Friday, December 28, 2012

Where’s the Paper? 2012, the Year of Obstacles and Misfortune

So you might be wondering why, for the first time ever, you received the RT 20 in an email. Well, there are a multitude of reasons. Let’s break it down Top 5 list style!

1) I’m a lot less angry now.
Anger and its frequent bunkmate, sarcasm, were the pillars of what I wrote each year from 1994 until about 2009. But I have mellowed in that regard (and being in a solid, stress-free relationship for two years has certainly made that possible). So I found it harder to tap into wherever my creative engine now resides in my body.

2) I wrote a ton of crap this year.
When I went through all the stories I wrote for the day job this year to compile our Year in Review, I realized that I wrote close to 3,000 pieces of copy this year. THAT. IS. A. LOT. Which led to…

3) I’m battling carpel tunnel.
I can pinpoint its start to mid-June when my job launched a new web platform into which we upload our copy. There are many more clicks with a mouse than the way we used to upload stores for the previous nine years, and that put quite a load on my right wrist. I now own four different wrist guards so I am protected wherever I go. But -- as any sufferer can tell you -- rest is the best medicine. My wrist was back to 100% after our lengthy vacation to California in September. But when Sandy pummeled the area, I ended up writing three to four times what I normally would to fill in for those that had no power for almost two weeks. Add extra copy for Year in Review because of the extremely poor time management by another co-worker and my wrist hasn’t been right for a while.

4) I spent my free time in the fall working on Sandy benefits.
Hurricane Sandy (fuck that bullshit of calling it Superstorm Sandy, seriously) really devastated this area of the country that I love dearly. The images I saw in the days after it hit and hearing how friends and people I’ve known for many years lost almost everything inspired me to organize two benefit shows in November. All the efforts I put into to promoting them paid off as between the two of them close to $1700 was raised. It’s not a lot of cash in the overall picture of how much money is need to get various areas back on their feet, but it exceeded my wildest expectations

5) I spent the rest of my free time in the fall plugging and working on various aspects of my book.
Yes, nothing like burying the lead. My first book, co-edited with my dear friend Mike Faloon, is called Fan Interference: A Collection of Baseball Rants and Reflections. The book, due out in June on Blue Cubicle Press, collects the best of Zisk, the baseball zine Mike and I have been publishing for 13 years. It’s a project that has been a very long time coming. And getting this list done put a hold on my editing our latest draft, so I’m glad to have this done.

Well, there you have it. This year’s list might not have jokes about “Gangam Style,” The X Factor or Limp Bizkit, but hey, at least it’s done. Hope you get a chuckle or two out of this year’s truncated version. I’m shooting for a traditional version in 2013.

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