Taking Stock

2011 was a good year, marked with many milestones. One of the most significant is that I got my green card. I'm writing this on the eve of new year's eve at my cousin Anjing's place in Canada. Having a green card means I don't have to get a Canadian visa to visit her. But the benefits of conveniences like this pale in comparison to the peace of mind that it brings. I can stay in the US for as long as I want!

This year, I also bought my first home. It's scary to be spending all that money and be in this much debt. But also, it is nice to have a place to call your own. I believe in being comfortable, so I am enjoying my new place.

I should mention having the hobby of painting and drawing. For hobbies, I tend to start getting obsessed with one thing, then quickly throw it out. But this painting and drawing thing, it seems to have lasted the year. I started by taking an intro to painting class, earlier in the year, and been doing sketches, drawings, and paintings ever since. I think I'm getting better, but mostly it is great fun. I hope to do more next year.

Career wise, I got a promotion. And I got to do a few interesting things like build a performance testing system, and played around with grammar-based test case generation. Actually for 2011, I would have liked to do more, but organizational changes hampered some of that. Hopefully, things become stable in 2012 that I can sink my teeth into something good, technologically.

My parents came to visit in the spring, and I got to go to Glacier National park near the fall. And all over Washington state in between. It was not all roses, of course, but let's not dwell on the negative. All in all it's been a great year, and I'm grateful for it. Let's hope next year brings as many blessings.

Last minute Christmas tree

I think it's becoming somewhat of a tradition that I put up my little Christmas tree at the last minute. I almost didn't do it this year, but I figured I should put it up now that I have my own place. Now all I need to do is wrap some presents.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Last minute Christmas tree, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

New adventure: home ownership

Ok, so I bit the bullet and bought a house. A 2 bedroom townhouse just a a couple houses away from my good friends Joel and Julie. So far I'm enjoying having a place of my own, and trying really hard not to spend too much on additional furnishings and whatnot.

My house

I keep wanting to buy things for the house. Furniture, art, shelving, cabinets, countertops, etc., etc. ... though I'm pretty sure the newness and the excitement will wear off in time; so I'm trying to hold out on the major purchases until I've settled in for a few months.

In the meantime I'm learning to be a handyman! I re-caulked my bath tub--it's uneven and messy, but it works. I learned too late that the way to make even caulking is to use painter's tape. I bought this "as seen on TV" thing that wasn't all that effective at all. Oh well, lesson learned for next time.

I'm sure many more things will come up that needs fixing and repairing... but that's part of the fun of owning your place, I think.