Tag Archives: anniversaries


It was one year ago today, October 25, 2005, that I first got my paid LiveJournal account. I’d had a free account for some time, but had never actually used it. I ended up getting the paid account for 2 reasons: (1) it was the first day of my vacation and I wanted to to be able to write about it, post pictures, etc., and it was only $20/year for a whole bunch of additional benefits; (2) I had decided that beginning in January, I would stop using the paper diaries that I had been using for almsot 10 years and move toward a “paperless” diary, and LJ could provide the perfect solution for that. So my official paid LJ user account is one year old today (in fact, it renews automatically today).

In a rather remarkable coincidence, this journal entry that you are now reading marks my 1,000th entry since October 25, 2005. One thousand entries in the last 365 days is not too bad. However, it is actually somewhat better than that. My entries between October 25, 2005 and January 1, 2006 were somewhat sporadic. However, beginning on January 1, 2006 and continuing through today, I have at least one journal entry for every day (and actually much closer to an average of 4/day). Compared to the single small page I used to write in my paper diaries, that is a vast improvement.

In addition to this being my 1,000th entry, I have also posted 417 comments to my and other people’s journals. And I have received just about 800 comments from other people–or better than 2 per day on average.

Every six months that a paid user stays with LiveJournal, they earn an extra 4 userpics for free, so I expect to be able to expand my library of userpics from 34 to 38 in the next couple of day. So, Happy 1st Anniversary to my LiveJournal account!

I am also continuing to make good progress on Lunar Prospector, which I am finding utterly fascinating (especially from the perspective of managing a large project) and even difficult to put down. Since I started the book late Friday, I have gotten through 280 pages (out of 1,100), and covered about 193,000 words, which amounts to 48,500 words/day. To show you how remarkable this is, in the last 10+ years, my average reading pace has been 24,300 words/day. This year it has slowed to 22,300 words/day. So my pace in Lunar Prospector is double my average reading pace over the last 10 years. (Anyone interested in my full reading stats can see my reading list.) If I can maintain this pace, I will end up finishing the book in about 11 more days, on or about Saturday, November 4, 2006. For a book that is nearly 800,000 words long (the second longest book I’ve ever read), this is a pretty remarkable pace.

Miles and miles and miles

My Saturn is ten years old today! It has 106,587 miles on it and it has never given me any signifcant trouble. When I first got the car ten years ago, it was my first new car ever. Here is what I had to say about it in my diary from October 22, 1996:

Yes, I am yet the latest member of the Saturn familuy. I now own a 1997 Saturn SL1 4-door, dark green automatic.

I drove the car for 69 months living in Los Angeles and I’ve been driving the car 51 months living in Maryland. When I moved from L.A., I had 86,000 miles on the car. That amounts to 1,246 miles/month worth of driving while living in Los Angeles, or a hair under 15,000 miles per year. Since I’ve moved to Maryland, I’ve driving the car an additional 20,600 miles. That amounts to 400 miles/month worth of driving while living in Maryland, or 4,800 miles per year. It’s pretty amazing that the amount which I drive the car since coming to Maryland has been cut by 66%.

It has been a good car, and has never given me any major trouble. The radio in the car has been stolen twice: once in L.A. and once out here. I haven’t replaced it since the last time it was stolen, well over a year ago. There are a few small scratches in the paint from wear and tear over the years, but for the most part, the car is in great condition and has served me well.


Today is my 12 year anniversary at my company. That’s right, twelve years ago today was my very first day, and I can remember parts of it as though it were yesterday, which is kind of scary. In those 12 years, I have had exactly 3 offices, which is probably some kind of record since people seem to trade offices like stamps here. My first office I had for exactly 4 days, while my second office was being painted. I had my second office for about 8 years. I got my third office when I transferred from Santa Monica to Washington, D.C.

If you imagine that I started at my job when I entered the first grade, then today I would be about to enter my first day in college. It’s weird to think that I have been here that long. I have lost count of the number of people that have come and gone during that time. There are a handful of people that are still around: Beth and Jim and Michael and Sue and Cyndie and Ron. Some of them have been here longer than me. Some of them have been here longer than I have been alive.

There are some things that have gotten better in 12 years. My very first computer was a 386 with 16 MB of RAM and a 30 MB hard drive. My current laptop has 2 GB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive. Other things are not quite as good. When I started we used an entirely UNIX-based email system based on mh mail. In the years since we have adopted Microsoft Exchange, which is a big step backwards.

In twelve years, my salary at my company has more than tripled, which I guess is a good thing, even considering inflation. The amount of vacation time I get each year, however, has stayed the same: 4 weeks. Four weeks was almost unheard of in 1994. I imagine more companies are giving more vacation time now and 4 weeks may not be as attractive as it was back then.

I am spending my anniversary here in our Pittsburgh office, doing a training session for a project that I am not even directly involved in. Someone was needed to train and no one has time to do the training. I am doing it because of all of the people who don’t have time, I am the only one who knows the product and who has trained on it before.

Happy anniversary to me!

Ten years ago…

I’m sure almost no one remembers this, but ten years ago today on September 7, 1996, I got married. Being 34 years old now, I feel somewhat younger, when I realize that I got married 10 years ago. It didn’t last 10 years, of course, but with my memory for dates and events, and with a diary that goes back more than 10 years, I couldn’t resist mentioning it here. I went back to my diary and read the entry for that day. There were a few things that I forgot. For instance, I forgot that our first song was “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”. But I remembered that our last song was, predictably, “Last Dance”. We were married outdoors at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California on a beautiful Saturday. In my diary I noted, “there were more bugs flying around than I remember any time before.” I also noted that “the biggest problem we had all day was with the tuxedos. My tux was missing a suspender clip, Dad’s tux had the wrong pants… Rich’s tux was missing a zipper on his pants…”

Tawnya and I have been divorced for several years now although we have remained friends. I find it amusing that people sometimes pretend past relationships (even long ones–Tawnya and I were together for a total of 14 years) never existed. They perform some kind of mental reconstruction of the past. My diary won’t allow me to do that, of course. But I wouldn’t want to. History is what it is. And to distort it or ignore it only does harm to yourself. “Forget the past” is a silly phrase. The past is where our experience comes from, good or bad. To me, hiding it or pretending it doesn’t exist smacks of shame. I don’t think either of us have anything to be ashamed of. The relationship ran it’s natural course. There were good times, and there were tough times. C’est la vive.

After Grandpa died, someone at his memorial told me that he always felt that we got married too young. This surprised me. He had never said a word to me about this. But really, what is too young? We were both 24 years old at the time, which seems young now, but reading through my diary for the months surrounding the wedding, I sound just as mature as I feel I am now (that may not be saying much). I won’t say that I question the value of society pushing the notion of “life long” relationships completely. But it seems to me that some relationships have a course that they run; sometimes that course lasts decades and other times, it lasts months and there is no blame one way or the other. (My friend Jim always jokes about his marriage to his first wife, which, as he puts it, “lasted less than a baseball season.”) I think we put a lot of pressure on people to “keep it together” when the circumstances are more or less arbitrary. Of course, when kids are involved, the situation is more difficult. My grandparents were married 54 years and my parents have been married just about 40 years. For a long time after Tawnya and I divorced, I felt like a failure because I compared myself to these standards. I now realize that neither of us were failures. We did the best we could. The hourglass that was our relationship simply had less sand than others. It ran dry sooner. Every hourglass is different.

Incidentally, we were married on September 7, 1996 because it was the anniversary of our first date, seven years before, on September 7, 1989, when we went to the movies to see the terrible movie, Millennium starring Kris Kristopherson. What were we thinking!

On a lighter note, in going through my diary for this entry, I came across an entry from September 9, 1996, when was our first night on the cruise ship for our honeymoon. The first line of that day reminded me something I completely forgot about: “11:11 PM. I’ve had 2 full glasses of champagne so if my writing seems messy, well, that’s why.” I would have sworn that, until a year ago or so, I hadn’t touched alcohol of any kind since college. I guess I was wrong.

Happy 5 year anniversary Doug & Rachel!

Today is Doug and Rachel’s 5 year anniversary. Five years ago today we were all hanging out on Catalina Island, having a blast. I just wanted to wish you guys a very happy anniversary.

Four years in Maryland

Today, August 1, marks my “official” 4 year anniversary living in Maryland. “Official,” because I actually moved out here on July 28, 2002, but I didn’t start up at work until August 1, so I use that date, because it’s a nice round number.

I was reminded of this upcoming anniversary a few days ago when I received in the mail a renewal for my car registration. Has it been four years already?

It also marks a more obscure anniversary: four years of having never driven into the office where I work in Arlington, Virginia. Back when I lived in L.A., I commuted for eight years between Studio City and Santa Monica. It was 20 miles, and I left early enough in the morning (5 AM) to avoid traffic. But that same 20 miles at 5 PM usually meant I’d get home at about 7 PM. When I moved to Maryland, one of the big pluses was access to the Metro. There is a Metro station about 1-1/2 miles from my house. I take the Metro to work every day and it’s a half an hour each way. The Metro stops underneath the building in which I work, which is very convenient in the winters.

It is a matter of pride with me that I have managed to avoid driving into work for four years. I wonder if I can pull it off for another four?

Happy 39th Anniversary, Mom & Dad

Today is my parent’s 39th wedding anniversary–or as I like to call it, their “Jack Benny” anniversary.

It’s funny, really, how people never want to share their age, once they are older than, say, 39 years; and yet these same people are so proud of how many years they have been married. Next year is my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary and it will be interesting to hear them tell people that they’ve been married 40 years, but they are only 39 years old. I’m sure many people will believe them.

Thirty-nine years is an inconceivably long amount of time to me, literally. I still have several years to go before my 39th birthday and therefore have not yet physically experienced the passing of 39 years. But it is an interesting number for several reasons. First of all it’s equivalent to 13 x 3. Now thirteen has always been considered an unlucky number. And of course, we all know what the number three represents: in baseball, three strikes and you’re out! It would therefore seem that 3 x 13 could not possibly be a “lucky” number, but I think it is. Just like multiplying two negative numbers in mathematics give you a positive number, multiplying two unlucky numbers in superstition, always results in a lucky number.

Interestingly enough, if my calendar is correct, July 10, 1967 was also a Monday.

39 years also represents just over 14,000 days, or about 342,000 hours. Now, assuming you sleep 8 hours a night, work 8 hours a day, commute an hour each day, and spend about an hour or so each day in the bathroom, that leaves just 6 hours in each day where you are not doing anything. In that sense, if we measured anniversaries based on the amount of time you spend together outside of work, and sleep, etc., it would only amount to one quarter of the total time my parent’s have actually been married. In this case, my parents could tell people that they are 39 years old, and that they have been married for just about 10 years. Of course, all three of their children are more than twice ten years old, and that could be awkward…

I can’t say too much more, lest I have nothing to say for their 40th anniversary next year. Incidentally, one’s 40th anniversary is also known as one’s “Ruby” anniversary, which works out perfectly, since Ruby is my niece’s name. I think this means that as a present next year, my parents get to spend their entire anniversary day with their granddaughter.

So let me just be the first to say, in a blog, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOM AND DAD!