It’s December 9 and many Americans are frantically using these final weeks of the year to wrap up their holiday capitalist duties and flesh out their gluttonous holiday menus. Later they’ll vainly pick out what they’re wearing to church while talking shit about the family they’re about to visit. At the end of the month, waste management employees will don their heavy coats, gloves and beanies while hauling off bags full of wrapping paper that all somehow symbolizes a celebration of a Savior’s miraculous birth a whopping three months prior to these gratuitous celebrations.
I’m doing what I always do this time of year — not pointing out the Pagan nature of how we celebrate Christmas and celebrating the Winter Solstice (I mean, I’m doing those things, too) — I’m getting older.
I’ve experienced a lot this year so for the sake of remembrance, humor and good cheer, here are 38 very random thoughts, changes and adventures from my 38th year broken into a few different categories for absolutely no reason at all.
Changes This Year:
1. I’m loving being a Cat Dad
Wednesday came into our lives back in July/August and while I started our relationship very much like Ozzy Osbourne saying no more fucking dogs, I have fallen in love with this slinky little yellow-eyed girl.
2. We currently have a giant woodpecker who hangs out by the bird feeder and I love it. I’m a bird-watcher now. I’m one of those people. Katie says “hey babe, come look!” and we both gleefully watch the tufted titmice, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals, hummingbirds, mourning doves and our “pet” hawk utilize our land for their enjoyment.
3. I’ve grown apart from my guy friends over the years but I’m starting to get a new small group of bros and it’s awesome.
4. Sometimes you can be a hard-no on having kids for 37 years, then things change. We’re even calling them Little Wolf like they’re already real. We kinda can’t wait. Life takes all kinds of unexpected turns when you meet the right person.
5. I bought a truck, wrecked it then bought another. I said I’d never be a truck guy until I bought that F150. I now have a Silverado and there is no going back.
6. Katie learned that if you give me enough mead and rosé, I’ll paint the bedroom without bitching about it.
7. I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing and have written SO much in the last year.
8. I am now a grown-ass man who loves drinking rosé. Especially on Thursday and even more while casually browsing Target. Yes, you can steal this date night idea, it’s A++.
9. In my ripe-old age, I no longer drink my coffee black. I now add Stevia and non-dairy creamer. WEIRD.
10. Something I’ve rediscovered this year: Pizza rolls. I now eat them with sour cream, apparently.
Stuff I learned This Year
11. Having a proper wedding is stressful but worth every ounce of stress (and every penny). A lot of our day didn’t go as planned and we certainly feel like we wasted money on several things but at the end of the day, it was a wonderful event and we showed that we really know how to throw a party!
12. With that said, maybe elope if you’re considering it. For real, though. Weddings are expensive and people are hurtful. Everyone has an opinion and no matter how well you do, someone will find something to critique about it. You can go on a badass vacation for a fraction of the cost.
13. I am meant to be a writer. Not a designer, not a personal trainer, not a photographer but a writer. It’s what I do.
14. Pina Coladas taste better in the Bahamas. Even if they’re $38 despite being free for the entirety of your cruise.
Some Things Stay the Same
15. Kick Out the Jams by the MC5 is still my favorite song and the Misfits are still my favorite band.
16. Spirituality is weird. It all makes sense yet nothing makes sense. Religions are philosophies built on logical fallacies and are therefore poor philosophies. And as much as I don’t believe there’s anything out there, I still do.
17. Being a phony is not worth your while. The older I get the stronger I feel about this. If you have to present yourself in a special way to get someone to like you, then they don’t like you. Being liked by the wrong people is overrated.
18. Mead is king. It’s what I had all night at our wedding and it will probably forever be my favorite beverage.
Experiences / Accomplishments From Year 38
19. We got married in November — highlight of the year to say the least. I also wrote about our First Look.
20. We went to the Bahamas on our honeymoon. Cruising may not be the only way to travel but it’s one of my favorites. We danced, dined, drank and was offered weed, cocaine and sex in Nassau. I’d say we checked all the boxes for a Bahamian vacation.
21. Great shows we enjoyed this year: You, Grace and Frankie, Dead Like Me, Wednesday, Married at First Sight (no shame) and Ozark with episodes of Jeopardy! and Modern Family thrown in. Favorite: probably Ozark.
22. I learned to play the entire Enema of the State album by Blink 182 on bass guitar. Also got through about half of Take Off Your Pants and Jacket before getting distracted by other projects.
23. Bands we saw: Code Orange, Chevelle, Korn, DED, Bad Omens, In This Moment, Mic Harrison & the High Score, the Lees of Memory, Summoner’s Circle, Hate and Batushka. Favorite overall: In This Moment; favorite new band: Code Orange.
24. We took dance lessons and learned to waltz, rumba, tango and swing. While we did so to master our first dance at our wedding, it ended up making us dance floor experts both at our reception and on our cruise.
25. I got to be a contestant on Chopped (kind of). I was a stand-in for a Chopped production in Knoxville’s Studio A. I may be violating some kind of NDA here but our secret ingredients were chicken breakfast sausage, arugula, canned peaches and feta cheese. I made a breakfast hash and cursed more than Gordon Ramsay during what was 20 of the most stressful minutes of my entire life.
26. I’m very proud of the fact that I wrote, memorized and delivered three separate speeches the weekend of our wedding, including a toast at our “rehearsal” dinner, a speech telling each of my groomsmen what they mean to me and, of course, my vows. Toastmasters is very proud of me, I am sure.
27. This year we went to: Dollywood, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Nassau and Princess Cays. Rumor has it we’re going to NOLA before year’s end.
28. I went to my first Buck-ee’s in November. It changed my life. I was told to get the brisket and it didn’t disappoint, though I got the pulled variety. Next time I’ll get sliced.
29. I only got one tattoo this year and it was of my boy Brutus. Shoutout to Reid at Riverside Tattoo Company in Knoxville.
30. My favorite meal this year was served at Knoxville restaurant Osteria Stella: Focaccia and Semonlina served with Olive Oil and Garlic Confit, Gnocchi al Pomodoro, Bucatini alla Gricia and Cotoletta alla Milanese.
31. We collected a stool sample after Ozzy’s last vet visit but never got around to taking it in so I’ve just had a bottle of poop sitting on my desk for a while.
32. This year I burned my hand trying to pick up a flaming metal trash can at a wedding (not mine). The fact that I had consumed six or seven Whiskey Smash cocktails beforehand is irrelevant.
33. I wrote and published individual chapters (as blog posts) for the Saturday Night Grindhouse saga that I plan to re-release as an eBook called “Tune In and Lose Your Mind” next year. You can read the Introduction right here on my blog as well as Chapter 1: An Introduction, Chapter 2: Meet the Creator, Chapter 3: An Idea is Born, Chapter 4: Meet Your Host, Chapter 5: Creating the Monster, Chapter 6: The Ad, Chapter 7: Opening Night, Chapter 8: Where It All Went Wrong and Chapter 9: Why We Never Fought Back.
Goals for Year 39
34. I want to really get into Classical music. I’m currently learning all there is to know (hardly) about Baroque-era Classical. Let’s see what happens next!
35. I want to learn to speak conversational Italian. We’re planning to go to Italy in the next year or so; I figure this is a pretty good idea.
36. I realize I need to switch up my podcast game. I only listen to entertaining stuff and/or news-related things but I want to get back into personal development content — podcasts AND books.
37. Something I am hyped about: we got a meat grinder as a wedding gift this year so we’re about to go to burger and sausage city, y’all!
38. I’m in the early stages of writing a book of essays inspired by the writings of my favorite author, David Sedaris.
While I may be turning 38 today, it’s really just another Friday. Working out, meeting clients, doing my day job. Rumor has it Katie is making me a bad-ass brunch and we’re probably eating leftovers of the equally bad-ass dinner I made her last night. It’s a simple life but it’s beautiful. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to make year 39 even more beautiful.