So my friend Kelly did this year-end survey and it reminded me tht I used to do it too. The last time I have it in my archives was 2007. This is my favorite answer to that one, I think, which was written during my first ass-kicking semester in journalism school:
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. "Just because it hurts like hell to let it go doesn't mean you should keep it." Also, third party attribution will not save you from libel charges, so own your words...cause they's your words for better or worse, sweetheart.
So true. Anyway, I need to write something more serious tonight and I have nothing resembling coherent thoughts about that in my brain yet so I'm hoping this will help make it work.
1. Where did you begin 2010?
At Kristen's house with her family and friends in Virginia, drinking home brew and watching her try to singe creme brulee with a fucked up blowtorch. She talks about the aftermath here. It wasn't pretty.
This made me realize that 2011 makes two years in a row I've been in Virginia on New Year's Eve. It's a conspiracy, Tampa.
2. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Watched and began to comprehend and have opinions about football. Went to Houston. Spent days on end in Virginia. Lost my mind at the Carnegie Deli.
(That wins for my sentimental favorite post of the year. Oates!)
Saw Fountains of Wayne (that was big for me), KT Tunstall and Tom Petty live. Accompanied a friend in Red Sox gear to a Yankees-Sox game at Yankee Stadium. Fed a calf a bottle of milk (fun -- I could totally be a farmer if someone else set everything up and I could just go in and ride their farming coattails.)
Turned 40. (Holy crap, oh my God.)
3. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Absolutely not and yes, I'm trying. Right after January I pretty much sank into my usual seasonally affected depression and then I messed up terribly at something at which I consistently kick ass, so I'd say any resolutions went out the window posthaste. I've got some in mind for this year. I have some writing to do this weekend and I may share them. We'll see.
Oh, and I also fully intended to get another tattoo on my 40th birthday. Failed that -- and not just because some lady on Twitter who didn't bother to ask whether I had experience in this genre or not told me I was a middle-aged cliche. I just hadn't figured out what I wanted yet. That's kind of key.
4. Were you in school (anytime this year)?
No. I graduated from journalism grad school in 2008 and because I don't think I'll ever take leave of my senses and go for a Ph.d I'm pretty sure I'm done. (Please let me not take leave of my senses.) I wanted to take some web design classes so I can build my own website and photo portfolio but I was very busy drinking beer and watching hockey games and worrying needlessly about a million things that I did not. Hopefully this year.
5. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, and I am sad about that. Babies!
6. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Crosses self, throws salt over shoulder, sings the Ave Maria, etc.
7. What places did you visit?
I still just want to answer this with Funkytown, you know. HOWEVER.
Houston (twice, once for Mom 2.0 and once for Karen's book release -- both great times.)
(I have pretty friends. Don't hate.)
New Orleans. Ocean City and Rehoboth. Myrtle Beach. New York for kicks and then for BlogHer. Asheville. The amazing Ojai and Ventura after for Creative Alliance.
Plus I went to Virginia a lot to see Sarah and to occasionally bring her beer.
8. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A sunny place to live where I can have friends over for game days and other such festive occasions. An iMac. A new website. Dependable sanity. A waist.
9. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 3, going to the Maryland game with my father and watching them beat Duke at home. I'll never forget this as long as I live. It surpassed my graduation for the best moment I've ever had on campus, and I thought they'd never let me out of that joint what with my remarkably mediocre gpa and knack for changing my major.
June 19, the M3 Festival -- stupidly fun, including the spitting beer on people and getting ejected from The Scorpions portion of the program parts. If anyone knows a metal band who needs a traveling promoter who is not a groupie in any way, shape or form except for the love of trashy awesome music, I may be reached at this website at any time.
BlogHer kicked ass this year, especially -- what was that, August 5-6? I loved it. July 2, Marcus and Tyra's wedding. I was proud to be a part of it and to take some of the photos.
My mom's 60th birthday party.
10. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Having a photo in an exhibit for the first time. That was a big deal for me.
Almost but not completely losing my shit during a very stressful occupational situation that promised to make me do that for awhile there. Scrounging enough freelance money to make it through the summer in spite of the lack of a paycheck with two weeks notice. Writing a lot more than I did in 2009. Helping one of my longest-languishing students graduate and transfer. Making choices in my closest relationships such that I separated a lot more wheat from some fairly glaring chaff.
11. What was your biggest failure?
I dropped the ball on a big project. I know exactly what I did and why and I've come to terms, but if I could go back and do it over in a better and more solid frame of mind I surely would. The spring was very difficult. I also dropped my iPhone into a plastic cup of wine on the Amtrak on the way to BlogHer. That was a shit show -- one with a happy ending, but a shit show nonetheless.
12. Did you suffer illness or injury?
13. What was the best thing you bought?
M3 and Winter Classic tickets. Wine. Plane tickets to Houston, New Orleans and L.A..
14. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My non-blogging friend Jen is a superhero who has given herself heart and soul to caring for her mother. She is the finest person I know. Several of my internet friends reached out from the computer and made me proud to know them and grateful to have them in my life in 3-d, even.
My sister worked so hard in her Ph.d program. I am very proud of and more importantly impressed by her.
I always say this, but pretty much anyone who is fighting the good fight and living with integrity in spite of the usual barriers and problems deserves a round of applause. I am currently clapping.
And freaking leave Dick Clark alone -- it's his house. If he wants to keep getting up and doing it every year on New Year's Eve until he dies, shut up and let him. Did you host American Bandstand, wiseguy? Didn't think so.
15. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Students who skip finals and fail classes therefore. Brett Favre. Pretty much anyone I wrote about on MamaPop. I unfollowed a lot of negativity and narcissism on Twitter. People who tailgate my EFFING CAR ON MY WAY TO WORK and their sisters and brothers in oblivion who scream into their cellphones in enclosed spaces where strangers have to listen to them. (OMG I'LL SEE YOU IN AN HOUR I'LL BRING THE PAPER BAGS WTF?) Anyone, as usual, who committed my worst peevish sins and lied or littered.
16. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, food, travel and hockey and concert tickets.
17. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
M3 Festival and Winter Classic (take the needle off the record.) The Maryland-Duke game. Caps games. BlogHer. Glee (pathetic, yes. True, yes.)
18. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Lady Gaga, Speechless; Avett Brothers, I & Love & You; Kix's Midnite Dynamite album; Biggie, Party & Bullshit; 21 Guns, GreenDay
19. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? I feel pretty stable right now so happier I guess?
b) thinner or fatter? I am ENORMOUS right now. I am not even kidding. I haven't weighed this much since that one year in college.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer.
20. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading. Exercising. Lying on beaches. Kicking ass and taking names. Traveling, always traveling. Taking pictures. 2010 was not a good consistent shooting year.
21. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being trapped in my house by blizzards. Panicking. Feeling guilty. Procrastinating. Sitting in my office. Playing Angry Birds.
22. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve I failed at baking lemon bars and fudge but the cookies turned out okay, so I spent most of the night in the kitchen listening to It's a Wonderful Life from the living room and crying. Christmas Day I was home with my family, plus my father's brothers and their wives and most of the kids came over at night. It was a good holiday.
23. Did you fall in love in 2010?
No. Sad! I had a few little crushes though so that was fun. It's good to know I'm still alive. Maybe this year I'll actually talk to a REAL BOY. (Who doesn't want me to set him up with my friend.) (Who is interesting and financially solvent and can talk about lots of things without my eyes glazing over.) ( And who has season tickets to the Washington Capitals or at least will go to games and doesn't care that I scream a lot at them.)
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Glee. Top Chef. Parenthood. Great Food Truck Race. Not Mad Men. Not True Blood. I know!
25. What did you do for your birthday in 2010?
I went to the MVA to renew my license because I am a procrastinating asshole. However the nice MVA lady was all, "It's YO BIRTHDAY!" and said "Happy birthday!" and she seemed very pleased to be able to do that so maybe that paying it forward was just what the doctor ordered. Then I drank a bottle of Prosecco and ate a dozen oysters for lunch with my mom at Clyde's. Then I ended up at a new restaurant near my house that I've really been wanting to try with my family and a few friends, and Sarah and Marcus and Dolores and Nancy were there and it was rather perfect, considering my aversion to doing any kind of celebrating at all. And those jerks gave me a lovely book that made me cry from joy because it brought home that in spite of how much I think I suck on a daily basis and my stubborn focus on what I lack, that I am very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life and that is gold, baby. Gold. Suck it, haters.
26. What was the best book you read?
This is pathetic because I think I only finished one and I used to read a couple of books a month. Damned internet. I finished Anne Lamott's "Imperfect Birds" and that was okay. I had every intention of finishing "Freedom" but I didn't like it and all I could think all the way til whatever page I made it to was how is it that Jonathan Franzen ranks not having an editor at all? Because dude could have been edited down by about a hundred self-indulgent pages. So mark 2010 down as the Year of the Illiterate Horse or Pig or whatever it is this time around. I have big reading plans for this year, though. I even started reading a book already!
27. What did you want and get?
The summer off (totally unexpectedly and not without trauma, but anyway, it happened.) A Caps jersey. My own room at BlogHer.
28. What did you want and not get?
A houseboy. Also a house. Small detail. A dog.
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I saw "The King's Speech" right before the year ended and because I really loved it and can't remember anything else I'm going with that.
30. Did you make some new friends this year?
I did! This was a great year for friends. I write for a few websites and from those places especially did emerge some of the finest writers and beyond that human beings I've ever had in my life.
31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Again, a houseboy. Unlimited funding. Someone to shovel me out of Snowmageddon.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Does it accentuate my third chin? Sold!
33. What kept you sane?
My friends. My sister. Twitter (counterintuitive, I know, but it's always there for me. Can't deny it.) Red wine after work.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
(Kelly said this and it made me laugh. I fancy her! Her behavior merits celebration!:"Celebrities can eat a fat one. Seriously. I don’t give a flying frack.")
But I'll say it -- Jack White can come over anytime.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Midterm elections. I got a little riled on the Twitter that day. Also, relatedly, any signs or exhortations that even remotely aligned Barack Obama's race or country of origin with his performance as president.
36. Who did you miss?
I'll miss my grandmother every day of my life. I'm learning to live with it better, but we were tight so it's hard.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Fun is underrated and should be actively pursued, courage is essential more often than not, and finally and most importantly, don't drop your iPhone facedown on a rock and then days later into a glass of wine because it'll make you sad.