Here we are. The beginning of the Year of Our Lord 2004 and the tail-end of the Chinese Year of the Ram, which ends on Jan 21.

For all you mathematicians out there, that means in 17 days we get to have another New Year’s party to welcome the Year of the Monkey.

I like monkeys.

They’re a lot like the people I chose to ring in this new Gregorian year with at the Dead show in Oakland: Antsy, dancy and nonsensical.

One valuable lesson I learned at that show was this: Piles of broken balloons, confetti, glitter, ashes and beer really do look a lot like something that a clown would regurgitate.

Of course, it takes a good dose of heinous chemicals to notice shit as strange as that.

The downside to the new year is this: Somehow, in the wreckage we’ve made of our lives for the past month, we all have to start another quarter here in sunny Isla Vista.

First thing to deal with are those nasty resolutions.

Five days in to the New Year, it’s now time to start breaking them, especially for those suckers who decided that exercising, eating right, doing work in advance and getting good grades are gonna be way easier this year.

As my New Year’s resolution, I’ve decided to go easy on myself. I’m giving up sobriety on weekends. It’ll be tough to maintain 48 straight hours of debauchery, but not as tough as the other 120 hours.

Damn this column and this work! I’m still hung over from New Year’s Eve and my brain feels like tin foil. Maintain, keep typing – it’ll all be over soon.

Do you need a recap of 2003? Is that what you want? Corruption among government and corporations, non-stop war, a final end to Saddam – whose whereabouts concern me far more now than when he was on the loose – and celebrities running amok molesting children and becoming governors – largely similar occupations if you ask any UC student in the wake of these obscene fee hikes.

Enough of this rant. Pure nonsense. This is where everything should be scrapped and begun anew. But this is where the bad asses stick it out.

And this is a good lesson for putting together the shambles and hunkering down for all the schoolwork again: Just have another beer and keep on. It will come. It will be good. Or, at the very least, it will be done.

The Year of the Monkey is notorious for natural disasters, which makes it surprising that all the earthquakes happened in this Year of the Ram.

Thousands dead in Bam, two in Paso Robles. Perestroika in Iran, dusting in California. Both earthquakes of the same magnitude.

An earthquake in a town called Bam really would be more likely to wreak havoc. There goes the joke nobody would ever want to make. It’s made. Thank my cold-hearted roommate for that one.

The only relief to this senseless death and destruction is that finally, finally our president didn’t cause it.

The only way to go out now is to say the wisest thing I heard all last year. It was at the Dead show, by a man I know only as Trippy McDoodles: “There’s no point in being kinda wasted.”

By his count, he was on twenty hits of acid. Yeah. Twenty.

Daily Nexus opinion editor Cory Anthony values his brain a lot more than Trippy McDoodles.