This post is meant to serve as my non-existent holiday card for interested friends and relatives, as well as a completely biased recounting of my year.
Well, I traveled a lot this year. More than usual. I flew 46,601 miles, going to about 22 different cities. I went to North Carolina twice, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Madison, Chicago, Chile, and a bunch of places in Southern California. Most of those trips were either work-related or family-related (my brother got married this summer!). But I did finally take an actual vacation – two weeks in Chile (I promise a post about this is going to happen).
San Francisco Bay Area
I also did some local travel, getting better acquainted with the Bay Area. I checked out the new Exploratorium, the California Academy of Sciences, went whale watching off the coast, did some hiking around the redwoods, and hung out at some bars in SF. I have lots more to discover and am looking forward to it all.
Books, Movies, Etc.
I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to this year (only finished 8 new books, reread 4 books, and started 5 that I haven’t finished yet). I really enjoyed finishing the third Game of Thrones book and can’t wait for the next season of the show. But I think my favorite book I read this year was To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (from 1998). It’s an excellent time travel book, using a really interesting mechanic and really exploring the limits and rules of fictional time travel and its ramifications. Plus, the setting (mostly Victorian England) was really interesting and the characters were great.
I did see a bunch of movies this year, and I think my favorite was Gravity. It was very well done and was a nice compact story. Frances Ha was also really good (and is currently available on Netflix). I saw The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle this past week and they were pretty good, but not at the top of my list. I still need to see 12 Years a Slave, Her, and Inside Llewyn Davis.
I finally got to see Book of Mormon! I went a earlier this month with the Bagleys and it was hilarious and very entertaining. My normal way of doing things where I memorize the soundtrack before going to see the musical still hasn’t ruined anything. So I will continue.
I went to three SF Giants games this year, all of which were super fun. Definitely looking forward to a bunch more in 2014.
This year, I got an AeroPress. I had previously been using a pour over method which was pretty good, but not very systematic – it was difficult to control the exact proportion of things and how the water was interacting with the grinds. Some days it was good and others it was okay. So in January I found out about and ordered an AeroPress and things have been amazing in the coffee department ever since. I just recently got a new grinder, a ceramic conical burr hand crank grinder and it is making things even better. Making coffee in the morning takes a bit longer than with an automatic, but it is soooo much better.
This was also the year that I got a DSLR (well, technically I bought it in December 2012, but I didn’t really start using it until this year). There are lots of good pictures up on my flickr page, but here are a few of my favorites:
I also got a FitBit this year. It’s been pretty cool to track my steps, floors climbed, and my sleep patterns. Can you tell from the above graph of my steps this year which week I went hiking in Patagonia? Sifting through the data is usually pretty interesting and has kept me motivated to keep moving and not sit on the couch/chair/etc too much. I’ve lost 10.5 lbs this year, due at least in part to the data feedback that I get from the FitBit.
And finally, I would be remiss not to mention my wonderful companion, Laika. She is such a good dog and especially was good dealing with all of my travel this year. She is always happy to greet me with a wagging tail when I come home and makes sure I don’t sleep in too much on the weekends.
All in all, 2013 was a pretty good year. Looking forward to 2014!