Armen Chakmakjian

2014 -> 2015

In Random on January 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Okay, so just enough of my morning coffee has gotten to me to want to get to writing a blog post.

2014 was a great year and I hope that things work out for the best this year. A year ago today I scared the heck out of myself because I weighed more than I wanted to weigh. Over the early part of 2014 I worked my weight down significant amount.

I got elected to our church board of trustees and now I have an inkling of what it takes to operate a non-profit organization. I’m speaking of this separately from the spiritual mission, which happens in parallel to keeping the lights glowing, membership drives, contacting people, making sure the heat is on and whatnot. It’s been another learning experience for me.

About the same time as all this, we got into going to early morning regatta’s to watch my younger son compete as a part of the Brandeis crew. That was a lot of fun if not extremely cold most spring mornings.

Then we went on our bucket list trip to Italy. The weight came back on, but it was a great trip. Our elder son was the TA for the NU Italy program in May, and on Mother’s Day we met him at Piazza S. Pietro, just after we watched and heard the pope speak out of his apartment window. Daniel gave us an exclusive walking tour of his city, and the following day our tour group went into the Sistine chapel and St. Peter’s basilica. And yes I had google glass on the trip and the wink feature enabled. I put a video together documenting the trip. We also saw Venice, Florence, Verona, San Gimignano, et cetera. More than I can actually write here and not make this whole post about that.

And yes concurrently with this I changed jobs. I did this after much contemplation (yes I was irritating my wife in Italy thinking about what to do). Things work out in the end, and the over analysis was unnecessary. The new job is a very different than what I was doing, and from a career POV it was the right thing to do.

Just after this, I also updated my ride. Given the longer ride to work, the needs of the sons for a ride they could use for coop jobs and general freedom of movement it just worked out. The Q5 is a nice car, and the ride and comfort alone was worth it. However as a gadget geek and schooled user experience person, I somewhat perplexed at the “award winning electronics package”. It was obviously designed by engineers trying to expose features, rather than designing a coherent experience. With all the knobs and buttons to control the 5 inch screen, it feels more like a retro analog oscilloscope user experience. Hit a button, expose feature; twist knob, change parameter. It’s familiar, but I’m not sure it was suppose to feel familiar to me this way 😉

On July 27, I was at a fundraiser for Camp Haiastan at the Putnam club at Gillette stadium. That was fun. The next day I turned 50.

In August, we had the thrill of being able to send our younger son to Venice to take an intensive Armenian seminar. He came back all jazzed, and it was fun for the 4 of us to have all experienced Italy in one year for all different reasons.

School started again in September for the boys and so the house went quiet again. We went down to the cape for a couple of days and I got a pretty bad sunburn. Duh. But overall it was relaxing, and I needed to veg for a day or two.

When we got to Thanksgiving, we got the long table and hosted many family members at the table. With the addition of the ramp off our kitchen stoop we were able to get everyone in safely (as opposed to the crazy rocket launcher contraption I built last year to do the same).

In December, the boys came home, one from co-op and and the other from school, and we had a nice Christmas morning and then dinner at my wife’s brother’s home. My wife and I got a couple of gifts for ourselves and they seem to have all to do with hot and cold beverage preparation. About a day later we went down to CT to see my family and we had a wonderful time.

All in all, a good year. There were ups and downs of course and I’m mostly listing the positive (I did allude to the sunburn but not all the other challenges). On balance, I’d rather concentrate on those, and make sure I express my thanks for support and happy new year to all my acquaintances, my co-workers, my friends, my extended family…and to my sons who make me proud…and to my wife with whom the challenges we face made tolerable and without whom none of the good stuff would be possible.

2015 is going to be another year of transitions and celebrations for us, but because I’m superstitious, I’m not going to list them here. Suffice it to say I’m looking hopefully toward to another great year. I wish the same for everyone. Have a great 2015!


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