Once again, I'd say 'tis time to reflect upon 2016. I'd like to say it's because future generations would like a timeline of my accomplishments, but it had more to do with my personal curiosity as to the reliability of my memory. For crying out loud, I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning.
...after looking at the mess in the kitchen, the blast marks leading out into the living room, and the way my head is spinning, I'd guess I tried to cook pancakes. Hmm. Maybe that's why I can't remember. Anyway, here goes...
January: After recapping 2014, I decided that my time would be best spent working on my thesis. That got mildly sidetracked when I was informed by the parental unit that the car I was currently leasing from them would have to be returned soon, as Quill was moving back to their place and would need a form of transportation. I pointed out that, since I was job-hunting in anticipation of my graduation in May, I still needed a vehicle. I'd been looking around for a truck somewhat informally for about nine months, but I was unable to find anything that I liked. (To be fair, I was kinda in love with the Dodge Dakota, but a) Dodge didn't make them anymore, and b) all the used vehicles were very used.) Jokingly, I suggested that they help me find a Dodge Dakota with less than 300,000 miles on it and went back to my car search with much greater intensity than before.
February: Dad actually did find me a used 2010 Dodge Dakota with only 67,000 miles on it; barely broken in as far as trucks go. (Actually, when I saw it on the lot, I thought it was new, it was in such good shape!) Despite being red (never thought I'd get a colorful vehicle before), I promptly fell in love with it and ended up buying it on February 16th. After Mom threatened to name it herself, I christened it the Artful Dodger as a tribute to my wit and love of puns. Skipper and Dale suggested Little Red Riding Hood, but I told them that my truck was CLEARLY male and to shut up. I ended up driving back to Minnesota with it a few weeks later in its first real long-range trip with me, where I was promptly insulted for reasons having nothing to do with my truck. (As the twins pointed out--several times--it really is a good-looking truck.)
March: I took the opportunity of spring break to write my entire thesis. All one hundred and seven pages of it. Granted, I was missing five or so bio-oil tests that were currently aging, but I extrapolated from other aging tests what it would probably do and tentatively wrote it in. (It gets grosser.) I was also kinda competing with Dale and Skipper to see who could get their thesis done first. Definitely winning so far...
April: Started going on more and more job interviews as my search for work kicked into high gear. Also got a call from SpaceX--yes, that friggin' SpaceX--and had the opportunity of having my chemical rocket knowledge spontaneously tested. I passed with flying colors, despite having not taken any chemistry since...what, four or five years ago? I was so excited by the interview that I ran around my room in circles for a few minutes afterwards. (Even though I knew I had next to no chance to get hired, it was still cool to get scouted by them!) Around that time, I also completed my tests for my thesis, wrapped it up, and turned it in to the college, beating Skipper by a month or two and beating Dale by a full four months. After successfully defending my thesis, I was deemed ready for graduation...and since I was once again helping my professors teach all the classes I was currently in, I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands. I performed some more culinary experiments and decided to write about certain discussions I had with the parental unit regarding proper stacking of hay and taking of pictures. (Okay, I say discussions, you say sabotage--whatever.) I also passed the time by hanging out with some friends on their farm, where they taught me how to care for sheep, milk a cow, clean beehives, and where a bee landed on my face and I responded by punching it. (Not my smartest move--I gave myself a black eye and got stung. I have a great left hook, apparently.)
May: Aced my final finals (heh heh, see what I did there?) with flying colors--although, with the amount of help I'd given my professors that semester, I probably could have just skipped the stupid things and still gotten A's. I actually DID skip the first half of my HVAC final to field a call from SpaceX--they were still interested!!!--which my professor was fine with because I still aced the test and was the first person to complete it anyway. The graduation ceremony was fine but boring, but I put up with it since Mom and Dad really wanted to see me in a cap and gown for once. (I didn't have a ceremony for either of my undergrad degrees.) I also started packing; I wasn't sure where I was going, but I definitely wasn't staying there. Packing was difficult since I kept getting distracted by random objects and old memories, and Nemesis sure didn't help by sending me his award-winning short story.
June: I wound up accepting a job with an HVAC firm and moved about an hour south. The Artful Dodger proved himself by towing a trailer that was as large as he was and loaded with all my crap down the interstate at 80 miles an hour without breaking a sweat. Truck's got snort, y'all. Unloading, unpacking, and settling in didn't take too long, at which point I got down to work. Got to actually make and keep money for once! I also ended up getting my own phone and my own phone plan, which was a huge milestone for me.
July: As of July, I was officially off the parental unit's list of responsibilities. That felt awesome. I did question my sanity when I realized that I enjoyed paying bills, but I figured that would wear off eventually. Work was going quite well, and I also rediscovered a few computer games that reminded me of some of the matches that Nemesis and I used to play.
August: For the first time, I was starting to get a little bored--work slowed down somewhat, and Dale and Skipper were busy with their jobs up north. Not much happened this month, other than random experiments in my apartment and a recording of experiments that I used to perform.
September: I didn't write anything on here for the next few months, because here's where life started getting a little crazy. I was summoned for my three-month review with the HVAC firm I worked for, where I was told that I'd been a little over-industrious, they'd run out of things for me to do, and they were letting me go. Definitely a shock, although it did explain the slowness of the last month. I promptly dusted off the old resume, updated it, and started putting my name back out on the job market. A manufacturing plant two hours north interviewed me a week and a half later and picked me up two days after that for an engineering position. I started packing. Again.
October: I moved all my crap two hours north, the Dodger not complaining about having to lug all my crap back the other direction (and twice as far!). I got set up in my new apartment quickly and started work in the middle of the month, this time checking to see how much work they had for me to do and timing my progress accordingly. Fortunately, this company had more than enough for me to do, so I went to it. I got to work (read: play) with the big machines too! They put me on the production floor for a few weeks so I could rotate through the machines and learn everything there was to know about how they worked. Quite fun.
November: I was in the middle of designing a prototype for one of the endforming machines in my apartment one night when I suddenly had an idea for a novel. (As many people have since pointed out, November is apparently National Novel Writing Month, but I had no idea at the time. It was a weird coincidence.) The rest of the month's evenings were spent on the novel, which wound up being an even 64,000 words before I started editing it and adding to it. Oh, and I got the front of the Dodger's bumper sheared off when a semi ran me off the road. The Dodger wasn't seriously hurt, but he was in the shop for a few weeks getting his bumper replaced.
December: Spent the month shopping and waiting for Mom to get the family newsletter mailed so I could post it on Maximum Effect--okay, that's not even remotely true. I spent the first part of the month freaking out about the upcoming Star Wars movie and the latter half hitting every single screening I could manage...and yes, I did totally dress up for the premier. My Dark Jedi costume was a hit, possibly (probably) because of my awesome capes. Capes need to come back in style. Anyway, anyone wanna discuss the movie in great detail? (Don't take me up on that--I'll talk your ear off!) After wiping out on some ice and almost dislocating my ankle, I remembered that I hadn't written any decent stories for a while and decided to post one about my freshman year of college. Well, a specific part of it. You know how I operate by now.
Well, that's about all I have for this year. I'm hoping to get my book published this year, so I'll keep y'all posted. Have a happy 2016, and thanks for sticking with me and my crazy adventures!