Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best of Notes From the Ironbound, 2012

I have always loved this time of year, since it means that my favorite websites and radio shows re-air/post the best bits of the previous year.  Oftentimes I missed these things the first time around, so it's good to get a chance to discover them.  I also love looking at music magazines this time of year, since the best of lists give me an idea of what to check out, now that I am too old to be bothered to still keep up on new music on a weekly basis, like I used to.  (By the way, anyone have some album recommendations?)  Part of me just likes a list, and loves a retrospective.  After thinking about it a bit today, I realized that I've never really done a retrospective of the best of my blog.  Here's my own list of the stuff I'm proudest of in the last year, much of which did not get the pageviews that other, more mundane posts received (go figure).  The posts are listed in reverse chronological order.


It's Time to Talk About the Dysfunctions of White American Masculinity
My friend Chauncey over at WARN picked this one up, and led some bloggers whom I really respect to come here and leave some comments.  It seems like Newtown has already been forgotten, and serious talk about what need to be done in response has already evaporated.  Hopefully we can get the conversation back on track in regards to guns, mental illness, and yes, white American masculinity.

Why I Love the Rockford Files
This post and my love of The Rockford Files prompted my spouse to buy me a copy of James Garner's new memoir for Christmas, I can't wait to read it.  I don't write much about TV, some things just have to be praised.

Thanksgiving Memories
It's hard for me to write about my childhood memories without being maudlin or boring.  The positive feedback I got from some of my friends about this post convinced me that managed to avoid those sins this time.

Fun With County-By-County Election Results
Anyone remember that election we had less than two months ago?  We've moved on from that to the "fiscal cliff," but the results still bear scrutiny and analysis.

Video Arcade Memories
The arcade has gone the way of ditto sheets and phone booths, but it ought to live on in our memories.

Why I am Voting For Barack Obama
It bears repeating.

Say a Little Prayer For Asbury Park and the Jersey Shore Tonight
I wrote this as Sandy was bearing down on the Garden State.  My fear that Asbury Park would be wiped out proved ill-founded, but many other shore communities were not so lucky in the end.

The Highlight of My Commute Home From Newark
Still in love with my city.

Low Budget Culinary Pleasures
I thought this was brilliant, but the stats say no.  Perhaps that explains the demise of Hostess.

Can My Intellectual Marriage to My Academic Specialization Last?
One of the best of my "leaving academia" posts.

This was a very eventful year for me, mostly because I became a father.  I tend not to write about fatherhood, since it's a temptation to sappiness.  This time around I centered my new role on music, and I think it works.

The Edge of 37: Things Have Changed
Of course, fatherhood also prompts brutal self-reflection.

The Many Frustrations and Small Pleasures of Commuting Through Penn Station
My commute is getting so regular that I barely notice what happens around me on my way to work.  This post reminded me that I need to open my eyes again.

History Lesson: The Context of "You Didn't Build That"
Lest we forget Willard Mitt Romney and his campaign based on resentment against people of color and the poor of all races.

Why I Like Living in the Ironbound
An ode to my beloved neighborhood.

Sheepish Musical Pleasures: John Denver, "Country Roads"
The best and most personal entry in my "sheepish pleasures" series.

How the "I Side With" Quiz Might Reveal Big Trouble for Republicans
My punditry usually isn't all that profound, but I think I was on to something here.

Countdown to (Musical) Ecstasy: Learning to Love Steely Dan
I must've spent two weeks contemplating and writing this post in defense of a musical love that many refuse to understand.  I still stand by every word!

History Lesson: Voter Fraud Versus Voter Suppression
Voter suppression didn't work this time, but we ought to be vigilant against it.

Classic Albums: Tom Waits, Nighthawks at the Diner
Perhaps my favorite entry this year in the "classic albums" series.

Chris Christie's New Jersey Hustle
In the post-Sandy afterglow it is more important than ever to shine a light on the real Christie.

Parenting Dilemma: When and How Do I Introduce My Children to Star Wars?
Still looking for answers.

Why Slap Shot is My Favorite Sports Movie
This post was the product of years of contemplation.  Coincidentally, this year I rediscovered hockey, but now must suffer the lockout.

How the STFU Culture in Academia Enables Dysfunction
Oh yes, I still burn with white hot rage at the inequities of academia.  STFU is one of the more insidious faults of the ivory tower.

My Favorite Reality Show is Over: Why I'll Miss the Republican Primaries
Seeing the right-wing ass clowns make fools of themselves was as close to circus sideshow entertainment on tv as you'll get this side of Honey Boo Boo.

A Lament for the Kansas City Royals
My favorite baseball post of the year.

Life Metaphors From Baseball
My second-favorite baseball post of the year.  Catchers and pitchers report in two months!

Washing Up
Perhaps my favorite post about the mundane tasks of daily life (showering, in this case.)

A Good Bar is Hard to Find
Luckily, since I wrote this post I managed to find two such bars, both worthy of being treasured.

Classic Album: Kraftwerk, Man-Machine
I like a lot of the metaphors here, and obviously the online readership does too, based on the number of hits it has.

Fearless Predictions for 2012
I predicted Romney's nomination, Obama's close win, and the "un-American" slurs used against the president.  Hey, I wasn't half bad at the prognostication thing, although I don't think Nate Silver will be having to go out and find a day job.

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