Saturday, December 31, 2011

Later, 2011!

Another year has passed us by, which means it's time for me to search the depths of my noggin to answer the following questions. If you happen to do the same thing on your blog, please leave me a link in comments - I'd love to read what you've written.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
the defeat of bees which included a suprise visit from a rattlesnake; got an iPhone and went a little crazy in the app store; met the Plum Trucker and RuthAnn in person; went to the Louisville truck show as a VIP; did a round-trip, regular run between Baltimore and Seattle for FOUR months; virtually attended the wedding of a Prince; discovered the Instagram app; held a giveaway contest sponsored by a major boot manufacturer; went parasailing, found a conch shell and survived a hurricane in the Turks and Caicos; visited an airplane graveyard; and “grew” a money tree.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any last year, but this year I resolve to learn Italian via audiobook, eat less fast food, try to do a little exercise, eat more fresh fruit (which I love, but don't eat as often as I should), and manage my time better.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Jen, from ARI, gave birth to a beautiful little girl they named Scout Quinn.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. Two very loved people. My
Aunt Jennie and my beloved step-father Frank.

5. What countries did you visit?
We went to the Turks and Caicos – during a hurricane, no less.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A smaller body. More vacations. Time to just sit and write stuff.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day my step-father died and the three weeks leading up to it, for obvious reasons. The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords because I was home in Tucson when it happened and the store she was shot at is the place I grocery shop. President Obama finally capturing and killing Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi because it couldn’t be escaped on the news. And June 28 for personal reasons.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Losing 12 pounds.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Gaining it back.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope, knock on wood. Healthy as a horse, again.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My iPhone. Life is not worth living without it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Ed’s, during
this event. I was a crying, babbling mess because I was tired, annoyed and overwhelmed and he handled me so kindly and took care of me and the situation like a champ. He is truly a knight in a shining armor. My knight.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I don't get depressed, but I am often appalled. This year, the biggest transgression belongs to my step-father's grandchildren. Their behavior prior to and at the time of his death was disgusting. No phonecalls, no letters, no text messages, no NOTHING. After all he did for them, it makes me want to line them up and smack them one by one. Hard. Also, there are some people in my family who didn't offer condolences to me personally when he died. I find all of that absolutely appalling. There's no excuse. None at all.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Vacation, dining out and investments.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Surprisingly, having more time to drive so I could listen to my audiobooks.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
"Turning Tables" by Adele - I first heard it on Glee, performed by Gwyneth Paltrow - I think she did a great job.

Anything by Amy Winehouse, because 2011 is the year I first discovered her - I know, I must have been living under a rock, but Glee was also responsible for that when Santana (OMG, she's the sexiest thing on two legs!) sang "Back To Black"; and this song by Christina Aguilera and Beverly McClellan. Beautiful.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
I'm always pretty happy with the exception of some life bumps (like deaths), I'm still as fat as I was last year (-12 pounds, then +12 pounds = 0 pounds lost) and I have more money than I did last year, as I fully funded my IRA this year. Woo Hoo!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Talking to my step-father about his life. I had intended to gather information but it just didn't happen. Now he's gone. I also wish I had taken more pictures...of everything.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Waste time.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With family in Arizona…and it was actually a little chilly this time!

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I actually fell a little more in love with Ed this year. Seeing how he handled the death of my step-father, and watching his kind, gentle nature made me realize how very lucky I am to have him. He doesn't just say he loves me, he always, always shows it.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Well, I never miss Glee, Grey's Anatomy or Project Runway, but in addition to that, I'm absolutely addicted to Chopped and I also watch David Rocco's Dolce Vita and Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen whenever I have the chance.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Well, I wouldn’t exactly say hate; it’s more like a growing dislike.

24. What was the best book you read?
Oh, Lord. This is a hard question to answer this year, as I've devoured SO many books! I can narrow it down to five - will that help?
Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick (Best book I've ever read. Ever. LOVED it.)
Mosaic by Diane Armstrong (Fantastic true family saga. Very absorbing.)
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan (Fiction based on fact about the love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mameh Borthwick. I really enjoyed this one.)
Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Amy Winehouse. I know, I know. I live in a cave. But when she first came out, I poo-pooed her, thinking it wasn't my kind of music. She is SO my kind of music. Then she went and died. WTF?

26. What did you want and get?
An iPad. Well, I didn’t actually get it yet. Ed bought me an iPad 3 for Christmas. Yes, yes, I know the only iPad out right now is the 2, but Ed wrapped up a little note promising me the iPad 3 when it comes out in early 2012. Exciiiited!

27. What did you want and not get?
A week in Tennessee with my best friend.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
We watch a lot of movies, especially from Red Box – what a great invention – pick up a movie in one state, drop it off in another, at only $1 per night - how can you not use this service?? Of the ones we saw, I liked “The Last King of Scotland”, "The Switch", "The Help", and "Hanna".

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I spent my 44th birthday in St. Louis, Missouri because that's where we happened to be, so we took a few days and explored the town (The Hill, Downtown, the BBQ joints). But we actually went to Turks and Caicos for my birthday trip (even though Ed desired that location more than I did) – we snorkeled, met a really nice couple from the UK, and battened down the hatches when the hurricane came. Good times.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Canada. Canada. Canada! I haven’t been in years and I’m jonesin’ a little bit. I want to visit the Le Château Frontenac during the
Carnaval de Québec - it's already on the 2012 schedule.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
For driving: Spaghetti strap tank, velour sweatpants, and socks.
For anything outside of the truck: Capris and flip-flops in hot weather, jeans and sneaks in cold.

32. What kept you sane?
Frequent visits to Barnes & Noble, talking to my best friend, snuggling with Eddie.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
My mother said The Crustaceans. I’m pretty sure she means The Kardashians. I’m not really into them, so I’m not sure why she said that, but I guess I'll go with it because I can’t think of anyone I was obsessed with this year.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The horrid anti-immigration laws being drafted and passed in states like Arizona, South Carolina, Mississippi and specifically Alabama.

35. Who did you miss?
My brother, because I don’t get to see him enough, and my family on the East Coast for the same reason.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Mark, even though it was a short-lived friendship, and RuthAnn Bradbury. THAT meeting was a long time coming. She’s great!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Well, I don't know if I learned this in 2011, but it was talked about a lot: Less is more. And I know this because I live it every day. When on the road, I have a limited amout of stuff with me, and by having to leave things home because of space considerations, I have realized that I don't really need anything. I have everything I need within arms length. People own too much stuff, they live above their means and they think they need "things". Money is wasted buying crap for your kids (toys, video games, etc.) that they'll never remember when they get older. Your money would be better spent creating an experience where you can spend more time with them, creating an indelible memory. It would do kids and families good.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
This comes from one of my favorite songs of the year called "Come On Get Higher" by Matt Nathanson. I like the Sugarland version better, but either way, I'm lovin' this song.

So come on, get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips
Just throw me down hard
And drown me in love

And my slogan for the new year...Money, Honey!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
That’s A Wrap!
Out With The Old
Another Year, Another 365 Days
All Good Things Come To An End
The Symphony Of A Thousand Saws
Suicidal Firewood

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