2012: It's over, so what more is there to talk about anyway?
Best day: Nov. 18, my brother and Sarah's wedding. This was a beautiful day, an amazing day, an all-time top 5 day. There is not much more I can say about their wedding day that I have not already said in non-blog form. After the endless planning, the entire day was such a rush that I would appreciate a Bill Murray/"Groundhog Day" type re-run, but the photos demonstrate that it actually happened, so I trust those. (And as a bonus, I was only asked twice about "your (my) turn." As the older one, I feared that question would be broached a bit more often, but fortunately, the focus was kept on the purpose of the day.) (Side note: I do not think people actually say "broached" in everyday conversation. I cannot remember the last time I did.) (Parentheses.)
Favorite band I was not aware of 52 weeks ago: The Lumineers. The first time I heard The Lumineers was while driving away from the University of Pittsburgh in the summer. Pittsburgh has an amazing public radio station, 91.3 WYEP, that I credit for introducing me to a large percentage of the bands I have liked since around 2007 or 2008. Half the time I am sitting at my computer, I have their web stream playing. Anyway, I was in Squirrel Hill when "Ho Hey" played on the radio, and I knew right then that I needed to hear more. They're my top choice for automobile karaoke. My dramatic version of "Dead Sea" is quite ... special. Or terrifying, I don't know.
Best book: "The Dog Stars" by Peter Heller. I have a strange habit wherein I start a book, move to another and another and another, and finally finish all in some random order. Somehow, I am able to keep plot lines straight in my head. This one, though, I read straight through. I hope that particular flu never hits because I doubt I would handle being a survivor as adeptly as Hig. My fate would likely turn me into jerky for Jasper. Oh, sorry. Spoilers, right?
Best sports moment: Rotnei Clarke, Nov. 19, vs. Marquette, oh my gosh. This is why my first-born son will be named Rotnei (subject to negotiation and/or veto, of course). Mr. Clarke will only play one season for the Bulldogs, but he is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Butler 2012-13 has promise. Despite the age difference, I want to be Roosevelt Jones when I grow up. (Honorable mention goes to the Chicago Cubs for making it to the end of the season without disbanding the entire franchise in shame. Nobody would have held it against them, but the rumor is they will try again in a few months. They're resilient. Hopefully, Castro and Rizzo will have some help. Quick, quick! Slap me in the face! My annual resolution against eye rolling and sighing still stands. Hurry and cue up Rotnei, please. Thanks.)
Best conversation with a stranger: While leaving work one night in late March, I crossed paths with a man who was walking across the parking lot. He was initially startled and cursed in my direction. I apologized, stuck out my hand and introduced myself as Daniel. He introduced himself as Gregory, a homeless vet, and we spent 45 minutes talking about the experience of being homeless. It was one of the more enlightening conversations I have ever had. No matter how rich or poor, everybody is a certain number of missed paychecks away from being in a similar situation. Obviously, all situations are different, and each person has a different support system, but regardless, it is important to be compassionate toward those who have less, which seems to be something we struggle to do in difficult times. Constantly searching for someone who is in a vulnerable position to blame for all of society's problems is cowardly. Don't blame, find solutions.
Best random question from a co-worker: "Daniel, I was thinking about this earlier today, and I knew I had to ask you: Have you ever hypnotized a chicken?" No, I haven't, but I should probably get around to it. I have not hypnotized enough birds in my lifetime, therefore I have not truly lived. I think I found my one, true resolution for 2013!