There was the day…

I have a love / hate relationship with this time of year.  I just can’t help it.  On one hand, I finally have time to sit back, relax, and gloat over the year that was.  After all, all the questions are answered.  The year is done.  The tours are done.  The photos are done.

And it’s time to do it all again.

Really?  I’m in Nashville when?  January 7?  That’s, like — soon!

How will the next year shape up compared to this one past?  Will we be at the Indy 500?  Will I find myself arguing with the Policia Federales in Mexico City, trying to keep my car out of car jail?  What new adventure — not even imagined in my wildest dreams — are lurking around the corner?  Or, will the year be quiet compared to this year?

Quiet.  That’s another word for boring.  Deathly boring.  My years are never quiet.  But will this be the first?

Somehow, I doubt it.

The projects never stop.  Websites get redesigned, optimized, ranked, tracked.  Important team mates begin to take shape.  Ideas evolve.  Equipment changes.  Process matures.

It’s strange.  There are 365 days of the year.  And here’s the days that stick out in my memory, when I think of the year that was:

Nashville, late January, 2013, the first job of the year.  I enter.  I’d just shaved my mohawk for a client I thought was fairly conservative.
“AWWWWWWW!” said the client, “You shaved your mohawk!”
“Yes,” I said, “I kinda thought it wouldn’t be appropriate for this event.”
“Crap,” she said, “I loved the mohawk.”
“How did you even know?” I asked.
“I follow you on Twitter.”

February, National Grocers Convention, Best Bagger Contest.  I walk through the casino at the Mirage, Las Vegas.  “THAT’S HIM!” shouts a barely 20 something, probably carded to even BE in the casino, young man. “THAT’S THE PHOTOGRAPHER.”  He approached, and asked me for my autograph.

True story.

Early March, Honda Classic, St. Petersburg, FL.  IT WAS FREAKING COLD.  Matt and I had to go to Target and buy gardening gloves for the shoot.  The year before it was 100 in the shade.  Freaking global warming.

There was the day (in Baltimore, I think) we did a Honda Team photo with the teddy bear grabbing Michelle’s boob.

There was the day in Vera Cruz when I started the PEMEX shoots, Matthew was in a possible tornado in Houston with Honda, and I was arguing with “protesters” who had taken over the highway toll booth and were demanding 100 pesos.

There was the day I was so sick in Phoenix, I had to beg Melanie to shoot as I could barely speak without coughing.  Thank God she was there, with Bob.

There was the day Trevor announced “Wish Mike a Happy Birthday Month at the Honda Tent!” to the entire Fan Village.  Yes, he loved that I celebrate the entire month of August as my Birthday Month.  Soon, it was all over fan village, along with the cup cakes Matthew had bought.

There was the day my mom’s head was burning so badly I had to cover her shoot — the first time ever.  It caused quite a health scare — turned out to be shingles.  She’s fine now.  But it was scary.

There was the day Olga arrived at Honda Jet, and I realized she and Matthew could do the shoot without me.  Which was great: I had to go to Mid-Ohio for the Indycar race.  But I felt odd.

There was the day I met Dana, who helped me at Mid-Ohio.  I specifically hired her because she said she wasn’t a “stick up the ass wedding photographer.”  We got along perfectly!

There was the day I ran in the rain, on the beach, in Tulum, MX — and kept running, and running, and running.  Miles.  The sand sloshed under my feet and the waves hit my ankles.  I ran until I couldn’t run any more, Forest Gump style. I ran until there was no more beach.  Then I walked back to our “treehouse”.

There was the day I woke up in Sioux Falls to discover an ice storm knocked out all power in my hotel room.  Then I was frozen in my SUV as I drove from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis, having to beg the McDonald’s drive thru workers to come out and pull on the door while I kicked with my feet.  Otherwise, I couldn’t get out of the vehicle to take a pee.

There was the day I had to send Melanie on a red eye to cover Philadelphia because I was snowed in at Minneapolis.  And then, I was snowed in in Denver on my way to LA, with a flight delay listed as 20,000 minutes.  Melanie texted me, “THE SPA IS FAABULOUS HERE.”  She was at the Four Seasons, Philadelphia.  I was in an airport lounge.  Not the fancy kind.  The kind next to Starbucks and the bathroom.

There was the day I was asked to set up next to the huge, rearing bear.  The bear looked like it was going to eat the participants.  That’s a story for another day.

So many days.  So many people who made each day count.  It’s hard to fathom.  It’s hard to even wrap my mind around.

And it’s about to start again.