I just re-read the post I wrote this time a year ago, and it struck me — I’m doing the exact same thing I was doing 365 days ago — drinking barleywine, watching a Grateful Dead DVD (the same one, in fact) and thinking about the year that’s about to pass and the one that’s just about to begin.

I explained a year ago why I do these things on New Year’s Eve, and with everything that’s happened since then, I think it’s understandable why I’d go back and seek a little comfort as I contemplate what’s to come.

I usually talk a little bit about what I hope to accomplish in the months to come, and it just occurred to me that last year I didn’t. 2008 was a year of monumental change for us, and I think I was still a little overwhelmed — to the point, at least, that setting some goals for 2009 might have slipped my mind.

That we will fix.

I don’t have a ton of big things in mind for 2010, but I do want to work on a couple things that should help me do better things — and have more fun — at work and at home.

  • I’ve been pushy about a few aspects of my job, but not so much about others. The one I’m resurrecting in 2010 is beer writing. I let that slide as space in the paper got tighter and my time got shorter, but neither of those reasons should keep me from doing a column a month. The Beer Guy will return.
  • Related: I’m also going to make my own. Last year I bought the homebrewing gear from the husband of Lady D, with an eye on making that something I’d try this winter. It’s this winter, and it’s time for me to see if I can make beer I like to drink.
  • I told you about this one at the end of November, but it bears repeating: completing the half-marathon portion of the Pittsburgh Marathon in May. I started training but have done little in the last two weeks as I’ve been fighting an annoying cold for the last two weeks. I have my work cut out for me, but I will be completing that thirteen-mile shuffle coming up in five months.
  • I had a pretty good blogging year, but I let everything kind of go to hell in the last month. I will post at least 20 times each month in 2010.
  • And finally, one that comes completely out of the blue: I want to learn to play the ukulele. I should probably start that one by getting a ukulele.

There was some tough stuff this year — some health-related things that continue to remind me that I’m much closer to 50 than I am to 30, and work continues to be tense, at least in the financial sense. That’s all part of being a grownup, I suppose — something I should probably start working on someday soon.

But the good outweighs the bad, and the best of 2009, once again, was you guys. A great example — I was an idiot about tracking down my now-traditional bottle of East End’s Gratitude for New Year’s Eve consumption, enough so that Scott sold out of his 2008 bottles before I could stop by the brewery and pick one up. After a frantic-but-unsuccessful search, I got in touch with Chris at Bocktown — the owner of one of my favorite bars in town and a great source, but most importantly a very good friend — and she set me up with a bottle from the restaurant’s stash.

That’s relevant tonight, but it’s also a great illustration of what all of you have done for us this year. Your generosity and your good humor is evident each time we do something with yinz guys, and it’s made us better — and probably even younger — people that we would have been otherwise.

Maybe I’ll make that the last goal for 2010 — we’re going to keep hanging out with you people. It seems to be working so far.


  1. Funny. It’s not the beer writing/creating thing or the running 13.1 mile thing that stands out. It’s the learning to play the ukelele. That’s a little interesting and odd. I’d expect nothing less from you big brother. Have fun.


  2. I’ll pay you $20 after you post a clip of UC playing ComeonIwannaleiya on the ukelele –

    As we get older I feel our resolutions begin to take on new meanings, such as – gee, If I do this I might live longer!

    Good luck with all of ’em – I have 2 major ones – similar line as you – exercise and music – so I’ll throw in ‘ I’ll drink some good beer in 2010’ to align the cosmic powers a bit


  3. UC, I highly recommend “The Joy of Homebrewing” by Charlie Papazian as the starting point for your beer making adventure. It contains lots of tips and covers all the basics. It also has a bunch of simple and good tasting recipes. His best piece of advice, “Relax. Don’t worry.”


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