Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012: A Wood's Stock Retrospective

I began 2012 in a bar in Manhattan's East Village, taking a sip (JUST a sip!) of Champagne, which if I do say so myself, is a pretty decent way to ring in the new. My friends and I had made the wise choice of staying as far away from Times Square as possible and instead spent the night comfortably seated indoors, enjoying the city.

When morning finally came, we wandered out to Coney Island for the annual Polar Bear Swim. It was an unseasonably warm winter, but even so we weren't quite brave enough to go in deeper than our kneecaps so instead we watched the more adventurous masses and then ate our weight in Nathan's hot dogs.

Not long after, I moved back to Salt Lake City, essentially turning my back on the dream of being a national magazine writer and New York big shot to chase the dream of being an ace local news reporter. That's something they don't tell you when you're a kid. It's OK to have dreams, but eventually you have to choose between them. You can't be an astronaut AND a professional athlete (do kids these days even dream of being astronauts anymore?).

I did, however, succeed in getting my name published in Entertainment Weekly. So some dreams do come true, no matter how fleeting.

So there I was, back in SLC and finally living in an apartment by myself, something I had wanted to do for years. I am, by nature, a solitary person and even though my spending power means I live in an apartment with a Box Elder bug problem, it's worth it to not have to wash anyone else's dishes and be able to play the ukulele whenever I want.

This was the year that I really got into the Ukulele game. Technically, I started playing the Uke in the tail end of 2011 when I bought my soprano Lanikai, but for the first few months it was just something to dink around with while I watched TV in my apartment. Since January, I've expanded my Uke family and taken advantage of every open mic I can find.

I also embraced colored pants in 2012. This particular pair (pictures above) landed me on the radio for an interview about metrosexuality and earned me the nickname "Red Pants Guy" from some of my co-workers. An action figure, complete with miniature ukulele, is in development.

Speaking of work, 2012 was the year I got my first "big boy" job. This whole concept of adulthood is still a little difficult to swallow, but as I've chronicled in my Quarter Century posts, there's no stopping the steady tick of time (scared face).

2012 was also the year I became a YouTuber. I've played around with video in the past, usually on the writing side, but equal parts boredom and narcissism have resulted in a handful of little clips, most notably my video about Duct Tape -- 3,600 views and counting!

In 2012 I ran my 2nd Half-marathon, posting a personal best time and still managing to beat the older gentleman to my left who runs 10 miles every morning (sure, he's 60, but I'll still take the 'win').
And, after months of slowly accumulating vacation time (employment, once again, rears it's ugly head. Not that I'm complaining, the idea of being paid vacation time sure beats part-time bakery work) I made my way up the Pacific Northwest to Portland for some much needed R&R and a hipster booster shot.


Which brings me to the end of the year, and the video that started this post. In my annual tradition of seeing a concert on Dec. 30th, I was lucky enough to have Blind Pilot, one of my favorite bands, playing at Salt Lake City's "Eve" celebration. It was freezing cold, bad enough that I broke a cardinal rule and left before the encore because I had lost feeling in my toes. On the plus side, the cold weather meant a smaller crowd and much closer proximity to the stage.

Now that I think about it, 2012 was a year of great concerts: The Civil Wars, Family of the Year, The Walkmen, Band of Horses, The Head and the Heart, Typhoon, Milo Greene, Jake Shimabakuro. I'm forgetting a few, I'm sure, but look them up, you'll be glad you did.

Then, last night, I spent New Year's Eve feasting on pig, jamming on the Uke and discretely (and shakily) filming friends and strangers at a party.

I should also mention that 2012 was the year I turned 25, a milestone I neither looked forward to nor am happy is passing. In one week I'll be 26, my last year of "mid-20s" and, technically, closer to 30 than 20. Gross.

Happy New Year.

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