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2023 Was OK

How are the roaring twenties going so far for you?

This year, whatta year. Ali said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” And Lee said, “Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch... After I learned the art, a punch was no longer [just] a punch... Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch.” Somehow those expressions were much repeated in our household. And next year is the year of the dragon, so… dragon punch?

Here’s what I did, potentially even in order. In 2023, I…

  • Went to our dearest friends’ home for osechi and a friendly game of “chi chi no chi.”

  • Broke my hand riding a unicycle (13 years without a broken bone, and this is my 13th~ish)

  • Rode in a hot air balloon with my wife and daughter above mentai park.

  • Suddenly moved from our 12-year little town and our 4SLDK old house with a backyard and storage area. Big move. Incredible stress. New job, new kindergarten (a buddhist one with ultraman standing out front), new apartment, all in under a month.

  • Using the move as an intervention, brought nearly a dozen station wagon loads to the dump, and gave away another several carloads worth of ukuleles, wood, tools, skateboards, surfboards, camping gear, electronics, books, beer-making stuff and a real (dead) sea turtle.

  • Forgot about my car’s shaken in all the stress, but luckily got it done within a day or two, goodbye money!

  • Almost completed my secret trail before moving. Was gonna name it “mori no uta” or “lullaby.”

  • Started 2 internships: a local software development company and an open source project

  • Went to “Canada Land” in Shuzenji, riding a mini train across the beautiful park

  • Solidified a wonderful friendship with the mother of my daughter’s best friend… just before they moved to Kyoto

  • Turned 38, instigating my own “Clean 38” plan. Significantly minimize caffeine (gave up cold turkey in July), alcohol (except certain social outings), cigarettes, junk food and excess carbs, and useless phone scrolling. A lot more gym, eating right, generally physical healthy stuff. Hoping to make major changes and welcome my 40s with great health

  • Learned Linux (Fedora), more Python (Flask, SQLalchemy, a bit of machine learning), PHP (Laravel), C language and more

  • Completed Google’s UX Design Certificate 

  • Acquired a significant number of simply beautiful books: Magnificent Creatures - Anna Wright, Ducks - Kate Beaton, The Corset & the Jellyfish - Nick Bantock and more

  • Got a Gold Driver’s License (soon after got an infraction which will cancel my Gold license 5 years from now)

  • Bought sweet white rims (entire wheelset) for my 2008 Gary Fisher Rig, as it was cheaper than replacing the freehub

  • Cut off my long hair, lookin’ a little less homeless now; also tried out a handlebar mustache

  • Fixed a friend’s bicycle rim with a spoke wrench I’ve had for well over 15 years

  • Watched Kipo and Nimona, recommend!

  • Had many “crepe dates” at the local creperie before moving

  • Joined Cafe Namakemono’s music evenings, finally reinstated after the pandemic

  • Had Vietnamese food in Shizuoka City with an old Canadian friend and then later with a Californian friend

  •  Went to many parks, ookami park, mentai park, the one across the street

  • Started frequenting two city pools with family

  • Ate a rainbow bagel in Yosemite (the cafe, not the park)

  • Built lego with my daughter, a first for her

  • Saw jellyfish (and some other random sea creatures) in a giant aquarium in Tokyo

  • Had a day-long onsen and relax with my daughter in kirakubo

  • Went to the beach too many times to count

  • Had an excellent obon matsuri in Kawane Honcho

  • Made a lot of garlic rice, crab-meat tamagoyaki, pancake donuts

  • Went to Ghibli Park, roadtripped to Kyoto and Kawane to see friends

  • Did some woodworking on a 100-year-old house

  • Cried happy-dad tears watching my daughter’s first soccer practice

  • Watched my dinosaur-costumed daughter roar and distribute halloween cookies at a local festival

  • Built from scratch two Laravel apps (Kawane Events and Maebe Attendance)

  • Dressed up as Loid Forger for Halloween (first cosplay?)

  • Harvested hundreds of limes from our 4-year-old 2-meter-tall limetree that we had forgotten that we had planted

  • Excitedly watched the 2023 Redbull Rampage as a family

  • Got PR after 9 months and a day of waiting

  • Started playing Baldur’s Gate 3, after not gaming since 2011

  • Had Christmas in Canada with family, first time since 2009


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