OK, a mere 10 days into 2015, we finally have my Year In Review, 2014 Edition. A good year, mostly. Actually, a great year, dominated by two main elements:1. Mawwiage!
Diane and I got all nuptialized in September, in an outdoor tent ceremony in Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva, NY, with the lake as our backdrop. There were all manner of comedies-of-errors surrounding the wedding, including the park informing us three days before the wedding that it rented the pavilion to a different party (Diane's dad came through, got a tent and generator and convinced the park -- he and Diane's mom and longtime users of the park marina -- to let us set it up) and a bridesmaid discovering, like an hour before the wedding, that the security tag had never been removed from her dress. (That's when the I-thought-dubious-at-the-time wisdom of booking a hotel 45 minutes away from the wedding to put up wedding party members proved prescient -- said hotel is less than 5 minutes' drive from one of the Rochester area's biggest malls, and one of them proved amenable to removing the tag.) But all the brouhahas fell away when Diane and I spoke our vows and our extemporaneous comments to each other, exchanged rings, and were pronounced married. It was highly enjoyable seeing people from a diverse cross-section of our lives in attendance -- and mrgoodwraith
provided the most epic of toasts at the ceremony. (It's up on his LJ.)
That's the wedding; the marriage itself has been blissful. Diane and I just get
each other in just about every way, and have a conscious commitment to always understanding each other, always having the other's back, and always, always letting each other know how deeply we are loved.2. Movin' in.
Slowly moving out of my old apartment -- more quickly and maniacally as the lease expiration drew nearer -- was a long haul; it's when one learns how much stuff one can accumulate in 10 years at one location if one is a bit of a minor pack rat. Had help from Diane and her daughter, and a couple friends who helped haul the Big Stuff. But whew, I don't want to do that again for a long while. I'm liking our place -- I'm back living in a trailer park again (deja vu -- lived in one throughout my childhood, adolescence and part of my adulthood), but this one's a nice building in a particular nice park/community. Double-wide, with a garage and a shed. Not parking
in the garage yet -- had to have someplace to put
that 10-year accumulation of stuff for the short term, after all -- but we'll get there.
That's the Big Stuff, which have pretty much dominated the year. There have been a few other elements of note:
• My mom had a pacemaker installed this year, after a scare in which she was having a hard time walking more than a few steps without being completely exhausted -- turns out that her heart was only pumping at half the beats a minute as it should (and was slowing down further in the ER, which necessitated the decision of running her up to Strong for the surgery that very day). Since then, her heart's been pumpin' right along. Mom is in her late 80s (had her 88th birthday last Saturday), so there's really one health issue after another these days -- but she keeps on truckin'. She's tougher than she'd ever admit.
• After gaffiating a bit from the filk community for a while, though not totally and not completely intentionally -- Confluence 2013 was canceled, we missed OVFF 2013 for another of my mom's health issues, and we skipped FKO 2014 to save a bit of money for the wedding -- we got back in the thick o'things with attendance at Confluence in its new and pretty nifty digs and then at OVFF, the Woodstock of filk. (We also made it to Eeriecon this past year — concerts by Ookla the Mok, Worm Quartet and Luke Ski, among others, plus a reunion of sorts of Radiance, the Houghton College speculative fiction group that mrgoodwraith
started back in 1989.) It's not overstating to say that filk has become something of a family for me, exponentially more so since I've been with Diane and she's been embraced by and enfolded into the community as well.
• Work? It is what it is. As at many newspapers, the news/editorial staff is more or less skeletal these days, but we manage -- we do good work, and occasionally great work. I hardly ever get to write these days; I'm mostly on the copy-editing/administrative side of things -- though occasionally I've been able to snag a byline, such as in a recent piece about Robert Sawyer's appearance at the local community college
. I keep my antennae up for something within my skill set and proclivities (but with better remuneration), but I'm more or less content. Domestic bliss kinda helps that way.
• Books read this year: I didn't really keep track, but off the top of my head, here's a sampling (there were many more, of course, plus re-readings and periodical copy, research and such):
The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
— After Marquez's death, I thought I should honor him by picking out another of his books (after quite liking One Hundred Years of Solitude
and Love in the Time of Cholera
). I wouldn't put this historical novel/meditation/reimagined-bio of Simon Bolivar on their level, but it was interesting, if only for the larger-than-life figure at the center.Redshirts and Lock-In by John Scalzi
— Pretty good sci-fi thrillers from Scalzi. Lock-In
in particular raises a number of questions about interlocking rights and responsibilities and potential for abuses that Diane and I have talked about. Redshirts
was just a great read for this old Star Trek fan.Innocence by Dean Koontz
— Never had read any Koontz before, and was pleasantly surprised by how lyrical and evocative this was, along with being a page-turner. And one heck of a twist ending.Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire
— Seanan, and Toby, are reliable favorites: I will pretty much always like her books, no matter what she puts Toby through.The Given Sacrifice by S.M. Stirling.
I'm loving the Emberverse. It's looking like we're poised to jump forward a generation for the next book. I'll be there.
I know I read many more, but they aren't coming to mind right now -- will have to update this later. This year, so far I've read Hood by Stephen Lawhead and have picked up Connie Willis' Blackout again. May keep making my way through Dostoevsky, Dickens, Chesterton, Stephen King and that big stack of science-fiction compilations. May try to catch up on Harry Turtledove, though he writes (and publishes) faster than I read.
Have a good 2015, all.Words: Blackout
by Connie WillisSounds & Images:
My iTunes shuffle -- currently "Unlonely" by John Prine from The Missing YearsState O'Mind: