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!
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.
2.) We took a road trip to Roslyn WA, the town where the TV series Northern Exposure was filmed.
3.) We went to my partner’s after-Christmas Christmas party:
4.) I took a trip home back east to see family & friends.
5.) I got to see the Warhol/Mapplethorpe show at the Wadsworth Atheneum while I was in town.
6.) And I got my first tattoo! A design of my own, a tribute to the late David Bowie.
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.
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.
9.) Did our civic duty and voted in the state caucus.
10.) Took a day trip north on Easter Sunday to see the Skagit Valley tulip festival.
11.) We collaborated on a vegetable/herb garden with our downstairs neighbor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
17.) I went to my first con ever — Everfree Northwest. It was a fun experience and it exceeded every expectation I had.
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.
19.) Went to Portland during Pride.
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.
21.) Went for a tour of Evergreen State College and realized it was my dream school.
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.
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.
24.) We saw a spectacular sun dog.
25.) We ate the most delicious berries ever.
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.
27.) I got into the Pokemon Go craze for awhile and had fun with it.
28.) Met up with a friend in Olympia WA for dinner and coffee.
29.) Got to see some tall ships at the Foss Harbor Marina in Tacoma.
30.) Saw a corpse flower at the Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle! Another thing checked off my bucket list.
31.) Randomly happened upon a Fantasy Faire in Tacoma.
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.
33.) Went to the Washingston State Fair, aka the Puyallup Fair.
34.) Got a cool early birthday present from my artist friend Grippo, and was commissioned to draw a raven by my brother.
35.) And I packed my bags for another trip to visit home in CT!
36.) Went to the Big E, aka the Eastern States Exhibition for it’s 100th anniversary year!
37.) Got my second tattoo — my own personal sigil.
38.) Went to do some cool Halloween shit with my BFFF and two of my other back-East besties.
39.) Picked apples and pumpkins, went for a wine tasting, and did more epic Halloween shit with the squad.
40.) Helped the BFFF decorate for Halloween, hung out with the kitties, who I still miss a real lot.
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.
42.) Bought a hot knife (essentially an x-acto blade + a soldering iron) to make it easier to carve foam pumpkins.
43.) Saw some really gorgeous autumn bonsai trees at the Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way WA.
44.) Tried that ramen joint we’d been meaning to try. (Tokyo-Ya in Federal Way)
45.) Carved pumpkins.
46.) Decorated my office to the nines for Halloween this year.
47.) Even spent some time exploring a few amazing Halloween builds in Second Life.
48.) Went mushroom-peeping at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.
49.) Went to check out the Oddmall, a seasonal traveling market of eclectic artisans. This one was in Everett, WA.
50.) Had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving with Peri’s folks.
51.) Designed and printed my first 3D project ever (the torus-shaped object) at the Auburn makerspace.
52.) Made Xmas cookies with Peri.
53.) Watch the sunrise in Tacoma with a bunch of pagans on Winter Solstice.
54.) Went to the locally famous Clam Lights display in Renton, WA.
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.
56.) Went to see the Garden D’Lights display at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Well worth the $5 to get in.
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.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Let’s make the most of 2017.