two thousand and fourteen in review

2014 in review
Here we are, at the end of 2014... which has been a very different kind of year for me in all manner of ways. But more on that shortly...

As always, this time of the year means that everyone's thoughts turn to the year that's been more than the year ahead... and it's usually this time when I trot out the "first line of the first post of each month" meme I've been doing every year since 2006.

Technically I cheated a couple of times this time around... at least one month is not officially the first post (although it's the first post with proper content), and January, it's not the first line (but it's a more appropriate one than "Welcome to 2014"):

January: I definitely had an atypical New Year's Eve last night... I pretty much broke all of my self-imposed NYE rules/customs/traditions bar two... and I didn't even stay up until midnight.

February: Dear Rug Manufacturers, please go fuck yourselves...

March: The Autumnal blog template was inspired, loosely, by two people... the first of which was Ben Teoh's experiments in Lego minifig wall art, which led to me digging out almost all my old Lego Space figs with the intention of making artwork.

April: I'm pretty sure I'm suffering from an post-endorphins crash... my brain has turned a little bit to sleepy mush... but you get that after sitting through a couple of hours of tattooing.

May: You really wouldn't expect that a week that started out at 30°C with me wearing shorts would end at 12°C with torrential rain and me wearing a onesie (shut up, it's warmer and more comfortable).

June: It's been a very long and a very full day... and currently I smell like a nightclub (well, more accurately I smell like a smoke machine, but to me that's the smell of a nightclub).

July: Today didn't exactly turn out like we planned... kind of, but with differences.

August: Given how cold it's been today I figured a little knitted artwork was more than appropriate.

September: This has been a truly shiteful week.

October: This template has been a long time coming... at least in terms of the idea.

November: While we did have an instance of general "blah", today pretty much all came together with nary a hitch.

December: It's that time of the year again, where I go a little bit nuts with the Adelaide Fringe program and then spend a chunk of change on tickets.

This year definitely did not start out the same way that it ended, more so than any year in recent (and/or blog) memory. Mostly for good, but also slightly odd in some cases.

When the year started, I was quite literally surrounded by boxes, preparing to move out of the apartment I'd been in for seventeen years and into a brand new place. As it ends, I'm very happy (daily stair climbing, bouts of neighbourly dickheadery and a couple of major incidents of water leaking where it shouldn't be notwithstanding) in my new place, with twice the amount of space, a house full of new furniture and a lot less general house/neighbour related stress.

I also painted, stained and varnished a piece of furniture for the first time ever. True it was a basic IKEA pine dresser, and I didn't have any sandpaper so it's not as mirror smooth as it might otherwise have been, but overall it looks damn good and I'm proud of it.

When the year started, I was ungainfully unemployed with severely dwindling bank savings. As it ends, I'm back working in The Nut House, and making (slow) roads to clawing back some savings... and hopeful that my contract gets extended at the end of January.

I also had to unexpectedly replace my laptop this year when my old one just threw a tantrum and refused to function normally. Thankfully it didn’t completely throw in the towel and I was able to get all my data from the hard drive, but it could have picked a better time to throw in the towel.

When the year started Espionage Gallery was a physical place, which I visited regularly. As it ends, Espionage the physical space is no more, and it's now more of a... state of mind. Although it will take physical form again around mid-January for the second Alice in Wonderland inspired show.

I saw more of the inside of hospitals and doctor's waiting rooms than I would have liked this year. And travelled less than usual.

I also got laid a hell of a lot less this year. Or at least it felt that way, especially given the broken thumb, wrenched elbow, back pain, blocked ears and other random maladies that befell me throughout the year when the last thing I really felt like doing was getting jiggy with it as they say. But otherwise the general theme seems to be that the gentlemen callers that I want to return either disappear or are card-carrying mental cases... and the ones I'm not really bothered about are the ones that keep coming back.

This year saw a lot less blogging from me as well. The biggest casualty of the year was Random Hotnesses... which dipped out at 23 posts (which were all pretty much in the first half of the year) instead of the usual 50+, and I've retired the feature, at least for now, because if I'm being completely honest, it had become more trouble than it was worth (plus I think the energy that I used to put into RH posts is now being spent on my Tumblr account. I didn't even do a Christmas Hotness this year. I thought about it, but there just wasn't anything that I felt I had to post.

But this year was also the year that I got some photos "published"... it was only online on the (seemingly now defunct) Already Home website, but it was a thrill all the same.

We also wandered along to the January, April, May, July and August editions of Fork on the Road. But I think I frequented food trucks a lot less this year, since I started bringing my lunch from home (mostly) to try and save a little more cash. Through the majority of Autumn and Winter that has meant stews, soups and lasagne, but once the weather got warmer I've mostly been deconstructing salads, then reconstructing them at work.

Oh, and the other thing Ma and I did less of this year was go to the movies... or at least it felt like we took more weeks off than we spent going to the movies. And I watched less movies in general, partly due to watching TV series and YouTube content, but more so because of playing video games.

It's been a couple of years since I bought my PS3, and although I spent a good chunk of my unemployment last year working my way through Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, this year has definitely been The Year of The Assassin. Thanks to a random conversation with the lovely Herschel at work, I ended up working my way through all of the Assassin's Creed games (well, except for the first one... and the three latest ones, although I did get AC: Black Flag for Christmas and I'm already a few hours into that, and can see myself sinking a TON of hours into it with all the additional side quests and content).

At the beginning of the year I only had one tattoo, now I have a second, and I fall in love with it all over again every time I look at it. It also reawoke the tattooing bug that had been mostly quieted by time since my first tattoo. There are ideas for three, possibly four others, but one would require a trip to Melbourne for a specific tattoo artist, one is too vague a concept right now and the other two are fighting to claim my left shoulder/arm.

Oh, and I fairly major change to my year... when the year started, I was 39... now I'm 40. And I spent my birthday in Sydney having the time of my life at The Lion King.

And today is my fifth anniversary of joining Twitter.

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