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Welcome 2013

So for New Years Eve Andy & I hosted a NYE/Housewarming/Game Night. Well it was an attempt of Game Night. Maybe our attention span has grown out of game night or something becasue we only played Apples to Apples while waiting for more people to arrive and Partini after most people had left. Meh. There was loads of food and an actuall bar going on. It was a pretty good party. The noise wasn't too bad, and there was plenty of space, we could have stood to invite a few more people. Ah well. What matters is that folks had a good time. Dani is amazing and go us a bunch of house warming gifts. Also Cathy and Doug were there and got to see our new home in 3D and not just on skype. I look forward to the day when we can say the same thing and visit them. It was so great to have Cathy back it just felt right. And it's great that, for the most part, a lot of folks had good news, or could report having a great year in 2012. I'd do a recap but I just don't have time so I'll repost any'ds from FB becasue I'm lazy like that. I would add to his that 2012 had it's rough times for me becasue of the rough job hunting but for the most part it was a good year and we eventually got to the place we wanted to be.

As for 2013 well I've got 8 months of wedding planning ahead but I don't think I'll be a bridezilla. I intend to work on loosing the weight I gained in unemployment land, but now with my work schedule I'm not sure where to find the time for walks as much. I inted to read more and I need to write creativly a lot more. I guess it all boils down to time management. So I guess my aim for 2013 is to tame it, or rather train myself to make the best use of it. Here's to doing that.

Andy's 2012 re-cap from FB:
The year began on a rooftop in Queen Anne with friends, watching the fireworks at the Space Needle and ringing in 2012. Not too long after that, there was the No Pants Light Rail ride. Then came the second snowstorm in as many years, again trapping us on the slopes of Queen Anne for a few days. The snow lifted in time to make it to Shannon's wedding, however.

In February, I got to see my Giants win the Super Bowl! In other sports news, Mir, her parents and I attended the Mariners fan day. Lots of fun and got to see some cools stuff. Mir and I also celebrated our third Valentine's Day together by dining at the Space Needle. Overcame a few personal challenges later in the month that caused some temporary stress, but hey, got through it!

In March, work was stressful as we were gearing up for our Users' Conference. Meanwhile, poor Mir was becoming frustrated with the job hunt and was stressed herself. Strangely, though, despite all the stress, we pulled through it very well and kept managing to lift each others' spirits. Having some fun social engagements like parties and friend outings helped too. At the end of March/early April, I developed one of the worst stomach flues I've ever had. And I gave it to Mir as well -- so it was a week or so of hell for both of us.

In April, we went to our very first Morning Glory drag brunch, which was awesome! There was some slight ex-friend drama from the past with this, but I really didn't let it get to me, because I was/am simply out of fucks to give about what anyone who doesn't like me or my friends thinks ... about anything. April also marked the start of baseball season, so it was off to a few Mariners' games. Chad, who was also at one of the games wound up catching a home-run ball in the section next to us. There were also lots of addition social engagements, including hanging out with my friend Carin from Vegas who came up for a visit. It was fun to be able to show her the Pike Place Market. In the meantime, Mir was still interviewing like a madwoman and all the hard work I put into preparing for the Users' Conference paid off with a great show!

In early May, Mir and I took some much-needed vacation time and went down to Los Angeles and San Diego. As an added bonus, Mir's closest friend from London, joined us there. I got to show Mir Hollywood, the beaches, The Dresdin Room, Alpine Village (which was kind of a fail because we went there the day before Cinco de Mayo and they were having a salsa night ... at a German sausage house ... I know), the LA County Art Museum, and much more. We also went to Seaworld to play with dolphins and to a Dodgers game. The trip was tons of fun and it was fun showing both Mir and Charlotte a city I had spent lots of time in. When we were back, I got a lot more active than I had been -- going paintballing for the first time in my life and softball starting back up (though I wound up breaking my toe and the toenail would eventually fall completely off). Things were feeling really good. However, the end of May turned into a rough time with the Cafe Racer shootings personally affecting all of us. The good thing that came out of the shootings though was that I realized just how much of a community there is here and seeing how everyone pulled together. It was just something far different than I ever experienced in Vegas ... save for maybe one exception.

June meant Pride and the usual parties, parade, food and fun. There was also more baseball to be seen at Safeco and more softball to be played -- even in freezing rainy conditions. Sam's birthday was also a blast. June though, marked the start of strange goings on at Pandora (our apartment complex at the time). The owners hired this new manager, David, to replace Steve and Jim who left because they were just done dealing with the owners. David was a weird guy who managed to piss off nearly everyone. Things like stealing out of peoples' storage units, taking apart the washing machine and just leaving it there, and so much more. Turns out the guy was a con man and he collected everyone's rent and bolted in early July. He even illegally sublet his place to a poor kid who got taken for hundred of dollars. Dealing with that was, um ... fun.

Also in July, softball continued and Theatre Schmeater finally was defeated. We had a good run (I think like 6-0 or 7-0). I also got to see Screeching Weasel and The Queers ... together! We celebrated Raye's B-day (Mir's Note: where Mir, Raye & Dani got to ride on a helicopter!), which was a lot of fun and later in the month took Sparky to his first dog park (the Edmonds Beach park). He wasn't too impressed.

In August, Mir finally landed a full-time job! She joined a company that specializes in travel to China for families of adopted Chinese kids. She's a marketing/admin professional now! We also celebrated Astro's B-day with another Morning Glory Show, which was sadly to be their last. Work got even busier for me with new responsibilities, but it has been rewarding!

In September, with both of us being a little stressed with everything, Mir suggested a weekend getaway. We chose Manresa Castle in Port Townsend. We only stayed for one day during the Labor Day weekend, but we had a blast. Port Townsend is beautiful. It was also my first time really seeing any of the peninsula. The staff at Manresa were fun and friendly. Plus, the food was amazing! We started thinking about it in the back of our minds for a wedding venue. Nathan came up to Seattle a week later and it was great to see him. He was here moving Liz up here from Vegas -- another Vegas peep join the the PacNW. We had a party at Raye's while Nathan was here and it was a crazy one. Dan hurt his head, Mir had a fight with a staircase and I drank so much I was blacking out. Good times.

Not too long after all that fun however, my mom died. My sister (the one I don't like) called to say she wasn't doing well and I got to talk to her. A couple of days later, my sister put mom in an assisted living facility and mom died a few hours later. I took some time to grieve, but soon the shenanigans would start, with my sister pulling a whole string of absolute bullshit with me and my other sister. Later in the year, we'd find out just how classless, selfish and shallow my sister in Vegas really was.

Though while this was all going on, Mir and I were making serious progress in looking for a new place to live. We had been casually looking before, but by mid-September, we were actively looking at places to rent.

October was kind of a whirlwind. Work was busy for both of us. The new home hunt was in full swing. The start of holidays and many more social engagements was upon us. And I was still dealing with family drama. But ... in the middle of it all, we found an awesome house and were lucky enough and fast/direct enough to get it! So we landed a new place nearly four times the size of the one-bedroom apartment we were living in!!

We wrapped up October with an awesome Halloween punk rock show, marking the last night of the Funhouse and perhaps the last performance of Glen or Glennda.

November was absolutely crazy. We moved the first weekend, thanks largely to help from our awesome friends. We also bought a ton of new furniture and other things to make our new house homey. During this, an election happened and it was a landslide victory for us! Obama re-elected; just about every Democrat senator we needed to win won. Gay marriage passed here in Washington, as well as Maryland and Maine. A bill to outlaw gay rights in Minnesota was defeated. It was a good day and was great to see most of the nation stand up against the outdated and downright mean-spirited ideals of the far-right-leaning GOP of today.

Also, we got the house 95 percent complete just in time for Charlotte to arrive from London to join us for Thanksgiving and my birthday party! We finally got to show Charlotte Seattle. We had a blast taking her around town. Also made my first visit to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Mir and our friends threw me an awesome birthday party at the World Sports Grille, complete with one mean prank involving a Yankees hat as a gag gift (only to be replaced immediately by a new Mets hat! -- good one Raye ... ya got me).

In a little note about the bad stuff -- my (good) sister and I found out that my other sister had literally robbed both of our parent blind during the last years of their lives, then manipulated our mother (who was not in good health or mental capacity) to write the two of us out of the will (after siphoning any money of course and throwing mom in a home). I hope it was worth it, sis.

December didn't start so good as Mir's dad wound up in the hospital with a heart condition. So we took care of him and I helped out where I could. During this, though I was in the process of procuring Mir's birthday present, the newest member of our family, Vyvyan. He is a little orange tabby kitty and he's so wonderful. Mir loves him so, so much!

We also went to my work's holiday party and later to Sarah and Lindsey's B-day parties. I unfortunately missed Dani's as I was taking care of Mir's mom during the stretch of Papa Staley being hospitalized.

We also had a great B-day party for Mir -- a "writer's themed party" in which everyone came dressed as their favorite alcoholic writer. I also acquired a genuine 1960s typewriter for her. There was an amazing typewriter cake and Raye outdid herself with hosting. Before the party though, we took Mir to Tacoma to see the Andy Warhol exhibit. As a bonus, they were offering camel rides outside (oh Tacoma!). So I had to put her up on the humps!

Then of course, there was Christmas! This was the first year I had ever had a full-sized real tree and we went a little crazy with the gifts and stuff this year. Mir got me an awesome new pan set, among other cool things. I was able to get her a John Stewart autograph and a new purse, among other stuff. We also got Mir's rents a desperately-needed new TV.

After Christmas, I was able to relax a bit, having the full week off. However, I spent too much end-of-year money on things I needed to address, like brakes and bills. On Dec. 29, though -- two years after I "officially" proposed to Mir in Trafalgar Square in London, Mir and I set our wedding date after driving back out to Port Townsend to finalize details. It will be Manresa Castle. Sept. 21, 2013.

And finally, to cap this wonderful year off, we just hosted a small housewarming/New Year's Eve party with close friends.

So there, I'm sure I left tons out, but there's a snapshot at least of what has really been a pretty good year! I haven't been able to say that much in recent years. Maybe things are starting to look up

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