‘The Academy Awards® are coming up this Sunday and I’m excited. Our friends John and Lisa always throw a fun Oscar party where everyone is invited to dress as a character from a movie. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone this year — and guessing who they are — and Sarah and I are eager to debut our own costumes (hush hush if you already know our plan).
I’ve finally seen all 9 films nominated for Best Picture and if I had my say (and I don’t) here’s how I would rank them from Best to Least Best.
January 4 – I auditioned for The Foreigner at the Fulton Opera House. I didn’t get it or anything, but call me weird, I like auditioning. It’s just another excuse for me to get strangers to laugh. On purpose.
January 11 – My pal John Allen was in town for a conference. I know John from my days working at Gotee Records in Nashville when I was in the Radio Promotions department and he was in Sales. Sarah and I met up with John in Hershey, PA. It was really nice to re-connect and introduce him to my better/crazier half.
January 17 – I went hiking with my friend John Blowers in the Pennsylvania mountains. Somewhere. I actually don’t have any idea where we were, only about a half hour or so from Lancaster, so if he wanted to kill me and hide my body he very well could have. But he didn’t. I guess that means John’s my friend. :)
February 3 – Sarah and I watched the touring production of Avenue Q at the Hershey Theater. There’s nothing quite as fun as introducing your wife to the world of foul-mouthed puppets. And Gary Coleman.
April 19 – My pal Mitch McVicker came to town and performed a concert at our church. Even better than watching him perform again was getting to catch up with a good friend.
April 24 – Sarah and I went to a Capital Lights concert with our travel buddies Alyssa and Ashlea. Weeks later, the band announced they are breaking up. Coincidence?
May 15 – Sarah and I traveled to New York City for the weekend. I rejoined my friends at the National Comedy Theater and jumped in the Friday night shows for a great night of improv. I am happy to report that JT, Chris, Paul, Dan, Cohen, Kevin, and Jason have not lost the funny.
May 16 – Sarah and I hit some NYC tourist spots and that night we were in the live studio audience for the season finale of Saturday Night Live. It was everything we dreamed and more.
June 23 – I broke a molar eating an ice cream sandwich.
July 8 – After two weeks of temporary crowns, my molar was finally completely repaired.
July 17 – Sarah and I attended a barbecue at Dustin and Janelle’s house. It was a great evening of friends and hangin’ out, capped off by an amazing Roman candle fight between Jeremy and Dustin.
July 24-26 – Sarah and I returned to New York City and this time we brought our friends Ryan, Alyssa, and Ashlea with us. I performed at the National Comedy Theatre Friday and Saturday night and the rest of the time was spent giving them a whirlwind tour of the city.
August 8 – Sarah and I went to Nissley Vineyard (the place I proposed to her two years earlier) with friends to enjoy a nice evening in the countryside.
September 12 – Sarah and I saw Bill Cosby perform live at the American Music Theatre. Despite the fact that he looks older, he’s still the same old Cos.
September 18 – I had a voiceover audition at Max Films. Nothing has come of it (at least not yet) but again, it was something fun to do on a weekday afternoon.
October 1 – I hung my doodles at a local coffee shop, Square One, as part of their monthly rotation of local artists. The theme for the month was Halloween, so I displayed my collection of doodles of movie villains
October 3 – Sarah and I went to the New Holland Fair and were shocked to find they imported everyone who attends the county fair back home in Indiana to attend this one, too. Either that, or everyone who goes to fairs looks the same.
October 7 – After months of hunting, Sarah and I picked up our new car, a Ford Focus from Keller Brothers. If you’re in the area, we highly recommend them!
October 26 – Married to Sarah for two years and she’s still my bestest friend.
October 31 – At our Murder Mystery Party, everyone got dressed up in fancy clothes and we pretended we’re a lot more civilized than we actually are.
December 4 – We attended a surprise birthday party for our friend Alyssa. It was a successful covert surprise operation.
December 5 – My dear friend Nik (another Gotee Records survivor) is in town and Sarah and I get together with her for coffee. I probably sound like a broken record, but it’s so nice to re-unite with old friends and catch up!
December 12 – My pal John had a poker night (guys’ night out). We tried to keep it as manly as possible, considering the snacks consisted of deli meats, apple cider, and hummus.
December 26 – For the second year in a row, Sarah’s sister and her family (The Tatmans) visited us for a week . We played games, watched movies, and hung around the house. Basically everything you WISH you did on vacation.
There’s one highlight I didn’t post because it happens every week: Sarah and I have some good friends over on Tuesday nights to watch Lost. Our usual gang of misfits includes some of our closest friends in Pennsylvania (Alyssa, Ashlea, Dustin, Janelle, Monica, Tammy, and Tyler). Sure, we’re all fans of the show and enjoy the twists and turns, but most of all we love having an excuse to get together with good friends. In a time of virtual social networking, nothing compares with actually hanging out with others.
Thanks, everyone, for a great 2009. Preparing to enter 2010 is weird. 2010. It looks really super futuristic. If I don’t have a flying car by 2015, I’m going to be mad.
My 39th birthday was last week. Sarah and I were walking down to get some coffee at Square One and she asked me what my highlights were of being 38. I thought about it, and thought I’d share some of those highlights here. At first glance, this may seem like just another Year in Review blog, but trust me, it’s different. These are in no particular order, except in the order that they came into my brain.
COOL THINGS I DID WHEN I WAS 38
Once a week Sarah and I get together and watch Lost with some friends. I know what you’re saying: Who doesn’t? But it’s not just about gathering around the TV and watching a show. It’s the whole “gathering with friends and watching a show” aspect about it that I love. Usually before or after the show we’ll play games, eat whatever snacks we brought, or just hang out. And now that we’ve caught up on all of the Seasons and are eagerly awaiting the beginning of Season 6, we still get together once a week and….well we do whatever. Play games. Watch a movie. Eat snacks. Hang out. It’s been a good excuse to get together and be with our pals on a regular basis.
Dressing Up as Batman and The Joker
Every year our friends John and Lisa hold an Oscar-viewing party. In the last couple of years they’ve encouraged everyone to dress up as a movie character and it’s been a lot of fun. This year Sarah and I came as Batman and The Joker, and I gotta admit, we looked good. :)
Jim Thorpe Sarah’s birthday is only 3 days before mine so we get to celebrate together. Our friends Alyssa and Ashlea decided to treat us to a mystery trip. They gave us the date and time but kept the destination a secret. The only hint they gave us was the fact it was a couple of hours away. It turns out they took us to Jim Thorpe PA, a small town one of the TV travel programs listed as one of the Top 10 Towns in America. I think they were right to put this on the list.
Live Shows When I was 38, I got to see a couple of live shows that came into town that were a lot of fun: the touring production of Avenue Q and Bill Cosby. If I don’t come across as your average musical-theatre kinda guy, I’m not. But Avenue Q isn’t your average musical theatre production.
And Bill Cosby. Well….he’s just Bill Cosby. How can you not enjoy him?
New York City Sarah and I were able to travel up to New York City twice. The first time we went up to see the Season 34 Finale of Saturday Night Live with Will Ferrell. To say it was a blast would be an understatement. The second time, we went up with our friends Ryan, Alyssa, and Ashlea and got to show them around the city. Both times I was able to jump in the shows at the National Comedy Theatre and improv it up with some of my old pals as well as perform with some new cast members whom I hadn’t met. It was a great time. I heart New York.
Ireland As anyone who’s followed my blog knows, Sarah and I went to Ireland with Alyssa and Ashlea and it was incredible. I won’t bore you with the details (again) but will post the recap of our trip here.
Doodles at Square One I’ve been drawing doodles of people ever since I was in middle school. I haven’t always kept up at it, but this past year I’ve been very proactive about keeping at it. I had a chance to display my art at our coffee house of choice here in Lancaster, Square One Coffee. For the month of October I displayed about 30 doodles, all in the theme of Halloween creepiness. You can see all of my doodles at my Facebook fan page.
So yea…38 wasn’t too bad. Those were just a few of the things that jumped out at me. I’ll include more in my annual End-of-the-Year update but Sarah was right. Thirty-eight was a good year. I think 39 is gonna be good, too. With someone as cool as Sarah by my side to walk with to the coffee shop, how can it not be?
I haven’t dressed up for Halloween for a few years and besides October 31 there aren’t many excuses for adults to dress up in fun costumes anymore. Unless you’re all going to 16th-century costume balls I’m unaware of.
Thankfully, there’s always John & Lisa’s Oscar party to look forward to. They’ve had the bash for a number of years now, but last year was the first time they implemented the idea of dressing up as a movie character. Not surprisingly, the gang jumped in with both feet and I was more than happy to spend January and February of 2008 growing a goatee so I could shave it to a mustache to perfect my Kevin Kline-as-Otto-in-“A Fish Called Wanda”.
This year wasn’t as as easy to come up with something. My first idea was to wear one of Sarah’s red YMCA employee shirts and dye my hair blonde to go as Brad Pitt from Burn After Reading.
Then Sarah pointed out to me it would be much easier for her to cut my hair and wear my pea coat and just go as Colin Ferrell in In Bruges.
But then Sarah came up with a GREAT idea. I’ll keep you posted. I don’t want to give anything away.
Feb 23, Update: You can see our Oscar party costumes HERE.