Archive for December, 2010

Alternate Title: My Year in Review

I’ve been back in Seattle for exactly one year today, and it has been glorious. After a myriad of employment, relationship, legal, and auto snafus (among other things), I was more than ready to ring in the new year. I knew there was a lot in store, but I never could have dreamed things could be so good. Here are the highlights:

I’m back in Seattle!
This is the single most important change upon which all awesome things hinge. The hills, the rain, the cold, GIVE IT ALL TO ME. I was more than ready to be anywhere outside of California, and Seattle was a great place to land. I immediately jumped back into going out with friends, strolling Pike Place Market and Puget Sound, and eating and drinking some of the best tastes on earth. Every sunset here is different from the ones before it and better. I sound like a total cheeseball and I don’t care. I’m going to enjoy this Seattlegasm for everything I can.

The hearse is complete and ready for business.
After almost a year of painstaking project management, which naturally came with its share of disappointments, I finally got the hearse up and running. For years, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The idea seemed so far-fetched and absurd, how the hell was I going to do this? Yoda was right, there is no try. Just get up and do something. Fortunately, I did lots of things and ended up driving awesome events including the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, Crypticon, Decibel Festival, and ZomBcon, not to mention tons of weddings and parties. This is the most fun anyone could ever hope to have completely sober and with (moderate) clothes on.

I found a place to live.
After searching far and wide for months (seriously), I ended up back on First Hill, the same neighborhood as last time. But what a difference a short hike uphill makes! Back in Sacramento, some very wonderful people helped me write a list of everything I want in a new home, no matter how small, no matter how silly: an in-unit washer/dryer, a parking space big enough for Barbie, the ability to walk places, a gym, allowance to have my dog… It all came true! I even have a view of Mt. Rainier. I’ve always been a sucker for a nice view, but hadn’t even thought to ask for it.

I got my dog back.
At long last, I’ve settled down and found a home for Zoey and me. We spent the summer taking many nice walks through Capitol Hill, the Central District, and beyond. She has aclimated well to the drastic weather change and even enjoyed her first snow day this year.

I volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium.
When I first moved here back in 2007, I was nervous about finding a job and a permanent home, and basically having to redefine happiness as I understood it. So I went the Seattle Aquarium and encountered my favorite exhibit: the seahorses. Never has there been a more beautiful, tranquil animal to take a wound-up human’s mind off of what ails her. I wanted to go back again and again… and now I do! I’ve met many wonderful people and formed some nice friendships as a result.

I found a full-time job.
I now work as a technical writer at a water treatment company in Everett and I absolutely love it! My boss and coworkers are very flexible and nice, and I’m learning tons of new things. Right before I was hired, we took on a new client that has been bringing in lots of business for us. We had a great year, and we plan on having many more!

I write for SSG Music.
One of my favorite things about living in Austin (and something easily replicated here) was being involved in the music scene. I miss my busy nights working at the now-defunct electronic music magazine from my early years, so I applied to write album reviews for SSG Music. Now I can stay in touch with what’s happening out there AND keep my review-writing muscles toned.

I’m taking flying lessons.
I’m about seven hours into receiving my VFR pilot license at Northway Aviation. I fell in love with flying the moment I started, and it’s really no suprise considering the abundance of mountains, islands, and greenery here. This is one of the most difficult activities I’ve ever tried, but I am so happy to be giving it a shot!

I finally finished The Guide to Getting It On.
Reading a book about sex may not seem like that big of a deal, but when it’s 800 pages long and you have the attention span of a tse-tse fly, I say it’s a big deal. I’ve been reading it on and off since I lived in New York, sandwiching chapters between activities and other books, all of which I have reviewed on my Goodreads profile. My review of The Guide is all the way at the bottom. Told you it was a long time ago!

I turned 30!
Yes, it’s quite the accomplishment. I somehow managed to stay intact with fully functioning limbs and organs for three decades. I had a great party at the Comet with multiple cakes, great gifts, and friends from Queen Anne Poker Night, Capitol Hill Reddit Game Night, and beyond! I’m extremely thankful that so many of my friends rallied on a Tuesday night to celebrate this milestone golden birthday. (It’s golden because I was born November 30th, nameen?)

I joined the Junior League of Seattle.
I wanted to get more involved in the community in a charitable way (more so than going to shows and looking at seahorses), so I joined the Junior League. My provisional group’s project is called Kids in the Kitchen, a workshop for school-age children to learn how to make simple, healthy snacks at home. We’re having a fundraiser at Vermillion on January 27th at 6pm. Come out and enjoy Jesse Higman’s beautiful paintings, drink some fantastic wine selections, and donate to a great cause!

All in all, this has been a great year. I’m so excited to finish this year with a bang and celebrate 2011 all year long!

Boxelder Bug Variations: A Meditation on an Idea in Language and MusicBoxelder Bug Variations: A Meditation on an Idea in Language and Music by Bill Holm
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of my friends at the aquarium bought this for a dollar at Half Price Books. Everything about nature seems to interest her, so why not? I don’t know how we got to talking about box elder bugs. I haven’t thought about them since I was a kid, collecting them off the side of my friend’s house, giving them names (usually Moe), and drawing pictures of them. Although this book alludes to their “variations,” I can assure you every drawing looked the same. When you like to draw, but can’t do it very well, it’s best to choose a simple specimen, one that won’t get insulted when you get it wrong.

This collection of pictures, poems, and songs is an unexpected joy to read. With literary references that could redden any ivory tower, it doesn’t leave a single stone unturned when discussing our tiny black and red pals.

Five stars, huh? Yeah, FIVE. This book is just one more surprise example of the shared human experience. No matter how many people call you weird for liking something, there are at least as many people somewhere in the world who like it too and evidence of such is marvelous!

View all my reviews

Full story at 11.