You thought I was serious about not writing another blog in 2016?  Okay, I was.  But I am a little bored and since I have the time I figured, “Hey – it’s my blog.  What are my millions of fans going to do, fire me for misleading them?”  Actually, I would not be surprised if the first email I get after posting this is a termination notice… but fuck it.  It is only fake money and no fame.

This has been a rough year.  No, I am not referring to the number of celebrities who passed away who were also vital to the development of my personality.  However, it was a surreal moment just the other day to realize that two women who fueled my adolescent masturbation fantasies kicked the proverbial bucket days apart.  And yes, I masturbated both to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher and no, it was not some kind of sick Mom-and-Daughter fetish fantasy.  It was “Oh yea, that woman in Singing in the Rain is hella sexy” one night and “Don’t worry.  I’ll save you, Leia” the next.  Most often separated by a night using my dad’s hidden porn stash.

He had some fairly perverted Eastern European magazines.  Now you know from where I get my sexual deviance.

It has been a rough year because it has been rough personally.  A grandmother-in-law dying, driving two cars into the ground, financial struggles with a dead end job, my beloved girlfriend having her toe amputated and part of her arch shaved off (Hi Cheri!), the mind-numbing crap of a presidential election driving our society apart, needing to replace a range, accidentally traveling back in time and killing Elvis with a misplaced rubber band ball… I could go on, but no.  Suffice it to say that I will not look upon the year 2016 as a soft taco of blessings.  It will be looked at as more of a bean burrito of flatulence.

However, I am a Taoist (or at least play one on television) and I understand that the Way is balance.  The tidal wave shall pass, the calm will return, and be replaced by another tsunami.  It is the nature of things.  So I am going to try and look past all the negative moments of this past year and list sixteen positive events from the last 364 days (remember, it was a leap year).

16.  Had “coffee” with two people I had never met before.

Literally had coffee with a gorgeous 50-year old lady, whom I am now dating and getting to know.  Also had two lunches with another beautiful lady, and if it had not been for my car losing its gasket on our second outing I might have ended up dating her.  Meeting new people out in the real world and not just online had been one of my goals – in lieu of resolutions – for enjoying life.  Glad to say it was successful.  Thank you, Yuri and Lois.

15.  Retaught myself calculus.

Borrowed a textbook from my old job, sat down, and went through the first couple of chapters.  Remembered why I hated and failed calculus.  But I did reteach myself a little.  Good enough.

14.  Provided a home for a friend and allowed her to get back on her feet.

And now she can return to ignoring me and making poor decisions all by herself.  I am only teasing (mostly), DJ.  Good luck in your new place, with your new family unit, and with your new love interest.  Your room is already a sewing room, so no coming back now.

13.  Played laser tag and did not collapse from the physical exertion.

I am going back to play again soon, you lousy kids.  And you are all going down.

12.  Celebrated my adopted son’s high school graduation

There will be a few other moments from that trip listed here, but just being at his graduation party as part of the family was awesome.  I could not be more proud of him if he was my own kid.  I love you, Tyler, and am very proud of the man (sorry Cheri) you have become.

11.  Self-published a book

It is a collection of parables based on gaming experiences in my life.  From Dungeons and Dragons to Monopoly, there is always something to learn from playing a game with highly competitive and creative people.  If you would like to purchase a copy, here’s the link.  This ends the advertisement portion of my blog.

10.  Sabrina

Yes, it ended badly.  But that is not all her fault and I am not focusing on the negative with this list.  The messages, the shared photos and videos, and the few visits we shared were wonderful.  I would change very little about what happened.  Especially when we <CONTENT BLOCKED> and <CONTENT BLOCKED AGAIN>.  I apologize again for my lack of emotional control at the end and if you ever need my help, you have it.

9.  My two-year old nephew learning to talk

Sure, his mom has terrible taste in hairstyles and had all his beautiful curls cut off recently.  But for the longest time, I was the only non-parental family member he would call by name.  Now he has them all, but for awhile it was just Mommy, Daddy, and Unkie.  I love all my nephews, but this last one could be the little devil that I laugh with the most.

8.  Buying a new-to-me car

A 2007 Ford Focus ST with manual transmission.  Since it is a manual, there is no chance my wife steals this car from me.  She cannot drive a stick, which is odd because of how well she handles other sticks… wink wink.  It may be nine years old, but it means no more borrowing my dad’s car or bumming rides from friends.  Freedom is always good.

7.  Being Cock-blocked by my beloved’s (Hi Cheri!) mom

You might be thinking, “How on Earth does being cock-blocked make the list of positive events in 2016?!”  It was just so organically, in-the-moment, funny that Beloved and I burst out laughing in the bed.  All those years she disapproved of me and would have given anything to keep us from carnal pleasures, and when she is finally used to me being around she cock-blocks us without ill intent.  That is hilarious serendipity, my friends.  Thanks, Judy, for the moment of laughs.

6.  My beloved (Hi Cheri!) using my favorite sex position against me

It is doggy style.  I just cannot resist.

5.  My D&D group finishing the “Hoard of the Dragon Queen” adventure

It took us so many tries that we cycled through every player taking a turn at being the Dungeonmaster.  Most of us had the chance to play every single class and race in 5th Edition.  But finally, triumphantly, with a little bit of fudging and cheating, we beat the damn adventure.  Now for the sequel, right everyone?

4.  My new job/career

The hours and days suck.  It is much harder on me physically.  It can be monotonous and a pain in the ass.  But I took a chance.  I let go of my stubbornness and got out of my rut.  Now I can work on making my life financially stable to give my wife, girlfriend, family, and friends more joy.  Every day I go into work challenging myself to be better at it.  It really has rejuvenated an aging man.

3.  Spending more time with my teenage nephew

He now lives with my in-laws, so I can see him almost every week.  He is taller than me now, and is a typical teenager in some aspects:  a bit of laziness, arrogance, and daring.  But all things considered, he is turning into a pretty terrific person.  He even plays D&D with us old geeks, when he is not glued to his electronics.  He does have terrible taste in football teams though… Go Browns!

2.  Hiking two waterfalls

I hiked to the top of Multnomah Falls in Northern Oregon by myself.  If you have never done that hike, it is almost straight up a cliff using switchbacks.  It is intense.  I had it on my bucket list, and now it is gone.  Also hiked to Franklin Falls in Washington with the wife.  She struggled, and wanted to kill me several times for dragging her along, but we both made it.  The waterfall was beautiful and I was so proud of her for making it.  So, of course, there can be only one…

1.  My wife

It is not that I love my wife (Hi Denise!) more than I love my girlfriend (Hi Cheri!).  It is simply the situation we all currently live in that Beloved lives several states away, but my wife calls this house “home.”  She is here every weekend, good or bad.  To try and pick out one or two or even seven moments where she made my 2016 better would be impossible.  All the movie dates, all the shopping excursions, all the little arguments, all the inside jokes and rolled eyes and great sex and worry wrinkles and understanding and acceptance she gives to me so I can be me and love another woman and date others.  I may find women I can love as much as her, but there is no woman I can find that would ever be better than her.

Those are the reasons that 2016 was a year worthy of being remembered.  I cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store.

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