I did this last year and it’s kind of fun to reminisce and really think about what happened in my life this past year. ESPECIALLY this year.
I guess before I begin – and this may be a long post, so you have been warned, I’ll post my holiday pictures up from my trip back home to Los Angeles for Christmas. It was really wonderful to see the whole famn damily after 3 years of being a no-show at the typical Christmas festivities. It was definitely a brief trip and accordingly exhausting as I left here on Saturday night and got to LA about 2 in the morning on Sunday. We had Stacie and her family over that evening so there was really no rest for the wicked to be had. It’s always a blast to catch up with stister Stacie and it’s like things are always the same between us. Then the next day was Christmas Eve with the Sperskes, which has been a tradition as long as I’ve been alive or at least as long as i remember. Again, seeing the whole family with all the young generation around is crazy. I used to be the Baby of these gatherings – but I guess when the baby is now 31, that title has to be passed on eventually! I am really glad I went home, if even for a short time. Just hanging out at home with Mom and Harv was so nice. But this was a short trip and after spending Christmas day pretty lowkey with going over to the Jensens (my first time partaking in EB’s fantastic Christmas Prime Rib – awesome!), I headed back to New Jersey the day after Christmas. And so this week at work was a whopping two days but they were fairly busy for me as I’m trying to teach myself Oracle Reports based on other completed results and while that is a very good place to start (cue ‘Do Re Mi’…), it doesn’t quite get me up to the speed I need to be at. So my work laptop has been brought home to continue the working/learning. Anyways, that’s a brief recap of this week. You are free to leave at this point if you want as the rest is basically pics of family that probably only family will enjoy and then a long recap of this year that I’m sure will leave some asleep at the keyboard and others going WTF? and some going, “well, did he Really need to say that there?” And to all of that, I say, ‘this is my page and I can write pretty much whatever the hell I want!’ (For you Arielle fans, I’ve got nothing more for you either!)
23 & 24 Dec 2007 – Christmas in Los Angeles
Well, I guess there’s no time like the present to begin my 2007 recap!
- Okay, well, hmmm….I have things that I want to write about but where do I start off? 2007 felt like a very LONG year. I guess at the beginning of 2007, I was hopeful. I knew that 2007 would be the year I finally got free from the Air Force, but I’d have to put in 8 more months of it before I earned that freedom. So I put on my Determined Face and was ready to be the Flight Commander of SCB for what I figured would be at least till the summer when Melissa would take over for me once she put on the rank of Captain. Alas, that little daydream didn’t pan out as expected. Around sometime in mid-January, the squadron leadership tells me that they’re excited about the fact that I’ll be stepping up to take over as deputy sq cc for a month or so and that Melissa will take over in February…. WTF? I was so pissed. Especially when that house of cards fell apart and I basically got left with nothing to do. For the remaining 6 months. A new phrase was coined during that time: Bitch Don’t Care. You can interpret that in many ways, and you’d be right in EVERY interpretation with regards to that situation. But it was hilarious that I muttered that under my breath and Melissa called me out on it – don’t misinterpret that as I was not directing it at Melissa at all but she heard it and now the phrase took on a life of its own. It was awesome.
- Here’s a sort of awkward one to write about, but it certainly was a big part of my life the first half or so of this year. I finally had a true best friend again: Jeremy. It was an awesome time for a while. And then of course life, being life, says things must change. And Jeremy went off to find happiness and work satisfaction, but that wasn’t in Colorado Springs. And I lost my best friend. I hope this doesn’t make any of my other friends think that I don’t care about them, but I’ve had very few true best friends. Before Jeremy, it was Jason back at Lajes. In Las Vegas I never really truly had a best friend but a few great ones. In Colorado Springs there is/was a great group of us that I consider awesome great lifelong friends but Jeremy was the one who fit the mold I guess of being in the Best category. So when he left, it was pretty sucky. And to be honest, it was one of the prime motivators for me to leave Colorado Springs. I’m sure I could have searched harder to stay in CS, but I didn’t. I decided it was time for me to get where I needed to go…wherever that was. And I’m sure that was/is flawed thinking because even if Jeremy had stayed, it would have been foolish to have aimed at staying there as while Jeremy and I were good buds, it’s not exactly likely a great guy like him is going to stay single for long and at that point, I become the ‘extra’ around, which is how I basically felt my status was near the end of my time in CS anyways as everybody had basically coupled up. And since we all know now which way I am, that kind of left me on the outside looking in.
- I guess the screamingly obvious one for this year would have to be coming out. After the awkward way things happened in October of 2006 when Jeff and Susan found out (don’t get any bad or weird thoughts – I wasn’t caught in the act or something – but it certainly was not exactly the way I had imagined things to have gone that’s for sure) I really had no clear idea of what was going to happen next. Turns out that Oct 06 while stressful was exactly what needed to happen for me. In April when my Mom and Harv came out, I told them. That was one of the scariest things I ever had to do. I can vividly remember that entire day and I’m sure I will for the rest of my life. They of course were awesome about it and that alone helped so much. I don’t know what I would have done if they had rejected me. But looking back at that time as well as basically the past few years, everyone who knows admits they weren’t really surprised and kinda figured. Usually those words exactly. It’s probably my awesome ability to dress myself which gave me away…. I’m so glad that it’s done with, but now it’s just a whole new set of things I have to learn and adjust to. I’ve never dated as an adult and so a lot of this stuff is so new I feel like a damned retard.
- Finding a new job. Yeah, leaving the Air Force was great but I knew that I had to have my act together to make sure the transition period had as minimal unemployment time as possible as I know that I’d go crazy not having somebody pay me to be there. So this summer was definitely an exciting time of traveling the country (Chicago, San Diego, New York City) looking for jobs. Through the recruiters and agencies I used I learned a HELL of a lot on how to effectively interview and do resumes etc. I guess something worked. But I have to say that sending that one email to Rob Hemker saying I wasn’t interested in going to Houston for another hiring conference was the single-most important email I may have ever sent so far in my life. I had just come back from San Diego (which was a week or so after Chicago) and I realized that those two conferences had been major wastes of time for me (ultimately). The experience I gained from interviewing was certainly good, but the actual positions I was interviewing for were not at all anything I was interested in. So the idea of going to Houston was not appealing. I had just flown back in to CS that morning and I was at my laptop trying to be productive in my job search as I realized then and there that I had to change my hunting strategies somehow. First and foremost was being direct and honest with these recruiters who were constantly calling me with more conference invites. First up: Rob from JROfficer.com. I sent him a polite email expressing my thoughts and literally 10 minutes later I get a call from him. And the rest is history as one of the first jobs offered for my pursuit was the NBC one and well, I guess we see how that went.
- Leaving Colorado Springs. You may think that from that paragraph a few back that I couldn’t wait to leave once Jeremy left. You’d be wrong. Jeff, Susan (my Grace!), KD, Eric, Melissa, Erin…. these are all great friends that made life in Colorado Springs awesome. A true circle of friends that I feel honestly blessed to have had as it hadn’t been since Lajes that something like that had existed for me. Once I actually got an offer from NBC and after a day or so of pondering the offer and accepting it, the realization came over me that I was WILLINGLY starting over, once again. And I wouldn’t have any friends out there nor a built-in network of military to depend on. That’s one thing that is great about the military community – you can almost always find a few in your built-in rank circle that are awesome to hang out with. And since everyone in the military always moves around, they understand where you’re coming from when you’re the new guy and don’t have established friends there. It’s up to you how good of friends you want to get with these new friends, but it’s nice to have that option there (unless you go to Vegas and your ‘peergroup’ deems you unworthy of association…. thank God for fraternization!!!!). So basically saying, okay, not only am I going to leave Colorado Springs, I’m going to go where I know basically no one. Great. It sucked to leave. Those last few days spent with my friends were really painful and sad for me. But once I got on the road, I knew I had to just look forward and not dwell too much on what I was leaving behind. I’ll always keep in touch with those guys but it certainly isn’t the same not having them around to drink with, eat with, go see movies with, etc.
- Leaving my HOUSE!!!! I still look at pictures of my house every now and then and get bummed. I tried to sell it because I’d rather have a clean break, but with the real estate market as it is, that didn’t happen. Fortunately my property management company found a renter a few days after I left and they’ve signed a two-year lease, which is awesome. But still, my house!!! I miss having my TV room. I miss the porch out back. I miss my garage. I miss my awesome kitchen/bar area. I miss my dining room. I miss my redone bathroom. It sucks just writing this. That house was totally mine and it was pretty much just how I wanted it. But now it’s gone, all my furniture is pretty much sold and gone except that which I took with me. Now I wanna drink. <sigh>
- Summer with my Dad and Pat. It was weird – I didn’t know what to think of my Dad and Pat coming out to Colorado Springs for the summer. I was excited but it had been so long since I’d lived within any reasonable proximity to parents. Las Vegas was close to LA, but that’s still 2.5 hours away from LA. So having actual parents around to go have an impromptu dinner with was nice. I loved having them around, and having them over for dinner on the weekends was nice, as it felt great to have company that was actual family there. And then dropping by in the mornings down at the KOA camp before ‘work’ (which at this point was merely a place that I had to make an appearance at – although I probably could have skipped that too in all reality) and have breakfast. They left about a few weeks before I did and that just added to the sadness of leaving CS. I’m glad that I got this opportunity as honestly, that was the first time spent with my Dad on that regular of a basis in… well, I have no idea. It was just nice.
- Becoming a New Yorker/Jersey Boy. I have to pay taxes to both of them so why not claim both as heritage???? New York has definitely been an incredible experience. Working at NBC and Rockefeller Center with a great group of people. Lucking out into an incredible living situation with a wonderful roommate. Doing the tourist thing in the biggest city in the world. Dating. It’s crazy. I’m still working on trying to create a new circle of friends to hang out with here, but it’s not easy going in that regards. Dating has slowed down to non-movement so it’s been kind of a lonely month except for going home. It’s my fault I guess, but frankly I don’t know how much energy I have. And this month in New York is ridiculous with tourists, so I’m really not spending much time in the city as it’s just too aggravating. I’m looking forward to relatively calm January and February to resume my exploration of the city as otherwise I’m gonna commit murder. You should have seen the ridiculousness of this past Friday as I was going home. 49th St was literally CLOGGED with tourists – they were literally walking in the middle of 49th and blocking traffic. I have NEVER seen it this crowded yet. I knew then and there that waiting for the Ferry bus would be pointless as the bus itself wouldn’t be able to move. So I walked it from 49th St/5th Ave to 39th St/12 Ave. It was actually a great night for it as it wasn’t too cold but navigating through the area around Rockefeller Center and Times Square was ludicrous. Once I got to the 9th Ave/Hells Kitchen area, it was a lot calmer and I walked by a quite a few of the places I’ve been, remembering the good times I’ve had there. So yeah, New York has been fun and while it’s a lull right now, I fully anticipate January to resume what Oct and Nov were like.
Okay, that’s probably not exactly all the Greatest Hits but it is a fairly accurate recap of the biggest things that happened to me this year. I just finished rewatching Season 3 of LOST on DVD and when Charlie writes down his 5 ‘Greatest Hits’ in his life before he is about to die, it got me thinking that I don’t even know what would be my 5. But that led me to think smaller and at least think of what happened in 2007. So there you go. If I don’t write again until 2008, I hope everyone has had a fantastic 2007 and has a safe New Years Eve. I will NOT be in Times Square this year as I just don’t have the motivation to go by myself there and suffer needlessly. I’ll be safe and warm at home with easy access to a bathroom which is what those thousands of people will NOT be able to say. And my booze is a lot cheaper to drink then out there!
Happy New Year and see you in 2008.