2018: Lessons Learned and Forgotten

I feel like the title of my 2016 wrap-up (“Year-in-Review Year-End Revue”) is the best title I’ll ever write for one of these. Anyway, here’s Wonderwall.

Another year older and (probably) wiser. I thought 2018 would be totally normal and uneventful, and mostly it was; actually, it turns out that quarter-life crises are a thing, oh and also, 2018 was not normal or uneventful.

Last year I learned how to floss. Well, this year I learned that I have actually forgotten a bunch of lessons that I learned before; sometimes lessons that I learned many, many years ago. Like, well, flossing. Also, how to deal with being angry, or annoyed, or sad. How to navigate in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. A big one was also realizing that, after diving into full time work, I don’t have a lot of fulfilling hobbies anymore. So I need to get back on that.

One of those hobbies at the start of the year was writing a piece for this blog once a month. That stopped a while ago because things got busy and I got really worried that the things I was writing here were boring and derivative, and I make no promises I’ll be able to overcome that fear for the new year. At the very least, here is a little bit about my year that didn’t make it into the posts from the first half.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

This year, Miranda and I took trips to Boston; Washington, D.C.; Seneca Falls, NY; Minnesota; Seattle; Cold Spring, NY; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Cologne, Germany… and more places. We have talked many times about how we entered 2018 kind of bummed because we went so many places in 2017 and didn’t expect to match that in 2018.

Out of all that, here are a couple moments that stand out:

One day during my week in Amsterdam, Miranda and I took a bus tour to see some windmills, cheese and wooden clogs. And so this picture of me was accidentally born.

I got to drive in New York this year when, in October, Miranda and I drove upstate to attend a convention for fans of a certain children’s book series. Like all road trips, there were ups and downs – but I have to say that hitting the open road, staying in off-the-highway-hotels, and eating gas station food felt great.

20181028_132915

Also in October, I was able to fly back to the Midwest to spend a weekend with my friends, pictured here. Or are they…?

The biggest surprise of 2018 was that I was able to finish a 5K in under 35 minutes! This is a true story: until 2018, I had never run a full mile before, anywhere. In grade school I was always either unable or unwilling to (just to spite the teacher! Stick it to the man!) This year I did that and more! Although to be clear, I did not “run” the whole 5K – I ran about a mile at a time with a few breaks in between. Sweet victory!

Ramblin’ On

The most important thing about this year is that I feel a metric crap-ton better about it than I did 2017, and I am much less nervous about where 2019 is going to go. I’ve had a lot of help throughout the year and it’s not that 2019 makes me nervous now so much as it is the rest of my life makes me nervous. But… at this moment at least I feel pretty good, I have a good job, and I have people I care about. As we said about things at 535 Boulder Drive…

…good enough.

Raison d’ĂȘtre

The whole reason I’ve been writing these at the end of the year is to show off how cool and edgy-but-also-dated-and-increasingly-singular my music taste is, man. This year I actually logged the most ear-worm-y songs I listened to as I listened to them, which made the effort this year easy (because I already had the list) and also hard (because I have a one-hour limit.)

So here it is, 2018’s All-American #1 Jamlist:

Lessons Learned and Forgotten: 2018 (The Final Cut)
(YouTube, Spotify)

  1. Bluebird – Bonnie Raitt (Bonnie Raitt)
  2. Salad Days – Minor Threat (Salad Days EP)
  3. Oh, Susquehanna! – Defiance, Ohio (The Great Depression)
  4. He’s Guilty (The Judge Song) – Steel Mill (Bruce Springsteen: Chapter and Verse)
  5. It’s O.K. – Dead Moon (Crack in the System)
  6. Answering Machine – The Replacements (For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986)
  7. Love Comes In Spurts – Richard Hell (Blank Generation)
  8. Taking Care Of Business – The Replacements (The Sh*t Hits The Fans)
  9. Partners In Crime – Slim Dunlap (The Old New Me)1
  10. The Origin of Love – Hedwig And The Angry Itch Original Broadway Cast (Hedwig And The Angry Itch)
  11. The World According To Chris – Carrie: The Musical Premiere Cast (Carrie: The Musical Premiere Cast Recording)
  12. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (x)2
  13. All My Ghosts – Frank Black & The Catholics (Frank Black & The Catholics)
  14. Death Or Glory – The Clash (London Calling)
  15. The Road And The Sky – Jackson Browne (Late For The Sky)
  16. Waiting For Somebody – Paul Westerberg (Singles – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  17. Bonzo Goes To Bitburg – Ramones (Animal Boy)

There are, of course, some substitutions where the original is not on Spotify – so the YouTube version is the “most correct” version of the playlist – but I can personally assure you that both versions rock. But for those discerning Mitchell-heads who want all there is to know, here is the full 2-hour Director’s Cut 2018 playlist.

Happy New Year everyone!


  1. I literally thought until I wrote this post that this song was “Little Shiva’s Song” because iTunes has the INCORRECT SONG IN THEIR COPY OF THE ALBUM THAT I BOUGHT. That’s pretty funny by itself, but the fact of that matter is that this song (Partner in Crime) came to me at a time that I really needed it. If iTunes hadn’t screwed up I probably never would have heard this song. So I’m glad they did.
  2. I hate that this song is on my playlist, buuuuut…
    When Miranda and I were in Amsterdam on the aforementioned bus tour of the countryside, as we approached the bus to go back to the city, the bus driver had taken out his guitar and was playing for the unsuspecting tourists. I don’t really like Ed Sheeran but I really liked this older Dutch man’s acoustic cover of this song and hearing it brings me back to what was really a spectacular day.

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