2012: A Year of Extremes

Excuse me while I blow the dust off this blog like an old N64 cartridge. Speaking of which, let me go on an IMMEDIATE tangent: My friend was over the other night and said his mom was planning on throwing out some of his old videogames (NES, Sega Saturn, N64 etc.), to which me and my roommate FREAKED OUT and told him to make sure she did no such thing. I regretted trading in my N64, original GameBoy, and assorted games for basically one and half original Xbox games almost immediately after I did so. Not only because I didn’t think I would ever want to play them again (What I would give to play Banjo Kazooie, GoldenEye, Diddy Kong Racing, any of the San Francisco Rush games, or Perfect Dark right now…) but also because I could have gotten a thousand times more for them on eBay versus the pittance I got from GameStop when I originally sold them. We assured him that if he didn’t want to keep them, we would gladly take them off his hands, or if he did want to keep them he could probably make a good chunk of change selling all that old school gamer swag on eBay. So here’s a lesson for all you cash strapped kiddies out there: If you’re desperate for the new Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Dance Dance Revolution, or whatever you’re all playing nowadays, sell a kidney but don’t sell your classic games to GameStop for a fraction of what they’re worth. Throw those gaming treasures on eBay > ??? > profit. You can thank me later.

It’s been a casual five months since my last blog post and clearly that “post every other week” thing didn’t work out so well. Like I hypothesized in August, the last thing I want to do after staring at two computer screens all day is come home and stare at my laptop screen for another hour or two. Pretty much all I want to do when I get home from work is drink, sleep, play videogames, or go to the gym. Oh and remember that blog post where I was super excited about getting Fallout 3 for $10? I just finished it and it’s DLC on Sunday…76 in-game hours later. Oh the problems of being a videogame completionist… Now onto Batman: Arkham Asylum, Fallout: New Vegas, Halo 4, & Black Ops II…eventually. Not a lot of time for videogames now that I’m (sort of) a grown up.

Anyway… Now that 2012 has come and gone, I figured I should sort of wrap up how ridiculous of a year it has been for me. I’ve gone from being more broke than I’ve ever been, to having more money than I’ve ever known in my life, to buried under a pile of student debt from which I may never recover; from being so depressed that I didn’t even want to leave my apartment, to being happier than I’ve ever been in my life; and from working as an Economic Development & GIS Consultant and attending graduate school for City & Regional Planning to working as a Social Media Manager and Consultant. I bought…well, financed…my (realistic) dream car, a 2004 Infiniti G35, moved into a new apartment with two of my pals, posted back up in the gym for the first time in a year and a half (EAT BIG TO GET BIG), started going to grown up bars, and thanks to Don Draper and Roger Sterling graduated from boxed wine, Captain Morgan, and Four Lokos, to scotch, bourbon, and martinis. 2012 was a year of self improvement and refinement, and all in all my life is considerably better than it was a year ago. But although I’m thankful, I’m certainly not complacent.

“The only thing worse than not getting what you want is someone else getting it.”
– Roger Sterling, Mad Men

Exactly six months ago today, when I started at my current position, I was thrilled at the opportunity to build my company’s social media presence from scratch. I developed our accounts, I collaborate with our graphic designer on our branding, manage our social advertising, campaigns and engagement strategy. Very few social media managers have full reign over their company’s accounts. But being a one man social media team at a company where few, if anyone else even knows what Twitter is can be pretty lonely, and the environment can be creatively stifling. Without saying too much about my company, let’s just say the industry is very slow to embrace new technology and media. I feel like I haven’t even begun to tap my potential as a Social Media/Community/Account Manager, and my New Year’s Resolution is to move into a role that will both challenge me and help me learn from the people around me. I know this term is played out, but hustle is the word of the year for 2013. I’ve also had the fortunate opportunity to gather a few social media consulting clients, and if I find out the agency route isn’t for me, a small business social media consulting venture might be another possible career path.

Oh and wow 2012 was an unreal year for movies. And since I love ranking things, let me rank the ones I saw:

1. Moonrise Kingdom
2. Skyfall
3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
4. Lincoln
5. The Dark Knight Rises
6. Silver Linings Playbook
7. Looper
8. Django Unchained
9. Argo
10. The Avengers
11. Taken 2
12. Cloud Atlas
13. The Grey
14. Total Recall

Any year where a Christopher Nolan Batman movie is released and it isn’t my favorite movie means it must have been an outrageous year for movies. Daniel Day-Lewis deserves to win Best Actor for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom might have been Wes Anderson’s best offering yet, and after Silver Linings Playbook I now have a full blown celebrity crush on Jennifer Lawrence (ugh and Bradley Cooper).

I also think I went to more professional sporting events in one year than I’ve ever been to as well. In 2012 I attended a Yankees – Tigers game, Jets – Panthers pre-season game, the U.S. Open, and an Eagles – Panthers game. Hopefully I’ll have the means to attend even more in 2013, but only time will tell.

Hey…you know, this felt kind of good to blog again, but maybe that’s the scotch talking? Anyway, I’ll try to do at least a post a month going forward to keep you all on your toes. Oh, and Kevin Youkilis is dead to me.

The Coug abides.

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Looming Red Sox Roster Moves

In the coming weeks, the Red Sox are going to have to make some difficult decisions as a number of players are activated from the disabled list. There has already been a logjam at corner infield, forcing Gonzo to RF for the first time since his early days with the Padres. The defensive shift was to make room for the rookie phenom Will Middlebrooks (or as I call him WMB, the Weapon of Monster Bombs) at 3B and in order to get Youkilis’ bat in the lineup at 1B.

Since WMB’s call up, there has been constant talk of the Sox trying to trade the underperforming and oft injured Youkilis to secure his permanent spot at 3B. Unfortunately Youk hasn’t been able to duplicate his 2010 numbers, when he batted .307/.411/.564 with 19 HR, 62 RBI, and drew 58 BB in only 102 games. Through 41 games in 2012, Youk is hitting a dismal .225/.311/.359 and has only drawn 14 walks. Ironically this means that the Greek God of Walks will have to prove to be a much more valuable asset if the Sox hope to trade him, thus making his bat even more difficult to take out of the lineup. I’ve been a big fan of Youk since he was a September call up in 2004, and since I just bought his jersey last year, I’m holding out hope that he doesn’t get traded and the Sox figure out some sort of arrangement for him, WMB and Gonzo (who truth be told hasn’t really been contributing too much this season either). Welp, from the looks of it, Youkilis just got traded in the middle of this game after being replaced by a pinch runner to a standing ovation. Say it ain’t so, Youk 😦

Speaking of Red Sox jerseys, allow me to go off on a tangent here. I feel like every time I buy a jersey or tee, said player gets traded, signs with a different team, or retires. My ex-gf bought me my first jersey, Johnny Damon, in 2005 and as you all well know, Mr. Damon is persona-non-grata after signing with the Evil Empire in 2006. I thought about burning it or having “Damon” taken off the back, but honestly who the hell wants a Matsuzaka jersey either? I’ve just been hanging it up on my wall so the number is concealed. After that debacle I bought myself an Ellsbury tee in his rookie season when he was still #46 (he’s since changed it to #2), and a Papelbon tee (signed with the Phillies in the offseason, and I still love ya Pap, even after game #162). Another ex bought me an official Varitek jersey, who promptly retired, but I can still wear #33 with pride. Finally, my most recent purchase was a sexy Majestic Official Postseason Youkilis jersey, but like the Madden curse, I seem to doom each player who’s jersey I buy. I’m considering a Middlebrooks tee, but I’d hate to involve the kid in this twisted affair. End tangent.

“Fortunately” for the Red Sox, Scott Podsednik was placed on the 15-day DL with a groin issue, since Cody Ross was due to come off it. This move allowed them to activate Ross without having to send anyone down. I titled this post “Looming Red Sox Roster Moves” because in the coming weeks both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are due to come off the DL, and boy do we have a lot of outfielders. At the moment we have Cody Ross, Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava, and Ryan Kalish. We desperately need Jacoby Ellsbury back in the lineup, but the man with the monster contract, Carl Crawford dictates that we’ll have to send someone much more deserving down. After signing a 7-year $142 million deal in 2010, the former (Devil) Ray has contributed a total of 130 games, since the start of the 2011 season. In these 130 games he’s batted .255/.289/.405 and stolen only 18 bases after stealing 47 and 60(!) in the previous two seasons. Not only is he not staying healthy, when he is healthy he’s not getting on base, and when he does get on base, he’s not stealing bases. So far this $142 million boondoggle has become the 2012 version of J.D. Drew (no insult to Mr. Drew, at least he helped us win a World Series).

The fact of the matter is, his massive contract will dictate that he start in LF the majority of the time, and when Ellsbury joins the fray, the outfield will end up being Crawford in LF, Ellsbury in CF, and Ross in RF. Darnell McDonald will no doubt be sent down, but then it’s a matter of sending a down a reliever (or two relievers when Andrew Bailey comes back) or one of Daniel Nava or Ryan Kalish. Now I’ve been a huge Cody Ross fan since his 2010 World Series MVP campaign for the Giants, and I was thrilled when the Sox signed him. But Kalish and Nava have proven themselves valuable members of the club and both taken their licks in the minors. My vote is for Kalish and Scotty Pods to be sent down, since Nava has been up for longer, had more time to mesh and contribute with the club, plus I have him on my fantasy team.

And I’m still Saltalamacchia (salty) about not re-signing Jason Bay. Just sayin’.