Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013: Year in Review

After a long hiatus, you might have guessed that one of my resolutions would be updating this thing regularly.  Like, every other week at least.  Also something something lose weight something something saving money.

In my defense, my computer has remarkably low alcohol tolerance, so after I spilled wine on it the third time and it rolled over and died, it really became more of a "can't" than a "won't" sort of situation.

I suppose I ought to get you all caught up on my year, especially the last three months.  So here we go: the Top 5 and Bottom 5 events of my year.  We'll start with the bad because that's always juicier.

Top 5 Lousy Shit that Happened in 2013 
(Warnings: Gore, NSFL)

5)  Holy illness, Batman!!

One of the things that prevented me from blogging back in October was a sojourn in the hospital with pneumonia.  I don't think I've ever been sick enough to actually go to the hospital.  It started as a cold that I caught from Jack, beginning Friday.  Monday, I went into work, was sent home, and begged Andrew to take me to the emergency room, where it was revealed that the oxygen content of my blood was in the low 80 percent range and that I should, by all rights, have been unconscious.  An ambulance ride later I was at Marina del Rey hospital.  I was there for three days.  The whole experience is like a weird dream because my oxygen was so low; I have only vague, segmented memories that include watching daytime television with the twins and re-inserting an IV that the nurse put in badly.  When you're low on oxygen, that sort of things strikes you as a brilliant idea instead of a dumb one.  I was out of work for two weeks, during which time I was on oxygen tanks and couldn't even walk my own dogs.  Happy ending: I left with a pneumonia shot and a prescription for Cingular, which really helps control my asthma.

4)  Continued drama with the twin's mother.

Here pictured pretending to be nice to me while undoubtedly thinking up new reasons to hate me.

While I was in the hospital (remember, pneumonia!), she accused me of being scheming and manipulative.  Apparently the twins' sister was getting married that weekend and I totally constructed my pneumonia around that.  Seriously, isn't it traditional for the bride to be bridezilla and not her spastic, over-bearing mum?  Speaking of moms, my parents didn't bother calling at any time during this episode or even asking how I was after the fact.  Not that I expected much, but it'd be nice to know someone cared.  My bosses all called me multiple times in the hospital just to check up on me.  (Also, Ramiro finagled my sick time to ensure I would get paid for the entirety of my absence... even though I hadn't technically banked enough sick time to cover it.) 

3)  Got conned!
The crazy eyes should have been a huge tip-off.

So we learned a "lesson" I guess, but the whole point of couchsurfing was for me to make friends and help people out and maybe learn a little trust in my fellow man.  I still think of Jonathan sometimes and my overwhelming emotion is one of pity.  I wish things would go better for him and I feel bad he has to do what he does... or at least, that he thinks he has to.  Also I still can't believe he could stay with us a month and just take our shit from under our noses at the end of it.  No class, no respect.  But we recovered everything and I guess it was overall a pretty painless lesson to learn.  All the same, the whole experience kind of bummed me out and gave me yet another reason to look at the world with a sense of cynicism.  

2)  Wrecked my car.
Good-night, Sweet Prince.  2000-2013.

Well, I didn't wreck it... Andrew did.  We went to a Halloween party and he was our designated driver.
He had nothing to drink but still managed to somehow get into a massive wreck on the 10 freeway.  Incredibly, we all walked away from it without any injuries whatsoever, unless you count a bruise I got when I kicked open the door to leave the car.  (The airbags had gone off and the engine was smoking so I left IMMEDIATELY when I woke up.  I missed the wreck itself.  Andrew apparently hit one other car and knocked down a light pole.  Insurance is taking care of all that.)

1)  Alcoholism.
Cut myself down to the bone back in March after what we'll call a "tipsy tumble."

Far from getting away from this particular vice, I've found alcohol in Los Angeles to be extremely cheap and accessible.  I mean accessible like you can go to a laundromat and next to the little individual boxes of Tide in the dispenser you can buy mini-Gallo shots.  It's inescapable and since I have disposable income I've been drinking much more than I really wish I would.  I am working on this but like all vices it's not an easy one to let go of.

Top 5 Awesome Things that Happened in 2013
(Warnings: Tasteful Boobies, NSFW)

5)  Los Angeles
This is the single most Los Angeles-y picture I have.  It was taken after a brunch in Hollywood, during which Carlisle refused to eat an $8 poached egg.

What else can I say?  I moved here and have only grown to love it.  The house has really come together and unlike this time last year, I can really call this city home now.  Here's some touching pictures from Hannukah and the Museum of Natural History to really drive that point home.

4)  Bike

Wrecked car?  Excuse to get a motorcycle.  Vroom!

3)  The LA Pony and Critter Club
That's me riding Drafter.  She's a Clydesdale.  

I joined a group for people into animal roleplay, which is exactly what it sounds like.  This is just one of many ways I've been meeting people and I finally feel like I have friends and places to go.  This Christmas I went to five (five!) different holiday parties, one of them held at a beach house that included a guy in pinstripe plucking empty glasses out of your hand and offering you new drinks and hor 'doevres from a shiny-ass tray.  So, yeah, this has been awesome.  We missed the October fox hunt (human fox, dogs, and horses) but went to a Burner music festival instead, and I didn't even have to take off my paw print pasties.

2)  New job!  And promotion!

I legally can't show pictures of my lab so here's so generics of me cuddling animals I found lying around the city.  I also got my first level of certification (out of three) for AALAS (American Association for Labratory Animal Science), a minor pay increase, and a move to the main USC campus, which is within biking distance of my house and allows me to have lunch with Andy every day.

1)  Light on the horizon: a good year with my two best friends, doing what I want to do and having fun while doing it.

Overall, been a good year.  Chipping away at debt, getting involved in a serious relationship that's going somewhere, talking about buying a house, working on so many new projects (blankets and tea boxes mostly).  All my bad experiences have had silver linings and I wouldn't change a thing.  Something something inspiration something something waking up early or learning a new language.

Welcome home, 2014!

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