It’s Celebration Time!

One thing I notice about getting older:  anniversaries take on more symbolic importance.  Probably because the numbers are so much larger than when you’re in, say, your thirties.  This year and 2010 will see a lot of anniversaries for me.

I posted earlier this month about reaching my first anniversary of blogging on wordpress.  I wasn’t sure I’d reach that…

And there’s another “first” anniversary possibly coming up, one dearer to my heart than blogging: poker.  When I began regularly playing poker tournaments for money in May 2007, I was up and down (mostly down a bit) for almost a year.

In February 2008, I cashed in a 5-table tournament and that put me in the “up” column.  I then had a great run until October 2008, when I dropped back into the “down” column.   During the next two months, I played about three dozen tournaments and cashed in only about 6.  A very depressing time for me.  In early December 2008, I returned to the “up” column and I’ve remained there since.

That was about 160 tournaments ago.  Although I’m only “up” by about half the highest amount during that time, I’m still “up” and that’s all that matters to me.  If I stay “up” until December, I’ll  be very happy because it means I’ve become a very stable player.  (Did y’all catch conservative columnist George Will’s op-ed in the Washington Post supporting the legalization of online poker?)

Now “first” is not that big an anniversary…but wait – there’s more!

August also marked my tenth anniversary as webmaster for my high school alumni association. That’s a nice double-digit anniversary.  And it doesn’t seem like it’s been ten years.

Earlier this spring, it was the 30th anniversary of receiving a Master’s from the University of Florida.  (I know folks at work who aren’t 30.)  But this anniversary is no big deal for me.  Graduate school was strictly a pecuniary undertaking; I wanted a “credential” which would boost my resume even though I doubted it would make any real difference in my ability to do a job. (And I was right on both counts.)

Also, 2009 also marks the 35th anniversary of graduating ( in 1974) from undergraduate college.  Although the college does hold reunions, I’ve no interest in them.  It was a soaring, transforming experience for me when I was there but four years doesn’t compare to 18 years. So it’s my high school group I party with even though my college profile was much higher than in high school.

And, 2010 brings some even higher anniversaries.  It’ll be my high school class’ 40th graduation anniversary. The Class of ’70 was particularly special: we were the 50th graduating class (school was founded in 1920), so we are in fact the “golden” class.  A 40th anniversary reunion is of course in the planning stages.

Unfortunately, my class was also the last graduating class of the American School.  The next year, the school changed it’s name to International School.  Before the end of the decade, the mascot had been changed from Indians to bearcats, which may be threatened in the Philippines (but which is no excuse for making it a mascot).

For an “oldtimer” like me who attended the school from K-12, the name change was bad enough but changing the mascot from a fierce warrior to a wussy whatever is unforgivable.  Surprisingly, a number of U.S. colleges use the bearcat as a mascot even though it is an Asian animal.  What’s with that?

A sadder anniversary is that January 1, 2010 is the 40th anniversary of the death, from cancer, of my classmate Richard Spencer, for whom my personal high school alumni website and this blog are named. I still remember how shocked I was to hear that he had died because few knew he was dying.

At our 40th reunion, we will raise many San Miguel beers in Rick’s name and tell stories of him to honor that too short time we had with him.  (January 1, 2010 will be the 10th anniversary of the opening of Spencer Court, my personal high school alumni website.)

But the most important anniversary in 2010 is the 25th anniversary of being with my wife Susie.  Our first date was in late October or early November (neither of us remembers exactly when) 1985 and we’ve been inseparable since.  She moved in with me that following January.  It was her idea not mine but I certainly didn‘t object!  😉  We were formally married in 1995 on her mother’s birthday.

So we’re starting off the celebrations (there will be more than one) by going to Vegas in January.  Since March 2010 is our 15th wedding anniversary, the Vegas trip is an early celebration of that anniversary.

Not sure what the “25 years together” anniversary celebration will be but it should be something special.  Maybe that trip to Holland and Belgium I’ve been trying to put together for a few years…  (but I have to coordinate with my class’ 40th  anniversary reunion).

If I can arrange the Holland trip for late September or October, that’d be perfect for two reasons.  It’s a good time for Holland (weather, prices, etc.) and it’s also when I plan to retire.  I’ll be eligible October 1, 2010.

So the next 15 months will be fairly celebratory ones for me.  Fortunately, I’ve got lots of vacation time to celebrate with!  After using three weeks so far this year, I’ll still have 6 weeks by the end of the year even after I take another week off in November for our Puerto Rico trip.


It’s celebration time…!


10 responses to “It’s Celebration Time!

  1. This is sweet! And I’m proud of you…a real picture of your real self 🙂 Btw, you haven’t looked up Nick or I on Facebook! And I can’t find you…I’m there under my real name. And picture 🙂

  2. 1 case of beer my way please . . . . . .

  3. Congrats on the good numbers. Commiserations on the bad numbers.

    Rocky’s High School Mascot was “The Trojans.” This high school actually pre-dated the Civil War, but it was sadly shuttered several years after Rocky’s graduation. The good news is that old Trojans no longer litter the football field.

  4. Susie, Poker, Travelling, and Beer all in the same post. You have hit a grand slam!

  5. Congratulations, Steve, on the 10th, 15th and 25th anniversaries coming in 2010 and also on your retirement day in just a few weeks!
    I looked for details about the Class of 1970 upcoming 40th on the ISM site but didn’t see anything. As details firm up, could you post them here?
    Have a great trip to Holland – when I used to visit there on business in 90’s, I always found the live music scene to be amazing – by walking a few blocks you could sometimes hear 7 0r 8 excellent bands for just the price of a beer or a coffee (both also pretty good in Holland!).

  6. Happy Anniversaries! When can I expect my invitations to the parties? 😉

  7. Still waiting for my beer. Hand delivered and ice cold please. . . .

    Congrats on all the above.

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