I sort of let the holidays wash over me without taking the time to do much more than the bare minimum. I guess it’s age but it seemed like the Halloween > Thanksgiving > Christmas medley roared through before I could soak it in. I believe that is what happens as you get older – the notion of 12 months making up a year and the need to mark the passing of each one seems more and more arbitrary, unnecessary, and a bit artificial. Anyway, that’s my lame excuse for only now getting around to sending you my annual update.
This has been a year of putting down roots. It was our first full year in the San Francisco Bay Area so we spent most weekends exploring our new home. A couple of highlights:
Six Apart, the startup I worked at with my sister Mie, moves to the city and I start to commute to the city, usually by bus but when the weather was nice, by ferry which was spectacular. Tyler learns to ride his bicycle without training wheels and we join the Yarrington’s for a snowboarding trip up at Tahoe.
A quick trip out to Hawaii to relax a bit with Izumi’s parents. Sun, Sand, Surf, and garlic shrimp on the North Shore. I take a Howard Rheingold book and get hooked on SMS and the fact that I can text a friend in Scotland while waiting in line to get on a submarine in Waikiki.
We visit the Russian River for the annual Barrel Tasting festival. We taste some wonderful Champagnes and Pinots and later commune with the Redwoods and Izumi finds a giant four leaf clover. Tyler takes up t-ball and akido. We start reading the Harry Potter books together. Julia learns the theme song to the movie. My Japanese Grandfather passes away peacefully while taking a bath.
Izumi passes her written test for a California license on the third and final try. I try my hand at professional blogging and conceive, install, design, and write for dymag-usa.com, a site to promote the motorcycle wheels made by Izumi’s father’s company.
Intrigued by Daddy’s interpretation of Professor Dumbledore, Tyler takes up reading and uses a bookmark to mark his place in Green Eggs & Ham which we nibble over the course of a week. One last trip up to Tahoe where, amazingly, we ski in t-shirts.
Izumi and the kids head off to Japan for two months so that Tyler & Julia can get a taste of Japanese school. Julia’s happy to follow in Tyler’s footsteps and attend the “little t school” where Tyler went last year. Daddy catches up on some live music and sees Les Claypool, Oliver Mtukudzi, and the Devo cover band Mongoloid all one month.
Daddy, hating spending time in a big empty house by himself, finds things to do on the weekends. He goes sailing on the bay and lets his sister drag him out to a rave and ends up having a good time.
The family is rejoined in Japan where I spend a short week hitting old haunts but not able to meet everyone I would have liked. Julia’s talking up a storm in both English and Japanese and is becoming her own person. She masters the art of the batting eyelashes.
After getting my picture in the paper as a business blogging expert, I decide it’s time to push on and leave Six Apart for Yahoo. To celebrate, I buy an iPod Nano and listen to podcasts during my daily drive down to Silicon Valley. I visit my relatives out in Tennessee but decide not to try the wakeboard this time.
Mie and Dav get married, my parents visit San Francisco, and we buy a Tivo. For Halloween Julia is a generic Princess in Pink and Tyler is a Ghost Buster. We hand out $60 in candy in less than two hours and Tyler loses his first tooth and I get my first traffic ticket.
We visit the Mystery Spot in the Santa Cruz mountains and Izumi gets sick. We join a local health club situated in an old naval aircraft hanger. Tyler and Julia take up soccer lessons.
Julia gets four Barbie for Christmas and Tyler now favors his new Bionicles and Transformers over Thomas the Tank Engine. Packing our bags for a long weekend down in Monterey, I’m reminded that this is where we spent our New Year’s last year. It looks like First Night on Alvarado Street is getting to be a Kennedy family tradition. As we head into our second year on the West Coast, we look at doing more of the stuff we liked and less of the stuff we didn’t. I do believe taking stock of the year is a useful exercise and I thank you for indulging me.
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