Oh man, I’ve been so sick. I started feeling something coming on the day before New Year’s Eve. On New Year ’s Eve I was sick, sneezing and runny nose and all. I didn’t get to go to Ground Kontrol for their NYE celebration like I wanted to. One week later the worst has passed. I still have a weird taste in my lungs and my voice isn’t where it should be. Good thing I had some time off, so I didn’t have to work as much during that time. The year hasn’t started off well, but it could have have been worse.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m not 100% sure what inspired me to read this book. I think it was the selection for a local book club I wanted to get involved with, but I think they changed their mind about this book because I haven’t seen any mention of it recently.
The main character wakes up in a park in London surrounded by bodies. She bruised and doesn’t remember who she is. She discovers that she’s a super-powered person and that she’s a member of a very old secret British organization that protects people from supernatural threats.
The Rook is definitely a page turner. I like that there’s a lot of humor in the book. It’s one that I would really like to made into a movie one day. I only have 1 issue with the book. The main character knew she would lose her memory and wrote letters to herself. The letters give the reader background on the organization and all the key players. These letters showed up way too frequently and sometimes went on way too long. Whenever the momentum started to pick up, I would be forced to read a long, boring letter.
In spite of that I highly recommend it to people who are fans of books like these.
I don’t think I’ll be posting these blurbs here anymore. Check out my Goodreads page if you want to know what I’m reading.
I think I rocked 2012.
- Listen to music more. I didn’t do so well in the first few months of the year, but it picked up after that. Between new CDs, SiriusXM, and live music, I think I did well.
- Read 20 books. I read 20 books. I might be able to hit 21 by the end of the day.
- Go to a Halloween party. Okay, so I bought tickets to a Halloween party that I had heard about. A few days before party, I got an email saying that they were going to change it to an indoor party, which meant fewer people could come. They offered me ticket to a couples only event they were also having, but I didn’t have anyone to go with. I decided to stay home that night.
- Go to a Christmas party. I went to my company’s Christmas party and had a great time.
- Buy new clothes. I bought new shoes, shirts, jeans, socks, and coats. I almost bought a new suit, but they couldn’t get anything to fit me when I needed it.
- Meet new people. I’ve met new people at work and outside of work. I need to hang out with them more.
- Do social gaming. I’ve done more social gaming this year. It’s been all online. P.A.X. inspired me to do more board gaming, but so far that hasn’t gone anywhere. I recently found out about a couple of groups trying to get a regular gaming night going, but with the holidays nothing got off the ground. Maybe in the new year.
- Start buying collectibles. I’ve been doing a good job of growing my collection of geeky items. Following Brian’s suggestion, I’ve been documenting them on Facebook, Google+, and Flickr.
What a great year this has been. I moved across the country to a great city with lots of exciting things to do. I’ve made new friends and I have a job that I love.I’m not going to make a list for 2013. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.
Once again, I looked at my last.fm profile on New Year’s Eve to see what music I listened to the most during the year.
Top 10 Artists
1. Revision 3 [podcasts]
2. Jay and Jack TV [podcasts]
3. Foster the People
4. Fiona Apple
5. Pearl Jam
6. Nicki Minaj
7. The Smashing Pumpkins
8. Rob, Chris, Robin, and Boston [podcasts]
9. nerdist [podcasts]
10. Mumford & Sons
10. HBO Podcasts [podcasts]
Top 10 Songs
1. Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
2. Foster the People – “Houdini”
3. Foster the People – “Helena Beat”
4. Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
5. Foster the People – “Call it What You Want”
5. Foster the People – “Waste”
5. Foster the People – “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)”
8. Fiona Apple – “The First Taste”
9. Foster the People – “Life on the Nickel”
10. Birds of Tokyo – “Head in my Hands”
10. Foster the People – “I Would Do Anything for You”
10. The Naked and Famous – “Young Blood”
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Monarchy of Roses”
This was a step down from the past few volumes, but only a small step. There was a little too much whining from Dale and a little too much talking about how much Rick has changed. We did see a certain character return that I had been hoping to see again, so that was good.
I had a lot of fun with new tech in 2012.
In March I got a 3rd generation iPad. It was my first iPad. My boss, another co-worker, and I went to Best Buy and got in line the day they went on sale. It was kind of an impulse buy because I had decided to get an iPad 2 since the price was going to go down. I love my iPad! I hardly go a day without using it. It’s one of those things that you don’t think you need, but once you have one you can’t live without it. I think everyone should get one of these. As it turns out, I don’t mind reading on this as much as I thought I would. I never use that Kindle that I bought last year anymore.
A few months later I bought a Nexus 7 because I wanted to learn Android programming and have a real device to test on. I do like how open Android is, but I still prefer iOS, probably just because I’ve had so much more experience with it. Sometimes I still don’t know what to expect when I press a button. It wasn’t until last week that I got a chance to start learning Android programming.
On another sort of impulse I decided to go to the Verizon store on the day the iPhone 5 went on sale. I was fed up with AT&T’s service and decided to make the switch. And I had the urge to get a new phone and it would be another year before I was eligible for an upgrade with AT&T. I am very pleased with this phone except for the fact that I needed new charging cables.
I pre-ordered a Wii U the day I heard that pre-orders were being taken. I love the gamepad and I love the Mario game that I got. My biggest problem is how slow everything is. I didn’t mind the long update before I could even play it that much because it gave me time to read the manuals. But you have to wait so long for anything to load. I really do need to spend more time using it, though. Maybe I’ll get more used to it.
I won an iPad mini at my company’s Christmas party, which I have written about previously. I’m really digging this little thing and I had no interest in it before. It’s so light and it’s just the right size. My only problem is that it doesn’t have a retina display. The text is very small in the Kindle app, so I have to read on my big iPad.
I wonder what I’ll get to play with next year. New consoles?
Leading up to Christmas, there were times when I was really into the season and times when I wanted it to be over. Of course, the traveling was what I was dreading. I hate flying and driving gets old after a while.
I flew to Mississippi on the 23rd. This is the first time I’ve flown United. I had already made plans to fly to Jackson months before I knew everyone would be in Georgia for Christmas. I was going to cost around $1000 to change the flight to Atlanta, so I figured I would drive the rest of the way since I had already planned to rent a car. I spent the night in Jackson and drove to Decatur the next day. I had a blast in Georgia. I hadn’t seen my sister, brother-in-law, and niece in a little over 2 years and my mom since February. My niece is almost 3 now. She is adorable. I never got tired of her calling me “Uncle Will”. She wore me out a few times. I don’t see how parents do it. Seeing her joy at opening her gifts made me happy. It was great seeing everybody again and getting caught up.
The day after Christmas it was time to return to Portland. I drove back to the airport in Jackson. I ran into a high school classmate at the airport. Our plane was late leaving Jackson due to the plane arriving late in Jackson due to bad weather in Houston. I think we made up some time in the air, but it wasn’t enough. Between leaving late and being stuck waiting for a gate to open up after we landed, I missed my connection. I rushed through the airport as fast as I could. When I made it to the gate for my next flight and handed the lady my boarding pass, word came over the walkie that the door had closed. It was too late in the day for another flight. I was put on standby on the first flight out the next day. I didn’t like the fact that the customer service guy made it sound like it was my fault that I missed my connection. United put me up in a room in Houston, but I had to pay for most of it because my missed connection was caused by something beyond their control. This will probably be the last time I fly United, though other airlines would’ve probably done the same thing. I got a seat on that flight the next day and was glad when I finally made it home. Overall, a great Christmas, but I may be trying to convince everyone to come to Portland next year .
What did I get this year?
- How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
- Super Fly on DVD
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlen
- A Best Buy gift car that I’ve already spent
- A nice shirt that I’ll probably wear on NYE
- The Bourne Legacy on blu-ray
- A Tardis cookie jar and Texas cookie cutter
- One gift that I still haven’t received yet
On Friday (3 days ago) I had my wisdom teeth removed. The 3 that I had left, at least. I had one removed a couple of years ago because I was bothering me. I was first told that I needed to have the teeth removed in high school, but I kept putting it off. The remaining 3 were removed Friday – 3 days before my 34th birthday.
I was awake during the whole thing. They numbed my mouth so I didn’t really feel anything except pain in my jaw from them opening my mouth so wide and pressure while they were removing 2 of the 3 teeth. One tooth came out very easily and I felt nothing. The last tooth took the most time. I actually started to feel something. After working at it for a while, I think they broke the tooth and removed it in pieces.
Afterwards I got of packet full of instructions, gauze, a pain pill, and an anti-nausea pill. They also gave me flowers and a prescription for more painkillers. The weekend wasn’t that bad. I hated not being able to eat real food. I got tired of shakes, soup, and jello. I slept more than I’ve slept in a long time. Today, I’m still sore. It gets bad if I go a while without taking a painkiller. I did eat my first real meal today. It was a pain, but it was worth it.
I’m glad I won’t have to go through this again. It could’ve been worse, I guess. I suggest not putting off the surgery like I did.
Last weekend, my company had its annual company meeting / Christmas party in San Diego, which is where our headquarters is. It was the first one for me though. John came from Mississippi to hang out in San Diego and go to the party with me. The event was on Friday, but we spent Thursday night – Sunday morning in San Diego. We all stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel.
The early Friday activities were just for employees. We had lunch and did some team building exercises. It was great meeting people from the San Diego headquarters and the San Francisco area offices that I had never met before and getting to see the people again that I had previously met. There were a few new hires who hadn’t started yet, but still got to come join the fun.
We took a break and then saw a presentation about where the company is and where we’re going. I’m very much looking forward to the New Year.
After that we took another short break to get ready for the actual party. We had to dress up for this. It’s the first time I’ve had to put on a suit in years. They herded us all on a bus and took us to the yacht we were going to be on for the next few hours. Fancy, huh? After a few cocktails, we had dinner and an awards ceremony. The awards were mostly jokes, like getting an award for always bringing food to the office. Next up was casino night. The amount of chips you had at the end determined how many raffle tickets you got for the drawing later on. The prizes were a 13” MacBook Pro with Retina display, a 4th generation iPad (I think), and an iPad Mini. I wasn’t going to gamble because I prefer gambling on slot machines. John convinced me to play at the end and I got in a few hands before time was up. When we traded in our chips for raffle tickets, I the dealer gave me a few extra, probably because I didn’t get to play long. When they drew names for the third place price, the iPad mini, they drew one of my numbers! I was shocked! I never win prizes! After we left the boat we went back to the hotel and partied some more. I don’t drink much and I had way too much that night on the boat and at the hotel. After some more socializing, I went back to my room. There are some things about this night I don’t remember. Bits and pieces have been coming back to me over the past week, though. John ended up going out with some of my co-workers and their guests.
Saturday, John and I hung out in San Diego. We did a lot of walking, some shopping, some of the same stuff he did while I was in meetings the day before. I had my first ever brunch. Later went to Balboa Park where there was some kind of fair or something going on. We went to some of the museums and met one of his friends that lives in San Diego. I went to bed kind of early because I had an early flight, but John went out again.
Sunday, it was back to Portland.
I had a blast that weekend. It was great hanging out with John, being in San Diego again, and spending time with co-workers outside of work. I’m already looking forward to next year.
I really enjoyed this volume. It starts out focusing mostly on Rick and Carl, but other characters come in later. We find out the fates of the characters that we were unsure of at the end of the last volume and we meet some new ones. It seemed mostly like a setup volume, but it was still great.