Author Topic: My Year In Review  (Read 197 times)

Offline Queensryche

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My Year In Review
« on: January 01, 2018, 06:49:53 PM »
So it's the New Year, and I've decided to post up here my 2017 and the major things that happened in my life, as well as changes in my personal life. I invite everyone else to do so here. I'll begin:

Two Yanks At White Hart Lane
At the very beginning of 2017, my dad and I took a trip to London for five days. We did plenty there, but the main reason was to see Tottenham Hotspur play West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane. A few years ago, my dad had given that for me as a Christmas present, and after some bumps in my life, I was finally ready to go to The Lane to see Spurs. The train ride itself was an event, because my dad and I got stuck in a car with a bunch of drunk West Brom fans, and one of them ripped a fart that would've put the culprit on trial for crimes against humanity. Also, they were bewildered hearing my American accent and asked why I chose Spurs. I said it was because I didn't want to support "A megaclub like Man United, or a s**t one like West Brom!" They gave me props for the banter. The match itself was wonderful. We were close enough to the pitch that we could hear the players talking to each other. Also, seeing The Once And Future King Harry Kane score a hat trick was amazing. Also, I blew several hundred dollars at the Spurs Megastore. Worth it.
(On an unrelated note, it turns out that the UK is actually now mimicking American beer culture, in presentation, beer types, and such. Also, I discovered that "true" IPAs aren't actually bitter beers. But they've taken to the bitter brand of IPA, calling them "American-style IPA".)

Getting Back In A Game
Shortly after my trip to London, I discovered Gamers Heaven nearby. They'd been around for a year-and-a-half but I'd been totally unaware of them until I somehow found it after Googling something else and decided to check it out. It's since become one of my favorite places to visit. On my first visit, I discovered the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game, which I had no idea existed. I was immediately interested, and then found out about the shortage. Eventually I did get cards and liked it enough to begin playing in the local scene there. It also turned out I was pretty good at the game: the first tournament I played in had promo Sephiroths up for grabs, and I finished 4th, good enough to claim one for myself. I've continued to have success, winning a couple tournaments and doing well overall.

But the big thing was how this game has introduced me to a new circle of friends, as well as make me closer to another friend. Regarding the former, I now consider myself a part of the scene at Gamers Heaven and have a circle of guys I play regularly and build decks with. Lately we've also been moving beyond the game and going more into our lives in general. Regarding the latter, I went up with my best friend John (Dilbert on these parts) to a Raw Deal tournament in Allentown, bringing my FFTCG cards to introduce the game to the players there. My intro went better than expected: the immediate reaction when I said I wanted to show them the game was "You have cards? Awesome!" Turns out that the Allentown crew had been interested but didn't know anyone with cards. I was literally the first person to show them the actual cards. As it ended up, I got Brian (BigPimpin) into the game, and he and I have gotten closer as a result. He was able to come my way for a tournament once, and I was able to come his way for a tournament later on in the year. Hopefully we'll have a few more meetings this coming year. His friend John Soto also wants to come my way too.

My Sister Gets Married
This past June, my sister Carolyn got married to a guy I've gotten close to. He's an Israeli-American dude named Jonathan, who's a really cool guy and also someone I was glad my sister fell in love with. Two weeks before the wedding, I took Jonathan to a day trip to the shore because he'd never been to the Jersey Shore previously. The wedding itself was a lovely event, and when it was all done, my sister said it meant a lot that I accepted Jonathan as quickly as I did and the effort that I made to make him welcome. I'd been distant from my sister previously for no reason in particular, but now we're starting to build up a strong brother/sister relationship.

Visiting Israel
A few weeks after the wedding, I went on a week-long trip to Israel to both visit various sites and also meet Jonathan's relatives and friends. It was overall a fantastic experience. I visited various historical sites (City of David, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dead Sea) as well as see what daily life in Jerusalem is like. About the only unpleasant experience I had was being in a car on Saturday that had rocks thrown at it because it was the Sabbath, and for some folks there, that's sacreligious. It also really opened up my eyes to the conflict going on there and how incredibly complex an issue it is. During the party to celebrate my sister and (now) brother-in-law's wedding, I ran into a family friend of Jonathan's........who happens to be a Chelsea fan. We went at it over our respective EPL clubs, but it was all in good fun. Also, spending a day at the Dead Sea was an experience. It was almost like an alien landscape there. It was also really hot (105 degrees Fahrenheit), but honestly not too uncomfortable. It is true that you literally cannot sink in the Dead Sea. It's also true that going in there after you shave is going to be very uncomfortable.

Becoming A Homeowner
Literally the day after I got home, I saw a condo up the street from my apartment was up for sale. I went and took a look at it and after some thought and negotiation, had an offer accepted to purchase it. Quite honestly, the whole process was quick and free of any snags. I applied for my mortgage, and was approved in quick order. After a couple weeks of preparation, I finally moved in at the end of September. At first, I thought I was fine staying where I was at, but then realized that the condo would be a better place to live, as well as better for me in the long-term. Overall, I'm glad I made that decision. I'm enjoying my condo, and wish I'd done it sooner. Also, I left on good terms with my landlord: he was so impressed with how well I cleaned up the apartment after I left that he not only refunded my security deposit, but also threw in some extra money because he didn't need to spend as much as he thought he would have to in order to clean it.

Moving Up And Forward At Work
Late last year, I began an "internship" at my employer in their Retirement Center, handling issues specific to various retirement accounts. After working through tax season, management at the Retirement Center was impressed enough to ask me to stay permanently, which in effect was a promotion and raise. After being hired, changes began. Eventually, several members of my team left, and my boss also left the company for reasons unknown to me. But eventually I got a new boss, and she's been great so far. I'm able to apply for a new position in April, so I'm going to be looking at where I should go next.

Those were the big events in my life in 2017. Hopefully 2018 is as eventful.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 08:22:27 PM by Queensryche »
Ceterum censeo Chelsea delendam esse.

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"Tottenham are laughing at us!" - Dom, West Ham United fan, after Astra Giurgiu eliminated West Ham United from Europa (Entirely accurate statement).