Thursday, January 12, 2006

05 Year in Review

Here's a short recap of my year:

January: Left my job at The Seattle Times and moved to Baltimore to work at The Sun. Partook in a touching going away party followed by steak and eggs breakfast at 5 a.m. Made a pit stop in Chicago to visit my sister and brother-in-law at their fancy South Loop condo.
February: Experienced the tail end of a northeastern winter and concluded that I don't like living alone. Found myself reading voraciously as I had no television or Internet connection at home for several weeks. Began work as a career and workplace reporter under supervision of an awesome editor, Trif Alatzas.
March: Continued trying to adjust to life in Baltimore. Walked to work most days (only seven blocks). Discovered Maryland delicacies such as boiled shrimp covered in Old Bay seasoning and of course, blue crabs (covered in Old Bay seasoning)! Reconnected with college friends including Rosie Skelly, Joy Parker, Goerge Moughlas, David Hernandez and Angie Gjertson (who is also my LTA linesister). Met up with my brother and his girlfriend Dee Dee for the LTA banquet in New Jersey.
April: Made a trip home to Pasco to serve as godmother for Fatima, the daughter of my best friend Corina.
May: Spent Memorial Day weekend in California with the fam. Returned to Baltimore looking toasted from a day at the beach, but didn't have to wear make up for a month! Gave my good friend Leila Fadel a sendoff in DC before her departure to cover the war in Iraq for Knight Ridder.
June: Flew to Seattle for my brother's graduation from the University of Washington. Also made convention trips to Fort Worth, Texas (my former stomping grounds) for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Chicago for Lambda Theta Alpha.
July: Endured torturous humidity and heat in Baltimore. Decided to move back to the West Coast after six months in Baltimore to take a job at The Contra Costa Times. Experienced one of the most difficult moments of my career: quitting a great job for personal reasons.
August: Turned 24 and celebrated with a nice dinner at Chilli's with friends in Baltimore. Lost five pounds from stress and strain of moving. Welcomed Mom to Charm City (aka. Baltimore) to facilitate the packing process. Moved to California. Enjoyed a week and a half of baseball games, trips to San Fran and winetasting in Napa with Gloria and Mel all the while looking for housing. Found an awesome roommate, Kaesy, and started my job at The Contra Costa Times.
September: Spent every spare weekend at the beach with family. Began readjusting to California. Reaffirmed my belief that life is better on the West Coast (although it's far from perfect).
October: Made my first trip to Seattle after my move back to the West Coast. Endured tremendous stress after being told my car could be totaled from a rear-ending. After 26 days in shop, the Mazda came back with a fantastic new rear end.
November: Spent five days at home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Was disappointed by an unsuccessful attempt to find a pint of my favorite beer, Mac & Jack's, in Tri-Cities.
December: Spent a cold and snowy weekend in New York with friends Kristina (who, btw, makes awesome pad thai), Gloria (who made an arduous trek with me to New Jersey) and Terrell (who shared a drink and stories about a recent trip to China). Worked long hours, holidays and weekends to make sure readers of the Contra Costa Times were kept abreast of shopping news. Missed my immediate family on Christmas Day, but was lucky to visit in state-relatives.

Bests of 2005:

Moments: Dinner at the Space Needle for my brother's graduation, which marked the culmination of my parents' greatest aspiration that all three of their children would
earn college degrees and have sucessful careers.

Books: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Save Yourself by Merin Wexler and Fiesta (The Sun Also Rises) by Ernest Hemingway. The first two reminded me that deep down what I really want to do is write fiction. The third made me nostalgic for Paris and the Basque region of Spain, gave me insight into the problem of binge drinking and made a good read on several flights.

Song: "No" by Shakira.
Voy a pedirte que no vuelvas más
Siento que me dueles todavía aquí,
Y que a tu edad sepas bien lo que es
Romperle el corazón a alguien así
No se puede vivir con tanto veneno
La esperanza que me dió tu amor
No me la dió más nadie
Lo juro, no miento
No se puede morir con tanto veneno
No se puede dedicar el alma
A acumular intentos
Pesa más la rabia que el cemento

I'm going to ask you not to come back ever again
I feel that you still can hurt me here,
And that at your age you already know well
What it's like to break someone's heart like this
No, one can't live with so much venom
The hope your love gave me
No one else gave me
I swear, I'm not lying
No, one can't die with so much venom
One shouldn't devote the soul
To collecting attempts
Rage weighs more than cement

Movie: "Head-On," a tragic love story involving Turkish immigrants in Germany. The central theme is the power of love to heal and destroy.

Sporting event: Oakland A's vs. Baltimore Orioles baseball game in Oakland. I wore a black sweater, cheered for the Orioles and got some nasty stares from A's fans. I thought I was going to get beat up.

Lesson Learned:
Never make a decision based on fear because even if it is a good decision or the "right" decision, you will never feel confident or comfortable about your choice.

Thanks to all my friends and family who still love me no matter how many times I move and God, for making it all happen.

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