Year Complete! An all-around success. Things aren’t that different and I’m still here. There’s only one thing left to do – my traditional yearly blog post. You can also read my previous years’ roundups all the way back to 2017.
2022 Big Themes
Before I get into my month-by-month playback, here are my narrative hits for the year:
- Lots of music performing!
- Lots of traveling (much more than 2021)!
- Another year of Chicago!
I played 15 or so gigs this year across my bands. That’s way more than 2021. Every month I’d be preparing for some gig and scheduling yet another. It was a blast and I’m super grateful to my twin who acts as band leader in both these groups.
Hot Club of Urbana
Hot Club of Urbana is the hot-swing jazz band I play violin in! A lot of these performances were outside gigs under the tent at the Rose Bowl Tavern. My trips down to Urbana throughout the year were based around these gigs, which worked out great because I’d also see my family and friends.
I’m also in a video game music cover band, Otter Chaos! This project started with just me and my twin brother, but this year it grew to a whole band! The band plays at furry cons and video game music events, and it’s indeed chaotic as we often only get limited rehearsal for these performances!
I did a lot of road trips this year! Mostly cons, but also visiting family, a work trip, and a wedding. Took 3 flights too, and managed to avoid covid through it all.
Year 2 in Chicago
Another year of living with my boyfriend in Chicago! And my first full year here. I went to music shows, got settled into the apartment, and hosted friends. I’m still working remotely, finishing my third year of working at Granular. I’m a senior Software Engineer now, which is decently hype. This blog post is full of lots of my hobby projects, travel, and city adventures – and it’s this job that funds it all! I did spend a lot of my time in 2022 on Zoom but the adventures make it worth it.
For New Year’s I partied in VR! Specifically, a game/platform called VRChat. I’ve been very into virtual reality since the pandemic hit. A lot of my furry friends are into VR and this is a way to party with them. One of the fun things was since everyone was in different time zones, there was a ball drop every hour and we kept doing the countdown, as there was always a chunk of people there who it was their actual midnight. Pretty fun and it kept the hype going throughout the night! I think I stayed up till 4am, bopping around to different worlds and seeing various friends in virtual reality.
Chicago got snow on January 1st! I walked out there with John and we got absolutely blasted by the winds from the lake. The next day it was more calm and pretty out.
I flew out to California to see my grandparents. We hadn’t seen them in person since the start of the pandemic. This was during the Omnicron surge so the pandemic was still very close to our minds. We did a lot of outside activities and took covid tests throughout the trip.
Since I visited this area as a kid a lot AND because I went to college here, it was a very nostalgic trip. Add in the fact that the weather is amazing and the beach is right there – there’s just so much joy when I visit. I’m planning to go in 2023 as well because it’s just too perfect a break from the coldness of Illinois.
A billion nice places to visit in the Central Coast area!
Seeing my grandparents was very nice. We picked apples from the tree in their backyard, yum!
Back to the snow. I didn’t actually go outside that much in February. I tried to make sure I went on a walk at least once a week, but other than that I spent a lot of time inside! Working from home increased my inside time but I am not complaining about that.
At the end of February, I visited Urbana. Saw a concert at Krannert that my brother played in, and did a magic draft with my friends. It was nice because I hadn’t visited since December which was only a 2 months time period but that’s a long time to not visit for me!
In March I stayed inside, practiced violin, played games, and worked. But I ventured outside a few times:
We explored the Chicago PedWay. It’s an underground walkway for traversing downtown Chicago when it’s very cold outside. But no one was there. Had big Ghost Mall energy.
My brother Jeff visited St Patty’s day weekend. The crowds were intense! I haven’t seen downtown that swarmed since Pokemon Go Fest. It was very cold but that didn’t stop the party.
Later, some of my furfriends visited (one is a pro barista), and they took us to the largest Starbucks in the world which happens to be in Chicago. It’s three floors tall and there were long lines, but it was fun getting the inside scoop on coffee knowledge. It was one of those tourist things I’ve been meaning to do and now I have!
April was defined by two conventions, VGM Con and FurSquared:
Video Game Music Con is in Minneapolis, and my brother and I performed there! I joined him and we performed a routine of video game music covers. John came too and it was an awesome time, I’m planning on coming back next year too.
I’m very inspired by the performances I see and these sorts of events.
2 weeks later we performed at another convention, this time a furry con. We bring the VGM Con energy to furry cons, and the creatures there love it!
Of course, along with the concert and friends: furry dances are a highlight for me at fur cons.
I saw Anamanaguchi, a chiptune rock band.
What a busy month. April is when the Midwest thaws out, so there’s an event every single weekend. It was a pretty cold April but that didn’t stop the party.
And I ran a 10K in Urbana! The third year I’ve done this one.
May was just as busy as April, I did a lot of things in Chicago and managed to fit an Urbana trip in the middle of the month. Here are some highlights in picture form:
Chicago summer! I did a lot of walking around and enjoying the city. Though one thing I missed this year was the Chicago Pride Parade. Next year it’s on my to-do list!
A big part of June was preparing for a virtual furry convention called Furality Aqua! I was one of the volunteers who helped put the event on. It was a chunk of work but totally worth it! Furality events feel like an in-person convention but it’s all hosted in VRChat. There are dances, panels, meetups, and an exhibit hall. I have been attending Furality events over the past few years, so it was only a matter of time before I got involved. I specifically helped out with the website where attendees registered.
Back down to Urbana
Urbana looking as pretty as ever
Yet another furry convention! I had never been to Anthrocon, it’s one of longer running furry cons that exist. It was really fun, Pittsburg was also a fun city to visit, and I’ll probably go again next year.
4th of July
I flew back to Chicago on the 4th of July and assumed I wasn’t doing anything for the holiday. But my cousin was hosting a picnic at the lake so after a short nap I walked over there and celebrated!
The rest of the month was chill, I traveled to Urbana once but mostly got to chill in Chicago.
Yep, I go to a lot of conventions. It’s my vacation of choice! GenCon is a board game convention and it’s also the con I’ve been going to the longest – I believe this was my 16th GenCon (been going since I was 14). I like Indy, I like board games, and I like traveling to play board games with my friends.
Indy Fur Con
Indy Fur Con was super fun! My brother and I were the performing guests of honor! We brought the biggest iteration of our band yet, with 8 members on stage to put on a huge concert! We also got very involved with other panels and events like trivia and karaoke. I was so busy during the entire con but that’s how I like it!
Around this time I pulled out a filling from a tooth when chewing a very chewy licorice. Thus started my tooth journey in 2022. I got a crown to replace the filling, but that got infected, so then I got a root canal. Only now am I finally in the process of getting a new crown. Not very fun – but – it was a defining part of the end of 2022 so I’m mentioning it here.
Fall week in Urbana
The final week in October I went down to Urbana with my boyfriend and we did a lot. I played at the Folk and Roots festival, carved a pumpkin, went to Curtis Orchard, and went to a Halloween Party! An added bonus was the extreme Fall energy from the trees.
My younger brother came up and visited, and we saw a musician Mezerg live.
The next day we checked out the Garfield Park Conservatory. I’m making a note to go there again in the middle of the winter since green plants during the cold months is healing.
My first business trip
I’ve been working for the same company since the pandemic began, and hadn’t seen a chunk of my coworkers in person until this trip. I drove out to Iowa and toured the facilities, met a new team that I recently joined, and enjoyed having my dinners paid for! I didn’t get many pics of the office because of NDAs and such but here’s a photo from my drive.
Shortly after getting back, my catalytic converter got stolen from my car! I had read about this happening and now I’ve experienced it. My insurance basically covers the replacement but it is on super backorder because of how many Prius’ are getting theirs stolen. It was a moment of stress because I had a gig that weekend but my cousin let me borrow her car.
After getting a rental car from my insurance company, John and I visited his family for Thanksgiving and then drove up to my parents for a second Thanksgiving! Double Thanksgiving!
My final furry con of the year, also the local Chicago furcon. I’ve been going to this one since 2013 so I feel like a bit of a con veteran. Maybe that’s why I didn’t take too many photos this time around. My band didn’t have a big concert either, so I got to relax and enjoy the vibes.
Final Thoughts on 2022
It was a great year! I didn’t set out any official resolutions. But the vibes were good. I also avoided covid in 2022, and that’s a win.
Looking Forward to 2023
I already know it’s going to be great! Because, my dear reader, it’s already 2023! Yes, if you look at the publish date for this post you can see I’m very late publishing this yearly roundup 😅
This means I already know the answers to such questions as:
- How long does it take to fix my bottom left molar?
- How long does it take for my catalytic converter to get replaced?
- Do I ever catch covid?
I won’t spoil anything though! You’ll have to wait until I finish that post. Until then! 😁