For this year-end list, I decided to get personal, as I sometimes do, and share with you the unremarkable things that I did for the very first time in 2005. As I am 35 at year's end, you may be slightly shocked that I took so long to get around to doing some of these things. (I've done a lot of other things for the first time in 2005, but they're a little more esoteric – going to a country club, eating a funnel cake, visiting Hollywood's Magic Castle – and I don't expect anyone reading this to consider them "everyday experiences".)
- Got married. The biggie! And okay, not everybody gets married, but even diehard bachelors will admit that it's a pretty normal event for most people.
- Lived with my romantic partner. You could group this in with the previous entry, as I didn't live with my romantic partner (Miki) until I married her. Still, for most liberal-minded Americans my age, it's unusual not to have lived with a romantic partner by the age of 35.
- Got drunk. This may be the most surprising thing for most readers, but I never, ever got drunk until this year. (In fact, to shock you even more, I didn't drink alcohol at all until Thanksgiving 2003. No special reason why I put it off; I just never felt like doing it.) But in February I settled down with Miki to watch the Oscars, and consumed a tasty but ultimately evil champagne punch in the process. The world started spinning as though I'd just stepped off a nasty amusement park ride, and I felt ill the entire next day. It was not a "fun drunk", and this is not something I'd ever choose to experience again.
- Smoked something. I suppose it's no great revelation that, as someone who avoided alcohol until he was 33, I never smoked anything either. But last March, while Miki and I visited a friend in Scottsdale, I did partake of his treasured hookah pipe. The hookah is probably the mildest thing in the world that a person can smoke. I suppose I'd do it again, though I wouldn't want to make a habit of it.
- Blogged. Admittedly, not everybody blogs – which is probably a good thing, since too many people already indulge in this pointless pastime as it is. As of last May, I became one of those people. [2013 UPDATE: THAT BLOG IS NO LONGER.]
- Lost something worth more than $100. During our honeymoon in Hawaii, my prescription sunglasses fell into the sea when a wave knocked over my kayak. Never to be seen again. I guess I'm really lucky that these sunglasses were the first expensive thing I've ever truly lost. My first car dying on the highway doesn't count.
- Wore jewelry. Naturally I'm referring to my wedding ring. And okay, I know lots of guys who have never worn jewelry. But it's not that common, especially for marrieds.
- Rented a U-Haul. Almost everybody who's ever moved has had to rent a moving truck of some sort, usually from U-Haul. For years I managed to get all my junk carted around thanks to the kindness of friends and family. This time, no such luck. (Though technically I did pay for a U-Haul when shooting my film Claustrophobia, since I needed it to transport the props and furniture for the film. But I never actually drove it, or even sat in it.)
- Rode in a hot air balloon. While admitting that riding in a hot air balloon (where Miki and I got married) is not a typical experience for most, it's still a unique, enjoyable thing to do that I think everyone should try at least once. This wedding thing sure took care of a lot of "firsts" for me. Probably why I'm not going to make this an annual list. In truth, the older one gets, the fewer "firsts" one experiences in life. Though it's a worthy goal for each of us to try to do at least nine new things every year. Even if it's just trying a certain cuisine for the first time, or visiting a new city, or, well, getting married.