Around this time last year, I sat down to write a ‘year in review’ post. A few memories of 2013 stood out. But for the most part, the year was a blur. I was a bit disappointed in myself for not remembering the year well. I decided then and there that I would keep a journal in 2014. I’m glad I did. It was an amazing year.
Remember the Polar Vortex that took the northeast of North America in its grip last January? I was in New York then. The cold was painful. The weather threw all sorts of wrenches into my travel plans and I ended up stranded in New York for several days. There are worse places to be stranded, to be sure. During those extra days in the city, I watched Wolf of Wall Street and ate at Shake Shack a few times.
Early in January, a lyric video for the song “Only War” was made and Joëlle and I were putting the finishing touches on the Bike For Three album, More Heart Than Brains, which was released on February 11th.
Around the time of the record release, I was exchanging emails with a doctor who worked with stem cells in a secret clinic. He said he could fix my shoulder. I gave serious consideration to flying to him for treatment. After seeking the opinions of many friends other doctors, I decided against it.
On the first of March, I played a Lou Reed tribute concert. His band backed me up. That was a huge thrill. I met Kim Cattrall. She looked great and suggested I unbutton my shirt a little more.
In April I was haunted by a ghost from my past. It was an expensive haunting. Later that month, I hired a personal assistant, which was great. I quickly concluded that everyone should have a personal assistant. On April 19th I was in Los Angeles. I went to a Dodgers game and between innings, I saw my face on the scoreboard. That was the first of many baseball-themed thrills for the year.
At the beginning of May, I played a concert in one of the big museums in Toronto (the ROM). There was a giant dinosaur skeleton behind me. That doesn’t happen every day. I started writing the songs for the Laundromat Boogie album in May. I also bought a new bike and then crashed really hard. But the most exciting thing that happened in May was going to a Toronto Blue Jays game and hearing my song “Joey Bats” play in the stadium. That was another big thrill.
In June I met the girls from First Aid Kit and one of my best friends almost went blind. Thank goodness she can still see. I was so worried. I also started seeing a top sports doctor and started doing rehab on my bad shoulder.
July was exciting. The rehab started taking effect and I threw a baseball without pain for the first time in years. I cried tears of joy. I shot the video for “Super Pretty Naughty” on July 12th. Before the month was over, I made internet friends with Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls. She told me she had been listening to my music for years and I was thrilled.
In August Robin Williams died and the whole world was sad. Everyone was talking about depression. August 5th was a great day in Major League Baseball - maybe the most exciting day of the year. So many great things happened.
September was maybe the best month of the year. I met Laura Dern during the Toronto International Film Festival. I threw out the first pitch at a Cubs-Dodgers game (which was THE biggest thrill of my life). I chatted with Asia Argento about classic hip hop. I hit a baseball 400 feet. I was also at the Jays-Mariners game in Toronto on September 23rd. It was a disastrous night for the M’s starting pitcher, Felix Hernandez. If it wasn’t for that one terrible night, he probably would have won the American League Cy Young award. I went on a road trip to Detroit and saw a Tigers game. Derek Jeter played his last baseball game. I also started working on the line edit for my book (which is the last stage of writing).
In October I started a world tour. I went to the MONA in Hobart, which was perhaps the most amazing museum experience I’ve ever had. I shot a video for “Superhero In My Heart” in Brisbane (coming soon). I spent a week in Paris and it was a bummer. I cried a lot. I reunited with some long lost friends in London, which felt great. At the end of the month, the Jian Ghomeshi scandal broke in Canada and that weighed heavily on my mind through the month of November as I toured across the country. The final show of the tour was in Halifax and it was great - one of my favorite shows of my whole life.
I played some pretty good baseball in 2014. I played solid - and at times, spectacular (if I do say so myself - defence. I pitched some good games. But my offensive numbers were huge. On the year, I went 55 for 90 for a .611 batting average. I hit 20 home runs. My slugging percentage was 1.411 and my OPS was 2.022, which is a monstrosity. I had more extra base hits than base hits. That’s raw power, baby.
I joined Instagram in 2014. I started a Tumblr blog. A few of my Facebook posts went viral and one was read by almost 5 million people. That was bonkers.
One of my goals for 2014 was to regain Elite status with the Star Alliance of airlines. I did that. So I’ll be traveling in style in 2015.
Another goal was to finish my book. I did that too. Yesterday. It’s done. I wrote a book.
The first few times I played “Super Pretty Naughty” in public earlier this year, the reaction was so strong, I wondered if I might have a hit on my hands. It wasn’t a hit. Not even remotely close. When I made that song, my ambition wasn’t to make a hit, so I can’t say I’m disappointed. The song is so fun to play live and always puts smiles on people’s faces. That’s the whole point.
I did set many goals for myself in 2014. I reached most of them. Not all. There were some bitter disappointments. 2014 gave me a lot of joy but a serious dose of heartache too. I have a feeling 2015 will be a lot easier on my heart. In fact, I’m expecting some pretty wonderful things. It’s all moving in that direction. I feel hopeful. It promises to be a pretty great year on a personal level.
As for my goals for 2015…
I want to improve on my 2014 batting average. But I want to do it without sacrificing any power. That won’t be easy. I think I can do it.
I will tour in the US and Europe. I can’t wait. I’d also love to get to South America and Japan.
My book will be released in 2015. That will be the realization of the biggest accomplishment of my life.
I’ll probably start writing my next book in 2015. I’m thinking I’ll take a crack at writing a film too. But first, I want to record another album. I have a few ideas for projects. I want to record a kids’ record. But I’ll probably do Dirtbike 4 first. In fact, I think I’ll get started on that right away.
I don’t know how I’ll top throwing out the first pitch at a Major League baseball game, as far as baseball-related goals/dreams go. I’d love to play catch with a Major League player or take batting practice in a big league park, but that seems impossible. Although I would never have imagined throwing out a first pitch. Who knows?
Beyond that, I don’t know. I think I want to keep my goals simple. I want to stay in good shape. I still want to work toward throwing a baseball 90 mile per hour, so I have to keep at my shoulder rehab. I want to cut down on internet junk food. I want to save some money.
Thanks for hanging in with me. Thanks to my friend Sarah, who made the first pitch in Chicago happen. Thanks to my amazing book editor. Thanks to everyone around the world who came out to see me play. Thanks to Jorun Bombay and Joëlle and Marten and everyone who helped me make and release three albums this year. Thanks to you if you bought a copy of any of them.
2014 was a good year, but a tough one too - for all of us. I think we can top it in 2015. Who’s in?