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An Annual Tradition

The Year in Review – 2021

                                                  December 24, 2021 11:59 p.m.

Most dearest friends, family, family friends, friends of family, Facebook friends, Facebook family, Superfriends, Mama’s Family, and anyone else who falls friend- or family-adjacent,

First, please accept my most humble apologies for the delay in this year’s highly anticipated letter as it has been among the cargo in the Suez Canal. (Thanks, Evergiven.) Still, this was No Time to Die and I was not about to let a little supply chain issue stop me from delivering the best, fully-vaccinated and boosted, farm to table, paraben-free, year-end recap on the market today. It’s fully inclusive as all are welcome here — Carrie, Miranda …NOT YOU SAMANTHA!…Charlotte, Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend from Trinidad, everyone — so at the risk of violating your HIPAA rights, won’t you please join me as we go… INTO THE WASIFVERSE!

Oh mi cron! The year seemed to keep us guessing — what have we done?! — like a software update come to life. The only constant, as usual, was death, taxes, and Tom Brady. The ups were plenty from the heat of Tokyo to Shatner’s rocket into space(-ish) but the downs came quickly for Tour de France bikers like someone doing the stair-stepping challenge in high-heels. Who else went all Squid Game on their neighbors for the last chicken wing? And what am I going to do with all these bags of gasoline? Though we did manage to
free Britney, Free Guy,
and free tacos on Tuesdays,
the stress certainly aged all of us,
Paul Rudd excepted of course.

My much-needed vacation to Shanghai Disney seemed like a great idea at the time, until the fifth day spent trapped on the Small World After All ride. The song still haunts me to this day:

     🎶 It’s a world of grief and a world of pain,

     If I hear one more verse I will go insane. 🎵

     🎵I want to end my life, but I can’t find a knife,

     It’s a Small World After All. 🎶

But this year was all about short-squeezing meme stonks and NFTs to the moon! And Bitcoin! Who didn’t make a fortune on Bitcoin… and then lose a fortune on Bitcoin… and then make a fortune on Bitcoin? It took me a while to grasp this hot new industry but now I make it a point to educate people about it. It’s really quite simple — see, in the old days, we had coins and paper currency which could be used to purchase goods and services whereas this cryptocurrency  is all about staking pools and protocols plus integrity, longevity and so many other important-sounding buzzwords. To put it in layman’s terms, it’s like we had two different suits when the ascot only paired with one of them. But not with Bitcoin, no sir! It is fully integrated in a combination of cryptography combinatorics, and mathematical game theory (the idea that if you get a six, you land on the slide and yell, “SOOOOOOOORRRRRY!”). In other words, remember when Dick Sargent replaced Dick York on “Bewitched?” Millennials know what I’m talking about. Well, crypto is like that! It’s scalable and sustainable, completely bullet proof like Ask Jeeves, AOL Mail, and Blockbuster Video all rolled into one, allowing us to now possibly purchase goods and services with it. Get it? (Please DM me for an explanation on blockchain.) 

I had plenty of time this summer to learn about it while I was laid up after a failed attempt at a Yurchenko double pike. I’m not as flexible as i used to be. It forced me to get healthier. Since then, I have completely eliminated sugar from my diet. . . having redefined sugar as anything with cilantro in it. I developed a herb immunity. Along those lines, I am also fully vaccinated, I got Pfizer shots one and two… then the Johnson & Johnson, followed by the AstroZeneca to protect me from AstroWorld calamities), a few Modernas, some Goli Apple Cider Vinegar shots, and I topped it off with a shot of Ghirardelli. I’m proud to say I’m 328% protected.

Creatively,I found my pet project a casualty of the pandemic and I’m afraid my dissertation on the difference between Hemsworth brothers was discontinued. The days and months and years of research bore very little fruit, though I was able to determine to near absolute certainty that there are three of them. I’ll be applying for more grants in the new year. Fortunately, the setback allowed me to focus on entry into the podcast game. What started as a little side hustle with the “I Am Andy Wasif and I Have a Podcast” podcast, which gives a little insight into who I am and that I have a podcast, has really blossomed into a dynamic sea creature with tentacles reaching all areas including, “The Pod Cast,” a delightful immersion into pea pods, alien pods, storage pods, and the like; “P.O.D. Cast,” an engaging look at Printing on Demand; “Podcast: Tsacdop,” the most captivating podcast on palindromes out there; “Not Just Another Podcast” which was actually my playing unlicensed reruns of “I Love Lucy” until I was sued for copyright infringement that led to my “How Dare You Block My Podcast” podcast. Of course, giving a home to all fans of the Tom Hanks classic provides me much joy with “Podcastaway.” All in all, it really keeps me busy to the point that I barely have time for my podcast about all my podcasts entitled “Podcasts Podcasts Podcasts.” Check ’em out!

Speaking of pets, the big addition to my family this year was a new furry companion. I looked at several different breeds before jumping into the pooch pool including a mix French bulldog/Bichon Frise (French Frise)  and a mix chihuahua/Great Dane (a chihuatheheck?!) before adopting a Siberian King Charles Water Setter, miniature. I, for one, have learned so much like, for instance, there’s a YouTube Channel for dogs called Dog TV… and they have advertisements! I learned t that last part when I got home one day to find out my credit card was dinged for $500 worth of rawhide chews. So when I leave the house, I just set the little fella up with “Succession” episodes to keep him feeling dirty and ashamed.

The Thanksgiving holiday contained a farcical moment after I misread my dinner host’s request for guests to bring hors d’oeuvres to the table and I showed up with horse dewormer. Most guests rounded out an otherwise charming evening at the local emergency health clinic. I’m sure it’ll be something we all share a good laugh over… once their bodily fluid excretions have subsided, no doubt.

And now, before I make good use of the money spent on the online Masterclass: Wassailing, feelings of contentment wash over me as I gaze out my window while listening to my favorite hyper pop EDM new techno tunes on vinyl, a tumbler of Peep-flavored Pepsi within reach, and the view of a magnificent Harvest Moon set against the backdrop of Chinese rocket debris hurtling towards earth.

Thus, with 2021 in the rear view mirror, I want to present to all of you my heartfelt wishes that the most virulent strain of health and prosperity infect those nearest and dearest to you this holiday season.

All the best,

Andy Wasif

2020 – A Year in Review

Dearest family, friends, person, woman, man, camera, TV, essential workers, useless workers, first-responders, second-responders, couch potatoes, dedicated employees of the CDC, the NHI, the WHO (at least their surviving members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry), Perry Mason (no, not that Perry Mason), and X AE A-12 Musk, 

Though I initially worried about meeting the strict safety requirements the governor’s protocols applied to holiday missives, I met with my team and ultimately decided not to opt out of this beloved annual tradition. With that in mind, I present to you the world’s first socially-distant, asymptomatic, N-95 masked, contactless, Onlyfans, curbside year-end recap for your fawning adulation.

Let me begin by bestowing upon all of you elbow bumps, hypothetical hugs, and a virtual round of drinks on me! (That is assuming there’s any alcohol left.) You may have noticed that 2020 has been one full-moon-Friday-the-13th-and-Ides-of-March-rolled-into-one of a year what with exploding trees, Sahara dust clouds, bubonic squirrels, walls of moms, mysterious Chinese seeds, genetically-engineered mosquitoes, attention-seeking flies, and murder hornets. Fortunately, we had “the Undoing,” but I’m not sure that took as we were all treated not unlike Rick Moranis on a routine stroll through New York City. Without a doubt, this year has been savage—bougie ruthless savage.

Still there were moments of brilliance penetrating the otherwise darkened landscape (likely from a fire burning in a forest nearby). Most notably, it was a year we rejoiced at the returns of favorites like “Saved by the Bell,” the Ford Bronco, and McRib sandwich; we embraced new and lasting fixtures in our lives such as Kentucky Fake Chicken, the care emoji, and Quibi; but we also said goodbye to many of our old friends including Mr. Peanut, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” and, of course, Quibi. It was sad to see them go, indeed. I’m sorry, I  meant to phrase that in the form of a question. What is it was sad to see them go? Moving on, I’ll take “Farewell Tributes” for $500, Alex! 

Like many of you, I spent much of my time boiling my fruit, scrubbing my milk cartons, debating the benefits of bleach as an aperitif, hoarding toilet paper, cutting my own hair, and bathing in hand sanitizer. The lockdown certainly put a crimp in my dreams and goals, but optimist that I am, I saw it as a quaran-tunity to expand my horizons and deepen my canyons. A partial list of my quaran-tivities includes: coming up with cute little terms to describe things done during quarantine, validating my two-step authentication methods, clearing out unused fonts from my computer, completing my correspondence course in bird dentistry, learning to shave with my other hand, binge-watching “60 Minutes” (spoiler: Season Six was pure fire!), baking 22 gross loaves of banana bread (by the eleventh loaf, they weren’t that gross), and going to great pains in getting the hummus to run out at the same time as the pita chips. Conversely, I also forgot how to drive, so that’s something I’ll have to relearn next year. 

How It Started

Athletically, it was a mixed bag this year as I said sayonara to my chances at winning gold at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but back in April — or maybe it was October, damned if I know — I did earn a spot in the 2020 Marble League Championships. To get there, I had to endure air travel which was stressful as passengers definitely adopted a herd mentality. I managed by wiping down my tray table, seat belts, all the flight attendants, and individual peanuts in the snack packs. Plus, I had my trusted emotional support animal by my side. Ironically, an ocelot was not as calming as I would have liked, causing quite a bit of chaos throughout the cabin which got us relegated to the cargo hold for much of the flight.

Once in town, I stayed in the Bubble with other competitors for two weeks before the big event. I was confident that my marble, Superspeeder, was destined for greatness, and it was like Pfizer and Moderna for a lot of the race, before my horse ended up coming in dead last. I blame a vast conspiracy against me by the other racers. Somehow they were allowed to use faster marbles than I was. I will not be deterred as I’ve contested the race with the Marble Board of Governors. So don’t go having that victory parade just yet!

Leaving the cutthroat world of marbling behind me, I returned to my roots and began crafting some new stand-up material in the event live audiences become a thing again. However, I found my skills had atrophied some as nothing I wrote seemed to work. For instance, I had a Goya beans joke, but it went straight in the crapper. I had a Washington football team joke, but I couldn’t think of what to call it. I had a Kanye for President joke, but it ended before it began. And I had a joke about my 2020 plans, but it disappeared before I could do anything with it. They just didn’t meet my exceptional standards of humor. Except the joke I had about Carole Baskin. That one killed. 

As the year gracelessly trudged into December, I would like to say how touched I was at the hundreds of guests who attended my drive-by holiday party last week. I would have thanked you all right then and there, but such is the disadvantage to living beside a highway. As for the elephant swap, it is going well, but will require a little more patience. Rest assured, whoever picked “Number 8,” you’ll have your chance to decide whether or not you’ll keep it or trade it once the postal service delivers that gift to your home sometime in the coming months.

And now, as Santa’s sleigh carrying all the vaccines can be heard gliding from rooftop to rooftop, and candles offering pleasant scents of the holiday season invade my olfactory senses — ewwww! on second thought, what IS that smell? Has something gone bad? That’s the last time I buy candles from Gwyneth’s collection — I can’t help but take pride in what I’ve accomplished during these trying times. My hands, particularly, deserve praise while, for all available excuses to fall prey to the Devil’s playground by staying idle, they remained productive, all the while looking 💯 like those of The Crypt Keeper from all the Purell. 

As they say, hindsight is 2020, so let’s put it behind us and look ahead to the new year with excitement. May your PPE Tik Tok your Kornacki and Zoom your Toobin to the HBOMax Borat all four seasons total landscaping leaving you with a flattened curve throughout all of 2021!

Yours Truly from Six Feet Away,

Andy

2015 – My Year in Review

To all my dearest friends from Jon to Trevor, Stephen to Larry, Dave to Stephen, and Bruce to Caitlyn…oh, and, of course, Mr. Nutz (Deez, you know I can’t forget youz),

Hello! How are you? It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry. . . But Adele lyrics aside, according to my FitBit, I’m “Kill’nit!” even in the face of this tumultuous, turbulent, truculent transitioning of the times which glided by like a hoverboard along the crumbling infrastructure of society. That said, whereas the rest of the world saw a black dress, I saw a gold one!

It was a year of self-realizing who I was. . . and then self-identifying with someone else. This allowed me to park in handicapped spaces, accept a Tony Award, and step on the GOP debate stage to spout random stuff off the top of my head. But in the end, I showed up everyday and worked hard, sometimes 22, 23 hours a day. Such is the price to pay when you’re a part-time employee for Amazon. Hey, I do my job, even if I don’t believe in it. I mean, who am I, Kim Davis? BOOM!

[Mic Drop]

I spent much of the early part. . .

[Mic Retrieval]

My bad! I realize you can’t hear me without the mic. As I was saying. . . I spent much of the early part of the year preparing my place for a special visitor as my friend B-Dub told me he was “tight with Pope Frankie” and could get me a personal meeting. So after dumping the Chipotle in the toilet, erasing the hashtags from all my Starbucks cups, and hiding the Subway sandwiches in a box way back in the closet, His Holiness never showed! Turns out Brian didn’t know him at all; he didn’t even follow him on Periscope! (Way to get my hopes up, Williams!)

As a consolation, I did get to sit down for tea with another representative from the religious community. You know what they say, the only thing that rectifies our problems is a good chai with a nun.

Lest not ye think it was a year devoid of hardship, an incident thrust me into controversy. Well, the kerfuffle began when I purchased a piñata for my nephew’s birthday, stored it at his house, and upon hoisting it over the ol’ oak branch for him and his friends to whack open, we found far less candy inside than piñata regulations stipulate.

Don’t you know, this earned me a suspension from my nephew’s next four birthdays, which I thought was exorbitant considering it was the same penalty given his cousin for licking all the pretzels and putting them back in the bowl. After some investigation, it became clear his brother was the culprit as it is common for one sibling to steal candy from the other — The Natural Law of Relation — in what will forever be known heretofore throughout my family as Relategate.

But that ordeal was nothing compared to the water my proverbial ship (H.M.S. Measles Outbreak) took on when I penned that seemingly harmless magazine piece suggesting the work of three guitars in a band wasn’t necessary. I commented that a lead and rhythm guitarist were plenty. Oh, the heat I took! It was completely unfounded, I believe. I mean, you all know me! I certainly am no bassist. In fact, I can’t be a bassist. I have a friend who plays the bass. But alas, I was ordered to attend sensitivity training, mandatory listening to Sly & the Family Stone, and a meeting with the likes of Sting and Flea.

File Under: It Wasn’t All Bad. I did manage to do quite a fair bit of traveling, mostly to fan festival destinations as they have become very popular recently. To all you cosplayers, no, I couldn’t make Comic-Con, but in the span of a summer fortnight, I attended everything from Connick-Con, a celebration of jazz musician/actors from New Orleans, to the wonderful weekend of events centered around the character of “Frenchy” from the original “Grease” movie that was Didi Conn-Con, to the Rockettes own fan convention, Cancan-Con, to a week of eating all sorts of delicious pork products at Bacon-Con (which is not to be confused with the Kevin Bacon festival named after his role in “Hollow Man,” Sebastian Caine-con), to getting my sweet tooth on at Bonbon-Con. I even found time this year to participate in a useful four-hour workshop on decision-making — Pro/Con.

And finally, professionally, I achieved some good fortune. You may have heard that Daniel Craig’s days as James Bond are coming to a close and for his successor, the production company sought an actor outside the suave, dapper archetype we’ve grown used to. Well, after several rounds of auditioning and tense callbacks. . . I was chosen to be the next James Bond!  . . . and then I was told I wasn’t. At first, I was upset with Steve Harvey Casting but realize it was an honest mistake which they attempted to make up for by promising me a shot at another role, that of “008,” a spy with a license to sell jewelry at a mall kiosk, for the upcoming “Moonraker” big screen remake to air on television as a live musical. Fingers crossed!

May the force awaken inside you leaving you refreshed and inspired for a great 2016!

Yours Truly,

Andy Wasif

P.S. If anyone on my list is still having difficulty keeping their e-mail server from getting wiped clean, I’m happy to send a hard copy of this to you.