Another year, and another look back on the year that was. Man, I’ve done one of these every year since 2002. It’s certainly a tradition that I enjoy. Unfortunately, as I look back at each set of goals and hopes for the coming year, I’ve never actually accomplished them. Hmmm, that’s kinda depressing in a way.
Let’s look at the bright side. I initially tried to think of what was big this year, and it seemed like nothing happened. A quiet, boring year. No vacations to faraway lands. No new Ipes born. I only led one audit. However, by digging deeper into each month, I realized how wrong I was. This year wasn’t boring. This year was huge. You could call it a deceptively-quiet-yet-important year.
Life, Love, Family, and Friends
- Celebrated my sixth wedding anniversary. The more I get to know my wife, the more I love her.
- I turned 33 this year. I think I’m smarter, fatter, but somehow still happier. However, I can’t believe I’ll be 34 next year. Not to sound stupid, but I sometimes can’t believe I”m actually aging. I mean, come on, I’m in my 30’s. What’s next, the 40’s?
- Joshua is really developing into his very own person, personality and everything. This year, we had five father-son trips. Sometimes I forget that being a father means more than just bathing and feeding the kids. It also means taking them on trips, buying them spur-of-the-moment toys, and having fun with them. Something for me to remember in 2010.
- In March, Lily took her first steps, and got her first tooth. She also turned 1. She’s been an interesting character. So cute, so charming, and yet absolutely high maintainence. I’m amazed by how frustrating and loveable a little girl can be. She can just charm you, and immediately go draw on the walls while your back is turned.
- After all these years, in March, I finally got a chance to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. It was a good experience, and I learned a lot.
- I attended exactly one game this entire year — a minor league baseball game in Lakewood, NJ. Good food, good times, good fireworks at the end. Sure beats that Nets game we went to last December.
- Our priest Father Francis Hubbard moved on this year after 25 years of service, and our church is in the process of looking for a new one. He basically got us slowly involved in the church month after month. Good man.
- Some friends got married this year (Kanishk & Sofi!), and a lot of our other friends are just now popping out babies. It’s about time people in our circle of friends joined the sleepless club. Suckas.
- I have watched 38 movies so far this year, either at the movie theater, home DVD rental, or streaming. My goal this year was to enjoy my free time, and dang, the year ain’t over yet!
- I led what appears to be my last audit for a long while. It went very well, and I’m pretty proud of it. I completed it ahead of schedule, plenty of peer kudos, and the team was happy. I suppose it is always good to go out on a high note. Five successful audits in four years is not too shabby. Next year, I’m a regular guy happy to have a job, and waiting for the inevitable curveball.
- No CISSP certification yet, so let’s stop talking about it for the moment. Sigh. Not accomplishing something year after year really burns my britches.
- This is indeed career-related news: I’ve started drinking coffee in the mornings.
- I’ve divested myself from the NY Chapter of the IIA after seven years. No time any more to update the website, and every request to attend a workshop or luncheon (and get reimbursed by my employer) has been denied.
- In January, Josh & I went to a model railroad show in PA, which I’ve always wanted to do. The train sets were so cool.
- Also in January, Josh & I spent an entire day at the Liberty Science Center. I’ve always wanted to go, and Josh loved the kids area. We also watched a 3D movie on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
- In March, I took the kids (with my sister and BIL) to the Please Touch museum in Philadelphia. Kids had a great time, and I’m glad they had fun with their favorite uncle and aunt.
- We had our first big extended family trip in May. My wife organized a trip for our immediate family, her sister and family, and the maternal grandparents, and rented a large 4-bedroom house in Bethany Beach, Delaware, for an entire week. We only spent one day at the beach, but we also visited Ocean City, Maryland, spent time in the pool, BBQ’d, and did a whole lot of relaxing.
- I didn’t do a lot of business travel this year. I was back in Canada for a few weeks on business in April & June. In May, I spent a week in Delaware on business as well. Not the most exciting of business trips this year.
- In June, Joshua and I dropped off the girls in at a baby shower, and we visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Cool aquarium, but geez, it’s expensive. I’d still recommend visiting, but get your government bailout money first.
- We had a really so-so time at this year’s Quick Chek hot air balloon festival. Expensive, hot as all Hell, and heavy storms finally drove us off. I don’t think we’ll ever do it again.
- Our friends the Florida Kurians came to visit. As always, they leave us too soon!
- In September, Josh and I took the train into NYC, and had a fun day at the Museum of Natural History and the Rose Center. One of my favorite museums, and Josh’s first train ride. I’ve promised him that I would take him to the city on a train for over a year now. I finally kept my promise to him.
- Also in September, my wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a weekend getaway to Atlantic City. I love my kids, but I enjoy spending my free time with my wife sans kids too. That doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids. I just occassionally enjoy the sanity break.
- In December, we drove down to Virginia for the baptism of Barb & John’s son Jack.
- My son Joshua loves Star Wars! He has watched the original trilogy with me, and has started collecting various action figures. Side note: one of my favorite early toys that kicked off my imagination was an original Luke Skywalker action figure. I’m just so happy about Josh’s new-found love for Star Wars. HAPPY!
- Speaking of Star Wars, I am enjoying Star Wars: The Clone Wars on TV. It’s great to get a regular Star Wars fix, and share it with your son.
- This is probably a weird thing to be excited about, but after seven years, we purchased brand new cookware. You know we like to cook in our house.
- My plucky BlackBerry Curve died on me in March under mysterious circumstances. I’m still not sure what happened. However, I upgraded to the BlackBerry Bold, and I love it. Since I turned lemons into…. a new smartphone, that’s why it’s a favorite moment.
- We moved to Verizon’s FiOS service — HDTV, internet, and phone. We’re not taking advantage of the additional HD channels yet (lack of HDTV), but we’re still saving an extra $50 a month compared to life under Comcast. The actual installation was a complete boondoggle, but it’s been smooth sailing ever since. The downstream/upstream speeds are slightly better too. If only we had an HDTV…….
- I assembled our first-ever BBQ grill, courtesy of my wonderful sister last Christmas. I don’t know what I’m doing, and massacred our most recent steaks, but I have faith that I’ll figure it out eventually.
- I rebuilt my home PC with Windows 7. Why is this newsworthy? Duh, the pride of any geek worth his Pentiums is his/her home PC. It’s the center of your life. in my Windows 7 is pretty awesome compared to Win XP, IMHO, but I wish I had a dual core PC.
- I dropped our beloved Canon S80 digital camera, one that we had scrimped and saved up $400 in 2006. After taking such good care of it for 3 years, one drop on the lense, and that was it. Sad. We’ve replaced it, but I gotta wonder the value of expensive cameras if they can break so easily. Also, my stupidity for dropping the camera in the first place.
- Uh, I bought a $10 chicken salad sandwich? I’m not sure that’s entirely newsworthy, but I’m still pretty mad about the incident.
- Speaking of chicken salad sandwiches, I’m still upset that our local Atlanta Bread Company closed up in July. I miss them so much.
- Initial indications that our home heating and AC is dying a slow death. Time to budget a few thousand dollars to replace it in the next year or two.
- I accidentally drove over my office laptop with my car. I’ve never so much as spilled a drink on a laptop, and here I am, doing a demolition derby with it. Argh.
- Reading Rainbow went off the air. I grew up on the show, and it was truly remarkable and important programming for children.
- I have finally admitted to a having a snoring problem. It sucks.
- I found out that my high school classmate Jason Green died 14 years ago, and I never knew. Sigh.
- I found out that one of my ex-girlfriends from college was a lying skank. Well, more than I originally knew, anyway. Ah well, it bothered me for a long week, because we had been slowly reconciling after all these year. However, it turns out her she’s still a liar and that makes any apologies…. less than heartfelt. It took me a few days of thinking, talking, and relieving some bad times, but I finally got over it. That’s life, I guess. The upside? I ended our recent “let bygones be bygones” reconciliation efforts, kicked that troll out of my life forever, and realized that my life, however imperfect, is pretty damn good. Oh, and she’s still a troll.
- Almost two decades since I last used our old 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), my wife upgraded me with an early birthday present — the Playstation 3. Yes, the price dropped 6 months later, but it was still a fun six months, so I have no regrets. If I could only enjoy my games on a large HDTV, nothing could be better.
- I tried yoga for the first time. It was interesting. Also, the kids like yoga too.
- Yes, I’m on Facebook more, but currently on a break. I’m proud to say I never did that whole 25 Random Things crap. Why should I, when I have maintained my own Joel Trivia for years now? 😉
- Favorite movies this year: District 9, Star Trek, Donnie Brasco, The Island,
- Worst movies this year: Bride Wars, Made of Honor, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Tropic Thunder, and The Wedding Date. I’m not even going to mention the partial viewings of movies like The Dukes of Hazzard and Definitely, Maybe. If I won’t even sit through the entire movie, that’s bad.
Looking Ahead to 2010
For once, I’m not making big predictions about what I will accomplish next year. I have a good life, and I’m happy regardless. If I have to go out on a limb, and state one thing I am looking forward to, it’s redecorating our house. That means painting the walls, new curtains, new carpets, and finally getting my long-sought-after HDTV.