Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year in Bluz - 2013

I always know what I’m going to do on 12/31… Even though I could easily have this in the can by now, I always wait for the very last possible day to do my annual end-of-year recap of all the madcap goings on here on D-fish.

While it’s fun sifting through all the crap I wrote over the year, the one part that always bothers me is the repeated use of “I”.  Seriously, I hate making it sound like the year was all about me, but because it’s MY blog and it’s ME writing about stuff I think, I can’t really avoid all the “I’s.”  So just bear with me, OK?

January:  The year began in grand fashion as Ratbird mouthpiece Ray Lewis announced his retirement.  Unfortunately, that meant I had to endure a solid month of local media hype.  My Grandpa turned 97 and we all produced a memory book for him.  This was my entry. (Note: I just saw him last week, and he’s still awesome!)  I noticed I've had a whole bunch of redheads in my life, much more than the national average, so I wrote about it.  Then I posted about a couple of kids… first, about the time my buddy Rik’s daughter came out to visit me, when she was 10, and then about my amazing nephew Daniel, on the occasion of his 14th birthday.  I’d never addressed the issue of gun violence before, but corrected that in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.  And then before closing out the month with some reruns, I talked about how it’s totally possible to have a relationship with someone you've never met, face to face.  You’re welcome, Manti.

February:  The worst thing imaginable happened… the Ratbirds won the Super Bowl.  Rather than hibernate for the rest of the month, like I wanted to, I wrote about how I defy conventional health wisdom on a daily basis, and still live to tell the tale.  When I cleaned out my closet and unearthed some ungodly horrendous fashion items, there was no way I couldn't share them with you.  Then in going through some old notebooks, I found this thing I wrote for a friend’s going away party, where because her pregnancy was supposed to be a secret, (that everyone knew anyway) my message to her contained every side-reference to pregnancy I could think of.  Then I told a light, fun little story about the time I almost derailed a passenger train, when I was in 3rd grade.  Take THAT, Dick and Jane!  After that, things got serious.  I sought your help about the quandary I was having about what to do when your partner is breaking your things.  And to end the month, I celebrated the 4th anniversary of this very blog; the day I opened the doors and said, “Come on in!”

March:  Taylor Swift was in the news and I finally said what needed to be said: “Honey, maybe it’s you.”  Sadly, the Pittsburgh Steelers release one of my all time favorite players.  Here, I posted my farewell, to a Naughty Man.  (That’s my nephew Sammy’s term for Harrison.)  In a bit of inadvertent foreshadowing, I decided to pen my own obituary, after reading about some other dude writing his own hilarious obit.  “Son of Obituary” was my favorite post title this year.  Then to break nostalgic, I posted a series of shots of my buddies and I, posing in the same pose throughout the years.  And speaking of passing years, I noted that I have now lived in this Baltimore apartment, longer than I have anywhere else.  Scary!  And because I have practically no material on Easter, I ran some old pics from the Easters of my youth.

April:  This month was a disaster.  It started all fun and games, with a post about playing backyard wiffleball and the huge man-eating dog that lived over the fence.  But then it got painfully serious as I developed a kidney stone, went to the hospital for treatment, was discharged and felt well enough to go to an Orioles game, wherein a cold beer knocked my heart out of rhythm, and then going to another hospital to have it shocked back into rhythm.  That’s what I get for mocking obituaries.  Once my health had taken a beating, it was time for my mental and financial health to suffer, when the Penguins game we were going to see in Pittsburgh got moved (due to the Boston Marathon bombing) and I had to eat $300 worth of tickets.  We still made the trip, though, and took in a Buccos game.  With the kidney stone done with, there was a national milestone, where the first gay athlete in a major team sport came out of the closet.  People said the right things, but I thought only time would reveal the full picture.  (And I was right… the guy has not as yet signed with another team.)

May:  We spent the first week in May visiting my folks in Gulf Breeze, Florida.  Fun times abounded, and naturally gave way to a discussion of fart etiquette.  (We’re that kind of family.)  I hadn’t written much on politics this year, but I finally had enough of all the faux-scandals to finally chip in and call out the bullshit.  Tornadoes that ripped open the Midwest also ripped open my ongoing fear of them, which I explored here.

June:  I began the month musing on the uncles I have versus the one I've become.  In a walk through the truly bizarre, we visited Baltimore’s HonFest, to hobnob with the beehive (hairdo) crowd.  To break nostalgic again, I wrote about the very first concert(s) I went to as a teenager, and the very different circumstances.  Then just to revel in the nonsense, I ran one of my favorite bits of absurd writing, involving the difficulty one has when his eye rolls under the desk.  I also wrote about how I used to chew tobacco, back in the days of my rural youth.  (Bleah!)  The month ended with my annual trip to revisit my rural youth in the farmlands outside Toledo, with my buddies Rik and John.

July:  Because Rik’s daughter was about to become a college freshman, I felt duty-bound to pen a few thoughts on surviving that first year away from home.  And if my advice was good, the comments that came from YOU were even better!  Between Paula Deen and Big Brother, racist comments were in the news and I chipped in on the controversy and even copped to a little past ignorance myself.  Since I had college on the brain, I accessed my “vault” of old writings, and remembered my days as a gossip columnist for my high school newspaper.  And because you have to see it to believe it, I wrote about how Baltimore hosted a convention for fans of My Little Pony, and how they’re all DUDES!  Seriously!  We never did that kind of lame shit when I was in college.

August: I continued with tales of my college experience here and here, ending with the party stories here.  (It’s a wonder I lived to tell the tales.)  Going back to those days reminded me of a great prank we pulled on a friend of my Dad’s, using a kazoo.  Then I went back even further to write the story of my prom night.  Because I’m getting older and crankier, I first wrote about how I see myself becoming more impatient with random idiots, which blossomed into a post on all the people I hate on the subway.

September:  If I got to be the guy who made up car names, these are the ones I’d go with.  Car and Driver, eat your heart out.  Because nothing had been done about gun violence so far, and the mass killings were still piling up, I wrote my angriest post of the year.  No, it didn't accomplish anything either, except making me feel a little better.  In other news, there really are alligators under the bed.  And then after seeing yet another ridiculous, cement-headed meme posted on Facebook, I deconstructed the argument piece by piece. 

October: Sure, you know I’m the Bluzdude, but in this post, you no longer had to take my word for it, when I ran my very own blues song, the Full Belly Blues.  We went back to Pittsburgh to catch the hockey game we missed in April, and also got to visit the famous River Ducky.  Remember the time the Republicans shut down the entire government and then tried to blame the Democrats? That was funny.  By the way, I took a political test and I came out “Liberal.”  Go figure.  Since it was Halloween season, I ran down my Top 20 Scary Movies of All Time.  Because of some kids football games in the news, I took the opportunity to again complain about how I’ve never gotten a trophy for anything, ever.  Also, in the Abuses of the Past Department, I always hated getting splinters taken out. 

November:  This month was tough, and I had to scrape for material.  I had a film clip of the Ohio State Band, and then did another run through old print ads of the 50s.  But I soon turned inward, wondering if I should continue my blog, in The Malaise Post.  I thank you for your encouragement and support.  Then in the biggest Bluz Newz of the year, I dropped the bomb about how Pinky and I are splitting up, and signifying big changes for 2014.  But right after that, I got to hang out with bloggers Misty and Val, which is bound to put a smile on anyone’s face.

December:  Ratbirds coach John Harbaugh defended his idiot fans who were throwing ice balls at the opposing team, demonstrating yet again why I hate this team so much.  I also shined some light on the Republican dirty tricks that are hampering the efforts to get Obamacare off the ground.  They should really just stick to fighting among themselves.  I told some dirty jokes at work, and then in my last relevant post of the year, called out the national and political media for making incorrect usage of “Freedom of Speech.” 

So that’s the news for 2013.  As always, I appreciate your time and attention in visiting with me, and seeing what I have to say.  I hope to have some quality material for you here as I journey into my 6th year of Darwinfish.  Life soldiers on… all I have to do is write it down.

Have a great New Years, and I’ll see you on the other side.


Mary Ann said...

Happy Day ONE to our # ONE. Let the good times roll.
How about a DF entry on your triumphant Pgh. tour! With pics of the souvenir sammiches.

bluzdude said...

Coming up next...

Burgh Baby said...

I love these sorts of recaps!

bluzdude said...

Sure! You get to speed a year' shorthand of posts in a couple minutes!

BTW, thanks for being you and doing what you do. I remain in awe.