Part 1: Venti Phones, shattered websites, Stella High Life and Dino
Have you ever tried to recount one full year in your mind of all the significant events that took place in your life? It's difficult. I found myself really straining to remember those moments for past 300+ days and this is what I can really remember from the past year.
This list doesn't go in any particular order...
Best Website of the Year:
The Best Article Everyday -- http://www.bspcn.com
I was drawn to this site early in the year while doing a Google search for "best spices to use on a roast." While I didn't get any fantastic results from the search, I found this site to have a plethora of lists that ranged from the the "Top Firefox Extensions" to finding God's Facebook page. Ever since I found God's Facebook page through this website, I have added The Best Article Everyday to my Google aggregator. Sometimes the articles are a little too campy for me, but for the most part there are some great finds on this website and plenty of pictures for those who are too retarded to read.
Phone of the Year:
Google G1 from T-Mobile
This year proved to be a volatile year for any phone that I owned. Let's see...
1. I threw a phone at the floor because the call kept disconnecting during conversations. That phone shattered into a billion pieces.
2. I received the Nokia Music XPress phone that was smaller than a graham cracker. Pretty cool phone other than the fact that the screen started to streak with a palette of colors each time I turned it on to see the picture of my ex-girlfriend's rack. After I got the replacement phone, I was pleased until the skin started to fall apart into a million pieces each time I touched it--no abuse to this phone.
3. After nearly 2 months with the replacement Nokia Music Xpress, I called T-mobile up to get another replacement phone and they gave me an upgrade to the Google G1 phone. Did I need a high-powered phone? No. But I was starting to use Twitter and Facebook a lot more to focus on keeping in contact with a lot of listeners, so I thought it would be a great investment--oh and it was an investment that was well worth the purchase.
I think I can do everything on the Google G1 phone from using the handy Gmail capabilities to regularly using the accurate Google GPS Navigation application. In fact the phone does so much that I can even drop it in a water fountain at the car wash just so I have to buy the same phone again! If we did the official count of how many phones I have gone through this year, I'm up to 6 phones. I have had nearly 6 cell phones THIS DECADE compared to the TOTAL I went through this year.
Coffee Shop of the Year:
I have always felt that the concept of going to Starbucks and not being able to order a SMALL, MEDIUM or LARGE cup of coffee was asinine. Furthermore, I never caught on to the craze about ordering your coffee in a different language. Not that I'm completely against drinking anything from Starbucks, but I just didn't like the elitist feeling I got when walking into a Starbucks. Furthermore, I didn't like feeling that I shouldn't be in there because I wasn't smart enough. I felt there was a lack of grassroots coffee shops in the United States until...
The earlier part of the summer in 2009, my friend Dino called me up to meet with him for a visit. Let's face it, he suggested Dunkin Donuts and I was game. All I cared about was getting a quick visit in from my buddy and thought to ditch the coffee. After meeting with Dino a Dunkin Donuts in Scottsdale, I had always thought that Dunkin Donuts ONLY SERVED donuts. In fact, in the years prior to this one, all I could remember were Dunkin Donuts shops around town as a desolate breeding ground for white trash. I was completely wrong after going to multiple shops after my initial visit with Dino. In fact, after being able to simply order a Medium coffee with cream and sugar, I was more than pleased to know that a place exists where you can order your coffee without having to look up directions on how to order your coffee.
Since that visit, I have continued to go back to Dunkin at least 2 times a week, but I have now become of a fan of making their coffee at home. In fact, the good people at Dunkin Donuts caught wind that I loved their coffee and sent me my own Dunkin Donuts coffee cup so I can get the 99 cent refills! Dunkin wins this year!
Wisest Man of Year:
Dino DeMilio of the Tom Leykis Show and of Divide Pictures
The beginning of 2009 kicked off very tough for me mainly because I was going through a ton of relationship issues with a girlfriend at the time. When the official break-up came to a head (on Super Bowl Sunday), I had a few weeks to really sit in my apartment, mull around, take plenty of aspirin, eat Twinkies and be a sore loser like Tom (500 Days of Summer). Just when I thought no one person could give me any perspective of why I failed at a relationship, Dino had found his way back into my life after nearly 10 years of not hanging out for any extended period of time. The last time Dino and I had really hung out was at a promotion when he and I worked together at 93.3 KDKB. Nearly nine years past and there were different circumstances in which we were hanging out. In short, for what felt like the most devastating time of life turned out to be some of the most memorable times of 2009 for me. We hung out at The Best Bar of the Year for Crazy Shit to Happen, The Martini Ranch, nearly every Sunday for close to a month and half (Stay tuned for The Best Bar of the Year for Crazy Shit to Happen).
Dino didn't necessarily spend these couple of months with me to console me, but to gave me the tools to gain some perspective of who I really was again after I had lost who I was two years prior. Those few months with Dino led to...
The Best Tour of the Year:
The Bagdad Tour
Dino had always been fascinated by the fact that I grew up in Bagdad, Arizona. About 2.5 hours from Phoenix, Dino and I took the extended route to my hometown:
We first passed through Wickenburg where we stopped at a Woody's convenience store to pick up snacks for the drive up to Bagdad. Just as we were walking out of the store, a girl had recognized Dino as being a part of the Divide Social Club. I had never experienced being around someone with such star power as I had with Dino. This woman would have given her child and the booster seat just to have a picture taken with Dino. As Dino would put it: INCREDIBLE.
Our next stop was in the heart of the Joshua Tree Forest. Dino is the biggest U2 fan that I know and is an even bigger fan of the album The Joshua Tree. This was a must stop for a few photos in front of a Joshua Tree--just for the archives.
45 minutes would pass and we would arrive Bagdad, AZ. Stops included: the "Welcome" sign just before you hit town, the town park; the 1 bar (so we could eat lunch); the 1 grocery store; my old houses in the town; the 1 little league field because a tee ball game was the ONLY THING happening in town at the time; and a trip to the BAX (Bagdad Airport) where it was the only place we got reception on our cell phones and the only place you never saw a plane take off.
The Best Bar of the Year for Crazy Shit to Happen:
The Martini Ranch
In the year that I have made my resurgence to The Martini Ranch, I have to give this bar major thumbs up for the good times. Not only has the staff been very good to me there, I have made quite a few friends at this bar and will make it THE ONLY BAR I will enjoy in Scottsdale. The Ranch has always treated me good ever since I met Anna Faris (Dino can confirm this event) the year prior. 2009 good times include:
1. Posting up at the outside bar with Dino and Corbin
2. Counting douchebags with Affliction and Ed Hardy t-shirts
3. Hugging my hot bartender friend, Lauren, and staring for hours
4. Taking shots with Mullet Mike, Adan, Corbin and Bret Vesely for my birthday (Corbin faked he took a shot of Patron and drank a sugar line glass with water)
5. Thinking that I made out with a married woman who was just as drunk as I was
6. Watching a woman take her shirt off to show her boobs at the outside bar
7. Two Mexican dudes fighting over some fat chick only to get kicked out minutes later
8. Carrying my brother to his hotel after being annihilated off a few shots and beers--oh and puking along the way.
9. Meeting Vinnie Paul again
10. Watching a Scottsdale douchebag hit on a he/she
11. Participate in the Dino/Anthony College Reunion
12. Participating in the Knowing Anthony Through His Remarkably Hot and Large-breasted Friend, Sunny (who didn't believe I worked at KUPD), Reunion
13. Tweeting my every move at the Ranch for the Twitter administrator for the Dream Palace in Scottsdale
14. Being a dick to every woman who walked up to me just to tell me how much they liked my hair
I know this list doesn't seem so out of control and like the party lifestyle, but I can't possibly give you all the details! Experience it for yourself...
Posted up outside at the Martini Ranch with Dino (Summer 09)
Coolest Phone Interview of the Year:
Later in the year, I happened to be giving out the last season of Heroes on DVD. Heroes star, Milo Ventimiglia, caught wind of what I was giving away and decided to give me a call from California just so he could help me promote the release of the DVD set that was being given away. It was quite the shock and honor to have him call me up and I hope to meet this guy someday. One nice mofo.
Chill Song of the Year:
"Soft Tempest" - Symbian Project
Not all the time am I listening to Slipknot, Sepultura, 98 KUPD or rock of any type! I have a Pandora account where I have a Massive Attack radio station created and this song came up this year for me to where I liked listening to it to chill out. I'm like an onion.
Beers of the Year:
Miller High Life and Stella Artois
Miller High Life tall boys were the drink of choice for Bret Vesely and myself at the End of Summer Scorcher 2009. This was Vesely's best idea of the year!
Livin' the High Life with Vesely at Scorcher '09
Vesely got to meet the Miller High Life guy, Wendell, this year!
Stella Artois is the beer of choice when Bret Vesely and I hang out at the Famous Sams in Gilbert.
98 KUPD Fan of the Year:
Nic the Mershbag Marsh
I have no idea who Nic is, but he sure as hell bought me and The Vesely plenty of drinks one night. This guy couldn't believe he was partying with us.
Drug of the Year:
Ibuprofren from Costco
Aided in many days when I was nursing a hangover.
Playstation Network Handle Name of the Year:
I'm always amused by the array of names that people think up when they play games online. Because I'm not as original as some of the gamers online, I keep my online handle name pretty simple. But there is ONE DEFINITE NAME that wins my vote for the Handle Name of the Year--but please don't think that I'm a racist or predjudice because I have added the person to my friend list. I have added him because I want to compile as many politically incorrect and derogatory names as possible just for fun. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that each time I log into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, I somehow get matched up with IKillBlackBabies. I don't think I laughed harder any other time that I did that day because I couldn't believe that the Playstation Network let that name pass. That name is the ultimate WIN for 2009 Playstation names. Oh, and the Runner-up is: IKilled2Pac. Why is it so funny to me? Both of the people who own the names are black. WTF?
Stay tuned for tomorrow's continuation of the Shan Man Best Of 2009...