Monday, January 09, 2012

That Thing About That Year

Years ago the lovely Linda started posting this meme. It's one of my favorite of the year end wrap-ups. Yes, the year has ended but today is my birthday so it's a year ending of a different sort.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Traveled to China which included being on a plane for almost double the time I'd ever been on a plane before. Traveled to California. Walked out of my job, packed my shit, and got on a plane to go to a funeral on 30 minutes notice. I've done all those things except get on a plane before. Usually my end-of-life duties are within driving distance. Took a tricks class for dogs and continued to use that information to make my dog a party animal. Sang, in performance, I song I barely knew in a group I'd met the day before and had a whale of a time! Attended and participated in a Canadian wedding.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I can't find what I resolved last year. Figure I wished I'd done more singing, writing, acting etc. So I did do a lot more singing and, through that, acting. It was a huge step to get a new vocal coach and have that relationship continue to work for me. I also revamped and worked on my Life List. I was a pretty good friend. I tried a bunch of new things. I think I did OK. I will make a few for the coming year. Probably this week as I recover from the holiday to birthday slip-n-slide.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Who fucking didn't? (A lot of you, I know.) A friend upstate, the dogwalking couple, one kid of each of my bosses, a college friend, and my cousin's wife is due in April. Oh and a friend's wife overseas.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yup, Queen Bee's sister and Moody.

5. What countries did you visit?
China, Canada

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A venue for my cabaret show. An accompanist. A travel plan for the trip to Italy in the fall. A new computer. A grip.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 4. I don't know if it's the date that Cyndi died or of one of her memorial services but it's the one I somehow associate with the events. June 10, when Moody died. June 11, when I took a stand I didn't think I was capable of.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I shot pictures that were used on a singer's CD materials. We came up with the concept, scouted locations and brought the whole thing to fruition. Teaching my dog to ride a skateboard was pretty cool, too. Also not losing my shit on a long airplane ride.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not doing more for my career. I have a hard time being proactive and I do need a lot of down time for my brain but not as much as I take.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I've taken more sick days from work. A series of low level blah days but haven't had any big illnesses, thankfully. I have had a few fillings. Those suck.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The classes for my dog. The tour of Beijing. Every lesson with my vocal coach. The trips to Canada and California.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Fuck if I know. Mortgage, maintenance, lessons for me and the dog, travel.

13. What did you get really excited about?
I know I'm a broken record but, seriously, I went to CHINA. I'm pretty sure you don't get more excited about anything else in the year that happens unless you already live in China. I'm still talking about it all the time.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
It's a late entry but it sure made this question easier for me this year. It's called Time Between Trains by an extremely cool woman, Susan Werner, who I was lucky enough to see live. I'll put in a video of her singing it but she's a phenomenal live performer so it won't be the same. It'll be good, though. Very good.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? I think about the same.
– thinner or fatter? Right now about the same. I went down then back up for the holidays.
– richer or poorer? A bit poorer partly due to travel and partly due to investing in appliances I wanted/needed. I bought well in hopes they'll last. However, as soon as my bonus comes in I'll be spending most of it on a new computer.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Way more writing. Way more letting shit go. More sleeping (peppy dog cuts into sleep time).

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about stuff I am never going to fucking change. Taking care of people who didn't deserve or appreciate it. (Perfectly ok with the time I spent taking care of people who deserved and appreciated it. Could have done more of that.) Contemplating without action the things that make me nervous.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
In NH with people I love. I have some pics of Christmas Day but the Christmas Eve shots were taken on my cousin's enviable Canon and I'm still waiting for him to send them my way. No regrets from me and no pressure on him, though. I loved playing with the high end toy.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
God I will never be able to choose just one. I unexpectedly loved the US version of Prime Suspect. It was no surprise to love Downton Abbey. Sons of Anarchy was back on its game. Parenthood remains one of the most painfully great shows. I'm not ashamed to say I love Burn Notice, too.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Tina Fey's Bossypants for sure. I kept wanting to tweet excerpts but I would have been tweeting the whole thing. The two House of Niccolo books I read. Interesting, though, looking over the books I read this year those are the only 3 I really loved. I liked a bunch more but I only jumped up and down about these.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

The music I sang. Some October Project, some Cy Coleman, some show tunes, some Susan Werner.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Oy, I just started that thing on Please Pass the Popcorn because I can't remember the movies I've seen this year. I liked The Town an awful lot. Dangerous Method was fun. I'll try to keep better track next year. I did go back and look on PPP and the one movie I spent the time to talk about was Winter's Bone. It was almost a year ago. Wonderful movie, truly amazing. If you haven't seen it I hope it's on your list.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 42 and it seems that we went to brunch and the plans went a little awry but I'm damned if I can remember how.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Performing. I did a couple of open mics but I wanted more.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Abysmal. It always is. I managed to look cute in the clutch but the photos of me from China are cringeworthy.

26. What kept you sane?
The pets, which is good 'cause they're the same ones that make me insane. Writing. Since I did so little writing I think we've hit on why I might have been a little nutso this year.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Aren't they always lessons you've been trying to learn forever? I learned, "It's never as bad as you think it is." 14 hours on a plane? Weird and icky but not brain melting! "Just keep showing up" made an appearance, too. I may not have made leaps and bounds but I kept showing up and forward motion was had.


  1. Your life is being lived well...beautifully, powerfully, gracefully, passionately well. Keep it up my dear! xoxo

  2. Happy Happy Birthday to you! One calendar said it was today, and I didn't know if I had it right or not. Travel almost always takes the cake, doesn't it? I still talk about my trips an embarrassingly long time (years?!) later, there's so much to love and savor. Time to find those century eggs somewhere so I can eat some with you.

  3. Admirably thought and lived and written! Some of what I adore most about this post is the stuff between the lines. I promise to get articulate about that before our next play date... and wish you another generous, fulfilling, accomplished and happy year. And all those repeatable life lessons must be the ones worth repeating. The ones that would make needlepoint samplers, Hallmark greeting cards, or tattoos. My theory is, once you've written as thoughtfully as you have here, you just might not be condemned to repeat... but if you are, at least you know what to call it.