2014 Year End

So this is the highlight reel for 2014. 2014 was a long year, unhealthy and that’s a good thing

I know that I am supposed to believe that time speeds up as i get older. I get it. Sometimes I’m surprised that Seth is in middle school when I can clearly remember dropping him off at kindergarten. I’m dazzled that now I have been married 13 years, mind It feels like those wine parties in my old apartment could have been a few months ago, healing but it has been almost 20 years. But it is only a trick of memory. All those years were hard won.

Years remembered for milestones, career advancement, exotic vacations, and birthdays ending in “5” or “0,” soar by. 2014 includes memorable experiences with friends and family. Some that come to mind are:

  • New Years – Bundled in the cold around a fire at Jessica’s with marshmallows. A neighbor lectured Pam on the tyranny of public educations.
    Chicken shit bingo with the family and Trish and Hobbs followed by trailer food on East 6th.
  • Chasing sheep on the grassy peninsula on the North Sea of Denark. And in general the whole trip to Europe was great. Highlights included visiting Debbie, Tina and Rion, seeing Pam, Lassa and their children, Russia, Tivoli Park, and the bakery!
  • Thanksgiving in New Orleans. The streetcar driver took a liking to Seth. It was great to see my friend Susan Prevost, with whom I used to scheme on artistic projects in the mid-90s.
  • Game nights with lots of folks playing Werewolf, Cards Against Humanity, etc.
  • Games with Seth at Emerald Tavern and Pinballz
  • Comedy festival with several folks (Pam, Sean, Carol, Allison, Crawford, Giles, Jennifer) Saw Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, Hanable Burgess and more. Sat with lots of friends.
  • Downtown Weekend with Pam including a improv show, the teeter-totter on the roof of the bar, and jazz at the Elephant Room.
  • Storytelling: Carol Ramsey started a story telling group. It was a challenge for me to write and perform personally stories. I attended Mortified and Katie Pendra’s “Do Go Work” show. I later performed at the work show describing my stakeout with the “Robert Redford of Russia” when I lived in Hollywood in my 20’s. The storytelling group fizzled out in the summer with Vanessa, Paul Sontag and I were the last holdouts.
  • Chalice Circle: The previous Fall I joined a Chalice group discussion group at the UU church. The minster provides curriculum which the Chalice Circle uses as a basis for discussion. I initially enjoyed these discussions, but somehow the group never jelled for me. Perhaps I never gave myself fully over to it. One of the late topics was “authenticity” and I realized that I no longer worried about being authentic. I feel authentic enough with still being able to get along with others most of the time. Ha! The group came to a natural close in May. In 2015 i would like to find a new way to explore spirituality.
  • Bangers on Rainer Street.
  • Bastrop Forest Post-Disaster: Bastrop was my favorite hikes nearby. This was my first time back since the disaster of 2011. It was a long how walk through the burnt pines for Pam, Seth, and Pam’s cousin Leeza and me.
  • Former co-worker and friend Micha Light died from complication of Lymphoma. I hadn’t seen her in several years and I didn’t anticipate seeing her except through Facebook. She had a huge personality and will not soon be forgotten.
  • In 2014, now a year after my father’s death, I felt like we were finally coming out of the cloud of sickness and sadness. Though he is still very present, I felt like I’d finally left the battles of 2011 behind (see http://brianwittenbrook.com/?page_id=101).
  • Seth’s first semester in 7th Grade was rough. He had lots of new responsibilities. There were a lot of late nights, self-blame, and stress. Lego Robot team took up a lot of time.
  • Alice’s Restaurant in California with work folks – unfortunately it was not THE Alice’s Restaurant.
  • Lost 35 pounds with Weight Watchers.
  • Mini Maker Fair
  • Austin Playhouse with mom: The Liar, And Then There Where None, & Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Tiger Lilly (Some of these might have been in 2013, I’m not sure).
  • Scavenger hunt for Melissa’s birthday – Melissa moved to Turkey in October.
  • Halloween. We went trick or treating with the Gutierrez. Seth’s friend got sulky because he was trying to catch up with a girl he liked. I told Seth that this was the perfect Halloween coming of age story. November 1, we had a post Halloween party.
  • Trish’s 50’s birthday. Saw Laura & Ryan for the first time in years
  • Lots of snow days in Austin, but no snow.
  • 3 trips to California for work. I got grumpy working in a small lab with lots of people
    Seth traveled most of the summer: Grandpa Q’s ranch, Scout Cam at San Isabel, Europe, Houston, the Beach.
  • Krause Springs for birthday party. Seth jumps of a cliff into the pool.
  • St. Patrick’s Day – Shoulders with Pam and Ellen! All time favorite Austin band. I got sick the next day.
  • Wine and Cheese night. Lots of sticky cheese. A great group of people.
  • Playing pool Lala’s Little Nugget with Pam, Birgit, Paul against the local pool shark.
  • Karoke/Hooka night. Started with a brewery where Pam, Birgit, Paul and I met Sarah and Nick from work. Then we sang out hearts out for 2 hours. Somehow we were still up for trying a Hooka at the place on Airport.
  • Also good Karoke nights with Seth followed by interesting desserts at Yammi, and
  • Karoke Birthday party for Pam.
  • Ellen and Brett’s Jewish/Buddhist wedding. I was honored hold a corner of the huppa.
  • Pat Lockley! Ellen’s wedding gave me the chance to catch up with my college friend Pat Lockley and his wife Julie. I hope to see them in New York in 2015.
  • “Mean Mean Streets,”  my upcoming web video series. I’ve completed one episode and written several more. I drive many miles with Pam, Seth, Jared, Michael M. and Paul S. to get footage. I need a lot more.
  • Trip to Garner State Park in the Spring. Met the Ramsey’s out there. Hiked, went into caves, played with balloons.
  • Bastrop Fall Festival with Corn Maze with the Gutierrez family.
  • Top Golf with O’Cleirighs
  • Drinks at Midnight Cowboy followed by terrible standup comedy at the Velveeta Room with Pam, Birgit, and Paul.
  • Beers with Michael and Sean
  • Arpeggio with Jared and Rie.
  • Frisbee Fridays at work with Jeff, Jared, Gail, Kristen, Birgit, and others
  • Commiserations sessions with coworkers – you know who you are.
  • Favorite films for the year include Boyhood, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The One I Love.
  • Pam and I finally remodeled our office/sitting room (almost complete).
  • Chanukah Party at the Larkins
  • Holiday Party at the Wieners
  • Castroville with Annie, Julian, Madeline.
  • I finished rewriting my first novel, FAILUR, again and I am working with an editor to polish it.
  • Started acupuncture and continued yoga.
  • Seth and I had kolache taste test on Columbus day.
  • Seth travels much of the summer – Europe, Beach, Houston, Oklahoma.
  • Pam and I went on train to Burnet, TX for Snow Piercer (An Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow.)

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