Dear January 1, 2015 Joe,
I am Joe from January 1, 2016. Well, December 31, 2015 at 11:59PM because we didn't consider allowing posts to be scheduled the following year on this blog, and I'm too lazy to fix it right this second. Anyway, I digress. It's been a crazy year, and throughout it I've often found myself saying "if you would have told me this X months ago." As such, I decided to write this letter (ok, fine, blog post) to you to tell you how crazy it's been.
First of all, I saw on the Facebook "On This Day" feature (that's their TimeHop knockoff that comes out later this year) that around a year ago at the time I'm writing this, Tigger was very sick. You didn't think he was going to make it. I'm very happy to say that he not only pulls out of his funk, he's his same old grumpy self here a year later.
Now, the big one. This is the moment you can trace almost everything else in this letter back to. February 23rd. You're going to come home from work and Caroline is going to be gone. You'll understand, and you'll take it well. To save you some time, yes, you can afford to keep the apartment. Switch to Cricket for your phone, drop down to basic cable and keep your internet, you don't need Hulu Plus (which is just called Hulu now) or NextIssue. Rent here is good, and Shirley is awesome. Just try not to get a couple months behind like I did. You'll catch up, but you'll be broke while doing so. Back to Caroline, you guys will stay friends, and in time it will get easier to see her. Don't worry, this is just the beginning of your year. It gets better.
You're going to make a decision to go out the following weekend. Brandon is going to tell you about an awesome show at Tudor, and you're going to go meet up with him. Make sure you tell him that "his wife just left him" isn't the best icebreaker. Even if he does, it'll be alright. The girl you meet with that introduction, Nikki, she's pretty cool. You guys aren't going to date or anything, but you'll spend a lot of time with her over the summer. She's a great friend, and she even goes to the "Weird Al" concert with you. Just remember to actually put on sunscreen if you end up at the beach with her. I went on 4th of July weekend and I can still see the sunburn.
There's going to be a period of time where you and Jorge stop talking. It lasts from around WrestleMania right up until Night of Champions in September. Yes it's because of a girl. Maybe you'll take a different path than I did, and maybe you should. While she made you feel better about yourself, you lost out on six months of friendship for someone who, in the end, probably wasn't worth it.
Hey, you know that cute girl next door? That's Angi. She's going to become your best friend. Don't rush into meeting her, you guys will come into each other's lives at just the right time. It's been a really hard year for both of you, but you guys are going to do whatever you can to help each other through it all. And on top of you guys being best friends, Angi's son Ethan gets along great with Madison.
On the morning of August 11th, you're going to text Angi one word. "KITTENS!" Reesee has kittens. I think Snowball is their dad. People are going to say they want them, and then those people are going to fall through. There's an all black one (His name is Gibson), a black and white one (that's Sylvester), and the cutest little gray girl with a little pink patch on top of her head (she's Squirrel).
Speaking of Gibson, Mark Gibson passes away this year. You'll post on his wall about the time you met him, and several other people will share their Mark stories. He was a good, fun loving dude. Drop him a line in the next couple months if you can.
John from work is going to have a stroke. You'll see him the night before, and he'll be fine. It takes him a couple of months, but he's going to be alright. In fact, despite the timestamp on this post, I'm actually writing it on December 18th, and you're going to see him for the first time since the stroke when you go in to work tonight.
Get out and see the band DredNeks. Scott from Suffer The Wicked is going to tell you about them and you're going to become friends with their singer, Grant, on Facebook, but if you're like me, you won't end up seeing them until Buffalo Joe invites you to a show later this year. You really shouldn't wait until then. Grant is an awesome dude, and they put on the craziest damned live show.
Speaking of Buffalo Joe, he's no longer calling himself that. It's just Joe now. That happens the last week of the year. You'll get used to it, eventually, I guess.
Hey, here's a shocker. By the end of the year, you're going to wind up back at AllWNYRadio. I know what you're thinking, that hell must have frozen over. Well, actually, it's been a really beautiful winter, with temperatures up in the 60s. You go back to AllWNYRadio because Scott Leffler is back in charge and the old regime is completely gone.
In December, the NHL All-Star voting is going to happen. It's a different format this year, with three 20 minutes 3-on-3 games. One between the two Eastern Conference divisions, one between the Western Conference divisions, and the third between the winners. It's going to be exciting. You'll be voting for John Scott. Yes, that John Scott. Not only will you be voting for him, but he's going to be the top vote getter all the way through the month. Every time you vote, you get an entry into a drawing to go to Nashville for All-Star weekend. Here's the surprising part - you not only want to win because you get to go to the All-Star festivities, but because you actually want to go to Nashville. Surprise! The Predators goal song is a ringtone on your phone for a contact. And the Sabres goal song is your ringtone on hers.
Speaking of ringtones, you'll be surprised to learn that starting in October, you're no longer using a WWE Superstar's theme as yours. As awesome as Finn Balor's theme was as a ringer, you decide to change it to "Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool. Even when your phone isn't ringing, you're going to hear that song a lot. You're going to love it, and every time you hear it, you're going to want to post on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #HereWeGoNow. You want to know why? Because it's the Sabres goal song, as determined by fan vote over the summer, and the Sabres are actually capable of scoring goals. And since I know you're wondering, since it's January of 2015 and the Sabres are currently embracing the tank in an effort to get the number one overall pick, yes, they finish dead last in the NHL. Edmonton winds up winning the draft lottery and picking up Connor McDavid, but Jack Eichel is doing just fine for Buffalo. So are Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, and several others who become Sabres this year. You still do find yourself frustrated by Sabres captain Brian Gionta on occasion, but their future looks bright.
And don't ask me about the 49ers. I don't want to talk about it.
Overall, it's been a good year. It didn't seem like it would be early on, but in retrospect I wouldn't trade any of it. Here's to 2016 being even better!