There had been many changes in my life in the past few years. From breaking up with my 5 year girlfriend, tearing my ACL and subsequently accepting my new limitation, traveling, meeting new girlfriend, buying my new house, out of all these, I think the biggest life style change was adopting my dog Mac.
Before you guys start flipping tables and calling me heartless, let me explain that all the other events I listed are all huge and left ever-lasting impact on me, but those are all experiences that are relatively familiar. Initially I did not think too much about adopting Mac, in fact, it was my girlfriend that suggested the idea of getting a dog. Thinking he would be just another mouth to feed and somebody to play with when I was taking a break, I just went along with it. Little did I know Mac would become the reason I hike every weekend, a reason to socialize and meet with people, and a constant conversation topic. More importantly he became a loyal companion and part of my new family.
I remember boarding Mac for a week while I went on vacation, in order to make sure everything would go well I boarded him a day earlier as a trial-run. My house was a different place without him greeting me at the door - it was sterile and I did not want to stay in there one minute longer. It is not a feeling I could adequately convey in words, all I know is that he changed my life and I am thankful for that.
Post-Chinese New Year celebration dinner @ Mama Wok
To be completely honest, I thought we were done two years ago. With people going into retirement and leaving for college, not attracting any new member, and myself starting to slack off post-knee surgery, East Rising was running on fume. We had a skeleton crew for shows and we stopped innovating, all the signs were there.
But somehow, we pushed through.
Rather due to stubbornness, denial, or simply not wanting something special we built to disappear, we held on. Today I am very proud to say that we are back on an upward swing, maybe it is the post-Chinese New Year high, but this year felt good and next year is looking even better. We have a strong team, we have dedicated members wanting to try new things, we have new and motivated people joining up, and best of all we have returning veterans. Another awesome thing happening this year is our long time benefactor from CA will be joining us from CA for a weekend to train us, I am sure this will propel us to the next level.
2012 should be a good year for East Rising!
East Rising 2012 Group Shot - minus a few folks that could not make it
Wow, another year passing by soon... 2008 has been a year of many drastic changes; lots of bad things happened, but thankfully there were some redeeming points and even more learning experiences. More complete update coming soon.
I finally finished this year's Christmas shopping, it was painful, but it could have been much worse.
The highlight has got to be tonight... I was roaming Toys R Us trying to pick out 3 appropriate gifts. I had absolutely no idea what to get when I set foot in the store, I relied heavily on the "Recommended Age" and tried my best to cater the gift to the kid's personality. I can tell at least 75% of the other parents felt the same frustration... a lot of them were just roaming the toy store walking around like a zombie with a glaze over their eyes, and desperately flipping over every single toy hoping it is the one.
I also walked around most of the time with a big pink my little pony doll... yeah, I definitely got some stares.