Dec 30, 2008

2008 Lookback

It's been a helluva year... No, seriously, it's been... unique.

Last January, I started off the year with a presentation at geekSessions-1.3, along with some associated "hanging-out" in San Francisco (a city I normally avoid, because I dislike large crowds of people). I also got a brand new insulin pump to replace the seven year old beast who's LCD display had finally died. The pump itself didn't die (kudos to Medtronic for that), just the display. I've enjoyed my new "pocket pancreas" about as much as the old one, though of course the incremental improvements to its design haven't gone unappreciated.

February was a fairly quiet month for me professionally. A mixup in some of my medications (not related to the new pump), left me really distracted and irritable. The medications have been sorted, but I got to like the fear I induced in my coworker's eyes to the point that I keep up the show for appearances sake. :)

March was a flurry of activity getting things sorted at home and at work so that I could take a much needed month off in April. This month would ultimately turn into a mere three weeks since I refuse to relax, but it was time well spent anyway. During March I met two new friends who I've since come to appreciate deeply, and in April I got to spend a lot of time with my grandma; Something I do far too little of.

May saw the launch of Yahoo! Search Monkey move into full swing, bringing a lot of time and effort by the entire Search team along with it. As part of the launch, we held a developer event in Sunnyvale, and I learned that if you blog long and hard enough, random strangers will eventually show you naked pictures of themselves.

June was a hard month to handle. My wife of more than 10 years got herself a 1 bedroom apartment and moved out. We're both feeling the repercussions of that, and while reconciliation is a possibility, we really haven't fixed any of the things were wrong with our relationship. See, we're just as F-ed up as a straight couple, but with twice the estrogen! It was also at this time that my grandfather's cancer took a turn for the worse and he found himself spending a great deal of time in ICU. His children and grandchildren did their best to avoid feeling useless as we waited outside him room, not sure if he was going to pull out of it...

In July, my grandfather was feeling good enough that we threw a small party for my cousin's graduation, and brought him along for what we all knew was going to be his last summer. There was a lot of smiling outdoors and crying in the bathroom. During this party my grandfather pulled me aside and gave me a gift that... I'm not even sure he understood how much it meant to me... My sister took photos, and we all doted a bit more than we should have, but we built a new memory around him that we can carry with us.

Having managed some pretty downer months so far this summer, I took a week at the end of August to take a real vacation to south Utah where I went hiking with four complete strangers I'd met over the internet. Hrmmm... desert... strangers... dangerous climbs? Not the most sane thing I've ever done, but I made some really good friendships that'll last for years to come, and if all goes well, I'll be taking another trip with them this coming June, back to Zion National Park.

September saw ZendCon08 and PHP Appalachia, the latter of which spawned far too many anecdotes about the rowdiness of the PHP community. Where should I start? The semi-naked toxic hot tub? The jagged piece of glass that Chris tried to kill Ben with but got stuck in Cal's foot instead? The fire department we bribed with a cute blonde? Nonono, what happens in Pigeon Forge, stays in Pigeon Forge...

In October, my grandfather fell ill again, holding on just long enough to say good-bye to his children and grandchildren. Sadly his great-grandchildren aren't likely to remember him very well, but thankfully I know that my last words to him were, "I love you", and at least he went quickly. We can all hope for so much when out time eventually comes.

November led to another rowdy conference get together. This time it was php|works in Atlanta, GA, and I dunno about you, but Marco really needs to stop letting me near the open bar. I'm not a frequent drinker, so my tolerance is really very low, and I do... unconventional things when I've had my ninth vodka/cranberry... Doesn't hurt that the bartender was very generous... Oh well, at least I didn't throw up in the taxi on the way to Cal's going-away party. ((Note: I didn't say who did... assuming anyone did... which I didn't say either...))

And oh yeah... the election... biggest sack full of mixed emotions in a long time... Okay, sure, let me get it out, YAY! Obama won. I have HUGE hopes for this guy, and given what I've seen of his transition process, I think he might just stand a chance of living up to his hype. YES. WE. CAN. There, now that that's out of my system, I can go back to being really dissapointed in the One Million californians who voted in favor of Proposition 8. I can go back to slamming my face into the desk whenever I hear the FALSE argument that equal marriage rights will lead to sodomy in the streets and pedophilia in the classrooms. I can go back to being disappointed by my fellow Christians who call homosexuality as significant a threat to humanity as global warming and a threat to world peace. That's not just any Christian saying that by the way, that's the ever-lovin' POPE.

And then here it is: December. My wife and I are talking about getting back together, though I'm not sure we're making progress... I'm doing my best to focus back on my work. I've gotten back into rock climbing, and am eagerly awaiting the snow season to start in earnest. I got up to my dad's for another Christmas with the family, strained by not having gramps around, but I can tell my dad's trying to step up and fill the patriarchal void that's been left. I've spent the past week fighting off a cold and baking cookies. Tomorrow I'll head back into the office and get some work done before having friends over for a new year's eve bash. On thursday, it'll all start over again...

Happy new year.