Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year in Bluz - 2011

I almost didn't do a year-in-review this year.  As I’ve been reading all my favorite blogs, it seems like everyone is doing one.  But then I figured, “hell, I did one last year; I’ve got a stake in the ground.  So why not?”

Also, I would otherwise have to come up with something fresh, which this week’s life of sloth has prevented from even considering.

I felt really good about my work here this year, but it’s odd because I’ve actually posted less.  In 2010 I had 201 posts.  This will be my 164th of the year, so unless I post another 37 between now and midnight, I’m not going to make that level.  Maybe I can do a separate post for each paragraph.  (Naah, too much work.)

Anyway, the reason for the decline in posting is that I finally figured out a workable schedule.  This year I’ve pretty much stuck to posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, plus one over the weekend.  Three posts a week times 52 weeks caps off at 156.  I can live with that.

 So lets see what I’ve been yapping about all year…

Shortly after writing about Pinky’s and my New Year’s Eve adventures in downtown Baltimore, I wrote about my life-long experiences with the dental profession, from breaking my teeth at 17 to getting a bunch of permanent caps at 47.  I told the story about how in 1996, I was thiiiiiiis close to filming a porno movie.  On the occasion of my catching a cold, I wrote this ode to Kleenex, which I had been deprived of during my childhood.  I so love to tell old stories, so when I trotted out the one about how my Dad conned his friends into thinking he was some kind of math genius, it went over so well I told a whole series of stories about the goofy shit my dad used to do.  The end of January also meant the Pittsburgh Steelers were deep in a playoff run.  Here’s how I tortured my office mates when the Steelers beat the hometown Ratbirds.  I warmed up for the AFC Championship game here, and celebrated the Steelers making it to their 8th Super Bowl, here.

SBXLV was pretty much all I could think about in early February, as shown in this post full of Steelers tidbits and photoshops, and this one where I complain about how long it was taking for the Big Game to get here.  Obviously, the game didn’t work out the way I wanted, so I found closure by enacting Operation Comfort Food, where I dissected the game, the coverage and the commercials.  Then I washed the legendary Steelers Socks.  The bulk of February was taken up by my time on Jury Duty, where I was Alternate Juror #3.  It was a sad case of child abuse.  I only wish I got to deliver this opinion to my fellow jurors.  Later in the month, I told some stories about things that went Bump in the night, and pled with the citizens of Maryland to finally get this gay marriage thing right.

I started March off by getting good and pissed off at some idiot’s letter in the paper condemning the idea gay marriage so I fired off a scathing rebuttal.  It ran online but never made the print paper.  This was a good month for storytelling, so I started off with some stories about my Grandpa, about his amazing garden, and how he left my dad to stay the night in jail, when he was a kid.  What started out as a story about my first apartment turned into some other lurid tales to heat up a cold month.  First there was the time I almost found myself in a 3-way, then how I ended up in some hot monkey-lovin’ with my roommate, culminating with the stories of how we carried out some additional hot monkey lovin’ all over town that summer.  To end the month, I posted about my all-time favorite rock singer, what I’d do if I hit a mega-millions jackpot, and a photo-illustrated documentation of my friend Sitcom Kelly, stalking her favorite Pittsburgh Penguins, live and in person.

April showers usually bring May flowers, but this time it brought out a post about the glory of Rain-X, complete with my own video accompaniment.  I didn’t do a lot of political posts this year, but when I did, I felt that they were pretty forceful; none more so than this one taking on those politicians that purposefully misrepresent common facts (aka “lying) to smear organizations like Planned Parenthood.  On a much lighter note, I had fun with some vanity license plates, which led to a hugely embarrassing email FAIL with my Blog Sister Cassie.  At the end of the month I began a 3-part series that told the story of Whatsername, I girl I dated in my mid-20s that kept breaking up with me and calling me back.  It was cool… there was a happy ending after all... it just took 27 years to get there.

May was dominated by medical stories.  First there was the torn rotator cuff in my shoulder and then a post about the weird-ass case of hives I’ve had for the last 10 years.  From there was a 2-part story about the heart surgeries I’ve undergone.  Trust me, heart surgery has never been this funny.  Highlight of the month was my Guys Trip to Pittsburgh with my buddy Rik and his son, to see a couple of Pirates games.  Then the very next week we held the Darwinfish Fry 2 (Bag’o Fish) at the Carpetbagger residence in Lawrenceville PA.  Meeting up for the 2nd time were the Cherlocks, Cassie, Mr and Mrs Carpetbagger, and Hot Mama & CC from Bitchburgh.  First time attendees were the Red Pen Mama and Angie from Ranting in Pittsburgh.  Also, my parents showed up!  Good times!  

That same weekend, my cousin got married.  This post goes from the story of what happens when a 4-year old girl decides that you’re fascinating right up to the point that she gets married.  I did 2 tributes to lifelong favorites this month… to the best rock and roll party band ever, and the greatest right fielder of all time.  In other news, I got half of my Darwinfish plaque ripped off my car in a WalMart parking lot, apparently because the best way to demonstrate your piousness and faith is to destroy someone else’s property.  In sports, I prepared an in-depth compare and contrast between Pittsburgh’s PNC Park and Baltimore’s Camden Yards.  Now, I’m not saying that my screed against the Orioles putting up statues of their players numbers did anything, but they did announce that this year they will be putting up statues of the players themselves.  More on that when the time comes.  You’re welcome.

Early on I posted my reaction to the Casey Anthony verdict and the national hysteria that occurs when everyone in the country thinks they’re experts on the judiciary because they watch Law and Order.  To erase that ugly taste, I followed it up with a post about those songs that you love in the very first seconds that you hear them.  Perhaps my favorite post of the year was this one, reading as a letter to my 16-year old “niece,” (best friend’s daughter) offering heartfelt advice on how to be as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  In politics, I offered my take on the debt-ceiling fiasco and the Republicans’ negotiating strategy: “You scratch my back and I get my back scratched.” (Steven Colbert)

August was dominated by my vacation trip back to my NW Ohio roots, where we held a Jamboree and Hootenanny to celebrate my buddies and I all turning 50 this year.  I also got to see a Toledo Mudhens game with blog friend Sherry,  revisit the best college pizza joint ever, and drive by the place where the Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow story took place.  Yet another yutz (this time, a Virgina state assemblyman) took to the newspaper to condemn any change to Maryland’s marriage laws so I once again took up for the other side.  This time, I didn’t even make the online edition.  I think they’re getting tired of me.  In a pair of drippy, sappy stories, I told of the circumstances surrounding how I lost my virginity, and the saga of the college girlfriend that did me that favor.  To close out the month, I created a video of me, telling my favorite joke.

I had a rough opening week, so I posted about how an earthquake and a hurricane conspired to make me re-injure my shoulder, undoing 3 months of physical therapy.  Because I could still lift a tablet with my left hand, I did a post excerpting some of the crazy shit I wrote in my old journals (from my roaring 20s).  Going back to that era whetted my appetite to write about my long-ago history with strip clubs, from first discovering them in Cleveland, to what I’d learned about strip club culture, to the time I actually dated a stripper, to closing out my strip clubbing days.

Right out of the gate, I turned 50.  Yahoo.  So this was the rundown of my birthday activities.  I then told the story about my dad’s surprise 50th birthday party, not being able to believe that I am now the same age that he was when we pulled that off.  I posted about my first and only experience with hunting.  Bring a tissue for this one.  My post, “Marching on Whitehouse” had nothing to do with the Occupy movement… only my high school marching band, from Whitehouse OH.  Damn, they were good and the video proves it.  Just when you thought my friend Sitcom Kelly was nothing but a wine-drinking Penguin stalker, she goes and becomes an incredible Foster Mother for a special little girl.  Then moving back to stories of drunkenness and degradation, I wrote about this trip I took to NYC and a very special bar.     

Lots of good stories in November… There was the time I made that Super-8 slasher movie for film class, my thoughts on hot female teachers sleeping with their male students, and my own Mrs. Robinson experience.  I mourned the loss of Smokin’ Joe Frazier, wrote some guidelines spelling out how you know if you’re being treated right, and told the story about how sometimes you have to keep your big yap shut.  I wound up the month by telling the horrifying story of being humiliated in church.

Seriously, just scroll down.  The shit’s still fresh.

In Conclusion
We have big plans for New Year’s Eve tonight.  Pinky and I have a reservation at a nice waterfront hotel by the Inner Harbor.  We’ll dress up, have a nice meal and enjoy some fireworks.  (You can take that however you wish.)  I’ll have a post about it up on Monday, if anything blog-worthy happens.

Until then, let me thank you for spending 2011 with me.  I can never fully express how much I appreciate the gift of your attention.  Whether you agree with me or not, (and seriously, how could you not?), I’m thankful that you visit and am especially thankful when you leave me your thoughts.  For that, I am truly blessed.

If we have actually met, trust me when I say that I treasure the day that it happened and anxiously await the next time we can get together.

If we have only corresponded, via this blog or Facebook, I look forward to the day that we can meet face to face.

May 2012 bring you good health, happiness and good times.  Happy New Year, my friend. 

Downtown Baltimore, New Year’s Eve, 2007.


Judie said...

Well, now that I have read The Year in Bluz, while eating the rest of my dinner from last night, with the dogs whining around the desk, waiting for a little taste, I am now going to sit down and read "War and Peace."

You've been a breath of fresh air this past year, Cowboy. I'm looking forward to keeping up with your antics in 2012!

Your Hot Arizona Auntie

bluzdude said...

I can't be THAT long-winded, can I? At least there aren't any of those long-ass Russian names... Maybe I should have used more pictures...

Do you realize that with one small adjustment, calling yourself 'Your Ever-Engaging Hot Arizona Auntie," your acronym would be YEEHAA?

Jessica R. said...

Happy New Year Bluz! It's been a joy following along this year.

bluzdude said...

Same to you, Jessica. It's been a treat watching your young family bloom.

Come At Me Bro said...

Happy new year!

Facie said...

My 40-year-old brain wouldn't possibly let me remember a third of what went on this past year. I don't know how you crazy kids do it!

Happy 2012, Bluz! Glad you have room here for a registered republican who is closer to a libertarian but middle of the road or even liberal on a few issues. Why can't we all just get along...

Cassie said...

That email fail will forever be in the "hilarity ensued," book of fame. What a year it was, indeed!!!

bluzdude said...

Thanks, same to you.

Like I could remember? I just went through my post list and pulled out the good ones.

Happy New Year to you too and of course there's room for you here. You just have to forgive me my occasional anti-Republican rants and remember that they're not directed at moderates like you, but at the wingnut fringe who seem to be running things lately.

That email is a time capsule, right there. I've never done anything that messed up before, and (thankfully) since.

BragonDorn said...

Baltimore looks amazing at night! I've been there before :)

Judie said...

Oh, Bluz! I'm so touched! You made me an acronym!!!



DG said...

Happy New Year, Bluz!

bluzdude said...

Yes, from that view, you can't see the filth, crime, or Ratbird fans.

Nothing's too good for my YEEHAA!

Same to you, my friend!

A Beer for the Shower said...

So it's been a great year, and we've enjoyed all of your posts, but now it's going to be my Broncos against your Steelers in the upcoming playoff game, and I just hope we can still be friends after Tebow and his buddy Jesus wipe the floor with you.

Kidding aside, we're glad to be followers of this awesome blog of yours, Bluz, and the Broncos have been playing pretty shitty their last few games, so we really have our work cut out for us if we don't want to get embarrassed and look like a bunch of jackasses.

bluzdude said...

Bryan (Beer),
The pleasure's all mine... you and Brandon freakin' rock, over at A Beer for the Shower. So glad I found you this year.

At this point, a week away from the Steelers/Broncos game, I can wish you good luck. Any closer and I start wishing that The Savior Tebow gets hit by a bus, or at very least redefine "Tebowing" as "sucking vigorously in the big games." (See "pulling a Manning,")

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, it was a great way to catch up on your blog/life, since I only started following you a few weeks ago. I flipped through a few of 'em and was very impressed. You've written some amazing and heartfelt stuff. Can't wait to read more from you. Hope you had a great holiday season. Go Steelers! (I'm tired of all the Tebow talk)

bluzdude said...

Thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot. Glad the wrap-up was helpful. I guess it does help to point out the good stuff, rather than hope a newcomer finds it in the archives.

Tebow better be praying that Lamarr Woodley is still gimpy, or else he may have a very rough day.

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

Having the opportunity to meet you last summer was surely a highlight of my own 2011. If NUTS Cat gets loose in the neighborhood when you visit next year, he'll have to fend for himself while I'm drinking with you at the bars.

bluzdude said...

Good to see you surface again. Hope you had some great Holiday.

Yes, let the cat fend for himself and come drink with the big boys! I'll likely be out again this June. Plans are a'cookin...