Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year in Bluz - 2012

Well, it’s December 31st, which makes it the last possible day to do my annual Year in Review.  There’s nothing like that deadline pressure to pry me loose from the couch.  Oh, and I’m not really reviewing what went on in the world this year, as much as what I wrote about.  You can find the year’s news highlights anywhere.  What’s really important is what I think about they year’s news highlights. [snork!]

Now let’s see where we’ve been…

January: After meandering a bit with some multi-subject posts, I hit a sweet spot, after consulting with my friend Judie the Rogue Artist, to produce “Why Heathens Make Good Friends.”  That post also contained my first ever prize giveaway. (A “Heathen” t-shirt, size Boys Large.)  Delurker Day (and some later prodding) managed to shake loose a few non-commenting but regular readers, so I could further identify who is stalking me.  Next, I defended the rights of my favorite show, Modern Family, to have the 2-year old seemingly drop the F-bomb, just as we have the right to turn the channel if we are so easily offended.  I also reported one of my favorite family stories, how my Grandfather once creatively smuggled a stash of booze to his brother, who was stationed in the South Pacific during WWII.  I unveiled my long list of favorite fake names here, and then in one of my more whimsical posts, I imagined what it might have been like if I had known how to play a guitar on the day I was given one, plugged in up on stage, with an attentive captive audience.  To finish out this rather high-quality month, I told a story about the time I absolutely slayed the room with a speech I’d been ordered to cut short.

February: After the 2012 Super Bowl was hijacked by a 2nd-rate rapper’s middle finger, I wrote my best-received post of the year, where a bunch of celebrities and I give the finger to the Parents’ Television Council.  Than, all cocky from that post, I stepped in it real good when in a multi-subject newsy post, I proclaimed support for ObamaCare to force Catholic institutions to provide insurance that includes birth control.  My Catholic friends really stepped up the “dialogue” for that one!  To get the taste of controversy out of my mouth, I told a couple of favorite stories. Well, one was a series of stories about my Grandpa and his crazy family, and how one of his brothers thought he found the other one passed out drunk one night.  Then it was my own best drunk story about how I ended up zonked on “Hairy Buffalo” and did front handsprings down the front steps of the Bowling Green Armory.  Continuing with The Funny, I explained the endless appeal of “dick” jokes, and excerpted “101 Big Dick Jokes” from a Drew Carey book.  I closed the month with a review of the best lunch I ever had… a real Meat-O-Rama.

March: We started the month on a high note, after the Maryland state government passed a Same Sex Marriage bill.  This would be discussed later, as it ended up having to pass a referendum to stand on the books.  When the Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled a new statue of owner/legend Mario Lemieux, I took the opportunity to discuss his gloried career.  A brush with fame came when the HBO movie “Game Change” was shot in town, near my office.  OK, this month I REALLY stepped in it.  Because I posted about the off-the-wall ways I’ve observed females argue throughout my years of relationships, my blog sisters totally gave me the old what-for in comments.  The funny part is that I was called “sexist,” even though most commenters copped to using some of the sketchy methods I listed.  Shortly after that, I wrote the post that appears on the top of my Most Visited Blog Post list, where I debunked the list of lottery winning “tips” that were being publicized on the news.  (I don’t think there were really that many visitors… I think it was one person who somehow repeatedly clicked a couple hundred times.)  And after a couple years of blogging, I finally wrote my long-planned ode to the vinyl record album.
Vinyl graphics > CD graphics.

April: We opened by wrapping up the Mega Millions saga, starting with hiring the VP of Hell No and the Chairman of Fuck Off, and suggesting an alternate take on what I’d do if I ever won a major lottery.  Baseball started and I took an early tour of the improvements at Camden Yards, and provided a tutorial on not getting clonked on the head during batting practice.  I wrote another of my famous “whimsical” posts, wherein I built a story around the melodious sound of a co-worker’s name.  That one still cracks me up.  Next, I tried my hand at sad Goth Girl poetry, to describe my ex-wife’s fixation with Spots on the Mirror.  I closed the month by telling you about my trip to an Assisted Living facility, where at Pinky’s behest, I told the residents some stories about my aforementioned Grandpa and his crazy family.  It was probably my most rewarding experience of the year.

May: The beginning of the month was taken up by our trip to Florida to see my folks.  Then, I started a series or reasons why I (and everyone should) vote Democratic.  I also covered my first experience donating blood, in probably 30 years.  In this post, I told about how I came to learn that my blog has been banned in Bahrain (hence the masthead notation ever since.)  And just to act all “wise” again, I wrote some helpful advice to a young friend who is on the verge of moving far away from home.

June: I started June by seeking input on how everyone (who is married) runs their financial lives.  After attending a high school graduation, I did a compare & contrast vs my own.  My best story of the year came after leading a bunch of young Pittsburghers down to Camden Yards and then getting into trouble finding the club section rest room.  After that, the shit got crazy for a couple weeks.  I had my annual Toledo trip, which featured our fated walleye fishing trip, and the best pizza in the world.
Myles Pizza, Bowling Green OH.

July: From Toledo, I rolled straight into Pittsburgh for Sisterfish2, (aka Darwinfish Fry 3), which featured meeting of my Pittsburgh blogging friends and a special guest appearance by Jessica of Leelafish.  The next day featured a trip to PNC Park and my Aunt’s house for dinner.  And somewhere in there, I had to live without power for a day or so, due to the infamous “derecho.”  After getting together with bloggers from Pittsburgh so often, I decided to meet one here in town, which led to lunch with Misty of Misty’s Laws.  The friendship “took;” we’ve met up 2 more times since then.  I closed the month with an account of my tortured attempts to set up a home wireless network to accommodate my new iPad.  Geek Squad, where were you?

August: With the Olympics going on, I visited my top memories from a lifetime of Olympiads.  Next, a story about my dad’s mono-fruited fig tree led to a post about bronchitis and my first encounter with a new medical center.  With the election dawning, I explored the 4 State Referendum questions that would greatly affect the rights of Marylanders for years to come.  To lighten up after that, I reviewed the new Jaws Blu-Ray and talked about the effect the movie had on me over the years.  Back to politics, I went off on the musicians who were using their cap-gun brains to shoot off their shotgun mouths.  I also came out in support of Bill Nye “the Science Guy”, who was criticizing the evolution deniers. 

September: I started the month by going ridiculous, talking about how we used to have farting contests as kids, to emulate a very taboo “adults only” cassette tape we’d heard.  Then Sitcom Kelly and I pitched a sure-fire T-shirt idea for a local Orioles bar, and then defended Camden Yards against the annual horde of Yankees fans.  Then, I started a long series about a subject that’s haunted my dreams for years… my long career as a record store manager.  There were posts covering: taking my first store, setting up a new store in Nebraska, moving across town to take an urban, free-standing store, describing the thankless nature of being a store manager, the tricks and pitfalls of trying to maintain a decent staff, then ending the month on surviving Christmas and then blowing town to live near the home office.

October: I continued with a post on making the jump into my company’s home office, before taking a break to cover the Orioles making it into the playoffs, and going to my first baseball playoff game with my brother, and my second with Sitcom Kelly.  I went political again by covering the presidential debates, among other things, before diving back to finish up my retail saga.  I covered working in the home office, getting laid off and taking a new store, then getting laid off again a year later, taking a job in a freakin’ craft store, making a jump to managing a video rental store, and culminated in putting all my experience together to turn that video store completely around within 2 months… and then quitting.  Somewhere in there, I wrote about my experience of waiting for 2 hours to cast an “early vote.”

November: With the election looming, I dove right in with my comprehensive, last best case to vote Democratic.  I know for sure that I changed at least a couple of minds.  Not bad for a two-bit blogger!  Still, I had plenty of election night jitters, but they proved unfounded, as I was able to bask in the afterglow that very night, before moving into post-election analysis.  I still had a few random stories I wanted to tell from my retail career, so I dropped them here, and here, and here and finished it up for good (I promise) here.  I ended November with a post about the OSU/Michigan rivalry, and the time I had to pee REALLY bad in the back of a pickup truck.  Then it was on to the hardship of trying to find an electric carving knife and a big fork.  (You don’t want to know what I did with the old fork.) 

December: I know this stuff is right below, so I’ll be brief.  My dear friend had her wedding shower and then got married.  I went off on the All Guns All the Time crowd in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.  I complained about having to move office cubicles (I’m over it now) and in a fit of self-deprecation, showed you pictures of me violating every modern fashion law known to mankind.  Oh, and by the way, maybe it’s not such a bad thing if some of these trends come back.  I mean after all, it seems our current fashion is altering our basic body structure.  Look what we have now…

Happy New Year, my friend.  Thank you for sharing 2012 with me and I look forward to entertaining you, educating you, or just pissing you off again in 2013. 


Jessica R. said...

I'm glad 2012 brought me the opportunity to meet you face-to-face, er face-to-chin, and that's saying something from a tall gal. Happy New Year Bluz!

bluzdude said...

Tall gals rock! Never forget that. Wear those heels proudly!

Cassie said...

If you keep showing me that pizza, I'm going to be forced to punch you, or rather, Matt will, because NOW I WANT ALL THE PIZZA.

Happy New Year!

bluzdude said...

Tell you what... Next summer when I road trip out to Ohio, I'll see if you wanna come out for some pizza. It will be worth the drive! Of course by then, you won't be preggers any more, so the appeal might be diminished. And you'd probably have to jog home, just to work off all the carbs.

Facie said...

I am also looking forward to your entertaining, educating, and pissing me off in 2013. Strangely enough you almost never do that third thing, perhaps because I have become a liberal conservative. ;-)

bluzdude said...

Darwinfish2: corrupting nice Catholic girls since 2009. Thanks, Facie, it's been great having you visit. Happy New Year, my friend.

Valerie said...

Happy New Year!! I can't wait to see what 2013 brings!!



bluzdude said...

You and me both, Sweets. Happy New Year to you too.

injaynesworld said...

Wow! You were busy, dude. You put me to shame. Looks like I'd better light a fire under my ass this year. Love that pants photo. You never fail to make me think or give me a giggle, my friend. Happy New Year to you and Pinky.

Judie said...

I wear that shirt with pride! Yes, it does make peope suspicious of me, but I don't care! There are a lot more heathens than anyone would suspect! Most of them would never admit it, and some would never believe that they are one, even though their attitude gives them away every time!! Those are the BAD heathens! WE are the GOOD ones! As Popeye says, " Iyam what Iyam, and that's all what Iyam!"
Happy New Year, dear Bluz! xoxoxoxoxox

bluzdude said...

It only looks that way because it’s all listed there together. I’ve been shooting for 3 posts per week, but sometimes I just don’t quite get there.

Thinks and giggles… I like that. Glad to help!

bluzdude said...

Glad you’re out providing some good pub for us Heathens. Thanks for your help in developing that Heathen post; it was one of my favorites.

I should have that Popeye quote made into a cross-stitch.