Note to self: don’t promise to start a brand new writing schedule on Friday night and wait until 5am on Monday morning to start writing the inaugural post.
Honestly, though, it’s hardly my fault. I blame Julian Fellowes. Julian Fellowes, the man who ranks third only behind Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss as “British Screenwriter Most Likely To Make Me Bawl My Face Off.” I’m talking, of course, about Downton Abbey, of which I just finished the second season, oh, five minutes ago. Hence, the 5am-ness of this start.
Here’s the rub, you guys: I’ve spent the last week serving my annual Solitary Confinement sentence, when Donnie leaves for Kentucky while I stay behind. But usually I’m working or visiting family of my own. In fact, I’m supposed to be in San Francisco visiting the Curti at this very moment, but thanks to my malfuctioning guts, I had to miss my little potato’s first taste of avocado. CURSES! So I’m filling the void by devouring episodes of Downton Abbey (since I can’t devour anything else these days, wah wah waaaaah). One more episode, and I’ll finally take a shower. Okay, just one more and then I’ll actually unpack that suitcase I packed for San Fran. OH SHIT THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN TO MY POOR MR. BATES ONE MORE EPISODE!!!
You get the picture. The terrible, unflattering picture.
So, yes yes yes I’ve been horribly irresponsible and should have started this ages ago, but what’s done is done. Let’s move onto the task at hand, which is the 2012 retrospective I’m supposed to be writing.
I was going to do it month by month, but trying to recall the gnarliest year of recent memory in such detail is just depressing me. Let’s be honest: if you read at random something written during 2012, chances are great that I was crying while I wrote it. Rough Year was ROUGH. I went to too many funerals, lost too many friends, and spent too much time wallowing to fully appreciate the (better by contrast) good moments of 2012. So I’m making the executively cheerful decision to make this lookback at 2012 a Best Of list! Ladies and gents, I humbly present my top eight moments of last year (why eight? Because it’s my favorite number and I do what I want, that’s why):
8. #WhyILoveIt!: I had the good fortune of spending the majority of my year working with an amazing team at a fantastic company. Sure, I’m out of work now, but this was the only time in my nine years of being in the workforce that it was through no one’s fault. I didn’t quit, I wasn’t fired, and no one got defriended on Facebook (the ultimate “we are no longer associated” gesture I can think of). If anything, I’m grateful for the time I had and the things I learned. If I signed LoveIt’s yearbook, I would totally put K-I-T and include my phone number. TOTALLY.
7. Fighting with my best friends! Okay, this is a weird one, so stick with me. In the past couple years, my roster of friends has changed dramatically. People I thought were lifers traded to other teams. I picked up a few free agents, and renewed contracts with some former teammates I hadn’t put in heavy rotation. Also, I watched a lot of baseball. Point is, there comes a time in every meaningful friendship in which you need to argue. It doesn’t have to be big and dramatic, but there has to be some butting of heads to get over that hump of “oh god I can’t disagree with them or things will be awkward and blegh.” Well, I am strangely happy to report that I crossed that off my to-do list with not one, not two, but SEVEN people I consider to be in my inner circle today. …actually, wait a minute, there may be a problem with the common denominator here. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I’M PUSHY AND CONFRONTATIONAL FUCK YOU. Ahem. Moving on.
6. ADVENTURE TIME! Last year, one of our elevator fellas used to tease me that we spent more time on the road than we did at home, and he was right. Donnie and I had a lot of roadtrips last year. From San Francisco to Comic Con to many (one could say “too many” and not be entirely wrong) trips to Arizona, I can’t say my chronic wanderlust went unfulfilled last year. And it was a year I desperately needed to run away from, so I can’t thank my long-suffering traveling partner for packing up the car and making driving playlists every time I needed to fly the coop. He’s a keeper, thatone.
5. NaNoWriMo! Okay, so I didn’t complete my 50,000 words during National Novel Writing Month, but to be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect nor plan to. I just wanted to take advantage of the time to get the barebones structure and story locked down so I could continue molding the damn thing on my own time. And structure it I did! Frankly, I’m proud of my measly 15,000 word WIP and I’ll keep shellacking that wretched thing until it’s presentable. Until then, I’m glad I participated in the event just for the sense of creative camaraderie from my fellow writers. You fools just GET it.
4. To All Who Come To This Happy Place…Welcome!: I will be totally honest with you…I spent way too much time at Disneyland this year. I spent over 24 hours there on Leap Day. I went with friends, with family, and with nothing to keep me company but my Kindle and a smile on my face. What can I say? It’s my happy place. It soothes me. I don’t see what a lot of jaded people see when they go: a place of manufactured memories and tacky childish pursuits. It puts an instant smile on my face when I get there. To be honest, I like being around happy people, and dollars to churros there are a lot more happy people per capita at the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH than anywhere else. I went too many times to remember, so I did some research on my Disney account, and frankly I’m a little embarrassed by the number of times I went in 2012. Let’s just say it’s somewhere between 87 and 89 times, okay?
3. Patric came home! My brother-in-law is one of the sweetest, goofiest, kindest guys in my life and it’s an honor to know him. So of course it ached to continually hear of the series of horribly unfortunate twists of fate by which he found himself caught in a purgatory-like state of non-dischargedness after his military injury. But finally, two long years of waiting to be sent home after making a fairly miraculous recovery came to an end with his official retirement from the Army, and I’m so happy that he’s finally with his wife at their new home. I couldn’t be prouder of them, and I get something in my eye every time I think about how much they deserve to be happy and safe together. Where’s my damn tissue box?!
2. My potato was born! I love little baby Liam more than I thought I could. He’s more than a godson, more than a nephew-by-proxy, he is my precious, and I love him. He came four days after my Mimi passed away and I can’t even begin to describe how much of a blessing it was to have him come that week. I will never forget the wild shriek of joy I let out when I saw the soon-to-be-Daddy come up on my caller ID, because I knew it was time, that someone wonderful was about to come into the world! I’ll never forget how much my grief was tempered by the Circle of Life-ishness of it all. The sun set on one magnificent life and dawned on another. It was big and beautiful and perfect and it’s an experience I’m very, very grateful for.
1. New Year’s Eve! I have to admit to a momentary moment of panic (is there any other kind?) as midnight drew near. Our motley crew was sitting around the bonfire when the question came up: “what’s your biggest accomplishment of 2012?” The slew of inspirational achievements made me want to slide into the fire and dissipate into embers in the night sky, and my stomach sank lower and lower as my turn to answer came closer. In a year of what seemed like an experiment in failures, I had nothing to be proud of, nothing to receive congratulations on. So I answered the only way I could: “I made it.” And I got the biggest burst of applause of the night, with a chorus of HEAR HEAR and THANK GOD IT’S OVER. Wait a minute…even with your accomplishments and your crowning glories, you still had a rough year of it? I’m not the only sad sack ready for a fresh start out there?! “No, you narcissistic ass, you are NOT,” thought everyone else in the entire world because clearly they all think about me. -___- And that’s when I decided to snap out of my Les Miserables year and start embracing the moments that count. 2013, ONWARD!
Tune du Jour: Master of the House by Matt Lucas and Jenny Galloway, from the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables. Hands downs and far away my favorite Thenardiers! I love Matt Lucas on Little Britain, but this will always be my favorite performance of his, bar none.