Now, I've got the start of a second career I wouldn't have guessed would be possible for me, as a TV performer and (very) minor celebrity. Lots of folks on the Internet have seen my picture, and most of them have either laughed or stared in utter disbelief. Not a small number of them have made their derision known publicly or privately.
Balancing that is a truly unique set of experiences: taking a microgravity flight, waving a flag at a major automobile racetrack, sitting (!) on stage while rock stars perform, and meeting a wide range of people I'd never have had the chance to otherwise, from Buzz Aldrin to Phil Jackson to Scott Dixon to Steven Lisberger to Fred Willard to Lenny Kravitz...and, certainly not least of all, Jimmy Kimmel, a genuinely nice guy.
I've become comfortable appearing on national TV in a costume which many men wouldn't even consider wearing in private (though I still don't understand why). I'm learning a whole new craft (art form? profession?), and getting paid to do it in the public eye, a chance only a very small handful of people ever get in their lives.
Yeah, I'd say 2004 was a hell of a year. The best year of my life? I'm not sure the question means anything. Certainly, though, on the whole it was a good one.