It’s officially 2011. And now that 2010 is complete, I can reminisce on the year with the soft focus of a 1930s movie close up. And what a crazy whirlwind year it was. I did so many things and saw so much it’s hard to know where to start. Flipping through my pictures I see a few grand themes running through the year: dogs, holidays, patriotism, bike riding and happiness. Oh. And beer.
Let’s look at some of the highlights of the year in a Best of format.
I think I have to start off with music as it was a big year for me for attending concerts and helping me not want to throw myself under the mower at work.
BEST MUSIC ALBUM: Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach: Well this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. I remember the first time I heard Stylo on one of the tv music channels in February. I about passed out when I saw it was new music from Gorillaz and remember calling Tera into the living room to let her know about it. Those TV music channels always held such wonderful surprises. Plastic Beach has dominated my whole life during 2010. Stylo got the most plays this year with 42 and 6 viewings of the music video. I had the cd on repeat in my car for most of the year too which means I’ve probably heard every song on that album about 80 times. I still listen to it in it’s entirety (yesterday in fact and probably again right now that I’m thinking about it). It’s a bit like only looking at half of a painting if you don’t listen to it all the way though. Seriously, life enhancing. Get it if you haven’t gotten it already.
Honorable mention: Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: I just got this album a month ago and I’ve already listened to it all the way through 11 times. It’s another one of those albums to appreciate in its entirety. Kanye West can’t put out any music that I don’t like. Before this all of his Good Friday tracks were incredible and I couldn’t wait until the album was released.
BEST SONG Gorillaz’s Empire Ants: Epicness. Little Dragon on the track is phenom. She opened up at the Gorillaz show in Manchester and it was super good. Well, De La Soul was awesome too. Pretty much anything and anyone associated with the Gorillaz project is ok in my book.
Honorable Mention Mark Ronson’s The Bike Song: The Bike Song makes me so happy! It also may have the sweetest music video and best pro-bicycle lyrics I could imagine. This song rarely leaves my head these days. I’m not complaining either.
BEST WASTE OF TIME : I believe sitting in my mom’s living room, watching the US Open and waiting for my visa to arrive would have been really boring for the month of September. And it was for the one day I did it. The next day I decided to drive to New York, hang out with my family and go to the US Open in person instead. That was much better. I had a fantastic time with the niece and nephews, brothers and sisters in law for the week or so I was there. Hopefully they didn’t mind me being around too much and fretting over the state of my visa. It was a stressful time despite the great company I had around me. Oh and the tennis wasn’t too bad either. I got to see some of the
best players like Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniaki, Venus Williams, Andy Murray to name A FEW. So that was neat. That was one life goal to mark down as complete. Now to make it to the other 3 slams!
Honorable Mention: As the followers of this blog know, I had a veg garden this year! Yes, I haven’t forgotten about it. It was very sad to leave the veg garden right when it was about to start producing a large amount of tomatoes, broccoli and maybe even some peppers. Yes, a waste of time I guess. But a good one. It was so fun to have garden parties with Bri, Eric and the rest of the people who came along for the fun. I wish I could have brought the garden with me to England. It was crazy to see how much it changed in just a couple weeks, especially towards the end when the tomato plants finally came into their own. Maybe if Eric R. or Bri read this post they can let me know how their gardens ended up. I know Bri’s was in bad shape. 🙂 Any ways, a lot of work (and money holy shizz) for only getting some peas, lettuce, carrots and baby radishes. Oh well.
BEST BEER: Deschutes’s Mirror Mirror. This wins as it was sooooooo effing good when I finally opened up my 2 bottles of it. I had two bottles in the cellar of our house for a year and cracked one with Jill in Boulder and the other (well two as my bro still had one) in New York. I always get worried when I have Mirror Mirror that I will no longer like it, but that has never been the case. This was the best I’ve had so far. Smooth, robust and like drinking a 11% candy drink. It just doesn’t seem right that it’s a barely wine. I will have to say Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf was pretty close to it on the tastiness scale when I had it in September, but it will never have the history and story behind it for me that Mirror Mirror has.
Honorable Mention: Marble Manchester Best Well, this would have been the place to put in about the 923 gallons of Twilight I drank, but I thought I would go with something a little different. Marble Brewery in Manchester actually gave me hope that there was good beer to be had in England. I just needed to give it time and look around a bit. Marble is still the best brewery I’ve found over here and I do believe it could compete with breweries in the Pacific Northwest. There have been a few other good brews I’ve come across here, so I am content at the moment with my selection. This reminds me I need to take another trip down to their brewery sometime soon…
HARDEST MOMENT: Leaving Missoula in August. It meant saying goodbye to Tera (and Bella) and ending the era of TACO shack. I’ve never had someone in my life like Tera where everything just clicks. Everything works. I never got tired of her being around. How many people can you say that about? So saying goodbye to the fun, mayhem and friendship we had for 3 1/2 years was really difficult. I still miss her. And I think it would be in Ben and Tera’s best interest just to move over England. It’s way better here. Mostly because I’m here.
Honorable Mention: My summer of work. Maybe I shouldn’t say that? Oh well. I said it. Going to work all summer sucked. It was difficult to stay engaged in the work knowing all that was ahead of me in the Fall. And things were changing rapidly in the work environment (not in a good way). There were a few days when I thought about just getting back on my bike and going home. It didn’t help that little Erin poo was out preggers during a lot of the summer. My main entertainment was lacking! Too bad I needed the money so had to work none the less. I hope to never be in a work situation like that again where I dread going in everyday. Or have a job that involves me mowing and trimming everyday. Sorry Team!
BEST SPORTING MOMENTS: WORLD CUP 2010! How could it be beat? I’ve never been so
entranced by every movement of a soccer ball across a pitch in my life as I was when the US played in their games. Part of the appeal was also dressing up in USA gear, wearing makarapas and getting down to Sidelines a couple hours before kickoff so we could get our table (cause it would have been bad luck if sat at a different table). It was sad when the US got knocked out, but I think we still managed to watch just about every game after that. I’m still a little mad about the Netherlands crap performance in the final. But I am not mad about how hot Wesley Sneijder is.
Honorable Mention Disc Golf is back in my life! After fearing for the worse for my shoulder most of last winter, I finally got a corisone shot in Portland that fixed the pain I had been dealing with in June 2009. It took until April when I felt comfortable enough to throw a disc again. Eric and I played quite a lot in the beginning of the summer. I brought my discs over to England hoping I could find a place to play around the Northwest. So far no luck. I brought my discs down to London last week too, but I just didn’t have time to make it down to the course in Croydon to play (well and the tube was shut). I may actually go next week. But anyways, I am happy that I can throw a disc again and that my shoulder is basically at 100% these days! It’s wonderful. And I got the chance to take my nieces and nephew out to play with me when I was back in Indiana. They liked it and my niece Karlie was the surprising star of them all.
I think this post may be getting out of hand. But I will recap some other fun moments: Olive getting drunk on my IPA at Teddy’s Baptism Party, Snuggie superbowl party and Tera custom making a Snuggie for Oscar, showing my Mom California and London, flying to London for a Gorillaz concert with Tera and Ben, camping for a week with Nikki and going to Troy and Burl’s wedding in Carmel, CA, too many ridiculous Bend Cruiser rides which were the most fun possible on a Thursday evening (and made some Friday mornings really hard), roadtripping with Tera, driving from the West Coast to the East Coast and then back to Chicago (6000 miles or so) in 3 weeks and doing a lot of it with Piccadilly (who loved it!), going to Upland Brewery with Kris, climbing trees, finishing my first semester of grad school, touching MIA, going to York finally, riding my bike to Blackpool, finishing that damn 50 book goal, getting to spend quite a bit of time with my family, and ummm I guess moving to England.
Phew. That’s a lot of stuff. What a year. I forsee 2011 being just a crazy. I’ve already got a lot to get done in January for school and then off to Kenya for most of February. Tight. Life is good. The more you put into life the more you get out of it, kids. Thanks to all who were involved in making 2010 so remarkable. Much love. I shall end it on one of the greatest pictures ever to be taken and up until this point, I don’t think I’ve published. It was from a Bend cruiser ride in July and I think sums up the year nicely. Peace out 2010.