Tag Archives: year in review

2016: The Highs & The Other Stuff

Larry asked me yesterday what my favorite movie of the year was, which led me to thinking about other highlights, and of course, lowlights, throughout the year.  So, with no particular order in mind:

Favorite Movie:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La La Land, by a lot.

Other Notables:

  • Arrival
  • Star Trek: Beyond
  • Rogue One
  • Zootopia
  • 10 Cloverfield Ln
  • Secret Life of Pets
  • Moana

Disappointments:

  • Jason Bourne – UGH
  • Girl on the Train – bored ugh
  • Independence Day: Resurgence – just…why?

Favorite Song:

I love this damn song.  From the first time I heard it while eating breakfast to even now, still love it.

Other notables:

  • Cake by the Ocean, by DNCE
  • Make Me Like You, by Gwen Stefani
  • Hold Up, by Beyonce
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling, by Justin Timberlake
  • The Riddle of the Model, from the Sing Street soundtrack
  • We Know the Way, from the Moana soundtrack
  • Another Day of Sun, from the La La Land soundtrack

Favorite TV:

Obviously, Jeopardy! gets a nod.

  • Game of Thrones; the last episode where Cersei goes and makes her move?  Woah.
  • Westworld:  Wasn’t sure if I was going to like the show, but yeah, definitely liked the show.  Just have to wait 2 more years for more.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend:  Everyone should be watching this hilarious, musical show.  Rachel Bloom is mesmerizing, and all the attractive men she has cast in the show opposite her is brilliant, as it keeps us tuned in!  White Josh and Greg 4eva.
  • Broad City:  In it’s 3rd season, it’s still fucking great.
  • $100,000 Pyramid & Match Game:  ABC brought these back over the summer and they were fucking great.  Time to consider my next game show move!

Not so good?

  • Scandal:  We are in the hate-watch zone.  Get your shit together.
  • You’re the Worst:  I don’t know, we couldn’t get past the 1st episode of the new season, and so, maybe we’re done with it.
  • American Horror Story:  Not sure if it’s bad yet, but it really was all over the place this season.  Sometimes it was good, but a lot of times, not?  I liked last season’s Hotel.  Maybe next season will be good.

Fun Video Games I Played:

There’s plenty in this list.

  • The Witcher 3:  Hot damn, this game is amazing and gets you involved immediately and doesn’t let go.  And it’s freaking huge.  I still am not sure how far along I am and I’ve played a LOT.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider:  So glad that the Tomb Raider franchise has been brought back successfully.  It’s so damn fun too, and they’re telling great stories while providing a wonderful action experience.
  • Prison Architect:  I totally got obsessed with this game for a while.  So well done.
  • XCOM 2:  A really hard game that I couldn’t stop playing.  I did finish it, surprisingly.
  • Flame in the Flood:  Another of these random games I got obsessed with for a good while as it was such a relaxing game play rhythm.
  • Uncharted 4:  I just finished this one and man, what a beautiful and fun game.

Disappointment:

  • Fallout 4:  I really really really wanted to love this game.  And I played it a while, hoping it would get me.  But nope.  They have too much around settlement creation and management and let the story be incidental.  I want to have the option to take the story slow if necessary, but not like this.  Kind of a bummer.
  • King’s Quest:  Once it was clear that you couldn’t easily restart and were stuck with decisions, plus the game gave very limited guidance, I kind of lost interest.  There are 3 more chapters to play through and I’m not sure I ever will?

Life Stuff Highlights!

Okay, I guess I should talk about some of the things I liked about 2016.

  • Larry & I got married!  There may have been a lot of stress and a not insignificant amount of money spent, but damn, the event and surrounding days were so worth it.  The weather was perfect, the venue was perfect, the wedding and reception were perfect, seeing all the family and friends was perfect….it was just amazing.
  • Honeymoon in Europe!  This trip was much needed and a welcome return to traveling somewhere outside of the country with beautiful surroundings to soak up and lots of food and wine to savor.  Would go back in a heartbeat if we could.
  • We got a new niece, Rachel, in July of this year.  It’s a wonderful addition to Alyssa & Jon’s family and of course to all of ours.  It was also nice to be back east for that little bit of time too.
  • Hollywood Bowl is always fun, as is going to the theater and seeing some shows.  Seeing Beautiful and Cabaret were definite highlights, as was the various shows we saw at the Bowl, including Diana Ross and the Sound of Music.  Also glad mom was able to join us for many of these!
  • Being on Jeopardy was certainly a wonderful adventure and something I can always remember.  I’ve also been able to meet and be part of a very select group of individuals, those who have also been on Jeopardy.  It’s quite an honor.

The negatives:

  • Certainly not happy with how the election turned out.  I’ll cross fingers and toes that perhaps I’m wrong about my fears.  Based on a certain Twitter feed though, I’m fairly convinced the incoming man on Jan 20th is frightfully immature, unfit, and unprepared for the job.  Buckle up your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
  • Work, well, it’s certainly something right now.   Here’s hoping for a more productive and illuminating 2017 in that realm.
  • Turning 40.  Eh, I guess it’s not the end of the world, certainly.  But kind of a bummer, nonetheless.  And to have that one-two punch with that and the election made November 2016 one of the shittier Novembers I can remember!
  • A lot of these actors and musicians and artists and entertainers dying….I think I’m reaching that age where a lot of the people I did grow up with seeing out there are reaching that age.  But some?  Some are way too young.

Honestly, I just want to not be afraid of what the future holds, whether it’s for myself, Larry, family and friends, the country, etc.   I want to be an active participant in making things better, whether that’s my personal happiness, or if I can, be an advocate for making things better on a larger scale.  I don’t want to be afraid of making a change just because it’s a scary thing to do.  Life’s a one-time thing, so why not make it what I want it to be, and not just grin and bear whatever comes my way.  So yeah, that’s kind of where my head is at when it comes to a mindset for 2017.  Call it a resolution, call it a philosophy, but yeah, 2017, here I come.  Here we all come.

I’m making a cake for 2017 New Year’s Eve.  Larry & I are staying in again, as previous NYE outings have kind of gone to shit.  Last year we stayed in, and it was great.  Doing it again, and happy about that as it’s raining this evening.  Fuck that noise.

Farewell, 2014

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, 2014!  Long story short, I’m quite ready for this year to be over.   While I had plenty of fun and good times during it, the overall feeling of it due to certain events basically relegates 2014 to “shitty” status.  REGARDLESS of that status, I resolve for 2015 to be a better year.  In the meantime though, time for review?  My resolution to post at a nearly daily level certainly helps me in recalling what happened!

  • From that last point above, I am very happy that I was able to post quite frequently on this site.  While most of the time I know there’s very few readers of this site, I do occasionally get visitors who find this site due to pictures I’ve taken.  It’s kind of neat to know I have sporadic reaches out into the ether!  While I did intend to post daily, the realities are that sometimes I just didn’t.  But this posting rate was by far the most I’ve ever posted, and that’s including going back to my website’s initial heyday back in the early and mid-2000s.  I’m going to keep it up in 2015 as it’s just fun.
  • Lest you think this list may be chronological – it won’t be.
  • I wrote a TON about this season of Big Brother and made so many damn screen-caps it’s kind of embarrassing.  But the season was fun and so much better than last year’s so I enjoyed doing it.  Now someone out there needs to hire me to write about it for their site! I’m pretty damn good at it.   As for this fall’s Amazing Race, I just couldn’t get into the season.  I LOVED the All-Stars version from the spring, but the teams and The Save from AR25 were underwhelming or annoying.  I will give the next season my all though as I still do love the show.
  • It’s weird to think I haven’t been to NYC for almost over a year now – the last time I was there was in January for one last team get-together with the folks at NBCU, although upon reviewing the posts just now, I realize that the real last time the entire group was together was in October of 2013.  Crazy how time flies.  I’ll miss this group!!!
  • I also got to see my wonderful Colorado friends in person in January, with Susan being married (!) and seeing KD all pregnant!  It was far too brief of a visit though as I was there just for a quick work visit at the Dry Creek facility in Denver, but I am still happy I got to see them.  A trip to Colorado Springs needs to occur in 2015.
  • I made HUGE progress in organizing my travel photos on this site this year.  I made my Travelogue page and then organized all the major trips we’ve taken over the years on it.  The pictures within each page are also broken down into applicable headings making the pictures much easier to navigate.  I had before just had one massive album for each page that you would likely not scroll through.  I also put up some of my roadtrips from the many moves I’ve made.  Basically, this page is the best.
  • Because I’m madly in love with the WordPress system, I’ve also been pretty successful at getting a lot of the older pages migrated.  “Older Pages” refers to my pre-Wordpress/pre-MobileMe/pre-LiveJournal HTML creation that I coded by hand from the beginning of my blogging adventures.  Those old pages, while present on the server and accessible, aren’t part of the WordPress search engine.  Additionally, the photo albums I created during that time are not what you’d expect to find in a modern web photo album and the pictures are all heavily shrunk since at the time, I was working to make the site load quickly for dial-up connections.  So yeah, I wanted to be able to find my old content easily and browse the pictures full-size and easily.  I’ve worked my way backwards and am somewhere in summer 2007, and have LOTS more work to do.  It’s satisfying though, and helps bring back a lot of memories at the same time.  All this blogging I’ve done really makes me happy, and I’m kind of proud of the effort I’ve been putting in all these years as I now have a record of most of my adulthood.
  • We saw a ton of movies this year, and it was awesome.  Whether it was the Oscar catchup at the beginning of the year, or the Summer Blitz, or this recent fall’s crop of good movies, Larry & I were there.
  • Finally partook in Ramen and Dumplings around Los Angeles and NYC.  SO FUCKING GOOD.
  • My chocolate chip cookies have finally come into their own.  This most recent recipe I’m using is freaking amazing.
  • There was some great television events throughout the year, whether it was great shows on the air like ScandalEnlisted, Broad City or the end of How I Met Your Mother, but hello, the big news of Twin Peaks’ Blu-Ray and Deleted Scenes and us watching the arrival of the stars at the World Premiere at the Vista OR the fact that Twin Peaks is coming back in 2016….lots of good stuff going on in Television land.
  • VIDEO GAMES!   I got back into Diablo 3, finally played the amazing Wolfenstein: The New Order, various new Assassin’s Creeds (Black Flag: Awesome; Unity: Meh), I picked up a Nintendo 3DS and a Wii U AND we just got a Playstation 4..  My video game habit is still going strong.  There are just so many good experiences out there in gaming and having had the chance to go to a few E3s over the last few years all combine to me loving this hobby.  I probably should add more to my hobby repertoire though, as while I keep saying it, I do want to get back into playing the guitar.  It’s just such a fun thing to do.  I dread building up the callouses on the tips of my fingers though – it fucking HURTS.
  • The Hollywood Bowl series of concerts we went to this year was awesome.  It started with the fantastic Billy Joel concert (my first time seeing him live), followed by the amazing Janelle Monae, then continuing on with a great series of shows the entire summer culminating in The Sound of Music sing-along.  I have to admit that I got ridiculously shitfaced during this most recent SoM sing-along…ah well, I paid the price the following day.  I was hungover as shit.
  • Had a lot of fun over the year going to Vegas with mom as well as doing some projects around her house to get things looking spruced up.  We worked on the front yard a bit getting rid of some of the dirt patches and then just recently got the old office a bit less crowded.  The Vegas trips were of course great fun and sometimes I even won money!
  • I went on a brief astronomy kick when Mars and the moon were having lots of good photo days.  We even got a lunar eclipse!  The problem I discovered is that Los Angeles is a TERRIBLE place to be an amateur astronomer, as the light pollution here is insane.  I toy around with the idea of going to someplace like Baker overnight to get some pure desert views.  It would probably be better to go to somewhere slightly less desolate – maybe the San Bernardino mountains?  It was still fun to get a close-up view of the moon though, even from where we lived.
  • Oh yeah – this was the year where I started going nuts for Trulia and househunting!  I think that both Larry & I are wanting a permanent place of our own and I kind of fell down a rabbit hole of looking at listings online.  There were some amazing ones way out of our price range and then there were some in our price range but it was just not the right time (dammit!!!! – this house in particular was almost perfect for us).   I would love for 2015 to be the year when we find that house and be able to move on it.
  • The announcement of things coming out in 2015 is pretty exciting!  Star Wars, James Bond, the new Avengers, more Madonna….plus my own trevails for next year, all lead up to me having some high hopes and expectations for next year.  It won’t be easy, I know that, but I’m hopeful nonetheless, and that’s all I can ask for.

That’s all the review I’m up for, it seems.  But it was fun just now to rapidly scroll though all the months of posts from this year!  While the year can feel like it flew by, when I see what was happening back in January, that feels like forever ago.  Hell, even this summer’s Hollywood Bowl stuff and more is feeling like a long time ago.

Alright, 2015 – let’s make this happen!  Good times!!!

Reflections on my 2006 (T-243)

I guess I can call this Hobie’s “Best-of and Worst-of 2006 List”.

That would definitely imply I remember a whole lot of what happened in 2006. I do remember a lot of stuff, especially recent things, but I will try my best to get a good representative sampling of what happened throughout the year – that’s why I have this damn journal in the first place. But before I get into it, I want to wish everyone out there in the world a great Happy New Year and all the best for a stellar 2007. Like I said, I’ve already my New Year’s Resolution: No Regrets, No Fear. I am basically upheaving my life in the latter-half of 2007, and if I’m not ready for lots of changes and lots of stress, I’m going to be fighting a losing battle. But I am totally ready for it, and I hope you all are too. Because you all will have a part to play too, but that will be for later. It’s not even 2007 and I’m planning out your year for you. What a jerk!

So you may be asking yourself, why exactly is he typing this crap up? Why isn’t he out having a life? Well, my inquisitive (nosy) friends, it’s because all my friends who I would hang out with are out of the state or out of the city, and can’t get back in because the roads are pretty much ridiculous inter-state still. So I sit here at home, drinking beer and updating my website. I did cook…wait a second, you guys don’t even know about my new habit of trying to actually cook for myself, do you? Well, I’m pretty much as anti-cooking as you can get, but I’ve realized I’m tired of having to go get food everytime I want it. It’s expensive and sometimes I really don’t want to leave the house. So I got my act together and got some cookbooks at Barnes & Noble. I got some books from Sandra Lee, who has the ‘Semi-Homemade’ style and who is on the Food Network. Her show and books are pretty cool because she uses 70% store-bought products and 30% from-scratch ingredients, and when all is said and done, in 20 minutes, you’ve got some pretty damn good food. And I like to not reinvent the wheel, so if I can just combine some premade stuff already, fine by me. I tried my first recipe this past week, called Kahlua Jerk Chicken. It was awesome. I officially feel domestic. And then I made my Italian Dressing chicken with Roasted Chicken rice and Caesar salad tonight. Yum. I love chicken, by the way. It tastes so damn good and depending on what sauce or marinade you put on it, it can take on a whole new taste. Yum.

So, enough of that tangent. 2007 is tomorrow! And I’ve got a list to get to… So with no further ado:

  • Starting off 2006 with Byron, Robbie and Co. in San Antonio. Being with great friends is always a great way to start a year. I figure that somehow jinxed 2006, so maybe starting out 2007 alone means it’ll be a stellar year???
  • Loving my new home. Redesigning and painting it to my completely awesome style and taste… well, I like it, so that’s all that matters. Entertaining family and friends in it. Barbequing for the first time on my own grill. Having a fire pit. Designing a pretty kickass home theater room. Having ideas for a lot more changes to the house in 2007. Just having my own house rocks.
  • Being a Flight Commander at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. For better and for worse, it’s been one hell of a learning experience. I’ve really learned a lot from having to deal with a crazy mixture of civilians, military, and contractors. I’ve not always made the right decision or move, and when I made the wrong one, I learned my lesson and typically learned to not make the same mistake again. I know I have sometimes made the mistake again, but that’s just being human. To counter the bad stuff though are the few glimmers of success and happiness that I think I’ve been the cause of. My flight constantly has most of the award winners in it, we have pretty damn good morale in the flight considering all the crap we deal with, and all-in-all, we get the job done well. I think I’ve earned a good reputation in the squadron and the group, certain people notwithstanding. This job has also helped me to realize that the military is no longer for me. I know I can do a good job here, but I frankly am tired of the idiosyncracies and retardations found within it. Everybody tells me the civilian world is the same – I recognize that. But I’m fine with it. I just can’t imagine being at that job for another 3 years. I’d lose all my hair by then. And I don’t have all that much left to lose. 🙂 That moment when I dropped my separation paperwork was a strangely surreal one. I’d thought about separating from the Air Force for nearly 3 years by that point, but actually doing it, getting accepted, and getting PAID to separate is pretty damn awesome. I’ve got to get myself ready for it though at the start of 2007. I plan on taking off the uniform, putting on a super sharp suit, and heading to my next job in a week or two after the Air Force. Cross your fingers.
  • My car. Catherine has proved to be quite a Colorado champ, even if she had some adjustment pains when we first got here (no antifreeze, breaking down for a week or so). But she loves the snow, and even when she got stuck in snow last week, she’s fully ready to be pulled out of it. Go VW!
  • Falling in love with Skiing. I knew that I had enjoyed it when I had gone those sporadic times in the past, but actually going to Breckenridge and Keystone and Copper Mtn (in 2006) sealed the case shut. I was hooked. So I went and bought my own set of skis and accessories, including a ski rack for Catherine. I got the Colorado Pass so I’m totally ready for a full 2007 season.
  • VEGAS!!!! I’ve realized that I have inherited my mother’s addiction to gambling. But I embrace it. I went quite a few times this year, and while I never walked away with more money than I came with, I could give a rats ass. It was always fun, and that was really the important thing. My birthday party there and July 4th were two especially fun trips out there, as I got to party with friends and I got to ride in a freakin’ HELICOPTER!
  • Dealing Craps. Dave Fox and I had always talked about how fun it would be to deal craps, and he even said he’d be willing to go to the casino schools so he could actually get a job there in Vegas doing it. I knew I was leaving, so that was never an option for me. But when I rented a craps table in June to prepare my friends for playing craps (although I think I was the main enjoyer of the table – they did learn how to play though!!!) and ended up chatting up the owner of the company, Deuces Wild, and I got offered a job to deal craps, I couldn’t say no. I think I was hired under false pretenses (she mistakenly thought from our conversation that I had been a professional dealer in Vegas…), but I proved more than capable of doing the job. I even made a few hundred bucks doing it. Sweet. I don’t know how much I’ll get to deal in the beginning of 2007, as there really aren’t that many events and she has tons of dealers now. But next holiday season, I hope to get called back!
  • A Frequently Changing Website. At least the look of the front page. I know I don’t update nearly as much as I should sometimes, but I get in those moods. You know. But I was getting tired of my over 3-year-old look that I had developed while in the Azores. So first I shut the page down completely in a fit of ennui, but sitting there stewing in it, I decided I just needed a change. So I went to my trusty blank piece of white paper and sketched out what I thought would work. I transferred it to Dreamweaver, and many hours later, we had the first change with a closeup of my demonic mug staring at you in 4 colors, but 4 colors that changed and such with creative mouseovers. Yes, I am that cool. Many pictures and controversial collages ensued (I STILL get grief for not including some peoples’ pictures on that damn collage, hence why I totally changed that again) and we’re at the current static pic look very reminiscent of the old blue Azores design. Again, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • New Social Scene in the Springs. As my February journal entry can attest to, I took a while to find some friends out here. And it got to me pretty damn quick. This job is stressful, and not having an outlet is definitely not healthy. I started hanging out with folks by the end of February, and in March I solidified the core group I would still be hanging out with to this day, that being Susan, Jeff and KD (along with various others, of course). We had some hellaciously good times, starting from that first hang-out at the Olive Garden, continuing to a raucous good time at RumBay on St Patrick’s Day, and then of course the many parties at each others’ homes, out at the clubs, Las Vegas, movies, skit trips, Denver, etc. So while it may have started out a bit slow for me, my friend circle definitely improved. And while I’m bitching about the holidays right now, I did that to myself, sortof. Anyways, I’m happy to have found this great group of friends. There’s been plenty of drama (PLENTY) to go along with the good times, but the good times far outweigh the bad.
  • Good TV!!! 24 ruled, Survivor was fun, and a whole slew of new shows came out and I fell in love with Ugly Betty.
  • Static Electricity – the Fight still goes on. Yes, a key helps to diffuse the pain, but dammit, why must I use it at all? I do hate it though when I’m changing my bedsheets – there is a freakin’ insane amount of static electricity generated when you do that. I shudder to even use the key. I’ve forgotten to use the key and I literally feel like I’ve been attacked with a taser.
  • Reunions with Friends. I love when I get the chance to see out-of-state friends again. Boris’ wedding in Denver, New Year’s in San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles. Good times, and reminds me why I liked them in the first place! 😉
  • Reunions with Family. What is even better though is when family comes to see you! And now that I actually have room to put up guests, the visits actually occurred! Starting with Mom, Harv, and Helen in May, then Dad and Pat twice in the summer, it was awesome to see them all again. But why is no one coming to visit during the winter? It’s just a little cold…
  • Turning 30!!!!!! Egads. I still think I have trouble dealing with this whole new age thing, but honestly, I’ve been able to lie to myself enough now where I actually believe it is all about how you feel rather than what your number tells you you should feel. And I feel damn good. I ushered in this ’30’ nonsense pretty good though – the Colorado Springs-based events were awesome and Vegas followed it up with plenty of stellar goodness. I turned 30 exactly the way I wanted to.

Okay, I think I’m done with the reminiscing. It was definitely an interesting and LONG year, no matter how many people say it flew by. I am under the distinct impression it was one of the longest years I’ve ever had. Not that I’m wanting life to fly by, but damn. I guess I’m happy that it seemed to go on a long time. I think there was a lot of fun, a lot of drama, a lot of crap, but all in all, it was a year not to forget. Like I said, 2007 promises to be even more intriguing.

Happy New Year’s!!!!!! See you in 2007. Stay safe, and remember, No Fear, No Regrets!