2013: My Year In Review

Since this is a personal blog, I figured that instead of writing a year-end review about other things, it would be better suited for me to give a year-end review of things that actually happened in my life. It’s much easier to do something like this now since chances are I captured those moments with my phone, giving me photographic proof of the events.

With all of that out of the way, here’s a month-by-month photo essay of how things went with me and the family in 2013, some of which was never mentioned here on the blog. Take a virtual trip of the things we did, places we saw, events that brought us happiness, triumph, and even sadness.

Got your scrollin’ finger ready? Good! Here we go!

January 2013


Midnight. Happy New Year!


2013-01-05 USS Iowa 018

We visit the USS IOWA. (Take a mental note of this image, the “Unconditional Surrender” statue, and wait. Trust me on this and keep scrolling.)


I saw The Dude buying – you guess it – milk at Sprouts.

February 2013


I scored a pair of ASICS running shoes at the thrift shop for $3.50.


I almost freed the bees and caused havoc in our local WinCo Foods.


Anthony got recognized at school for making great academic progress.


We met local radio host Tim Comway, Jr.


I got tested for cholesterol and glucose levels and I’m a-okay!


To celebrate our 20th anniversary, I got Ann a new car. (Okay, it’s a lease.)


I rode in the Chinatown Firecracker 30-Mile Bike Tour. I also got to light the firecrackers before the event!

March 2013


We got tattoos. Wade Hex is the freaking man. Mine is based on my original drawing.


I ran the Coaster Run, my first official 10k. I dedicated the medal to the memory of my Uncle Lou Cruz, author and mentor, who passed away nine days prior.


We embarrassed Anthony at Toys R Us for his birthday.


We built a firepit in the backyard. To this day, we’ve only used it twice.

April 2013


I realized that with the mileage the Yaris gets, I won’t ever need a hybrid.



I ran my 2nd 10k of the year, the Hollywood Half 5k/10k. As my certificate indicates I was a little ambitious about doing the half marathon in 2014 but as things would happen, it looks like I might not do this event at all. All runs for this event are expensive.


Anthony became a member of the SCGA.


I didn’t follow this advice…


…and demons haunted me in my sleep.

May 2013


Anthony played 100 holes of golf with the Executive Director and Treasurer of the SCGA. He raised $300 for Youth On the Course programs.


We switched phone carriers and got rebates.


This happened down the street.


The Philips earbuds I bought a few months earlier took a dump and they were replaced for free.


We visited Rosie the Riveter Park.


I tried to look tough, for a selfie at least.


After seeing Anthony play 100 holes, I began to realize how quickly time flies.

June 2013


I said goodbye to some old friends


…where a picture I took of Cal Ripken during his final season was still hanging on the wall.

(Video won’t embed; click here to see me take my final hacks.)


I witnessed the birth of an inside joke at work.


We visited the White Point Tide Pools in San Pedro where I slipped on a rock and tore my leg up.


That same day we visited the Korean Bell of Friendship.


My interest in Buddhism began.


I discovered the lunacy that is Daiso Japan and I haven’t been the same since.


I caught a glimpse of a new Kia model.


We all got a pair of Vans at the local outlet. The green ones glow in the dark.


I reminisced about this concert, 25 years after it happened.


Anthony participated in his first official golf competition. Although he came up short, we’re still very proud of his efforts.


While I was at work, Ann laid down some concrete stepping stones.


I was all pumped up and ready to register for an event I’ve been wanting to do for years


…when I was let go from my job. The image on the left was taken on my first day in 2010; the one on the right was taken on my last day as I was leaving the parking lot.

July 2013


I have to admit that outside of the annual neighborhood Independence Day Parade, not a lot happened in July.

August 2013


We saw the Despicablimp at Long Beach Airport.


In the wake of the Carlos Danger scandal, I briefly considered changing my name to Senor Cuidado. I already had the sash.


I ran the the OC Fair 5k


…then had some fun at the Fair with the family after the run. (Note: all events mentioned after my layoff were paid for well in advance.)


I began training for the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour and 5k.

September 2013

enlisted seacord parade car

I witnessed the filming of a scene from the upcoming FOX show Enlisted.


I started to dabble with Minecraft, which didn’t last long.


It was a hot month. Top: car interior without A/C; bottom: car interior with A/C.



Anthony started 4th grade.


I saw ironic graffiti.


I posted a fitting room selfie on Instagram to show how ridiculous they can be.


I saw this coffin in a thrift shop selling for $700. I think it’s still there.


I made om fries.



We went to PETCO Park in San Diego to see the Dodgers beat the Padres. This event was sponsored by the Alumni Association of Ann’s alma mater (in short, free).


Anthony attended an SCGA event at the Tiger Woods Learning Center.


Ann went crazy with pink highlights.


Anthony caught a praying mantis.


He also attended his first concert, naturally it was Depeche Mode…

…where he sang along to almost everything. As a DM fan for many years, THIS was definitely a highlight of 2013. I can’t tell you how much I love this clip.

October 2013


As the result of a class action lawsuit, we got a free computer


…and Monte enjoyed the box it was shipped in.


I scored some free memory cards from Micro Center.


On October 13, Anthony ran in the Aquarium of the Pacific Kids Fun Run, his first official event. The next day I rode 20 miles in the Long Beach Bike Tour then ran 5k afterward for my first duathlon. This is probably one of my favorite pictures ever and chances are it will remain my Facebook profile picture for as long as I use it. I’m proud of him as well myself for sticking with my personal goal to complete both events. And guess what? I’m already signed up to do them again in 2014.


I had to make more room on my wall for medals.


Anthony created his own little zen space under his (yes, his) apple tree in the backyard.


I was thankful I never got this big. I made it to XXL but am now an L, only occasionally opting for XL when buying running gear. Loose is more confortable.


A rather large possum paid us a visit. It was staring at me as I sat in the lounge chair in the den and totally freaked me out, but I quickly grabbed my phone and took this shot. We’ve since named him Harold but have to make sure Arliss’ food is covered or he’ll eat it all.


Started in 2004, we continued the family tradition of having our photo taken at a local pumpkin patch.

November 2013


I started to practice calligraphy using Japanese brushes.


I saw the Tillamook Baby Loaf VW van at the local grocery store.


Inspired by Anthony, I made my own zen space.


We visited the historic and beautiful Mission San Juan Capistrano.


We enjoyed a few days of non-stop rain and chilly weather. Hey, it’s California. It’s what we do.


I took Anthony to the Los Angeles Auto Show. The tickets were given to me by a friend who won them but couldn’t use them.

December 2013


We replaced our old green artificial tree with something different: a white artificial tree.


I let the dogs out at Goodwill.


We attended a Victorian Christmas event at Phineas Banning Park where I spent many days playing when I was a kid.


We made several trips to Knott’s Berry Farm throughout the year but here’s a shot from our last one. The snow was added through Google Auto-Awesome.


For the first time in her life, Ann made tamales and they were a HUGE success!


Here’s when I wish WordPress would implement the [anchor] tag. Remember that picture posted in January that I told you to make a mental note of? Here’s the same statue in transit. We just happened to come across it while going to dinner one night. I posted this on Facebook where it was seen by a local newspaper writer and there’s a good chance it will be used very soon. Stay posted!


Using free passes, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific one final time…


…and enjoyed just another lovely southern California December morning.

Well, there’s our year summed up nicely with pictures. And unless anything interesting happens within the next 24 hours or so, that’s a wrap on 2013.

I just want to take a moment to wish all of you a very happy, prosperous, and peaceful 2014. While still jobless, I’m still confident that something will come my way in the very near future and if not, then there’s still not a whole lot to be miserable about. We’ve got our health, a roof overhead, and a strong family unit. I can’t ask for much else.

Happy New Year to you and yours, and thanks for coming along on this long photographic year-end journey. May your 2014 be everything you expected and more. Cheers!