The Utterly Ponderous and Obligatorily Gregarious Year In Review Post, or: “FIVE THREE OH NINE…”

Hokey New Year!!

Hokey New Year!!

Happy 2014 gang!

Right around now the blogosphere is replete with navel-gazing contemplations of the annum sort, in which each proprietor of their respective shingle takes celebratory/accusatory stock of their last full revolution around that gargantuan fusion reactor 93 million miles away and endeavors to extract some full measure of perspicacity and insight. And I’m no different so HAH!! Prepare to infiltrate Downtown Clicheville – Population: Four. (?)

I think 2013 was a decent year. A lot of ups, a few downs, elations and frustrations aplenty but I had a pretty good time all the way. So without further ado here’s a rather haphazardly thrown-together list of 2013’s Most Hokey Moments, starting with the most obvious subject matter:

  • I ran a marathon in January. Full 26.2 miles. Still one of the hardest things I ever did, yet one of the most rewarding.
  • Turned 42, and as such learned the secrets to Life, The Universe, and Everything. Unfortunately I wrote it all down on an Eskimo Pie wrapper and left it at Gas-N-Go, so we’re all SOL.
  • Saw Penn & Teller, a performance I still loved but 80% of their act was the same as the last time I saw them.
  • Ran the Publix A1A Half, froze my tail off and missed my PR by 48 seconds because of pee.
  • Watched a Debbie Gibson show and was utterly and instantly obliterated by her massively rockin’ bod. People pay top dollar to get those kind of abs. Maybe she did too.
  • I completed a 12-mile-long Tough Mudder obstacle course and proudly show-off my hard-earned orange headband to prove it! Plus a whole ton of awesome new scars…
  • Visited Washington DC, ran the Rock N Roll USA Half, got to see my cousin Lauren, and learned to love Ben’s Chili Bowl and Ted’s Bulletin.
  • Witnessed the awesome spectacle of One Night Of Queen, currently my second favorite tribute act out there
  • Saw Jim Breuer live, and he was as hilarious as I wanted him to be. Those eyes really don’t open much.
  • Spent some time with my Godson and his awesome parents up at Disney for a few days. His mom (and my longtime buddy) Miriam is my parents’ Goddaughter. It’s one of those “Circle of Life” things…
  • #bayerpalooza — EPIC Ft. Myers event
  • Ran 16+ miles as part of the inimitably life-affirming Keys100 100-mile relay, and ended up singing karaoke with friends at a gay dive bar in Key West. Righteous.
  • Reconnected with my college buddy Ruth and met her amazingly entertaining family in Boynton Beach.
  • Found myself at Ground Zero at a bit of unfortunate office politics which basically ended what really wasn’t a friendship, but a decent acquaintanceship. May or may not have been someone I ran Tough Mudder with.
  • Saw Artie Lange at the West Palm Beach Improv. I’m a longtime fan, and I enjoyed the show, but there was an air of sadness in his routine. Couldn’t quite get past it.
  • Ran the Neon Vibe 5K at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Well, didn’t quite “run” it. Had a brisk walk with Denise, Marcela, another Denise, and Tina. While consuming 20 ounces of Captain Morgan and chaser. Why on Earth would I run from any of that?
  • Got sick, was sidelined from exercising for a long while, and was diagnosed with an incurable but (in my case) very treatable and minimally life-impacting disease.
  • Visited Boston, Vermont, Montreal, New Hampshire, and drove through Boots’s old stomping grounds in Rhode Island. Celebrated my cousin’s 60th birthday, went to a most amazing bed & breakfast in Waitsfield, VT, visited the Ben & Jerry’s Headquarters (got free samples, natch), tried poutine (ecch), went back to visit Brandeis University for the first time in ages (I’d only been back twice since graduation), and went to yet another Def Leppard concert with Slash as the opener. But mostly I got to bond a bit with my two nephews, and that was quite the enjoyable time!
  • Attended my High School 25th Reunion and was surprised at how GOOD almost everyone looked. Gulliver Preparatory Class of ’88 held up well, it seems!
  • Caught The Monkees show in Boca Raton, and even though we had seen them 7 months prior in Huntington, NY, it still was a great time.
  • Saw KISS. Again. For the umpteenth time. I feel no need to ever see them again, and I probably wouldn’t have gone if I hadn’t gotten $10 tickets from my job.
  • Traveled to Anaheim for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. Ran the 10K and the Half over two days. Got to run with the beautiful and charming Suzanne, a buddy from school going back to 7th grade. She PR’ed and I tagged along to ride her coattails! Also got recognized from my blog by the lovely Ms. Sarah from Sparkly Runner, crashed a secret meet-up with Joey Fatone and Sean Astin, and devoured THE greatest Monte Cristo of all time.
  • Did Halloween Horror Nights (again) and we still loved every moment of it. The American Werewolf In London haunted house reigned supreme.
  • Watched an Abba tribute band called Bjorn Again, who played to a half-empty Parker Playhouse but still managed to impress with a fun time.
  • Ran the Miami Beach Halloween Half in the cheapest (and clumsiest-looking) bumblebee costume ever
  • FINALLY caught Alice Cooper live (with cheap work tickets again) and it blew me away. Great time.
  • Had a great reunion with high school friends Dave, Paige, Chris, Neil, Jason (plus his wife Teresa), and all the ensuing children. Drank a few beers, nailed a few shots, and then ran the 13.1 Fort Lauderdale 36 hours later where it all hit me at once!
  • At long last, experienced the joy that is Riverside Cafe in Fort Lauderdale. Beertopia!
  • Had Channukah with the entire Rakofsky clan, during which the improptu improvised showtunes erupted in full regalia!
  • Ran the Tamarac Turkey Trot 5K and spent Thanksgivukkah at the Bayer household. I’m not quite sure if this was an officially-sanctioned #bayerpalooza event, but it felt like one!
  • Met up with some deer on a running trail at Disney. Later that morning saw some wild turkeys too. NATURE!
  • Binge-watched House of Cards, Orange Is The New Blackand Orphan Black, easily my favorite new shoes of the year, the last of which being my ultimate favorite.
  • Had a great time doing the Palm Beaches Half Marathon, even if the sun can be a harsh mistress.
  • After 17 months of blogging, I finally “arrived” a bit with some promotional activity and quid-pro-quo and other such hoohah (details soon)
  • Spent a great New Years Eve with Boots, new friends, and tons of revelers at the local pub with much huzzahs, confetti, champagne, karaoke, and shots aplenty… even if I did have to go to work bright and early the next morning.

And that’s basically the stuff I’ll talk about here. There were many other highs and lows that are remaining private, but overall I can say I dug 2013, mostly.

Also, these were the Top 10 2013 posts, in order of total views this year:

  1. Race Review: 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon
  2. Race Review: 2013 Rock ‘N’ Roll USA Half Marathon
  3. Race Review: 2013 Tough Mudder Miami
  4. A Few Words About Orange Is The New Black
  5. Race Review: Neon Vibe 5K Fort Lauderdale
  6. Race Review: 2013 Disneyland 10K
  7. Concert Review: The Monkees
  8. Concert Review: One Night Of Queen
  9. 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: Arrival, Expo, and Being Recognized
  10. Race Review: 2013 Publix Ft. Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon

Race reviews seem to be my biggest grabbers, as it were.

So my goals for 2014? Lose the weight I put on in the 2nd half of the year (mostly from illness, but quite frankly I could be working out harder than I am now), blog about more subjects than just running, music, movies, and eating, take more time for musical endeavors (that ukulele won’t play itself), spend more time with family, travel more (a few days in New Orleans, at the very least), less running vacations, less video-gaming, reread Ulysses as I promised myself I’d do every 5 years, develop a mobile gaming app that will net me gazillions, do NEW races this year that and not repeat those from the past (Publix A1A? Fort Lauderdale 13.1? Buh-bye now…), expand my athletic repertoire beyond running and weights, take a train across the Canadian Rockies and drive from Vancouver straight down the West Coast (stopping everywhere in between), visit relatives in Portugal and Cape Verde, hit my $5,000 fundraising goal for the CCFA, maybe finally attend a Run Disney meetup, and drive in Miami-Dade whilst never feeling the urge to nuke the entire freakin’ county from orbit.

Happy New Year, Hokeyfolk everywhere. Here’s the cheeseball video, featuring the very last song I karaoked in 2013:

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