2001 started off okay, with a decent-paying job for an architecture firm in the Sears Tower. But the firm turned out to be run by idiots, and simply finding the energy to show up each morning was becoming difficult.
In March, I managed to scrape together enough money to spend a week in London. It turned out to be the high point of the year. But a week before leaving, I received a call informing me that my father was diagnosed with cancer.
Soon after getting back, I bought my first car in about 6 years. Right around the time the first payment was due, I lost my job, and remained unemployed for about the next two months.
Soon thereafter, my just-purchased car began showing ominous warning signs that the engine was on its last leg.
I finally got a job with the noise abatement program out at O’Hare. I soon learned more about commercial aircraft than I ever cared to. I also learned more about rotted framing, NIMBY politics, shady contractors, and incompetent subcontractors than I ever cared to.
After lots of hesitation, I finally got involved out at the Illinois Railway Museum. And in early September, I led a group of SubTalkers on the first-ever field trip to IRM and all over Chicago. This turned out to be another highlight of the year.
Less than two weeks later, I watched in horror as over 3000 people in one of my favorite cities were murdered on live television.
It was around this time when I was relieved to learn that my father’s cancer seems to have been put into remission.
In October, my car finally crapped out once and for all, leaving me in a financial mess and unable to make it back out to IRM for the foreseeable future. I ended up replacing it with a $450 Trans Am, which I have grown to like.
December found me filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, but looking forward to possibly getting a fresh start on life in Philadelphia next year.
And the year finally ended on a positive note, with me taking a week off to ride Amtrak down to NC and back for the holidays. Exploring the DC Metro for the first time was an added bonus.
The year had some good points, but overall it was mostly pretty crappy. I feel pretty confident in saying good riddance to 2001, and here’s hoping 2002 is better for all of us.
Happy New Year from Chicago.
(originally posted on the SubTalk forum at nycsubway.org)