I know it’s a few days late but I like to wait until the year is over because hey, you never know what can happen, right?
Anyhow I bid you a very Happy New Year. And in keeping with what seems to be a new tradition since I’m always taking pictures of even the most minor event in my life with my phone, I’m going to share with you my photographic year in review* as I did last year. I enjoy doing these posts because I throw in a lot of crazy little things that I saw along with the big things, plus add often sarcastic commentary to go along with all of it.
Will 2014 compare to 2013? Will it be better or worse? You be the judge. So grab your choice of beverage, sit back, and enjoy the (possibly bittersweet) ride.
We were invited to go to Disneyland and took the first of what would be, quite honestly, too many trips to Walt’s Magic Kingdom. It’s a long story I’ll slightly cover later.
I found a wallet and tried to return it, which turned into one clusterfuck of an ordeal. (Note that the term “clusterfuck” may appear many, many more times in this post – you’ve been warned!) The coins were found in the parking lot next to the wallet but I kept them. Half-dollars are cool.
We made another trip to Disneyland a few weeks after the last one. It’s already too much.
I had two of my photos posted in the local newspaper which recently shut down after only 20 months.
I discovered that the local church has parking dedicated to corpulent parishioners.
In an effort to cut costs due to unemployment, we cut the cable cord and bought Roku boxes and digital antennae.
Speaking of unemployment, I got a job the day after my birthday at a local grocery store where I tend to take selfies in the freezer.
And speaking of birthdays, I turned 45 without much fanfare as don’t have my birthdate visible on Facebook. (Those who know, know.) I’m not a big birthday person and only posted this cryptic image on Instagram for people to figure out. I think only one person did.
I celebrated Chinese New Year the way I did last year, by riding in the Chinatown Firecracker 30-Mile Bike Ride. It’s one of my favorite events but sadly, due to my part-time status, all of my events for 2015 have been put on the back burner. I may not do any if I can’t get the money together for them.
I participated in my second Coaster Run but only the 5k. It rained for most of it and was probably the most fun I’ve had doing an event.
I witnessed one of the most amazing sunrises in recent memory.
We switched from MetroPCS to AT&T using my new Corporate Discount through work. That, of course, required getting new phones.
I decorated (read: wrote on) my first cake while working in the Bakery.
After around a week of building, I completed constructing The Simpsons LEGO house.
We celebrated Anthony’s 10th birthday at a local pizza place where his grandfather showed him how to score a bunch of tickets playing the Blackjack game.
While out for a run, I saw the Amityville Horror house being built in a local park.
You know. Korean Doritos.
We took one of two trips to the tide pools, one of our most favorite local spots.
Sadly, on my Mom’s birthday, my Aunt Mary (seated) passed away. This was taken a year earlier at Mom’s surprise 75th birthday.
We were invited to go to Disneyland’s 24 Hour event and I was the only person in our group to make it to sunrise on Saturday (after arriving around 4pm Friday). I didn’t blog about it; I only posted my pictures on Instagram.
We discovered that there’s a Hello Kitty wine, but we don’t like Chardonnay. I’m more of a Merlot person now that I occasionally drink wine.
We took our final trip to Disneyland. This was meant to be a mini-vacation that was paid for by Ann’s friend which it was, but it was cut short by Anthony becoming sick and Ann having to unexpectedly go to work. This didn’t set well with the friend who hasn’t uttered more than one word to Ann since (and also unfriended me on Facebook). What can I say? Shit happens and her hotel room money was refunded. I guess some people don’t realize that the world can’t be paid to spin in their direction and have everything go their way and when it doesn’t, it’s best to throw verbal tantrums on social networking sites and post condescending witticisms [in]directly aimed at you. We did get Annual Passports as well, still good until June 2015, but we haven’t used them since and probably won’t. We don’t want to be reminded of this clusterfuck of biblical proportions where we felt completely unwanted by our hosts the whole time.
I got this really creepy lenticular Jesus picture sent to me from a church that was begging for money. I was on their mailing list for a while and got all kinds of weird stuff sent to me, including a communion wafer.
The door of the baler at work came down and smashed my fingertips. They were numb for about a month or so but are fine now.
In an effort to earn a few bucks since I was (and still am) only working part-time, we sold our extra refrigerator. And you know what? That turned out to be a big clusterfuck as well!
Only 17 months into our lease, we had to say goodbye to the Kia Optima. Working a minimum-wage, part-time job just wasn’t enough to make the payments anymore. It felt like a kick in the gut but it has turned out to be fine in the end. It also gives me yet another opportunity to say that Kia financing is the worst on the planet. Read this post for more information.
The day we got rid of the Optima also ushered in a new day of motoring for me: I bought my Yamaha Zuma scooter which I still love. Payments are 1/4 that of the Optima and it is ridiculous on gas (between 65-80 MPG), meaning I’ve never put more than $3 in it since I’ve owned it.
I applied for a job at Disneyland. I had the interview and was shortlisted then later offered a position. I turned it down for many a good reason.
I got a second job someplace near and dear to my heart, which I quit after only one day of training. I’ve never seen the paycheck. I quit for many reasons, the main one being their ultra-strict policy on personal items and phones. It pretty much granted them the right to search my locker, backpack, and phone any time they wanted with no reason or cause. I’m an honest guy but their policy was way overboard for me, so I left.
After a month of studying, I took the written exam for my motorcycle license and got my permit.
Anthony got his parakeets.
I hit 100 miles on the scooter.
We took a trip to Mattel, across the street from where I used to work.
We paid a visit to the Queen…
…and her neighbor, a Russian submarine.
My friend commissioned us to refurbish the sign for his restaurant. Here is the Before shot.
My “promotion” at work became official. But I still take selfies in the freezer.
I was reunited with some friends from my old Catholic school whom I hadn’t seen in over 30 years.
Remember the sign we were working on? Here’s the finished project.
How YOU doin’?
The job allowed us to root for our favorite local team in the MLB playoffs, so naturally I did.
My mad art skillz came in handy at work once again when I was asked to conjure up a sign for a our seasonal caramel apples.
Catastrophe. Just a few days before participating in another event, I dropped my phone and rendered it useless.
That same day, my scooter was vandalized by local school kids who don’t understand what it’s like to have their property willingly broken.
Anthony ran in his second Aquarium of the Pacific Kids Run…
..and I did my second duathlon the following day. I did it last year and rode the bike tour the previous four years.
I replaced my broken phone with this, the Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket II. It was such a horrible phone that I returned it the next day.
It was replaced with the HTC one M7, an absolutely amazing phone.
I got a new camera and started shooting quality photos again. My first trip was a Dia de los Muertos event.
A few days later, we made another trip to the tide pools where I messed with the different settings on the camera.
Anthony and I took the train to the L.A. Auto Show where the camera performed well in every lighting condition.
Well, outside of Christmas, there wasn’t much to speak of in December so I don’t have many pictures for that month. It looks like 2014 had its share of highs and lows but naturally, I took the good with the bad and moved on.
By the way, I’m still on Facebook Vacation and enjoying it. It’s amazing how much you can do with your time when you don’t give it so much attention.
Anyhow, there’s my second annual Year In Review post and I hoped you enjoyed it. Here’s hoping my 2015 is less phone-breaky, scooter-pushy, and wallet-findy and that yours is everything you wish it make it to be.
*Selected events, of course. You don’t need to know about my doctor’s visits.