21 December 2012
WHAT A YEAR, 2012 WAS! LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING AHEAD
On a personal note, perhaps the biggest change I ever made went down in August, as I packed my bags and left New Jersey for Port St. Lucie, Fla. It was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made -- and yet I find myself loving Florida more and more each day, while missing New Jersey just the same.
The year, of course, is coming to a close on a sad note, after all the carnage in Newtown, Conn. Yet it was one where we were all able to be proud and excited, as America got it -- and re-elected Barack Obama the president of the United States, despite lies and absurdities from the far-right.
So indeed, it was a mixture of absurdities and joy, carnage and tears -- all in one.
Here, therefore, is my wish-list for 2013. I used to do this yearly -- but stopped a few years ago. If I've left you off the list, it wasn't intentional ... it's just that there is so much and so many good people to remember that it becomes impossible to remember all. But I will try.
• To my mum, Margaret Canessa, the best in 2013 and every day and year beyond that. I love my mum so much -- and miss her terribly as she's still in New Jersey as I am in Florida. She is the most selfless woman I've ever known, and I want all the best for her -- always. Love you, mum, now, tomorrow and forever.
• To my step-dad Mike -- peace and happiness in 2013. My mum is a very lucky woman to have you in her life, and I certainly am, too. Our family is made so much better because you are in it -- and I am proud to say that out loud and over and over again. Thank you for always taking care of Margie, and for always making me welcome when I visit.
• To my step-brother, Matt -- peace and happiness in Utah, and, of course, another Marlins' World Series win -- though we won't be holding our breath on that one. Thank you for being the brother I'd always hoped for as a kid, and didn't get until I was much older. I will always be here for you.
• To my half-sister April -- a much better 2013. You deserve so much more and so much better than you got in 2012. But I have so much hope that this will be a much better year for you. I am so grateful you are in my life now -- and somehow always knew you would be, one day. I am just glad that day is here -- and I will always be here for you.
• To my grandma, many more years with us. She's 92 now -- and as sharp as ever. I miss her and love her so much.
• To my aunt, Carey -- though we don't speak that much and see each other often, a multitude of cancer-free years. She beat cancer in 2012 -- and I pray for a great 2013 and beyond. Love you.
• To my aunt, Annie -- sleep and joy. These are two things you deserve more than anything. Love you.
• To my uncle, Mugga -- a Rangers' Stanley Cup -- NOT. But in 2013, of course, all good things.
• To the rest of my family -- all the best in 2013. I may not see you often, or talk to you that much, but that doesn't mean I don't think of you all often. I love you all.
• To Joel McGuirk -- a regular, full-time gig on the radio. You deserve it, man -- and thank you for being a great friend.
• To Ashley McGuirk -- joy and happiness with Say, and a wonderful 2013. You are a dear friend, a sister to me, and I can't ever repay you for being as good a friend as one could ever dream of.
• To Matty Harrison -- a trip to East Rutherford, N.J., next year to see the Broncos play the Giants -- and a chance to finally meet a really cool and awesome bloke.
• To Bill Scardefield -- an NHL season, with, of course, the Flyers getting to the Eastern Conference Finals, only to lose to the Devils. You are a great friend -- and I thank you.
• To Vinnie Witel -- a gig on Sportsrantz Radio. JUST KIDDING -- who would ever want to work with those morons? Thanks for being a great friend and supporter. I am very, very grateful.
• To the Wizard -- recognition that no one knows how to handicap a football game better than you in this country -- and peace and relaxation.
• To Lynn and Duane -- a better 2013, much greater health and happiness, better times at the Shore and all the best. Miss you both very much.
• To Carmine Cabron -- a championship from the Bengals, but not those pesky L.A. Kings.
• To Brad Rodaman -- Everything you wish for. You are a grate friend, and deserve all the best.
• To Eric Rodaman -- a Jets championship -- though we won't hold our breath.
• To James Graham -- a full-time job, great benefits, and a ticket back to the Bronx. It's long overdue. And I am very glad we've made it through our differences.
• To Sid Rosenberg -- and family -- another year of sobriety and being bet-free. You've come so far, Sid -- and you can do this. I am pulling for you because I know you can do it. And I can't thank you enough for being a great friend and mentor.
• To Marc Eisenberg -- more airtime, damnit. You're too fucking good not to be on the air more. And despite your Philly leanings, I still look up to you and admire you more than you could imagine.
• To Cheka -- a smaller buttocks. Just kidding -- love you.
• To Manny Ventoso -- a greater awareness that you are truly one of the greatest humans on the planet -- and that despite it all, you never, ever needed a dad ... and don't now. And that despite all of that, you are one of the greatest dads, yourself.
• To Melissa DiPento -- the best job in newspapers, wherever that may be.
• To Bob Pezzolla -- many thanks for being a great surrogate father to me for so many years, and for being back in my life again. I am so grateful.
• To Zach Gelb -- the position of sports director at WHIP. You're kicking ass there, and deserve it -- and it's great to see you getting better at what you do by the second.
• To Denise Miello -- a great 2013, and thanks that after all these years, we've reconnected, via social media. You are a great woman, and a great friend.
• To Leanne Gibbons -- a resolution to the NHL lockout so Colin won't hound you anymore with questions about it. You, too, are a true friend, and I hope to see you, finally, in 2013 (in Florida).
Part II coming later this weekend or next week.
Merry Christmas, one and all. Yeah, I said it. Merry Christmas. Deal with it.