|Did we ever get to see "Aunt Petunia"?|
Biggest Event of 2011 is basically a no-brainer... The earthquake and following tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 is without any competition the biggest event of the year. To be honest, living in the Tokyo area and working (more than) full time as a salaryman with a hungry family to feed when I get home, it's really hard to believe that it was less than a year ago the earthquake struck. Life in Tokyo pretty quickly went back to normal, but every now and then reminders of the horrible tragedy shows up. The quake itself and the week directly following it will forever be etched in my mind though, pretty scary stuff.
Biggest Non-Earthquake Related Event of 2011 is the changing of jobs (again) making me realise just how painful it can be to change jobs from a comfy (but not challenging) position where you know everything and everyone to a completely new environment way out of the comfort zone, having to go through the 'ol song and dance routine again. Now, almost six months later, I'm finally starting to settle in and getting my bearings, just about when an old friend gave me a call out of the blue with a very attractive job offer (we'll see what happens to that, the job seems great, but the timing for me is equally not-great).
Girl that Occupied my Brain in 2011 is... ... ... toddler Sunshine. I wish they came with a manual, but as she is now over a year and half, she's getting a little easier to interpret. As nice as it is with the Sunshine girls at home, I'm starting to feel the need for a Jnr. Salaryman to maintain the status quo of mutually assured self destruction
Most Important New Life Companion of 2011 is my beloved iPad! As my new job carries with it a lot more travelling across the country in work, the iPad has become invaluable as I have packed enough entertainment there to last me at least a year. The iPad is packed with movies, e-books, e-magazines, games and comics and as if it's not enough to use it out of the home, I basically carry it around with me all the time in the house as well. The only drawback I can see is that I'm getting a bit lazy with it, using my stationary computer much less than before and dropping comments on other people's blogs I read and appreciate becomes a little more of a hassle (sorry about that!).
Biggest Revelation of 2011 is much harder to pinpoint... Looking back, 2011 was actually a quite poor year when it came to great movies and music (hey, at least what came up on my radar) with no particular movie or music artist and/or album that really rocked my world (hey, there were quite a few really good ones though), but when it comes to the world of entertainment I guess discovering the TV-show Dexter and working my way through the first five seasons in the commute comes pretty high. I had heard the name before but never really thought it was worth investing the time to try and watch until Big Bro recommended it and I got hooked.
Best Video Game of 2011 is actually much harder as a large number of really really great games came out in 2011, but for me, the without doubt best game of 2011 has been The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This game has forced me to neglect both family, work and precious sleeping time as I've been completely immersed in the world of that game. Part of me is happy to say that it looks like I have quite some ways to go until I finish the game, but the other part of me feels bad about me withdrawing into my den to play the game when I really have better things to do. If you're into games, you probably already know the game so I won't mention it in any detail, but it's like a mix of Fallout, the Elder Scrolls, Diablo and a bunch of other games I can't remember now. The sense of wonder and fun of exploration that I felt when playing the game is one that I probably haven't felt since I first played Fallout 2 or even way back to Wasteland on the old C64...
Best Blog of 2011 is probably also worth a mention. I'm not sure on how much of an achievement it is coming from me, as I don't really read blogs that much, basically the stuff that is on my blogroll from time to time ,but I don't go out hunting for new blogs to read. But the blog that I find most interesting is that of Aussie bird Corinne in the outback of Kyoto and her blog "Always leaving things unfinishe" (yes, the final "d" is not supposed to be there). At this point, I get the feeling that we already share most of the readership base (or to be more correct, most of the people who read my blog also check out hers, her horde of foreign women married to Japanese men probably couldn't care less about my blog) so I might be preaching to the mosque here, but if you haven't checked it out I highly recommend you to do so. A very close runner-up is the good 'ol Badboy Chris with his "Confessions of a Badboy in Japan", and the rest is in the blogroll.
Whatever Happened to... of 2011 is a brand new category for this year (let's pretend that I'm consistent here, just for kicks) and is custom made for The Octopus! Good 'ol Octopus had a quite funny blog (although very irregularly updated at the best of times) and was one of "my regular" commentators whose comments quite often made me burst out in a grin-like parody of a smile, but who, since autumn seemed to stop existing on the Internet.