Disclaimer. If I could write like Dave Barry, this blog would instead be a Miami Herald column syndicated to legions of newspapers around the country. But I spent way too much of my childhood playing Atari and rooting on the Celtics to have such satirical gifts. Nonetheless, I do love to write and they say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, so I will do my utmost to chronicle the 2012 year in the spirit of Dave Barry, fully knowing I am at best, a journalistic hacker.
First, the fact that I’m writing this journal shows that the Mayans were a little off in their math. They didn’t have the luxury of Google Calender nor the most cognitively friendly alcohol, so a faulty prognostication about when the world would end is excusable. Besides, apocalyptical predictions and truth are about as compatible as ham and an Orthodox bar mitzvah.
I think it’s rather good that the world didn’t end. I have many more items, including cleaning out my garage and learning to speak proper Spanish to check off on my bucket list. But as 2012 sadly showed, we Muggles are not quite as smart as we think we are nor as civilized as we should be. As a result, many lives ended prematurely this past year and in large stretches of the modern world, it probably feels as if the world is ending. Syria, Egypt and the appropriate sense of doom and gloom after the mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown are good cases in point.
If 2012 taught me anything, it’s that we shouldn’t make predictions. Peyton Manning now quarterbacks a different team and his heir apparent in Indy has made thousands of Colts fans actually feel glad the legendary Manning is gone. Meanwhile, his Forrest Gump-esque humble younger brother once again trumped logic and the Patriots by winning his second Super Bowl. I could go on and on about sports. In short, sports are a microcosm of how unpredictable the world is, though it was comforting to see Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Joey Chesnutt (the hot dog eating champion) continue their hegemony over their respective sports. Aside from the repeat winners, I’m sure I speak for all of Miami and no one in Cleveland by mentioning just how uplifting it was to see Lebron James win his 1st and certainly not last NBA championship, and for tennis fans, particularly Brits who can now breathe a collective sigh of relief and dance like Marry Poppins, knowing Andy Murray finally captured his first grand slam.
I won’t delve too deeply into the political happenings of the last year. I’m just glad the American election season is over although if I hear the word fiscal cliff one more time, I might just have to try to throw a few “They shall not be named” senators and congressmen off a cliff. I mean, how OCD is Capitol Hill? The only phrases more annoying these days than “the fiscal cliff” are The Kardashians and anything that mentions the NRA. Come to think of it, maybe we can throw the entire NRA lobby and the Kardashians off the “fiscal” cliff. I would add Rush Limbaugh, Jeffrey Loria, Karl Rove, Bashar Assad and Hugo Chavez to the mass of disposable projectiles.
No matter where I look, Muggles find a way to make a big mess. And a lot of noise. Whatever public place I visit seems to believe there is an incessant need to blare some ear cavity generating music and for the customers to speak loudly on every communication device in their possession. Karl Marx once said that “religion was the opium of the masses” but religion has nothing on cellphones. I know Crossfit is a big craze but as soon as some opportunist designs a high impact workout entirely based on touching our digital devices, the earth will tilt off its orbit and Crossfit will be no more.
As a movie buff, I feel a need to make a little plug about the movies. I didn’t think Adam Sandler was capable of making a film worse than Punch Drunk Love or Funny People, but he found a way with ‘That’s My Boy”. However he did get some redemption points with his “Hallelujah Screw You” jingle for the Hurricane Sandy relief concert. Speaking of which, maybe the Mayans weren’t entirely off base when Florida remains unscathed during the Hurricane season while NYC gets pummeled in late November.
I didn’t get to see as many films as I would like but the Total Recall and Bourne sequels were an insult to the preceding ones, particularly when Jason Bourne has no visible role in the film.
Still, any year which has a Dark Knight installment, a Lincoln movie directed by Spielberg and starring Daniel Day Lewis, Argo which shows Ben Affleck to be a hell of a director himself, and finally a new Tarantino film, more than offsets all the busts at the box office.
On a personal level, I will look back on 2012 with great fondness. I finally began taking my dream to become a published writer of some form (perhaps it’s a pipe dream but at least I’m trying) more seriously. This quest began in earnest when my fellow literary sojourner, David Fernandez and I attended the PubSlush conference in NYC in early January.It was nerve-wracking and at times frustrating, but a rite of passage for both of us.
On the travel front, I literally sojourned half way around the world to Singapore, a Herculean 26 hour flight that tested my gluteus muscles and mental endurance more than any previous trip. In and of itself, it was worth the two days of flying and great to see the Orient, but then was back-ended by spending time with my twin cousins in Paris and then the three of us flying to Mallorca for a host of great outdoor adventures. Naturally a year of traveling would not be complete without stops in Ecuador; this year one to visit the pristine Galapagos and the second for the amazing Mindo Futures Medical Mission.
Surprisingly, I kept more than half of my new year’s resolutions, which did not include avoiding speeding tickets. That and not worrying about trivial things like the Red Sox are two resolutions I need to make in the year ahead. But like all of us, 2012 tested my faith and ideals, and I feel quite confident I was up to the challenge.
I think best of all, 2012 brought me the most amazing girlfriend, Daviela. I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for us, but so far, it’s been a dream come true and certainly one of life’s most beautiful surprises. She’s the absolute best!! I can’t thank God enough for the blessing of having a genuine, smart and gorgeous girlfriend.
In closing, there are many things I wish Hurricane Sandy had instead destroyed in its wake, most notably the term “fiscal cliff” and any mention of Super PAC’s, the NRA, Jeffrey Loria and The Voice. I am certainly glad the Mayans were wrong, because as Robert Frost so well versed “These woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.”