As many who know me will tell you, I’m notoriously inconsistent about sending out Christmas cards from year to year, and since it’s getting a little late in the season to send any out, I did my “year in review” letter online (and the good news I’m not wasting paper that is most likely going straight into recycling bins anyway)!
This was a long, busy year and surprisingly much more enjoyable and stable than the previous couple of years. The basics are pretty much the same – I’m still living in the Washington, DC suburb of Reston, Virginia. I’m still single as they come and in good health. My parents and sister are doing well, as are most of my friends (and if you’re one of them reading this, I sincerely hope that’s the case).
This year has the happy circumstance of being the first one in the past three where I wasn’t laid off! I’m still working at C2 Technologies
as a Proposal Manager (in fact, February 2012 will mark two years there), where we endured a marathon of proposal work from last winter through the end of this past September. Even with the threats of government budget cuts, shutdowns and continuing resolutions, we maintained a heavy workload to secure work for the next fiscal year. What all the budget woes and issues will mean for government contractors next year is anyone’s guess, but the company plans on continuing an aggressive tack of chasing down new work, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be around to help with all of that!
The big news for me this year was my first solid, get-the-Hell-out-of-Dodge vacation in a long while. As many of you know, I’m a bit of a wine lover, and belong to several wine clubs/groups. One of them organized a trip to Bordeaux, France
in October and I made it a point to go. Without getting too deep into the details (which you can read all about here
and see the pictures I took here
), the trip was an amazing experience! This was my first trip back to Europe in over 20 years, so it was an excellent opportunity to go abroad and try wines from some of the best vineyards in France. The group I went with spent seven surprisingly warm and sunny days in Bordeaux (the weather is similar to San Francisco – cloudy and chilly mornings, but sunny and warm afternoons), where we had the mornings to explore the city and the afternoons for visiting the surrounding wine regions and wineries, as well as Planet Bordeaux
(a conglomeration of several smaller wine makers in the area), and the ancient town of Saint-Emilion
(sort of the Bordeaux of its day). The trip wrapped up with a day and half in grey and chilly Paris, then back the U.S. The same wine group is planning a similar trip to California (the Napa and Sonoma valleys and San Francisco) for October 2012, and it’s very likely that I’ll be going on it.
I have taken some of my free time to get some work down on the condo. I completed some badly needed repair work on the bathroom ceiling (i.e., it had to be skimmed, primed and painted because of some pretty bad steam damage due to my not using semi-gloss paint when I first painted condo), repainted the entire bathroom and replaced the fixtures. January or February will involve getting the tub and tile re-glazed, as well as installing a new vanity and sink. Sometime next year will be time to deal with the kitchen countertops that need replacing and tiling the backsplash. In addition, during all of that, I also plan to repaint the rest of the condo (the off-white is starting to show its age and there are enough scuffs and marks on the walls to justify my repainting the place). The new Metro line going out to Dulles Airport will open at the Reston Station in 2013, so I’m hoping to have renovations completed to think about late 2012 or early 2013 as time to for at least considering selling the condo and moving up to a townhouse.
Meanwhile, things continue moving on as always – dating has been on and off with some potential “blips on the radar” in the short term, but very little in the long-term department. One of these years I’ll work it out with someone…or given up and join a monastery…we’ll see.
I hope this year has been a happy and healthy one for you, and that next year holds equal promise!
As always – Merry Christmas
, Happy Hanukkah
, Happy Ramadan
, Happy Kwanzaa
, Merry Solstice
, and to all my atheist friends out there, Have a Nice Day