2014: It was not my favorite year ever, but I think that’s all the more reason to look back on the good parts and appreciate that the entire time didn’t suck. That and say thanks to everyone who contributed to the non-crappy parts. So, I made this.
Book and Food Tours
2014 actually started out pretty good. I had my belated 30th birthday party and we packed the entire apartment. We also packed the driveway with a taco truck. It got stuck for 30 minutes, but it was worth it. I didn’t realize I knew so many cool people who’d come waste a Saturday night with me, so it was really amazing to see that happen.
2014 was the year Erica and I discovered/invented the food tour. This is when, rather than going to dinner at one restaurant, you go to as many as you can fit in one night and share dishes so you can try all kinds of food. We started this in San Francisco, because there were just too many restaurants to try and not enough time.
It was so much fun we decided to do it again as soon as possible, which ended up being in April, right after The Awkward Human Survival Guide was released. (That’s mine and Erica’s book, by the way, in case you didn’t know, and you can buy it on Amazon!) We did a reading at a small bookstore for about three people, and helped a guy solve his uncontrollable farting problem. At the end of this visit I got to go to a Dropbox press event, which was super exciting because it was Dropbox. Dropbox was kind of my last hurrah with Lifehacker, as I decided to leave my position there later in the month. I was getting pretty burnt out, and, as I later found out, suffering from some pretty intense migraines. (More on that later.)
In addition to San Francisco, Erica and I got to do a giant book launch event at the Grove in Los Angeles and many more people came to listen to us talk for an hour. Most of those people were friends of ours, but that didn’t make it any less cool. They fit us in after Jimmy Carter, apparently, and we got posters. It was almost like we were real, legitimate authors!
Podcasting and AIDS
After these trips and finishing up my time at Lifehacker, I started a couple of podcasts. One is Supercharged, or Shockhammer as many people are now calling it thanks to Darren, and it’s basically the Lifehacker podcast with a different name. I also started the Awkward Human Survival Guide where Erica, Darren, Richard, and a variety of other guests give advice on bizarre questions. We also interview people, like the guy who wrote a book about cooking with cum and an entertainer known as the big dick bitch. Neither podcast has an enormous listener base yet, but I’ve got plans to change that in 2015 because...
- I think they’re great!
- I love having weekly excuses to talk about fun things with my favorite people.
- The shows have given me the opportunity to really connect more closely with listeners.
The main reason I do the work that I do is to share it and connect with other people over stuff we’re all interested in. Even though scheduling can get a little frustrating on some weeks, and the news gets super boring, I always feel great after recording thanks to everyone who does the shows with me and talks to me about them after listening.
The podcasts gave me a platform to raise money for AIDS research two times this year, and I was really blown away by everyone’s generosity--especially Rob’s and Michael’s. They donated a crap ton of money. You guys are independently awesome, by the way, but this certainly cemented that status. I don’t know much about fundraising but it was really cool to see so many people pitch in for a good cause.
Pokémon, Parties, and Phenomenal Provisions
I really discovered the value of traveling in 2014, even if I never went all that far. Richard an I visited Seattle, which was his first time. We got to sit on the iron throne and play with a Dalek, plus we got a super cheap first class upgrade on the way there and, by some fluke, we got picked up by a limo! This was also the year Richard and I bonded over something really important: Pokémon. I’d never played before, he showed me the ins and outs, and now I’ve played through two whole games and have a level 100 Mewtwo. In 2013, I would not have understood what that even meant.
Pokémon was just one of many new experiences. Erica and I made a very concerted effort to try new stuff every chance we got. That brought us to aquariums, science museums, gay dodge ball, apple picking, root beer tastings, Portland, and the Magic Castle.
But we also made a lot of unique experiences as well. Erica’s birthday party was exceptional. Instead of a murder mystery party, it was a paternity mystery party. All the guests had to discover who impregnated her cousin Fran—fictionally, of course.
Later in the year, Darren hosted the very first Erotic Cotillion, which is tough to describe but I’ll let these photos speak for themselves.
At the end of the year, I wrapped up with my birthday party by creating a barcade--that’s a bar and an arcade--in the house with five unique gaming stations. It also included a visit from the CVT soft serve ice cream truck, because it’s so good.
Even when the parties didn’t have crazy themes, they were still unique. Thanksgiving was a great example. We started off with Canadian Thanksgiving which featured a wide variety of dishes. Richard hosted a friends-giving brunch, which was the first he’d planned something like that since I’d known him, and it was really exceptional. Maybe I’m biased because there were chilaquiles and chocolate chip waffles, but I don’t know who would turn down either of those things. And then we had a potluck at Brent, my tennis instructor’s, house with pretty much everything you could ever want. And that was just a precursor to his awesome, annual Christmas Eve party.
I could honestly go on for a good hour about all the amazing parties with excellent food we’ve experienced in 2014. I definitely have to bring up Rachel’s, because she’s Jewish and Jews know how to do food at a party, as well as Jessica’s, because they’re amazingly elaborate and she makes her own donut holes. Naturally, they both did Halloween this year.
Beginnings, Endings, and Bad Pickup Lines
Everything I've mentioned made a shitty year a lot less shitty, but there are still four more that were too unique to loop in with the others.
First, 2014 was the year of Bukkake! The card game, that is (also available on Amazon!). It's a weird game we created and had produced en masse in China because we were bored of the games we currently had. I also crowdsourced a deck of pixel art playing cards where everyone paid to be turned into pixel art and put on the face of one card. Everyone's contributions made this project possible, and it was pretty awesome to see it come together.
Second, I celebrated two years with Richard. That’s a relationship milestone for both of us,, but it was extra fun because we made pizzas with Steve and Johannah and they got us a shitty birthday cake from Albertson’s—my new favorite kind!
Third, Erica got a job she loves and even has a boyfriend, two things nobody was expecting given how 2013 went—the details of which I’m not going to mention because I value my life. But because she went through so much to get to this point it was really nice to see her so happy.
Fourth, I spent most of 2014 suffering from some insanely painful migraines that were with me most, if not all, days of the week. And trying so many different medications that my room turned into a pharmacy, on a whim I tried changing my diet to nothing but the food substitute formally known as Soylent (but more personally known as liquid dog food). Somehow this stopped the migraines. According to my doctor, a radical diet change for a couple of weeks can cure some sufferers. Well, now I know!
Lastly—and I save this for last only because it was so weird—2014 was the year where I had the brilliant idea to pay Erica, Allison, and Rachel to hit on guys with the worst pickup lines we could come up with. It was the best $20 I ever spent.
2014 had so much more in it. A lot of it was bad, some of it was good, and some of it involved ejaculating dildos, Puppy Surprise, and wearing a Tweetie bird costume at tennis. In spite of all the crappy moments, I really have to be thankful for and proud of the awesome people in my life who I love, because if this is what I consider a crappy year I think I have a lot to look forward to thanks to them.