2014 – My Year in review


2014 was an interesting year for me. Not an amazing year, but a really good one. In the coming post, I’ll outline some of the good and the bad before outlining my goals for 2015. 

Here we go. 

My job

I am loving my job at the University. I came here two years ago to try and make a major impact in how we recruit and market.  In year one, we re-invented our brand and our digital presence. In year two, we re-imagined our marketing and recruitment strategy. Managing marketing for a large organization is a little bit like navigating a giant cruise ship. It’s not always a nimble process but once you move the ship into the right direction, you can really make a big impact. We’re seeing great progress already but I am beyond excited for year three.  That being said, it really is a very public job which has upsides and downsides.  I’ve literally had people come up to me at parties telling me they hate our new logo (new vs old). I think she also hated cats. Believe it or, I’ve even gotten anonymous threatening letters. Some people have too much time and too little joy in life. Otherwise, perfect. 


This year’s first semester teaching was amazing. I felt a bit off my second semester. I tested a lot of new things this semester (rather than reading a book, we published one). Rather than final presentations in class, we did them in a theatre. I’ll stick with the final event concept but will have my class read a book (rather than publish one)  again next semester. Working with my classes is by far one of the most gratifying  experiences of my life. I am really blessed to have this opportunity. Here is a little recap video from our final event. 



I am in the process of getting my MFA in Digital Media. It’s something I am enjoying tremendously and I get to integrate tons of IdeaMensch projects directly into my studies. It’s the perfect education for me. 


IdeaMensch is still going strong. We had a major re-design last year, which in retrospect was maybe a mistake. We built a ton of functionality on top of a rather old infrastructure. In the process, things got so complicated that I really wasn’t able to do much work myself anymore. So over christmas break, I re-designed IdeaMensch from the ground up. It lost some functionality in the process (the overlay process of searching interviews by category + location) but now I am able to do a lot more work myself again. You’ll see some cool new ideas brought to life here in 2015. 


Ok, I am going to bullet point this list. 

  • My family and friends, with few exceptions, are largely healthy and doing well.  I am deeply saddened by the rapid decline in health of Jen’s mom Debbie and am rooting hard for another friend who is battling cancer. 
  • I went back to Germany this summer and in the process we won the World Cup. Despite contracting the Norovirus, it was a great summer. Germany is sort of my favorite team. 

I don’t always watch soccer with other Germans. But when I do, it looks like this.

A video posted by themarioblog (@themarioblog) on

  • Otto is in year three of fighting cancer. He is still alive and still takes up 70% of the bed at night. Here’s to many more years. 

  • I got into gardening this year and absolutely loved it. For about a third of the year, most of the vegetables I ate came from my very own garden. I probably grew close to 100 pounds of fresh vegetables. 

  • Last winter I started tying flies, this winter I started cross country skiing. Both are two of my favorite hobbies ever.  Now that I use my own flies, I catch a lot fewer fish. But when I do get ‘em on my own fly, there’s no better feeling. Well, at least outside of winning that whole world cup business. 

  • I set myself the goal of only buying local, organically fed and humanely raised meat. So I bought a pig and a sixth of a cow. Oddly enough, my cholesterol is up a bit this year. That being said I feel a lot better about my diet.  I’d say that about 60% of the food I consume is local at this point, 90% in the summer. 
  • Next year, I am seriously contemplating to try and hunt an elk. I don’t know if I can pull the trigger and actually kill an animal. Regardless, it feels like the most ethical way to eat meat. 

  • I still love my parents. They are the best and sort of a constant in my life.

  • I felt like I had a really hard time focusing this year. Part of that was probably that I once again got involved in too many things. But another part of it was simply that I simply didn’t feel like I was on top of my game. I’ve also experienced temporary memory lapses which I need to keep a close eye on. 
  • Early this fall, I raced the Montana Hell Ride which supposedly is the bike ride in Montana. Needless to say, I didn’t win. But I finished and survived. 

  • Last but not least, I joined both The Cycling House and GeoRiot in advisory functions. Both of the founders are great friends of mine, so I am happy to help. Well, let’s hope I am actually helping. 

Looking forward

My three big goals in 2015 are to: 

  • Publish the book I’ve been writing for the last couple of years and just produce more work, period.
  • Ride the northern route of the Continental Divide on my mountain bike.
  • Re-ignite IdeaMensch.

To do this, I am making a few changes to my daily routine. 

  • I won’t be on Facebook in 2015. I don’t hate Facebook and I don’t spend a ton of time on in. 2015 is going to be a year of focus for me and I don’t see how Facebook will help with that. I will stay on both Twitter and Instagram. But hopefully we’ll get to spend lots of time talking to each other, face-to-face or at least via phone. 
  • Over the past month, I have changed my morning habits. I am getting up earlier, meditate and then try to be productive for an hour or two before going into the office. In 2015, I will continue to hone and improve this habit. 
  • I read a lot. Unfortunately, I don’t always finish books. In 2014, I loaded up my Kindle and started reading a bunch of books. In 2015, I will actually finish them. My goal is to read a book per week, either fiction or non-fiction. I will update my progress via short recommendations on this blog. 
  • Last and this is a first for me, but I need to take better care of my body.  In my twenties my body was able to function at peak levels by simply exercising near my limits. In the past year I have learned to understand that if I want continued peak performance, I need to make some adjustments.  In 2015, I will continue to do whatever it takes to get 8 hours of quality sleep, reduce drinking alcohol in moderate amounts to one (at most) two days per week and actually eat seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day. 

2014 was a really good year. 

2015 is going to be a great one. 

Eat clean, be well, live interesting and make stuff. That’s what I am going to try and do. 




1 Comment

  1. Alisha January 6, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Happy New Year Mario! Let me know if you want company on all or part of that Continental Divide ride. Sounds awesome. 🙂 – Alisha