Ten Best Days of 2016

A New Security Door in the Basement

Ever since we bought our house, the basement door has been a point of concern. It was old, and not very secure at all. With Bob’s help, before the weather got super cold… we replaced the flimsy basement door with a newer security door.

This was another one of those huge milestones for us, in terms of our work on the house. And I say without hyperbole, I’ve slept much better ever since this door went in.

Reading Poems at Tuesday Funk

It’s easily been over a decade since I’ve read any of my writing out loud, in public. I was really flattered to be invited to read some poems at Tuesday Funk – having dusted off a lot of older poems, and even reading a newer one for the first time.

Garden Box Construction, Part 5

Arguably one of the biggest projects we undertook this year, the garden box that Liz and I made spanned numerous working sessions (what was to be a weekend project ended up taking two months).

This day in particular was notable because we actually put the boxes together outside (we made two of them). And the whole day, we had this weird weather – clear skies, then snow, then clear skies, then snow again.

The Last Defender: A Live Action, Team-Based Puzzle Hunt to Try to Save the World from Nuclear Annihilation

This was a phenomenally fun time with Liz, Chris, and Leslie. One of our first ever “escape room” experiences, this one was a massive team effort, with an incredible environment. Finished the night off with food and margaritas at Antique Taco.

Liz’s Birthday Night Out: Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.

A fun and boozy night out with Liz, Julie, and Bob to celebrate Liz’s birthday. Nothing says celebration like tiki drinks!

Aimless in Austin, Day 2: Gordough’s Donuts, Austin Antique Mall, and Dinner at Contigo

We had so many great days in Austin, it was difficult to choose just one. We started the day off with some awesome donuts, Star Trek, and then spent a lot of time wandering around Austin Antique Mall. The other days we spent roaming around are worth checking out.

Wine Weekend in Augusta, Day 2: Montelle Winery, Mount Pleasant Estates, Silly Goose, and a Late Night Fire

Another trip, and another tough day to pick – as I liked all three of them. Travelled to Augusta, Missouri with Liz’s family and stayed at the amazing H. S. Clay house (where I easily could have spent the entire weekend, just sipping wine and hanging out in the living room).

DC Vacation, Day 6: Visiting the Library of Congress, Spontaneous Research, Getting Lost, and a Quiet, Final Night

We had a fun tour of the Library of Congress, but my favorite part was getting lost in the tunnels below the buildings. Steam Trunk Pipe Distribution Venue, anyone?

Young Couple, Ohio State Fair: Tracking a Story over Seventeen Years from Photograph to Poem to Voice

I randomly came across a mention of one of my poems – a poem I hadn’t thought about or even re-read in a super long time. A few clicks later, I found myself listening to an incredible audio recording of someone reading my poem, and it sounded fantastic!

This was something that happened out of the blue, on a regular work day morning… and I found myself just floored by the discovery, and by the reading. Creative Commons, FTW!

Cooking Chinese Dumplings with Mom, Christmas Eve, Indianapolis

Though it was an incredibly long cooking session, I enjoyed the full afternoon/evening with Liz and my mom, learning how to make Chinese dumplings from scratch (and fried rice to boot).

I’ve made these before, helping as a kid, then by myself after hearing the recipe over the phone. But I had yet to actually make them with my mom. This was a delicious meal, and literally what I think of when I think of my childhood.