2013 was significant in that it marked the 32nd calendar year in which I existed… 33 if you count time in the womb! Isn’t it weird to think that I spent about 2,000 hours this year sitting amongst co-workers who prior to 2011 I had never met, while I spent maybe 40 hours around immediate family members? I suppose that’s true to some extent for just about everyone with a job who decided to move 1000 miles away from home because they were frustrated with prolonged wintry weather, though.
Years down the road when scholars are reviewing the relics of this blog, 2013 is not going to jump off the page to them as having been a really significant year in the life of Ryan Glanzer. 2002, that was the most exciting year. 2006, that was the most fun year. 2009 was a very important year. But 2013 is going to be looked back upon as a dullard of a year by comparison.
I say that because we spent all our money on mortgage payments, home improvement, and auto repair. And then what was left over we spent to have some exploratory surgeries, lab tests, veterinarian bills, student loans, and interest fees. And when that was all gone, we threw whatever pennies were left towards essentials like groceries and gas. It seemed like 2013 was the year of playing catch-up. Just when some extra money popped up, something big broke.
That’s not to say we didn’t improvise and have some fun in the mean time! In March we took a weekend trip to the Gulf Coast and hung out in the tourist town of Port Aransas which was a blast. In April, I took advantage of a dip in airfare to return home to Carpenter for a week despite record snow and cold. In May, we made my work trip to San Francisco a long weekend and flew Lauren in for cheap to drive up to Napa Valley. In July, we used my AMEX companion fare to fly Lauren up to Minnesota to surprise her family at a reunion while I attended the Chris Walsh bachelor party. And in September, Lauren, Baxter, and I drove across eight states to see family in South Dakota, attend a wedding in Minnesota, and take in a Cardinals game in St. Louis.
While there were times I found myself missing our old life in Minneapolis, we were reminded that Austin was a pretty good place to be too. While the Midwest was digging out of snow in May, Austinites were bundling up in parkas and playing it safe by giving themselves two extra hours to come into work to brave 40 degree weather in November. Lauren received a much-deserved promotion at Whole Foods. I continued to be employed by one of the major players in the golf industry and on a daily basis sent out communications to hundreds of thousands of people, which I often forget is such a night-and-day turnaround from the previous job. If nothing else, I got to go indoor skydiving, travel to San Francisco, and golf with former pros at company events. And Baxter was continuously referred to as the best-looking and quietest beagle they’ve ever encountered at the Dog Ranch. I guess the added bonus is that I wasn’t around to waste my money on that AA baseball team that occupied Target Field in 2013.
While good friends of old like the Walshichettis, Patrick, Jason, Liz, Nick, Travis and many others were seen rarely, we spent much time with our Texas friends like the Bartholics, the Megos, and the Viviritos… though to be fair, those would technically be friends from Ohio, Illinois/Arkansas, and New York/Maryland. We welcomed a few family members to town in 2013, with Lauren’s dad and stepmother visiting in February; Lauren’s sister, brother-in-law and niece visiting in April; and old Valleyfair friend Charlie Ahern stopping by on business a couple times. Visitors were down considerably this past year, but then again the newness of our move had worn a little thin. But for anyone thinking about visiting, I have a handful of really awesome new places to take you… Top Golf, Common Interest, Pinballz, Red’s Porch, Pourhouse…
If 2013 was the best year of anything, it was TV. And there was no TV better, possibly ever, than the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad (which by the way I am currently rewatching for the FOURTH TIME already). 2013 also marked the end of long-time favorite Dexter’s run on Showtime, albeit laughingly silly. And while we said goodbye to those shows, we welcomed back another favorite, Arrested Development. While it failed to live up to 2004 levels, it was still holds up as a very good program. I also discovered amazing new programming like Spike’s Bar Rescue, Showtime’s Shameless and Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black.
In six months the dog and I ran 174 miles together, which spanned out over a full year is like 350 miles which is basically like running to the Oklahoma border. You’d think a mile a day would keep the doctor away, but I still packed on 10-ish pounds and visited the doctor for a wildly shaky hand which was quickly dismissed as an essential tremor.
We have no kids and we work 8-5 jobs, so when we get home at night, sometimes there’s really not a lot to do. Some people would happily switch places with us but I found myself mighty bored at times. During the heat of the summer I found myself imbibing in spirits in front of MLB.TV. At other times, unable to go spend money and/or leave the beagle alone for hours on-end, I took up woodworking as a hobby and built things like a dog crate and farmhouse table. I also found refuge at the ACES karaoke leagues at Common Interest and RC Fowlers, as headed up by aforementioned friend Bart. All told, I sang close to 200 karaoke songs in public in 2013, and that is not taking into account the songs in the private rooms or our garage.
When it came to sporting events, we saw just two pro games this year: the Giants hosting the Rockies, and the Cardinals hosting the Nationals. However, I did root my longtime beloved San Diego Chargers on to a playoff berth, and for what it’s worth, a Minnesota team did win a national championship in a women’s basketball that doesn’t have very many teams in it. Fantasy-wise, I managed three football teams and finished 10-3, 8-5, and 8-6 in my leagues, earning playoff berths in all three. And in all three, I lost in the playoffs and finished in 3rd, 3rd, and 4th places respectively. Not bad, actually, as I came out on top overall. I gambled away $120 and took in $170.
I know by my descriptions above that 2013 doesn’t seem like that bad of a year, but personally I am hoping 2014 is a little bit better. Right off the bat in January, I am going to Las Vegas for a long weekend (I’m sure I’ll write more about that later). I am going to apply to be a Little League baseball umpire, as I feel like it’s time to start doing something more with my free time that will be both enjoyable and profitable. I’m hoping to use my PTO wisely and make one lengthy non-snow-delayed trip up north at some point during the spring or summer.
So here’s hoping for a big raise, a miraculous Twins championship, and more good luck in 2014! And thanks to my loyal readers for following this blog for the 10th year.