Well, it's Christmas time again, and time again to write up a little summary of my year. One constant of 2017 was that work was busy from start to finish, and that's why I'm only getting around to writing this on the 22nd. The nice thing about doing it digitally is that I don't have to worry about getting anything to a printer and then to the post office. Then again, no one is going to hang this blog post on their mantle or fridge either. Without further ado, let's look at the year that was 2017.
Presidents Day weekend, I was invited by some friends to join them down in Hatch, Utah, and while some heavy snow got in the way of some of what we had planned, we still had a great time and were to able to get some neat snowy shots at Bryce Canyon.
In March, I was lucky to be able to return to my birthplace, New Orleans, for the first time since we moved away shortly before I turned 3. My parents were going for a conference my dad was attending, and they suggested that we go a few days early and see some of the sights.
|The few faint memories I have of New Orleans are from this house. That's the mailbox we used to put lizards in.|
Later in March, we had a great time attending the March Madness games here in Salt Lake, rooting for no one in particular, but we did see a lot of good basketball and had some fun celebrity sightings with Northwestern playing their first tournament games ever.
As I mentioned above, work was pretty hectic this year. I was once again helping to train users on the new software we were rolling out across all of our hospitals and clinics, so two days a week I was away from my computer, out working in the surgical departments. This year, I got to work at Alta View Hospital (January-March), Riverton Hospital (February), LDS Hospital (April-May), Intermountain Medical Center (June-July), and Primary Childrens Hospital (September-October). At times it was pretty tiring, especially on the days that I had to be there by 6 am, but it was a very rewarding experience and I got to work with a bunch of great people, both fellow trainers as well as our clinical staff.
|Some of the other trainers I worked with this year|
|Halloween at Primary Childrens|
At the beginning of August, we took a little family vacation down to Brianhead, and had a great time hanging out as a family. We saw a play at the Shakespearean festival, did a little hiking (Kanarraville and Cedar Breaks), went swimming and generally enjoyed each other's company for a few days.
While I didn't drive north to experience the total solar eclipse in August, I was able to walk outside at work and see some interesting shadows and look at the sun through my special glasses. I think the highlight was my buddy Norbu's special glasses that he made himself.
|Yes those are onion rings wrapped in saran wrap|
Let's take a little break to mention some of my favorite media from this year.
- Favorite book (fiction): The Three-Body Problem. This sci-fi novel from China was quite interesting and taught me quite a bit about the history of physics and 20th century China as well.
- Favorite book (non-fiction): Revelations in Context. The church put out this book that gives background for nearly all the sections of the Doctrine & Covenants and reading them both in tandem this year was a great experience. Definitely helped give the D&C more of a narrative flow, and helped me realize a few things about the order of events that I hadn't realized before, especially about the church having simultaneous gathering places in Kirtland and Independence for quite a while.
- Favorite movie (drama): Dunkirk (IMAX)
- Favorite movie (drama) - Runner-up: Arrival
- Favorite movie (musical): La La Land
- Favorite movie (animated): Lego Batman - So great!
- Favorite movie (comedy): Lego Batman - Funniest movie I saw all year
- Favorite movie (superhero): Spider-Man: Homecoming (Haven't see Thor yet, I hear that's a good one, too)
- Favorite movie (superhero) - Runner-up: Wonder Woman - A Gadot worth waiting for! (Zing!)
- Favorite TV show (drama): Halt and Catch Fire (Season 4). This show about people working in computer fields rambled at times, but pulled together for this final season with some real drama about relationships. Not sure if it was sad or I was sad when I was watching it, but the last few episodes were quite touching.
- Favorite TV show (comedy): Not my favorite year for comedy. I'm not sure if The Good Place qualifies as comedy or not. Ghosted is a new show with some favorite actors (Craig Robinson and Adam Scott) that I think could potentially be good.
- Favorite TV show (superhero): I guess this is a thing now, too. Not that I watch most of them. But wanted to make mention of Legion (FX) whose Season 1 was really intriguing and was also an interesting look at mental illness. Hope that Season 2 will keep up the good work, whenever it shows up.
- Favorite song: Something Just Like This - Chainsmokers & Coldplay
- Favorite song (runner-up): All Night - Big Boi
- Favorite album: Do people make albums anymore?
- Favorite concert: Didn't get to a ton this year. Lower Lights Christmas concert is always a seasonal favorite. Aside from that, Imagine Dragons, I guess?
At the end of August, spilling over into September, I was lucky enough to take a whirlwind trip to Spain. Some friends who were already headed there gave us a heads up about cheap airfare from Oakland to Barcelona, and my roommate and I decided to jump on it. It was just a weeklong trip - we left Sunday and got home the following Sunday, with 2 days traveling and about 5 days on the ground in Spain. And we really packed those 5 days with stuff. We flew to Barcelona and caught a connecting flight there to Seville, where we stayed for our first 3 nights (not counting the one on the airplane). In addition to spending time in Seville (which I thought was quite charming), we also took day trips to Grenada (to see the Al-Hambra), and to Cordoba (to see La Mezquita).
Then we flew back to Barcelona and spent two days there. Looking back through the photos, it's amazing to see how many different places we went and things we saw in the short amount of time. It's hard to just pick a few photos to share here, but I'll do my best.
|Supposedly Columbus is buried in Seville. This is his tomb.|
|There was an abundance of neat geometric tile work throughout southern Spain - a remnant of the time when the Moors came up from Africa and took over for a while.|
|This cool view was at the royal palace in Seville. Some baths in the basement|
|Reppin' the U with the Al-Hambra over my shoulder|
|La Mezquita (The Mosque) is a catholic cathedral built around what was originally a Muslim mosque. Most famous for these double horseshoe arches that fill the interior and were part of the mosque originally.|
|La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. A modern cathedral designed by the architect Gaudi and very different from the other much older cathedrals we saw. Under construction for over 100 years now.|
|Some interesting detail of the towers|
|Strolling through a park that Gaudi also designed (Parc Guell)|
With Fall comes football season, and while it wasn't the winning-est season ever, it's always fun to get out and enjoy the fall weather, friends and family, and some Utah traditions.
In November, I traveled to Washington, D.C. for an informatics conference. I didn't really get out much, just to eat mostly. Here's pretty much the only photos I took: a picture from my hotel room, and one from the convenience store across the street where I like to get breakfast sandwiches.
And finally, just last week, my little brother Ben got married! I don't have a ton of photos, because there were professionals around for that, but here's one of the happy couple exiting the temple:
And that pretty much wraps up my year. It was definitely a busy and somewhat challenging year, but I also have been reminded of the many blessings that I have to be grateful for. I hope that this Christmas finds you all healthy and happy. Here's to a great 2018!