Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When did that happen?

How is 2008 almost over? I mean seriously. It feels like just recently I was all snazzied up, raising my glass of champagne (or was it sparkling cider...hmmmm) and ringing in 2008 with some good friends, and a friendly wager with my buddy Sizer. I half-jokingly said I was going to give up booze for the whole year. He said I couldn't do it. That turned my joke into a serious challenge. We only bet $10, but it was more the idea that he didn't think I could make it, and that I wanted to prove him wrong that was the driving force behind the bet. I didn't make it, but definitely felt I could have. I realized 2008 was going to be a year of firsts, and big deals that were going to call for a celebratory drink. So I gladly payed him $10 and went to Prost! for a bier sometime in March or April.

I kind of went off of the "not drinking for a year" tangent, but it really doesn't seem like that was nearly a year ago. Crazy. This last year has been a memorable one for me. Started off with the "no booze" challenge. Then I got laid off from WaMu, but moved rather easily to Wells Fargo. After a few months I got laid off again. Sweet. Twice in four months.

During that time though, while with WaMu, I went to Vegas, for only the second time ever, with my office. Such a blast. I know I never finished my three part blog about the trip but it was killer. They are going again in a month, January 2009, but sadly I won't be able to join them. Too bad too, they're a lot of fun...man I miss that office.

In June I went to New York with my old college roommate. First time in NYC for the both of us. We met up with another old college roommate, Walt, and saw a game at Yankee Stadium before it closed at the end of the 2008 season. We got to see Ken Griffey Jr. hit a HR, and I believe it was the last one he hit in Yankee Stadium. Walt headed back down to the DC area, but Jon and I mastered the subway system, walked around in Times Square, got my picture taken with the Naked Cowboy, threw the frisbee in Central Park, and got to see the Mariners play the Mets at Shea Stadium before it closed at the end of the 2008 season. The M's won behind the first ever grand slam by a pitcher, courtesy of Felix Hernandez. The whole trip was great. I love baseball, and so does Jon, so it was very cool for both of us to experience the New York stadiums, and even cooler than we got to do it together.

In July one of my best friends, and still a great friend, Sizer, got married in central Oregon. He asked me to be in the wedding, which was a blast. All of the groomsmen had become friends over the past several years so it was a lot of fun to see them all and hang out, have fun, and be there to celebrate our friend's wedding. We played golf, lawn games, poker, drank beer and just let loose and enjoyed being together. The wedding itself was beautiful. Size looked so sharp, and his lovely bride Elise was stunning. The night before the wedding one of our friends said it would be cool if we all walked up and gave Size something random when we walked up the aisle to our places. That turned into..."wouldn't it be sweet if we got him a wedding Mr. Potato Head and each gave him a piece of that?" Thanks to my mom, we were able to pull that off, which completely surprised Size, and was really fun to be a part of. The reception was a blast too. Beer, champagne, music, dancing, good friends, being outside...it was great. Despite the long drive to get there, it was a fantastic weekend.

I also took my then current roommate, Dan, to Vegas for his birthday in August. It was his first time there and we had a good time. Gambled too much, lost more money than we wanted, but did manage to play blackjack in 30 different casinos. Took him to dinner at this delicious Brazilian bbq place where we got the "all you can eat meat fest"...or whatever its called. OMG is it tasty. Also got to see the Sirens show at TI (just the free show they do out front, but still cool), and we stopped to see the water show at the Bellagio (like in the end of Ocean's 11), and finally made into old Vegas, or downtown. I love going to Vegas, and after having been twice (pretty recently) I felt I could show him a good time and think I did well.

In September was when I got laid off from Wells Fargo, and since then things have been different. I was still living with Dan then, and he started dating a girl. It had been a long time since he'd been in a relationship, so it was understandable that he was all "twitterpated" over her, plus they're a good fit for each other. So I saw him less, which I understood, but it took some adjusting to get used to. In October we decided we were going to each move out and go our separate ways as far as our living arrangements were concerned. He moved out in mid-November...and that was weird. Had to adjust to not living with Dan, and living alone. I thought I was going to move into a studio and live alone too, but that didn't pan out so well. Lucky for me my friend Melanie was looking to move and so we decided to move in together. Found this fabulous place in Ballard, and we moved in this month. She has two cats, and I'm not a cat person, but they're pretty cool. Never lived with a girl before either, but Mel is bomb, and the cats are entertaining so its all good...just new and different.

And that's about it...I think...as far as the highlights go. Plenty more happened, but those are the "BIG" things I can think of right now. Lots of good times spent with friends, camping trips, new friends, old friends, trivia nights, all nighters, 4th of July at Gasworks, a trip to Spokane, a trip to Portland, many Mariner's games, a few Seahawks games, countless happy hours, but all in all a pretty damn good year. Even with being laid off, and being currently unemployed, I'll remember 2008 for all the good that happened.

Unfortunately for 2009, its not going to start off on the best foot. I will more than likely still be unemployed, which is now becoming a much bigger problem than it was in September and October. Even so, I have high hopes for 2009 to be every bit as good as 2008. A lot has changed for me in the last quarter of 2008, some good and some bad, but I'm hoping to make more good changes in the new year. I'd even venture to say I'm optimistic...and coming from someone who considers himself a "realist," that's a pretty bold statement. Ah yes, I do believe 2009 is going to be my year :)

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