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10/01/2011 / Hackett

My 2010 of 140: The Year of the Tweet

Now Playing: Pearl Jam – Live at the Garden (8 July 2003)

Day after day I get mocked and chided by family and friends for being on “the Twitter”. Many of these people are also on Facebook, but call Twitter “stupid” and “useless”. How’s that for speaking out of both sides of your mouth? I do my best to explain the benefits and enjoyment I get out of Twitter and social media as a whole, but it often seems as if they are predisposed to latch on to their sheltered opinions no matter what. So, to put a bow on 2010 and launch into the new year, I’ve decided to give a much more long-winded explanation of my unequivocal love for “the Twitter”.

My twitter account was created 21 May 2009. For the first few months, it took some getting used to. I’d had Facebook since sometime in 2005 or so, but was never totally enamored with it. When I discovered Twitter, that relationship only worsened. I would update with random stuff, mostly the things that people who don’t “get” Twitter perceive it as, i.e. “I’m brushing my teeth”, or “BEST. LUNCH. EVER.” Then the 2009-2010 NHL season rolled around, and, as they say, “sh*t got SERIOUS”. I found Twitter to be an incredibly useful tool to connect with fellow hockey, and more specifically, Chicago Blackhawks fans.

This led to some incredibly fun and fantastic opportunities. I eventually got asked to write for some fantastic sites, namely NHL Hot Stove and View From My Seats, as well as starting my own blog (that’s this one, genius) which deals with whatever the hell I want it to, from Blackhawks, to breakups, to Brett Favre, and sometimes even things that don’t start with B.

I am very grateful for the opportunities to write for these sites and have the chance to subject people to my (often alcohol and hockey adrenaline-fueled) ramblings. In addition to the blogs to which I contribute (albeit FAR too infrequently) I have even been asked to join some podcasts. I was invited to be a “counterpoint” voice with the boys in Smashville at CellBlock 303 during last season’s playoffs as well as co-jackass on the Hockeenight puckcast early in the current season. Take a listen, they were BOTH a freaking blast.

I love that I now have an outlet for which I am able to not only able to engage in, but let alone promote, the things that I love, those being writing, hockey, and music. The unfortunate thing is that I do not do it often enough. I resolve to correct that in 2011.

Do you know what it’s like to interact with people from all over the planet during the Olympics via a single hashtag (#Van2010)? I’ve never cared about curling more in my life. Do you think I would have ANY contact with Nashville Predators fans, let alone be invited to talk hockey with them were it not for Twitter? And one of the more chilling nights on Twitter, I watched

Photo Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

 as reporters (in this case Alex Ruiz) captured quotes and pictures as the Calgary Flames suddenly traded Olli Jokinen immediately following a game.  Look at the shock and disbelief in his eyes.  It was surreal to watch this play out 140 characters at a time.

As cool as all of that is, it pales in comparison to the personal connections that I have made through social media (read: mostly Twitter).  The first time I told a friend that I was hanging out with someone I had met from Twitter it was incredibly awkward.  I felt like a Craigslist creeper or, if possible, worse.  Since then I have grown accustomed to the fact that it’s a huge and undeniable part of my life now.  The way Twitter is set up with lists, hashtags, and directories such as weFollow, makes finding people who share common interests easy with just a few clicks. 

One of the lists I have set up on my personal Twitter account is titled “IRL”.  No, it is not a compilation of race car drivers, but rather has the following description:  “I know for a fact these people exist. I’ve seen (and in some cases, touched) them”.  It’s obviously people I’ve met, whether before or after joining Twitter, but the list is made up in large part of people with whom I have become connected since becoming a tweet-a-holic. 

There is Emily, my “sistah from anotha mistah” who came in from Las Vegas

Me and Emily Stanley Cup Weekend

 for the Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade and rally and helped at least try and take my mind off of the rather less than thrilling events of that weekend.  Ya did good, girl.  Speaking of Sin City, Meredith, one of Emily’s dear friends from the Vegas, has also visited several times.  While I can drink her under the table before the appetizers show up, she never fails to go toe-to-toe talking hockey.  There is Jen Jen, who first emailed me and asked me to be one of the co-conspirators on one of my favorite hockey websites, A View From My Seats, who came to visit on a couple of occasions, and whose smile never fails to brighten up otherwise cloudy days.  Thanks for staying up late and helping me edit my ramblings, Jen Jen.

There’s also my Blackhawks convention crew of lady puckheads: Heather, Lindsey (I spelled your name right!), Erin, Ashley and Tina (whom I’ve known for QUITE some time before Twitter).  We tore through that place with a rolling cooler of beer and rabid fandom that left people with mouths agape. 

Then there was the Training Camp Festival.  I remember the first year this was held, I had to go by myself as I had no one that was 1. Aware of its existence; and 2. Willing to shake off a hangover that early on a Saturday. 

Paging Doctor Johnsson...

 Most of the responses I got were akin to the famed Allen Iverson press conference.  This year was a decidedly different story, as Kelly and Andrew from Blackhawks DL sat with me and joined in my buffoonery with wicked gusto. We knocked a few kids out of the way at the Sharpie sponsored sign making table to show our “love” for the ghost of Kim Johnsson, and proceeded to mark every tally in the scrimmages with a goal call in the style of the one and only Randy Moller. I won’t lie, that was the genesis of my “goal tweets” that have either annoyed you or cracked you up all season long.

If you can believe it, I’ve actually made some friends outside of the hockey world through the magic of Twitter. Somehow, I stumbled upon the FIJI Urban Hunt through Miss Leyla Arsan. You can read about the incredible experience here, as my college buddy Mike and I cruised through the city uncovering clues and burning through our cell phone batteries at a breakneck pace. Then, through the people I met there, I came to be part of the #latenightcrowd. These are my fellow insomniacs and social butterflies that do not shut things down when The Late Show comes on, rather, they are just getting things rolling. The nightly check-ins and monthly tweetups (and FAR too much Malört, THANKS MIKE!!) keep this one of the most interesting groups I follow.

I can’t forget Jason, who works for a very nice restaurant franchise (I’m not talking Applebee’s here, folks), and came to Chicago on business, and treated me and a lady-friend to a fantastic meal and even strong-armed the staff into allowing us to watch the Hawks rough up the Canucks in this high-end establishment. We then proceeded to close his bar, then the one down the street (I won’t mention how he dropped a beer after closing time…oh, whoops…) and then grabbed a much needed breakfast at somewhere around 4am…on a Wednesday.

Most recently, a Chicago native transplanted to the left coast came home for the holidays and graced yours truly with her presence for a few evenings. I

D'awwwwwww..!

got to meet Jen when she came in for Christmas, and proceeded to take her to my favorite Christmas party, that of halfway jane and friends. I would forego any and all other Christmas parties for this one. Jen was lucky enough to be my date for the night. I’m confident enough to say she had fun with me even if she hadn’t stolen my hat (and looked better in it than I did…but you didn’t hear that from me).

Unfortunately, this year hasn’t been a complete win for yours truly. In all honesty, I’ve lost quite a bit. I’d rather not dwell on the obvious, but it’s pretty apparent that I’m a (relatively) recently single man. Aside from that, tremendous strain has been put on more than a few relationships this year, some unavoidable, but others due to my own bullheadedness and immaturity. I’ve hurt and been hurt by people that I care about, but have also been propped up and saved by them as well. Some of these misdeeds are beyond reproach and repair, but I take flipping the calendar as an opportunity to correct what I can and move forward. To those I’ve wronged, whether I am aware of it or not, you deserve better in my hands; and I apologize.

Thanks for a great year friends, you are all a significant and enjoyable part of my life. I’m lucky to have all of you.

Peace, and LET’S GO HAWKS!!!

-Hackett

No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead

I’m thumbing my way back to heaven

-Vedder

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6 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. TQ / Jan 10 2011 23:56

    Keep. Writing. Although you have the flair for the sub 140, I hope for increased verbosity in e11even. Good post.

    • Hackett / Jan 11 2011 00:50

      I have vowed to blog more this year. I enjoy it, I am just so A.D.D. about it, every post takes me like 4 hours, no matter how small. But Imma get after it TQ. -Hackett

  2. emily / Jan 11 2011 00:16

    Luv this!!! you did put up the best picture of us from that night!!! you have such a great style of writing #BrothaFromAnothaMotha! its from the heart. you make me proud!!!

    • Hackett / Jan 11 2011 00:51

      Thanks baby doll! I’m blushing! Can’t wait to see you again in March! We gonna get NUTS!!

  3. Terrilyn Thaker / Jan 13 2011 22:12

    Very Nice website. I just finished mine and i was looking for some ideas and you gave me a few. May i ask you whether you developed the website by youself?

    Thanks

  4. Allena Sheasby / Jan 17 2011 16:46

    Most what i read online is trash and copy paste but your posts are not alike. Bravo.

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