Well, 2013 is almost in the books. Here’s hoping you did something useful with your year. If not, the good news is there is another one right around the corner. Don’t make the same mistake with 2014.
Best experience: Taking sporadic road trips.
Worst experience: The passing of my grandfather, Bob Jamison.
Top 3 movies I saw:
1. Short Term 12
3. Blue is the Warmest Color
Bottom 3 movies I saw:
1. Movie 43
3. Identity Thief
Most enjoyable movie watching experience: Texas Chainsaw 3D. (Don’t get me wrong, the movie was terrible, but we had so much fun watching it. Oh, Heatherface.)
Best musical discovery: Goyte “Hearts A Mess”
Best musical rediscovery: Shakespeare’s Sister “Stay”
Best sports moment: Drafting Steven Adams
Most heartbreaking sports moment: Russell Westbrook’s injury. It still hurts me to think about, especially since he’s out again because of it. Let’s not talk about this anymore. It’s giving me a major case of the sads.
Best TV episode: Breaking Bad “To’hajiilee”
Most disappointing TV episode: Dexter “Goodbye Miami”
Most overrated TV episode: The Walking Dead “Too Far Gone”
Top 5 local discoveries:
1. Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder rookie) – Yeah, he counts as a local discovery. I wrote all sorts of stuff about him.
2. Revamped AMC Theater at Penn Square Mall (Oklahoma City) – For being located in Oklahoma City’s “rich” mall, the AMC had been run down for years. Finally the franchise decided to invest some money to fix it up and I really dig it now. Each theater has their pros and cons, but if you looking for comfort at an affordable price, AMC at Penn is the way to go.
3. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe and Cantina (Norman) – A friend and I happened to be in Norman for work and wandered into this little Mexican restaurant. Oh. My. Gee. Rave about Ted’s all you want, but I’m picking Tarahumara’s every time. So many interesting, unusual, delicious dishes to choose from! I’m pretty sure we ate all the food.
4. Waffle Champion (Oklahoma City) – Every time I mention this place I get, “So… they have waffles?” Well yeah, they do, but with the tastiest of foods on them! Apparently they’ve been scooting a truck around town for awhile, but now there’s an actual location in uptown. I suggest you go there to get the full array of menu options. I recommend the Turkey Chorizo, but from what I can tell, you can’t really go wrong.
5. Trivia at The Paramount (Oklahoma City) – There are a lot of places to compete in trivia around the metro, but I’ve become partial to trivia at The Paramount on Film Row every other Wednesday night. Honestly, it’s not the typical trivia I like, but the people, atmosphere and snacks are choice. Really, this is just a resounding endorsement for Mel and the rest of the crew at The Paramount. They’re wonderful, caring, fun people who make trivia nights (and all their other events) a joy to attend.
Bragging rights for 2013:
I accomplished a lot of things that were personal victories in 2013, but I think we can all agree that my meeting Weird Al is pretty awesome.
Top 5 road trips:
1. Family vacation to Colorado
2. Hanson concert in Dallas, TX
3. Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords in Dallas, TX
4. Tulsa 66ers game and midnight movie in Tulsa, OK
5. UHF screening with Weird Al in Tulsa, OK
Other things worth noting:
I got a new job. Like any job it’s not perfect, but I love my co-workers and I’m learning a lot of new things. Plus, I’m making more money than ever before. More than that though, I’m thankful to have somewhere to go every day where I am valued.
Speaking of jobs, I was briefly an employed as a writer for the Bethany Tribune. Yes, I got paid to write – a personal dream of mine. Even if I never get compensated to express my opinions in print form again, I will always be proud that I achieved such a seemingly impossible feat.
After a decade hiatus, I sang in public – twice. The first time was for my best friend Beth’s wedding. I sang Frank Sinatra’s “I’ll Be Loving You Always”. It was incredibly nerve-wracking, but I made it through unscathed. The second time was for my Grandpa’s funeral. Grandma suggested I sing “Old Rugged Cross”. Although the performance was plagued with sour notes, I was honored to be able to do it for my Papa.
In other bittersweet accomplishments, a year after the passing of my friend Caleb, my friends and I successfully pulled off putting on a benefit for his family in his honor. We rented out The Paramount, showed a couple of Caleb’s favorite horror movies (Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Lunch Meat), had friends and family speak about his life, designed and sold t-shirts and raised enough money to help his wife and kids move across the country. We plan to do it every year from here on out and I’m already looking forward to putting it on again in 2014.
It will sound minor, but I finally ran my first 5k this year. My friends Greg and Colin formed Team Dandy Jam and rocked out Color Me Rad. I’ll admit that I didn’t finish in a respectable time, but the point was that I set the goal for myself to run a 5K and I did it. *self high five!*
91 Online hit its third anniversary. (That makes the 30 year anniversary for 91FM, if you’re counting.) Not everything has gone to (our) plan, but I’m grateful for what we’ve been able to achieve. Just staying on the air as a listener supported online station is something to proud of in and of itself! This year, 91 got a big break. A game-changing break. We moved into a rent-free studio, freeing up enough money to get much needed replacement equipment and even bless a couple listeners by helping make Christmas a little more special for their families. I’m very excited about what is in store for our little passion project.
The last time I wrote one of these was 2011 and most of my resolutions still stand – love people, grow 91 Online, lose weight, write more. All solid goals that will likely carry over for years to come. Might as well add a few more to the list…
1. Spend more time with family.
Maybe the biggest lesson I learned in 2013 is how precious time with your family and loved ones is. I don’t know if it was hitting 30 or losing my Papa J, but it’s become very clear to me that if I don’t enjoy time with my family now, I may never have the chance again. And I have the greatest family in the world. Why wouldn’t I want to spend more time with them?
2. Value myself.
For years people have told me that I undervalue myself. I’m beginning to understand what they mean. Turns out that I can do some things kind of well. I hope to explore that concept more over the next 365ish days.
3. Get involved.
I’ll admit it – I live a fairly selfish life. I can try to cover it up like I’m really generous because I do little things here and there… just enough so that I can pat myself on the back and think I’m not terrible, but I’m not doing anything significant. It’s time for that to change. I’m nothing special, but I do have an able body and time. I can find a way to serve others in a significant way. All it takes is a little effort and a willing heart.
4. Work hard.
As a Thunder fan you would think this would be ingrained in me by now – work hard to get a little better every day. I have goals. Time to get at least a smidge of discipline and work toward those things. No more expecting them to fall into my lap. Unfortunately for pacifists like me, life doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to put in some work and push to get where you want to go.
5. Embrace change.
It’s inevitable, so why fight it? I can sense some ginormous changes on the horizon and I have zero control to prevent them. I know they’re good, still I’m weirdly both excited for them and petrified with fear by them. If all else fails, I’ll just put on some REO Speedwagon until the message sinks in.
Although every day brings us the opportunity to start fresh, there’s something to be said about the rebirth that a new year brings with it. When you are faced with what seems like one bad situation after another, take a moment to look for the good in your life and do your best to change your perspective. If you don’t like it, do what’s in your power to change it. If there is nothing you can do, accept it and let it go. Harder said than done, I know. But it’s 2014, try something new.