I, alas, had no such twine-related visits this year to relate. However, it really was a pretty crazy amazing year, so here is what happened:
When Jenn quit going to mass a few years ago, I brought a pin back from a meeting in San Francisco for her to wear on Sundays. It said,
"I'm sorry I missed church. I was busy practicing Wiccan and becoming a lesbian."
She was highly offended. This year, she got engaged to a man named Chris. One of the things they appear to have in common is that neither of them is a lesbian. They plan to get married at an undisclosed location. Jenn and Chris traveled to Graceland this summer (on a train) to see if Elvis was available to perform the ceremony but it appears that Elvis had left the building. This is her fourth year teaching middle school - can you believe that baby face finished graduate school four years ago, after having worked after her B.A. for two years (in San Francisco - hmmm).
Maria and Eric had baby number two last year, then flew to Europe this year leaving both children in their care of their maternal grandparents. They ate broccoli and studied physics for the entire time their parents were gone. That's my story and I'm sticking to it and any evidence of empty popsicle boxes in the trash and My Little Ponies DVDs is purely circumstantial. Since Maria had taken her turn at exponentially increasing the chaos in their lives by giving birth twice in four years, it was now Eric's turn. He stepped up to the challenge by getting a fellowship at Stanford which required them to sell their house and move across the country for a year. Not to be outdone in the complete life pivot, Maria came to work at 7 Generation Games as our Chief Marketing Officer.
7 Generation Games, our new start-up making adventure games to teach kids math. This year, we had a successful Kickstarter campaign, received a $450,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant for development, presented our results of our pilot study at four conferences, started commercial sales of our first game, expanded to schools in two more states and are almost finished with our second game.
Jim Pedro, Sr. & I finally finished our book, Winning on the Ground, and it has pretty consistently been in the top 20 best-sellers on Amazon in the mixed martial arts category.
I wrote a chapter in another book, Real Talk, Real Women, which is also selling well.
And I made the list of 40 Women to Watch Over 40.
Time's list of 30 People Under 30 changing the world. She started the year by winning the first ever women's UFC match and retaining her world title belt. After a reality show called The Ultimate Fighter, she hopped a plane to Bulgaria for two months to film Expendables 3, was home for four days, got on another plane to Atlanta for Fast and Furious 7. She also was in commercials for Insureon and is on the Xyience cans for the sports drink, Xenergy. And she defends her world title next week.
Dennis did not make the 50 over 50 or any other list, but he cheerfully (okay, well with less complaining than expected) gave up a lot of his retirement time to code the 3-D part of our new game, Fish Lake. He could not turn down my offer of matching his previous hourly salary, the opportunity to work at home in his underwear and not getting up until 1 pm. Also sex. The game is awesome.
So, that was our year. Wild, yes?
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and if you see a 2005 gold Honda coming up behind you , get the hell out of the way!