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The Retrospective, Looking Back on 2014

№228
~9 minutes
InLife

    In which I look back at and summarise the year that has been in a nice list of 14 things I’ve liked.

    Another year has gone by. As I sit here, coffee in one hand, stroking my beard with the other, I’m filled with a sense of awe for the year that has been.

    Every year I look at back the entries I’ve written and every year I feel more and more, like I really can’t be bothered to talk about them again. They’re all there for you to read, should that sort of thing interest you and if not, well you wouldn’t be reading this entry either.

    So instead of that, I again, thought I do something a little different, something a little more exciting. Well, exciting for me I suppose.

    And what’s more exciting than a list?

    Why, two lists of course.

    One today and one on Friday. Today we talk about the past year that’s been, listing 14—because 2014—things I liked about the year that has passed.

    And come Friday—I thought I’d give you a day to recover from your New Year’s Eve celebrations—we’ll talk about the future as I list 15—because 2015—things I look forward to in the year to come.

    Some the things on these lists might relate to a previously written entry. Other times, they might not.

    To the list.

    FYI, they’re in no specific order of importance.

    To the list!

    1. Board gaming

    Spending a 24 h marathon—for charity I might add—playing more board games than any human ever had, I managed to prove that despite getting older I still have the stamina to pull an all-nighter.

    Sure, I was a bit out of it between 06:00–07:00 but I pulled through and that’s what counts.

    Oh, yeah right. And that charity thing.

    2. Git

    Git might seem like an odd thing to like but considering that my website is hosted on Github, and powered by Jekyll nowadays, Git has become a common word in my vocabulary, as well as word like: repo, commit, push, pull and rebase.

    Carlos Eriksson's Github contributions calendar showing 163 contributions
    Every commit I've ever made. For next year, I plan on contributing more.

    Except rebase, because I haven’t figured out what that one means yet.

    Git is a distributed revision control system with an emphasis on speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows.

    And despite my website suffering a severe setback as Github updated Jekyll to version 2.2.0 this autumn and leaving me with a non-functional website for a few weeks I don’t hold them responsible for that. After all, I could have fixed it faster if I had actually put in the time and effort.

    3. Gender perspective

    Rebecka and I have spent a lot of time talking about gender inequality and the role society places on us, regardless of sex or gender.

    I feel smarter and more enlightened for it and even though some conversations have been difficult to have to both of us, I truly believe it’s important to have them.

    Thanks to these conversation I also feel like we’ve grown much closer over the last year, in which I can better understand the burdens she walks around with every day.

    4. Soft-boiled eggs

    Having spent most of my life only eating fried or scrambled eggs, imagine my surprise when I–out of curiosity—ordered poached eggs at a café and got… well… poached eggs. A runny yolk with the softest white you could imagine that still held its shape. It was amazing and opened up my mind to the idea that I might like soft-boiled eggs.

    Since then I’ve committed myself to mastering the art of perfect soft-boiled eggs which has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated.

    In the process I’ve figured out why I didn’t used to like boiled eggs.

    I can distinctively remember the foul stench of sulphur from the egg and the green-tinted yolk it held inside. Which is, apparently, what you get when you boil them too much.

    5. Tattoo #4

    After years of wanting a fourth tattoo I finally started on the sleeve tattoo which once finished will engulf my entire right arm. The first session has healed without issues and I’ve been busy sketching out the remaining characters and various elements which we’ll use to fill it out later on.

    Partial sketch of a skeleton bishop and knight chess piece.
    A couple of the secondary characters which will soon adorn my arm.

    6. The Boxtrolls

    Lucien and I got our first pair of 3D glasses when I took him to his first cinema experience—father and son style—and the first 3D film for both of us, courtesy of Laika’s latest stop motion film, The Boxtrolls.

    And although the experience itself was pretty cool—if perhaps a bit unsettling at times—the film itself was not quite as awe-striking as their previous two, Coraline and Paranorman, with Coraline especially standing out as a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned.

    The Boxtrolls, 2014
    The Boxtrolls tells the story of Eggs, a human boy raised by trash-collecting trolls, as he attempts to save them from Archibald Snatcher, a pest exterminator.

    7. 51 posts

    I’ve also liked that, despite having written significantly less this year, I think the quality of my writing has been much better with more coherent ramblings and less tangents which lead nowhere.

    Or perhaps I’m deluded and my writing has been precisely on par?

    8. Ageing

    I turned 30 with dignity, grace and a cake with 30 individual candles—which is a fire hazard. I also shared all the wisdom I had gathered through the years, which turned out to be a little less than I had hoped.

    9. Knäcke

    Despite getting around to baking my own rye bread yet, and quite frankly, still not satisfied with the rye crispbread I did bake, Knäckebröd, still makes it to the list of things I’ve liked about the year.

    We finally caved in and started buying RYVITA® Dark Rye Crispbread—

    “Yeah, I know. I should be flogged but what can you do when temptation becomes too strong?”

    10. MCM London Comic Con

    On, not one but two occasions I’ve gone to, what I suspect might be, the biggest Comic Con in Europe, definitely the biggest in the UK and both occasions have been incredible experiences.

    Will I go again? I’d like to think so.

    Carlos Eriksson at MCM London Comic Con posing next to a cos-player dressed as a Jawa from Star Wars.
    I didn't make the original entry because of my “I’m havin’ a poo” -face.

    11. Squiders

    After just over 2 years at Sitewizard it was time to leave the safety and comfort of familiarity by moving on to—quite literally—greener pastures as I started working at Squiders, a small specialist web design studio located in beautiful Turkey Mill.

    I’m quite happy here and hope to stay for a good few years at the very least.

    12. The History Eaters & The Gravy Country

    Rebecka introduced me to the Swedish version of The Supersizers…, called The History Eaters, Historieätarna, and it’s just as awesome as its British predecessor.

    She also introduced me to a similarly food-oriented program which I’ve decided to call The Gravy Country, Landet Brunsås, a program about Swedish food culture, hosted by comedian Henrik Schyffert, television presenter Erik Haag and author Lotta Lundgren, the two latter also starring in The History Eaters.

    Both programs are humorous looks at how our different eating habits and foods have changed as times have evolved.

    Well worth a watch if either of those things interest you.

    13. Finland

    In September I flew back to Finland for a weekend to get shit-faced with all my old friends—it should come as no surprise that we’ve all gotten fatter since last time.

    And to, of course, hang out with my mom, siblings and family as well. Good times. Will definitely do it again.

    14. In This Moment

    And finally, 2014 is also the year I discovered the American metalcore band In This Moment and their singer Maria Brink, vocalist extraordinaire. And whilst one could certainly argue that there’s other death metal vocalists, such as Angela Gossow formerly of Arch Enemy that are more talented, I instantly fell in love with Maria’s vocal style and range.

    And with their release of their fifth studio album Black Widow, In This Moment has quickly become my favourite band of the year.

    And there we have it, 14 things I’ve liked about the year that’s been.

    See you on Friday for the list of 15 things I’m looking forward to.

    And before I go, as per tradition, it wouldn’t be the last entry of the year if I didn’t leave you with a picture of the future, Lucien himself, this time as The Great Owlini.

    So, have a fan-fucking-tastic New Year’s Eve, and well…

    …I’ll see you on the other side.

    Lucien Eriksson, The Great Owlini, performing his first magic trick.
    An Eriksson family production presents: The Great Owlini.

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