“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Well, basically everybody agrees that 2016 was a flaming trash fire, but I wanted to take some time to go back and find the good things that happened to me this year.  For one thing, Peri and I both got accepted to Evergreen State College.  But lots of amazing things happened to me in 2016.  Here we go!

January:
1.) My partner and I spent a weekend in Portland, hung out with a friend there, and took a beautiful scenic drive on the way back home.
2016 in review - January (1)


2.) We took a road trip to Roslyn WA, the town where the TV series Northern Exposure was filmed.
2016 in review - January (3)

3.) We went to my partner’s after-Christmas Christmas party:2016 in review - January (2)

4.) I took a trip home back east to see family & friends.2016 in review - January (4a)

5.) I got to see the Warhol/Mapplethorpe show at the Wadsworth Atheneum while I was in town.2016 in review - January (4a)

6.) And I got my first tattoo!  A design of my own, a tribute to the late David Bowie.2016 in review - January (5)


February:
7.) We rescued this stray little girl who showed up in our front yard.  No microchip and nobody responded to my “found cat” Craigslist ads. We found her a nice home with a friend.  We named her Dilly Marshmallow, and her new owner later renamed her Molly.
My year 2016 - Feb

8.) I got a vehicle of my own!  My first one since I moved here.  I had been driving my partner’s old Honda which was falling apart.  I choose a van for several reasons: to have something to move larger objects and art with, and something we could sleep in for van-camping.  I love it.My year 2016 - Feb


March:
9.) Did our civic duty and voted in the state caucus.
My year 2016 - March

10.) Took a day trip north on Easter Sunday to see the Skagit Valley tulip festival.My year 2016 - March

11.) We collaborated on a vegetable/herb garden with our downstairs neighbor.My year 2016 - March


April:
12.) Went camping near Lake Cushman, WA.  First time camping in the back of the van and it was great.  One of the nicest camping experiences I’ve ever had in my life.  Quiet, relaxing, and breathtakingly beautiful.  Spent the next day exploring Port Townsend.  Fantastic weekend.
My year 2016 - April

13.) Paid a visit to the Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden in Federal Way for the first time.  We’d been to the Bonsai Museum next door a few times, but this was our first time to the Rhody garden.  It was like a huge park, just gorgeous.  It’s one of the largest collections of rhododendron species in the world.
My year 2016 - April

14.) We met up with my cat’s former foster parent in Mount Vernon, WA for their annual Salmon barbeque.  The food was tasty and it was really nice catching up with her.
My year 2016 - April

15.) I found a Bunnyken complete with its ORIGINAL BOX on Ebay and I won the auction for about $10!  I was over the moon about it.
My year 2016 - April


May:
16.) On Mayday/Beltane we had a picnic at Point Defiance Park.  I made some important personal life decisions then, ways to better myself.  I’m still working on these things, and it’s a slow process, but I am making progress.
My year 2016 -  May

17.) I went to my first con ever — Everfree Northwest.  It was a fun experience and it exceeded every expectation I had.
My year 2016 -  May

My year 2016 -  May

18.) I even got to meet some voice actors from the English dub of one of my favorite series ever, Ian James Corlett and Brian Drummond who voiced Goku and Vegeta of Dragon Ball Z for a time.
My year 2016 -  May


June:
19.) Went to Portland during Pride.
My year 2016 - June

20.) On the same day as the Pride parade, I found one of the infamous Toynbee Tiles embedded in one of the streets that was blocked off  — something I never would have been able to see up close otherwise.
My year 2016 - June

21.) Went for a tour of Evergreen State College and realized it was my dream school.
My year 2016 - June

22.) Went camping again, this time to Lake Crescent, then Cape Disappointment (both in WA).  Took an epic hike at Lake Crescent, exceeding my own expectations about how far I could push myself.
My year 2016 - June

My year 2016 - June

 

July:
23.) My BFFF arrived for a visit during the last couple days of June and into the first week of July.  Got to see an Edvard Munch exhibit and various other amazing works at the Tacoma Art Museum, went to Long Beach WA, saw the Star Trek exhibit at the EMP museum in Seattle, and did other cool best friend hangout stuff.
My year 2016 - July My year 2016 - JulyMy year 2016 - July My year 2016 - July

24.) We saw a spectacular sun dog.
My year 2016 - July

25.) We ate the most delicious berries ever.
My year 2016 - July

26.) Then my parents arrived for a week-long visit.  They had traveled across the country, camping along the way.  Peri and I showed them the usual haunts, some of our favorite spots.
My year 2016 - July
My year 2016 - July

27.) I got into the Pokemon Go craze for awhile and had fun with it.
My year 2016 - July


August:
28.) Met up with a friend in Olympia WA for dinner and coffee.
collage aug 1

29.) Got to see some tall ships at the Foss Harbor Marina in Tacoma.
img_20160821_144307_28544202753_o


September:
30.) Saw a corpse flower at the Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle!  Another thing checked off my bucket list.
My year 2016 - Oct

31.) Randomly happened upon a Fantasy Faire in Tacoma.
My year 2016 - Oct

32.) Went camping again at Dash Point State Park in Federal Way, WA for a couple nights in a row.  It’s only about half an hour’s drive from where we live so it’s a very accessible place to camp.  Beautiful hiking trails, including one that goes all the way to the beach.
My year 2016 - Oct

33.) Went to the Washingston State Fair, aka the Puyallup Fair.
My year 2016 - Oct

34.) Got a cool early birthday present from my artist friend Grippo, and was commissioned to draw a raven by my brother.
My year 2016 - Oct

35.) And I packed my bags for another trip to visit home in CT!
My year 2016 - Oct

36.) Went to the Big E, aka the Eastern States Exhibition for it’s 100th anniversary year!
My year 2016 - Oct

37.) Got my second tattoo — my own personal sigil.
My year 2016 - Oct

38.) Went to do some cool Halloween shit with my BFFF and two of my other back-East besties.
My year 2016 - Oct


October:
39.) Picked apples and pumpkins, went for a wine tasting, and did more epic Halloween shit with the squad.
My year 2016 - Oct My year 2016 - Oct

40.) Helped the BFFF decorate for Halloween, hung out with the kitties, who I still miss a real lot.
My year 2016 - Oct

41.) Dyed my hair with Kool-Aid.  I must be having a mid-life crisis, the last time I did this I was about 18.
My year 2016 - Oct

42.) Bought a hot knife (essentially an x-acto blade + a soldering iron) to make it easier to carve foam pumpkins.
My year 2016 - Oct

43.) Saw some really gorgeous autumn bonsai trees at the Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way WA.
My year 2016 - Oct

44.) Tried that ramen joint we’d been meaning to try.  (Tokyo-Ya in Federal Way)
My year 2016 - Oct

45.) Carved pumpkins.
My year 2016 - Oct

46.) Decorated my office to the nines for Halloween this year.
My year 2016 - Oct

47.) Even spent some time exploring a few amazing Halloween builds in Second Life.
My year 2016 - Oct


November:
48.) Went mushroom-peeping at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.
My year 2016 - November

49.) Went to check out the Oddmall, a seasonal traveling market of eclectic artisans.  This one was in Everett, WA.
My year 2016 - November

50.) Had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving with Peri’s folks.
My year 2016 - November


December:
51.) Designed and printed my first 3D project ever (the torus-shaped object) at the Auburn makerspace.
My 2016 - December

52.) Made Xmas cookies with Peri.
My 2016 - December

53.) Watch the sunrise in Tacoma with a bunch of pagans on Winter Solstice.
My 2016 - December

54.) Went to the locally famous Clam Lights display in Renton, WA.
My 2016 - December

55.) One of the crowning jewels in the year: Went to visit Neah Bay, WA.  We hiked the Cape Flattery trail to the end to reach the northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States.  One of the most overwhelmingly beautiful moments of my life.  I braved a lot of anxiety and pushed my physical limits through a muddy, wet, narrow, precarious trail to get there, and although it was difficult (especially mentally), I did it.
My 2016 - December
My 2016 - December

56.) Went to see the Garden D’Lights display at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens.  Well worth the $5 to get in.
My 2016 - December

57.) And today on New Year’s Eve, we had a laid-back day, ending with an amazing sushi dinner at one of our favorite places.
My 2016 - December

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Let’s make the most of 2017.
My 2016 - December

 

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