Fave Five of 2009 - Personal Experiences

As the final hours of 2009 wind down, I realize that I got to experience more in this year than most people get to experience in an entire decade. And I got to experience more this decade than most people experience in a lifetime. The lesson? My life doesn't suck.

There were so many cool things I did this year that could have made this list, but I had to narrow it to five. So here it is, my Fave 5 experiences of 2009 -- the highlights of my year.

5. Nov. 6, 2009 - Cavaliers at Knicks
LeBron at MSG. Need I say more? I probably don't, but since it's my blog, I will. There's nothing quite like seeing a basketball game at the World's Most Famous Arena, but getting to see LeBron James there made it sublime. I've seen LeBron play in person a few times now, but this one had a completely different energy to it. Jay-Z was in the house, the world champion Yankees were in the house, and the sold out New York crowd was completely riveted by the Cavaliers star. It's almost enough to sooth the concerns about 2010.

4. Sept. 4-6, 2009 - Vermont Trip
Had this just been about a concert or a friend's wedding, it might not have made the list. But somehow in the same weekend, I got to see an outdoor Kelly Clarkson concert (sitting in about the 15th row, center stage) and see my oldest friend get married. Also, I'm amazed I can remember anything about the weekend, since at the cocktail hour, reception and after-party of the wedding, I'm pretty sure I consumed enough alcohol to kill a large horse (mostly tequila and vodka -- yes, I'd blame it on the Goose and the 'torn, and I'm now horrified that I referenced that song… it's time to move on).

3. Sept. 27, 2009 - Britney Spears in Las Vegas
VEGAS! Oh, so many things were awesome about this trip. The travel itself, which resulted in getting about four hours of sleep in a 48-hour period. The afternoon at the sportsbook, which left me holding a ticket for the Cavaliers to win the NBA title (oh, I can't wait to cash that baby in June). The retarded flight back, which at the time was horrifying, but now I actually can look back at it and laugh. The best part was obviously the concert -- oh, and don't think this is the last you're hearing about a Britney Spears concert in this entry -- but it was made so much better by spending the day with the incredibly cool Jen Friel. Seriously, check out her blog when you get a chance. It'll rock your world.

2. 2009 NBA Finals
How bitter am I that the Cavs didn't make the Finals? So bitter that I almost considered dropping this from the list entirely. But, while the actual basketball was disappointing (from my perspective), this trip was about so much more than hoops for me. I love hanging out in L.A. The absurdity of Hollywood Boulevard is just so much fun -- from the costumed characters during the day to the real celebrity encounters at night -- and there's no experience quite like driving up the PCH to Malibu then walking through the sand. Even Orlando didn't completely suck, thanks to Disney World, and the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being right outside the Lakers locker room right after they won the title. Only one experience in my life has ever been more surreal that having Sasha Vujacic see me take a picture of him, then call me over to hang out with him and his family for a few minutes.

1. Aug. 24-25, 2009 - Britney Spears in New York
A two-day Britney-filled extravaganza was by far the coolest thing I did this year (and for some perspective on that, look back at No. 3 and No. 2 and check how cool that shit was). The day I arrived in New York, Britney had her "I Seek Britney" concert, which ended with some madness at M&Ms World in Times Square. Then at the concert that night, I happened to be sitting next to an incredibly cool group of girls who were seeing Britney Spears live for the first time. That day itself would have made for a Top 5 experience, but the next night I was ringside for Britney's concert. I can't even begin to express in words the joy I felt standing right next to the stage, being able to reach out and almost touch Britney.

How good was this year? My attendance at the 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame induction and my amazing weekend at Baltimore Comic-Con didn’t even make the cut. So if 2010 is even half as good as 2009, I’m in for an amazing year.