Holy tap-dancing crap on a cracker — it’s 2011!

This is, of course, a pretty big fucking deal if you make calendars for a living. For the rest of us, the transition from 2010 (the year of the carnitas burrito) to 2011 (the year of the breakfast burrito, w/ chorizo), while hopefully containing a little more champagne and a little less time in jail, is wholly unremarkable in the sense that it was suspiciously like the move from 2009 to 2010.

Sure, there were a handful of important events. There was a smattering of corporate fat cats on Wall Street that finally got what they had coming to them (turns out it was more money), a small zombie outbreak in Orange County that no one noticed because, hey, how are you going to tell the difference? And of course the San Francisco Giants finally, finally won the World Series (cue fans yelling wildly in triumph when they read this, especially if they are in class).

No, for Isla Vista and the rest of our beloved California, 2010 unfolded like most years do. Bromances were forged and destroyed. A spate of minor felonies and misdemeanors were committed, and a healthy portion of them went completely unpunished. Brain cells were indiscriminately persecuted and eradicated from existence. Large plots of the Devil’s lettuce were carefully cultivated then lovingly consumed. Gorgeous belles were courted and kissed; some kissed a little too hard, while others not quite hard enough.

Classes were miraculously crashed and passed. Facebook updates were posted to the detriment of everyone, and someone, somewhere, had an epic battle with a killer robot from the future. People were constantly faced with the critical decision of whether to present the crotch or the ass when making their way through a crowded lecture hall. The Man continued his vampiric infringement on our basic rights, and the people cried out, as they always do, “Thank you Sir, may I have another?!” Many, like the noble heffalump seal, journeyed far abroad and saw the wonders of the world, only to return and viciously fight for a stretch of beach where it could safely mate with its harem. Yes, indeed, life went on, in all its terrible and enigmatic beauty.

And through it all alcohol was our constant, faithful companion. Surely, you say, there is no need to try and justify a lifestyle of perpetual inebriation. And I say: no, of course not, but why not celebrate the consumption of our delicious little friend? And stop calling me Shirley.

The drink, no matter what form it takes, follows our passage through the world and lends great value to the extraordinary everyday events that make life so delicious.  And so I say, “Thank you very much, alcoholic beverage.”

Thank you for overindulgence. Without the third grape a good old fashioned rager would lose its luster, and the madness of debauchery would become boringly sane. Thank god for beer goggles, because every guy knows we need all the help we can get with the lovely lady folk of I.V. Thank you, booze, for wasting us, because without you who would burn all of our mattresses?

But there’s more. Thanks for relaxing and soothing us at the end of a stressful day. Thank you for bonding brother to brother, son to father, stranger to stranger. Thank you for helping us to forget when we need it, and helping us to reminisce, at least semi-accurately, with old friends. Thank you for breaking the ice and for healing old wounds, for making a room of old people really fun to be around and for pairing with food so, so, so very well. Thanks for giving snobs something to talk about and for teaching us discipline and restraint. Thanks for the regrets, the triumphs and for occasionally making us screw up, because as every bro knows, muscle must be ripped and broken before it gets stronger.

Thanks for not defining life, but instead enhancing it with every sip; for helping us to keep perspective through the bad, the awesome and everything in between.
In the end, 2010 was like a good IPA. It was sometimes bitter and sometimes flowery in taste, but in the end, it was always dank.