Me earlier this year, at Arirang
It’s the end of 2013, and also the end of my second year as a blogger.
For those who follow me have picked up that “fun” and “positivity” are my middle names.
While this has been a trying year, as I’ve lost three very special loved ones — all in a row, I count my blessings that it’s been such a positive year as well with many new friends and amazing things happening in my career. It’s always so hard to pick “the best” but that’s the fun of it and of life itself, trying to figure it all out!
Love and blessings to all and thanks so much for your support!
1. Best Accomplishment: Definitely finishing my book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist.” It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and it will be published Spring 2014. I’m thrilled that so many people I highly admire are supportive of my endeavor and that I’ve received super cool endorsements from WMFU DJ Glen Jones, author/columnist Judy McGuire, and original Plasmatics drummer Stu Deutsch.
2. Most Amusing Accomplishment: I was sold! Back in Oct. 2010, I modeled a series of photographs for Darlene Foster (www.darlenefoster.com). In the past some of the postcards with my photo on them sold, but I was thrilled when a big one — “Deliverance” sold!
“Deliverance” by Darlene Foster
3. My Favorite Headline: One of the hardest parts of being a journalist is writing a good headline. Most of my life during my writing career, I left that up to an editor. But I have to say, I was pretty impressed with myself when I came up with “When Harry Met Sandy” for my blog about Prince Harry coming to the Jersey shore after Hurricane Sandy! (http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/when-harry-met-sandy/)
4. Interview of the Year: This year I’ve interviewed quite a few legends including comic David Brenner, NFL Star Eric Downing and Janis Ian. But my favorite interview was with Billy Childs of Britny Fox and Get the Led Out. That guy talked to me like he was my best friend for two hours straight! It was definitely a phone call to remember!
With Billy Childs, June 2013
5. Best Make-Up:Gabriel Cosmetics ZuZu Luxe. I love their products. You can’t beat hypoallergenic, cruelty free and a true quality product. I blogged about the goods back in May: http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/love-for-gabriel-cosmetics-inc-zuzu-luxe-all-natural-no-animal-testing/
6. Best Healthy Treat: Chia Pod. Over the summer I discovered a simple, vegan, all natural treat called Chia Pod. Again, I was so excited, I just had to blog about it: http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/ch-ch-ch-chia-pod/
7. Cutest Commercial: “Guess What Day It Is?” When my friend Darlene first sent me the link to the GEICO Hump Day Camel commercial I was thrilled! It was so funny I had to watch it over and over. I still get a kick out of it.
8. Best Drink: Moonstone Coconut Lemon Grass Sake, unfiltered. (By SakeOne).
9. Best Concert: I don’t know why I do this to myself, making myself pick a “best concert” every year. My husband and I must go to at least two or three concerts per month which brings us to … too many to choose! This year some of them included: The Dick Fox Doo Wop Extravaganza, Gary Numan, The Fab Faux (not once, but TWICE in one year!), The Smithereens and Gary Numan. But I have to say, Michael Nesmith at Union County Performing Arts Center tops them all. You can read all about my extraordinary experience here: http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/michael-nesmith-at-union-county-performing-arts-center-rahway-nj/
10. Best Tribute Band: Again, I don’t know why I do this to myself, making myself pick ONE favorite tribute band. With all the concerts I saw this year, some of the best tributes included: Abba Mania, The Fab Faux, One Night With Queen and Get the Led Out (to name a few). But I have to say, with no disrespect to the others, Tusk: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute trumps them all. Check out my blog here: http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/tusk-the-ultimate-fleetwood-mac-tribute-linden-new-jersey/ – and check back in a week or so, as I’ll be posting a review of their upcoming show in New Hope and an interview I did with the band a few months ago.
11. Best New Original Band: Stockton Bridge is my favorite new band this year. They are actually all the members of Tusk: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute. I was blown away when I received the CD in the mail. Every song was just super. You can go to their Face Book page and click on “Music Store” to hear them: https://www.facebook.com/stocktonbridgeband?ref=stream&filter=2
12. Best Song and Video: “Johnny Sincere” by The Deadbeat Poets. Wow, just wow! It’s that kind of song you can’t listen to just once. And it’s done so well too. I love everything about it.
13. Best Event: “Resintopia” I had the best time at plastic model kit and expo “Resintopia” this year, I’ve already penned in the date for next year! Check out my interview with founder/CEO Vincent Bordogna: http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/interview-vincent-bordogna-ceofounder-of-resintopia/
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie Askew for giving it his best shot on “American Idol.” I loved Charlie and really wanted him to win.
Way too many losses this year, the public said good-bye to: Chrissie Amphlett, Ray Manzarek, Lou Reed and Senator Frank Lautenberg to name a few of my personal favorites.
And my personal losses were way too much to bear: My beloved Billy Cat, Joan Finn (my mentor and Montclair Times entertainment editor), my spiritual mentor Bayani Mendoza DeLeon (also famous musician in Philippines ), Uncle Bert and Uncle Tony.
Billy Cat, RIP