On a personal level, 2014 was one of the most exciting years of my life. I got married; went on a honeymoon to Hawaii; bought a new puppy; got an airline credit card and learned about the insidious and addicting world of Miles-hunting; found God, lost him, found him again only to discover "he" was actually a "she," which was cool at first but ultimately caused me to abandon the omnipotent deity because of my inherent misogyny and deep-seated insecurities; and secretly recorded my wife while she was watching "Wheel of Fortune" (Blog post coming).
Despite all that was going on in my personal life, I somehow found a way to update this thing on a sporadic and infrequent basis. Why did I do it? Why did I take on the monumental burden of sitting alone at my laptop (Dell during the early part of 2014, MacBookPro June through now) and forcing myself to churn out what amounted to nearly a post per month (a heroic feat for even the most prolific of apathetic bloggers)?
I did it for you, Dear Reader. I did it for you, Pakistan. Your lone pageview, which I know about only because I check my stats obsessively, could represent the key to rebuilding the fractured relationship between our two countries. And I did for you too, Germany. Sure, the three pageviews I received last month could've been one random Kraut who stumbled onto this blog, poked around and decided Comcast transcripts weren't his cup of tea or, more appropriately, his stein of beer. But odds are it's three beautiful Frauleins who will be lifelong readers because of this post about a naughty German couple. I didn't forget about you either, China. Of course, this is for you. I just don't know how you found me with all that Internet censorship. Unless of course, it's you, Xi Jinping. In that case, thanks for reading -- and we will pay you guys back ... eventually ... I think.
And the most viewed post is ...
Based on pageviews alone, here are the top-five Valium Vickie posts of 2014. If you've already read any of these, read them again or, better yet, share this listing with the many, many people who would never see this blog otherwise. Who knows, with your help I may be able to double my German readership by next year ...
5. Transcript Of My Talk With A Comcast Rep: Volume 3 ('Footprints In The Sand'): The lone "prank" post on the list, the third addition of the Comcast transcripts centers around me telling a customer service representative about the extraordinary origins of the religious poem, "Footprints in the Sand."
4. Why Is The Iron In The Refrigerator: The title of this post is about an iron, a tool for straightening wrinkled clothes that I have unknowingly placed in our refrigerator on more than one occasion. But that's not even close to the most ridiculous item to wind up in a food-storage unit. One time I scooped our cat's litter and placed the contents in our freezer. How does something like this happen? This post is my attempt at explaining what it's like to live with me and why things like irons and soiled cat litter keep ending up in our refrigerator/freezer.
3. The Obligatory Proposal: Part 1: I have two very different proposal stories: The one I told the people who created the custom engagement ring for my wife, and the one that actually happened. This post is the true story of how I proposed to my wife. I included it to provide contrast for the series about emails I exchanged with Seattle-based Green Lake Jewelry. Because the sequels to my 500-or-so-word blog posts take about as long as a multimillion dollar Hollywood action movie to put together, Part 1 of this two-part series was released in January of 2014 -- and readers can expect the second edition of this American love story sometime during the first quarter of 2015.
2. How To Start A Bar Fight In Frederick, Maryland, Without Getting Hurt: Most people only know Frederick, Maryland, as the birthplace of Justin Wilson, the famous Southern catchphrase creator. But it's much more than that. In fact, Maryland's second-largest "city" is a place where, when one out-of-towner jokingly punches another out-of-towner in the face, the entire town gets involved -- or at least every patron of the Old Town Tavern. This is the true story of how my friends and I started a "Roadhouse" style bar fight without sustaining so must as a scratch in the process.
1. The Best Way To Start A Marriage Is By Not Actually Getting Married ... Legally Speaking. For most people, getting a marriage license is a minor inconvenience. For my wife and I, it was an ordeal that involved multiple trips to the Register of Wills, a lie about the Service-Dog status of my nine-week-old Boston Terrier, a confused security guard, a happy gay couple and a few pointed questions about incest. Because of all that, it's not surprising to me this was, by far, the most-viewed Valium Vickie post of 2014.