures, not to go shopping all over midtown. You see, the female of the group, our nice acquaintance who drove us up there, she just had to go to Hard Rock Cafe and all these other places that we weren't really concerned with. When we did get to Times Square she decided she was too cold and didn't want to be crammed in with thousands of people. I guess the weather and population in New York City did not register with her before agreeing to take this trip with us. I hate to pick on the poor girl but she wasn't cut out for Lee's and my New York City adventure. So I was to travel more than a thousand miles in someone else's car to one of the world's biggest cities only to be disappointed on New Year's once again.

Last year I had a good time in Athens, Ga. until it was time to go to bed sitting upright in an uncomfortable chair at a friend's apartment. My friends all beat me in passing out in the premium spots. I used a jacket for my blanket and barely slept.

I wonder what will happen this year? Will I kick friends out of my truck and just go to bed like the New Year's Eve of 1997? Will I break up a breakfast cereal fight in a kitchen in Athens? Will I go to the bustling metropolis of Snellville, Ga. where I spent the glorious millennium celebration with a friend and his now ex-fiance? Uggghhh! These questions make me want to stay home and hide under the covers. We are on "Code Orange" and could be bumped up to red by New Year's Eve after all.

I hope those of you reading this don't think I'm a stick in the mud. I'd like to have fun on New Year's Eve but I think someone has put a hex on me every year on Dec. 31. This year I will probably go to Athens again but in a hotel without my good ?ol cereal throwing friends. Oh, I'll hang out with them, but I'll leave them at the door when it's finally time for bed.

But seriously 2003 has been a great year for me and I'm sad to see it go. But 2004 is not hanging over me like a big question mark. I have several plans and resolutions already for the New Year and I'm eager to see them carried out. Hopefully I can get off to a good start Jan. 1st. But even if I don't have a happy New Year's I hope that all of you do. Should you have any New Year's Eve entertainment suggestions for me, please give me a holler at the address below.

Zach Porter is a photographer for the News Daily. He can be reached at zporter@news-daily.com.