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(Creative): A Happy, Random 2013

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – (Creative Feature by our very own, Mike Brown)
Just before the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, we all have different thoughts of how we can better ourselves for the upcoming year. Some people want to dedicate themselves to a diet that seemingly only lasts a few hours into the next year and some will make a personal vow to better themselves. They may wish to get that new job or move out on their own. Well, odds are, none of these New Year’s resolutions will ever truly happen. However, mine certainly did, though, and not only for just a night, but all throughout 2013.
To put it bluntly, my 2012 sucked. My cat died. My beloved 1991 Oldsmobile decided to kick the bucket, girls toyed with my heart and I lost my house to Hurricane Sandy. While there were a few bright spots in 2012, for the most part it was like living through bad luck after bad luck. So on New Year’s Eve, there emerged a simple resolution: making 2013 “my year,” no matter what; and that’s exactly what happened.
In 2013, I told myself that I was not going to pass up on any crazy opportunity that was presented to me and I was going to do things that I have never done before. After losing your house and bouncing around friends’ couches for two months, you learn to accept living the random life.

By Mike Brown.
By Mike Brown.

I started off my 2013, pulling an all-nighter in New York City on New Year’s Eve at an apartment party, where I drank an entire bottle of sparkling apple cider (sXe represent) and taking the 6 a.m. train home by myself, in order to make it to work at 11 a.m. My random life adventure had just begun.
In my quest to live the ultimate random life, I first wanted to travel to places that I have never been to before, this included going on an airplane for the first time ever in my life. My cousin and I in January found two round trip tickets to Las Vegas and San Diego for $250 and decided why not? I spent more money than I would like to admit in Vegas and ate more In-N-Out Burger than one man ever should in San Diego, but I was living the “random life”. That trip deserves an article to itself, especially since Mike Tyson was on my flight and I talked to Steven Segall at a mall in Vegas (Coming soon one day?).
By the time February came along, I was moving out of the church basement that I had been living in, thanks to the storm, and I needed that random life boost once again. Luckily I found myself getting tickets to the Fall Out Boy reunion show at the tiny Webster Hall venue in New York City, with only hours’ notice. Once again, how could I say anything other than “random life”?
April helped me live out one of my biggest dreams. I went to WWE Wrestlemania 29 and the WWE Hall of Fame. As a lifelong pro wrestling fan, there is nothing that could ever top going to the Super Bowl of wrestling and since it was in New Jersey in 2013, I would have probably cried myself to sleep if I had not gone. (You can read about this adventure here:  http://wordpress.monmouth.edu/?p=4933).
In May, I went on one of my personal favorite random adventures. I have dubbed it: “The Great Soup Adventure”. My friend Chez and I decided to head to New York City out of the blue just to get soup. That’s it. Our original plan was to travel to NYC, get soup from the Soup Man stand and then go home. However, what actually happened was we got the soup, tried to use the bathroom at CBS studios, walked past a sold out Fall Out Boy show, somehow got in, and ran into D-List reality TV star “Mystery,” from the VH-1 show “The Pick Up Artist.”  We hung out with him, walking around NYC until we caught our train home. Random enough?
By Mike Brown.
By Mike Brown.

The summer was an onslaught of random adventures, including attending the backstage BBQ at Warped Tour, eating way too many Korean tacos, going to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, going on tour as a tour manager twice (http://wordpress.monmouth.edu/?p=6325), watching two wedding DJ’s fight, visiting an abandoned haunted insane asylum and learning how to direct short films on a whim. First came the Rocky Balboa parody “The Legend of Mikey Balboa”, which saw my Rocky obsessed friend run around Philly dressed in a Rocky robe. It was a completely unplanned film that was shot, thought of, edited and released on YouTube, all in the span of 24 hours. It served as my proudest moment of 2013.
After a few more random late-night trips to NYC  in the fall that included Comic-Con, ending up at Korea Town two weeks in a row and meeting my role model Tommy Wiseau, my random 2013 loudly came to a close. I certainly found out a lot about myself, that’s for sure.
Many people say that you only have one life and you should live it to the fullest. Before this year, I was in a rut, not really knowing the direction of my life; I have really learned from the adventures, that living life to the fullest really is the key to happiness. Sure, I may have blown money I don’t have, and yeah, people probably think I’m a Juggalo now after I met the Insane Clown Posse this year, but it was all worth it in the end. I am the happiest that I have ever been, thanks to everything that I didn’t say ‘no’ to doing. Passivity is weakness.
2014 will be an even greater challenge to top than 2013 and even scarier than my 2012, because of all the uncertainty involved. I’ll be a college graduate come January and will be going on the road tour managing again in February with even higher stakes for myself and the band this time around. But with all I learned from this past year, 2014 will truly be the “random life”.
By Mike Brown.
By Mike Brown.