2015 – And My Life In General – Has Brought Me Many Gifts.

And this is where I tell you all about them.


You’ve no doubt seen variations of this format on more than one blog lately. I wasn’t up to the task of sharing when the blog hop in question was being held – truthfully, I’m still not so sure I am – but like I’ve told more than one girl:

“I have no idea how this is going to turn out – or if its even legal – but I’m willing to risk the bruises if you are.”

Or something like that. Let’s begin, shall we?

 1) My wife.  She’s notoriously shy, so I’m not going to gush about her here. Suffice to say, my spouse saved my life twenty years ago and she still does so every day.

2)  My daughter.  She’s not Daddy’s Little Girl anymore but I couldn’t be prouder of the young woman she is evolving into. The kid never ceases to amaze me.

3)  Chelsea, the furriest member of our family.  I may not be feeling the love at three in the morning when I’m carrying her down the stairs so she can void her bladder, but she’s the greatest companion anyone ever had.


4)  The clarity to realize I’m never going to land a publishing deal.  Publishers hate me. Period. So it’s the blogger’s life for me. Forever.

5)  The opportunity to be there when my father-in-law needed me most.  Don’t get me wrong, watching the greatest man I’ve ever known succumb to emphysema gutted me… but I feel proud to have been there to support him as he supported me over the years.

6)  Bacon.  I certainly discovered it long before now, and I have a love/hate relationship with it. It’s great on burgers but it’ll kill you if you overindulge – but bacon deserves a spot on this list.

7)  Murdoch Mysteries.  Longtime readers know how much this Canadian drama centered on a turn-of-the-century detective/inventor means to my family. If it’s being televised at any time of day, at least one member of my family is watching it. Murdoch, as its known in my house, gave my bedridden father-in-law something to look forward to every day and allowed the entire clan to bond.

8)  New comic books.  There would be a Hulk-size void in my life without a steady supply of the “funny books” that have served as an escape/inspiration throughout my entire existence.

9)  My blogging friends.  The fact that there are too many of you to mention here is a testament to how blessed I’ve been by Mistress Fate. You’re all good eggs. Of course, some of you are a little cracked, but…

10)  Ann St. Vincent.  To be clear, I’m not giving the lovely Ann her own entry to deliberately offend anyone. The truth is, Ann was the only person who went way, way, way out of her way to reach out to me when I fractured my knee two summers ago. (Even my colleagues at work didn’t do squat for me.) So you can see why she’ll always hold a special place in my frozen Canadian heart, right?

11)  My extended family.  I work with some of the craziest, most neurotic, nutbars on the planet. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

12)  Niagara Falls.  My hometown gets a bad rap, even from people who have lived here, but not only is it one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, it is home to some of the most decent souls on this plane of existence.

13)  My health.  When I climb stairs, my knees sound like tree limbs breaking during an ice storm – but I’m still walking so I have that going for me. Otherwise, I’m no Superman but I’m doing all right.


14)  Our new kitchen.  This is where we keep the food so this room is pretty important. And thanks to Lowe’s, it looks better than ever.

15)  My new Star Wars and Captain America pajamas.  Yes, I’m forty-five-years-old. Yes, they make the wife groan and roll her eyes every night – in a bad way. Yes, I love ’em.

16)  Murdoch Mysteries Fan Day.  Nothing beats the opportunity to lift the veil and take a peek behind-the-scenes of your favorite show. The family had a blast meeting cast members and witnessing all the hard work that goes into producing forty-four minutes of brilliant television.

17)  My lack of a cellphone.  My life has enough distractions.

Speaking of which…

18)  Twitter.  I love Twitter. If you follow me, you know this already. If not, just check out my feed and no explanation will be necessary.

19)  My Twitter buds.  From companies, to TV shows, to “regular folk”, I have the best virtual friends money can buy.

20)  Limitless With its mix of humor and drama, this show is unlike anything on TV right now. If you aren’t watching it, you’re stupid. Don’t be stupid.

21)  Bradley Cooper.  He was phenomenal in the movie version of Limitless and now he’s the driving force behind the televised version. I want to hate the guy, but he rocks.

22)  Supergirl.  Girl power – Kryptonian style. This show is another hidden gem you must discover. Today.

23)  WordPress.com.  The best damn blogging platform on the planet continues to be the most affordable form of therapy on the planet.

24)  The guests I serve every day.  You never fail to inspire me in some way.  I love you all. In my own way, of course.

25)  The Bell Room.  It’s a dive, with exposed pipes, dirty floors and crappy wooden shelves – but it’s home in-between luggage calls.

26)  Sex.  I’m a guy, so naturally I’m going to include this activity on a list of things I’m grateful for, right?

27)  Books.  Of the non-comic variety, of course. Nothing compares to losing oneself in a good book.

28)  Doctor Who.  This show has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and now my daughter watches it with me. If I had an actual TARDIS, my life would be complete.

29)  Coca-Cola.  Yes, the wife has banned it in our home for the good of my health, but it still rocks.

30)  J.J. Abrams.  He resurrected the Star Wars franchise. he’s my hero. I’m willing to forgive him for lens flare. 

31)  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  The first Star Wars film my daughter and I ever watched together was the best in the series. I’m one happy nerd.

32)  Music. it really does sooth the savage beast. Or in this case, the savage bellman.

33)  Walmart.  It feels like I spend half my free time in this store, so it must be a cool place – especially to people-watch.

34)  My mom.  She made me, so…

35)  My wonderfully-flawed brain.  Mine is not a beautiful mind, but it’s never boring in there either.

36)  Pulp Nation.  The only comic site on the web that actually publishes my work is also a pretty cool one, fortunately.

37)  My employers.  What can I say about this family? They’ve given me viable employment that allows me to channel my creative energies in a (mostly) positive manner. They rule.

38)  Dena’s Home Cookin’.  They’re local and they make breakfast to die for. Seriously, I sometimes eat so much I’m pretty sure I’m going to expire with a smile on my face. The wife and I try to get here once a week, a tradition that my began with my father-in-law.

39)  My newly-purchased burial plot.  Yes, forward-thinking inspired the wife and I to purchase burial plots this summer. I can literally dance on my own grave if I choose to. How many people can say that?

40)  Sleep.  My second-favorite thing to do in bed. It’s the best.

41)  Anyone who has ever read my blog/book/work.  Thank you for rescuing me from depression.

42)  Bill Murray.  My daughter gave me The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray for Christmas. Now I love the guy even more. Apparently he’s as much of a character off-screen as on… and that makes him even cooler.

43)  The fact that I’m still me.  I’ve been through the wringer this year and I’m the same ole Hook. I am immensely proud of that. Yay, me.

44)  My wife’s baked goods.  No, that’s not a euphemism. My wife has been on a baking spree this winter – and it is glorious.

45)  Humor.  It sure beats the alternative.

46)  The X-Factor.  No, bit that godawful show, the unexpected misadventures and experiences that accompany being me. They keep me on my toes.

And speaking of staying sharp…

47)  Satan.  Sure, he’s the Devil, but without temptation how would we ever know how strong we really are?

48)  The Big Bang Theory The greatest show known to nerd. 

49)  Cityline.  Yes, it’s a lifestyle show aimed at women (mostly), but the wife and I watch it every day; it’s a great bonding experience. And host Tracy Moore is awesome in person.

50)  InnerSpace and it’s kick-ass cast.  It’s the second-greatest show known to nerd.

51)  Everyone and everything I’ve forgotten.

See you in the lobby – and 2016 – kids…

Happy New Year.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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32 Responses to 2015 – And My Life In General – Has Brought Me Many Gifts.

  1. Cayman Thorn says:

    You have lots to be thankful for, Hook. Here’s hoping the New Year brings you and yours the very best of everything.


  2. Thank you for reminding all of us that at the end of the day we need to surround ourselves with people who love and care about us. You have a wealthy life full of love. Congratulations and Happy New Year!

  3. The Cutter says:

    Sounds like you’re doing pretty well. Happy new year!

  4. We appreciate you too Robert! Great list… Rock on in 2016!~

  5. Indeed, 51 gifts to be joyful for! This reader is very grateful for your company and wishes you a home filled with joy! 🙂 Happy 2016, Robert!

  6. 1jaded1 says:

    Thank you for you and your blog. Publishers can….it. Happy New Year, Robert.

  7. Enjoyed the list. Happy New Year Hook. (by the way, Agents and publishers hate everyone.)

  8. curvyroads says:

    Robert, what a lovely way to end the year, and you have many wonderful things to be thankful for…Happy New Year, friend, and I can’t wait to see what that beautiful mind has in store for us in 2016!

  9. Thanks for all the grins, Hook. May your new year be full of grand adventures and much delight!

  10. What a fantastic list from an even more fantastic man. I love your humor and your stories, but I love your authenticity and ever-so-slightly vulnerable side even more.
    As for those publishers? PEESHAW! You just haven’t found the right one, yet.
    Thank you for sharing your list, it reminds me that I have much to be thankful for, too. I’m thankful for you, too! xo

  11. Fran McKeown says:

    What a lovely list! Love the blog! And wait, your name is Robert??? You mean your Mom didn’t name you “The Hook”??? How bizarre!!
    See you on the other side of the desk!!

  12. Austin says:

    Happy New Year! Hope 2016 is a real winner despite that extra work day…

  13. Happy New Year Hook! You have a solid list of thankfulness. I must say I laughed out loud at the PJ’s … it’s just so funny.

  14. Robert; thank you so much for the shout-out. I’m honored, my sweet friend.

  15. Sofia Leo says:

    Happy New Year, Hook! May 2016 bring you only happiness, prosperity and joy. And thanks for the new tagline on my OKCupid account! 🙂

  16. I am happy that you love star wars, too. But I am appalled that your daughter has only seen one of the movies??? I grew up on those! Come on, do me proud, fellow nerd 🙂

    I would also love to see Niagara Falls someday especially now since you insist it’s a beautiful place.

    And Big Bang Theory absolutely rocks! Happy new year!

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