Bring on the spring. Bring on 2004. Just please don’t “Bring it on Again.”

Damn, I am tired of 2003, the year of the shake. Polaroids and salt shakers, milkshakes, earthshakes, chocolate milk advertising campaigns, and Trimspa (I actually have no idea what it is they are advertising with Anna Nicole).

So, the biggest story of 2003? It must have been the war in Iraq, which we are now in 2004 finding out was being planned back in 2001, pre-9/11. Confused? Me too. Where the hell are Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, the elusive mice we nicknamed in my apartment, cornered no fewer than four times, only to disappear when we pulled the dresser back and yelled “Ah-ha!”

As for fashion, I’ll be very happy to say good-bye to Von Dutch hats, Ugg boots and the Cheers Dublin/Ciao Roma/Guten Tag Berlin shirts. I did enjoy the Victoria’s Secret 2003 Fashion Show and can’t wait to see what those hot toothpicks will barely don in 2004. Less is more in 2004, ladies.

The blackout of 2003 — instead of panic and dread, it was laughter and strong community feeling. Forget the blackout in the Northeast; this was finals time! I expected to hear about State Street riots, book burnings and computer viruses; instead, we remained calm and persevered, because we’re UW students.

Yet another year of disappointment for Badger football in 2003. A repaired knee was not enough to save the Badgers’ season, as our Achilles heel turned out to be two sprained ankles and a “10-yard cushion defensive scheme” against pass-happy teams. Did anyone else have Purdue flashbacks while watching the Kansas City defense two weeks ago? Hey, at least now that’s Nebraska’s problem.

If I hear Fran Drescher say “fa’shizzle” one more time, I may break my TV. I hate Old Navy, but they aren’t the only culprits to bring hip-hop lexicon into the mainstream vocabulary. Everyone from The Daily Telegraph, a London newspaper, to the Oxford English Dictionary has printed the term “bling bling”originally coined by BG, a rapper from the dirty sizzle. “Hip-hop” and its slang have been created and used specifically as a type of rebellion against the mainstream. How sad it is to see the media exploiting this for its financial advantage.

Britney Spears’ marriage actually helped the case for gay marriage in America. All this crap about how sacred marriage is — what a joke. “Plaintiff Spears lacked understanding of her actions to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage,” was what the annulment petition said. Um, incapable of agreeing? Married against her will? Who was the bridegroom, Uday Hussein? Now, in 2004, we’ll get to see the Fab Five settle down.

It’s clear that 2003 wasn’t perfect. 2004, however, is shaping up to be a dandy. Here are some things I’m looking forward to in the new year:

– The next “younger man-older woman” couple in Hollywood trend: Harry Potter (whatever that kid’s name is) and Paris Hilton

– President Kucinich

– Average Josephine

– Baseball being announced in Washington — around the same time the Brewers win the World Series. Karma, anyone?

– Pepsi Maroon

– “Shake it Like a Lulav” — hip-hop party anthem dropping September 29, Sukkot.

– “American Divorce”

– Olsen Twins sex tape: Coming in July

– Pete Rose being honest

– Real World: Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin

– The next hat craze: Jimmy hats

– Remodeling Bucky’s head in 3-D for a 21st-century look

– Mitchell & Ness throwback uniforms: available in police, firemen and postmen

– 50 Cent’s UK tour: 27.4815 Pence — adjusted for the exchange rate

– Survivor: Sunni Triangle

– Midwestrosexuals

Andrew Fein ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism.