2012: How I Lived It

This is how I rolled this year.
This is how I rolled this year.

I expected big things for 2012, if only based on the plethora of nerdy films set to be released this year. At around this time in 2011, I was just starting my new part-time job at Cardpool and had signed on for a publicity internship position for the 2012 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Though achieving my goal of landing a full-time job in journalism/media didn’t come to fruition, I still lived my dreams in other ways through my internship, contributing virtually through Audrey Magazine, Medium Rare, The Hudsucker, and Pink and Black Magazine, and blogging.

Though I remained occupied with writing and arts/entertainment, my 2012 was all about baseball and following the San Francisco Giants. Not that I didn’t before, but this was the year I invested a lot of time and money into going to as many games as I could and discovered the awesomeness of the MLB At-Bat app for when I couldn’t catch the game on TV. I even went to my first Oakland Athletics game. It was the sweetest surprise gift that the Giants ended up winning the World Series again after their 2010 victory. All I ever asked for was to see them play and to at least have a good season. It turned out that I, along with other Giants fans, lived a fairy tale with our team this year.

Of course, 2012 wasn’t all roses. There were high-profile celebrity deaths, devastating natural disasters, and horrifying man-made mass tragedies that rocked the world. We all watched with our hearts broken as these events unraveled.

While my heart is heavy for those we lost and for all the harrowing events that challenged us as humankind, I’m so beyond grateful for all that I’ve experienced personally. Overall, this was a beautiful year for me, full of new experiences that have helped me grow as a person and for the most part, brought me happiness.

Here’s a personal recap of my 2012!

BASEBALL

A selection of random photos I took at AT&T Park, plus my siblings and I at the Civic Center after the Giants won the World Series.
A selection of random photos I took at AT&T Park, plus my siblings and I at the Civic Center after the Giants won the World Series.

I’m going to remember every little thing about the 2012 Giants regular and postseason, and hell, preseason too (Like how AT&T absolutely lit up when Buster Posey went out on field for the first time since his season-ending injury in 2011, at the first exhibition game versus the A’s). I won’t forget where I was during each game and how I felt with each win and each loss and as each big piece of news broke. I won’t forget the 10+ games I had the pleasure of witnessing in person: a Matt CainCliff Lee pitching duel, a rematch versus the Texas Rangers, a Barry Zito shutout versus the despised Dodgers, a complete game pitched by Madison Bumgarner and the only game featuring the perfect heart-of-the-order with Melky Cabrera-Pablo Sandoval-Buster Posey-Hunter Pence, a Marco Scutaro walk-off. I won’t forget feeling like I was punched in the stomach when my brother texted me that Cabrera took steroids, and I won’t forget how tense I felt as I watched every out of Cain’s perfect game on TV, and how that tension turned into pure euphoria when he completed it.

I won’t forget watching Game 1 of the NLDS versus the Cincinnati Reds at a Fisherman’s Wharf bar during Fleet Week, the angst I felt being down 0-2 going into Game 3 and being one-hit by Homer Bailey. How they pulled that one out at the end and won the next two games too, even with that treacherous bottom of the ninth drama during Game 5 in Cincy…I will just never know. The same way I heard Zito’s redemption song in Game 5 of the NLCS versus the St. Louis Cardinals (#RallyZito forever, by the way), the way Pence’s bat broke for that triple-double and the same way the rain came pouring down as Scutaro caught the pop-up by Matt Holliday—the man who almost broke him a few days before—for the final out, those are things that can’t be explained, but play out so perfectly. The story continued as the Giants made the World Series to play versus the Detroit Tigers. Remember how everyone said they couldn’t beat Justin Verlander in Game 1? Pablo Sandoval instead made history that night with his three home runs—two of them were against Verlander. I’ll remember sitting in a pizza place with my sister to watch Game 2 and Bumgarner and Doug Fister‘s duel, the bunt by Gregor Blanco that somehow stayed fair to help the Giants score their first run, and the iconic Blanco-Scutaro-Posey exchange to get Prince Fielder out at home. I won’t forget Ryan Vogelsong making his first World Series start in Game 3. I won’t forget celebrating with my siblings, cousins, and the people of San Francisco at the Civic Center when we all cheered together and congratulated each other after Sergio Romo got Miguel Cabrera to strike out looking in Game 4 for the series victory. And I will never forget getting up at 4AM, skipping work, and waiting for hours to celebrate with the people of SF and our team for the Halloween Market Street parade. I think that day really was the best day of my life.

It wasn’t even just the Giants—so many teams and so many moments proved why this sport is America’s pastime. In particular, I loved seeing the boys across the Bay—the Oakland A’s—creating their own magical storybook season. Seeing young guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have successful debuts, Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, and Josh Hamilton hitting four home runs in one regular season game…all a joy to witness. In general, it was one hell of a postseason to remember too: the Cardinals’ miracle win in the NLDS when down to their last strike, Jayson Werth‘s walk-off home run in Game 4 of the Washington Nationals’ NLDS, Raul Ibanez being a home run hero for the New York Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles making it. You can’t find that unpredictability and excitement in any other sport. I look forward to my Giants defending their title and for all that baseball will bring next year and the years after next.

CONCERTS/EVENTS

At events, concerts, and productions I've attended this year, from left to right, clockwise: me at the 'White Frog' premiere at the 2012 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, my friend Mel and me with Adam Lambert at his STAR 101.3 show, Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone at the American Idol Live Tour in San Jose, me and Max Quinlan ("Marius") after 'Les Miserables' in SF, Carrie Underwood in San Jose, and me and my sister with Scott J. Campbell ("Tunny") after 'American Idiot' in SF.
At events, concerts, and productions I’ve attended this year, from left to right, clockwise: me at the ‘White Frog’ premiere at the 2012 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, my friend Mel and me with Adam Lambert at his STAR 101.3 show, Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone at the American Idol Live Tour in San Jose, me and Max Quinlan (“Marius”) after ‘Les Miserables’ in SF, Carrie Underwood in San Jose, and me and my sister with Scott J. Campbell (“Tunny”) after ‘American Idiot’ in SF.

I still lived for live music. I accompanied the sis to see one of her favorite musicians (And mine!) for the second time, The Rocket Summer. I loved having the opportunity to spend time with an old friend and see and meet Adam Lambert at an exclusive radio show. I was thrilled to see Carrie Underwood live for the first time since my first American Idol live tour show in 2005. Speaking of the Idol tour, I continued with my yearly tradition, and I really enjoyed this year’s concert, as season 11 was my favorite season in a few years. My contestant was the runner-up Jessica Sanchez, but Phillip Phillips has proven to be quite the formidable musician. All the kids were likable this year though. In non-music events, I also had the chance to attend the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, featuring routines by the Fab Five (The 2012 US Women’s Gymnastics Team) and past and other present Olympic gymnasts.

I didn’t have the chance to attend as many musicals as I would have liked, but I did go to two that pretty much changed my life: American Idiot and Les Miserables. I saw Idiot twice, including getting last-minute rush seats the second time, and I was in awe of how well songs by Green Day could translate onstage in a musical. I knew Les Miz was one of the classics, and I was blessed to see such a touching and moving production. It was a joy to meet some of the cast members from both shows too.

Furthermore, as a contributor for Audrey Magazine, I was privileged to attend a variety of local events relevant to the Asian-American community: The Asian Pacific American Vagina Monologues, the Asian Street Fair, the Indie-Pino Underground Music Fest, Pistahan, and Plate-by-Plate. Oh, and all the premieres and parties for SFIAAFF30 sure were a blast too!

MOVIES

Being an intern for SFIAAFF30 exposed me to plenty of incredible indie Asian-American films, and being a contributing writer for Medium Rare allowed me to skip the lines at those advanced screenings I started attending last year (For both indie and Hollywood features).

I went to my first midnight screening ever with The Hunger Games, and went to the midnight screenings for The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. I saw all three movies multiple times. In general, it was just as a good of a year in film as I expected it to be, even though I admittedly didn’t see a lot of movies I should have seen.

Stay tuned soon. I will unveil my annual list of favorite films later this week, as well as a special list for Medium Rare!

WORLD NEWS


I’ll let this incredible video by Jean-Louis Nguyen on YouTube do all the talking. It’s a beautifully put-together montage of all that we’ve experienced together as the human race this year. Personally, I was most shaken-up by the mass shootings in Aurora, CO and Newtown, and most rejuvenated by the reelection of President Barack Obama and the 2012 London Olympics.

OTHER

Hmmmm…well…I went to Reno with my family this year and got sick. And all I cared about was following the Giants-Dodgers series. But thought I should add that as one of my 2012 memories since I hadn’t gone too far out-of-town since 2010!

As I reflect on how well 2012 treated me, I must say thank you to each and every single one of you for being a part of my life. Words can not express how much I appreciated your company, conversation, encouragement, and love. Family and close friends, acquaintances, people from past jobs and school, everyone I met through working at Cardpool, interning for CAAM/SFIAAFF30, and writing/reporting for Audrey Magazine, Medium Rare, The Hudsucker, and Pink and Black Magazine, and faraway friends I talk to through my social networks…I am so grateful for you. I am grateful for everyone and everything that has inspired me. I look forward to what this next year will bring. Wishing you all good health, success, and happiness in 2013—may all your dreams come true, and may you all experience great adventures!

Here’s to us. Here’s to your awesomeness. Cheers!

PHOTO CREDITS: My Flickr / My Instagram / Monica D.’s (Sister) Instagram (Civic Center & Scott J. Campbell photos) / Kai S. (SFIAAF30) / Star 101.3 (Adam Lambert)
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