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All right 2014. I've looked you up and down and am here to pick you apart and judge you.

I can't righfully do any kind of reflection over the year without acknowledging and being gratefull for how much better my working life is right now. This holiday season I looked back on this time last year and how absoluetely miserable I was and I can't help but give a sigh of relief of how much improved my psyche is in my new position. It was uncertian at the start of 2014 what the year would bring. Free from the oppressive, abusive job but now unemployed, I spent the first three months of the year going through the whole job hunt ordeal. Sure I got to rewatch Farscape from begining to end on Netflix as I crusied through the listings and applied to jobs, but it's not really fun being unemployed and not having an income. It's rough being on all the time, having to sell yourself (especially when your confidence has shrunk to almost nil after a year and a half of abuse) not to mention darting about town from place to place for job interviews. Big props to my dad for helping me out by giving me many rides to basically anywehre that required more than one bus to get to. In the end, it all turned out very well I got the job I most wanted. (The thing that got me the job, my well written thank you email, computer savyness/deduction and persistance.) I entered the world of a grown up job, with a grown up salary and benefits and, what seemed most important to me after my previous experience, kind people. This was the first of big changes in 2014 and it is by far the most important. Giving up 40 hours a week of my time to a place where I feel compotent, appreciated and well liked all while making enough money to actually have some left over after paying rent/bills/student loans makes a huge difference in my overall happiness.

The other big change, which certianly wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the new job, is the new place. We were in the position where our cute Magnolia almost 100 year old farm house was slated to be knocked down and we needed to find a new pace. it was a stress, especially with how rediculously high the rental rates have risen in this city. Not to mention how compeditive the rental market is and how unpet friendly places are. I was bringing in my lap top to work every day and searching the rental listings & making calls on my lunch break. I found this cute green house in Crown Hill, which, though pretty north was just at the threshold of as far north as I'd like to be, somewhere I'd still feel comfortable living. Again, persistance paid off and we got the house and I do love it, even if it does have weirdnesses and spooky, inexplicable stuff happens occasionally.

Speaking of changes in place, the other huge change  brought about in 2014 was the new space for Theater Schmeater. When the Shelter the Schmee crowdsoursing campaign got funded, and with loans and charitable donations, construction began on the new space in Belltown around the begining fo the year. By spring time, the empty box of a space had been transformed into something resembling a theater and Schmee staff started putting in the hours to make it Schmee-rific! For a number of weeks our weekends were about gallons of green, purple and black paint, moving our stuff out of the storage space, putting all the costumes back on racks, building and cleaning. It was a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun to be back with everyone and all working toward a common goal and going out for dinks afterward. It's also pretty sweet to have the day job and the Schmee in Belltown, super convienient for me.  In the summer we opened our new space to the public with Gala Schmala which was a collection of 6 short plays one of which was written by yours truely!

So yeah, I think those were the super big major changes in the world of Mir this year and it's nothing to scoff at; new job, new diggs, new theatre space. All are pretty good. To make sure that I don't end on a down note, I'll reflect on the not-so-great stuff and get those out of the way now.

We had a scare with a lump on Sparky's back that we made sure to have checked out as soon as I got the new job. It did need to be removed and we got it taken care of in time. We received financial help from friends who love our little guy, which was hearrt warming and helped. He was a little Frankenpup for a while but he's all recovered. So actually this is a good story becasue Sparky is okay and it warms my heart that friends reached out to help.

Speaking of the health of members of the household, Andy's issue with his side has not gotten any better this year. If anything, in recent months it seems to have really got on top of him. He has finally come around to admitting that it is affecting his life and needs to be addressed in the new year. I hate seeing him in incredable, writhing pain on the weekends. Luckly he's made an appointment to go back to the doctor and tell them it's more than just taking some prilosec and acidophilus probiotics can fix. I know he's petrified to find out what it could be or what it will take to fix but it will be a priority in the new year.

I'm not sure how to broach the next negative topic in a tactful way. To say a person thrust into my life "brought a lot of drama", doesn't do the situation justice. It's true but a huge understatment. Perhaps it's not really my place to talk too much about it, however it did affect me. Let's just say I was placed in a position that at first glance seemed all too familiar and I paniced. In turn, I was afraid to do and say what I should have before the situation exaserbated itself so. As it turned out, and eventually became clear,  the situation was far more serious than I first feared. This person was a human tornado who just left destruction wherever she went. I could go on about what kind of person she is but I'll refrain and leave it at that. It killed me to see what her destruction was doing to one of the people I love most in this world. We often put our life on hold to make sure my friend was safe from this woman's rages. I had to do a lot of reading up to try to wrap my head around the reason this person, after her actions, had any business still being in our life at all. It was difficult. It was trying, mostly becasue no matter what I did I could not wrap my head around why anyone--least of all my friend--would want to have anything to do with--let alone care for--this manipulatve waste of human being. Most of all I hated to see what this person was doing to my firend's psychee and emotional well being. Luckily, this person is finally out of the picture for now and hopefully her destruction is behind us but I have yet to feel confident in saying that definitivly.

After thinking about that person i definitly need to bring the mood back up and get back into the positives of this year.

Well for one we had two visits from friends overseas this year. Charlotte was here in the summer for a very long visit in August, one of the warmest months. She had a special visit and got to live the Pacific Northwest at its best, in the summer time. Dock time at the Shang, a trip to Mt. Rainer, a weekend getaway on a private island at a cabin on the beach, she got a lot of new experiences. Also her long visit only more firmly cemented the fact that, although she lives far away, she's part of the Seattle family. Then, around Thanksgiving, my good ol' northern drinkin buddy, Rob came out for a visit on his first ever journey to the states. Becasue of the holiday he didn't get to meet everybody but he did meet my core group and partied at Melrose. Naturally, he also loved it here and was warmly welcomed. I have a sneeking suspicion (understatement) that he, too, will become a part of the Seattle family in future visit(s).

Our one trip this year to New Orleans was splendid! It was my first trip to the south. We traveled with Raye, Dani and Dorothy and were traveling for Adam & Lisa's wedding. The wedding itself was actually on my and Andy's 1 year anniversary. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and delightfully nerdy. We ate so much wonderful food while over there. Andy and I dined in fancy places including Andy's 2nd favorite resuarant in the whole world. We saw loads of different kinds of Jazz bands. Lisa gave us an amazing ghost tour chock full of history of the French Qtr. I held a baby aligator as we explored the swamps of the byu. I crossed the Mississippi river (only to find a great ex-pat English pub in Algiers). I got a tattoo. We had an awesome hotel room with a pool to wash away the humid nastyness every afternoon. I fell in love with these yummy boozy coffee drinks at Mollys. We went to fun gay bars. I bought cute things at the French Market. I spent a couple of hours alone with my thoughts poolside, with a double whiskey coke, cigarettes, looking up at the southern sky and listening to jazz music. Really all in all a lovely trip.

I'll pass explaining the holidays since my last post was about them. So, finally, in addition to taking on some higher responsibility at the Schmee, this year I also started producing my own show. I wrote up a proposal, got the okay from the staff and was left to give it the old college try. I found people who have a similar affinity to British panel shows and were willing to volunteer their time to make one ourselves. Questionable Content is my baby and with four shows (October, November) it seems to be working and we can only make it better. People feel that this thing has legs. I certianly hope so and am committed doing what it takes to make sure it gets increasingly better with each month. In fact I'm really excited about the developments in store for January. So speaking of which I should be doing that, instead of this blog but since I really didn't get a year in review last year I really wanted to do one now.

It has been a year with a lot of change. Most of which were good ones. You were all right, 2014. You were cool. I'd say "lets hang out again" but you've only got about 12 hours to live, I'm afraid. Tough luck. I'll be hanging out with 2015. I hope he's all right. He seems pretty responsible. We're not taking any big trips with him and I've heard there's a lot of talk with him about paying down debt and and focusing on medical issues. Hopefully he has some cool things to say and do. Hopefully he keeps QC alive. Well, whatever he may be like, lets make him feel welcome. Cheers!

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