Long time no... um... see? Doesn't really apply when we don't really talk on the phone (maybe once a year?), haven't actually seen each other in 20 years (that trip to Japan was exactly 20 years ago last month!) and don't really email each other unless I'm pestering you with a computer question. Yet I feel like I have a decent grasp on what's going on in your life through your blog and Facebook and stuff like that... you have three kids (Sarah, Jay, and Lily) your wife is Stefanie and you still live in MI and work at UMich. And you paint models. I can't really say that much about any of the people I went to high school with, and only one person I went to college with, and that's because I actually see him on a weekly basis!
So is this the typical friendship of the 21st century? We wrote a ton of letters about anime and manga (BTW have you seen Ponyo yet?), met only twice in our lives, and yet we've actually managed to keep track of each other and have a fairly good idea of what's going on with each other and I can confidently send you a prayer request on occasion. That's pretty amazing when you think about it!
And what's more strange is that you are actually one of the few constants in my life! I stayed in the Nashville area for college and career, while most everyone else left or drifted away... and a guy in Michigan is actually a more faithful friend than 99% of them! You are still "Mike in MI" in my own personal mental shorthand after 2 decades.
This is neat. Really, really neat.
Anyway, hope you've had a good summer... it was really a surprisingly mild summer here in TN; July was in the 70s for most of the month, which is wildly unusual and made me a much happier person, especially because I didn't have much work and could actually relax a bit after 9 ridiculously busy months. Business is strong (thank God!) and although there are times I would like to tell people to stop calling me because I'm feeling overwhelmed, it doesn't actually happen that much. Personal achievements:
- Won Best-in-Show for my needlework sampler at the Williamson County Fair (winning through sheer mass rather than genuine quality, I suspect; the thing is about 4 feet long and took me over 2 years to complete)
- Completed a "season" with the newly-formed Chamber Singers group at my church - we prepared songs for 2 Sundays a month for 8 months and did a full concert at the end of May. We start up again tomorrow!
- Paid off the last of my student loans
- Made an offer on a house (short sale; will take months to find out if I get it, stupid banks!)
- Actually managed to exercise occasionally for the last 2 months
- Decided I actually prefer the spinster life that stretches out before me... which lasted for all of 5 minutes until an absolute baby showed up in our office with an engagement ring. Fought my way back with the reminder that I do not have to buy clothes for a guy, nor pick up children from soccer.
- Went to the beach with a friend for the first time in... ever. I've only ever been with family or by myself.