The year in review / the year ahead

MonkeyI was prompted by a meme in [info]The Bruce’s recent post (which was, in turn, inspired by another post, and so on, as memes are apt to do) to dig through my mail and find the old­est mes­sage. On my cur­rent machine (a MacBook Air whose home direc­tory had pre­vi­ously been a MacBook Pro, nee PowerBook G4, nee iMac G3, nee Debian Linux on a Toshiba busi­ness lap­top, nee Linux on var­i­ous franken­stein PCs) that was May 7, 2001. It is a ticket con­fir­ma­tion to Cirque Du Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio dur­ing the DefCon of that year. That was amongst receipts and con­fir­ma­tions I felt, at the time, impor­tant enough to move over to the Mac. Previous to Apple’s Mail.app, I was using Pine and Unix mail direc­to­ries. I’m con­fi­dent I have those backed up on CD some­where. I’m also con­fi­dent that I’m too lazy to go back and look through those to find older mes­sages. In a related note, my first blog entry dates back to a lit­tle later that year: August 29th, 2001.

Looking back on the past year, there were plenty of high­lights to be happy about. Due to the econ­omy, the year was not as pros­per­ous and happy as pre­vi­ous years, so does not have as many things to high­light, but still has a few impor­tant items.

* New house! (Technically, we got it in late November of the pre­vi­ous year, but we were not really fully moved in until January or February, so it’s on the list) Also: mak­ing the jacuzzi func­tional
* Best Wife Ever. I’m always amazed at how dynamic and adap­tive she is, whether it’s her busi­ness, social cal­en­dar, inven­tive­ness in the kitchen and around the house, fear­less career changes, or just life in gen­eral. She has always been, and con­tin­ues to be, great.
* I still have a decent job at a decent com­pany with a good bal­ance between research and devel­op­ment of new prod­ucts and tech­nolo­gies ver­sus main­tain­ing old ones. This past year got even bet­ter because I got a cool new boss who acts as a good buffer between myself and the CEO.
* Yeay for friends and nights out beer­ing with them!
* Building up Kim’s busi­ness: get­ting bet­ter at pro­fes­sional photo retouch­ing, fix­ing up the web store, the newslet­ter pub­lish­ing, and all of that.
* Tearing down Kim’s busi­ness: on the one hand, it feels all to final, on the other, she’s fin­ish­ing her degree and will be bet­ter pre­pared to “reboot” her busi­ness, if that’s what she wants. Or to start an entirely dif­fer­ent com­pany with entirely dif­fer­ent pur­pose.
* Being part of the com­mu­nity, in the form of neigh­bor­hood asso­ci­a­tion (or as they some­times say, “NA”) meet­ings. Calling them “NA Meetings” always squiggs me out, as I’ve learned “NA” as ini­tials to an entirely dif­fer­ent sort of meet­ing.
* Norman, the semi-feral kitty we res­cued from the streets.

I don’t really make new years res­o­lu­tions. I gen­er­ally try to improve myself through­out the year, a lit­tle at a time, instead of attempt­ing a big trans­for­ma­tive change once a year. A few ways I have been try­ing to bet­ter myself and will con­tinue to do:

* I have increas­ingly been learn­ing that the enter­tain­ment value and net­work­ing pro­vided by local events is highly impor­tant. Everything these days seems like it points back to cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing local communities–from sus­tain­able “green” liv­ing to tech­ni­cal learn­ing, shar­ing, and cre­at­ing (so called “bar­camps.”) I’ve been to a few of the big­ger events (Ignite Portland), but have yet to go to any of the smaller ones like twee­t­ups and things at cube­space, beer-and-blog, and what­not. I have Portland Barcamp on my cal­en­dar and plan on attend­ing other smaller events as time per­mits.
* I started going to my Yoga For Stiffs class less and less fre­quently last year. This was partly due to money, partly falling out of a rou­tine, partly mov­ing fur­ther away and dri­ving less fre­quently. I’m not com­fort­able with a lot of bike rid­ing, espe­cially after dark, and bus trans­fers to class would have been a pain. I have been research­ing more advanced yoga and dif­fer­ing forms of exer­cise, like Tai Chi, that are eas­ier to get to. I’m ready to start tak­ing a few sam­ple classes, but if two new years of Yoga for Stiffs (hence the desire to try some­thing more advanced or dif­fer­ent) have taught me any­thing, it’s that the first few weeks of the new year are over­crowded in such classes and you are unable to get the atten­tion you deserve. I may wait until late January or early February to let things set­tle before start­ing up again.
* I have been clean­ing up and min­i­miz­ing the amount of phys­i­cal crud in my life and will con­tinue to do so. It’s amaz­ing how many use­less trin­kets, so-called time­sav­ing gad­gets, and maybe-I’ll-need-it-someday junk you can col­lect, never use, take up space that could be bet­ter uti­lized for things you actu­ally use, and even­tu­ally end up in land­fills. I’ve been seri­ously get­ting rid of use­less stuff I already have and mak­ing great efforts to pre­vent such kip­ple from even enter­ing the house in the first place. It’s an ongo­ing bat­tle, but after an ini­tial purge it takes very lit­tle active work, just a lit­tle ongo­ing thought.
* In the past few months, I’ve turned over a new leaf as far as style and looks go. My cloth­ing has got­ten less industrial-music, less punk-rock. My hair went from waist-length two-tone to nat­ural color to short. There is still more work to do this year with style and clothes and more self-discovery of what my new style really is.

So that’s the old year and the new year, wrapped as best as these sorts of things can be in a blog entry.

Posted in: Dear Diary

3 thoughts on “The year in review / the year ahead

  1. Nice wrap up! I didn’t know that half this stuff was going on, you guys have done a lot this year!
    I’m really inter­ested in get­ting involved in our com­mu­nity, now that I really feel a part of one. It feels like the right thing to do, espe­cially com­ing from some­place where the whole con­cept is pretty much done. My neigh­bor­hood has a yahoo group, and I think that’s so awe­some. I am very new to this stuff, ha.

    Thanks for the Yoga class tip, too. I was going to enroll in some­thing local, but I think I’ll wait now, until next month!

  2. Aw. Of course I say *bravo* + “here here” about Kim the Great!
    Your affec­tion + love for each other is obvi­ous w/every look + is quite endear­ing.
    Cheers to 2009!

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