The Rest of the Best of 2016

Favorite Moments of 2016

1. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series. Being in Wrigleyville during the series. Being at the parade. Pure emotion. Being with Jordan when they won. Eamus Catuli switching to all zeroes. Not quite giving up hope when it seemed all but over MULTIPLE times. Continuing to ride that wave.

2. Meeting Bruce Springsteen the day before my birthday. Also, his show at United Center on August 28. Magic in the night.

3. The Hold Steady: Reunite with Franz Nicolay, play a bunch of really awesome shows behind my favorite album of all time. The Frenchkiss reissues of AKM and Sep Sunday. Lifter Puller twice in one year, including the opportunity to stand on stage at Red Rocks. Denver meh, Chicago good and New York was wonderful but I could have done without the concussion. Great openers: Titus Andronicus, Laura Stevenson (so nice!) and Lifter Puller. Nights go on forever and guitars are cool.

4. Nashville visits, March-August (Just a few: recording in the Third Man Booth, all the food, Infinity Cat House. City Winery, meeting Daddy Issues and Diarrhea Planet, and pretty much everyone that made my time there awesome.)

5. More travel: Austin, TX trip with my Mom. Hanging in Boston and candlepin bowling with some of my best people and Vineyard Youth in Pawtucket, RI. Additionally, anyone who came to visit me and had a good time.

6. Health and wellness: PRing my third 5K on the October 30 Hot Chocolate Run. Exercising regularly for the first time in my life. Reading the most books this year than I’ve read in a decade.

7. Personal: Getting the opportunity to write for Men’s Journal and interviewing Dolph Ziggler, Chad Gable, Hot Doug and Andrew Wyslotsky.

My team beat his in the World Series. I ain’t sorry.


8. Wrestling: American Alpha winning the NXT and WWE Smackdown Tag Team titles in the same year (all of the great wrestling this year, seriously.) Owens and Zayn at Payback in a total mindblower. Zayn and Nakamura at Takeover Dallas. DIY and Revival at Takeover Toronto. Meeting Jerry Lawler randomly in Memphis inside his restaurant and being able to tell him we shared a birthday.

9. Food: Qui, Parachute, Rolf and Daughters, Husk, Mitchell’s Delicatessen, Maketto, Pinewood Social, Row 34, Mission Chinese and a ton I’m missing.

10. Trash Pandas releases two EP’s and having involvement in them. They make me laugh and proud I did a thing that’s out in the world.

Shows

I saw 37 shows this year. Take a look.

Everything I Listened To

I made a playlist for every month this year of everything I listened to individually (excluding albums). Check it out.

Portrait of the Author as a 10-year-old

After years of searching, I’ve found the Holy Grail of my personal writings.

Picture 6

It’s the ‘Goosebumps’ Journal I wrote in from 1996-1997.

I initially thought it was lost to the sands of time. I know I hadn’t thrown it away, but I didn’t know where I put it either. Walking on to the loft where we keep most of our books today, it just stared me right down in the face.

I didn’t write very long – there’s probably about ten entries total, and most of the time it was about what I ate, or Beanie Babies.

Anyways, I thought I’d share some select, unedited lines from the journal today, and maybe some more at a later date.

Until then, experience the bowlcut and the mid-nineties stench of Alanis.

March 5, 1996

Dear Journal,

Today at school I felt lousy, when I got home I had a fever of 100.8. I was “suffering” at school today. I was at the office 4 times today. But man, I really feel sick.

I probably wasn’t sick. This was during my compulsive ‘go down to the office cause they’ll send you home’ phase. I think I was lying to the journal in case anyone else read it.

March 10, 1996

…We are just to about to have lunch. We are going to have chicken nuggets. Sometimes when I’m writing I will stop and wait. Then I will keep going. Well as I always write, “I gotta go, bye!

First documented signs of my still-undiagnosed ADHD. Stop and keep going. Like a car. Honk Honk!

March 11, 1996

…Tomorrow I have a Pizza Lunchable. They are awsome. They come in Extra Cheesy and Pepperoni. I am going to go to bed now.

I think what’s more awsome is my spelling of awesome.

Pizza Lunchables, for reference:

lunchablespizza

WTF is a “Pepperoni Flavored Sausage Pizza?” You ate these COLD. Gross. Papa Murphy’s now makes a business out of this shit and calls it “Take and Bake”.
Back in those heady days, we just TOOK, and WE LIKED IT.

April 10, 1996

…I feel kind of dizzy. I am going to wear shorts tomorrow. Some of my friends are too. Hopefully!

I have no idea. And this was the year after I got heat stroke.