Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review - Dear 2011 and a Plea to 2012

Dear 2011...
It doesn't seem like it has been a year since you entered my life.  I remember when I first found you...I had a childlike naivety that the you and I would have a good relationship yet at the same time, since the horrible break up with 2010, I certainly went into it with some trepidation.  I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised...

Looking back on my letter to 2010,  I put in a note for you remember? I asked you to give us more love in our lives...more laughter...more fun. I was looking for hope in the new year as most people do.  What I found was a year like I haven't had in awhile.  I can honestly say, for the first time in several years...2011...I will miss you.

I know you must leave. I know I get 365 days with each new year and it is important to me that I use those days in a positive way.  Does it always happen that way?  No. Does it need to? Nope.  Even on the days that may not have been spent in the most productive or positive ways, lessons were learned. That's what it all comes down to, my friend...even in those bad years...where I struggled to find the money to put food on the table (or lack there of, since I didn't really have a table), the months I needed help with my rent, the two years I lived in New York City on unemployment (damn miracle and I still don't know how I did it) hard as it was...the tears I cried...the frustration that enveloped me was all a lesson learned and I wouldn't give it back for anything. Each tear, each scream of aggravation, each worry that wrinkled my all made me who I am today, December 31, 2011.

You weren't there, 2011, so I know you might not understand.  Your pal 2010 was...2009 was as well.  I wished them good riddance, but you are different.  You were a spark of hope...of happiness...of dreams beginning to take shape.  You  were different than other years I have lived, but different in a good way. Though there were surely times we wish that hadn't happened, they have to happen in order to form us into the people we really are.

2011...good and bad, I am thankful for all the times...the ones that made me laugh, cry, scream and take a deep breath in order to recenter myself. In 2011 I learned that my lifetime dream could actually come true. I learned that I am more than a number.

I learned that working at home isn't always the wonderful thing you think it will be. I learned that people don't really think you have a "real job" if you work at home, but in reality, you work harder than you ever have in your life.

I learned that sometimes the maid of honor can overshadow that bride...and that sometimes the maid of honor is all that you really wanted to be. I learned that weddings are not always the happy occasions they should be for everyone. I also learned that a hat at a wedding can be the star...even if it looks like an octopus on crack.

I learned that justice is not always served and the American justice system is bullshit. I learned that murderers can walk free and innocent men can be put to death.

I learned that the Kardashian's are like a plague to me and that a heterosexual "marriage" of 72 days is preferred in this country (by law) over the chance that same sex couples who have been together for 25 plus years may be able to tie the knot.

I learned that the phrase "in vino veritas" is...well....for real.

I learned that Rebecca Black's "Friday" can make my ears bleed and Adele can make me lose by breath.  I learned we can all "move like Jagger" if we try and that Lady Gaga is still pretty damn cool. Brittney still has it, the Decemberists still kill it and Rachael Owens is certainly on my radar.

2011, you gave me a huge surprise that I certainly wasn't expecting. Tomorrow, January 1, 2012 will by my 11 month anniversary of quitting smoking. I have not had a cigarette since February 1st, 2011...and there is still a part of me that can't believe it happened. It wasn't wasn't came to me in a dream and the dream materialized in front of my eyes.  I will say, however, that the 20 pounds I put on after quitting smoking was also unexpected and not appreciated. That is one beef that I have with you.  I mean, I can still fit into my clothes, but I am not happy.  Luckily you also brought me a gym membership that I plan to continue with as soon as I get back home from my little extended Christmas break.

Oh, 2011...the political climate this year was horrible.  I can't even believe that the American people have not had an uprising over the idiocy and stupidity that is going on in our government at this time. I am a liberal...I am a proud Democrat...but seriously...every single member of Congress, DEMS and Republicans...they need to be fired.  Normal people could NEVER EVER get away with what they get away with in their jobs. I recently read that Michelle Bachmann has an 8% attendance rating as a rep for the poor people of Minnesota...8%?????  Are you KIDDING ME????  How is this APPROPRIATE???  (For the Right, I am NOT focusing on Michelle Bachmann because she is a Republican, I am using her because I saw the stats...Dems do it too and it HAS to stop.)  Ugh...I can't even talk about it anymore, 2011. taught me that friends can become family and family can become friends.  You also taught me that friends can save your life...literally. I learned that at 32 years old, you can still get roofied at the bar...and you can lose your memory for two days, lose your ability to drink white wine and though you can still like hummus, you don't love it with the same fervor you used to.

I learned that when the family you respect pressures you to do something you don't agree with, you will do it anyway.  I also learned that even if you do the "right" thing, you get no glory, no promises and no changes. It is also possible to feel like a stranger in your own family. Sometimes things just are not fair, but you deal with it.

I learned that even if you see things in black and white, others don't.

I learned that you can go on a hell of a lot of dates and still be single at the end of the year. I learned that it can be embarrassing to be single with zero prospects. I learned when you give up on love and focus on you, great things can happen. However, it still really sucks when you are the oldest one in your family and all of your cousins are married and having babies. (This is not to say I am not EXTREMELY happy about the good fortune these cousins have found...I love their spouses (and baby and pets....except Princess Jasmine))

I learned that even if a guy is hot, if he is a Pentecostal Republican, he is not the guy for me.

I learned that you can hear your biological clock ticking away if you listen closely enough.

I learned that when your dog wears a sweater, people will make fun of you. Speaking of dogs...2011...seriously?  The dog that lived downstairs?  What was THAT all about?

I learned that dancing to Britney Spears can mess your feet up for months and listening to Alica Keys still gives me chills.  Music matters, no matter what year it is.

I learned that Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewery can knock you on your ass very quickly, that a pretzel can break your tooth in a second and sometimes you can find kindred spirits in the strangest places. You can find solace in a photo, your heart can fly away in a moment and you can be self conscious, even among those you consider the closest of friends.

I learned that when I look at the clock, more often than not, it is always 22 past the hour...(what in the HECK is that about???)

Hey, 2011...dreams can come true, or at least be very possible and you can find the strength in yourself if you look heard enough. That was the biggest lesson I learned this year.

For the first time, I am having bittersweet feelings about the New Year.  You were good to me, 2011. You give me hope that 2012 will be even better and I love that thought. I will miss you, 2011, believe me...this was a good year and I am thankful for all that you taught me. It is with a heavy heart I say good bye, but looking forward to all year 2012 has to offer.



Dear 2012...

We haven't met, but I know you are on your way. I just wanted to send you a short note and let you know that I was very close with your colleague 2011 and I will miss them.  I have a sense that since I see the number 22 all the time, that you will be a good year for me and that this will not be the end of the world like the stupid people who believe the fake Mayan calendar think it will be. I look forward to getting to know you better and I would love if you could do a few things for me. I would love to find my true love. I want to be motivated to write creatively and get a novel going. I have several ideas, and need some focus on one of them. I wish for good health, an easy tooth extraction ( I am TERRIFIED of this), support from my family no matter what path I choose and the continuing good fortune that 2011 brought to me. Bring me good friends, good times, good music, good love and good health, and you too, can get a glowing good bye letter like your friend 2011 received from me. I also want you to bless my new blogging venture, which will be a real and raw site where anyone can share their creative musings.  In closing, 2012, lets have a hug, shake a hand and start off on the next 365 days as partners in crime.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day in Review - Updates and What the Future Holds

Ella Grace is here.  Congratulations to my cousin Jason and his wife Katie. I wanted Ella to be the first thing I wrote about tonight since it is her birthday. She is a beautiful baby and I can't wait to meet her in person.

The last time I wrote I was dealing with a barking dog and talking music.  I am currently listening to the Adele version of "Lovesong" and thinking about how I could die and be happy if I was listening to this on my deathbed. I hate to wish death on anyone or anything actually.  However, when you have listened to a dog bark for hours on end in the same three syllables, I will admit, I wanted to KILL the owner for putting the dog through that.  As much as I want to get rid of the dog and as wonderful as it would be to get a bit of silence as I work, I know, deep down, it is not the dog's fault. The fault lies with the bastard who owns that dog.

I love dogs, I do...for real...I mean, I let a dog sleep in my bed with me every night...that should be proof enough that I love dogs. I feel bad for this dog...but it is making me go insane...slowly...painfully....utterly....insane. I lose all concentration (bark, bark, bark) and I can't concentrate on my (bark, bark, bark) work. I feel bad because I write for (bark, bark, bark) a living and sometimes really need to focus on what (bark, bark, bark) I am doing. I would hate to (bark, bark, bark) turn in a bad article or assignment because (bark, bark, bark) of this damn dog (bark, bark, bark).

Luckily the dog is moving...this weekend, in fact.  . Finally I will be free, but I am unsure that I will regain my sanity. You see, each time this dog barked I lost a bit of my sanity...I almost feel like Britney Spears when she went through her head shaving phase. I don't think I will do something really crazy and shave my head or become a conservative, but I cannot be certain that I won't do something else a little crazy...

I have been so busy with work lately but I have been able to work on my Festivus post as well as get a few snippets done for a possible novel.  I seriously have about 15 novels going right now. (Slight exaggeration...more like three)  My New Year's resolution is going to be to focus on ONE of them and stick to it. Is it bad luck to announce your resolution before the actual New Year? (Let me know if it is and I will erase this section) See...I have the funny one that is a reflection of my dating life...then I have to total fictional one that is based on real people that I know (Yes, if you are reading this, one of the characters could be you) then I have the one with the historical perspective that I love so much but only nerds will read it. (On a side note, I don't actually think I am nerdy enough to write it). My dream is to write Jodi Piccoult. I hope 2012 leads me deeper into that world. ( letter to 2011 will be coming in about 2 weeks! It will be pretty awesome!)

OK...I cannot stop listening to Adele....don't judge me, I have a slight obsession at the moment.  I go through stages with music where I listen to artists over and over again. The good thing about me and music is that once I like it, I like it forever. Adele, Rachael Owens, The Decemberists, Florence Welch...all that I mentioned in the last blog post...I will likely be a fan forever...even when it is not "cool" to do so. I can still sing every word to "Please Don't Go Girl", "Spice Up Your Life" and "That's Why They Call It The Blues" and "Hot Cross Buns". I feel like these people are my friends. (This may be the dog bark insanity speaking) I am actually concerned at this very moment because Rachael Owens hasn't posted to Twitter recently. I notice these things...

Read excerpt from a story I could go places...or it could suck.  It is an interview of one character about another...

"The rope was cutting tight on her wrists. I could see her breathing deep, the girl with the blue eyes.  She was focusing on something unknown like she was bearing a child. Her hair was like no color I could imagine, but her eyes...they were very blue. I didn’t know why she was here in the prison, but from the looks of her, she was almost ready to collapse.  She was standing, but obviously weary.  She had blood on her face.  Her hair looked like string. She was European or American based on her features. It was like she was determined to show no pain. Her teeth were clenched and her eyes were shut like a vice. At intervals she would open them and look ahead.  She only kept them open long enough for tears to begin forming. At that point she would close them.  When I saw that, I knew she was strong.  I wondered why she was in prison since she had a very innocent look to her face.  She looked like a cherub in the books I had seen in my father’s library of western religion. I saw one tear fall from her eyes and I knew it was a tear for her beloved.  It was so touching that I wanted to hold her, but I knew I couldn’t.  I knew I had to take the rope and lead her to prison.”

Still to airing of grievances, my letter to 2011 and the answer to the questions..."What is this new blog she keeps talking about?"

Day in Review - Festivus...It's Time to Air the Grievances

Happy Festivus to You and Yours...Have you aired your grievances?  I am about to air mine.  Festivus is that magical time of year where you can tell everyone else how much they have disappointed you over the past year.  It's like a free pass to let the bitchiness out that has been plaguing your inner soul for the past twelve months. It is a time to be honest with those you hate  love tolerate.  So, without further ado...I will air my grievances...

To the dog that lives downstairs...or used to live downstairs - I don't know your name.  I don't know if you are a male or female. If I saw you in a line-up I am not sure I could pick you out (unless you barked). I have seen you and your owner from afar but I have never met you in person. Each time you bark a piece of my sanity disappears forever. When I hear the pitch of your bark it is like a million tiny daggers stabbing my very being. You have caused me to stomp on the floor like a child in the throws of a temper tantrum, you have made me yell allowed to get the frustration out, you have pushed me to storm down the stairs in ugly purple sweat pants and a pair of socks with a hole in it in an attempt to stop your barking...but it never stopped.  It was just bark, bark, 7am and 5 pm.  If I was lucky, that was it...if not, it happened at happy intervals throughout the day. Bark, bark, bark.  Bark, bark, bark. Bark, bark, bark.

To Blackberry - You were in my Airing of the Grievances last year and once again, you have made an appearance.  What in the HELL does that tell you?!??  I had to struggle through 11 months of using a shitty phone that dropped calls, froze consistently throughout the a day, that restarted whenever it felt like it and that was just a thorn in my side. I told you last year if you didn't shape up I was done.  I am now loving my iPhone.

To the Kardashian's - Why are you on TV again?  All I ask is for one full day without hearing your name.  I don't think it has happened yet. I don't place all the blame on you but on the American obsession of watching train wrecks. By the way, please explain why Kim's marriage is a legitimate union but my friend cannot legally marry the man that he loves.

To the Republican Presidential Candidates - I have to admit, I enjoy watching you really enhances the buzz I have going on from the bottle of wine I have to drink in order to listen to the garbage that pours forth from your mouths. I don't hate or disrespect Republicans...I don't agree with them. I believe that it should always be a fair fight and we have a right to our difference of opinions....but....Really??  This is all you have???  The best of all your party?

To Congress - Sticking to my politics soapbox...each and every one of you...Republican, Democrat and should be ASHAMED of yourselves. You should NOT have a job today. There are too many hardworking American's out there collecting unemployment or unable to even get unemployment because you can't work together to get this problem straightened up.  The only reason this country is in the shape it is at this point is because of YOU. 

To Harold Camping - Once again you have led innocent dumb asses to believe the world is going to end and once again you have been proven wrong. It may be time to stop making predictions and to work on  maybe getting those ears pinned back. "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves." Matthew 7:15

To Princess Beatrice - Your hat ruined the royal wedding. It distracted the world from William, Kate and most importantly, Pippa.

To my Meth Lab neighbor - For many months of 2011 my poor dog, random dates and myself had to suffer through the smell that emanated  from your apartment. I gagged, I had to explain what the smell was and I went through cases of air freshener spraying down the hallway.  Now that you have bought your new Kia Rondo I have noticed you have stopped making meth.  I am proud of you. I know it can be hard to make car payments. I would like to ask for 2012 that you remember that it is not appropriate to slam your door four times in a row each time you run your meth supplies down to the dumpster in the garage.