2018 Yearly Roundup

Before launching into the new year, I try to reflect on the past one. For me, 2018 was a year of transition. I graduated, I got a job, and I started living on my own.California is my respawn point

Before launching into the new year, I try to reflect on the past one. For me, 2018 was a year of transition. I graduated, I got a job, and I started living on my own.


I started in Illinois, but I flew to California immediately to finish the last pieces of my Computer Science degree.

The Quad at the U of ICalifornia is green in the winter

Back at school, I starting learning a technology called Angular. This paid off because:


Having employment lined up, I focused on my schoolwork. Of course, I also went on lots of hikes.

Hiking!A Good OmenMy favorite spot in SLODunes at Grover Beach


I finished my senior project, I earned my degree, and I hiked up a hill to take this picture of the campus.

Cal Poly

The graduation ceremony wasn’t until summer, so I ran in a local 10K as a symbolic victory lap.

Finishing a 10k

Then I drove back to Urbana, Illinois.

The timing worked out to spend Easter in Boulder, visiting my family and friends.




Back in Illinois

I barely had time to catch my breath before…

Illinois 10K


I flew back to California for a big family reunion!

Family Reunion by Laurie Kantor Finn
photo by Laurie Kantor Finn <- one of my distant cousins

There were relatives from this side of family who hadn’t seen me since I was eight years old. It was a fun weekend.


Graduation Ceremony

I made one more trip to California this year, to attend my graduation ceremony.

A bittersweet moment indeed, because it felt like closing a chapter of my life.


Walking across the stagedegree


Two of my best friends, Ray and Maria, married each other! I was asked to provide music along my brothers – what a treat to be part of that day.

Wedding <3Dressed up


My Autumn months were about getting into the Midwest mindset. I participated in lots of local events.

IndianapolisSweet Corn Festival


I moved out of my parents’ house to a place in Champaign, closer to where I work.

Then, I had my 10 year high school reunion.

oh 8!
“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years!”

I finished up the month with a visit to Chicago, and attended a local arts festival. The festival had a hackathon portion and my team got third place. We made a website about the local election.

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
the Shed Aquarium
Tesla Coil Performance in Urbana
Tesla Coil Performance


This was a super busy month for me, in the best of ways.

  • Visited Chicago again and went to the Museum of Modern Art
  • Got my SCUBA certification
  • Went to lot of Halloween parties
One with the computer
Rock Quary in KankakeeKickapoo State ParkPumpkin Party 2018Halloween Jam at the Pineapple Collective


Playing music for the fam

My brothers and I play 1930’s style jazz music, in a band we call the Hot Club of Urbana.

We played a mini-concert for our relatives who visited during Thanksgiving.

We also had two paid gigs this month. Playing music so often might be the best perk of living in the same town as my family.

The Iron Post
Iron Post with Hot Club of Urbana
Urbana Free Library
Hot Club of Urbana at the Urbana Free Library

Hot Club of Urbana


To top off a great year, my family vacationed in Costa Rica for Christmas.

Resort land
Selfie time
Brothers on a bridge
My family

Looking Back on 2018

Looking at my previous roundup post from last year, I hit these goals:

  • Graduating
  • Running a 10k – I ran two!
  • Contributing to an open souce project – I fixed a bug.
  • Playing more violin – accomplished with the help of my brothers

The goals I failed were:

  • Blogging often – I ended the year with only 5 new posts
  • Buying a new desk to help with my back pain
  • Replacing my bedtime phone habit with books
  • Reading 20 books – I read 14

Looking Forward to 2019

My resolution is to create a website for my band. It sounds fun to combine my music and programming into something new and personal.

I’m also setting these goals for myself:

  • Run a 10K in under an hour
  • Read 15 books
  • Redesign this blog. It’s still using a default theme.
  • Record music and post it online. I perform plenty, but recording is a different skill.
  • Get an adjustable standing desk for work
  • Sleep more than 7 hours a day on average. My alarm app tells me I’m only getting 6.5 hours
  • Contribute more open source code

Final Thoughts

2018 had me completing big life milestones left and right. I don’t expect this next year to feel as groundbreaking, nor do I need it to be either.

I plan to be in the Champaign-Urbana area for all of 2019. I’d like at least a year without feeling like I have each foot in a different state.

I want 2019 to be about consistency. I’m in a good spot, so a nice consistent year would let me finish my 20’s with a lot to be grateful for.

Happy New Years dear readers! Good luck in all your 2019 endeavors.

Costa Rica Pacifc Sunset

4 thoughts on “2018 Yearly Roundup

  1. Ha, you definitely read more than I did 😀 I think my total was also only like 3….And the Tesla coil demonstration looks awesome, why didn’t I hear about that! Great post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *