Wednesday, February 02, 2011

2010 Recap: June-December

Part 2 of my "I didn't blog enough in 2010" post!

8. NHSI 2010: This one doesn't merit much explanation, especially since I did a pretty extensive post on it. Let's just say it was an excellent summer.

9. Mono Lake and Bodie with Mom and Dad: Family Camp is always great, of course, but taking this day trip to a weird lake on the eastern flank of the Sierras, and then an even weirder ghost town, made it completely awesome. See the above linked post for some pictures.

10. Deirdre's wedding: Another gorgeous drive across California, and then a two-day reunion with my suitemates from college. End of story.

11. Chicago and Kate's wedding in Indianapolis: Another wonderful friend reunion, this time with everyone you could ever want from our days of CRC and Ridge and Church living. Steve and I flew into Chicago in order to spend a day there before we drove down to Indianapolis with Tim and Sip, and got to go to the Art Institute and a play that Pat King was in. The wedding was great fun, but Indianapolis itself disappointed me- it may have been the most boring city I've ever been to. We had most of the day after the wedding to kill after our flight left, and we ran out of things to do after about two hours. Oh well. Small price to pay for a weekend chock full of my favorite people.

12. Kevin and Lauren's wedding: The final wedding of the year was the farthest away, but possibly the closest to the way I'd like my own wedding to be, someday. It was outside in rural western Connecticut, on a lake, in the fall, with changing leaves and beautiful blue skies and that perfect chill in the air. I drove up from New York with Erik, Pedro, Blake and Joey and (Blake and Joey's bickering aside) we had a splendid time on our little road trip. I don't know a ton about the Northeastern part of the US, and I am always kind of fascinated with how quaint it is. Anyway, there was a bonfire by the lake after the rehearsal dinner, with beer, hot chocolate, and s'mores- and one of the prettiest night skies I'd seen in a long time. The next morning Kevin and I happened to both be down by the lake fairly early- him checking out the conditions for the wedding later that day, and me just going for a walk (as my 4 roommates were all still asleep), so we ended up going canoeing. This is what I love about Kevin- it's his wedding day, but he has time to go canoeing with me. I don't know many people who would do that.

Other great parts of that trip included going to a pumpkin patch/farm with Erik and Pedro, stopping at a former insane asylum on the way back to the city, hanging out with my brother for two days in New York afterwards, including watching the Giants win their division against San Diego and going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and playing Celebrities with the likes of Kate, Stuart, Lyssa, Marc, Caroline, Will, and Pedro. Most excellent. Oh, and the wedding, of course, was beautiful. Kevin and Lauren have very classy taste... and the prosciutto/salami/toasted bread course at the dinner was delicious.

13. THE GIANTS WIN THE WORLD SERIES!!!!: This is it, folks. This is the absolute best thing that happened all year. The Giants were teetering at the top of the NL West for the last part of the regular season, constantly swapping places with the Padres... and then they BEAT the Padres to win the NLDS, they beat the BRAVES to win the NLCS, and then, miracle of miracles, they beat the Rangers to WIN THE WORLD SERIES. I could go on and on and on about the players and the minutiae of each game and how AWESOME it was to watch all this go down, but I'll spare you guys and won't...

The best part of the whole post season was my parents being generous and buying me a plane ticket back to San Francisco, at the last minute, to watch the Series, which was over Halloween weekend. I hadn't been in San Francisco for Halloween in 4 years, so that was exciting in and of itself, but throw in the World Seris and I practically had an aneurysm. My flight was at dawn, and from the attire of the other passengers I'd say it consisted exclusively of Giants fans. Mom and I watched Game 1, which Tim Lincecum pitched, with Aunt Kris, Uncle Owen, and Tobin at their house- my Dad actually went to the game, something he had never done before, and had a grand old time. The Giants won. My mom and dad and I all went to the Russell-Snyder's house for Game 2, which Matt Cain pitched. The Giants won. We watched Game 3, which Jonathan Sanchez pitched, at home. The Giants lost. Game 4 was on Halloween, and I watched mostly at home, but during the 6th inning I decided to go up to Upper Belvedere (a couple blocks away, and a street that the cops close off for trick or treaters every year... all the houses do fun things like haunted houses and spend thousands of dollars on candy) to see the scene. There were multiple houses that had projected the game onto screens set up in the street, or pushed their TVs into their front windows. Every time Madison Bumgarner struck someone out, there was a huge cheer. It was perhaps one of the most San Franciscan moments of my life, and I don't think I'll ever forget it. Bumgarner pitched 8 shut-out innings and only allowed 3 hits, and it ended 4-0 with Brian Wilson closing it out. Amazing.

This is one of his strikeouts as watched on a projected screen on Upper Belvedere:

I watched Game 5 at home too, because for monumental things like that you have to dance with the ones that brung you, right? Lincecum was pitching against Cliff Lee, and pitched 8 innings before Wilson came in. Edgar Renteria hit THE home run that would bring us home. I have to tell you- I've never heard my dad scream, ever, before the Giants won the World Series... but man, did he scream after that last out. He kept saying he didn't think he would live to see it, and here it was, happening right before his eyes. I think that was the best part of the whole thing- that my dad, a loyal if pessimistic Giants fan for his entire life, finally got to see them win. PLUS, they won in Texas, and while it would have been nice for them to be at home for the win, that last strikeout happened mere feet away from George W. Bush, sitting behind home plate. The most liberal city in the country triumphing over the most backwards, conservative president in recent memory- how sweet it is!

Dad and I went down to Haight Street to mingle with the revelers- some random dudes adopted him basically because he was the only old guy there:
Dad's new Giants fan friends

All over the city, the cops has closed off various streets, thrown up their hands, and let the revelers go to town. Later on the news they showed Muni buses stuck on Chestnut Street because crowds had swarmed around them. Tobin and I went back down to Haight later to get a drink at the Golden Cane, and we were both just... well, "giddy" is really the only word I have to describe it.

It was the absolute best thing about the entire year. As Brian Wilson would say, FACT.

14. Now, I always love Thanksgiving, but this Thanksgiving was particularly wonderful. Everyone came down this year, and even Taylor came home from New York- for the first time in 3 years! The day after Thanksgiving, we had a surprise party for David and Nicolai's 40th birthdays, which were in October. We took a new All Cousin I had taken some lighting and camera gear out from AFI- one of the perks of working there- and I spent the days surrounding Thanksgiving taking portraits of various family members. There wasn't enough time to get them all, unfortunately, but I'm pretty happy with what I did get. I started with Tobin, and quickly realized that family portraits should not be as artsy as I was trying to make his. We got a few funny ones of him though, in his soccer uniform,like an AYSO shot. Here are a few favorites:

My always classy family:

Tobin and Willa Marie's mid-90's family heist comedy:

Willa Marie and David:

Jessica, Tobin, David, and Willa Marie:

Kim and Simon:

Kim and Whitney:


Tobin (this one was in jest, but I love it):

Ellen and Beccy:

15. December and Christmas
Like Thanksgiving, I always like Christmas, but this year was nice because Taylor came home and brought Jessica, his girlfriend, with him for the first time. It made for a different sort of Christmas, but not drastically, and it was sort of a nice progression in the whole growing-up process (what do you mean, I'm already grown up? bother). We had a nice Christmas Eve at Aunt Kim and Uncle Simon's house, and a lovely lazy Christmas Day. December in general featured a bunch of friends from high school, including the now-yearly Holiday Dinner with the likes of Rachel, Alexis, Larkin, Diane, Martin, Matty P and Matt Levy, which is always fun. Jonny and I went to the Lick Alumni Party at a bar downtown, and saw lots of random people that we'll see again in December 2011 for our 10 year reunion (...eek!). New Year's was at Katie's house in Oakland, for the third year in a row, and possibly the last time, as who knows where half those people will be a year from now. All in all it was very warm and cozy and just what I wanted from December.

So that's about it for 2010 for me. At least, those were the highlights. Other good things happened, some bad things, and there was a whole lot of worrying about my career and unemployment and when (if?) I should decide to move back to San Francisco. But really... what else is new?

Here's to 2011 being even better!

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