Yes, a “year in review” posting, two weeks late and over a month after my last entry. So much for my “commitment” to regular postings. Maybe I need to start getting into writing on the regular before I start getting excited about a podcast. Onto the entry:
Remember when everyone thought the world was supposed to end in 2012? According to so many, last year was never supposed to happen. Thankfully for me, they were wrong, because 2013 turned out to be a great year. My friends made sure of that. They gave me the ability to do more travelling than I ever have, including fulfilling a life goal. On top of that, I was able to attend some outstanding concerts and games along the way.
Through the year I got to go to some Monsters games. One game I was selected to participate in an on-ice event between periods, and met some great people in the Monsters promotions staff. Unfortunately, due to some confusion, I wasn’t able to go on the ice and participate, but their great staff did right and gave me a bag of autographed goodies and tickets to another game, where they did make sure I was able to be in a contest. I ended up winning that contest and won a stereo system for my troubles. The other fun part of that was I used those tickets to take Heather to her first Monsters game.
I also was lucky enough to see my favorite band in concert. Twice, in fact. Love and Theft was originally a trio several years ago, and I missed out on the chance at seeing them perform at the Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown. After the concert, a member left the group and I was sure I’d missed out on any chance to see them. Last year, the two remaining members carried on, releasing a new album and the lead single “Angel Eyes” hit #1 on the country charts. They ended up at Dusty again, and this time I refused to be denied. I ended up in the front row of the concert and had the most amazing night. The opportunity came up later in the year to see them again in Bucyrus and I had to take it. Steph joined me this time and it was another great concert. I was lucky enough to be at another amazing sold out show, Luke Bryan with Florida Georgia Line and another one of my favorite acts: Thompson Square. The show blew me away and was totally worth it.
Finally, I did a fair bit of travelling this year. I got back to Columbus with Patrice, Carrie and Stacey and got to see my first Columbus Clippers game. It was an amazing bottom of the 9th experience that included Lonnie Chisenhall launching a homer completely out of the stadium into the street. The whole weekend with my friends was tons of fun and I can’t wait to visit again.
I also got to travel to Pittsburgh again to see the Pirates, and this time I got to repay my father for all the times he took me when I was growing up. Fathers Day weekend we got to see them play against the Dodgers. For the first time, we made a big day of it. We got to see Point State Park, Mount Washington and the Riverwalk all for the first time. As luck would have it, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
That leads into what a great season it turned into for the Pirates. 20 years of losing finally put in the past. The Pirates won 93 games and laid waste to their streak of futility. There are no words to really describe what it felt like to finally see all those bad memories temporarily erased by watching a playoff game at PNC Park. Now, what to do about that “deal” I made, where I said I’d get a Pirates tattoo if they could just end the streak this season…
Finally, 2013 gave me the chance to do something I’ve wanted to do for nearly my entire life. Don invited me to visit he and Molly in Naperville, IL and see the Pirates play against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Ever since I became a baseball fan in 1997, I’ve wanted to see Wrigley. This year, they made it happen. Don gave me a tour of some of the major sights of Chicago, which has always been a place I wanted to see. I got to ride the El, the Metra, walk down Sheffield and Clark streets, see the sculpture at the Daley Center, try real Chicago style pizza, walk under the Red Line and see the trains running by, like straight out of an episode of ER. I already can’t wait to go back, I still feel like there’s so much more to see or so much to see again and really take my time to look around. This trip made my year so amazing, and I still talk about it and have it fresh in my mind like it was yesterday. It wasn’t just a highlight of my year, it was a highlight of my life.
2013 was a fun year. So the best resolution for 2014 is to find a way to make it at least equally amazing.