I’ve neglected my blog these last several months, partially because I couldn’t think of anything terribly compelling to write about. When I mentioned this to a friend, she said she enjoyed my old LiveJournal because it seemed like, “a snarky gossip column about my friends, by my friend.” And so it was. But it was also friends-locked. You’ll have to get your gossip in person now, readers.
A few things I’ve been doing since June instead of blogging:
1. Writing business plans.
2. Polishing my dissertation for publication as a book.
3. Landscaping my backyard.
4. Sitting in a red Adirondack chair in my backyard, drinking coffee and reading true crime.
5. Paying off my credit cards.
6. Getting a new tattoo.
7. Developing strength-training routines around the armchair in our bedroom. (Hello, single-leg squats and triceps dips!)
8. Watching Breaking Bad.
9. Rereading my favorite Stephen King story, “A Good Marriage,” and discovering that it will soon be a movie! Omgomg.
10. Going for a row on the Willamette with Portland Women’s Rowing. And not catching a single crab (oar-wise or otherwise).
Now, since one list per entry isn’t enough, I’m going to do that old lj meme, “Year in Retrospect.” This is probably my sixth or seventh year doing it.
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Was laid off. Finished a PhD. I guess those two more or less cancel each other out.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t make resolutions; I make year-long to-do lists. If you think about it for a while, I think you’ll agree they’re not the same. My to-do list for 2013 included (reading from the Moleskine now): “PhD” (check), “pursue consulting career” (check), “publish ‘The Best’ online” (nope), “explore pub’ing opps for diss” (check), “pay off cc debt” (working on it), and “ST [strength-train] 2/week” (check). I’ve already made next year’s list. It’s pretty boring: finish paying off credit card debt, publish my book (Choose Your Own Adventure), and publish “The Best” online.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
An awesome, flexible, lucrative career.
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
In April, I was laid off from my job at MasterPlans, which was terrifying, because Chris and I were waiting to hear whether his company would be acquired, and by whom. We didn’t know where we’d be living in a month or what Chris would be doing for work, and now we didn’t know what I would be doing, either. We were relying on my income (see: startup), and now I had to file for unemployment. Fortunately, I was offered the first and only job I applied for after being laid off, and I think I collected unemployment for all of three weeks.
In May, Chris’s company was acquired by Twitter.
In June, I finished my PhD. I know, I know, blahblahblah PhD blahblahblah.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
I can’t think of any big failures this year. If you can, don’t remind me.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I didn’t fall off a single swiveling chair.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I’m really tempted to say a Hitachi Magic Wand. (Hi, Mom and Dad!) But it was probably the elliptical.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
As always, my boring sappy list includes my partner, my best friends, my parents, my brother, my aunt, and my cousin. My adviser, Colin, has been an inexhaustible source of brilliance, assurance, and good cheer.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
We have a neighbor who’s pretty annoying.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage payments, cocktail rings, takeout, Anthropologie dresses. Not necessarily in that order.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Finding a new job! Not having to leave Portland! Hiring a housekeeper! Going to Carmel with Chris!
16. What songs will always remind you of 2013?
Tegan and Sara and Tanlines. OK, those aren’t songs. But at least I listened to music this year. Also “Rosalinda’s Eyes” by Billy Joel and “Poprocks and Coke” by Green Day.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? About the same.
ii. thinner or fatter? About the same.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer!
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Now that it’s cold and getting dark around 3:30, I wish I’d spent more time in the backyard, even though I spent quite a lot of time out there. Oh, well. It’ll still be here in the spring.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
In San Jose with my family, drinking Champagne and Irish coffee.
21. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Anybody want to come over and play Cards Against Humanity?
22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
I reread The Historian and Harry Potter, which are both so, so good.
27. What were your greatest musical discoveries?
Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob.
28. What did you want and get?
A new job that would allow me to work from home, a great acquisition deal for Chris’s company, the ability to stay in Portland, a new tattoo.
29. What did you want and not get?
Freedom from debt.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Blackfish is a recent standout.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27 on July 26th. I cleaned the house, opened a bottle of wine, and went out to dinner with Chris, Ash, and James.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less debt? More money? More one-night stands? Just kidding.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Fit-and-flare dresses, statement jewelry, ballet flats.
34. What kept you sane?
Exercise. Time to myself, reading O, The Oprah Magazine and Real Simple. My Miele vacuum.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I love following the Windsors. I’m such a dork. My areas of trivia mastery are Harry Potter and the royal family.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Marriage equality and reproductive rights.
37. Who did you miss?
Jack moved to Florida. Come back, Jack! My brother moved to Virginia. Come back, Sean!
38. Who was the best new person you met?
Geez, have I met anyone new this year?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
When you have absolutely no idea how things will shake out, it’s best not to worry about them. Instead, go for a hike, take a shower, and open some wine.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
If you should fall, you know I’ll be there.
41. What was your favorite moment of the year?
Walking into the restaurant where we had dinner after my graduation and having the hostess say, “Dr. Long and party?”
42. What was your least favorite moment of the year?
The unbelievably stressful run-up to the acquisition.
43. Where were you when 2013 began?
Since I can’t remember, I was probably asleep.
44. Who were you with?
45. Where will you be when 2013 ends?
I hope, playing a game and drinking Champagne with friends and family.
46. Who will you be with when 2013 ends?
Chris. Wade? Ashley-Renee?