Friday, January 18, 2013

my 2013 top ten ...

“Hey old friend – thanks for calling!
It’s good to know someone cares.
Yeah, she’s gone, but I don’t feel like talking –
It might be just too much to bear.

To hear somebody say it stops hurting?
Or to hear somebody say, that she ain’t worth it?

‘Cause you don’t know her like I do –
You’ll never understand.
And you don’t know what we’ve been through –
That girl is my best friend.
And there’s no way you’re gonna help me –
She’s the only one who can.
No, you don’t know how much I got to lose –
You don’t know her like I do!”

-- “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do”, by Brantley Gilbert.  God above, I am so digging this song right now, and yeah, “Halfway to Heaven” is (allard baird voice) “without question”, THE best digital cd I purchased last year …


2012 was without question – what, should I haul out the Allard Baird voice again? –  without question, THE worst year of my life.  No other year is even without shouting distance of 2012 for “worst year ever” designation in my life.  I wanted to post some kind of “best days of 2012” post to open the New Year … only I couldn’t come up with more than two, maybe three days, that were worth remembering from last year.  And considering one of those involved a random Friday night pickup at a local bar that redefined the meaning of the phrase “Coyote Ugly”, that’s … yeah.  Worst.  Year.  Ever.

As those of you who know me best know, I turned 36 a couple weeks ago.  (Thanks again for all the birthday wish shoutouts on Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and email.  It’s greatly appreciated y’all.)  My mom, who will never be accused of being the sentimental type, or the emotional type*, gave me what wound up being my favorite gift, of all people.  The gift she got me, was a Chiefs pullover I’d been wanting.  Yeah.  Needless to say, it wasn’t the gift itself I loved so much.  It was the card inside the bag.  Let me quote it, and if my damned scanner on the printer was working, I’d scan the thing in to posterize it:

* The envelope reads “To Steve”.  Awww.
* The front of the card reads, “Son, it all went by so fast.  The stages, the school years, the ups and the downs, each with its own highlight reel …”
* The interior of the card reads, “On your birthday?  I like to rewind it all, and play it back, feeling so thankful to be a part of your life.  (Pause).  Now.  Then.  Always.”
* And the personal note inside simply says “This is your year!”

(*: my mom and my brother are the exact same personality: practical, analytical, leave emotion out of their decision making process.  Me and my dad?  Emotion trumps reason.  Probably explains why 2012 was so godd*mned sh*tty for me – I let emotion carry the day, rather than common sense and reasonableness.  And yes, I’m assuming reasonableness is a word.)

Now, anyone who knows me well, or has even browsed this site, knows my mom and I have our issues.  We’re polar opposites in many regards … but we’re one and the same in one regard: we have no problems whatsoever, with letting people know where they stand with us.  And we have no problems whatsoever with letting people know what we think about things.

So, if my mommy thinks this is gonna be my year?  It’s gonna be my year.  And as a result, I’ve come up with 10* things I pledge my damndest to do, or will do my damndest to make happen, in this year of our Lord AD 2013.  And go figure – you get to read them!!!  (kazoo voice) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(*: good God, guys – I can’t come up with 27 things for everything I post.)

1. I will find a way to get to New York, or Dallas, or pony up the airfare to haul him here, and see my college roommate, and good buddy, Vineet*, for the first time in three years.  I still talk to the guy nearly every day, either via email or text or actual phone conversation (how 1970ish!)  But I haven’t seen him since March of 2010.  It’s time to remedy that.  We swore after 9/11 (which he survived – he worked in the South Tower) that we’d never let a year go by without seeing each other at least once.  I get that times change, and people evolve … but sometimes, you just have to swallow hard, absorb the hit on your Discover card, and make things happen.  2013?  Things will happen.  Also --

2. I will find a way to meet up with my buddy Jasson, for a drink or three, for our first night out since … uuh … sweet Jesus, it’s been awhile. 

(*: My “Mount Rushmore of Friends”, non-family Edition: Dusty, Gregg, Vineet, Katie, in some order.  If I have to toss my brother in there?  Vineet grows two faces.  Somehow, a two-faced Vineet seems less offensive than writing “Vineet” on the t-shirt the monkey mascot for Cocoa Puffs wore back in college on the cereal box … or remembering Sam’s best man speech at my brother’s wedding, when he noted “I knew (my brother) was serious about (my sister in law) when he started exchanging all his one’s, for five’s (rimshot!).  I think that was a throwaway joke.  All I know is, having to explain to your mom that your brother got serious about a girl when he stopped needing ones to tip someone ... uuh ... let's just move on to the next plank in the platform, shall we?)

3. I pledge to continue to let each and every person in my life know exactly where they stand with me.  I will call you on your bullsh*t, and I will thank you for your kindness.  You will get nothing but honesty out of me in 2013, no matter how much it hurts (or heals) either party. 

4. And when I am wrong with goal / promise / pledge number 3 above?  I will admit it, to everyone I expressed my wrong opinion about, that I was wr … wr … wr … possibly incorrect.  Look it, I’m an opinionated person.  But when I’m wrong?  Call me on my bullsh*t!  Just like I’m gonna call you on yours, via plank three of the New Year’s Resolution.

5. I aim to attend Mass every Sunday during Lent.  I am not a religious person, although I was raised in a religious family.  If 2012 wasn’t God’s (possible?) last attempt to knock some sense into me, then it was truly the worst year imaginable.  I’ll give the Higher Power I Recognize a listen, at least for six straight Sundays come mid February through the end of March (Easter is March 31st this year).  And along the same line of reasoning …

6. I will legitimately give up something for Lent this year, of importance to me.  Gotta admit, this won’t be easy.  (Give me a break guys – it ain’t gonna be booze.  At least all forms of it.)  I gave up caffeine for Lent in 2003.  I’ve never taken it up again.  (Sorry guys – I love a good bottle of shiraz way too much to give it up for good.)  I don’t know what I’m giving up come February 20th, but I have a feeling it will be something that rhymes with “modka”.  (my liver voice) wohoo!  Party in the USA!!!  (cue stevo awful dancing moves to miley cyrus …)

7. The “first date” that never happened with me and “The Crush” last year, due to my car crapping out on me?  I’ll try to make happen in 2013.  (For those of you who thought I picked today’s opening lyrics for a reason?  Yeah, I did.  But not for plank seven of the Stevo 2013 Platform.)

8. I will make a float trip in 2013.  Ideally, with the best of both worlds – my “Champ” side world, and my “Voice of Reason” side world.  We did sorta, kinda meet up on one memorable floater two summers ago.  Let’s do it again guys.  Especially for the 20-somethingth annual Homemade Bikini Contest at the Shadow Lake Surf Club.  All I can say is this: the chick in “Varsity Blues” with the whipped cream bikini with the cherries sticking out?  I’ve seen that “outfit” twice in five years at this contest.  And you’re godd*mned right I wanted the cherry on top (rimshot!)  Oy.  I should probably promise to tone down the sex jokes, but for God’s sake, if you can’t laugh about (or at) a 36 year old who still relies on the Eclipse a couple times a year for a “good night”, then, uum … why, exactly, are you reading this? 

9. I will be there in May, when my “Special Little Guy” graduates preschool … and I cannot wait to take my “Special Little Guy” out to lunch, when he starts kindergarten this fall.  Dear God, the A-Man is five in less than a month!  I still remember like it was yesterday, getting the text on my phone as I walked towards my desk in February 2008, that “it’s go time!” from my brother.  To this day, it’s my favorite picture I’ve ever been a part of, and my mom (hey, way to bring this full circle, Stevo!) has it prominently displayed in her kitchen: me, holding the A-Man, about an hour after he’s born.  You can see the tears streaming down my cheeks. 

So if I’m getting this sentimental, this emotional … there’s only one thing my 10th goal / promise / pledge / fling sh*t against the wall and hope it sticks aim for 2013 is:

10. I’m ready, fellow readers, good friends, casual observers.  It’s time to meet Mrs. Stevo.  I mean, good Lord, if “How I Met Your Mother” is less than 18 months away from retirement?  I guess it’s time to meet the mother.  Or at least someone (stupid?  dumb?  idiotic?) enough to put up with me. 

That’s my goals for this year, not just for me, but for you as well: treat you as you deserve.  Treat me as I deserve.  Love those you love.  Don’t hate those you hate.

And for the love of God, find the love of your life, if you haven’t already met her or him.  And make damned sure they know, the special place they hold with you.  Live the final two verses of the chorus quoted to open this post – “You don’t know how much I got to lose!  Because you don’t know her like I do!” 

Happy 2013 everyone.  My next to final pledge / promise / goal … is that I will update this site at least once a week.  Keep coming back.  Because my final promise is, that I will be here.  Thank you for your readership, thank you for your friendship, thank you for being YOU! 

And keep being you.  2013 is OUR year.  And I can’t wait to see it unfold …

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