At the risk of being one of those blog sites who says "Hey, everyone come see how good I look!" or maybe "Hey, everyone come be moved by my brilliant words and the amazing way I put thoughts into verbal emotions!"... I thought this year's end might be a good idea to do something different.
For the first several years of the blogsite, maybe 2005 to 2011, I did a "Coolest 100 Things of the Year", and they were a collection of people, music, movies, events, life happenstances, books and more that I experienced or discovered for the first time in that particular year... and I'll honestly say, sometimes it was met with controversy over who/what got in, who/what got out, and a lighthearted look back for me turned into a little drama here and there, which made it not worth it. Oh, and I got lazy (what's new?) and even finished my favorite 100 things of 2011 IN the year 2013. I decided that was that for that segment.
But now, I look back at the year on the blog, and see that I've managed 85 posts (not counting this one). That number seems a bit inflated, as I participated in--and succeeded--in a challenge that had me blogging 33 straight days from late September to early November. Considering that is more blogging than I did from March thru September in total, "85" is a deceptive number, but here we are anyway.
January set forth my first writing challenge of the year, where I attempted to write an average of 500 words per day for the month. Then I set my goals for the year 2014, in Part One and then Part Two... and will probably give a post next week to let you know how I did (batting .300 is great in baseball right? Why can't it be okay for real life?).
As I mentioned before, October brought a 31 Day writing challenge, which I #humblebrag in saying that I more than completed. There are other challenges I failed to meet, like my attempt to take on the 100 Happy Days phase that is/was all over Instagram and Facebook, and what I was to call "My Summer of Happy", with 100 posts about things I enjoy. But I've come to learn that I can't give myself a topic, such as "Happy things", and expect myself to blog about that same topic for post upon post upon post... mostly because I'm all over the map, as anyone who has been here more than a few times will see.
So, for anyone new to the blog, or if you just want the good stuff, here are the ten posts this year that I really, really liked. And that's not including my homage to the late, great Casey Kasem... thoughts on Clint Eastwood's "Any Which Way You Can"... thoughts on Pitbull both here and here (yes--TWO posts about Pitbull. What.)... and writing with and without a filter.
2014's Top Ten, as chosen by me, based not only on popularity but also how much pride I had in it when re-reading it..
10... We decided to start (or, start again for the 10,000th time) on our spring cleaning. And when you have a pile of junk in the garage, it's worth documenting some of the strange things you come across. My friend Writer Chris Holmes said this was one of his favorite posts I've ever written... for pictures of not only rubber chickens and Microsoft 2003, but also the General Lee, here's "Things We Found In the Garage" from January 5th.
9... Sometimes as a writer, you just have to write, and sometimes it doesn't make any sense at all. Sometimes it's just a bunch of random words late at night that for whatever reason, a bunch of people tell they read and laughed at and enjoyed. What did I write? Nothing but the "Things Carly Simon Made Me Say Late at Night" from January 27th.
8... The fervor of the "Washington Redskins is a racist nickname" hit a fever pitch this past summer and I sat back and watched carefully, deciding where I fell on the issue (which is, that "Redskins" is not racist, or if it is, it's suspect to suddenly come after it now, after all this time). However, when a select few members of the University of Mississippi release a report saying how they are offended by the school's "Rebel" mascot... well, I just had to join in and declare "Ole Miss is Racist!". From August 9th.
7... I think one of my favorite posts from the last several years was actually one written in 2013, all about inclusion, which I'm passionate about (and likely fail miserably at doing). Another story was brought up in my mind this past spring, as I noticed on Facebook a high school friend of mine was having a birthday. I hadn't thought about him in years, and yet, the story of "Kenny Weeks & Wall Street Football" came rushing back--and had to be shared. From March 5th.
6... I love discussing pop culture, and I love making lists. So when I can do the two of them together, and talk about OutKast, Garth Brooks, Expose, Bob Seger, Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift, Fergie and more, I do it. All are including in my "Playlist for Hustla's", from January 17th.
5... With recent events in my own life (that I cannot share right here on this site, but you are welcome to ask about it), the words "leap of faith' stand out strong in my heart and mind. So re-reading this one made me smile. Because sometimes, you just have to get on that skateboard of life and ride... worried about safety? Remember that "You Can't Be Safe on a Skateboard". From February 4th.
4... Sometimes its the memories we have from our childhood that resonate with us 30 years later, much like this story from Samson Elementary, involving GI Joe, Wonder Woman and an unnamed kid who's spoils fuel the creativity of an unpopular 5th grader. It's all about getting "Clarity from an Invisible Jet", from February 10th.
3... Every year on his birthday, I make a note to Campbell, something I hope he will read when he gets older. This year's letter was popular with readers. From November 30th, "To Campbell, on Your 3rd Birthday" (his b'day is December 1st, it just got published literally 20 minutes from midnight, giving it a 11/30 publish date instead of a 12/1 date. Details, details.)
2... Ah, marriage. And pride. And pride in marriage can be a bad thing sometimes. It's a little story about butting heads as a husband and wife, and a lesson that "Pride Goeth Before the Squeeze" from February 24th.
And my favorite post of the year that I've written...
1... Autism is tough. It's a hard thing to push through, and it's tempting to wallow in parental misery about all the things you are missing. But one thing we are learning, re-learning and telling ourselves over and over is that The Lovely Steph Leann and I have to remember to "Don't Mourn the Can't, Instead Love the Can"
So there ya go... if you like one or more of those posts, then you'll enjoy the blog. If you clicked on a couple and decided "this guys sucks!", then I have a feeling this blogsite won't be for you. But you should come anyway, in case I write something that you do like!
Thanks for reading.