Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrapping Up A Year Of Making My Own Sunshine

As I've done for the last several years, I'm wrapping up 2012 with a year-end meme.  Here we go...

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Shot footage for a "sizzle reel" for a possible TV show. Visited the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Appeared as a guest on a radio show.  Had six months off work (planned and unplanned time).  Saw a naked man driving on the interstate. Caught vandals in the act.  Went to our family reunion without one of the most treasured family members. And the biggest thing I did that has never been done before?  I bought my mother a car.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well, I didn’t learn Italian or exercise, but I did eat less fast food and more fruit, which allowed me to lose 25 pounds, so I guess that's a good thing.  I haven’t decided on any resolutions for 2013 yet. Oddly, I’m really not a resolution making type of girl, but I do them because it seems  to be what people do.  Maybe I’ll come up with a few good ones.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not that I'm aware of.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Well, not someone close to me, but the father of a very good friend died on December 21st. I am deeply saddened by this news.

5. What countries did you visit?
None this year. So sad.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
I think I’m ready to buy a house in Nashville.  I have my fingers crossed and will continue to look, but I won't hold my breath for it to actually happen this year. I’d really like to go to Europe again – Northern Italy, Switzerland and Austria are on my list. And I’d also like to do a European River Cruise.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 11, 2012: The real day the music died. We lost Whitney Houston.  I was in Los Angeles the day it happened, thirty miles away from the hotel room where she was found.  It was both shocking and expected, but still sad.

December 14, 2012: The Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The killings of 26 people in Newtown, CT - 20 children ages 6 and 7, and 6 teachers and administrators – will forever stick in my mind. I can’t even think about it without crying.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably losing those 25 pounds. It's so freakin' hard, you know. I went back and forth with three pounds and thought I was going to pull my hair out - gain, lose, gain, lose. For weeks I was at a standstill. It’s a never-ending battle, but I have more to go so I will continue trying.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting material together for a project Ed and I are working on. I’ve been talking about it, taken notes here and there, done some organizing, consulted other people, etc., but I didn’t put enough time into it and didn’t make anywhere near the progress I wanted to.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No illnesses, no injuries. I'm lucky like that.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I never really buy anything significant for myself - I buy makeup here and there, purses, shoes, etc. - Ed usually buys me the good stuff. This year he bought me an iPad (which I LOVE!), my Rosetta Stone Italian software (which I have yet to use), and a new camera.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I would have to say I'm pretty impressed with my mother and how she's handled the year after my step-father's death.  She spent 31 years with a person who one day was just gone.  She's been fairly strong on the outside, but also let some of her sadness show so that those of us closest to her were able to reach out and let her know that we're here, we remember Frank, and we'll keep him alive in memories.  She surrounded herself with people who are also dealing with loss, and in doing that I think she's gained a little more footing and was able to have days that weren't so horrible.  I admire her strength and think she should be celebrated for handling such a terrible life event with grace and courage.   

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Republicans of Rape - Todd Akin from Missouri and Richard Mourdock from Indiana.  Thankfully, both of them were “legitimately shut down”.  I have no tolerance for people who support them or think like they do.

14. Where did most of your money go?
After maxing out the contribution to my IRA, the things I spent the most money on were songs from iTunes, books from, stuff from Amazon (I LOVE Amazon), Dunkin' Donuts, Las Vegas (gambling losses), and magazines.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I don’t get really excited about anything, so this question is really hard to answer, but I guess the thing I get most excited about is spending time with my best friend, and this year we got to do it a few times. Not nearly enough time, but a few more than normal.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
I can never pick just one song, but these all remind me of this year.  I Look To You by Whitney Houston, New York by Snow Patrol, Ho Hey by The Lumineers, and Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
I think I’m the same on the happy/sad scale, I’m definitely a little thinner, and because we had six months off this year, if we were to run the numbers, I’d say I’m probably a little poorer. And I only say that because on paper, that’s probably the case, but in reality, I don’t feel one bit poorer than I did last year. Ed’s answer would probably be a little different on this one. LOL

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Write, watch movies, and practice my Rosetta Stone Italian.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Making small talk with people I don’t like.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
On the road, under a Hellfire and Brimstone hazmat load – transporting some of the most dangerous chemicals we’ve ever hauled - from Pennsylvania to California to Oregon and back. It was THE WORST Christmas we've ever had.  The only thing that saved it, was the fact that I got to see some snow. Otherwise, it sucked all around.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I haven't fallen in love with any people this year, but I am in love with stuff.  This year, it's my iPad, mascarpone cheese, Greek yogurt (Fage brand only), and country music (again) because of my new favorite TV show, Nashville.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
My favorites are Glee, Grey's Anatomy and Project Runway. I also love Chopped and David Rocco's Dolce Vita. I’ve realized I can no longer say, “I never watch TV." because although I generally stood by that because I don’t sit in front of it wasting away the hours.  I usually just watch a few shows a week, “my shows”, and that's it. But now I have so many shows, on so many nights, that I find I'm always watching something. I’m adding these three to my CANNOT MISS list: Nashville, Smash and Scandal.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Yep - two new people. There's been a growing dislike of these people over the years, but it's recently blossomed into a full-on can't stand. 

24. What was the best book you read?
This is another category I can’t list just one answer for, so here are a few of my favorites from this year:
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Winter Journey by Diane Armstrong
Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Nicholas David Mrozinski from The Voice.  I absolutely LOVE his sound and his style.

26. What did you want and get?
An iPad, and a second term for my President.

27. What did you want and not get?
A snowy cabin vacation.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
By far, my favorite was Pitch Perfect. It took my love of all things musical and laced it with a whole bunch of comedy. I laughed and smiled through the entire thing.  I also loved I Am Love (Io Sono l’Amore) starring Tilda Swinton - it is just as the critics describe it; sumptuous viewing, mesmerizing, gorgeous, ravishing, undeniably sensuous, emotional, deep, rich, and human. It’s definitely not a movie for everyone, but I was transfixed.  And although this is not a film, this little video that my mother’s friend took, never fails to bring a smile to my face.  I also wind up singing the song for the rest of the day.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 45 this year and spent it at home in Tucson. Oddly, I can’t remember what I did, but I’m sure it involved dinner with the family. Hmmm. That’s disturbing. Can I be losing my mind already? I do remember getting these – they were a gift from a reader and cyber-friend and arrived a few days before my birthday. She made them. Aren’t they fabulous??

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Well, not having to listen to Ed talk about money and investments would be a good start. The subject makes me want to poke my eyes out.  Other than that, I think I would have liked to have made something - and by that I mean, something crafty. A knitted item, something hand sewn, a craft of some sort. I did make these for my best friend and I absolutely LOVED every minute of doing it – and I did it in the truck! So I guess I wish I had more moments like that. Being on the road doesn’t allow for me to have as many crafting/handmade opportunities as when I’m at the house.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
This question always cracks me up because I don’t really have a “personal fashion concept”.  I did discover a yoga pant with a slightly flared leg that I really like – I’ve been wearing the hell out of the one pair I have – and I did buy a bunch of new tops, but I pretty much stick with the same capri pant/flip-flop look throughout the summer, and just add jeans and closed-toe shoes in the winter. At least I haven’t fallen prey to the hideous trucker eagle/wolf/Indian spirits t-shirts.

32. What kept you sane?
All of my entertainment outlets (podcasts/movies/music/TV/books), talking to my best friend, on-the-road visits with The New York City Truckers, and enjoying the travel side of trucking.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I’m all about the boys this year. I love Channing Tatum, just love him.  I'm also pretty fond of Ashton Kutcher, Ben Affleck, and Ryan Gosling, and I’m fairly obsessed with Prince William and Kate Middleton,  Yes, I confess, I’m a Royal Watcher.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gun Control.  Or more accurately, the lack of.

35. Who did you miss?
My grandparents. I’ve been working on the family tree and realized I had no one to ask about things I didn't know, and no one else in the family was able to help. Nanny would have known, and I wish she were here.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Unfortunately, I didn’t cross paths this year with anyone fabulous.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
This year's lesson can be summed up in a popular phrase used by kids today, and something that was repeatedly texted to be by my nephews:  #YOLO  The hashtag is mostly a Twitter thing, but the acronym stands for You Only Live Once.  And you really can't get more concise than a life lesson that has only four letters:  YOLO

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I really like the lyrics in the catchy, “I Make My Own Sunshine” song by Alyssa Bonagura.  If you haven't heard the song already (which would mean you're living under a rock since it was the theme song of the Lowe's TV commercial), you'll be singing it before long. Here are a few of the lyrics:
Everything is wonderful
Everything is great
Free as a bird singing outside my window pane
Got a fresh new start
It's a brand new day
And I got lots of love to give away

It don't matter if it's raining
Nothing can phase me
I make my own sunshine
And if you think you can break me
Baby you're crazy
I make my own sunshine

And my slogan for the New Year...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2011: Later, 2011!
2010: That’s A Wrap!
2009: Out With The Old
2008: Another Year, Another 365 Days
2007: All Good Things Come To An End
2006: The Symphony Of A Thousand Saws
2005: Suicidal Firewood


MAE said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your 2013 meme...explore is going to be my new year goal...thanks for your fabulous blogs year round...ox

Scott said...

Best of luck in 2013! Who are the 2 people for #23? It's not me is it?????

The Daily Rant said...

MAE: Glad you like the blog. "Explore" is a good one, isn't it??

SCOTT: Oh, I'd love to tell all the juicy tidbits about the two people in #23! And no, it's not you! Yet. LOL

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