category: Year in Review

2016: My Year in Review

Like most other folks I know, I’m ready to flip the bird to 2016 and move on. In April, I officially shuttered my tea shop, which was a tad depressing. It was a rough summer with kidney stones that never seemed to leave. September was about as eventful as could be. And we closed out the year on a somewhat stressful and less than healthful note. But there was a lot of good stuff, too. Made some big time breakthroughs on the family tree and connected with a lot of new family, did a lot of running, had a great anniversary trip with Huyen, and enjoyed some really fun times with our kids and dogs.

And now, the year past…

(Previous years-in-review collected here.)

The Year, By Month

January

February

  • Surprise birthday visit to Mom for her, uh, landmark birthday.

March

  • Sent Huyen off on a birthday weekend away with her two best friends from high school and experienced what it was like to watch four kids for a weekend.
  • Went to a Family History Center and scrolled through actual microfilm. I felt so old school.

April

  • Rasine v. Huyen in “The Mousing Cat” on the Odyssey^2
  • Saw Archie Shepp, Pharaoh Sanders, and others at the Jazz Masters Tribute
  • Officially closed up shop on Asacha

May

  • Took the kids to their first concert: Babymetal
  • PR 5k race time (21:51, 7:02/mile pace, 34th out of 399 overall)
  • Major genealogy breakthrough taking my maternal grandfather’s roots back deep into Lithuania

June

  • Caught up with my freshman year RA Sye for dinner
  • Mother-in-law arrives to start an awesome (really!) three-month visit

July

  • Completed our first Exit Plan escape room adventure in under 45 minutes
  • First kidney stone attack. “Oh, they’re just small, so don’t worry about the fact they haven’t come out.”

August

  • Trip to Philadelphia to dig through an overgrown section of Mt Moriah Cemetery for my great-great-great-grandparents (first pic below)
  • 15th anniversary trip to St. Thomas (stayed at an Airbnb)
  • Several more kidney stone attacks, in the middle of the night while on St. Thomas

September

  • Doc says, “Oh, hey. So that kidney stone? It’s actually huge.”
  • Kidney stone surgery. Never again.
  • Rasine’s Minecraft-themed party
  • Lee “Scratch” Perry concert
  • Boss and boss’ boss move on
  • Became “management”

October

  • Shepp pulls his back, resulting in a panicked late-night emergency vet visit
  • Digging for artifacts at the Ashburn Colored School community cleanup event
  • Dinner with BeFyne
  • Turned 41

November

  • The end of America is scheduled for January 20th
  • Family battles Hand, Foot, and Mouth. I come away mostly unscathed.
  • Saw Lakshmi Singh walking around doing a story about Poplar Spring for NPR

December

  • Thanks to thin walls, I hear an older gentleman getting a hernia check followed by a prostate exam
  • The kids and I fight various stages of walking pneumonia
  • More visits to the doctor and imaging centers than I’ve ever had in one month

RIP

Based solely on the folks I RIP’ed on Twitter (or FB). People (and “people”) I knew personally in bold. Dates are when I tweeted/posted to FB, not the actual death date. Lots of commonly-eulogized folks omitted.

  • 1/10: Mitsu Suzuki
  • 1/18: Iron Mike Sharpe
  • 1/27: Angus Scrimm
  • 3/8: Mr. Edwards (2 months late)
  • 6/22: John Reynolds
  • 7/20: Rose Dooley
  • 8/16: Bobby Hutcherson
  • 10/26: Bob Browne (three months late)
  • 11/8: America
  • 11/18: Sharon Jones
  • 12/29: Mini-Moo
  • 12/31: Huston Smith

Books I Finished Reading

Listed in order finished.

  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • Essays After Eighty by Donald Hall
  • Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories by Thomas MacEntee
  • Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan by Kazuaki Tanahashi
  • Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem by Paula Williams Madison
  • Ferdydurke by Witold Gombrowicz
  • Don’t Be a Jerk: And Other Practical Advice from Dōgen, Japan’s Greatest Zen Master by Brad Warner
  • I Travel by Night by Robert McCammon (novella)
  • The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957-1965 by Sam Stephenson
  • Lotus of the Heart: Living Yoga for Personal Wellness and Global Survival by Tracey Winter Glover
  • Black Fire! New Spirits!: Images of a Revolution: Radical Jazz in the USA 1960-75 by Stuart Baker
  • The Ark Sakura by Kobo Abe
  • Organize Your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher by Drew Smith
  • Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
  • Spoiled Brats by Simon Rich
  • The System of Dante’s Hell by Amiri Baraka
  • On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  • Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich
  • The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber
  • The Family Tree Polish, Czech And Slovak Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree in Eastern Europe by Lisa A. Alzo
  • Time Travel: A History by James Gleick
  • Letting Go: The Story of Zen Master Tōsui by Menzan Zuihō, translated by Peter Haskel

Total number of books finished: 22 (three less than 2015)

Books re-read: 0

Books written by someone I know or have at least spoken more than a sentence to: 1

Books featuring a footnote referencing a woman whose kids I used to babysit: 1

Physical / Ebooks finished:
13
9
Fiction / Nonfiction / Poetry:
7
14
1
Buddhism / Music / Preservation / Genealogy:
4
2
1
3

Books in progress at the end of the year: 2

Movies I Watched and Re-watched

Listed in order watched.

Number of movies: 54

Number of those movies I’d already seen: 9

Movies from this year: 10

Average year: 1993.76

Average rating: 3.60

… more fun stuff at Letterboxd

The Year in Numbers

Number of miles run:
901.67

Gallons of liquid consumed from 10/4-12/31 (approximately):
82.1875

Movies watched:
53

Books read:
22

Songs listened to:
11785

2015: My Year in Review

2015 was a year of preservation, of family history and otherwise. It was a year with its fair share of loss. It was a year where life moved forward, progress was made on some things but not on others, and the kids continued to grow. I turned 40. I saw lots of family and friends. I read more books, watched fewer movies, scanned lots of photos and slides, digitized hours of videos, and made absolutely no new music.

And now, the year past, with cold lists and numbers with a few photos and colorful graphs thrown in.

(Previous years-in-review collected here.)

The Year, By Month

January

  • First tweet of the year: “Ramsey informed me in a ten minute period that I: have a big nose, am hairy (I just had a dog hair on me), am “very, very, very creepy””
  • Ramsey decides to start dropping the F bomb, as in “These f’ing shoes…”
  • Acted as a mentor in a Loudoun Veg Vegan Pledge Program
  • Launched private family tree web site

February

  • Living Colour at the Tally Ho
  • Visit with vegan pledges to Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary
  • Cheered on 4th cousin Andrew on Masterchef Junior (he took runner-up)

March

  • Closed up shop on One Sentence

April

  • Adopted Ann

2015-04-29 17.37.31

May

  • Duckpin bowling!
  • Ran a race PR at the Poplar Spring 5k (7:33/mi) by a full 21 sec/mile, the 12th time I’ve run the race. I placed 28th out of 354 runners.
  • Twisted and sprained my ankle on a late-evening run, resulting in being out of (running) commission for three weeks

June

July

  • Ann went in for dental surgery and came out seven teeth lighter
  • Caught up with high school friend Amy for the first time in over ten years
  • Two (!) visits with my cousin Eileen, the first time we’d seen in each other in many, many years
  • Solved the Mystery of the Bricks with help from my mom

11002587_10206352740630243_9000383646238191352_n

August

  • A preservation question of mine popped up on the Extreme Genes podcast
  • Brief camping excursion in Maryland
  • Found my long lost copy of a Hall & Oates bio from the 1980s. Realized it’s going for $90+ on Amazon!
  • Started the archiving process of ripping on VHS tapes
  • Huyen’s mom in town for her annual month-long visit
  • Watched BIL and SIL do their first triathlon in Wildwood, NJ. Met up with childhood friend Lisa, who I hadn’t seen in 28 years (!) and her parents Alex and Mary (who I’d seen a little more recently). Also caught up again with Randy Senna (from the Daily Ping Fascination post and Hoarders).

2015-08-29 16.25.06

September

  • Dad turns 70!
  • Hit with a bogus $160 at Verizon Wireless in NY and an attempted $3200 charge for xray equipment. Result: yet another replacement credit card.

October

  • A question about one of my genealogical brick walls pops up on the Genealogy Guys podcast (and later)
  • Mom solved the long-standing mystery of my grandfather’s middle (possibly first?) name
  • Ran a personal best 5k time on a training run on my birthday morning (7:07/mile pace).
  • I turned 40.
  • Pepper the Hamster passed at nearly 4 years old.

November

  • Introduced Rasine to the Odyssey^2
  • Drove right by Gordon Ramsay filming an episode of “Hotel Hell” in Harper’s Ferry, WV after going on a short hike with the family
  • Visited the building from the Mystery of the Bricks

12291700_10153690928796271_2007371813380205167_o

December

  • Cable on White’s Ferry snaps a few hours after my morning commute.
  • Bought a $1 12″ at a used record shop in town that sells on ebay for $75-$90.
  • Big ol’ car accident in front of our house only a couple of weeks after we lobbied the town (again) to install a stop sign there.

RIP

Based solely on the folks I RIP’ed on Twitter (or FB). People (and “people”) I knew personally in bold. Dates are when I tweeted, not the actual death date.

  • 2/19: Seacobeck Dining Hall
  • 3/9: Sam Simon
  • 4/14: Percy Sledge
  • 5/1: Ben E. King
  • 6/11: Pumpkinhead, Ornette Coleman, Christopher Lee, and Dusty Rhodes
  • 6/17: Miss Kitty
  • 7/8: The Dissolve
  • 7/31: Rowdy Roddy Piper
  • 10/9: Laura Horvath
  • 10/19: Greg Reiter
  • 10/21: Pepper the Hamster
  • 11/8: Gunnar Hansen
  • 11/20: Jim Perry
  • 12/26: My parents’ last Camp Snoopy glass from the 80s

How I Did On My Goals

More detail on these here.

  • Release one (two?) albums of old material, including some stuff I’ve never put out into the world. Did not do. And questioning if I will.
  • Bowl a few games of Canadian 5-pin. Didn’t do this (because the trip to Canada didn’t happen), but I did squeeze in some Duckpin, so that’s a half-success on this goal.
  • Finish archiving SJAUG Candy Apple newsletters from 1990. Sigh. Did not finish these either.
  • Launch the Raw Deal Radio archive. Done!
  • Learn more about the nuts and bolts of digital preservation (and digital preservation of analog content). I’m going to say done, but this is something ongoing so I’ll be continuing to do so.
  • Play and finish “A Mind Forever Voyaging.” Finally grabbed the game and an emulator to run it on (that will let me save my game) at the end of the year.
  • Read up on the story behind (and impact of) the Attica prison riots of 1970. Read A Time to Die and really enjoyed it. Learned a lot and much of it absolutely still applies.
  • Finally launch my protected family history site for my family (with audio, stories, etc.) Done, and ended up redoing it partway through the year and adding a ton of functionality beyond what I’d initially planned.
  • Figure out the mystery behind my great-grandparents’ life and trip to the US. Did not finish, but not for a lack of trying! I learned quite a bit through my research, but have yet to confirm the details surrounding my great-grandmother’s death (no death certificate to be found!) or much more about their life in Lithuania. This will likely end up taking a few more years.
  • Run 1000 miles in 2015 So frustratingly close… if I had an extra week I could have done it (I hit 970). I blame the three weeks I was out of commission due to a sprained ankle, but truly, if I’d just been a little less lazy in April and May, I could have easily knocked this out.

Books I Finished Reading

Listed in order finished.

  • Ballistics: Poems by Billy Collins
  • The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon
  • Kakurenbo: Or the Whereabouts of Zen Priest Ryokan by Eido Frances Carney
  • Kangaroo Notebook by Kobo Abe
  • The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
  • Early Recollections and Life of Dr. James Still by James Still
  • “Don’t tell white folks” : or light out of darkness by James T. Still (pamphlet)
  • Will Travel for Vegan Food: A Young Woman’s Solo Van-Dwelling Mission to Break Free, Find Food, and Make Love by Kristin Lajeunesse
  • Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus by Gene Santoro
  • The Seventh Day by Yua Hu
  • Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio by Jessica Abel
  • A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power by Paul Fischer
  • A Time to Die: The Attica Prison Revolt by Tom Wicker
  • The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
  • The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman
  • Photo Organizing Practices: Daguerreotypes to Digital by Maureen A. Taylor
  • Pursuing Preservation by Kevin Driedger
  • The Zen Poems of Ryokan by Nobuyuki Yuasa
  • Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
  • Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
  • Bream Gives Me Hiccups & other stories by Jesse Eisenberg
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (audiobook version)
  • Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley
  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries by Maureen A. Taylor
  • The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World by Robert McGhee

Total number of books finished: 25 (four more than 2014)

Books re-read: 0

Books written by someone I know or have at least spoken more than a sentence to: 1

Physical / Ebooks (incl. Kindle Singles) / Audiobooks finished:
20
4
1
Fiction / Nonfiction / Poetry:
7
16
2
Buddhism / Music / Preservation / Race:
3
1
3
5

Books in progress at the end of the year: 1

Movies I Watched and Re-watched

I started off the year on pace to hit 90 or 100 movies by the year’s end, but slowed down significantly in the second half of the year, as sometimes happens.

Listed in order watched.

Number of movies: 68

Number of those movies I’d already seen: 14

Movies from this year: 8

Average year: 1994.64

Average rating: 3.647

Genres

… more fun stuff at Letterboxd

The Year in Numbers

Trying a little something new this year…

2015 Year in Numbers

2014: My Year in Review

2013 was a year of great change (well, I changed jobs and started a business, but for someone that spent 14 years at his first job out of college, that qualifies as a “great change”). If I had to classify 2014, I’d have to say it was one of the best years I’ve had in a while. It was the year I started a serious running regimen and ran my first half-marathon. It was the year I started a podcast. It was the year I started archiving old user group newsletters on the Internet Archive. (On the downside, I lost both a cousin and a neighbor to cancer.) Of course, this is strictly on a personal level; at a nation and world-level, ish was pretty awful this year.

Here’s a look back at my year with unimportant events mixed in with unimportant events. A few pictures are thrown in. Some links. Etc. Thanks to ThinkUp for making it particularly easy to find content to include in this post.

(Previous years-in-review collected here.)

The Year, By Month

January

  • First (non-RT) tweet of the year: “Fans of the Daily Ping, rejoice! @paulmcaleer and I are happy to announce the launch of the Yearly Ping – http://yearlyping.com/”
  • We enter the 21st century with a new HDTV
  • The Sears TV stand saga begins

February

  • My cousin Carolyn passes away after a battle with cancer
  • 18ish inches of snow
  • Sears TV stand saga nearly ends

March

  • Apparently, nothing happened.

April

  • Apartment complex right by my work burns in a three-alarm fire
  • Met up with Arquay at MWC, our old stomping grounds
  • The podcast launches
  • Ramsey turns two. Birthday party is a combo train/flip-flop party.

May

  • Easy Star in Leesburg!
  • Apple is a jerk
  • 11th Poplar Spring 5k
  • Found a dog in Medford, kept him for the night, found his people the next morning

June

  • Rasine’s softball team wins their division’s championship
  • Ramsey does his Tall Man impression
  • Caught two flies humping
  • Ramsey makes his Washington Post debut
  • Started the second half of the year off by stepping up my running routine big time
  • Ran a good Race for Independence 8k (7:50/mile pace)

Ramsey in the paper

July

  • Hit the batting cages with Alex and Rob for the first time in years. Got an enormous blister.
  • Helped a turtle that was on his back

August

  • I get an e-mail from a third cousin that found me via a DNA match on 23andme. We’ve been in close touch since fleshing out our family tree!
  • Family trip to Smith Mountain Lake
  • Family trip to Lancaster, PA and Dutch Wonderland
  • Ran 13 miles and felt like I’d run into a brick wall by the end

September

  • Our neighbor Ron passes away after a long fight with brain cancer.

October

  • Ran my first half-marathon, the Freedom’s Run, which goes through the battlefields of Antietam. I finished in just under 1:57 (the official time was a bit off since it was gun time and not chip time). Ran it with middle school friend Tara and Loudoun Veg friend Sue.
  • The Bing Maps street view camera caught a shot of me walking at lunchtime. When they came back around, I mugged for them with the full-on gunshot finger points, but sadly that image did not get captured.
  • Ten years vegan!
  • My last birthday before turning 40.
  • 2nd Annual Vegan Food Stamp Challenge
  • Bitten by a dog while running.
  • Halloween: Rasine – Warrior Cat, Ramsey – Babymetal

Freedom's Run finish
Freedom's Run with Tara and Sue

November

  • Rasine in the Washington Post
  • Family trip to NYC for Thanksgiving
  • 10-minute catch-up with high school friend Dave one-year-and-a-day after our last meeting

December

  • Got called for jury duty, but was sent home after someone key to the case didn’t show up.
  • Rasine and her softball team make the Loudoun Times-Mirror

Shepp & Santa Paws

Favorite Picture of the Year

yir-hair

(courtesy of Deb Durant)

RIP

Based solely on the folks I RIP’ed on Twitter (or FB). People I knew personally in bold. Dates are when I tweeted, not the actual death date.

  • 1/10: Rynn Berry
  • 1/12: Sam Berns
  • 2/5: My cousin Carolyn
  • 2/17: Wayne Smith
  • 3/6: Geoff Edwards
  • 3/6: Edith Kramer
  • 4/15: Rocky the Goat at Poplar Spring
  • 6/2: Yuri Kochiyama
  • 7/30: David Middlesworth
  • 9/7: Ron Leoni
  • 11/14: RA Montgomery

Media Consumption in Numbers

Books finished: 21
Movies watched: 83
Songs listened to: 17,737

Books I Finished Reading

This year my goal was to finish Jan Potocki’s The Manuscript Found in Saragossa after having false-started a half-dozen times in the last ten years. Success! Finished the year out with three books tied in some way to death or dying. For those in the midst of dealing with it (or just looking to think about it after avoiding it), Being With Dying and Being Mortal are highly recommended and compliment each other nicely.

Listed in order finished.

  • A Straight Road with 99 Curves: Coming of Age on the Path of Zen
    by Gregory Shepherd
  • Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac (From Works of Eugene Field Vol VII)
    by Eugene Field
  • Confessions of a Mask
    by Yukio Mishima
  • The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin’ Sad
    by Adam Gnade (zine)
  • A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power
    by Jimmy Carter
  • 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day
    by Dorian Lynskey
  • Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men
    by Mara Hvistendahl
  • The Late Starters Orchestra
    by Ari L. Goldman
  • The River of Souls
    by Robert McCammon
  • Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece
    by Ashley Kahn
  • The Manuscript Found in Saragossa
    by Jan Potocki
  • The Fun Parts
    by Sam Lipsyte
  • The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations translated by Gil Fronsdal
  • The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
    by Matthew Inman
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel
    by Haruki Murakami
  • The New Kings of Nonfiction
    by Ira Glass
  • Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year
    by Tavis Smiley (with David Ritz)
  • Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death
    by Joan Halifax
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
    by Atul Gawande
  • Nine Horses: Poems
    by Billy Collins
  • Rashomon and Other Stories
    by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Total number of books finished: 21 (three fewer than 2013)

Books re-read: 0

Books written by someone I know or have at least spoken more than a sentence to: 1

Physical / Ebooks (incl. Kindle Singles) finished:
20.5
.5
Fiction / Nonfiction / Poetry:
7
13
1
Buddhism / Music / Death (Buddhism & Death overlap by one book):
3
3
3

Books in progress at the end of the year: 2

Movies I Watched and Re-watched

I declared 2014 the Year of Argento, with a goal of watching all of Argento’s films (mostly) in order. I got just about halfway there and will continue the effort (which will surely get more difficult as I venture into his significantly less interesting later years).

Discovered a new favorite director this year in Krzysztof Kieślowski. Absolutely loved his Three Colors trilogy and got started on his Decalogue series. As usual, I didn’t see too many films from this year, but the ones I did see I really enjoyed (Birdman, Grand Budapest Hotel, Big Hero 6).

Listed in order watched.

Number of movies: 83

Number of those movies I’d already seen: 22

Average year: 1994

Average rating: 3.73

… more fun stuff at Letterboxd

2013: My Year in Review

After I was laid off last year and spent a few months freelancing, I started 2013 convinced that this year would age me more than any previous year. I’d have to say it has. Between the freelancing, starting up my tea shop, and starting a new full-time job, there was enough stress throughout the year that by November, I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed my face looked more worn and there were more grey hairs. It’s cool, though. I’m ready to age gracefully.

Here’s a look back at my year with unimportant events mixed in with unimportant events. A few pictures are thrown in. Some links. Etc.

(Previous years-in-review collected here.)

The Year, By Month

January

February

March

  • Snowquester
  • Ramsey declared 3/13 “Bang [His] Head On Everything Day”
  • Rasine reached “halfway to being a teenager” status
  • Started my new full-time job…
  • … and on the same day, our awesome neighbor Fred has a heart attack a dies
  • My Paul predictions come true, except for one thing

April

  • Dinner with Paul, our fourth meeting since 1991
  • I proudly bring The Hillbillies’ “Bottom of the Hamper Jam” into the mp3 age.
  • We find a Sycamore Assassin bug in our house
  • Rasine says John Coltrane is “saxy.” Hilarious, that kid.
  • Found a severely dehydrated frog in the parking lot after Rasine’s softball game. Took him to the emergency vet and they were able to rehydrate him and he’s now living at the vet tech’s pond
  • 15 year anniversary of my first blog post
  • I come within inches of getting plastered head on by another car

May

  • Scrobbled my 100,000th track
  • A new co-worker told me she thought I looked young, just out of college
  • The Month of Weng Weng!

June

  • Trip to Vegas, including a trip to a desert pet cemetery (longer post overdue and forthcoming) and Redd Foxx’s old house, a run in 115 degree temperatures, and meeting up with Lindsay, my vegan twin, for the first time
  • United lands late, I run to catch a connecting flight (also United), arrive 5 minutes before departure and hear the “doors closed” ding as I run up, leaving me stranded for seven hours after a red-eye flight. But at least I got to sit in a middle seat near the bathroom for the next flight. Perks.
  • I offer a call-in contribution to a four hour podcast about VHS

yir-vegas

July

  • Ramsey’s first haircut and first pierogi
  • The Daily Ping closes up shop after 13 years
  • Had a tooth laser filled – it was literally painless

yir-haircut

August

September

  • Another awesome visit from Mom-in-Law
  • Rasine started 1st grade
  • Ragz/Laze week
  • Dinner with Herbivore Josh and his pals at Yuan Fu
  • Woke up one weekend and my entire body ached and I could barely stand. Later tests had me positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

October

  • Trip to Concord, NH with the family for Alex & Megan’s wedding; met up with Pastor D on the way home
  • 38
  • SPEEDING TICKET FROM BOGUS ASS SPEED CAMERA IN MARYLAND
  • Vegan Food Stamp Challenge
  • Appeared on NPR
  • Asacha‘s official launch

November

  • Another election day, this time with the fun of being yelled at and intimidated!
  • Swants!
  • New PC!
  • 5 Pointz destroyed
  • Caught up with high school friend Dave for the first time in nearly 20 years

yir-attack

December

  • Retainer Nut Assy
  • Goblin at 9:30 Club with Dave Wrubel
  • Noticed that Google Street view had driven by our house sometime in the fall, unfortunately during a day where our garage door was open.

yir-nut

Favorite Picture of the Year

yir-hair

RIP

Based solely on the folks I RIP’ed on Twitter. People I knew personally in bold. Dates are when I tweeted, not the actual death date.

Books I Finished Reading

In order finished.

  • Guns (Kindle Single) by Stephen King
  • The Worst Years of Your Life: Stories for the Geeked-Out, Angst-Ridden, Lust-Addled, and Deeply Misunderstood Adolescent in All of Us edited by Mark Jude Poirier
  • The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe
  • Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood by Drew Magary
  • The Lost Princess of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges
  • The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us by James W. Pennebaker
  • The Tin Woodman of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • The Face of Another by Kobo Abe
  • Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music by Kevin O’Brien Chang and Wayne Chen
  • Attempting Normal by Marc Maron
  • There Is No God and He Is Always with You: A Search for God in Odd Places by Brad Warner
  • Preachin’ the Blues: The Life and Times of Son House by Daniel Beaumont
  • Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Ben Greenman
  • Root For The Villain: Rap, Bull$hit, and a Celebration of Failure by J-Zone
  • The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment by Roshi Philip Kapleau
  • Petropolis by Anya Ulinich
  • How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman
  • Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek
  • The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly
  • Time and Again by Jack Finney
  • Odyssey of an Octopus Junkie: A Dysfunctional Love Story by t.w. glover
  • Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins

Total number of books finished: 24 (two fewer than 2012)

Books re-read: 0

Books written by someone I’ve know or have at least spoken more than a sentence to: 3

Physical / Ebooks (incl. Kindle Singles) finished:
18
6
Fiction / Nonfiction / Poetry:
10
13
1
Oz / Buddhism / Music:
3
2
4

Books in progress at the end of the year: 2

Movies I Watched and Re-watched

In order watched.

Number of movies: 60

Number of those movies I’d already seen: 15

Average year: 1990

Average rating: 3.54

2012: My Year in Review

After tempting fate by calling 2011 “pretty chill and mostly uneventful,” 2012 made up for it. Wowza. What a year.

(Previous years-in-review collected here.)

The Year, By Month

January

  • Started a tea phototumblrblogsitething
  • Learned that the woman considered to be the “eccentric neighbor” was a spy for the French resistance in WWII!
  • Found a Korean 100 won coin in our house. Value: 9 cents.
  • King Shameek (from Twin Hype) and L.L. Cool J reply to/retweet me.
  • Painted our living room and moved all my music to the basement. Took a Jeff Hardy-style dive off of the ladder, but only once.

February

  • Shepp has a playdate with some other basset hounds
  • Got a Jawbone Jambox (one of my favorite purchases of the year)
  • Dead mouse, burial.

March

  • Worked the polls for the VA Republican primary. Thanks to the race being pretty much decided and only two people on the ballot, a mere 100 people showed up all day long.
  • Cleaned the sump cover of our dishwasher. NOT PRETTY AND APPARENTLY SOMETHING YOU SHOULD DO OCCASIONALLY.
  • Visit from the Shaver crew

April

  • Took Rasine to her first hip-hop show, an in-store with Ragz and Mudd.
  • Met Kristin from Will Travel for Vegan Food
  • Had wood floors put in the house, replacing some old arse carpet.
  • Finally got to see Brownbird Rudy Relic play live.
  • Went to a friend’s wedding just a few days before…
  • Our son, Ramsey Long (aka Norval Ogilhinn), was born.

May

June

  • (nothing happened)

July

  • A spider crawled across my screen. While I was browsing the web. Amazing!
  • Introduced Rasine to the wonders of Super Fuzz
  • Met up with Shawn Lov, NJ underground hip-hop old-timer, and his wife for lunch.
  • Lunch with former co-worker Viren for the first time in years.
  • Got childhood friend (and fellow vegan) out to Poplar Spring for the first of several visits.

August

  • Celebrate 14 years at my job
  • Vacation in Ocracoke, including time with sis’ family and the Shavers
  • Laid off from my job of 14 years
  • Took an injured baby squirrel into the emergency vet, sure they’d put him down. He recovered!
  • Dog #1 of the year found and returned to owners

September

  • Introduced “We’re Not Gonna’ Take It” (the song and the video) to Rasine. It’s requested almost every day for the next two months.
  • Rasine starts softball
  • Visit from Sir Josh Hooten for Herbivoreville

October

  • Dog #2 of the year found and returned to owners (on my eight-year veganversary, no less)
  • Turned 37.
  • Dog #3 of the year found and returned to owners
  • Hurricane Sandy hits and we escape any effects other than a few minutes without power and a little moisture in the basement

November

  • Rasine runs her own polling location
  • My Tweet of the Year
  • I work the polls for the ninth year in a row, this time as an assistant chief in a presidential election
  • Introduced Rasine to the Star Wars series
  • Switched away from our dentist who took out a nutty political ad in the local paper (and later found out he’d missed a bunch of cavities that had formed, so he was a crappy dentist, too)
  • Rasine lost her first two teeth (inadvertently eating her first)
  • Rasine ran her first race, a super chilly one-miler in 11:16
  • Closed my PO Box after 13 years
  • Saw the opening night of the Hip-Hop Gods Tour in DC, featuring Public Enemy, Wise Intelligent, Son of Baserk, X Clan, Schoolly D, Monie Love, and others. And, thanks to Matt Wriggy, I got to hang out at Sirius/XM beforehand for some press events. Caught up with DJ Jay-Ski for the first time in many years and got to meet and chat briefly with Wise Intelligent.

December

  • The beard returns
  • Formed a new LLC, nearly signed a commercial lease, and started preparations to open up an online shop (coming 2013!).
  • (Re-)introduced Rasine to What’s Happening!!

Favorite New Teas of the Year

  • Dong Pian oolong

RIP

Based solely on the folks I RIP’ed on Twitter. People I knew personally in bold. Dates are when I tweeted, not the actual death date.

  • 1/16: Jimmy Castor
  • 1/20: Etta James
  • 1/27: Winston Riley
  • 2/1: Don Cornelius
  • 2/2: King Stitt
  • 2/29: Davy Jones
  • 3/16: Outspoken/Big Cat/Andre Catlett
  • 4/18: Dick Clark
  • 5/4: MCA
  • 5/8: Maurice Sendak
  • 5/16: Chuck Brown
  • 5/17: Donna Summer
  • 6/4: Richard Dawson
  • 6/6: Ray Bradbury
  • 6/18: Rodney King
  • 7/3: Andy Griffith
  • 7/8: Ernest Borgnine
  • 7/18: Ms. Melodie
  • 7/30: Sluggy Ranks
  • 8/10: David Rakoff
  • 8/20: Phyllis Diller
  • 8/23: Byard Lancaster
  • 10/13: John Tchicai
  • 10/19: David S. Ware
  • 10/31: Tracy 168
  • 12/5: Dave Brubeck

Books I Finished Reading

In order finished.

  • The Ask: A Novel by Sam Lipsyte
  • The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records by Ashley Kahn
  • Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter by Matt Paxton
  • Taft 2012: A Novel by Jason Heller
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • My Seinfeld Year (Kindle Single) by Fred Stoller
  • The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
  • The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • Coltrane on Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews by Chris DeVito
  • There’s Gotta Be A Pony (Considerations on a Journey of Mastery) by Jim Perry
  • Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire at the Gates of Tassajara by Colleen Morton Busch
  • The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats by Grandmaster Flash
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  • Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney E. Martin
  • Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki by David Chadwick
  • Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, & the Truth about Reality by Brad Warner (audiobook version)
  • A Brief History of Rhyme and Bass: Growing Up With Hip-Hop by Shawn Livernoche
  • Hardcore Zen Strikes Again by Brad Warner
  • The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon
  • Rinkitink in Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • The Boombox Project: The Machines, the Music, and the Urban Underground by Lyle Owerko

Total number of books finished: 26 (one more than 2011)

Books re-read: 2

Books written by someone I’ve know or have at least spoken more than a sentence to: 4

Physical / Ebooks (incl. Kindle Singles) / Audiobooks finished:
15
10
1
Fiction / Nonfiction:
12
14
Oz / Buddhism / Music:
8
5
5

Books in progress at the end of the year: 3

Movies I Watched and Re-watched

In order watched.

Number of movies: 55

Number of those movies I’d already seen: 18

Average year (a stat my wife calls “pointless”): 1992

Average rating: 3.69

(The annual music year-in-review is coming later this week.)

2011: My Year in Review

2011 was a pretty chill and mostly uneventful year. (Well, aside from finding out we’ve got a son on the way in 2012. That’s pretty big.)

I actually don’t have much in the way of commentary to share, so let’s just get into the series of lists that do a surprisingly good job of capturing the year at a glance.

2012 will be the year I finally get done most of the stuff I vowed to do in 2009.

The Year, By Month

January

  • The year starts.

February

  • F you, Mozy. Hi there, Crashplan!
  • Found a five-year-old item in the fridge that read “use within 30 days of opening.”
  • Returned a library item I’d renewed 23 times and had checked out for ten months.
  • Huyen found a dog, had to have her scanned (collar, not tagged, but microchipped). She lived about six houses down.

March

  • My parents’ cat stayed with us for a month.
  • Trip to NY for Pint show, visit to 5 Pointz, hang with bro-in-law, etc..
  • Rasine’s unsuccessful soccer camp.
  • Reading Sesame Street with Rasine sparked a conversation about punk music.
  • New dishwasher gaskets!

April

  • Italian zombies night at Dave’s.
  • Rasine cut her hair.
  • Wrote my first full-length album review in years.
  • Won the ex.fm contest.
  • Bought my first smartphone. Entered 2007.

May

  • Goats walked on car.
  • Rasine finishes preschool (& recital).
  • Started a new blog.
  • Relaunched laze.net with a new look for the first time in eight years.
  • Woke up with a tick in my back, plucked it, left the head in, had to take a trip to the doc.
  • Another pair of dogs found and returned home. The owners never said thanks.
  • The world didn’t end.

June

  • NYC with fam & Huyen’s fam.
  • Saw the Miss New York contestants on the Staten Island Ferry.

July

  • Returned to the abandoned snack shack and Dixontown Road house.
  • Guy I know is on Hoarders.

August

  • 13 years.
  • The Great Hard Drive Drop of 2011.
  • One Sentence turns five.
  • Matt’s wedding.
  • Earthquake in VA.

September

  • Tenth anniversary.
  • Another non-event jury duty.
  • Rasine turns five. B-day party at the Tally Ho movie theatre days before their 80th anniversary.
  • We find out that baby #2 is on the way.

October

  • Tenth anniversary trip to Woodstock.
  • Pulled over for a dead headlight (I got away without a ticket).
  • I turn 36.
  • The Fly/Dawn of the Dead.
  • Rasine as Tin Woodman for Halloween.
  • Snow!
  • Hurt my knee running.
  • New projects.
  • MOMs in Herndon opens.
  • The world still doesn’t end.

November

  • Sold a DVD on Amazon for $25.
  • Nene’s wedding.
  • Rasine snuck Halloween candy. As a result, so did Shepp.
  • Election Day 2011.

December

  • Visit from the in-laws.
  • The best holiday in recent memory.

Favorite Teas of the Year

This year I had the opportunity to try a lot of new teas, like some Hawaii-Grown White Tea that I bought directly from the farmer. Or some Royal Purple Tea from Kenya (their “Moonlight White” was also a very nice surprise). I also tried the best Japanese Gyokuro that I’ve ever had this year. Plus, I rediscovered some old classics, like Bi Luo Chun, Wenshan Baozhong Formosa oolong, and a good Da Hong Pao Wuyi oolong.

TV Shows from the Past That I Discovered This year and Liked

  • 10 Items or Less
  • Party Down
  • Shaun the Sheep
  • The Bill Cosby Show

RIP

Based solely on the folks I RIP’ed on Twitter. People I knew personally in bold. Dates are when I tweeted, not the actual death date.

  • 1/24: Jack LaLane
  • 2/27: Lana Cokos
  • 3/4: Steve Glaspey
  • 3/7: Mike DeStefano
  • 5/28: Gil Scott Heron
  • 6/2: Geronimo Pratt
  • 7/12: Sherwood Schwartz
  • 7/25: Amy Winehouse
  • 10/5: Steve Jobs
  • 11/9: Heavy D
  • 11/9: David Hess
  • 12/16: Christopher Hitchens
  • 12/17: Cesaria Evoria
  • 12/26: Sam Rivers

Books I Finished Reading

In order finished.

  • The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done by Dave Crenshaw
  • Zombie Spaceship Wasteland: A Book by Patton Oswalt by Patton Oswalt (audiobook version)
  • Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen by Shunryu Suzuki
  • The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate by Susan K Greenland
  • The Vegan Revolution… with Zombies by David Agranoff
  • A Confession by Leo Tolstoy
  • Edible Secrets: A Food Tour of Classified US History by Michael Hoerger
  • Where the Hell Am I?: Trips I Have Survived by Ken Levine
  • A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates
  • 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) by Matthew Inman
  • Fuzzy Logic Get Fuzzy 2 by Darby Conley
  • 1975 and the Changes to Come by Arnold Barach
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (with Rasine)
  • I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny At All by Judd Apatow
  • Beware Dangerism! (Kindle Single) by Gever Tulley
  • Land of the Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets by Cadillac Man
  • Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty: Poems by Tony Hoagland
  • Free-Range Chickens by Simon Rich
  • Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide by Sayward Rebhal
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris
  • The Five by Robert McCammon
  • Nothing Is Hidden: Essays on Zen Master Dogen’s Instructions for the Cook by Shohaku Okumura
  • The Issue At Hand: Essays On Buddhist Mindfulness Practice by Gil Fronsdal
  • Mile 81 (Kindle Single) by Stephen King

Total number of books finished: 24 (one more than 2010)

Physical / Ebooks (incl. Kindle Singles) / Audiobooks finished:
15
6
1
Fiction / Nonfiction / Poetry / Comic:
6.5
14.5
1
2
Short/easy books: 8

Long/challenging books: 8

Books in progress at the end of the year: 3 (plus the second book of Oz with Rasine)

Movies I Watched and Re-watched

In order watched.

Average year: 1994

Average rating: 3.39
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2010: My Year in Review

If I were the type to focus on the negative things that happened during the year (which I sometimes am), I’d note that Amina’s illness and death were a huge strain on all of us emotionally for the first half of the year. I’d also look back to things I wrote late last year and in January of this year about my hopes and plans for the year and how I missed the mark on pretty much every front. There were a couple of very specific changes I wanted to make this year that I didn’t. Again. And it’s getting hard to keep failing myself like that.

A few things I worked on this year that I’m pleased with: I journaled a lot more (using 750words.com and then importing into my desktop journal software), I ran far more than any previous year (231 miles, though I was as inconsistent as ever, aside from October), and we travelled a fair amount.

All-in-all, it was actually a pretty good year. I didn’t document as much online this year and find myself generally being slightly less forthcoming than I was in the past, but I decided to write up a rundown of my year, for what’s it’s worth. Last year, I found that I enjoyed the process of putting the list together and I suspect years down the road, I’ll be glad I did.

2011, bring it on. I’m ready for you. I think.

The year, by month

January

  • Large nearly-dead tree #1 removed from our backyard.
  • Talked to Ludwig van Trikt on the phone

February

  • GIANT F’ING SNOWSTORM (over 3 feet).

March

  • Ran my first race of the year, a 5-miler with Ragz at an 8:06/mile pace.
  • Several vet and emergency vet trips for Amina. Ultrasound rules out Addison’s disease. We start a food allergy test.

April

  • Ten years in our house.
  • Amina’s endoscopy. Results come back as severe inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Lost my cell phone at the farm.
  • 2 1/2 weeks late on state inspection = ticket on the drive into work.

May

  • We celebrate Amina’s 9th birthday while she starts to show some bad side effects due to her medicine cocktail. Late in the month, we try a reiki treatment.
  • Poplar Spring 5k (sixth one!), finished in the rain at 25:13.
  • Michael Franti/Spearhead show at Wolf Trap.

June

  • Amina has a physical therapy appointment to try and get some relief from the medicines’ side effects. She also swims for the first time (she since we adopted her) while trying some water therapy.
  • Las Vegas.
  • Amina passes.
  • Pick up a dog in Vegas wandering on the side of the road and take him to the Nevada SPCA. He’s adopted two days after he debuts there.
  • Huyen goes to Vietnam.
  • Juniper passes.

July

  • Earthquake!

August

  • Large nearly-dead tree #2 removed from our backyard.
  • Serial killer strikes multiple times within a mile of our house.
  • Ordered a Vita-Mix. Becomes my new best friend.
  • Trip to Asheville, NC.
  • Met Jim Perry!!!

September

  • Pantry moths!
  • A comment of mine is read on WNYC’s Soundcheck.
  • First 10k race (53:31).

October

  • Ran 60 miles.
  • A horse bit my boob.
  • Turned 35.

November

  • Worked the polls again.
  • Rasine’s first ear infection.
  • Charlie Hunter @ Jammin’ Java
  • Adopted Shepp.
  • Thanksgiving in Corolla and at Stace’s house.

December

  • Shepp wears women’s underwear.
  • NYC trip.
  • Got a Cr-48.
  • Started The Great Beard Experiment of 2010.

Favorite new teas of the year

Over course a good Silver Needle White or Tung Ting Oolong will do the trick for me, but here are a few new favorites I discovered this year.

  • Shangri La White Silvertips (Nepalese white, from Tea Trekker)
  • Yue Guang Bai (Chinese Green from Tea Trekker, pre-qing ming)
  • A 2009 pu-erh that was stored in a tangerine skin, brewed with pieces of the skin. Tried this during a tasting.

RIP

Stores and web services in parenthases.

  • Chas Balun
  • Zelda Rubenstein
  • Yabby You
  • Apache
  • Andrew Koenig
  • Guru
  • (Couch Potatoes)
  • Dorothy Height
  • Lena Horne
  • Markey Fresh
  • Gary Coleman
  • Dennis Hopper
  • (Lala)
  • Rue McClanahan
  • Amina
  • Juniper
  • Fred Anderson
  • Rammellzee
  • Sugar Minott
  • Abbey Lincoln
  • Yojinbo
  • (Amie Street)
  • Hadley Caliman
  • Greg Geraldo
  • Uncle Don
  • david bailey
  • Eyedea
  • Marion Brown
  • Gregory Isaacs
  • Noah Howard
  • Leslie Nielsen

Books I Finished Reading This Year

In order finished.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Home Land: A Novel by Sam Lipsyte
  • The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
  • Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, and Abandoned Rock Operas by Sarah Brown
  • The Smart Traveler’s Passport: 399 Tips from Seasoned Travelers by Erik Torkells
  • The Old Tea Seller: Life and Zen Poetry in 18th Century Kyoto by Baisao
  • What Matters Now by Seth Godin
  • Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto by Anneli Rufus
  • Mister Slaughter by Robert McCammon
  • Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise by Wil Wheaton (audiobook version)
  • I Got Somebody in Staunton: Stories by William Henry Lewis
  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
  • The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas by Mary Lou and David (?) Heiss
  • In The Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time by Peter Lovenheim
  • iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It by Steve Wozniak (audiobook version)
  • Living And Dying In Zazen: Five Zen Masters Of Modern Japan by Arthur Braverman
  • Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
  • Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between by Brad Warner
  • Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor
  • Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music by Greg Milner
  • Secret Rendezvous by Kobo Abe
  • The Korean Way of Tea by Hong Kyeong-hee and Brother Anthony of Taize
  • The Elephant Vanishes: Stories by Haruki Murakami

Movies I Watched and Re-watched This Year

In order watched.

2009: My Year-in-Review

Being that I wrote barely any real entries in the blog this year, how about I sneak a year-in-review one in at the last second?

Here was my 2009 in a nutshell, certainly leaving out an awful lot. Thanks to twitter, Google Calendar, Flickr, and this blog for helping remind me what the heck I did this year.

January

  • A new president is sworn in. Didn’t go downtown, but did watch streaming video at work during lunch.

February

  • Went to see the new Friday the 13th with my sister. First time we saw a movie in the theater together since we were kids.
  • Took Rasine bowling for the first time.

March

  • One Sentence won the 2009 Bloggie for “Best Microblog.”
  • Stayed with my mom in a hotel in Philly during the worst snowstorm in years (to that point) as my Dad had surgery.
  • Race #1 of the year: Stupid Little 5k (24:26)
  • Demi Moore tweeted about One Sentence

April

With Ricky

May

  • Race #2: 5k for Kailee (25:08 mine, 25:21 official)
  • Race #3: Poplar Spring Run for the Animals (5k) (24:50 mine, 24:58 official)
  • Had my first neti pot experience.
  • Spoke at a Board of Supervisors meeting in support of some local farms (along with 50 other people). If you look hard enough, you can find video online.
  • Closed up shop on ADDreviews after almost eight years.

June

  • Jesus, did nothing interesting happen in June?

July

  • An armed robber takes a family hostage a mile or so from where we live. Huyen sees the helicopters searching for him. He’s caught later that night.
  • Newsweek tweets about One Sentence.
  • Brad Warner big ups Rasine.
  • Started the refinancing process, which would (when completed) save us $500 a month.
  • Took Rasine to a carnival.

August

  • Went to a Half Pint show at Merriweather Post Pavillion. Hung back stage and watched Bob Marley’s grandchildren play ping pong with Squidly Cole (the son of the man credited with recording the first reggae song), saw Snoop Dogg play basketball, and got dissed by Stephen Marley.
  • Launched a long-in-the-works redesign of Half Pint’s site.
  • Had my bottom two wisdom teeth removed. The pain lingered for weeks.
  • A block away from our house, a dog mauled and killed another dog and a man in his home.
  • Went to a long-time friend’s wedding and met a guy that was in the original Sleepaway Camp.
  • Got bootleg Golden Palace DVDs in the mail.
  • Started our vacation in Northampton, Massachussetts. Ate great food, sat with a local sangha, met the authors of the amazing The Story of Tea, and enjoyed the city where almost no one accepts credit cards.
  • Continued the vacation in Boston for college friend John’s wedding. Met up with Eric Prescott just weeks before he opened Peace O’ Pie.
  • Then we made our way to New York City for non-stop fun. Ran twice in Central Park, including a 7-mile loop that included “Heartbreak Hill.” We ate absurd amounts of food, including a burrito the size of Rasine’s head and a huge variety of vegan sushi with master bluesman Brownbird Rudy Relic. Our time in NYC this year was so much fun, it’ll probably turn into an annual event.

With Pint

September

Last Subway Ride

October

  • Five years vegan.
  • 34 years alive.
  • Finally finished the mortgage refinancing process.
  • Took Rasine to her first (high school) football game. She dug it, especially high-fiving the mascot.

Daddy with his Daughters

November

  • Worked election day.
  • Helped an older woman break into her house.

December

  • First new haircut style in entirely too long.
  • GIANT F’ING SNOWSTORM!
  • Talked to my best friend from 5th grade today for the first time in 20+ years.
  • 15 years of web publishing.
  • Killed Urban Ambiance (the site and the LLC). Launched Laze Makes Things.
  • Actually wrote a post on twist of fait.

New hair!

Books I Finished Reading This Year

Not a single work of fiction finished this year, though I did read a little.

  • Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic. by David Nadelberg
  • Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharma by Brad Warner
  • Mortified: Love Is a Battlefield by David Nadelberg
  • The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide by Mary Ellen and Robert J. Heiss
  • WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling by R.D. Reynolds
  • Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters by Scott Rosenberg
  • Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowan
  • Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis
  • Against the Stream: A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries by Noah Levine
  • The Empty Mirror by Jan Van De Wetering
  • The Vegan Monologues by Ben Shaberman
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
  • It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita by Heather Armstrong
  • Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell
  • Don’t Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems by David Rakoff (my sole audiobook of the year)

Deaths I Tweeted

Other notes

  • I delved way deeper into tea than I ever have before. This was the year I discovered the beauty of Japanese greens after having dismissed them for so long and the amazingness that is Tung Ting oolong. Bought an insane amount of great tea from trips to NYC and MA and have loved almost all of it.
  • Launched/re-launched a total of four sites this year.
  • Dealt a lot more with depression this year than previous years. Working on the root causes.
  • I am working on another Music Year in Review post. This weekend, maybe?
  • Though I didn’t run a ton this year, I did hit the pavement for more miles than any previous year. That’s something, right?
  • Was sick this year more than usual.
  • Finished up the year on some positive and hopeful notes. 2010: big tings a gwaan!

The laze.net Year in Review

The year in review: ADD style. What’s missing: a lot. What’s included: very little of serious import. But it’s all great fun. Really. Happy new year, friends.

January
Learned to tie a tie, got mad ill, and purchased my Creative Nomad (my “purchase of the year”).

February
Late night banking, American Taliban-mixtape-having, Vegan.com-debuting, abandoned snack bar-sneaking, fluorescent snot-sneezing wackiness.

March
Anniversaries galore started the month. I started the meme that never was and Damian Marley put on a great show.

April
I did an unintentional “Mandala Mix,” left Verisign in the dust, but got squat from the Better Business Bureau.

May
laze.net surprise redesign/ToFA goes MT. I unclogged the shitter but smelled like gas. Tonsa cool friend news.

June
I had umbrella troubles, my Golden Girl blog launched, “The Hook” came out, and I had a tooth drilled.

July
I won six DVDs, blogged for 24 hours (again), and launched a full-scale Net assault on Encore.

August
Wrubel makes a basement-saving discovery and I was interviewed for Newsweek.

September
Celebrated one year, interviewed Angela, relaunched UA, and formed a sniper militia with no idea about the near future.

October
31 Days, 31 Horror Movies. Alyssa. Lost e-mail. “Don’t be the weak link.” Turn 27, get Oreo Cake.

November
Rerun visits the Ping. Name that sample.

December
Snow! Incorporated Urban Ambiance. Prepared the re-release. Made this list.

I decided to refrain against

I decided to refrain against posting a “year in review,” but I liked what I saw someone else do on another blog (I forget which): link up to some favorite posts from the year.

So, here you go (feel free to add any of your own favorites in the comments):