2012, A Year in Review

For me, 2012 was a bad year. Between a host of medical issues (brutal chest cough that led to pulled muscles, to appendicitis, to strep throat, a couple nasty colds-cum-killer flus, and a minor outpatient surgery), ridiculous amounts of stress, the ever-present struggle of being a parent to young children, a general malaise, and an unfulfilled burning need to travel, it’s truly a wonder I got out of bed in the morning.
So it wasn’t with any reservation that 2012 walked out of my life on Monday night, yet it still managed to leave me rather depressed. Sadly, 2013 woke me up looking already a lot like 2012, so I’m not sure if I’m able to look at this new year with much hope yet. Instead, I suppose I shall have to try harder to make things work more my way.
This not to say that I “didn’t like” 2012. It’s hard not to like an entire year in one’s life, especially one that brings so many new things to learn and experience. I just wish it hadn’t been so darned painful…

Like I said, 2012 was a busy, busy year. So there’s no way to know if I’m going to miss anything, because I did a pretty lousy job of documenting it. I can only hope that through extracting details from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and my blog, that I can stir enough memories to get this all straight.

  • Experienced our first New Year’s Tea not at the Banff Springs
  • Learned that my youngest, Choo Choo (no more than 2), was a lot smarter than I thought she was … and she only got smarter (and more defiant)
  • Saw far too few friends for far too short a time
  • Worked a lot, but not painfully so — I still had a (family) life outside of it. YAY FOR BALANCE!
  • Developed a vicious cold that led to — no word of a lie — pulled rib muscles. Owie.
    • Had my first chest x-ray, taken by — drum roll, please — my wife, Alex!
  • Discovered that Monkey loves shrimp, especially at dim sum
  • Didn’t go to dim sum nearly enough
  • Had some fairly steep automobile expenses (block heater for the Jetta, and a new car for Alex)
  • Renewed a mortgage for the first time ever (instead of selling the house)
  • Continued hating, loathing, and despising having to deal with the Facebook API
  • Went through the agony, grief, despair, anger, bargaining, and acceptance of a major home renovation, as we redid our kitchen (and subsequently, floors and bathrooms)
    • I do so love our kitchen, though…
  • Found my cooking skills steadily improving
    • Need to watch more cooking shows, and figure out some different techniques
  • Broke my little toe. Why do the little bones always hurt more?
  • Spent a lot of time ranting about how badly our Federal Government seems to want to drive Canadians to be not Canadian (specifically through bills C-11 and C-30, the ever-present Big Telco lobbies, revisiting the abortion laws, and Rob Anders)
  • Disposed of my giant water jug container of coins (6,400+ of ’em)
  • Realized that building a “mobile” site is a pointless exercise, and that the design needs to adapt for all devices <– my professional epiphany of the year
  • Lived (very basically) out of my contractor’s rental home for a month while our home was being torn apart
  • Celebrated Choo Choo’s 2nd Birthday
  • Cancelled TV at home, and went to internet-only for video content (still a work-in-progress)
  • Saw the original cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation on stage
  • Had my first ambulance ride, my first shot of morphine, and my first (and thankfully last) bout of appendicitis
    • Also had a sponge bath; nowhere near as much fun as it sounds
  • Saw Avenue Q. Hurt myself laughing.
  • Tried not to laugh when Monkey decided to cut Choo Choo’s hair. I failed.
  • Learned that I cannot work from home, without breaking my children’s hearts
  • Showed my children the “hole in the sun” as Venus transited our star — I think Monkey started to understand heliocentrism…
  • Exited the year wondering how RIM/Blackberry is still a going concern, and why Microsoft hadn’t fired Ballmer
  • Went to Fairmont Hot Springs
  • Went to Oakville
  • Went to Banff
  • Aaaaand that’s it, folks. Depressingly boring year for travel.
  • Turned 40. Or as I like to call it, “4, with an extraneous zero”.
  • Watched in real-time (delayed by 7 minutes) as Curiosity landed on the surface of Mars using the single most insane landing procedure ever conceived
  • Monkey became a 5 year old. I’ve been a parent for over five years now. And the world has not fallen apart (entirely). Who knew?
  • Tried to stop drinking coffee. Boy that was dumb.
  • Reminisced about being with the CBC TV 50th Anniversary project 10 years ago
  • Took Monkey to her first day of kindergarten; oddly, I didn’t cry
  • Accepted the reality that our family cannot operate without a second car
  • Made jam for the first time, and I shall do it again!
  • Made tomato sauce and tomato paste from scratch; there’s a reason they’re cheaper to buy in cans, sadly.
  • Made a “perfect” prime rib. Now I need to make it again.
  • Figured out how to make gluten-free stuffing for turkey (just need to tone down the spices a bit, as I discovered at Christmas)
  • Used a roto-tiller for the first time. Sadly, it had very dull blades, so using it hurt. A lot.
  • Felt my gut in my stomach as a man stood on the edge of the stratosphere. Then he jumped.
  • Somehow acquired strep
  • Got taken down, not by the strep, but by the stupid antibiotics I took to get rid of the strep. Go figure.
  • Had a very long night of trying to get my frozen, snow-bound car out of the airport parking lot.
  • Had a vicious cold knock me down for two days (minor flu?)
  • Got a re-learning of high school physics when I tried to vacuum up a box of baking soda. (Try it yourself, if you dare.)
  • Rode the new West LRT on the first day! Love that I take a train to work, now.
  • I saw The Hobbit. Yes, I liked it.
  • Had a minor outpatient surgery that didn’t exactly jingle my bells; made for an uncomfortable Christmas
  • Got an iPad mini for Christmas from my company. Had to admit that the Mini is actually a good idea.
  • Got (and installed) a Nest thermostat. I can’t stop fiddling with it.
  • Finally went sledding for the first time in two years.

That brings me to the end of the year. So: busy, interesting, painful, trying, educational, somewhat wistful, and definitely productive. We’ll see what 2013 brings.
I just hope it means no more trips to hospitals…