★ Year in Review: 2011

Two thousand eleven was a very significant year. It was the anniversary for several big events. It was 10 years ago that I launched this site. It was 10 years ago that the iPod was launched. It was 10 years ago that our nation changed forever. And it was 10 years ago that one event put happenstance into perspective.

I worked at the UCI Bookstore during the last 3 years I was at UCI. It was probably the best job on campus job you could have. Your job was on campus so that made it super convenient. And they were understanding of your life as a college student so they would do anything to accommodate your schedule. While most of the times I had with my coworkers was fun and enjoyable, there was one shift I’ll never forget.

I was working a closing shift with one of my coworkers. It was pretty slow so we were just goofing around waiting for our shift to end. He goes into the back to grab his cellphone and is gone for a couple minutes. He comes back and he is visibly shaken. He tells me that someone close to him was suddenly taken away. His friend was in a motorcycle accident and he didn’t survive. I didn’t know what to say. I’d never been around anyone who has received news like that. After awhile, we started talking about his friend. I don’t remember much of the conversation but I do remember talking about the car club he was in. It turns out that I knew someone in that same car club but in San Diego. I talked about my high school friend and the car that he had. We talked about the picnics they would throw in the summer. We talked about how funny it was that we were able to make that connection. By the end of our shift, I felt that somehow I was able to make him feel a little bit better. I reflected on what happened that day and was moved enough to write a post on how people come into and out of your life.

Last March, I was out with my friends having dinner at the Gyu Kaku in Tustin. Towards the end of dinner, I check my phone and notice an old friend of mine checking in at a bar in my neighborhood. Surprised that she was in my neighborhood since she lived up north, I asked how long she would be there and she invited me to meet up. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Mary is my girlfriend and I’ve never been happier than any other point in my life.

At the stage in our relationship where we went from flirty text messages and IM chats to late night phone conversations, we talked about that night in March. She was at The Copper Door to celebrate her younger sister’s birthday. She was also in town because it was her brother’s birthday as well. I knew that she had a brother and that he was no longer with us. We started talking about his passing and how it affected a lot of people. She started telling me about how one of our mutual friends even went to the viewing.

Light bulb.

My heart was beating out of its chest while I was trying to send her the link to a post I’d written ten years earlier. She read my post. We were both speechless. I’d written the post late at night, on December 18, 2001; the day after her brother had passed.

I’ve been meaning to write my annual year in review post for over a month now but didn’t know where to start. I decided to share these two stories to show that everything happens for a reason. Little insignificant decisions you make in your everyday life, may have an significant impact in your future, who knows how many years in advance. After our first date, I knew that Mary and I had something special. I connect with her on so many different levels; music, food, movies, sense of humor. I could go on. The one thing I couldn’t relate to with her was with her brother. I’d never met Clyde and I hope to never know what it’s like to lose a sibling so suddenly. When I wrote that post, I had no idea that this was the one way I would be able to connect to Clyde. I had no idea he had a younger sister that I would meet for the first time at a bar in Fullerton 5 years later. I had no idea that I would run into her again 5 years after that and fall head over heels for her.

It’s funny the way life works sometimes. Here’s to 2012.

★ Steve Jobs’ greatest performance

Five years ago, the original iPhone was announced and the cellular phone was forever changed for the better. If you haven’t seen the 2007 MacWorld keynote, you owe it to yourself to watch it. Steve Jobs, the pitchman, at his best.