Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 -- My Best Year (so far)


What an amazing year 2014 has been. It may have been the best year of my life!
I can count the wonderful things than have happened in my 39 previous years but the list of events in 2014 outnumbers the others.
2014 started with the promise of a new year and new adventures as always!

January stared with the introduction of a new term, “Polar Vortex.”
It was so cold that we could not go to school for the two days we were supposed to go back to school.  The temperature outside was -21° F with a wind chill of -49° F. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152119361964655&set=a.10152121603329655.1073741829.725064654&type=1&theater We got the boys a green screen and a combo pool table / air hockey table to stave off cabin fever.

My “school mom” Sandy Chavez retired from her position and Mary Gross replaced her in the library in January.

In February, we took a harrowing trip to Cincinnati, OH in treacherous snowy conditions to watch Josh’s team win a national dance competition. We left in the middle of the night and drove all night, a night early, to avoid the next leg of the storm. When we got back we went to the DeKalb shelter to pick up our new family member, Sophia the dog.

In March, I produced the tenth Westfield Winter Musical. We decided early on that we would do a reunion of the original cast and crew from that show we first put on stage in 2004. We decided therefore that we needed to produce the same show we did that first year – Oklahoma!
We invited students from 10 years back to return to the stage for the reunion and then we all went out to the Thirsty Whale for drinks (since all of those 12 year olds in 2004 were 22 in 2014).

March 11, 2014, I was the proud nominee from Westfield for the D300 Foundation Distinguished educator of the year. The boys and Heather surprised me by arriving at my faculty meeting.  I dropped Alex off at his school like normal. He ran around to the back of the school where Heather was waiting to pick him up to take him to Westfield for the surprise!

March 29, 2014 the boys and I attended Chi-Fi Con 0 at the palmer House Hilton. It was an excellent preview of the new annual tradition for the boys and me.

April 25 and 26, 2014 Josh was featured as Bert Healey in his Middle School production of Annie.
April 27, 2014, the boys and I took two of their friends to C2E2 2014. We sat in the panel with Stan Lee and stood in awe of all of the people who like the things we like!

April 29, 2014 I won the D300 Foundation for Educational Excellence Distinguished Educator of the Year award. I had little hope of winning especially when I found out that one of the nominees had passed away in the months before the ceremony.
I was beyond proud of the award and mentioned it to everyone for months afterward. Heather got me a sash but no tiara.

On May 20, 2014, Heather beat me to the fourth decade of life! I love her as much as I could ever love anyone! I didn’t do enough for her life celebration day. I should be better at giving her signs of my love and adoration.
May 23, 2014 I purchased the URL http://toomuchscrolling.com I did not know what to do with it at the time but I decided it would be a good investment.

June 18, 2014, I had a doctor’s appointment, which revealed how my obesity had created high blood pressure and the potential for diabetes. I decided there and then to lose weight. It was time to make a life change and find better health and to survive in to my 4th decade.

June 2014 found us driving to Detroit and through Canada. We had a great time at the Hockey hall of Fame in Toronto and the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.

July 8, 2014 saw the premier episode of Too Much Scrolling, my new podcast with my radio partner Chip Hessenflow.
At the end of July, I produced High School Musical for the D300 Foundation.

August saw the phenomenon of people dumping ice water on their heads to promote ALS research. I couldn’t resist joining the crowd. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59W04QMLqsg

September saw the reintroduction of Coca-Cola’s Surge available only on Amazon.com. I tried to spark some other podcasts in the shadow of Too Much Scrolling’s success. NextJen and the Geek Bar Radio show both went two episodes and petered out. Maybe 2015 will be the year for other shows.

October saw the opening of Geek Bar Chicago BETA and the first Saturday morning in America without Saturday morning cartoons.
We got our new space-age material mattress from http://casper.toomuchscrolling.com and a “g’moooooorning” from Svengoolie who was inducted in to the Radio and Television hall of Fame in Chicago.

In November, I celebrated my 40th birthday with a great surprise party thrown by my loving wife and my fantastic friends! I successfully lost 34 pounds and reached my goal of getting out of the obese category before my 40th year.

November 28, 2014 JD, Elizabeth and I went to Chicago TARDIS 2014 and got a picture with Billie Piper and a “g’moooorning” from Noel Clarke.
We were being very silly and decided to autograph the photo BEFORE Billie Piper.

I purchased the URL http://littletoo.com I don’t know what to do with it but I hope I will use it to make something amazing in 2015.

December saw another successful Christmas and two week cabin fever with my loving family. The boys got an XBOX ONE console from Santa and continued the brotherly love that we expect in our loving boys.

After 6 months of Too Much Scrolling, the show has over 12,000 listens entering 2015.
I am still the Distinguished Educator of the Year and will be until my successor is named in April 2015. My family is the light of my life. My loving wife and talented children keep me going. I hope to lose even more weight and be closer to the healthy category for 2016. I’m realistic and reasonable about my weight loss but with daily effort I have great expectations.


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