What I'm Up To in 2015

pottery class

I want to live life deliberately, and writing a year in progress/review helps me inspect my life and make changes (before it's too late—hopefully). You may want to refer to prior years to view this one in context:

  1. 2014 Retrospective
  2. 2013 Retrospective
  3. 2012 Retrospective
  4. 2011 Retrospective

2015 Themes

After 29 years of life, some of them sentient, I have a decent idea of what actually makes me happy. I picked these themes and to-dos because they are the things that bring me joy.

  1. Start a business
  2. Create something every day
  3. Adventure every week

A Short List of Things I've Done This Year

Paid homage and visited the house from Royale Tennenbaums; did Montauk off-season (in the snow); went to Punderdome; saw the Ravens succumb to the Patriots in 10 degree weather in Foxboro with pops and uncle Andy; went to see Lecith and Ben in New Haven with Jaewon and Sara; joined the New York Cactus and Succulent Society; built a table out of copper for my plants; saw Adam K's band play at Pianos; went to Philly with Rachael; took a pottery class with Erika M; focused on my succulent family; saw Dry the River at the Music Hall of Williamsburg; took a woodworking class and built a side table out of ash; saw the Blazers lose to the Nets with Jake (Katie was there, too; but she sat nearly court-side); went to Puerto Rico for Sarita's wedding; went ziplining at Toro Verde con Jesse y Brindi; saw the Earth Room and Broken Kilometer with Zoran; went to the Wombats' concert while wearing an eyepatch with Cameron; did Lancaster (basically ate pretzels, fed goats, and drank birch beer) with McCall, Lauren, and Celeste; took the train to Montreal with Lana and biked to our hearts content (and sometimes a little more uphill than Lana's heart wanted); went to visit Tanner in Playa Del Rey where we went on an epic bike ride, hiked Griffths Park with Jesse and then had a Chinese popper duel in Chinatown; kicked it with Arturo Rebecca and Rufus in Fairfax Village; I met Skyler's parents (who are lovely); hit Palm Springs with Tanner (where it was 108 degrees and we drove the whole way from LA with the windows down because the AC in the car didn't work) where we saw the Kauffmann house and ate at Elmer's; then hiked Mastodon peak in Joshua Tree (but saw no Joshua Trees in the park); then saw Nate and Zoe in vegas for some fine Thai food and quality time at a golf store before Tanner and I hit the strip for a long hot walking tour until Midnight; hiked two ill-advised hikes in Valley of Fire; ate Dinner with Steve and Dillon at George's then watched Inside Out with T & D; helped Dillon move to his new place then boated in Sand Hollow with Steve and his friends from CA (Tanner killed it right away; watched Dillon perfect the belly-surf; and I made it up after a myriad of tries); Steve and I nerded out over Music; on the 4th of July we hiked the Narrows in Zions which was perhaps the best hike of our lives (Dillon had a lot of fun posing for the camera, Tanner kept petting the ground squirrels, and I sprained my toe&Dane was sorely missed) and hit In-N-Out and then went to the park for the fireworks; went to the pool with Troy and Sam before Davanzas and Thrifty ice cream and seeing Laurie; saw Me Earl and the Dying Girl with Troy and Sam; spent a lot of good time with Brooke and Jordan; saw Molly Turner and relived our New York pass times (eating, looking at art, and wandersploring); hiked Mary Margret Catherine with Molly; had dinner with Molly and Charlotte & Chris and Brooke & Jordan and Brad Liljunquist!; saw the imitable Jendar Morales; had dinner with Sister and President McConkie at Cheesecake Factory; took the train from SLC (which left at 2am instead of 11:30 pm) to Oakland and made some new friends who pointed out the Golden Eagle nest by Donner lake and the singular geology before us (and had a great chat with a man named Mike O'Mally for much of the ride); saw Antonia & Francisco and Mario & Francisca at Jesus' baptism; got to see Ami Navarrette; met Yessica and Anthony's Sebastian; saw Hermana Vivas and Correa and Ramos (and Brother Ramos) and Mario Hidalog Sr. and Hugo Calasin and Carlos Rendon and the Rodriguez'; saw Greg Greer, and stayed with the wonderful Katie Lumen; went to Costa Rica with my family where we saw spider, squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys, a poison dart frog, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, skinks; went whitewater rafting; did Las Palmas on ATV; went zip-lining in Arenal; found the most wonderful places to enjoy Tabacon's hot springs; walked the hanging bridges near Lake Arenal and saw a few Eyelash Palm Pit Vipers; went to London and saw Tiffany and fam, plus I saw West Ham lose to Bournemouth, the Agnes Martin exhibit at the Tate and the Rosetta stone in British Museum, did Eucharist at St. Peter's, and shattered my iPhone while running (a bit late) in the rainy London morning to sacrament meeting (there I met Alyssa and Sarah, with whom I passed the rest of the day); I then caught a flight to Malaga (slept on the floor for a few hours) then a bus to Granada where I saw the Alhambra and met Cocu and Aguitta; the next day I went to Cordoba, the following Sevilla, then to Cadiz, Tangier, Marrakesh, Algrecias, Sevilla, Madrid, and then home; went home to PA for Labor day and did some fossil hunting with Dane and McCall (we all found prehistoric Goblin shark teeth); Monday I made pops go with me to Hawk Mountain to see the annual Hawk migration (we saw a northern harrier, red tailed hawk, merlin, a broad-winged hawk and plenty of buzzards); Tuesday I used 80 lbs of concrete to make a 2'x 2' x 2' hypertufa planter, went to Japan with Molly, went to Mexico (and did a lot).

Guests Hosted:

  1. Katie Luman x 2
  2. Lauren Jacobsen
  3. Dane Rogers
  4. Jon and Sarah Copp

Books Read:

A linked title connotes endorsement.

  1. I read a short book on New Year's day
  2. Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin
  3. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  4. The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
  5. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  6. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  7. Badass: Making Users Awesome Paperback by Kathy Sierra
  8. American Sniper by Chris Kyle
  9. The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander
  10. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  11. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  12. Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Sue Johnson

What's Left on the 2015 Reading List:

  1. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  2. How to Solve it by George Polya
  3. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte
  4. The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care by Clayton M. Christensen

What I've Learned

  1. I've taken some time to look at things I haven't been able to change and why that has been the case, then considered how to reorient my life to change them. I think it's working. [update] Due to some challenges, this (regrettably) stopped happening for some time.
  2. Learning new skills is important to me, especially ones that expand what I am able to create.

Places Visited in 2015:

  1. Montauk, NY
  2. Boston, MA
  3. New Haven, CT
  4. Malvern, PA
  5. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  6. Lancaster, PA
  7. Montreal, Canada
  8. Playa Del Ray, CA
  9. Palm Springs, CA
  10. Joshua Tree, CA
  11. Las Vegas, NV
  12. Valley of Fire, NV
  13. St. George, UT
  14. Salt Lake City, UT
  15. San Francisco, CA
  16. Palo Alto, CA
  17. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
  18. La Fortuna, Costa Rica
  19. London, England
  20. Granada, Spain
  21. Cordoba, Spain
  22. Sevilla, Spain
  23. Cadiz, Spain
  24. Tarifa, Spain
  25. Tangier, Morocco
  26. Marrakech, Morocco
  27. Algrecias, Spain
  28. Madrid, Spain
  29. Cleveland, Ohio
  30. Berlin, Ohio
  31. Salt Lake City, Utah
  32. Park City, Utah
  33. Provo, Utah
  34. Glen Okono, PA
  35. Beijing, China
  36. Tokyo, Japan
  37. Nagano, Japan
  38. Matsumoto, Japan
  39. Togakushi, Japan
  40. Kyoto, Japan
  41. Nara, Japan
  42. Osaka, Japan
  43. Naoshima, Japan
  44. Hakone, Japan
  45. Hiroshima, Japan
  46. Onomichi, Japan
  47. Inaburi, Japan
  48. Okayama, Japan
  49. Himeji, Japan
  50. Kobe, Japan
  51. Mexico City, Mexico
  52. Guanajuato, Mexico
  53. San Migel de Allende, Mexico
  54. Guadalajara, Mexico
  55. Puebla, Mexico
  56. Tlaxcala, Mexico
  57. Cholula, Mexico
  58. Atlixco, Mexico
  59. Ecatapec, Mexico

Places Left to Visit:

    I basically did them all.