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2011 In Review

January

  • After almost four years I found myself single again.
  • I visited Portland, Oregon for the first time, where I had the chance to meet my friend Monica (who I had known online for years) for the first time in person, and met up with other friends of mine who used to live back east and had since moved to the Pacific Northwest. Portland was beautiful, and I’d like to visit it again sometime.

February

  • I was invited to dinner with the President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski.
  • My friend Dave and I were personally invited to lunch with the Ambassador of Iceland at his residence in Washington, D.C. for a preview of “A Taste of Iceland”, a special event featuring Icelandic cuisine and music by For A Minor Reflection, who we interviewed for our musicblog Radio KRUD.

    Of the invitees to the Ambassador’s residence, Dave and I were definitely the most entrepreneurial invited: of the 15 or so attendees, the others were people from the Travel Channel, AARP Magazine, and among the other invitee name badges left unclaimed we saw members of National Geographic were invited as well.

April

  • I met United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and actress Mandy Moore at the United Nations HQ in New York as part of World Malaria Day, celebrating progress in the fight against malaria.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

    I assist a group of photojournalists in Washington, D.C. known as Metro Collective, and one of the photojournalists (Daniel Cima) does a lot of photography work for the Red Cross. His photos of malaria prevention techniques were featured as part of the event, and I attended to help celebrate this honor. After Secretary General Ki-moon’s speech I was able to shake his hand and thank him for an inspiring speech, and Ms. Moore was very kind to pose with me for a photo.

    Me with actress Mandy Moore

May

  • I graduated from the graduate school at University of Maryland Baltimore County with a 3.4 GPA; I now have both a BS and a MS in Information Systems Management.

June

  • My sister Kelly had her wedding; I was one of the groomsmen.

July

  • I moved to Washington, D.C., and I love it here. It’s a large enough city to almost always have something to do, yet small enough to not feel overwhelmed in. From my apartment it’s only about 4.5 miles to the Capitol, and it still blows my mind that I can walk right by the White House whenever I might want to.

August

  • I was invited as part of NASA’s Juno tweetup to visit Kennedy Space Center with 149 other astro-enthusiasts to see the launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter. Since this was the weekend of my 29th birthday, it was an amazing birthday present.

    Juno Launch

    Me with Countdown Clock

    I was also able to meet Bill Nye the Science Guy.

    Me with Bill Nye the Science Guy

  • I experienced my first proper earthquake when I was sitting at home in my apartment and felt the wall start shaking, then the rest of the room shaking as well. I think I had experienced an earthquake once before when I was visiting Japan, but I couldn’t be sure.

September

  • A convict escaped from practically across the street from my parents’ house.
  • I let the Baltimore City Paper use some of my photos of the Charm City Roller Girls, and as compensation I was invited to their Best of Baltimore party.
  • I attended the Capital Bikeshare birthday bash, and afterwards I stopped at Nationals Park to see Opera In The Outfield, a free simulcast of the performance of “Tosca” from the Kennedy Center displayed on the video board at the ballpark.
  • I attended a screening of the hip-hop and urban culture documentary “Downtown Calling” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, with Q&A session with its director following the film.

  • Ate at Truckeroo, a food-truck festival.

October

  • I saw the film “Downtown 81” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, with Q&A session with Maripol, one of the film’s producers, and Michael Holman.

  • I was invited to the White House for the arrival of President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea.

    Me at the White House

  • The same day as the White House Tweetup, I was invited to another NASA Tweetup, this time at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. to see a presentation by Chris Ferguson and Sandy Magnus, Commander and Mission Specialist on the final Space Shuttle mission STS-135. Sandy Magnus was kind enough to stay to sign autographs and pose for photos afterwards.

    Me with STS-135 Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus

  • I was signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon, but after falling out of my training regimen over the summer, I wasn’t able to compete in the actual marathon race on October 30. Still, it didn’t prevent me from running 16.3 miles that day, the farthest distance I’ve run so far.

November

  • I ran the Annapolis Half-Marathon (my first half-marathon) and in doing so I raised $775 for the American Cancer Society. Though my time wasn’t tracked for some reason or another, I estimate I finished in 1:51:40.
  • I brewed my second batch of beer, a delicious west-coast style pale ale using local honey leftover from my sister Kelly’s wedding in June (the wedding had a honey and lavender theme).

December

  • I bought myself a new bicycle. I had been wanting a new bike ever since moving to D.C., and the day after I stopped in a local bicycle shop to see how much it might cost to fix up my current bike, they had a Groupon deal – I did the math, and for about $50 more out of pocket I was able to get a whole new bicycle rather than simply fixing up my current one. I’ve ridden it around town a few times, and I’m enjoying how bike-accessible the city is.

And that’s been my 2011! For 2012, since I love films, I’ve decided to try to see as many new (to me) films as I can. Hopefully I can reach 300 new films during the year. So, I’ve created the Twitter account @fitzflix to keep track of my reviews, but longer reviews will be posted here if 140 characters aren’t enough. We’ll see if I’ll be able to post here more often in 2012 than I did during 2011, and hopefully this year will be as awesome as last year.

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