Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in review!

This is Leo, ladies and gents, sleeping upside down and sprawled on his bed as he hasn't done since he was a puppy, thanks to his cushy bed. That's his 2014 in a nutshell, really. :) And not a bad start for mine.

So, this was actually a really good year for me. I got a lot accomplished this year, even if it was hard won in a lot of ways.

January: Despite my early concerns, I didn't back out of grad school. I balanced school with Oscar season, which will be starting soon again as well. We went to the Flying Fig for our anniversary, which was amazing and on my list to go back to some day ( though likely not for our anniversary this year, given time and money issues).

February: I turned 43. We had an awesome Oscar party. I read a lot of stuff, but not as much as I should have, because taking comprehensive notes is only so useful. I started putting my head down and focusing on my work. I presented a paper on a Hitchcock movie at the SouthWest Popular Culture Association Conference, which was a nice trip to ABQ.

March: I went and visited my kiddos over my spring break. :) Seattle in the spring is lovely, and I miss my friends there, but it was good to see everyone. We also ran a Growling Door kickstarter that failed to fund called Mall Adventures -- but honestly, the project had some serious weaknesses that we're going to address and give it another shot down the road. Matt and I also took a crazy weekend road trip to Boston to see Patton Oswalt live, and that was pretty darn amazing. We ate in a real New York Jewish deli and we found nifty little restaurants and I walked through lots of historical Boston stuff and we had oysters. Pretty much a perfect trip, really.

April: The big thing that happened in April was that I started PT for my scoliosis, and it's made an incredible difference in my life. It wasn't a long program, but it added nearly an inch to my height and tons to my stamina. It's really been a great thing.

May: I finished coursework! Woo hooo! We found a garter snake in our basement, which was an unpleasant surprise for our basement housemate, John (it was warming itself on his Wii console). I got to see Only Lovers Left Alive, which was honestly my favorite film of the whole year. I finished the PacMan blanket, which you can see to the left, for Heather and Aaron's baby boy, Porter. It took nearly as long to make as he did, but I think it came out pretty awesome.

June: Went home to visit my family for a week or so, and during the course of it went out to see my brother's new lake house and do a little Oklahoma tourism. It was pretty darn cool, and he's done a great job with that place. Taught over the summer in the Emerging Scholars Program at Case, which is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved. We also started getting Matt's ongoing problems with dizziness checked out, eliminating a whole bunch of stuff. We also announced Growling Door's acquisition of the Chill RPG license! :) Also, Origins was lovely, and it was great to reconnect with people.

July: I got my qualifying exam questions pretty much done, and my boys arrived for the summer. The McFarlands did a family vacation in a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN, which I'd never been to, and we went rafting on the Pigeon Forge river. It was a really nice month all things considered, and I finished my teaching assignment as well.

August: GenCon and Matt's 40th birthday! We did pretty well on sales and the con was a lot of fun, as always, and his Avengers' themed gaming party with all our industry folks was a huge blast. Such a wonderful time.

September: I got a knitting group and a great bar to hang out at called The Side Quest, which made me really happy. I spent most of the month prepping madly for exams, which means that I don't remember a lot of it clearly. All of this designed to get me ready for...

October: Qualifying Exams! Chill kickstarter! I managed to pass my written exams over Halloween and Chill gave us our most successful kickstarter ever. Other than that, I got nothin'.

November: Got the news that I'd passed, as well as taking and passing my oral exams. Thanksgiving was at our house and went very well. Bad things happened in the world and in Cleveland, with Tamir Rice's death at the top of the local list.

December: Getting caught up on media! Gaming! Working on my dissertation proposal! Christmas! My kids are here to round out the year! Hozier's album is my favorite of the year! All the good things.

And with that, time to get ready for the next go-around. May your new year be everything you'd hope it to be.