An exercise in narcissism: The best of me in 2013

Normally I try not to be so arrogant and self promoting, but I set myself a task this morning to choose the best things that I have written this year and summarize them here for those of you that may have missed something along the way, or for those of you who just care to take a look back at the year 2013 through my eyes. And I’m not going to lie to you, this year has been a steaming pile of awful, and I couldn’t be happier to shovel a large amount of dirt on it and move on to 2014. The funny thing about misery though is that it tends to produce some pretty good writing, and I’m proud to look back and discover that I wrote quite a few things off the cuff that were pretty dang good if I do say so myself.

Without any further complaining or whining (or boasting), here’s what I think is my best of this past year.

I got to revisit (with some horror at the awfulness of it all) a piece that I wrote for my high school literary magazine back some 25  years ago.

I received a very strange letter letting me know that I was getting sued.

April was a pretty good month on the writing front, and it began with a car that wouldn’t start.

I flexed my old journalism skills and did an honest to goodness interview with an honest to goodness novelist.

I rode my bike a really long way again and lived to tell the tale.

I laid out my plans for a golden pop culture mashup sure to bring in boatloads of cash.

A chance meeting on Memorial Day left me feeling pretty depressed.

I gushed over a cinematic masterpiece that had to be seen to be believed.

In August, things at mi casa took a nosedive.

That led to some big changes in September.

I journeyed to the heart of perkiness, and found it to be a strange and glittery place.

I witnessed the greatest piece of art television has ever given us, but am still not sure if I can bring myself to watch it again.

During the government shutdown, I pleaded with Queen Elizabeth to take us back.

I took a break from my new pescatarian lifestyle to make the perfect cheeseburger.

I experienced an unprecedented confluence of sadness, depression and futility on I-95.

I wrote a sprawling, five part recap of a visit to one of my favorite cities in the world. (All five parts are linked from there.)

I paid homage to The Onion with a some Hunger Games silliness.

An old friend played a pretty amazing show here in Orlando.

I kicked off the holidays the best way possible.

My best of the year in music post included a very tall, very sad surprise.

I finally got picked for jury duty, and it was pretty much a bust.

I helped some folks out of a jam with a text book screen and roll.

And finally, I aired my Festivus grievances and stuck a fork in this rather forgettable year.

Here’s to a better 2014.

Cheers.

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Posted on December 30, 2013, in Cycling, Links, Music, Tao of JLo, Travel, TV, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Imagine my joy upon discovering that my sending you that wonderful piece from our high school literary magazine led the list! :). Definite highlight of my year: getting to see the Lomas clan TWICE! Love to you all, and hear hear to a spectacular 2014.

  2. Uh, Jimmy, you failed to mention that you became number two on my MUST READ list this year…if I see a link of a blog post, a twitter, etc. from you I am guaranteed to go to it as soon as possible to check out what you have simmered up for my reading pleasure. Your ability to coherently combine a very solid writing style, a ridiculous knowledge of music, television, movies, and sports (seriously, do you ever sleep?), wit, thoughtful riffs on every day life, intelligent takes on things that I don’t have the curiosity to even ponder until you bring them up, all with a humbleness and willingness to poke fun at yourself is truly awe-inspiring. You challenge your readers to check out new bands, look into TV shows that people will typically miss, and keep their eyes open to the interesting, if sometimes mundane, aspects of everyday life. Your sincere patriotism and civic duty is honestly admirable (your post on waiting in a ridiculous line to vote is still one of my favorite pieces you’ve ever written).

    If we are recounting 2013 and thinking it is more negative than positive, please allow me to remind you of a couple of points:

    1) You had numerous great memories with those two wonderful boys of yours. It’s easy to overlook those as daily life passes us by, but go back and just look at the cool stuff you wrote about them. I’m sure there are 10X more events that didn’t warrant columns but are just as endearing.
    2) You gained a new-found appreciation for life. Yes, your crazy hospital health scare reshuffled your priorities and although that is a hard way to learn an important lesson, you won’t soon forget it.
    3) You enjoyed a crazy number of delicious meals. We know this because we were subjected to numerous photos and beautiful descriptions of said meals.
    4) You saw your beloved Blues take the title. Let’s be totally honest here. In the grand scheme, you and I are both poseur EPL fans. We don’t have great grandfathers who sat through 50 years of games, worried about losing their life during Nick Hornsby type riot action, without ever winning a title. However, I was happy that City won the title this year because I knew it made you smile. Here’s hoping I get to smile next year…this season is done.
    5) Your cycling trials keep me motivated to get on the bike when my broken toe isn’t bothering me. I still have intentions of sneaking down there one year soon and riding the MS ride with you.

    I think the above should be enough to reinforce the idea that you have a pretty good life going on down there in Sunville. If I have one regret it is that I didn’t plan far enough in advance to see you and the family last January when we were down there in Orlando after the cruise. But even then, we were able to experience a wonderful restaurant based on your recommendation so you scored points there too.

    All in all, 2013 taught us a lot of things, and as we grow older and continue to focus on the small things related to family and friends, that’s all we can really ask for right? If we continue focusing on raising our children in the right way, doing the best we can to keep them safe, sound, and striving for excellence, everything else has a way of falling into place.

    Please continue putting your thoughts down electronically whenever the urge hits you. You may only do it for your own therapy or to keep your considerable skills sharp, but I assure you that there are many others that benefit from the many hours you spend writing. Me, first and foremost. Hope you guys have a wonderful New Year.

  3. You know what, I take back everything nice I said above. I had forgotten that you saw Mel twice this year. I only saw her once. So Jimmy you suck and I had a 50% worse year than you.

    The three of us need to get sushi some time.

  4. Cheers friends for the kind words. Parker, thank you for the It’s a Wonderful Life-style overview of all of the reasons I have to thankful. Believe me, I am more aware of those than I put on in writing, but those things tend to make for horribly boring writing. 🙂

    I will break raw fish with anyone at anytime. Just don’t make me ride in a car for any length of time anytime soon.

  5. Parker: we should head on down to Orlando and take Jimmy out! 2 birds w/one stone. 🙂 I’ll drive. If anyone knows how to navigate 95, that would be me. I did it…10 times this year? All the way to FL even.

    BTW Jimmy: I recall a particularly horrendous drive from DC to Charleston one year, same time of year you were just negotiating that hellish stretch of asphalt in SC. Normally takes me 8.5-9 hrs. It took me 14 that trip. I looked like crazy woman in bathroom stall on Orange is the New Black by the time I arrived @ my bro’s.

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