Looking Back on 2008

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It has been one hell of a year for me. A lot has happened… here’s a timeline.

  • January 13 – the completion of Tundra of Heroes

On January 13, I posted the epilogue of Tundra of Heroes. This marked my first completion of a project since “For the Pen” in September 2005. That’s a long time without completing anything (28 months!). It felt incredibly good to finally have something that I could show people: “hey, this is something I wrote recently…” It only took me five months to write the ten chapters of Jeuni Huros’s story. While I’m still working out kinks in those ten chapters and editing bad writing here and there, they are something I’m very proud of.

  • Mid January – LBNL 2008 HSSRPP invitation

In mid-January I received a letter offering me a position in the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Communications Department, where I had interned in 2007. Overjoyed at the opportunity, I accepted the summer internship.

  • February 11 – the birth of Night Switch

Somehow, the idea of making The Amazing Adventures of KCG never seemed like a good idea to me. Sure, he’d made The Amazing Adventures of Flak, and reciprocity is good stuff, but I never felt like I could wax ridiculous as well as he could. So I decided to make The Banal Adventures of KCG… and as the plans developed in my head they rapidly became Night Switch, and were Amazing. On February 11, Night Switch was born in a collision between Joe and his desk.

  • March 19 – the injury of The Southwest

My shiny Macbook Pro, in service for just eleven months, lost all functionality in its monitor after I, in a feverish daze, perched it atop my cellphone—a perch from which it promptly fell. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men were able to put it together again, but…

  • March 27 – my acceptance into U.C. Berkeley

On March 27th I received an e-mail informing me that Cal had made its decision regarding my application. I hastily went online to check it out, and discovered that I’d been admitted… for spring ’09? At first I was dismayed. Spring ’09? It seemed weird. No one started college in the spring! But Cal had always been my dream, so I decided to go for it. And after I talked to some people about it and they dispelled my fears, I could be nothing but blissed by my acceptance.

  • April 27 – the death of The Southwest

“The Southwest! Is not enough!!” Within one month of retrieving The Southwest from Apple’s technicians, it went cold turkey on me. I cried out that I was in despair and I didn’t get it fixed again. I was tired of Apple… I was tired of throwing money at The Southwest… and I still had The Ducky, after all.

  • May 7 – the conclusion of Aria

On May 7 I finished Aria the Origination, season three of the superb ‘healing anime’ that I blogged about at times. I cried buckets three times during the final episode, and when I heard the last line of the show I realized that Aria was The Best Thing That Had Ever Happened To Me. It will always be something I recommend to everyone.

  • May 22-26 – Fanime 2008

Had an awesome convention experience with a huge group of friends. It involved nice boats, nice thermostats, fabulous Tommy, running an epic panel, the convention rickrolling its attendees, and a chance encounter with Jason Miao!

  • June 2 – I turn 18

Suddenly, I became an adult. Being seventeen rocked. I think I’ll always be seventeen in my heart. Anyway, turning eighteen gave me the power to vote, which I exercised the next day in the California State Primaries. That was kind of cool.

  • June 7 – the death of The Ducky

On June 7 I held an awesome birthday party which culminated in the not-so-awesome death of my 12″ Powerbook G4, The Ducky. Bien joué, Reamerer. I’m never gonna let it go. You owe me big-time (and I don’t mean that I want a precedent set! Stop offering to break my new computer!!).

I'm in despair!

  • June 13 – the end of Berkeley High

I didn’t attend the graduation ceremony (because I’m hella badass like that), but my time in high school came to an end on that day. My third year was the best year of school of my life, and I think one of the things I got out of it was an improved work ethic, one that allowed me to make straight As in my fourth year, though I was taking a number of very challenging classes. My first two years at Berkeley High were largely painful; my last two years made me like the place enough to miss it for quite some time after June 13.

  • June 27-August 8 – the second summer at LBNL

I worked a good six and a half weeks at LBNL again this summer, once more doing web design in the Communications Department. My major project was to move the lab’s News Center to a Content Management System, such that those within the department who were not tech-savvy web developers could update the site on their own, without relying on webmasters in other departments. I successfully accomplished my task using WordPress (the same software that this site runs!), wrote a manual for my colleagues, and trained them in the use of the CMS. You can check out the end result of my summer’s work here: Berkeley Lab News Center.

  • August 8-10 – Otakon 2008

Immediately after I finished my last day at the lab, I jumped on the BART and catapulted myself over to SFO, whence I took two planes to Baltimore. My reason? I was meeting people from the internet! It was awesome. The convention sucked (too many people, not enough events, so we were just standing in lines constantly), but the company was grade A. I met with eleven long-time internet friends and had a blast. The next day I flew back to SFO and made my way home. I left Friday night, got back Monday morning. I spent a little over twenty-four hours in Baltimore, and that was one of the best weekends of my life.

  • August 14 – the job at LBNL

I think I was at a party at Reamerer‘s place when I got the call.

“Would you like to come back to the lab?”

“Seriously?!”

“Yeah. We’ll pay $XX.XX/hour. How’s that sound?”

“Ummm, sounds good!”

“When can you start?”

“Anytime.”

I was back in my cubicle four days later, a real employee at LBNL, my term lasting until December 23. The experience was a mixed bag… on the one hand, I was able to do really, really awesome things. I was doing real work that was affecting real people. I got a lot of good experience. On the other, there were times when my job dipped into tedium. I wouldn’t trade my semester in that cubicle for anything—it was a truly valuable experience—but one of the things it taught me was that I didn’t want to be in a cubicle for life. I came out of my job excited about being in school again, and feeling like I’d gained something priceless.

  • October 31 – the birth of Tundra of Heroes 2+3

On October 31, I released the first chapter of Tundra of Heroes Parts 2 & 3. 2 & 3 go hand in hand because I’m writing them at the same time, and they’re sharing chapters as a result. Both are prequels to the first ten chapters of Tundra of Heroes (Jeuni’s story), and it seems like they’re pretty good so far (let me toot my own horn once in a while).

  • November 5 – the viewing of V for Vendetta

Best. Movie. Ever. That is all.

  • November 15 – the move to HostGator

On November 15 I moved DotQ over to a different host, after almost a whole year of dissatisfaction with GoDaddy. It’s been awesome so far. The people are great, the response times are to die for, and the service itself is more than I could ask for. Much love for HG!

  • Dec 16 – the selection of Steve Chu

As my time as an LBNL employee came toward its end, President-Elect Barack Obama selected my ultra-boss, the lab’s director Steve Chu, as Secretary of Energy. It’s a good choice as far as I can tell. I don’t know who else was being considered, but it’s hard for me to imagine someone who’s as devoted to clean, renewable energy as Dr. Chu, and that is a very important priority. Rock on.


And that doesn’t even begin to cover the major changes around here on DotQ… Since January, I’ve changed our forum software twice and redesigned the site. The forums’ activity has fluctuated greatly. I could say a lot about the various “events” on the forums, but I’ll pass for now (my nostalgia meter is full—if anyone else wants to chime in with their thoughts or memories, they can!).

There will be a Resolutions post on January 1st, and a “State of DotQ 2009” post on January 2nd.

"Looking Back on 2008" was posted by on Wednesday, December 31st 2008. This post is categorized Life, Meta, Site News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

14 thoughts on “Looking Back on 2008

  1. Rockin’. I didn’t add anything to the announcements page like you suggested in the forums, but because I’m me I’ll add it here.

    August endlike: started college at UC Berkeley. Pretty cool. Look forward to seeing you there, Flak old boy.

  2. Read like you had a great year! Good to know. Mine isn’t so bad, as it ended with me appearing in many different blogs (as commenter, writer, and *gasp* subject). But a highlight for me is writing for your anime blog, because nobody, not even me, could’ve seen it coming.

    Happy New Year!

  3. And there was a hidden fifth panel. And it was pedantically obvious. And it was almost good.

    I’d say that people who haven’t read ToH should fix that aspect of themselves, but that would be normative.

  4. @Alar: thanks, Alar.

    I really wish that other people could have sent me stuff for this post so it wouldn’t have been just me me me, but eh. We’ll work on that.

  5. Pingback Resolutions ‘09 :: Dreams of the Quill v5

  6. I attended. I’ve never enjoyed being trapped in the same seat for 6 hours more. Not that I enjoyed it at all, but I suppose it was slightly better than airplanes. I hate airplanes. And rotten eggs. And communists! DAMN THE COMMUNISTS!

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