Just to get anyone up to speed for those who missed anything I've posted on Facebook over the last year or so, things are going much, much better for me now than the last time I posted. So I'll try to do a brief recap of all the big events from 2015 I didn't talk about, plus what's happened in 2016 so far.
- At the beginning of June last year, I went with some friends down to San Diego to see some other friends of mine get married. The whole thing was great to watch, and a fun time was had by all.
Chance and Nicole Molen, amazing friends of mine for the last few years
- September of last year was the first Comic Con that I went to, which was the Salt Lake Comic Con (now the third largest of its kind). Besides seeing panels, collecting merchandise, and other "normal" Con activities, I helped join a group of 1,783 other people to break the Guinness World Record for "Largest gathering of people dressed as comic book characters". A fairly specific one, yes, but it's still something I'm proud of.
Posing with my former roommates, Ryan Stevens (Captain America), Ryan Hernandez (Winter Soldier), and me as Star-Lord
- I took a serious look at my health and started actually doing something about it. I began working out with a personal trainer, and while that did go on break for a while for a few different reasons, I have picked that up again and have goals set in place for what I want to achieve, one of the biggest being just losing weight.
While I don't actually use FitBit anymore, I did keep track regularly - and still do!
- Star Wars came back in full force (pun intended). My family and I went to go see it on Christmas Day, and it was actually good! I don't know if there's ever been more hype for a franchise to come back and have it be as successful as they hoped, because now there's going to be an episode 8 and 9, as well as a number of other Star Wars Story movies (like Rogue One coming out this year).
- Speaking of Star Wars, I went to Salt Lake Comic Con again this year, and one of the big names they got for visiting actors was Mark Hamill himself. Few other actors in the sci-fi genre are as recognized and honored, and on top of that he has a prolific voice acting career as well, most notably as the Joker in the Batman animated series. He held a panel the day he was here, with thousands of people there watching, and just being able to see him in person and hear him talk about the amazing career he's had was so much fun.
Purposely chose to sit at the top so I wouldn't be fighting for a "good" seat - these screens were plenty good. See? View was just fine. SO many fun stories he shared... No spoilers, though!
- This February I got a job with Marriott Vacations Worldwide. To be clear, this is separate from Marriott International, which is in charge of the hotel chain (so Marriott hotels, Springhill Suites, Courtyard, etc.). This is the timeshare division, which is its own entity. I don't do any timeshare sales, which I'm kinda grateful for – from how much we help out our owners, timeshare ownership can get pretty complicated. But for the most part it's really not too bad, I help those who already own at certain locations make their own vacation plans for the upcoming year, or sometimes even for just a quick getaway. I honestly love it; they do a great job from day 1 to make you feel like you're part of a family there, and while it is technically work they also try especially hard to keep it fun and exciting for us. That's not something that can be said about most other call centers, which this is, but since our focus is so much different than other call centers it's easier to have that different feel. I've been working there full-time since February and have very much enjoyed it.
- I helped a friend of mine make a parody of Phantom of the Opera for a class at UVU. (Hopefully that link works to watch the video; if not, then just message me and I'll figure out a way for you to see it.) Apparently all of the videos for that class had to be musical-based, and related to politics, so we centered it loosely on the upcoming election. Loosely. We actually had a blast making it, and despite having a short time frame to make it in, it helped her get one of the best scores in the class, so that was something. Just a heads up, for those who do watch it: we're fully aware that the acting and singing is far from professional; again, the point was to parody the musical and current political situation, so hopefully it garners a laugh or two.
- This summer we had a reunion for my mom's side of the family. We had I think around 70 people show up throughout the course of the weekend, some from close by and others from across the country. It was a great opportunity to catch up with some family members I hadn't seen in years, and it was an even bigger celebration because we were also celebrating what would have been my grandfather's 100th birthday.
Our family tree, with my mom's parents centered at the bottom. I think we're up to 130 descendants so far just from them, not including those who have married into the family.
- I moved from Alpine, where I'd been living with my parents for a while to save some money while not in school, up to Sandy, which really isn't that far but does significantly help in my commute to work every day to south Salt Lake City. It's basically on the other side of a mountain, for those who are unfamiliar with the geography in Utah. I've been here for a couple months now, and could easily see myself staying here for a while. Still trying to get to know my roommates, as we've not got exact schedules, but from what I do know about each of them they're pretty cool and very easy to get along with.
- I've been to a couple more wedding receptions for friends this year and am already planning on going to more, including one this weekend for a mission buddy of mine.
Oh, random last thought, I'm also trying out having facial hair. I'm really not one for selfies, so here's one I took a couple weeks ago that I actually liked, and it's not likely I'll take many/any more. But hopefully this gives an idea of what it looks like on me.