Our brand spanking New Year arrived, rain-washed and crystalline – but not completely untarnished as we humans set about doing what we do: screwing up, mightily.
We broke tradition and did not party until our heads pounded, eschewing even our traditional birthday toast to our New Year’s Eve-born ancestor, and ended up working through it as our dedicated corps of correspondents and image makers fed us tips and tidbits through the evening.
We chased a drive-by shotgun shooting (leg wounds – not fun) out in Bay Point for subscribers there, as well as a Ginzu knife demonstration gone wrong in Martinez (two stabbed), a whole bunch of celebratory gunfire and playful pyrotechnics punctuating much of the evening and on into the morning.
Throw in some citizens irate over our storm-damaged infrastructure, unreliable power grids and undermined roadways and January 1 was less a celebration than it was a day at the complaint department. And then we went and broke the cardinal newsroom maxim: i.e. never make a prediction about a news event while working a shift – and BAMMO, that 4.9 Magnitude shaker we mentioned hit the North Coast (Rio Dell). Sigh. We’ll just never learn to keep our big mouths shut.
Made a quick recon of our immediate area and played in our local waterfall, eyed those sodden, “weeping” hillsides and realized that some of the unfortunates we saw ping-ponging off the supermarket wine displays are actually just still-wasted celebrants looking for more party fuel – and their cars.
Far-off friends checking in on us and we liked that until we realized that most of them were just seeing if we were still alive, so, yep – we’re good, shaking the rainwater out of our boots and moving forward. Come along for the ride, newbies. It’s a brand new year and there’s a lot happening.