As the clock starts closing in on midnight, like everyone else in the world, today is a day of reflection on the past 365 days in my life. 2007 was an exceedingly eventful year with many milestones, memories and meaningful moments. Here is a look back at some of them...
A Year As A Newfie
Like I have said countless times before - everyone needs to come out here at least once, preferably during the summer months - so you can marvel at how beautiful Newfoundland truly is. I was fortunate enough to spend the summer on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and my time in total here has been an experience I will never forget. Maybe one day, when I'm grey and old, I'll move back and be the cranky old guy who lives in Portugal Cove that used to be a writer or something.
Bugs & Cranks
Who would have thought that replying to a harmless little Craigslist ad would end up being the catalyst to my foray into writing for a living? Shortly before 2007 got under way, I joined a little baseball site to cover the Jays with zero expectations and an abundance of optimism. Two months into the baseball season, we were one of the biggest sites on the 'Net as far as the diamond was concerned and the talent pool at B&C continues to grow. Two personal highlights for me were penning my Josh Hamilton piece Five Tools, Eight Years and One More Chance months before he became one of the feel good stories of the season and catching my first Sports Illustrated link with The Anti-Ripkens.
Odd Job Jack
There was a stretch from March until June where I was more or less unemployed. Nothing I was being offered was remotely interesting to me and I kept quitting crappy jobs. All the while, Sarah stood by my side and supported my need to be proud of what I was doing, even though I wasn't contributing financially. While Blockbuster isn't glamourous, I love the people I work with, getting free movies ain't a bad deal and it's a lot better than working at the call centre. Thanks for letting me be me Baby Girl...
I Had Passion, Lost Passion and Found Passion Again
The road to writing for Passion Magazine was a long and frustrating one, but worked out in the end. I was originally contacted in June about doing a story, then stopped hearing from them altogether for nearly two months before the new Managing Editor got back in touch and filled me in. Two months later, my name was in print on two stories in the re-launch issue and is penciled in for a feature in Issue #2.
Worst. Vacation. Ever. (But It's Gonna Make a Great Movie One Day)
We should have just gotten the hint when we couldn't make it to the Dominican for Tim & Tania's Wedding. Or maybe after the Emergency Appendectomy. Instead, the car we needed to go to Ontario to pick up is a pile of scrap somewhere near Flamborough, there is one less deer in the world and the last week of 2007 was the most hectic, least relaxing week in the history of mankind. The only silver lining? I think I can write it into a pretty funny movie...
Becoming A Better Man
Warning: Some of you may not want to read this - it's sentimental and serious.
Over the last 365 days, I have become a much better man than I ever thought possible. I don't worry about myself and only myself any more. Actually, I don't even worry about myself first anymore and that is an incredible feeling. This year, I swallowed my pride and got my financial house in order by filing bankruptcy. Getting to that point was irresponsible, but knowing it was the best option was the grown up thing to do. I became a better friend - flying home for a wedding that I knew I had to be at and making time for those who are most important to me. Mostly though, the easiest thing to say is that I grew up this year. I realized what I want in my life and have done everything that I could do to make sure that happens and that's saying something...
Favourites of 2007
Big Movie: Zodiac
Everything about it was awesome. David Fincher is still a genius behind a camera, Robert Downey Jr. is still a genius in front of one and Jake Gyllenhall even made me forget about his little trips up the mountain with Ennis Del Mar... the fact that it's based on real events makes it even creepier.
Little Movie: A Guide to Recognizing You Saints
Another appearance by Mr. Robert Downey Jr. in this one, this time starring as the grown up version of Shia Leboeuf's character Dito Montiel, another living breathing person and the man who wrote the book this movie is came from. The true breakout in this film though was Channing Tatum, who casts asides any thoughts that he might just be the next good looking crappy actor with his turn as Antonio.
Album: Alright, Still by Lily Allen
Infectious. Quick. Sharp. Those are the three best words to describe this album. There is something brilliant about the light, airy, lilting nature of the "kiss my ass you stupid bastard" songs on the album and "LDN" is worth it for the horn section alone.
Song: "Stronger" by Kanye West
Anyone who wants to doubt Kanye as the greatest mind and talent in hip hop can drop me a line here and we'll get it on. Be warned though - this will end with me playing Kanye and you being 50 Cent. Mixing Daft Punk with his trademark bravado, Kanye scored the best song of the year.
Song: "Crank Dat" by Soulja Boy
Just because hearing Sarah try to yell out lyrics to it is one of my most favourite things in the world... and no Baby, it doesn't go "Soulja Boy I'll tell you what!" Superman these hos!
Book: Extra Innings by Patrick Smith
No, I'm not saying it just to kiss Smitty's ass and because he gave it to me for free. One, it is a really great read, whether you like baseball or not, because it is about life as told through a season with his baseball team. Two, it serves as daily motivation and a daily reminder that I can make something out of this here writing thing. No longer are published authors whose book I've read random people I know nothing about and that makes the pursuit of my dreams all the more plausible. Thanks for that Smitty - and I can't wait for Book #2... I'll even buy it this time!
So long 2007. It was eventful. Bring on 2008...