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Recap of 2008 - Bill [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Recap of 2008 [Jan. 1st, 2009|11:32 pm]
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Recap of 2008: I began my year fully intending to write a recap of 2007. Yeah well, that never happened, and it's probably the first of many things that never quite happened this year.

January ... was primarily spent on Midnight Insanity's 20th Birthday. There was video editing, audio editing, and some rehearsals to go to. The end result was a phenomenal evening with two sold-out back-to-back performances, and a really awesome 20th Birthday Special Performance.

February ... was consumed by the arduous task of moving Rocky Horror off the Queen Mary, and into the fantastic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro. We love the new digs, but moving theaters always sucks. We must now spend time rebuilding our audience, and keeping our new venue happy.

March ... was probably more of the same. The Warner Grand is an actual theater, on a city street, and we miss the "line" of audience members like we used to have at the Art. This part of our show got lost during the Queen Mary run, so we are busy re-educating the masses. Work has started dragging me into a managerial position, however I'm also still a software developer. So now I have two main responsibilities, and some of it just isn't going well. I've decided to take more meaningful vacations.

April ... a bunch of us headed out to Las Vegas for a few days, and we had a really awesome time. I ended up overdoing it, and got really sick about halfway through. The cough / chest congestion would live with me for about two months before my doctor finally gave me an asthma inhaler to take care of the last bit of whatever this was. Unfortunately, being sick for so long put a lot of things on hold.

May ... visited the cast of "Wild and Untamed Things" for their 10th Birthday. I also made my annual trek to the Pin-a-Go-Go in Dixon, California. It was hot as all hell, but the relaxed atmosphere, not to mention the free home-brew beer, made for a really nice getaway weekend ... which I really needed.

June ... MI did a special fundraiser benefit for our original home, the Balboa Theater in Newport Beach, CA. We did a performance at the South Coast Village Regency Theater, where my mom actually came to see the show. The follow-up benefit was held at the Balboa Pavillion, and was one hell of a party. After all this, I made my monthly getaway to hang out with some pinball friends in Portland, Oregon.

July ... made my first visit to Anime Expo. I'm not really much into Anime, but MI had the weekend off, and I had a really good time seeing all the enthusiasm from the attendees. Later on, I headed to the San Diego Comic-Con with Danielle. We spent Thursday at Comic-Con, went to a couple of parties, and visited with Crazed Imaginations. Unfortunately, I crashed my car, and the Saturn had to be totalled. I'm driving the Explorer now as my primary vehicle. Luckily, my commute to work is only 3 miles.

August ... this months trip was out to San Jose for the 12th Annual California Extreme, classic arcade games show. Visited with lots of pinball friends, and got an unexpected endorsement for my Attack from Mars pinball mod from one of my favorite pinball designers, Steve Ritchie.

September ... shared a birthday party with my roommate and best friend, Katya Nadia Hubiak. This year was my 40th, and the ensuing Schoolgirl Lingerie Night was one of our best shows this year. I did end up missing out on the Atlantic City Rocky Horror Convention, but it was just too much logistically to try and re-arrange everything with friends and family. I hear it was a good con, though ... sorry I had to miss it.

October ... made another trip out to Northern California for a pinball show. This one was the Pacific Pinball Expo, and it is only their 2nd year. They feature the most pinball machines in one location, which I believe was over 400. The hall is lit with multiple strands of clear Christmas lights, thereby negating the glare that usually comes with flourescent fixtures. I met a bunch of nice people, and marvelled at all the neat gadgets and gizmos that were on display. MI / Rocky didn't have a show on Halloween, so I went to work at a friend's Haunted House, which was lots of fun.

November ... Bats Day got moved to November this year, and ironically this summer wasn't even all that hot. November weather was agreeable, but our crowd was smaller than last year. We still had a great time, and I placed 75th on Astro Blasters for the day ... which actually isn't even my personal best. Check out my MySpace for more Astro Blaster pics. The rest of my time was spent shipping lots of pinball kits, since I was holding off until I had enough parts in stock.

December ... decorated my house for the holidays, which as frustrating as it may be, continues to be a tradition. I hate to take them down in January, I like all the lights adding so much cheer to the night. Made a trip to Disneyland, took a big party out to WUMPSKATE, and an even bigger group to see Katya's band, Jail Weddings. Went to five different holiday parties, including my own, and not counting New Years. Even got a chance to visit Sins o' the Flesh at the Nuart. For the last two weeks of the year, I've been on vacation, so I've been visiting with friends, taking many naps, and uploading tons of pics on MySpace.


So in summary, this year has been very busy, but it appears it's mostly been busy being social ... which isn't the worst thing in the world. How did I get so lazy? I blame Mother Nature. This summer, the weather has really been fantastic. True, we had weekend heat waves once or twice, but for the rest of the time it was just amazingly pleasant. So, I've spent my time going to movies, skating, picnics, bon-fires, parties and poker nights ... plus bigger events I mentioned like Anime Expo, and the San Diego Comic-Con. Several of my friends have Disneyland passes, so we've been making semi-regular trips. Katya's doing well with "Jail Weddings" ... and while I can't make it to all of their shows, I do what I can, and try to bring new faces when I go.

I've done more travelling and attended more events than I can ever remember doing. I've even managed to visit numerous Rocky Casts this year: Wild and Untamed Things, A Dark Refrain, Crazed Imaginations, Barely Legal and Sins o' the Flesh!! Didn't get to see the Bawdy Caste because they were dark when I was up in San Jose, but I did have dinner with Julie Barman. :-)

The pinball business continues to do well, but part of the plan was to shut things down for a few months and go invent something new. Being sick knocked the wind out of that idea, so all I was able to do was continue to run production on existing products. I hired two new people, and things are going well. Orders are still piling up, and the next shipment is in a week or so. I still want to implement some of the ideas that I have, and hope I have better luck with that in 2009.

As for the day job ... it has really been challenging this year. I've done managerial stuff before, and I know I can be an effective leader. It's mainly having to divide my attention between the technical stuff that I like, and the managerial stuff that I'm somewhat less fond of. That said, over the course of 2008, I've gotten to know my team better, and learned how to build a better working relationship with them. A lot of stuff is still a work-in-progress, but I hope things continue to mesh in 2009.