Memorable Moments of 2007

2007 was very good to me. I can't complain. I had the most amazing experiences.

I started a new job that took me across the globe to places I'd never dreamed I'd ever see in my lifetime. The job itself taught me more than I'd learned in the past 2 years at the job I'd left.

I met fascinating, unforgettable people - some that will be lifelong friends. I re-established old friendships, made new ones and got rid of unhealthy baggage. I moved to a new yet familiar place where I truly feel at home. I learned about new cultures and learned to love new cuisines. And I learned a lot about myself too.

The highlights - good and bad:

Superbowl weekend (ok so it might have been February). The noro virus. I'd never seen anything spread so fast and be so vicious. Jeff and Aunty Virgie got it. While caring for them, Shari got it. That same night she passed it to me and Troy. And then we passed it to Aaron. Superbowl Party cancelled. It was brutal. How Jasmine didn't get it is beyond me. I've never been sicker in my entire life. Ever. And who could I call to take care of me? My entire family was sick. Thankfully a dear friend was my lifesaver who brought me a pharmacy of supplies to medicate me. I still get nauseous remembering that weekend.

I started a new job in February. Little did I know the experiences it would bring. The best group of colleagues I've ever worked with - conscientious, follow-through, positive attitude, insightful, innovative. And really good lunch places close by.

Big family reunion in Hawaii for Jasmine's 1st Birthday Luau. First, I went home to Molokai and visited with high school teachers, childhood friends and old haunts. Being there made me realize what a different person I am from that time in my life. Not better, not worse, just different.

When I think about where we (Molokai kids) come from, I am amazed at the things we've accomplished - we're business professionals, attorneys, doctors, professional athletes, entrepreneurs, artists, performers, etc. I'm so amazed and speechless. We started out being disadvantage compared to suburban and urban kids, yet we believe that we can accomplish whatever we set out to do. Its a testament to our parents, families, teachers and all those to played a part in raising us. It makes me very proud to be from Molokai. There are only a handful of us who can say we're from there and I'm glad I'm one of them. People complain (myself included) that Molokai never changes; there's nothing to do - but that's the beauty of it. Its a constant we can always count on to retreat to and find solitude and tranquility.

The rest of the trip on O'ahu was fab. Got introduced to Boots and Kimo's - how had I never been there before?!? Fully enjoyed the Hyatt Waikiki - especially the spa. Got to see tons of relatives and ate some of the best poke ever.

What's April without Giants Opening Day? Spent a fortune on Opening Day tickets and it was worth it. Got caught up in the Barry Zito hype - what a bust that turned out to be. But glad I was there for Barry Bonds' last Opening Day. The ovation he got at player introductions made me cry, as I usually do on Opening Day.

I traveled to Singapore and Malaysia. It was a long, sometimes painful journey to get there but I'm so glad I went. I could've done without the humidity, but the multi-culturalism of Malaysia was fascinatingly educational and the cuisine of Singapore was superb. What can I say - I pigged out at every meal. Word of advice - don't travel on Singapore Airlines if you really want the frequent flyer miles. They won't give it to you unless you travel Business or First Class. Save yourself months of battling with them about it. They won't budge.

I traveled to Victoria, British Columbia. Its a tiny town a few hours north of Seattle. You can actually fly into the harbor from Seattle on a seaplane. Had I known that...The town itself has the freshest seafood (my fav) and has a quaint, yuppie feel to it. Needless to say, I loved it. Loved the parks along the coast line, seeing joggers, kite-flyers, horseback riders and all that fun stuff that people do there after work during the Spring and Summer. The shopping was great too! I'd totally live there, if it was in the US....

June was busy and odd. I went to Utah for Wendy's wedding and got to see a lot of old friends and co-workers. I was especially happy to see Nancy, and Heather and Keala. I hadn't seen them since...'95 maybe? And of course, Joey and the rest of the Johnsons. And Miki and her family. Had the usual crazy thinking - "Should I move back to Utah?" then came back to reality - "What the hell am I thinking?!" Oh and I got to try the infamous Cafe Rio for the first time. It lived up to the hype. It really did.

From SLC, I went to San Antonio for a conference. The town is overrated. That whole riverfront area has sucky restaurants. The NBA finals were going on and I rode in the elevator with Donyell Marshall. That was cool. But the coolest part was FINALLY getting to see De. First time since we graduated in '92! And in San Antonio of all random places! And I also got to see Luisa, who I hadn't seen since probably my 2nd or 3rd year of college. She doesn't live there either, but was also there on business (NBA Finals). I told you June was odd.

I also moved out of the ghetto neighborhood, away from the neighbors with domestic violence problems and moved back to my old digs. I'm now living in my 4th apartment in this complex. But I love it.

My family also had a 2-day garage sale (should've been a 1-day gig) which was a lot of hard work - putting up signs in the neighborhood, moving furniture around, trying to sell people on why they should buy our crap. I think it turned out to be a success! (No cereal comments please! - it sold didnt it?)

Thanks to Fred, Shari and I got last minute tickets to the MLB All-Star Fan Fest. It was so much fun. We did all the stupid, silly stuff that only we find amusing. Then went to San Francisco Center to shop. How perfect of a Saturday is that?

I can't recall August so it must not have been memorable.

I can write pages and pages about September. 17 days in Europe. London - the historical sites. Barcelona - the food. Madrid. Munich. Dusseldorf (or somewhere near it in the middle of nowhere).

paris. Paris. PARIS! I am in love with Paris! The history! The desserts! The romance of the city! Its magical. It truly, truly is. You must go there. You must.

Now it was a work trip and trust me, I really did work. A lot! But I was also lucky enough to spend the weekends in London and Paris. See my previous blog posts for details but it was by far, the highlight of my year.

September was also our farewell to Barry. I only wish it was Zito, not Bonds. Of course Shari and I were at his final game. Who else would I be there with? I broke down and cried. Sobbed even. The end of an era. PacBell will never be the same again. (Now I have to take a 14-minute break to watch my Giants Tribute DVD)...Ok now I'm back. Will we ever have any more glory years? Sabean - I'm asking? You kill me, you really do. A 32-year old GM can bring victory to Boston TWICE and yet you had the greatest player of all time and couldn't do it. You need to go, you really do. Give us something to look forward to this season. Please. (Sorry, couldn't help the tangent, it was inspired by Ray Ratto's column in yesterday's Chronicle.)

I went to Boston. Yeah during the World Series. Yeah Bostonians are die hard Sox fans. Whatever. Stayed in a town half way to New Hampshire. There was NOTHING there. NOTHING. I love Boston but what a disappointing trip this one was.

I also went to LA and got to visit with the Bennion's and the Chow's. Always a good time with all of them. I was also introduced to Sprinkles Cupcakes! And we saw Benjamin Bratt at the beach in Santa Monica - Detective Ray Curtis!!!!!

Had a good, low key Thanksgiving. Had a fabulous Black Friday!

Spent the holidays with the folks and the cousins at Aunty Delta's in Vancouver, WA. So much fun. Christmas Eve Ping Pong Tournament - Rich defeated Aunty Delt for the second year in a row. The traditional Christmas Breakfast at IHOP. LOVED all of my Christmas presents. Played Wii (Riley played for 6 straight hours!). Watched like 4 DVD's a day for 10 days straight - that's a lot of movies. Ate way too much sugar and other fattening but delicious treats. Loved Aunty Delt's seafood gumbo that she made by herself! Shopped on NW 23rd while it rained. Shocking. Came home and again, couldn't stay up till midnight. I'm just not a night person.

What does 2008 hold in store?

I'm starting another new job soon. I'm excited to see what opportunities that will bring. And looking forward to the hundreds of dollars I will save in gas.

I'm contemplating whether to restart old friendships or finally bring closure to them.

I'm inspired to learn to cook. And take hula lessons. And sewing lessons. And golf lessons (where's TJ when we need him?). And actually decorate my home. I've been saying these goals for years. Maybe this year I'll actually do them.

I have no idea what 2008 holds. Spring Training in March? Chicago in June? Italy? Please, Italy! I think it'll be another big year. A good one. Hopefully!