Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 - The Year In Highlights

Didn't I just post one of these? It seems like only a short time ago that I was tweaking my '04 year in review. I know that they say time flies as you get older, but this is frickin' ridiculous.

Anyway, let me present to you "'05 - The Year In Review":

February brought us a visit from T's friend Donna, in from New Jersey. This visit was highlighted by the fact that not only was it Donna's first time visiting us out here, but it was also the tailend of the second rainiest season on record. It literally rained every single day that she was here. So much for "Sunny California." And the convertible she rented to take in the aforementioned sun.

April was started off celebrating The Boy's birthday. He opted to have a bounce house for he & his friends. This was all well & good until one particular child invited himself & proceeded to throw blind, screaming conniption fits every time someone looked at him funny. Of course, this all went on while the child's father stood on his patio, drink in hand. I know few better candidates for forced sterilization.

The beginning of May heralded T & my one year anniversary (a year & a half later & I still loves ya, babe :) ). This was celebrated with a trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, a harbor cruise & lunch up in Lake Arrowhead the next day.

May also brought the long awaited conclusion to the "Star Wars" saga. Noooooooo!!!

With June came Father's Day &, at the end of the month, a late Father's Day present: a trip down to Largo in Hollyweird to see Grant Lee Phillips perform. It was awesome! A small, intimate setting meant that every seat was close. A great, great show!

June also meant seeing "Madagascar," which kicked off a lifetime of having "I like to move it, move it..." stuck in my head.

We saw "Batman Begins" somewhere around here, too. That movie totally wiped out the bad taste left from the previous Batman movies. Excellent, excellent, excellent!

July started off with a bang - literally. The local high school puts on a Fourth of July spectacular every year & since our patio & bedroom window face the school, we get a great fireworks extravaganza from the comfort of our own home. As much as I hate the apartment complex we live in, there are a few perks to it.

Toward the middle of the month, we made a trip up to Tulare for a family reunion/60th wedding anniversary party for a cousin on my mom's side, Nadine & her husband. It was good to see them again, although we kind of felt like party crashers during the reunion part of the soiree, as everyone there were distant, distant, diiiiiistant cousins.

The latter part of the month included a trip to Angel Stadium for Harvest '05, hosted by Greg Laurie & Harvest Ministries. The stadium was packed from floor to rafter (48,000 people!) & we found out, the hard way, that Angel Stadium has approximately 578 million miles of walkways leading you to the nosebleed seats. We got to see Kutless, Jeremy Camp & The Boy's favorite, Toby Mac. Well, we got to see them through the girders from behind the stage, as we were sitting to the rear of the platform. At least they had everything up on the jumbotrons.

It was at this event that The Boy made a commitment to Christ, as well. Good on ya, son! We're soooo proud of you!

By the very end of the month on into the first of August, we found ourselves heading out to Kingman, AZ to see Donna again. And it rained for most of the drive through the Mojave Desert & back. I'm thinking that Donna must've torqued off some indians at some point in her life & they cursed her or something.

A week later, we trekked on up the state to visit my dad, aunt & uncle. Aside from getting lost in the woods & some creepy little Stephen King-esque town that we narrowly escaped from, we had a wonderful time (& Northern California is beautiful). It was good to see everyone (some cousins - hi Tom & Kim! - that I hadn't seen since I was three). Thanks for the hospitality, Aunt Marge & Uncle Neil!

August also brought with it T's birthday. Happy birthday, Beautiful! Here's to many, many more!

October started off with a visit from T's parents, who stayed with us for a couple weeks & then headed on out to Florida to continue their 2005 nationwide tour. My dad also made his way on down to SoCal & had the opportunity to meet the in-laws. Our dads got along well & spent time swapping stories about being poor as kids.

Somebody had a birthday in the middle of all of this, too. Hmm, I wonder who?

Later in the month, we went to Azusa (A to Z in the USA!) to my cousin Dyan's new home to celebrate her mom's (my Aunt Olive) birthday. I never knew about all of the many accomplishments that Aunt Olive has acheived during her lifetime (was adopted as a child, took up scuba diving at 50, went back to college at 60, enjoys auto racing, just to name a few things). She's quite an inspirational person. And she makes a mean prime rib. Here I again was able to see cousins that I hadn't seen since I was a toddler (hi Ted & Tim!). It was good to see Dyan again, as well. I'm hoping that we all won't be such strangers anymore.

The end of October brought the long awaited, highly anticipated Sleepy Hollow Dance at Riley's Farm in Oak Glen, a birthday gift to me. The night was a blast! As Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is my all time most favorite Halloween story (possibly my most favorite short story, period), it was so much fun to be immersed in the story, with everyone dressed up in colonial period costumes & all. The food was excellent & T & I had a ball hay riding, seed spitting & dancing. I had never squaredanced before or taken part in a hoedown. Given that my usual dancing can best be described as looking like an epileptic at a strobelight convention, I think I did pretty good. I was able to dance with Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones & the fair Katrina van Tassel, as well. The night was capped off by a ride through the Hollow by the Headless Horseman himself, which was soooo cool until somebody freaked the horse out with their camera flash. Thus ended the ride of the Headless Hessian of Sleepy Hollow. I can't stress it enough - if you live nearby or are in the area in late October, go to the dance at Riley's.

Thanksgiving was celebrated at my sister's house this year. T got to meet a few more members of the extended family (she's been busy meeting family this year) & a good, filling time was had by all. Afterward, we headed on down to another uncle's house (yet another that T hadn't met) & spent some time catching up with him.

The end of November took us back to Arkansas for Thanksmas '05 (thanks to the lovely & fair ETS & Amy for watching the place while I was out gallavanting - you ladies are the best!). While there, we went to T's old Bible study group, then went to a party thrown in our honor by Jenny (muchos thank you's!) & then the whole family descended on T's parent's home for the Thanksmas festivities. Though it was freakin' cold while we were there, we still had a wonderful time. It's so nice to get away from the hustle & bustle of SoCal living. One slightly longer than planned trip back home (lousy extended layover in Atlanta) & it was back to the grind. I so look forward to the time when we can move back there.

The rest of December has been busy for T. Ah, the joys of working in retail. The weekend before Christmas, we shuffled on down to Riverside to see the lights at the Mission Inn. There were thousands of people milling around, but still, it was nice. It makes it feel a wee bit more like Christmas seeing all the decorations. Christmas was a quiet family affair with just T, The Boy & myself (we're doing the big family get together in January when Mom returns from Utah). T made a wonderful Christmas ham dinner, which was supposed to be enjoyed by just the three of us, but was instead consumed with the help of three of The Boy's friends, which made for a nice, if full & a wee bit noisy, meal.

So, that's it.

All in all, not a bad year. From the look of it, it was a very busy year, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's been fun seeing new places & sharing experiences with T & The Boy. And it's been nice sharing those experiences with you, Loyal Readers. I know that the writing has been a little scarce lately, but what there has been...well, it's been a pleasure sharing the various moments in my life with all of you. To my three or four Loyal Readers, I thank you for checking in from time to time on My Little Corner of the Web. And to the newer lurkers that I see popping up here from time to time, I thank you for your patronage, as well (Don't be shy. Tell me who you are. There are plenty of seats in the Loyal Reader section of this site.).

I've read many times that blogs are meant for the writer's gratification & that they aren't writing for the reader's sake. To an extent, that's true. The topics that I write about are things that interest me. But, I want them to be things that interest you, as well, my Loyal Readers & lurkers. I want, at least some of the things I write, to make you laugh, to maybe make you think & to be somewhat entertaining. I hope that I've acheived that, to some extent, over this past year. And if I haven't?

Well, there's always next year.