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Dome Pondering - 2012 Year in Review


Mic check. One, two, three. Mic check. Okay, so we're on, and hey, we're still alive! Stupid Mayans. Welcome to the DP's signature post of the year, the Year in Review. Each year, as we did last (Dome Pondering Year in Review - 2011), we take a look back at the calendar year and prepare for the next one ahead. With a packed and eventful 2012, there is much to delve into and plenty to prepare for in 2013. 

Before we do, I'd like to simply thank all of the DP devotees out there for your continued support and interest in this little blog called Dome Pondering. While it seems I've come to say the same thing every time at this part of the year, it bears repeating that this site full of my thoughts and words has grown tremendously over the last three years because of you. It seems the older I become and the less time I have, the more I am able to punch the keys. I don't get it either, and I'm not even going to try to figure it out. Nonetheless, thank you once again. As always, feedback of any kind is very much appreciated.

With that said, let's get this thing started by handing out the traditional thirty-three Pondy awards for 2012.

Complete Pondy Awards History

The Pondy Awards



Crucial Moment of the Year: Sandy Hook Elementary School Mass Shooting Tragedy

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was sure that the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy would win this year's award (Random Rumblings on Hurricane Sandy's Aftermath). While both are devastating tragedies, one was caused by an unstoppable force of nature, while the other was a senseless and ridiculous tragedy that reflected much about your destructive society than we cared to notice before it happened. With so many lives lost, and many of them innocent children, this event has left this nation hurting and mourning. Unfortunately, it has come to this for us to have some self-reflection of what we value in society (We Have To Do Better: Dealing With Newtown, CT Tragedy). No doubt, the most crucial moment of the year. 

Honorable Mention - Hurricane Sandy Aftermath and Immediate Restoration and Aurora, Colorado Theater Mass Shooting

World Affairs Issues of the Year: Assassination of United States Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, in Libya

This story is such a tragedy. It is the result of a senseless video made here in the U.S. provoking Islamic nations and radicals, which caused one of our own to be killed in Libya. In result of Christopher Stevens' assassination, we saw turmoil grow in the area, and of course the confusion here in the States, as we later discovered this was an act of terrorism. Stevens' death awakened us to the fact that while the poster boy of our view on terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, was killed, our nation is still not finished with defending our freedoms and way of life. 

Honorable Mention - Middle East Violence

Inspirational Story of the Year: John Cena Make-A-Wish Milestone of 300

A bit of a surprise here for most of you, I'm sure. However, for a performer who is on the road 350 days of the year to put the effort in to continually grant wishes through the Make-A-Wish foundation is remarkable. He's been noted as flying across the nation just for the day to grant a wish. Cena is currently the most in-demand and most granted wish in the foundation's history. No one is near 300. No athlete. No celebrity. No regular average Joe like you and I. Cena continues to give, and his work, amidst his hectic schedule, is truly inspirational. If he can do it, we surely can help make the world a better place as well. 

Honorable Mention - Oscar Pistorious (Man who ran with blades in the Olympics)

Random Story of the Year: General David Petraeus Affair and Resignation

This one came out of nowhere and really had far reaching implications. In fact, who knew about Gen. Petraeus before this scandal? The story was filled with questions about our intelligence and overall security, and of course, just another notch on how sex and turmoil has taken down some of the most decorated and respected people in our society. 

Most Controversial Story of the Year: Trayvon Martin Case

I really believe we won't even know the true story of what happened that night. However, the case raised so many questions about stereotypes, racism, social norms, and overall relations in our country. The black hoodie was never, and probably will never be, as debated as it was this past year. 

Most Overrated Story of the Year: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorce

My goodness, this story was so blown out of proportion that it is also a strong candidate for the "Just Go Away" award of the Year. Unfortunately, people get divorced. And yes, I understand that these two are celebrities. But the way this divorce was dissected and analyzed in the media was beyond lunacy. Note to the pubs, tabloids, celeb enthusiasts, and gossip magazines: Cruise and Holmes' divorce has no bearing on how we go about our marriages. None. At all. You're overrating this sample, thus, making this an overrated story. 

Honorable Mention - Chris Brown and Drake Bar Fight, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Relationship, 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy, Birth of Blu Ivy, and Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders Twilight Affair

Tune of the Year: Carly Rae Jespen - "Call Me Maybe" 

Hey, I just met you, and this is craaaaaaaaaazy, but here's my number...

The mere fact you finished that song in your head proves why this song was selected this year. And fellas, just admit you finished it. Yes, you did. You definitely did. 

While it's not necessarily my cup of tea, there is no denying how this song took off, and not in your typical one-hit wonder kind of way (looking at you Psy! Gagnum Style def fits that criteria). From dances, videos, flash mobs, to everyone - everyone! - knowing the lyrics to this song, Carly Rae Jespen, definitely hit a gold mine with this song. 

Honorable Mention - Flo Rida: "Good Feeling", Pink: "Blow Me One Last Kiss", Nas: "Don", Melanie Fiona ft. Nas: "Runnin", B.O.B. "Chandelier", Katy Perry: "One That Got Away", and Psy: "Gagnum Style"

Invention of the Year: Instagram

Just when you thought the market for social media has completely crapped out, there are more innovative ways to stay connected being invented. Instagram, recently purchased by Facebook, has been a hit with folks who simply don't want to bother with Facebook's nonsense, bypassing all of it to simply enjoy sharing photos. It's unique to say the least and it's very popular. 

Ok, is it safe to say the social media market has completely maxed out, now?

Honorable Mention - Pinterest


Comeback of the Year: MTA Transit System After Hurricane Sandy

As a New Yorker, its not everyday that I give the MTA credit. Actually, let's be honest, the MTA usually does more things wrong than it does correct. However, the planning prior to Hurricane Sandy, and the immediate restoration of the entire Subway system following the storm is grounds for winning this award. The system was pretty much flooded, yet, the MTA and it's staff worked tirelessly to drain subways lines and tunnels, and get New York City up and running. No doubt, the biggest comeback of the year. 

Honorable Mention - Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson

"The Wishing Well" Award of the Year: Washington D.C. Teamwork

We learned this past election how truly divided this country is on political affairs. There really is a clear and hard contrast on many issues in our nation with very little budging on compromising. Hopefully, we learn that we need each other to truly make America a better place rather than continually trying to tear the opposing view down. We need to be less about blue vs. red, and left vs. right, and more about coming together and getting done what is best for the country. 

"Just Go Away" Award of the Year: Chris Brown and Rhianna

Not necessarily as artists or individuals, but as a couple, these two have become annoying. Stop teasing the "we're getting back together routine" and then the twitter spat, before putting a lovey-dovey picture of the both of you on Instagram. We get it, you love the attention your once controversial relationship brings. But it is no longer curious attention, now it's tiring. We're no longer clamoring for Chris Brown to "get his" or for you Rhianna to stay away from him. At this point, sadly, we don't care. Please. Stop being attention seekers and just go away. 

Honorable Mention - Taylor Swift Songs About Ex-Boyfriends, Racism Towards President Obama, Honey Boo Boo, Westboro Baptist Church, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorce News, and Skip Bayless

"Largest Fortitude" of the Year: Hurricane Sandy First Responders

These folks left their own homes which were most likely damaged and being looted as well to help those who were in dire needs of shelter and food. Also, there were the select few that braved flooding conditions, and other fatal consequences by saving those who were trapped during the super storm  Takes a lot of guts to sacrifice the things that these folks did to save others. 

Honorable Mention - Missy Franklin, Joe Girardi's Benching of Alex Rodriguez, Gabby Douglas, and Jennifer Hudson's Whitney Houston tribute at Grammys

"We'll Miss You Award" of the Year: Neil Armstrong

The first person to ever walk on the moon, Armstrong, will forever be a name synonymous with history, and with optimistic thinkers everywhere. 

Honorable Mention - Whitney Houston, Dick Clark, Don Cornelius

"What Were You Thinking" Award of the Year: Governor Mitt Romney Comments About 47 Percent of Nation

This was a stab wound in the campaign of Romney that never stopped bleeding, and really, continues to bleed. Commenting and insulting forty-seven percent of the nation wasn't smart, especially when looking to earn votes. It also didn't help later that week when Romney stated his definition of "middle class" was any household earning between $150K-$200K. Not. Smart. At all. In fact, dude, what were you thinking? 

Honorable Mention - Amar'e Stoudemire Punching Fire Extinguisher, Melky Cabrera Fraud Website to Cover Up Steroid Usage, Replacement Refs Call on Monday Night Football, and Snoop Dog's career change to Snoop Lion

"What a Shame" Award of the Year: Lance Armstrong

Has there been another athlete that has fallen from grace the way Lance Armstrong did in 2012? From being heralded as a Cancer survivor that beat the horrible disease then becoming this large-than-life superhero in the world of bicycling, to being ousted as a big fraud and an even bigger cheat. Armstrong's legacy was one built on a house of cards that eventually came crashing down this year. 

Honorable Mention - Whitney Houston


"Welcome to the Scene" Award of the Year: Jeremy Lin

There were so many viable candidates for this one in 2012, but non really measured up to the time that was "Linsanity". It was an incredible story and enjoyable time that launched Lin from end of the bench scrub, to being the talk of the world (Pondering Picture #18). While the star has cooled off, Lin is now a household name, and will forever be linked to the once-in-a-lifetime story in February of 2012. 

Honorable Mention - Carly Rae Jespen, One Direction, Puerto Rico as 51st State, Missy Franklin, Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte, Barclays Center, Hunger Games Trilogy, Kate Upton, and Mike Trout

"This Should Have Been Done Before" Award of the Year: Real Discussion on Gun Control Laws

Sadly, this wins the award for 2012, and from the horrible events that took place in Aurora, Co and Newtown, CT, it is very obvious why. We're not safe anywhere in our society it seems, and there needs to be a way to honor the second amendment of the constitution while amending it for modern times. How much more must happen before we do?

"The Incredibles" Award of the Year: Miguel Cabrera Triple Crown

.330 Avg. 44HR. 139 RBI. First Triple Crown accomplished since 1967. It's pretty damn hard to do that. So yeah, he was pretty incredible in 2012. 

Honorable Mention - Michael Phelps, Pablo Sandoval's 3HR in World Series Game, LeBron James in Game 6 of Eastern Conference Finals, and Jack Taylor's 138 Point Game (138 Points! And a Range of Emotions)

"We Need to Fix This" Award of the Year: Gun Control Laws

No explanation needed. Pretty evident and apparent at this point. 

Biggest Letdown of the Year: National Hockey League

Now, I'm no hockey enthusiast, but the mere fact that the NHL continues it's labor dispute is a major, major letdown. I thoroughly enjoyed the Stanley Cup Finals last year along with the story of the Los Angeles Kings. During a time where our country is struggling in terms of it's economics, it is thoroughly disappointing to see owners and players squabbling over millions. 

And once again, this is from someone who is not crazy about hockey. Last December during the NBA lockout, I wasn't sure I would make it. Hockey fans must be going crazy. 

Honorable Mention - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Idiot of the Year: New York Jets Organization

Mayor Bloomberg was very close to receiving this award for almost going through with the New York City Marathon immediately following Hurricane Sandy. However, at least he followed the advice of others and came around to what was right. The New York Jets continue to take idiocy to a new level. From the ineptitude of bringing on Tim Tebow, the flubbing of every situation, the continual babying of Mark Sanchez, to the continued ridiculous remarks made by coaches and upper management, the Jets have found themselves as the laughing stock of the Sports world, and yes, this year's Idiot of the Year. 

Honorable Mention - Rob Parker of ESPN, Skip Bayless, Miami Marlins owner, Jeff Loria, and Mother of girl with "I Enjoy Vagina" shirt in school



Dome Pondering Person of the Year: Sandy Hook School Teachers and Faculty

As the days go by, we hear the heroic stories from that dreadful day in Newtown, Connecticut where teachers made many gusty, heroic, and most of all, sacrificial, decisions for the betterment of the students. From the stories of teachers pulling students from oncoming gunfire, hiding students in classrooms, and even the ultimate sacrifice of throwing themselves in front of bullets for students, all of them are simply acts that leave us speechless in thought. Not to be forgotten are the teachers and faculty who escorted students out of the building with leadership and poise. Everyone involved showed the type of courage in an unfortunate situation that protected the lives of hundreds of children. Some, unfortunately, dying for the cause. Heroism, personified. 

Fighter of the Year: Anderson Silva

Still undefeated. Silva possibly solidified his legacy as the greatest MMA fighter of all-time. Not much debate to this one this year. 

Honorable Mention - Ronda Roussey

Pay-Per-View Event of the Year: TNA Bound For Glory

Whether it was pro wrestling, boxing, or MMA, there were solid events all around. However, the nod goes to TNA Wrestling's biggest of the year, Bound For Glory, which provided end to end, nonstop action. An event where three hours went by very quickly. 

Honorable Mention - WWE Wrestlemania 28, TNA Slammiversary, and UFC 148

Pro Wrestling Match of the Year: Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries - TNA Destination X

An awesome match that really helped launch the career of Austin Aries (More Than a Destination (X), But a New Beginning). The win was completely out of surprise after the eight month reign of Bobby Roode at the top of the helm of TNA Wrestling. The match solidified the future of TNA, and also helped the reclamation project that was the X-Division. 

Honorable Mention - WWE Wrestlemania 28 - Triple H vs. The Undertaker and Bound For Glory - James Storm vs. Bobby Roode

Pro Wrestling Tag Team of the Year: Bad Influence (TNA)

Kazarian and Christopher Daniels were flat out one of the most entertaining acts in all of pro wrestling in 2012. From the improved mic work of Kazarian, to the goofy entrances, and superb character development, Bad Influence has become must-see television. And yeah, you can't deny the work they do as a tag team, and as singles wrestlers. WWE's Team Hell No weren't bad as well, but Bad Influence clearly wins this award. 

Honorable Mention - Team Hell No (WWE)

Female Pro Wrestler of the Year: AJ Lee (WWE)

She may not be much of an in-ring talent, but AJ has been a part of some of WWE's biggest story lines in 2012. From her days as Monday Night Raw General Manager, to her current thwart with John Cena, AJ has become more of a household name than most in the pro wrestling industry. 

Honorable Mention - Tara (TNA) and Miss Tessmacher (TNA)

Male Pro Wrestler of the Year: Bully Ray (TNA)

Last year, Bully Ray was absolutely solid in his work, but just fell short of the award due to a huge breakout year for CM Punk. This year, Bully not only continues his string of solid work, but he's stepped his game up. Ray is a rare talent in the industry that understands the nuances, as it's evident in his ability to connect to the crowd every single night. And as for his in-ring work, he continues to have tremendous match after match. Bully Ray is always an entertaining segment, and that's exactly what the pro wrestler of the year should be. 

Honorable Mention - Bobby Roode (TNA), John Cena (WWE), CM Punk (WWE), Jeff Hardy (TNA), and Austin Aries (TNA)

Sports Event of the Year: Super Bowl XLVI - New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

For a Jets fan, watching the Giants and Patriots again was bittersweet. Of course, it's tough to know that one of these two teams will hoist the Lombardi trophy, but sweet because the game was riveting. Not the classic that the original meeting between the two was, but just as good. Defensive stances. The tremendous pass by Eli Manning to Mario Manningham. And the dropped pass by Wes Welker. Superbowl 46 was great stuff all around. 

Honorable Mention - Euroleague Championship




"Derek Jeter Flip Play" Award of the Year: Eli Manning's Pass to Mario Manningham

How perfect of a pass was this? Eli Manning seems to always get criticism for being lucky with the David Tyree catch, however, there is no knocking this one. The placement. The touch. The strength. And the poise. All remarkable. 

On the other end, Manningham's ability to catch the ball over his shoulder and keep his feet in bounds, all while having a defender draped all over him - just as remarkable.

All of this during a very pivotal point of the game that helped start the game winning drive. 

Honorable Mention - Jeremy Lin's Three Point Winner vs. Toronto, Lionel Messi back kick goal, Blake Griffin Dunk on Kendrick Perkins, Blake Griffin Dunk of Pau Gasol, and Thierry Henry Corner Kick Goal

Coach of the Year: Tom Coughlin

No matter how many times the New York media and the National critics put him on the hot seat, Coughlin continues to silence the doubters with historic runs, and Super Bowl trophies. Coughlin has lead the Giants in various situations where their backs have been against the wall, and simply continues to win. And oh yeah, he does it in a very classy way. 

Honorable Mention - Bruce Bochy

Team of the Year: San Francisco Giants

The World Series winner overcame several odds to win it all this year. Being down 3-0 in the NLDS and 3-1 in the NLCS and coming back to win both series. Defeating the heavily favored Detroit Tigers. And doing so with several injuries and fill-ins who suddenly seemed to be channeling their inner Babe Ruth (looking at you Marco Scutaro!). The story told by this year's Giants was awesome.

Honorable Mention - Miami Heat and Los Angeles Kings


Dome Pondering Sportsman of the Year: LeBron James

Ohhhh how things have changed, huh? And to be honest, James deserves all of the accolades he's gotten this year. One of greatest playoff performances ever seen in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. NBA MVP. NBA Championship. NBA Finals MVP. Olympic Gold Medal. And even a restored image.

Most impressive, was James' ability to do all of this while under public scrutiny, and under intense pressure to win a championship. It was good to see James finally "get it" as an athlete, eventually putting it all together to become what is rightfully his - the title of greatest athlete in the world today. 

Honorable Mention - Michael Phelps, Eli Manning, Miguel Cabrera, and Missy Franklin

Mailbag

As we did last year, before the calendar flips to 2013, let's answer some of the remaining pieces of questions left in the DP mailbag.

You know, my decision to push forward with the New York City Marathon was not all that bad. It would've raised the spirits of this city. Think about it! Wouldn't that have brought this city together? - Mike, B; New York, NY

Mike, I thought about it. And I just did again. And the more I do, the more I realize how much you really are trying to win this year's "Idiot of the Year" Award. And just some advise, please stop reciting things in Spanish after your pressers. You're rich! Rich beyond the imagination. Hire someone that speaks the language instead of the slow, monotone, and remedial verbatim you dish out.

Oh I forgot! I am thinking about running for a fourth term to be your mayor. There are more aspects of the city I believe I can take control of and help throughly. I think all of you need four more years of Bloomy! What do you say? Just in case you have some spanish speaking readers...Estoy pensando en candidato a la alcaldía en un cuarto mandato. He sido tan impresionante, creo que todos ustedes necesitan cuatro años más de Bloomy! ¿Qué me dices? ...Sorry for the e-mail influx - Mike, B; New York, NY

Absolutely not. You've done some great things as Mayor, and the last term has really hurt that. Move on. As for the Spanish - STOP IT!

When I said 47%, I really wasn't talking about most of America. I've run businesses, I know what it takes to get small business off the ground. Why was I vilified? Mitt, R; Belmont, MA

Well Mitt, while 47% is really 4% away from technically being the majority of America, it's close enough. While I do understand what you were saying, and sort of agree there is a portion of this country that relies on, and takes advantage of the government to support them, you're wording made the statement offensive. You pretty much insulted the entire country, especially during a time when Americans were finding it hard to connect with you.

And please, like Mike from NYC, please stop reciting the same schtick. WE KNOW you've started small businesses...yada, yada, yada.

What's your problem with me wearing overalls to meet the Canadian Prime Minister? I'm a Canadian hero. I'm allowed to. Justin B; Ontario, CA

Justin, first of all, you may be popular, but it still is a sign of disrespect to not show up in your Sunday best for the leader of any nation, especially the one in which you hail from. You did so to meet President Obama, but didn't have the class or decency to do so to meet PM Stephen Harper? Canadian hero? C'mon man, I understand you're at the age where you think you're invincible, but ask your mentor, one wrong step and that flame can quickly burnout.

And to be honest, you're quickly becoming that punk celebrity everyone does not like.

I was excited to be a New York Jet. But I think I may be more excited to be a Jacksonville Jaguar. Thoughts? Tim, T; Jacksonville, Fla

Tim, run as far away from the Jets organization as you can right now. You were dealt a pretty raw deal, one which you did not deserve at all. I agree with your gut feeling. Take your talents back home to Northern Florida where you'll be loved, and at least be given a fair shot.

Last year, you said "love wants no part of you." So Mr. Know it all, have you seen who my latest Beau is? And yes, it's love. In. Your. Face. - Kim, K; Los Angeles, CA

In my face indeed. Good for you. I mean that, honestly, Kim. Hey, maybe a marriage to Mr. West will work out. Third time's the charm, right?

Is it safe to say I had a pretty good summer for a High School student? - Missy F; Centennial, CO

Ummmm, Missy, its safe to say you've had a pretty damn good summer for ANY person on God's green earth.

I think teams need to start clearing cap space. I have an out-clause option in 2014. Think it's time to take my talents elsewhere? - Anonymous; Akron OH

Really? Really! Let's not go there, again. Just play ball, man. You're doing fine. However, I do think the people of Cleveland may like you to return.

Why are people calling me fat?! I'm not fat!! Why are people so mean, and weird! They need to marry the night! Lady G; New York, NY

First of all, let's be honest, it's not that you've put on a few pounds, it's that you continue to wear those not-so-flattering outfits in your new weight class. It might be time to cover up.

As for people being weird... never mind.

As for your last statement, you asked that last year, and I still have no idea what that means.

Am I retiring too early? - Michael P; Baltimore, MD

I think it's just right. London was a perfect place to end the legacy that is yours - as a winner. Rio would make for a great story, but, you've earned this time. Go live your life and eat plenty of Subway sandwiches.

I have 11,342 vacation days accrued. I have an option to cash them in for money. What should I do? Anderson C; New York, NY

Take a freakin' vacation, dude! You're an awesome reporter, but you're just simply everywhere, covering everything. How about this to start? Take five of those days, and go anywhere in the world and relax. All of your employers will be fine. And the world will be alright.

I hit for the triple crown! First time since 1967! Why are some reporters trying to devalue this? - Miguel, C; Detroit, MI

I have no idea Miguel. We live in a world where everyone is constantly trying to find some angle on everything. With sabermetrics, some writers try to do this. Honestly, I think what you did was incredible, which is why you won yourself a Pondy this year.

Dear Everyone, 

I'm doing what is best for Hockey. Please leave me alone. - Gary, B; New York, NY

Gary, way to send out a mass e-mail. And if this is your best, I'm sure hockey fans may suggest finding someone else to run their favorite league. Now please unsubscribe me.

Do you think I should get back with, you know who? I think he's changed. - Anonymous; St. Michael, Barbados

I DON'T CARE!

How am I doing? Is this what everyone meant by "getting it"? - Carmelo, A; New York, NY

Current Most Valuable Player of the league, I'd say you are doing pretty awesome. And yes, it is exactly what this city meant. Now go bring home a title.

How hot were those two blondes that gave me their numbers in the playoffs? - Alex, R - New York, NY

Oy vey.

Speaking of getting "it", I'm not sure there is much time left for you to do so.

You need to redneck up this blog a little. Momma and Sugar Bear want you to be a part of the family! - Honey, B.B. - McIntyre, GA

Oh good grief...

Snoop Dogg, or newly crowned, Snoop Lion? - Anonymous; Long Beach, CA

Snoop Dogg for sure. "Snoop Lion" is a nice challenge at this part of your career, but I've heard the album. C'mon man, really?

I saw Kim, K's question to you last year, so I have to ask - Why can't I find love? - Taylor, S; Nashville, TN

I doubt it has anything to do with you personally. Maybe it's just because every self-respecting guy knows they'll simply become a song once things don't work out. And yes, enough with the ex-boyfriend songs.

If everyone cheats, and you win, it's still legit, right? - Lance, A - Austin, TX

Your not getting me involved in this. Your story of overcoming cancer is remarkable. Your ethics...highly questionable.

Any career advice? - Lindsay, L; New York, NY

What career?

Hey, do you need a host for this blog? Videos? Introductions? Maybe even a cameo, here and there? Ryan, S; Hollywood, CA

Umm, no. I know you're secretly trying to take over the world by hosting anything and everything, but, I advise you to heed the advice I gave to Anderson, C. from New York earlier.

Last Minute Gift Giving

And while we're in the mood of handing out advice, there are some gifts I forgot to deliver before the Holidays. Here are some last minute gifts for people I think might need them in 2013.

To: Prince William and Kate Middleton, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of Privacy

As we all know, if these two haven't been hounded enough by the press and the public, when that baby sees the world, we can multiply that obsession by five.

To: The New York Jets, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of Structure

Even though the list of needs for the Jets include a new quarterback, right tackle, wide receivers, offensive coordinator, a pass rush, a new general manager, and a new image, all I can offer at the time is a structure. The Jets need it in the worst way, and maybe a bit of intelligent decision making thrown in.

To: Whitney Houston's Daughter, Bobbi Christina, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of Sanity

Anyone have any idea what this girl is doing? Did she not see the self-inflicting death her mother suffered? Dating your adopted brother and using drugs is not any sort of formula for a productive future. Hopefully, the gift of sanity will help her out this holiday season, and into the new year.

To: Psy, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of making a Second Hit not named "Gagnum Style Remix"

Psy and "Gagnum Style" has one-hit wonder written all over it. I'm sure you see it as well. And while the song is fun (I personally enjoy the video more), as the clock turns on 2013, I see it getting very old - dance included. It's imperative for Psy to NOT do a remix, and to you know, try to make a career out of this thing. A second hit is needed in the worst way. Oppa Gagnum Style!!

To: Mark Sanchez, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of a one way ticket out of New York City

The debate will continue. Sanchez stinks. Sanchez never had a chance here. Either way, Mark Sanchez needs to get out of New York City. After a terrible season, and one of the most embarrassing moments in the history of sports, the former fifth overall pick needs a fresh start, and hopefully another chance to reboot his career.

To: Seal, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of lifetime supply of tissues.

Let's be brutally honest. My man is not going to do any better than Heidi Klum. Nada. Nah uh. Ain't gonna happen. The reality will hit soon, and he'll need some tissues to help dab away the tears of that truth. At least he'll have two beautiful kids to help suppress the pain.

To: Snooki, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of having the opportunity to erase all Jersey Shore footage

I would hope motherhood would give Snooki a new outlook on life. Hopefully, she sees that most of the footage of her is not that flattering, and is not something she would want her child to one day YouTube. I know it's unlikely, but if given the opportunity, I would hope such an option is something she would value.

To: iphone Enthusiasts, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of a Comfortable mobile chair

No matter what iPhone is released, or what miniscule feature is added, we know you'll wait two days in line to be the first to get a defective version of the product. But hey, at least you'll be first, and the DP is willing to help you be comfortable in pursuit of that goal.

To: North Korea and China, From Dome Pondering - An Explanation of Satire and Sarcasm

An embarrassing moment for both government's off the heels of a story written for The Onion. Let's get them that explanation immediately!

And finally getting back to a serious tone, one last gift...

To: Victims of Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook Elementary Shootings, From: Dome Pondering - The Gift of Comfort and Holiday Cheer

I can't imagine what families affected by these two tragedies are going through this Holiday Season, but I there is anything I could offer, I would pray and hope God grants them comfort, and the ability to at least enjoy the holiday spirit.

2013 Bucket List

It's time to set some goals and some endeavors to be accomplished again. Coming off of a year in which yours truly met nine of the thirty goals (a solid .300 avg), which is down from 2011's eighteen of fifty (.360 avg), I hope to increase my efficiency for 2013. On the list are goals from 2012 that have returned along with some new ones. And as always, more will be added throughout the year as they come up.

You can follow the list all year long on the left sidebar.

Without further rambling, here is the 2013 list to start:

1. Learn guitar
2. Have a Random Acts of Kindness Day
3. Go Golfing (I doubt I'll ever get to this...ever)
4. Take a class
5. Bake something from scratch
6. Learn someone else's passion
7. Volunteer for an organization
8. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
9. Help my wife meet her fitness goal
10. Learn to say hello in 10 languages
11. Random Weekend Road Trip
12. Participate in NYC Bike Tour
13. Create and Complete a Happiness Project
14. Help Someone cross an item off of their list
15. Perfect a headstand
16. Go on a Picnic
17. Visit and try one restaurant that was on Dinners, Drive Ins, and Dives
18. Learn to, and imitate my mom's Fried Bakes
19. Visit a baseball stadium for the first time
20. Call in to a sports radio show
21. Win substantial money from playing the lotto
22. Devote an entire day to any and everything my wife wants to do
23. Visit the Metropolitan Museum
24. Do something completely out of character
25. Learn basic sign language
26. Encourage and post a guest column to the DP
27. Enter a competition or contest of any sorts
28. Take a leap of Faith

Final Countdown...

All year I've stressed the issue of "growing up" and how important it was for me to do so in 2012. It wasn't a simple ode to stop being childish, but one to begin maturing and changing many aspects of my life to meet the challenges that lay before me in this race called life. It was a challenge within my self to begin doing things the right way and most importantly, making the most of my time. The latter, being something I've always been tough on myself to do over the past three years, was my main focus even if I struggle with it.

In 2012, I've really modified and overhauled many aspects of my life. While there are many parts that are a complete success, there are just as many that I need to continue to work on.

But that's okay. As the we close out 2012, I'm happy with the progress yours truly has made in the past 365 errr...366 days. Forgot that pesky leap day this year. 

I've manged physically to continue to improve, and in some ways, do things that doctors did not think were possible in my birth. I've continued to enjoy forging fitness into my life, but have also trained for and completed two 5K races this year, with one of them being a mud and obstacle course competition.

Mentally, I've come to grips that there is a time for a boy to step up and take leadership, of not only his immediate household, but also that of caring for parents, family, and friends. I've always shied away from leadership situations well in part because of my laid back attitude, and really, I never saw myself as having leadership qualities. However, over the years with my parents leaning more on me now as they've started their retirement years, a continued growing marriage, and being a source for strength, confidence, and guidance for friends, I feel as if God has thrown me this year in a leadership role in many ways.

No better training than on-the-job, and there is no better example of my growth than that very change.

And finally, spiritually, it seems the more I grow, and the more of these Year in Reviews I write, the more I realize how far God has brought me, and probably will take me around this time in 2013.

I'm still not perfect, and very, very, very far from it. I'm sure my wife can attest to that. However, the good Lord has continued to show me the way in a world that seems more cruel each and every day I exist. Now I know the world has always been this bad, but everyday, I feel as if a layer of our innocence is removed and the sheer wickedness, selfishness, and dare I say, stupidity, of this world is exposed. It's a reoccurring desensitization. Sometimes simply challenging us in the most direct ways to either join in, or be forced with the life long battle against it. And let's be honest, we've all had our days when we simply give in. I know I do.

The situations we've seen this past year in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut really drive that home for me. It's then supported further by the news that picks away at our souls everyday.

How can people think to do that to others? Is this really life?

And then of course, there is always that question of "why?" that leaves things open ended, and feeds the beast of this wicked, selfish, and stupid world. Sometimes we don't have the answers for many things, and that drives us crazy. We need to be equipped. We need to be in control. We all want answers. However, when situations occur that causes those holes to remain void, we're left wondering pondering in a state of hopelessness that ultimately kills our souls, and our outlook on life. Thus - victory, evil.

For me, personally, that is embodied in Hurricane Sandy.

With life so short, why do we treat each other the way we do?

However, in an environment where it seems a newly revealed enemy and the expense of our innocence armor diminishing on a daily basis, it's vital to stay ahead, with growth...and God.

In the 2008 Year in Review, I stated:

And despite it all, I may not understand it in it's entirety, but I am better equipped as this life evolves. And although this world seems to embrace the negative over the positive in every opportunity that arises, sticking to ones character, soul, and faith is the greatest tool for survival.
"There are three things that will endure - faith, hope, and love..."
1Corinthians 13:13

And it is a continued battle each and every morning to grow and get better. To stick to ones character, soul, and faith.

However, in that process, the one aspect I learned in this growth is that life is indeed fragile, and sometimes the best way to indeed fight this war against wickedness, selfishness, and stupidity is not by just focusing on improving ourselves individually, but by helping and living with one another.

Isn't that the true meaning of the Christmas spirit we just celebrated?

Isn't that the only way to make a change in this wicked, selfish, and stupid world?

Isn't that what LIFE is about? Our relationships to one another and to our God?

As we close 2012 and continue to grow...and yes, shed...we will continue to be challenged to the core of our souls to not succumb to what is easiest - wickedness, selfishness, and stupidity.

Simply, we need to continue to grow.

As we each strengthen individually, let's look to defeat that very wickedness, selfishness, and stupidity with the ultimate weapon of living LIFE to it's fullest - by helping one another, and living in that very moment doing so.

I urge you to take a look at the world right now. Think about Sandy Hook Elementary. Think about ways you can help. Think about ways you can grow. Ways you can change.

Do not withhold good to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
-Proverbs 3:27

It's not about you. It's not about material things. It's about LIFE.

And God is calling you to live that LIFE.

In 2013, how will you respond?

Happy New Year!

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