WEIRDEST WEEK: Boston Marathon. There was a race, a bomb, a whodunit, a manhunt, a game of hide and seek, a capture and a cathartic Red Sox game. (April 15-20)
BEST WEEK: Rome. We spent five days in the Eternal City, seeing churches, ruins and great restaurants. It is an amazing and incredible city. (July 9-14)
This is my favorite of the pictures I took in Rome.
BEST SONG: "Royals" by Lorde (you can watch the video clip here). Runners-up: "Sirens" by Pearl Jam, "Supersoaker" by the Kings of Leon.
BEST ALBUM: Would you believe I didn't buy that much music, and almost nothing released this year. I haven't even listened to two new records I got for Christmas. So based on the two songs I've heard, I'll say "Lightning Bolt" by Pearl Jam.
BEST TV SHOW: "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox). Runner-up: "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" (PBS).
BEST MOVIE: I didn't see any movies made in 2013.
BEST PICTURE: It's usually me and one other person, but of all the great photos of my kid, I loved this one.
BEST WATCHING OF OKLAHOMA: The musical at the Lyric Opera (May 11).
WORST WATCHING OF OKLAHOMA: The Sooner beating the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium (October 28).
BEST BEER: Gumballhead by Three Floyds. Runner-up: Celebration by Sierra Nevada.
BEST CAT STORY: The cat sanctuary in Rome. Feral cats are taken in, fixed, and adopted out. They also have an awesome URL: romancats.com. Runner-up: The cat who got lost 200 miles from home and made it back safely.
BEST PRESS: My involvement in a high school band competition got written up in the Knights of Columbus magazine.
BEST COMMERCIAL: Bill Hader and his crappy smartphone (T Mobile, I think). A very close second: Mr. Met and the Phillie Fanatic (MasterCard).
BEST CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field. The band played for an hour, then we sat through a two-and-a-half-hour rain delay. The band started again around midnight and played until 2am. (July 19)
BEST NEW SPORT: After being fascinated for the last few Olympics, I finally had the chance to play curling. It was as much fun as I thought, possibly more (Feb. 18).
WORST SIGN OF THE DECLINE OF PUBLISHING: The Onion stopped printing its newspaper in the last few remaining cities, including Chicago.
Peace and best wishes in 2014! --MPF004.