Ah, 2012. Looking back, it has been a pretty uneventful year. Aside from Lauren starting her new career with Whole Foods and buying our first house, 2012 was void of a lot of the crazy storylines of years’ past. Not that that means it was a bad year! Just not a lot of eye-popping stories is all.

Personally, I’m presently at about the same spot as I was when the new year began. I am still the Interactive Merchandising Coordinator for Callaway Golf Interactive and I still earn a little extra income on the side doing my old job for Microboards Technology. I began a new website called Reply to Spam, which in turn has taken up a large percentage of the time I used to spend on this blog, and has completely ended my two-year Photo of the Day project on my Tumblr site. I traded in my long-time Grand Prix for an older Silverado pickup after several straight weekends of needing to haul things. I have put over $1000 worth of somewhat-necessary repairs into it and am hoping it lasts us a while.

Lauren began 2012 unemployed after our relocation, but in January landed her dream job–working for Whole Foods! She also struck gold when she found out she could take a bus pretty much the whole way from our apartment to her office downtown. She has knitted just as much as ever in her spare time.

Baxter has grown up immensely from the beginning of the year. A big thanks goes out to DogBoys Dog Ranch, the doggy daycare that wears the shit out of that beagle twice a week. It makes me sick to think about how much money we’re spending on his well-being, but it probably evens out to the amount of property destruction if he were still left alone at home every day. We finally took everyone’s advice and began crating Baxter when we left the house. All it took was–shocker–a slightly bigger crate.

Our travels in 2012 were fairly limited compared to years’ past. I traveled to Chicago and Lauren traveled to Oakland for work functions. Together we flew to Minnesota for a week in August to see the Poulter family cabin and visit old friends. Locally, we traveled to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. I saw Rangers, Astros, Bulls, and Spurs games, as well as a Twins game back in Minnesota. Perhaps greater than our own travels were the friends and family who ventured to Austin to visit us! Mom and Dad visited twice, once in February and again in December. Others to stop by included Walsh, Sarah, Colin Mangold, Tim, Kate, Annika, Pete, Jordan, Alex, Ann, Hadley, Charlie Ahern, Alison Garcia, Dave Poulter, and some of Lauren’s Toronto friends.

I participated in a few sports leagues this year, most notably three consecutive volleyball leagues at Weirdo’s with Lauren and the Viviritos. Our wiffleball team went 4-2, while the company softball team went a horrifying 0-6. I also got back into racquetball, playing regularly in the summer with Ryan Bartholic, and ran off a 20-game win streak at one point. I began running a bit more, competing in my first three 5K runs, including the Warrior Dash with a few co-workers and the Color Me Rad run with friends. Despite working for a major golf manufacturer, I only golfed once, at the spring company tournament. My highlight was throwing–yes, I was allowed to throw the ball–into the hole from 60 feet out. At work, it was foosball madness. Various guys from work played several times per day and I got to be pretty good. In fantasy sports, I am vying for one championship in fantasy football after having three teams all go 8-5.

I have always been a big fan of singing karaoke, but this year I sang more than ever thanks to so much interest from friends. Ryan Bartholic and I probably each sang 100 songs in each other’s presence, mostly at local dive The Water Tank. Our housewarming party featured an in-house karaoke system and I again sang no fewer than 20 songs.

Of course, the biggest news of 2012 was the purchase of our first house. It was a big decision, weighing whether or not we were wanting to remain in Austin, Texas for the long-term or not. If we continued to rent, we could return to Minnesota or move somewhere else whenever we wanted. But we both had great careers here and began making lots of friends, not to mention the lack of wintry weather, so we decided to get a house and stay here longer-term. Our search was unbelievably brief, lasting all of four days before putting in an offer. Later that fourth day, the offer was accepted and we began the financing, a process I don’t particularly want to experience again anytime soon. I single-handedly moved our stuff out of the apartment and into the house. Its highlight has to be the immaculately maintained backyard and patio, but I very much like the inside of the house too.

My Favorites of 2012
Favorite Movie: Argo
Favorite TV Show: Homeland
Favorite Episode of a TV Show: “Face Off” – Breaking Bad
Favorite Music Artist: Eric Church
Favorite Song: “Springsteen” – Eric Church
Favorite Sports Team: Vikings… all my other favorites severely disappointed in 2012.
Favorite Athlete: Josh Willingham, Adrian Peterson
Favorite Actor: John Goodman (starred in my two favorites of the year, The Artist and Argo)
Favorite Actress: Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter’s love interest)
Favorite Restaurant: Franklin BBQ
Favorite Food Item from a Restaurant: Brisket from Franklin BBQ
Favorite Bar: Midnight Cowboy

And that’s it for 2012. As I told Lauren the other day, blogging has felt like a chore lately compared to the first nine years. I think my 2013 blogging will slow down even more, but I would regret it one day if I quit altogether since I do like to use it for a reference and archival purposes. My viewership saw a sharp decline this year, probably due to fewer posts, but still there were over 20,000 total visits and 80 new posts. Thanks to everyone for reading again in 2012!