Monthly Archives: December 2013

At Year’s End – 2013

I love reading the year-end posts, and looky here I can finally do my own! Thanks to RA for modifying the questionnaire!

1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

This past July I turned 33. I was taken out for lunch by my coworkers (where we had the most fabulous cucumber melon margaritas) and then had dinner over at my parents’ house (where I got ribs, mashed potatoes, and cheesecake… and no wonder my pants don’t fit.) Something terrible usually transpires on my birthday. It was a pretty anti-climactic year, and astronomically less stressful than the previous year’s birthday betrayal and tears. My parents are also incredibly lovely and agreed to host a whole bunch of my friends for another tie-dye party to honor my brother.

2. What are your strongest memories from this year, and why?

New Year’s Eve/Day (okay fine I guess that TECHNICALLY is 2012, but whatever) was highly outside my comfort zone since it involved dressing up, lots of drinking, and dancing, but ended up being tons of fun.

The end of a significant relationship.

Birth of Jackson and watching everyone’s heart explode to accommodate the joy he brings.

The summer of having a roommate.

Dragging a friend to Summerfest to see my favorite local band, getting utterly soaked, and having their appearance cancelled due to the weather.

Clearing off my desk ready to leave my job over some unethical behavior by senior management.

Another tie-dye party in my parents’ backyard. Complete with enormous tub of florescent cheeseballs.

My kitchen flooding, AGAIN.

Driving to Minnesota, for dinner, simply because R opened up her house and invited people over.

Watching a friend with control issues struggle with the reality of life with a puppy.

Seeing a friend throw out the first pitch at a Brewers game.

Oktoberfest in Munich – kissed multiple boys, my mother rode a carnival ride, so much pork and beer.

My dad surprising my mom for her birthday and encouraging us not to cancel our annual mother-daughter weekend.

My grandma’s death.

Getting a Christmas tree with my dad and it WASN’T raining.

3. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?

I got seriously angry at my best friend for crossing the line and getting involved in an issue that had absolutely nothing to do with her. I hope that was a once in a lifetime event because I never want to feel that way again.

I stood up for myself more than I ever remember doing in the past. I let people know their actions were hurtful and I initiated uncomfortable conversations with family and bosses.

4. What did you want and get?

A lovely Christmas, against all odds. I meant to do a wrap-up post on this but never got to it. I really should because it was a highly memorable and enjoyable holiday.

5. What did you want and not get?

Stability – of the love, financial, career variety. The usual.

I really thought I would get a dog this year too. It seems crazy that it has been more than a year since Molly died. Life without a dog is significantly easier in so many ways, but I miss having a snuggly furball. It is ridiculous to continue to pay such high rent for the ideal dog suitable living arrangement, but I have not been ready yet.

6. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year?

A new (to me) car. With health insurance and out of pocket costs almost tripling for me in 2014 I have no idea how I am going to swing financing a car, but it is a definite necessity.

A competent boss. I know it is verboten to discuss work issues online,  but it is no secret even at the office that I am highly unsatisfied with my boss’ performance. I continue to hold out hope this situation will be fixed without having to leave a job I really do like.

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

(opens up past list, scans, laughs.) I don’t really RESOLVE to do things, but I do like to make a goal list to stay organized about the things I would like to accomplish. Despite not accomplishing even a third of 2013’s items (ahem, several being tied to a failed relationship) I am sure I will sit down to make a new list for 2014.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Not giving up and believing wrongs will be rectified. Maybe it is naive, maybe it is stupid, but I don’t want to be a cynical person. I am proud of my ability to remain optimistic despite being shit upon from several fronts. Plus whether or not I should still be at my job, I am glad I didn’t leave there in a huff.

I also re-entered the dating world this fall. Even though I feel my life is fully complete when I am sitting on the couch in my sweatpants, I do realize that is breeding grounds for a lonely existence. I went on a couple set-up dates and my book club ladies pushed for me to post an online profile.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Being blindsided by heartbreak. That optimism I value really came around and bit me in the ass. I believe in the theory that good only feels good because the concept of bad also exists, but damn, getting my heart smashed really screwed me up. I certainly behaved in a less than desirable way in that rejected aftermath. I envy people who can truly foster friendship with past lovers. I cannot fathom that at this point, but I will forever be sad that someone who was so important in my life is simply gone from it.

10. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed?

Ice cream? That would certainly explain why my pants don’t fit. I had several friends really step it up this year to support me and I cannot imagine how I would have kept my sanity any other way. As always, Twitter continues to make my heart swell. Basically any time I need to scream at the universe, I have an entire feed of people raising their fists collectively shouting back in support “yeah, fuck the man.” It is ridiculously comforting.

11. What are your strongest recommendations for entertainment from this year? (books, television, movies, music, etc)

Books – My book recommendation is to join a book club. Although there were several books I didn’t care for, the discussions of all of them were quite enjoyable.

TV – The Good Wife, The Mindy Project, The Big Bang Theory (I like a lot of “The” shows I guess.) GIRLS, Masters of Sex. Also pretty much anything is enjoyable when watching alonside others snarking on Twitter (Nashville, Scandal). A friend got me hooked on Homeland and then she went and got super busy so we haven’t gotten to watch the 3rd season yet. I hope we can marathon that soon before I see all the spoilers.

Movies – I am in serious movie withdrawal mode. I blame some of that on my spending freeze, but I really missed going to movies this past year. I have seen 2 (Catching Fire and American Hustle) so far on vacation, so despite not paying for either one of those, (shameless!) I am hoping this bodes well for 2014.

Music – Glen Hansard had an EP released in November that I recommend (duet with Eddie Vedder covering a Springsteen song? yes please!) Also upcoming Yellow Ostrich has a new album in February that I am super excited about. I was really bummed when Jon Natchez left the band (seriously click that link and follow him on Twitter, well worth it) but from what I have heard with their new recruits I expect really good things. I bought a bunch of tickets for their next local show as Christmas presents. You should totally catch them if they come to your area.

12. What song will remind you of this year?

Night Fever. Definitely not a year-round encompassing song, but we went to a nightclub in Munich where they played this and the local crowd sang it as “Ich Habe Nacht Fever” and it makes me laugh whenever I think about it (and all the subsequent singing of this we did on the trip).

13. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year).

It was technically released in 2012, but I am a huge Glen Hansard fan, and he wrote “Song of Good Hope” in honor of a friend who was battling cancer. My struggles this year were nothing compared to that, but I found a lot of comfort in the song.

“Take your time babe
It’s not as bad as it seems, you’ll be fine babe
It’s just some rivers and streams in between
You and where you wanna be”

14. What was your most enjoyable purchase?

I am hard-pressed to think of a purchase that was more enjoyable than my dirndl.

Lederhosen and Dirndl - so much fun!

Lederhosen and Dirndl – so much fun!

15. Did you travel? If so, where?

Yes! Last Christmas my parents surprised me with the announcement we would be going to Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. They also took my cousin Erich (fluent in German!) and his boyfriend Jordan. My cousin Natalie saved my hide and joined in as my +1 because she is the coolest ever. Seriously, I was feeling very low and unloved and someone who doesn’t even like beer agreed to gallivant abroad with my crazy parents. It was an amazing trip and I really should give it the separate post(s) it deserves.

Opening day at Oktoberfest

Opening day at Oktoberfest

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

Camping. I did not go camping a single time in 2013. I really held tight to my dollars and vacation days this year in anticipation of the Germany trip, but it makes me sad that I didn’t take more weekend or day trips. That will definitely have to change in 2014.

Reading. There were some months the only book I read was for Book Club and that is pitiful for someone who loves to read so much. I am thankful for everyone that posts book review lists as it gives me so many ideas. Now I have stacks of books and I need to get to them. This probably means significantly less television in my future.

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

Sulking. Oh boy, I can pout with the best of them. I believe in the power of a good pity party, but I could have spent a little less time holed up under the covers this year.

18. Compared to this time last year, how are you different?

Perhaps more guarded and bitter. I am also the heaviest and healthiest I have been in decades.

19. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same?

I still say wildly inappropriate things (Book Club has banned me from saying pussy). I still put bows on my head when opening presents. I am still terrible at saving money. I still make cookie dough without eggs to eat directly from the freezer.

20. What’s a life lesson you learned this year?

Have the uncomfortable conversation you are dreading. You need to say it, others need to hear it. Otherwise nothing changes and nothing can get better.

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Filed under Because The Internet Told Me To, Misty Watercolor Memories, Year-end Survey

Tomorrow Is Another Day

I have so so many memories that tie into Gone With The Wind, with my Grandma front and center taking the blame for it. She loved the movie and we have watched it together almost every year. In the last few years I doubt she stayed awake during it for more than 20 minutes at a stretch, but I cherish that snoring togetherness just the same. I am going to miss having someone to laugh with about the ridiculous corsets and skirts. I mean come on, I have trouble peeing in the woods while camping. I can’t even IMAGINE bodily functions such as breathing, let alone pooping in that wardrobe.

"Oh Pa, I need 2 maids to help hold my dress when I pee."

“Oh Pa, I need 2 maids to help hold my dress when I pee.”

I used to read GWTW every winter break for a decade. It was such a treat to have an expanse of free time where I could read anything I wanted without feeling guilty about what I should be reading. I received my first copy of GWTW (I state first, in order for Jen to wildly speculate how many copies I hoard own) in middle school and the school librarian (no NPW to be sure) accosted me that it was inappropriate for my age and she was going to call my parents. First of all, really, really? You’re going to reprimand a girl who wants to read? Secondly, my mom’s gift inscription in the front cover did little to reassure this woman my parents were fully aware of my choice in reading materials. I think my mom picked up reading the book just to try and figure out what was deemed so inappropriate, but quickly gave up. Besides, censorship was hardly my parents’ strong suit.

At the end of high school during the lull between AP exams and graduation most teachers let us goof off for those weeks. Our U.S. History teacher had other ideas and showed us some of his favorite period films. The Sting was the only one we got to watch the whole way through, and with other films he would show us snippets and scenes. Since GWTW clocks in at over three and a half hours, this was one of the definite snippet films. Disturbed so many people were unfamiliar with the story, a couple of us got up in front of the room and acted out important romantic dialogue while our teacher fast forwarded to the next scene. We may have made everyone watch Prissy shout, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ babies,” several times. Oh the days before YouTube’s instant gratification. (Which of course has now turned into file after file of Scarlett slapping Prissy.)

It kind of astonishes me that in 17 years of dating, I have only made one guy watch my favorite movie with me. My college boyfriend (tempted to simply give him the nickname Mooch for the purposes of this blog) has historically worked service industry evening hours and in the years he pseudo lived with me would often spend his days at my place enjoying my cable TV. I was home sick one dreary winter weekday, so we were both hanging out on the living room bed (aka the broken futon) and I was super whiny about his TV viewing choices. I got up and said I was going to put in GWTW and for some reason he didn’t object (wise man considering his mooching ways.) Those unfamiliar with the movie details, there is a pivotal scene where Scarlett grabs a fistful of Georgia soil and vows to never be hungry again and there is a fade out with a swelling instrumental melody. Right then Mooch turned to me and said, “Wow, you know, that really wasn’t so bad.” The screen then announces Intermission and advises us to turn the DVD over for the second half. I can still see his face drop in defeat.

Not the end.

Not the end.

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