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Ash & Fern: Looking Back on 2014

I get obsessed with things. It’s just kind of what I do. Maybe someday I will get obsessed with something useful, like a potential career, but for now I seem to fixate on things that most people would consider worth an occasional thought at best. So, without any further ado, here are some things I was obsessed with in 2014.


Middle Earth – This is probably a yearly obsession from roughly 6th grade on, but it seems a little stronger than normal this year. Obviously the release of the last Hobbit movie capped the year, and even though I didn’t particularly like it, I still enjoyed my last couple of hours in the coolest place ever. I got Ash a framed map of Middle Earth for her birthday, and got a second one for me because I can’t live in a world where she has one and I don’t. I started pricing flights to New Zealand for my next big adventure, since that’s as close to Middle Earth as I’m ever going to get.


Netflix – I thought about putting Orange is the New Black on here specifically, but then realized it was just a symptom of the larger obsession. I love it. I can watch whatever I want whenever I want. Shockingly I think this has actually lessened the amount of TV I’m watching because I don’t feel tied to any kind of schedule. It’s like a relaxing vacation for someone who watches as much TV as I do.

The World Cup – The first 7 months of 2014 were completely dominated by World Cup fever in my world. The draw. Trying to figure out where Manaus is. The roster. The warm-up games. Landon Donovan. Getting stuck in Guyana. John Anthony Fucking Brooks. It took me a solid month to come down from the high after getting back from Brazil, and then I immediately started rethinking my “I will NOT be going to Russia” policy. See you there in 2018.


Unfriending people – My number of Facebook friends plummeted this year. It’s not that I’m not happy for people that get married or have babies. That’s all great! But seriously, I have my limits on how many pictures and posts I can see without losing my mind. (Don’t even get me started on that stupid elf on that damn shelf!) And I’ve lost my patience with ignorance. I fully support everyone’s right to believe whatever they want, and free speech is a great thing, but I don’t have to read about it on Facebook. Speaking of…

Equality – This was kind of an incredible year all over the country, but I experienced Indiana’s seismic shift in person. We started 2014 with a bill before our legislature to write discrimination into our Constitution and we’re ending it with marriage equality. Yeah we didn’t do it on our own, some federal judges helped out (thanks guys!) but I’ll take change where we can get it. Obviously we still have a long way to go as a state (and as a country) but I feel a hell of a lot more optimistic than I did a year ago.


John Oliver – He’s always been a delight. He was awesome on The Daily Show and was always one of my favorite parts when he popped up on Community. So I knew I would like Last Week Tonight. But I had no idea how much I would love it. Being on HBO gives him a freedom that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have never had. He can say anything about any subject without worrying about pissing off any censors. And when you tackle the absurd realities of life in the 21st century, from lost in space geckos to FIFA, you’re going to need an occasional f-bomb.

Group Texts – Do you remember what life was like before group texts? I sure don’t. Yes, they can be super annoying when you’re sitting at work and someone sends out an innocent “Drinks?” text and 14 people spend the next 20 minutes incessantly suggesting locations and times and/or offering excuses no one cares about. But more often than not they are hilarious. Just last week I enlightened a couple of my friends after discovering that the advice to drink more water is just a conspiracy by the toilet paper industry. It must have been exhausting to text my clever quips to all of my friends individually.

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Bob Costas saying “Pussy Riot” – Originally this was going to be the Olympics, but looking back on those 2.5 cold weeks last winter the only thing I remember clearly is giggling while Bob Costas was forced to say “Pussy Riot” over and over again during the coverage. (Those were simpler times before North Korean hackers destroyed free speech.) Do yourself a favor and YouTube “Bob Costas saying Pussy Riot” right now. Maybe not if you’re at work. Or maybe, it’s the holidays, your boss is probably on vacation anyway.

I could go on forever, but I’m seriously in danger of becoming obsessed with making this list. Gotta nip that in the bud. So, what were you obsessed with this year? Other than the Serial Podcast, obviously.

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