2002, A Year in Review

“Another year, come and gone” it wasn’t. This has perhaps been the single most turbulent year of my life. I had the deep low of my father’s death, coupled with the meteoric high of participating with the CBC 50th Anniversary train. Many times I thought I was going to lose my sanity or even my job. Perseverence, not to mention blind faith, helps moves things forward. But I did live up to a few things last year (see [[2001, A Year in Review]]): I spent more time out of the office. Not really getting a life, but it’s a start.

The annual recap of events, activities, and whatnot:

  • Started the new year recovering from a round of food poisoning, but didn’t have any more for the rest of the year
  • Made the decision to buy a house
  • Looked at over 30 different homes before deciding on one
  • Got locked into a bidding war over a chosen domicile, but lost
  • Lucked into a situation where I could buy not only the house next door to the one I had wanted, but also the one I wanted (quite the crazy scenario, lemme tell ya!)
  • Bought — finally! — my first house
  • Got buried under the soul-crushing debt of a mortgage (okay, it’s not actually that bad)
  • Worked really late a couple of nights on pitches for new clients
  • Learned that while my father’s brain cancer had caused a stroke which left him paralyzed and unconcious for days
  • Visited a dentist for the first time in over two years
  • Got my first (and still only) cavity — which meant getting my tooth drilled
  • Had to get a mouth guard so I won’t grind my teeth down
  • Went to Oakville to see my father and visit with family
  • Felt the overwhelming guilt of living in Calgary, but being unable to help my family support Dad through his illness
  • Awoke early in the morning of 7 March to learn my father had died
  • Flew back to Oakville for my father’s funeral, to be with my family, and console family friends
  • Visited with Chris’ parents when they came to visit Calgary
  • Ate some of the most wonderful salmon at my family’s annual Easter affair, at my cousin Pam’s house
  • Ate a lot of dim sum, but not as much as last year
  • Had the battery in my car die, and found out that I actually do have a block heater
  • Griped about the weather when winter dragged on too long
  • Was surprised when Chris announced he had a girlfriend less than a month before his departure for Japan
  • Was stunned when Chris announced he was engaged to his girlfriend
  • Was sad to see my best friend leave for a place half-way around the world
  • Had to live on my own for half a month — not easy when you’re used to having a roommate
  • Saw Star Wars: Episode II … wasn’t horribly impressed (except for the IMAX version — that’s the one they should have put in theatres!)
  • Visited with my friends Ed and Jen when they came through Calgary on their vacation
  • Watched, with sadness, the final episode of the X-Files
  • Listened to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra at Millennium Park
  • Attended my first Annual General Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Rail Society
  • After a long, five-month wait, took possession of my new (old) house … and got a barbecue in the deal!
  • Had a struggle with Miao-Yin trying to get her into a Kitty Carrier — evil, evil chore
  • Moved into the house … hopefully the last move I’ll do for a long time
  • Got a new roommate, Tamara
  • Spent many hours scouring the apartment to get it as clean as possible
  • Went golfing a couple of times, and realized that with a bit of practice, I’m actually not too bad … but I need practice
  • Was asked if I would like to participate on CBC’s 50th Anniversary VIA Rail train for a month and a half … like there was any question I wouldn’t!
  • Went to Cochrane
  • Went to Bragg Creek
  • Went to Banff (briefly)
  • Went to Oakville too many times for one year
  • Went to Ottawa twice
  • Went to Warden
  • Went to Stettler
  • Went to Prince George
  • Stopped in many towns in BC’s interior
  • Went to Vancouver
  • Went to Kamloops
  • Went to Jasper
  • Went to Edmonton
  • Went to Biggar, SK
  • Went to Saskatoon
  • Went to Melville, SK
  • Went to Winnipeg (and was happy to leave)
  • Stopped briefly in Sioux Lookout, Armstrong, and Hornepayne, ON
  • Went to Sudbury
  • Went to Windsor, ON
  • Went to London, ON
  • Went to Toronto a few times
  • Went to Montreal
  • Went to Quebec City for the first time since Grade 8
  • Went to Campbellton
  • Went to Moncton
  • Went to Halifax for the first time in 22 years
  • Went to Peggy’s Cove twice
  • Went to Lunenburg
  • Went to Annapolis Royal
  • Went to Sydney, Cape Breton
  • Went to Orangedale, Cape Breton
  • Went to Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton
  • Went to Huntsville, ON
  • Visited with my friends Stefan and Rebecca
  • Bore witness to the marriage of my friends Tara and Scott
  • Wilted in the unbearable heat of Canada Day in Ottawa
  • “Inherited” my family’s cat, Spaz
  • MC’d Critical Mass’ fifth anniversary surprise party … and got horribly drunk doing it
  • Went whitewater rafting for the third time, and didn’t get killed!
  • Celebrated my 30th birthday with family (who gave me far too many gifts — like a new dishwasher)
  • Held my first real birthday party in years, doubling as a house warming party
  • Spent some time at CBC’s headquarters in preparation for the CBC train
  • Celebrated with my family at the wedding of my sister Cathy to her husband, Craig
  • Tried to organize my life so I could disappear for a month and a half and still have things work
  • Travelled on BC Rail’s Cariboo Prospector, which ended service on 31 October
  • Visited with my friends from Radical Entertainment
  • Met 40 new friends while working on the CBC train
  • Ate some of the most fantastic sushi in Vancouver and Halifax
  • Stayed at the home of my friend Joel and his family during part of my stay in the Lower Mainland
  • Went to the wedding reception for my friend Nigel
  • Got to get behind the scenes with the CBC and VIA for the train
  • Found out just how much work I didn’t realize I was going to get myself into — and loved every second of it
  • Met a few CBC celebrities
  • Saw ex-CN 2141 during our stop in Kamloops
  • Had the most amazing experience hiking up Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park
  • Participated in a great musical sing-along with Frank Leahy and Friends and the CBC crew enroute to Biggar
  • Met the great inhabitants of Biggar, SK
  • Visited the Sandra Schmirler Gold Medal Park
  • Found out just how much the CBC likes to relieve stress by finding really good clubs and bars
  • Saw Colleen Jones’ live broadcast from Saskatoon … at 4:00am
  • Got eaten alive by mosquitoes in Melville, SK
  • Saw the Winnipeg Railway Museum, including the Countess of Dufferin
  • Wandered extensively around the Forks
  • Suffered the stifling head of Union Station’s rotunda, packed full of people during a broadcast
  • Saw the beauty of Northern Ontario … for almost two days
  • Had the chance to ride down the Algoma Central … but at night, so I didn’t see much
  • Saw Sudbury’s famous Big Nickel
  • Watched the familiar scenery as the train came into Toronto at night from the north
  • Saw the vast farmlands of southwestern Ontario
  • Got completely drenched in Windsor and Montreal (though Windsor was more comfortable)
  • Met my first “virtual” fan during our stop in Toronto
  • Saw the “Cats on the Hill” in Ottawa
  • Caught three colds during the course of the year — one minor, two major
  • Visited the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson/St. Constant
  • Remembered the feelings and thoughts I’d felt the last time I was in Quebec City in Grade 8 — was surprised how much of city I still knew
  • Had the most amazing lunch of onion soup and caesar salad
  • Visited the Citadelle
  • Visited New Brunswick for the first time since Grade 1
  • Saw the most amazing Northern Lights in Campbellton, and about a month later just north of Calgary’s airport
  • Got eaten alive by mutant killer mosquitoes in Moncton (must be cities starting with “m”)
  • Got drunk in a few too many places in Halifax
  • Smelled the salt air of two different oceans
  • Took over 2,500 pictures during my time away
  • Rode what might end up being the second-last run of VIA Rail’s Bras D’or train
  • Ate lunch in the smallest pub in all of Nova Scotia
  • Saw the Bay of Fundy
  • Ate way too many scallops
  • Saw the Bluenose for the first time in two decades
  • Visited the Halifax Citadel
  • Visited the Alexander Keith Brewery
  • Walked the approximate equivalent of 150 kilometres in a month
  • Spent Thanksgiving in Huntsville
  • Was glad to return home, but dreaded going back to work
  • Felt like perhaps it was time to move on from my job
  • Spent two months beginning to hate my job — though that changed at the end
  • Looked forward to taking two weeks off for Christmas
  • Spent my first Christmas in my own house … at least until I had to go somewhere else for Christmas dinner

Wow. That’s a lot of stuff. The really scary part is that is only a tiny portion of what went on this year. If you missed anything, they’re all posted on my website.

Resolutions for this year? Be happier. Last year was hard. That’s not to say that this year will be any easier, but happy people live longer and have more fun. Goodness knows I’ve got a lot to be happy about.

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