Friday, December 30, 2011

Once again, more me.

This will be the fifth year I've done it. I'm amazed it's gone on that long but I shouldn't be since it's all about me and I am, after all, the person I know the most about.
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

I was on the cover of a book! I wrote about it here and this is the book:

Very exciting stuff, no?

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Again, I doubt I made any and if I did, I have no idea if I kept them. If they were kept, it certainly wasn't on purpose.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I've been lucky to keep those I love around another year.

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave the USA this year BUT I did visit lots of places in the country - New Orleans, Boston, Marthas Vineyard, Las Vegas, San Francisco.... Not so bad.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
I need to work on being more self-motivated. That's a thing.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I'm terrible with dates. Months, a little better. September was good. I spent a few days with my girlfriends at a glamor campsite and I got engaged.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I was very happy to quit a job that was nothing but stress. I've had time to work on my own business and get a lot done. The groundwork is laid, now I just need to start hustling.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I can't remember any big failures. The most frustrating thing for me this year, though, was my inability to keep people from Getting To Me. I had to work with some incredibly unhappy, frustrating people who, because they were so miserable, loved to make everyone else miserable. I knew what they were, I knew I shouldn't take any of it personally, and I still got upset with them and the things they were doing. Getting upset about it was, in itself, upsetting because I knew I shouldn't be bothered and AAAHHH! I'm so glad I don't have to deal with any of that anymore but it did teach me a valuable lesson. I'm working on the whole "don't let them get to you" thing.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
This year had some bumps and bruises. I crashed my moped and, a few weeks later, fell down and damaged my foot. I'm fine now, just a little scarred.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I got a new laptop, just yesterday. It won't arrive until next month so it could be considered a purchase for next year but it was paid for yesterday, which makes it 'bought'. Oh - and a moped. It's so much fun to zip around on!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
A friend of mine has pushed her way through some very tough times and is doing well and my guy is sorting out so much in his life that has been left too long untended and I'm proud of both of them.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I really don't like this question. It feels too much like an excuse to complain about people and really, if someone makes you appalled and depressed, it's kind of your fault for letting them do that do you, right? (see answer to question #9).

14. Where did most of your money go?
Buying the moped and fixing, fixing, fixing, finally replacing a laptop.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The trips I've taken this year were really exciting and I've had a wonderful time. (photos here)

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
I danced all year to LCD Soundsystem's Dance Yrself Clean.

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

a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
Strangely enough, despite quitting one of my jobs, I'm doing better financially than I was at this time last year.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I had spent more time cultivating the friendships I have. I let myself get busy with the little things and let some people drift out of my life.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating less might have been a good thing. I've struggled more with my weight this year than I think I ever have before. I finally had to give up my stubbornness and start working out. It's been productive.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas working. Not so much fun this year.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I stayed very happily in love.

22. How many one-night stands?
This question is always one that's wasted on me. Would it be cheating or something to strike it from the list or change it? Hmmm. I shall change it.

22. How many taco stands?
Only two. One near my old job and one on the way to my guy's house.

23. What was your favourite TV program?
This year was the year I discovered Community and I love love love that show. LOVE IT.
Not only is it hilarious and awesome, but it pays homage (regularly) to my OTHER favorite show, Doctor Who.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No one is worth hating. Is that annoying? Sorry. I have a whole list of people that annoy me, if that helps.

25. What was the best book you read?
The Hunger Games was phenomenal and I'm so excited for the movie next year. I also really liked Miranda July's It Chooses You.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That's a tough one. No one new really blew me away this year - although I did really dig The Civil Wars.

The Avett Brothers are great:

Hugo's cover of 99 Problems was brilliant, just so much fun, but the entire rest of his album was dismal. I like to pretend he only ever did the one song.

27. What did you want and get?
A vehicle.

28. What did you want and not get?
I'm still working on a couple of things, namely an iPad and a new camera. Next year, I'm hoping.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Bridesmaids, Attack The Block, and The Artist were all great movies.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
Jesse took me to a sushi dinner, then bowling. It was fun.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A new camera.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Feminine and quirky. Always the same. This year with extra quirk.

33. What kept you sane?
My guy and my friends.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I still heart Simon Pegg. Did you see Mission Imposable: Ghost Protocol? So funny...

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
There's a lot going on with the government right now that makes me uncomfortable. A large part of it is the fact that very soon, just saying something like that could get me in a lot of trouble. The times, they are a'changing but I'm not certain I like the way our future is going.

36. Who did you miss?
My best friend, who lives far away, my brother, my grandparents. All of them are people I have to make an effort to see more often.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
This year was great for meeting new people and making new friends. There's a whole new posse out there.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
The things that have happened this year are teaching me to be more open and accepting. Not easy things for me to practice but I'm trying.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
"If you are chilly, here take my sweater.
Your head is aching, I'll make it better.
Cause I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am."

It's cheesy but it's apt. I'm gettin' married, folks, and he's a good'un.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Happies!

Merry Christmas! I love the ornament reflection photos - this one is of my brother and I in San Francisco. I took it when I went to visit him a couple of weeks ago.

It's been a very busy couple of months - great, fun changes are happening in the Banana life. There's been some wedding planning, some gift shopping, and moving from one apartment to another. None of these things are finished yet. I've still got some family gifts to purchase but as I won't be seeing them until after the holiday, the shopping will be happening then, too.
Charles, the BFF, came up to see me last week and we made a centerpiece for the reception tables, one we think will look great once we've worked out the details. The first attempt was less than ideal.The butterflies were surprisingly easy to cut out and hang - it's what we were trying to hang them from that has become the problem. We'll figure it out eventually.

The actual moving part of the moving is finished. Now there are stacks and stacks of boxes to unpack and all my things to admire and arrange. Very exciting times for me. Six or seven months from now, they'll all be packed up again for our move to the Westside. I've lived in several different neighborhoods in Los Angeles. I shall list them for you: Long Beach (nice) South Central near USC (not nice), Monterey Hills (not nice), Beverly Hills (very nice), Venice Beach (not so nice), Hollywood (nice-ish), Franklin Hills (nice), Los Feliz (nice), Silver Lake (nice), and now, Echo Park (still forming an opinion - so far, nice). The move to Culver City (which is where I'm hoping we'll end up next year) will bring my LA neighborhood list to eleven. I'm planning to settle down when I've reached a baker's dozen.
The dog and the cat have both gotten used to the new place. The Doctor adapted really quickly. He may not have even noticed we'd moved. Ferris, on the other hand, very calmly and deliberately peed on a bed then went into hiding for a week. Cat sightings were rare and exciting things for us. He's only just started to mingle with the group but it doesn't take much to send him back into the closet again. He'll vanish for hours at the slightest provocation. Luckily, he's quit trying to escape out the front door since we survived the Coyote Incident. By the way, coyotes in Echo Park are no joke. Beasts the size of import cars go prancing merrily up the street all night, every night. Soon after we'd moved here, the Doctor and I were outside so that he could get his business taken care of when I noticed one of the coyote monsters standing about fifteen feet from me, just checking us out. The Doctor noticed the coyote just after I did but surprisingly, he didn't bark and I was able to scoop him up into my arms. We all stood like that for a while, just watching each other, and then the coyote decided not to eat us, turned away, and continued his stroll up the street. Once he was out of sight I ran for the front door and no sooner had I opened it than my cat shot past my feet and into the darkness at the end of the driveway. I had a very small heart attack, tossed the dog (gently) into the room, slammed the door shut, turned to run down the driveway after the cat (right into the heart of Freakishly Large Coyote country) and suddenly, the cat, he is running like his tail is on fire back up the driveway and would probably have just torn right through the screen door if I hadn't opened it in time. I don't know what happened down there in the darkness but I'm guessing it was highly educational for Ferris. He used to try to run out the door at least twice a day and since the Coyote Incident, he doesn't even go near it.

I built a Christmas tree and I am extremely proud of it. This was the beginning of the process:

And this was the end result:Isn't that great! I'll be sorry when I have to take it down.

Clam Chowder. I was told it's the best he's ever had. Success.
Pecan Pie. Not as successful. I couldn't find the right molasses and it was awfully thick and sweet and I threw up later that evening but I'm not sure whether or not that was related to the pie. The other people who ate it were and are fine. And claimed to enjoy the dessert.
Chicken Apple Strata. It took over 24 hours from preparation to pulling it out of the oven and it wasn't amazing. If it's gonna take longer than an hour to make it should be amazing.

And now I have to work.

I've got the annual meme to do so I'll see you soon!