There you have it. My "Highs" for 2011. Noticing that I sort of rock the same look in those last five pictures..."The 10 High Points of 2011"
(from less high to highest of the high)
10. Beavis & Butt-head - I know. It's sort of lame for a guy my age to be excited about their return. But with the amount of crap that passes for "entertainment" on TV these days, it's nice to be totally carefree for thirty minutes and openly laugh at their moronic adventures. As I noted when I excitedly posted about this--the kids of today probably aren't watching it as much as their parents are!
9. Do It Yourself! - After too many years of putting up with a damaged screen on my PowerBook, I took it upon myself to replace it. On my own. With no prior experience in doing such a thing! Armed with online videos and printouts from some Mac repair sites, I dove in. I had the luxury of knowing that this wasn't my primary computer, so I had a little less pressure than normal. In spite of having a replacement screen that wasn't exactly what it should have been, I only ended up with six screws and a spring that didn't make it back in...
8. 1,000,000 - It took six years, four months before my Sitemeter in the sidebar said I hit one million visitors. I find that remarkable. The lucky person? Someone from Germany. Too bad I couldn't figure out who it was. There was a cash prize and everything!
7. OsShirt revival - Interestingly, this ranked #7 last year, too! The OsShirt is, in fact, alive and well, and currently floating around South Africa! This after spending the first half of the year in England. It was hung up in customs in Cape Town for awhile--not sure what the hold-up was there. Soon it should make its way to it's next island destination... I'll try to get the OsShirt site back up to speed soon, too!
6. Opera, Nutcracker and Summer - I've been doing more of the production coordination of our performances this year than in the past. Pretty much all the same stuff I've always done, but now with the understanding that I am the one in charge. Simply clarified where the buck stopped. And where the buck started. Of course, that's a bit more pressure on me--the opera was a particular challenge, the summer concert found me smoothing out many rough spots, and the Nutcracker had me having to call time-outs for both of the leaders of the organizations involved. It's a lot of work and pressure, but ultimately, well worth it!
5. Big Soul Band - We didn't have a huge number of gigs, but the ones we did have were fantastic! Great music, great musicians, and a whole lot of fun! I have to write all the horn charts, and love every minute of it. It's a nice diversion from the classical stuff too. Our goal for 2012 is to book at least two of the bigger parties/functions in town. People love us and need to hear more of us!
4. Return of the Griz - Last year was not a banner year for the University of Montana Grizzlies football team. They finished with a 7-4 record, which many schools would consider highly successful. They didn't win a share of the Big Sky Conference title. They didn't make the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. And worse of all--they lost to the Bobcats of MSU. Gucci's team. I lost our Griz/Cat bet. This year, however, was much better! They won the conference, they were seeded #4 in the playoffs, their coach was named Coach of the Year, they beat the Cats and Gucci lost the bet this year. That might have been the best part of all!
3. OsTour '11 - OsTour '11 was pretty low-key, compared to previous ones, and that was fine to me! This was pretty much a one-person trip, rather than partying with a lot of people. I spent 3 days with Redneck Eskimo, which was a wonderful time. Someone I've known quite well since the very early days, but never had the chance to meet until this summer. I was also able to sneak in some layover time with Crystal, from Boobs, Injuries & Dr. Pepper, and with Lola! (and Jasper) from Sex Babble. These were first time meetings too. Oh, yeah, there was also the 90 seconds on the tram talking with Sen. Al Franken! Looking forward to seeing where OsTour '12 takes me!
2. Y'all Come Back Again, Y'hear? - In a twist on the norm, I had three bloggers come to me this year! Well, one of them is norm, and the other one I had to travel a little. First it was No One Special that came to town. The girl lives far too close to only see on rare occasion. Then her Gucciness came to town (well, Missoula--I had to travel) and we spent the night drinking, eating, gossiping, pinky-pacting, pool-playing, and telling each other some of the most interesting things... My last visitor, of course, was Moose, who was here just before Christmas. It's kind of nice when people come to see me instead of the other way around! :-)
1. HNT - Half-Nekkid Thursdays. What a ride. I have made so many friends from this I can't believe it. It's hard to imagine what life would be like these days without the contact I've had with so many of you. Contact that I wouldn't have if it weren't for your participation. So many things in my head to say, but it would all be babbling. Thank you for coming into my life, in whatever way you have. I hope that you'll still be stopping by on a regular basis in 2012. I might not have anything quite as exciting as HNT to offer to you, but I'll try to come up with something!
Many of you are probably already at parties as I'm posting this. I'm staying home and watching "The Walking Dead" all night. I hope that everyone is having a safe but fun NYE! Looking forward to a great 2012!!