2005: Year in Review

I’ve been kind of slack with posting blog entries this week. I just haven’t been “feeling it,” I guess. So, while I’m home from work on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and while Aaron is still upstairs asleep, I’m going to take this opportunity to blog about the major events of 2005.

In February, Sheryl took me on a clothes shopping spree. Now, this may sound pretty mundane, but it was really the first time in a long time that I’d revamped my wardrobe. I’d been wearing old clothes that were at least one size too large, if not two, and this trip really helped me discover a.) that I really do have a waistline, and b.) that it’s OK to be cute sometimes.

In the spring, I started teaching myself how to sew. I did some t-shirt surgeries [#1] [#2] [#3] [#4] and prepared myself for my ultimate goal of cosplaying.

By the time summer rolled around, I had some ideas of what I wanted to try, cosplay-wise. By the fall, I’d finally started sewing my very first cosplay costume, Ritsuko from Kujibiki Unbalance (Genshiken). It actually turned out quite well, considering how brief of a sewing history I have, and I debuted my cosplay at Youmacon 2005 in November.

I also participated in the Lakeshoremen Drum & Bugle Corps last year, as mellophone and webmaster. I drove through snow and general nastiness to rehearsals in Detroit and points north in the spring, and drove to parades and performances in the summer. While I did enjoy myself, and while I did find LSM to be rewarding, I finally decided that the “opportunity cost” was too great, and that I’d rather spend my weekends with my family (read: my husband). I did secure an at-large position on the Board of Directors, though, and I redesigned the website for an October 2005 re-release.

The LSM website was the largest project I’d ever completed, I believe. I had to do a decent amount of PHP and MySQL research to make it work just how I wanted it to work. Overall, I’m highly pleased with how it turned out, design-wise and functionality-wise. It remains a work-in-progress, as all good websites do, but I’m generally quite pleased with myself.

In June 2005, my step-brother Philip graduated high school. It wasn’t a giant milestone for me, of course, but I wanted to be sure to mention it. Aaron and I did go out to Cleveland for the ceremony and the party afterward. And I got to see my Mom, which was very cool.

Which brings me to another point: I took a lot of pictures in 2005. I also collected a lot of cameras. I resurrected my Lomo twice, and bought a Holga, an Olympus XA, a Lomo ActionSampler, an Argoflex 75, a Brownie Bullet… and a Nikon D50 digital SLR. I have been enjoying my new “hobbyist” status as a photographer, upgraded from simply “amateur.” 🙂

In June, I secured an interview with a local media firm, and signed up as an independent contractor for multimedia (aka “new media”) projects. However, at that time, I was still knee-deep in the LSM redesign, and didn’t want to get myself into anymore projects yet. After I completed the redesign, I realized that just having been asked to join the group was enough of a boost to my ego, and that I have so many of my own projects to keep me busy that having a second job would really cut down on my personal creativity. I do feel much more confident about my design skills after having interviewed with this company and after having completed the LSM redesign.

I didn’t get very many good pictures during Aaron’s and my vacation to Amish Country in August, although we had a fun and relaxing time. Be forewarned: Millersburg rolls up its sidewalks at 7pm.

In September, I saw someone die. A member of a Senior corps died on the field during a performance, and I had the poor taste to blog about it when I got home. In doing so, I managed to offend the man’s surviving brother, and received a comment on my website asking me to remove the more graphic details. I did so, and quite hastily, risking being fired from my job for editing my blog on work time. When I e-mailed the brother to apologize, he responded to my apology with a vehement request that I not contact him again, or risk being charged with harassment. That bothered me for a long time. I eventually realized that the brother was understandably upset, and was lashing out at anyone he could find that he felt was in the wrong. I will admit that I may have been insensitive in blogging about another person’s death… but it was a traumatic experience for everyone that was in the stadium, and I just shared what I and my corpsmates did and saw and felt.

To brighten the mood… as I mentioned earlier, Aaron and I cosplayed for the first time at Youmacon in November. It was a great con, small and fun, and we got dozens of requests for photographs. From now on, we’re going to be attending cons in full cosplay regalia. ^_^

I think that wraps up the year quite nicely. Which works out well, since Aaron just finished his shower, and now it’s almost time to make lunch.