Curtain Call for 2012

December 30th, 2012

After what seems like just a few weeks since the year began, 2012 is coming to a close and the excitement of a brave, new year awaits us all. This year has been pretty good, and it has been one that has again built on the groundwork laid in 2011. That’s exactly what I wanted, and exactly what I planned for, and it’s a relief that my plans actually worked out. A look at the year’s highlights can be found below.

Apocalypse: Now (or Later)

Once again, I survived the apocalypse. I’m starting to get a really big head about this. You’ll recall that I (and you) survived the “rapture” apocalypse event in May of 2011, and then again later that year after the doomsday theory’s minister said he had calculated the date incorrectly. This year, we awaited December 21st and its implied end-of-days, due entirely to the end of the Mayan calendar. Of course, no one mentioned that the Mayans’ world ended 450 years ago, and they never saw that one coming. So, it’s good to still be alive. Can’t say I didn’t see this one coming, though.

Boy Meets New Mac (and More!)

This year saw my first new MacBook Pro in more than four years. I also purchased the much-anticipated iPhone 5 and, for Christmas, received the iPad 4 from my extraordinary significant other. Over the course of the pat 12 months, I’ve moved firmly into the current generation of Apple products. I expect this position to last no longer than 3 months, of course, so I’ll enjoy it while I have it.

An Upgrade in Dover

K and I moved to a larger, two-bedroom apartment in Dover so that I could establish my home office. This has been key to developing my self-owned and operated business more fully, and it has allowed me to really reach new heights. The added space has also helped to keep both of us, and our cats, a bit more sane than our smaller apartment permitted. Overall, while we are NOT fans of Dover, we are fans of more living space.

Split Holidays: A First Time for Everything

This year represents the first one that K and I have split our winter holidays between our Pennsylvania families and hometowns. While we’re both from the same state, our families live more than two hours apart and this can make the holidays a challenge. We each survived our first encounters with “the split” (he missed Thanksgiving Day with his family, I missed Christmas Eve with mine) and we’re moving boldly toward doing the same thing in 2013.

A More Dedicated Approach to Blogging

This year saw the first major overhaul of the blog’s design over the course of the past two years. It also saw the integration of Instagram image posts directly from the social media site itself. Vintage is now updated more frequently than it has been in several years, which is a point of pride for me. I do so love this little blog that no one reads anymore!

2013 is going to be a great year. Have a wonderful New Years Eve, and be sure to create some really great resolutions!

Giving > Receiving. Really.

December 25th, 2012

The spirit of Christmas is one that is supposed to be all about the joy of giving to others and feeling great merely about the act of giving. Sure, we all look forward to receiving gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, but we’re supposed to look more forward to giving them. This is something that gets lost on a lot of people, I think, who get wrapped up in their own wants, needs, lists, and expectations.

I don’t really do that — anymore. I think I definitely used to, back when I didn’t understand how great it felt to really fulfill someone’s biggest need or want. In the last several years, though, I’ve taken real pride in giving gifts that make people feel, well, warm and fuzzy inside. That makes me feel really good! Opening gifts? Temporary warm feelings. Giving them? A feeling that you made someone’s day and did the right thing — and that lasts for far longer.

This year, I’ve worked hard to get the kind of gifts for my family and loved ones that will make them smile and celebrate the spirit of the holiday. In this season that focuses on renewed life, the joy of giving, and the spirit of selflessness, I consider that to be quite admirable.

And this year, I think it’s even more important. We live in a region of the country that was torn apart by Hurricane Sandy, and then emotionally drained by the Sandy Hook shootings. Just say the word “Sandy” anywhere in New England or the Mid-Atlantic, and people are sure to run in the opposite direction. This year, more than ever, goodwill, charity, and work toward a more peaceful tomorrow, are crucially important.

In my own way, I hope I’ve brought some of that along home with me here in central Pennsylvania. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and enjoys this lovely time to relax with family and friends. Soon enough, we’ll be back to the daily grind of January. Until then, let’s rejoice in our relaxation and celebration.

December 23rd, 2012

Christmas cards! Thanks everyone!! :)

Christmas cards! Thanks everyone!! :)

December 21st, 2012

Christmas!

K and I’s Christmas gifts to each other, all ready to go for tomorrow’s festivities. Then off to Pennsylvania for family celebrations!

We Aren’t Ducks or Deer. Don’t Shoot.

December 14th, 2012

At the time this post was published 18 students and 9 faculty members at an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, were killed execution-style by a lone gunman. This is the 4,000,000,000th mass shooting in the last 20 years, and I’d had enough. I blogged my frustration.

I just don’t understand America. Or at least, I don’t think I understand what America has become in the 21st century when psychotic mass murderers are allowed to roam the street with machine guns and semi-automatic weapons, killing young children in schools and killing the teachers who tried to protect them. I really don’t think that’s the kind of America that I want to live in.

We live in a country governed by a Constitution, of course, and in that document lies the Second Amendment. That Amendment reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Essentially, it gives the people the right to a “regulated” militia that shall not be denied the right to carry guns. A militia! Not individual people who want to go kill some kids on a Friday. Not to deranged psychopaths who want to kill Batman fans in a move theater. Not to two high school boys in trench coats who want to kill all the poeple who never liked them enough to make them the cool kids.

For the past half-century, America has been beholden to the National Rifle Association, a group of gun owners and “enthusiasts” (um, okay) that seeks to make sure that the Second Amendment is never modified, outlawed, or dissed in any way. To date, their actions have funded hundreds of Republican candidates, created a group of people convinced that the American government wants to “steal their guns” and “do tyranny,” and they’ve caused a ban on assault weapons to expire. That expiration means that people can now go kill anyone they like with a machine gun that shouldn’t leave the battlefield. Ever.

And that’s exactly what people have done. Over and over, Americans are slaughtered by the tens as they go to school, go to work, head to the movies, finish their holiday shopping, walk down the sidewalk, or check their email. All because America’s 300 million residents believe that they are somehow considered a “militia” by a 300-year-old document that was written when this country was fighting for its very existence.

Guns are for deer and ducks. Wildlife gets shot. Humans do not get shot. Humans don’t live their lives fearing the slaughter. Americans certainly don’t. Or didn’t. Or shouldn’t.

It’s time to talk gun control. It’s time to talk Assault Weapons Ban #2. It’s time to talk gun-buying restrictions. Go ahead and try to mass murder people with knives. Try it. See how that works. Sure, bad people will always kill. But a lack of guns will certainly slow the death toll.

It’s time to bid adieu to guns in America, for our people are too irresponsible and immature to use them properly.

December 9th, 2012

Pre-club Christmas photo op in Rehoboth.  I swear I'm done now.

Pre-club Christmas photo op in Rehoboth. I swear I'm done now.