2006: The Year That East Met West
by Michele Christopher

It's that time of year. The time where we get all retrospective on your ass. We were talking today about our favorite things of the year - movies, books, tv shows, albums, that kind of stuff. But that's for later in the week.

Because both of us had a year that pretty much turned our lives inside out, we thought we'd do a little personal "best of" the year. The best things that happened to us in 2006.

Michele gets her list on:

1. Falling in love with Turtle
I knew Turtle a while before we became romantically involved. We had established a pretty strong friendship and helped each other through some rough times. When I first met Turtle, both of us were in a pretty depressing place in our lives and we tried to help each other out and lift each other up. Things just kind of fell into place from there. It just felt natural, the way things went. And it made a huge difference in my life. He made a huge difference in my life. It's a nice change of pace to wake up every morning looking forward to the day.

2. Turtle's visit to NY in August
This was a big thing for us. We were having this long distance relationship and spending a week together, just the two of us, together all the time, would be a test of sorts, I guess. By the end of the week we both knew that he would be back real soon and for good. Being together with him was as natural as breathing. Plus, he met my family and they really liked him.

3. Turtle moving to New York
The best thing that ever happened to me. For the first time ever, I can honestly say that I love life. I enjoy every single day. I smile a whole lot. Life is GOOD. Very good. I was trying to put my finger on exactly what's different, what's changed from my life pre-Turtle. Oh yea...I'm happy. Genuinely, really, perfectly happy. Not pretending to be happy, not happy with caveats and qualifications. A real, perfect happiness, straight from California, has engulfed me.

Plus, he never makes fun of me when I listen to My Chemical Romance for the 40th time in a day. He just lets me be me, which is pretty cool. Because sometimes I can be real emo.

4. Faster Than The World
This site is so much fun to do. It never feels like work to put this together every day. We've got an amazing bunch of personalities working together to put out content every day, and we have fun doing it. I made some cool friends through doing this, and working so hard on this also helped Turtle and I realize how well we work together. It's helped us learn a lot about each other and gave us a chance to figure out how to compromise, cooperate and communicate with each other; lessons we transferred from working on FTTW to our lives together. Plus, I get to write every day, something I love to do, and share it with all of you.

I have plenty to be happy about. I have great kids, an amazing family and good friends. Those things are always there. But the love of a turtle is a new thing, something that made 2006 different from any year before it, something that made this the best year ever. - M

turtle looks back at 2006

What a year. I saw the country from the inside of a car. Had crackheads move out my stuff from my old apartment. Lived in like three different places. Had a couple of seizures and broke a few laws. And still the state of New York thanks me for my honesty when I wright them a check for not paying my tolls. EZ-Pass is so easy to pass. I mean you don't have to wait in line so why bother? I'm still going to end up paying the six bucks to cross the George Washington bridge anyways..so I might as well do it in the mail. What a country!

Really though, this year has been a trip. Started out the year being laid up, out of smokes and in pain. Stuck at some fucked up place in California. Well, a place I thought was fucked up till I moved to the ghetto and freaked Michele out with the nightly shenanigans that happened in my old neighborhood. But all of that is in the past now. I am living in New York now. Yay me!

So I would definitely say this has been the most amazing year I have ever been a part of. I mean really, I was kinda at the point where I was resolved that nothing in life is going to be any fun anymore. Bars that once were my only solace to waste away the nights were no longer an option. Coffee houses and the typical AA droll was getting on my nerves. Everyone had a story. Every night I would stay out till I could barely stand just so I could go home and fall asleep as fast as possible. Wake up to another day of shit and move on. Everyone knew I was at a breaking point. No one said anything.phoenix1111.JPG

But then she showed up and really put things into perspective. I was really tired of people coming over to my house. Long story, but people came over to my house all the fucking time and I was about to start locking my door. She convinced me that what I was doing was really helping people. Hm. Letting people crash on my sofa was really helping them. Never thought about it like that. She slowly knocked away my selfishness and parts of me that were extremely pronounced to something that was a little less noticeable.

After years of thinking I was a bad person who couldn't be fixed, she kinda pushed past that and saw me. Ya know, the cranky as fuck one who hates to be woken up at 11 o'clock in the morning. See, believe it or not, I am not the easiest person to live with. Be it my "24" addiction to Chloe or my addiction to Little House on the Prairie, sometimes things can get a little weird around me.

Well Michele not only puts up with it, she digs it. So I got that going for me. And don't get me started on the martial arts movies...

Also, she is my best friend. For some reason she has my back constantly. Wherever I go, I know someone is there. And that someone is her. No matter if it is coming to the hospital everyday cause I had a seizure on kissing me good night. That's something I never had before. Well, at least not without paying for it.

She had the idea for starting FTTW and for what it has become. Starting out as a little site to one that keeps growing every day. We bounced ideas off each other and also shot each others down into what we thought would be the perfect thing. This site never started out like it is now. It was never intended to be anything more than a blog with MP3's but somehow with both of us working together, it became something bigger.

Then the inclusion of all of you came in and it keeps growing. I thank everyone here for putting up with my shit and want to let you all know that I am glad to have met you all and you all have made my year. Meeting new friends was never my intention, neither was to keep this site growing like it is, but somehow you guys are all doing that. So FTTW has been a great thing in my life. So much so that the changes aren't over yet. FTTW will drastically change again in three weeks. But, you all have to wait for that.

So in the end, the best thing about this year is a girl from New York who never knew how big she could make a grown man smile and a bunch of people who like to have fun.

Thank you Michele.

I never knew it could be this cool.

And her dad is a kickass cook, too. - T


It's always nice when someone forgives you your emo.


Awwww. How sweet.

Really. Get a room.

Good to see you two happy. I sometimes miss the cranky "old" Michele, but I'm getting over it.


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