2003, A Year in Review

First off, Happy New Year everyone!

2003 was quite a year — quite a few good things, and a number of bad ones. In fact, not a lot of good ones, worldly-speaking, that is. Although not all the “Year in Review” lists are out yet, the ones that are on the Internet are (not surprisingly) mostly negative. Lots of death and tragedy, with the odd curling win to make things brighter. Let’s just hope this year comes with a little less strife than the year past.

And on with my little year in review…

  • Watched myself as I slept on the CBC 50th Anniversary VIA Rail Trail as the special was aired on National Television (thanks a lot, Daryl!)
  • Caught a nasty bug that took my voice away for a few days (to the cheers of all those around me)
  • Was a saddened by the news of the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia on Chinese New Year
  • Started my grand plan to improve my physical fitness by going to the gym
  • Began to loathe getting up at 5:20 every weekday morning to work out
  • Had to get my teeth drilled *again*, but just to take out some of the deeper grooves forming in my molars
  • Bought my first new car, ever — a 2002 Mini Cooper; the urge to always drive it is unbelieveable
  • Had to learn to use manual transmission — took a while to get it right
  • Got my garage door replaced so I could park the Mini in the garage (the door wouldn’t open)
  • Caught a nasty cold from cleaning out the garage (dust, I can only assume)
  • Became horribly depressed when I wasn’t initially involved in the structural reorganization of the Technology department at work
  • Went to Banff (Bamf!) a few times
  • Visited the Upper Hot Springs for the first time — will need to do that again!
  • Had a late lunch at Banff’s Old Spaghetti Factory
  • Remembered my father on the first anniversary of his death, with a small glass of scotch
  • Officially became “management” when Critical Mass started training for Performance Management
  • Had my heart sink when I saw the beginning of the Iraq War on CNN — it reminded me when Bush Sr. started his war over a decade earlier
  • Rejoiced when Tracy and Angela (two of my friends from the CBC) came to Calgary for a documentary tour
  • Got to meet Dave Bedini of Rheostatics fame
  • Saw “The Hockey Nomad”, the documentary version of “The Tropic of Hockey”
  • Went to Antique Steam School so I can work on becoming a steam locomotive engineer
  • Cheered when Michael Moore won the Oscar for Best Documentary for “Bowling for Columbine”
  • Bought a new PDA (to replace my no longer used Apple Newton) and a keyboard
  • Went to Japan!
  • Visited Narita
  • Stayed at Chris’ place in Yotsukaido
  • Went to Tokyo many times
  • Went to Shin-Yokohama and Yokohama
  • Visited Yokohama’s China Town
  • Stopped briefly in San Francisco
  • Barely made my flight back to Calgary because of a baggage snafu
  • Went to Canmore
  • Went to Stettler
  • Went to Warden
  • Went to the Minnewanka Loop for a picnic with the family
  • Went to Elbow Falls
  • Went to High River
  • Went to Toronto for the CBC 50th Anniversary Train reunion
  • Went to Nanton twice
  • Got a promotion from Sr. Web Developer to Web Development Manager
  • Took my first Trans-Pacific flight … and it’s a long one!
  • Experienced Japanese immigration
  • Managed to get into Japan despite the SARS scare back home (thankfully, something that never made it to Calgary)
  • Loved the Japanese mass transit system — pretty much all trains!
  • Saw Chris’ workplace in Yotsukaido
  • Met several of Chris’ new friends in Japan
  • Ate at a Japanese fast-food restaurant
  • Ate a lot of great sushi
  • Toured through Chiba City on my own, and didn’t get lost!
  • Went through a Japanese department store
  • Went clubbing all night in Tokyo
  • Got a drive back to Yotsukaido from friends — very different perspective than from a train
  • Went to Chris’ boss’ house for a birthday party
  • Experienced the flavour sensation that is natto
  • Went to Akehabara to check out the electronics stores
  • Wandered around Tokyo, not really sure where we were going
  • Had a bowl of noodles in a small noodle shop under the railway tracks — how traditional can you get?
  • Went to Shibuya — makes Times Square look quiet
  • Rode on the Shinkansen (Bullet trains)
  • Saw Mount Fuji … from a distance
  • Wandered around the wasteland that is Shin-Fuji
  • Visited Tsukiji Fish Market, and had the best sushi in my life
  • Went on a tour of Tokyo
  • Visited a 1,000+ year-old Bhuddist temple in Narita
  • Went to Odaiba Seaside Park
  • Saw “X-Men 2” on opening night … in Japan
  • Went to the Raumen Museum in Shin-Yokohama
  • Chased 2816 from Calgary out to Brooks as it headed out to Toronto
  • Did another stint with the Rocky Mountain Rail Society for Heritage Park’s Railway Days
  • Managed to survive another Critical Mass summer party
  • Got water ballooned by the heads of the Creative Department
  • Found out that Allison (ex-girlfriend from Vancouver) got married
  • Was asked to replace the Rocky Mountain Rail Society’s webpage
  • Learned the joy that is disc golf, and played a lot
  • Spent Canada Day with the Rocky Mountain Rail Society at the Ogden Shops
  • Got a wicked sunburn
  • Had my roof reshingled at a substantial cost
  • Fixed my hot water heater after the relief valve (essentially) broke
  • Went to Chrissie’s awesome house party
  • Heard my friends James and Scott spin some great tunes
  • Started repainting my house
  • Helped Fritz and Jin move into their (finally completed) condo
  • Bought a power pressure sprayer
  • Visited Nana not nearly enough
  • Went to the grand opening for Nana’s building complex
  • Kicked my Aunt Brenda out of her own kitchen during her 50th birthday party
  • Worked a little overtime at the office
  • Helped out with what would have been the largest pitch Critical Mass had ever done … if we’d won the business
  • Visited with my friend Greg when he came out to Calgary on a insanely-long road trip
  • Almost ended up deciding to move back to Toronto (for a while)
  • Began to like getting up at 5:20 every weekday morning to work out
  • Helped Therese and Stuart prepare for their move to Montreal
  • Took a presentation course, only to realize that I’m much better at doing presentations than I thought!
  • Had to put down my beloved Siamese cat, Spaz — it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done
  • Started dating for the first time in about three years
  • Had the honour to receive the Critical Mass Valuable Person for the month of August, 2003
  • Had to get my sewer replaced when my neighbour’s sewer collapsed
  • Was happy to hear that my friend (and fellow train-chaser) Graham got hired at Critical Mass
  • Felt a little older when Stuart and Therese announced that Therese was pregnant
  • Went to Amy’s home for a close, intimate dinner with friends from the CBC
  • Spent Thanksgiving in Nanton
  • Rejoiced when Therese finished her doctorate
  • Was invited back to Japan for Chris’ wedding, and decided to take my cousin Jen with me
  • Went to Fritz and Jin’s housewarming party, and went bowling with the ABC’s for the first time in well over a year
  • Spent the night out with the MB team on a “school” night — and suffered the consequences the next day
  • Went out two nights later for a birthday party — and suffered the consequences the next day
  • Started on a proper eating plan … and have gone down several sizes as a result!
  • Complained bitterly about the way the movie industry complains about piracy, but keeps jacking up their prices
  • Celebrated Teak’s 30th birthday
  • Attended Eric Idle’s Greedy Bastard show in Calgary
  • Was interviewed for the local CBC radio about my views on movie theatres, but missed the show when it finally aired
  • Sat through nearly 16 hours of Lord of the Ring (over 24 hours, that is), most of whch was the Lord of the Rings Marathon
  • Went to Banff (Bamf!) solely for the purpose of buying Christmas gifts at the Roots store there
  • Exacted revenge on my boss, who set me up for the aforementioned water ballooning
  • Found out I wasn’t particularly looking forward to Christmas this year
  • Found out that Christmas wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be — though the turkey cooking issue was certainly a big mess
  • Got slammed at the office when I became pretty much the only resource for a pile of work, because I was the only person dumb enough not to book vacation
  • Spent New Year’s Eve alone for the second year in a row (resolution: this year, I’m going out!)

Whew… I think that’s it. It’s been a busy year, and I’m just starting another one. But I think this one starts with a lot more hope than the last. I think this will be a year of change for me. Last year, I said I wanted to be happier. And I am, very much. This year? Maybe not a resolution, but perhaps a prediction: someone new in my life. (And it is a *prediction*, ‘cuz at the moment, there isn’t anyone yet.)

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