Archive | December, 2015

2015 Wrap-Up

2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008   As always, inspired by the always inspiring Sundry.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? I made a male decision. I know how silly that sounds, but Jennifer Lawrence wrote this amazing piece for Lenny about how (once she discovered how much less she was making than her male costars) she decided to negotiate like a man. I really took that to heart and when an opportunity came up, I answered like a guy would. I remember being afraid and freed by it. And while it didn’t materialize into anything, it made me realize that I can. I can advocate for myself. In fact, I SHOULD.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Yeah, um, 2015 was just a Year of Getting By. There were some great, happy accidents that happened, but for the most part? We were just thrilled to call this year DONE. I don’t even think I made resolutions for this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Shit. I hate this question. Because, yeah, probably? Maybe? You guys, I can’t remember what I wore last week, much less who gave birth 11 months ago. But I will say that we’ve got a lot of babies coming at work VERY soon, and I am over-the-moon excited about it.

4. Did anyone close to you die? I always hate this question, because I feel like I should know this off the top of my head. I attended no funerals.

5. What countries did you visit? No countries. Not yet.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? Balls. I wouldn’t say I lacked balls in 2015, but I think it’s time for me to man up and take control of things.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? February, I got a new job title at work – one that I’d wanted for awhile. March & April were traveling like a mad woman. May was Mac’s first birthday, and June brought Jack a learner’s permit. July was when Bryan went back in to teaching. October was a fantastic family vacation followed by a trip to L.A. to shoot a national commercial, but then brought sadness when we lost Belle. Tony got his yellow belt in November.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? It got me absolutely nowhere, but exercising my political rights was a really, really big thing for me this year. Tony’s school moved to a building across the street from a women’s clinic, and when the protesters lost their right to protest directly in front of the school, they moved to our school grounds. I took up a flag (supported by a great group of school parents) and sought help from every avenue we had. It was stressful and exhausting and ultimately pointless in the end, but I felt like I had to do SOMETHING.

9. What was your biggest failure? School, or my lack thereof. My one semester off to have a baby turned into two semesters and then three, and now I just need to do it. God, I don’t want to. Like, at all. I just want some accredited college to gift me a Bachelor’s Degree of Hard Knocks and let’s call it a day. But I need to. I know that. – from 2014, but it’s still true. And 2016 looks like a prime year to fix that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nope! I mean, outside of the occasional cold or flu-like thing. I did have some ear infections this year and HOO BUDDY those things are awful! No wonder the kids go nuts when they have them! But we were fairly okay this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought? On a whim, I bought a glamour session from Bookout Studios. It is the most vain thing I’ve ever done, and the money I spent on three pictures is OBSCENE, but you know? I would do it again in a heartbeat. I went in feeling so run down and exhausted and overwhelmed and then to see the pictures? I’m like, damn, woman.. you’re a hottie.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Tony. TOOOOONY. Tony is the best kid to ever walk the earth – seriously, the child is amazing – and he often gets the shaft because Vinnie takes up every single ounce of attention that we can muster. Not only does Tony never, ever complain about it, but he still keeps straight As in school and is thriving in karate. The kid is an amazing big brother to Vinnie (and little brother to Jack) and I just love him to pieces.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Humanity’s, really. Several times this year, I have come this*close to deleting all social media from my phone (which would be my lifeline because I don’t use a computer outside of work) because I am just so DISAPPOINTED IN US as a species. I have a feeling that’s going to get worse before it gets better. Those happy little compilations of “21 Times 2015 Was Awesome” are worth their weight in GOLD because it masks the 38u739782frillion other times we were just total douche-canoes.

14. Where did most of your money go? The usual – daycare, mortgage, cars.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Washington DC. I was lucky enough to go a few times this year, and I just love that city so much. Like, really really.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015? “Watch Me (Silento)”  That damn Whip/Nae Nae song haunts my dreams.

17. Compared to this time last year: a) better hair or worse hair? b) more organized or less organized? I decided last June (2014) to not cut my hair until SLS launches, so it’s just longer, but the same fierce red. I love it. And organization is definitely still on point. I may drop the occasional ball, but I catch the eggs, damnit.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Budgeting. You know how some people have a brown thumb, and can’t keep ANYTHING alive? Like, even succulents and cacti die in their care? That’s me with a budget. There’s got to be a better way for us to keep ahead of our money, but I’ll be damned if I’ve found it yet.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Pointing fingers. It’s incredibly easy for me to blame someone else for something terrible that happens. It doesn’t solve anything and doesn’t make me feel any better. I’m working on it.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Trying to predict whether or not we’d have to evacuate due to local flooding. Our area got 6+” in a matter of hours. It was a mess around these parts!

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? I hate this question.

22.What was your favorite tv program? This is the year I fell in love with Doctor Who. Like, I’m ALL IN. I’m realizing the joy of being part of a fandom and I’m just all about it.

24. What was the best book you read? I’ve given up on reading books. It makes me sad and makes me feel.. uneducated, to be honest, but I just don’t have the time or attention span. Now, I’ve learned that this doesn’t mean I don’t read – quite the opposite. I read a LOT. More than most folks I know. It’s just all online news. I read TONS of online research and articles and I feel just as smart as the rest of y’all.

25. What was your greatest food discovery? Turkey necks. Actually, my greatest discovery was to travel a lot and ask the server what they recommend. Usually, I would even phrase it with “If you had to pick your last meal from this menu, what would you have?” It’s almost always something that I would never have picked on my own, and very rarely has it let me down. I love food. Oh, also, wine. I’m a wine drinker now.

26. What did you want and get? A (generally) happy year and a (mostly) healthy family.

27. What did you want and not get? Unanswered prayers and all that.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Snowpiercer, which was the weirdest, most cult-ish flick I’ve seen in ages and I loved it so so much. (If you watch it based on this alone, please.. well, I’m sorry.) Also, I can’t remember any single movie I’ve watched. OOOH, WAIT, THE MARTIAN. Such a good movie! Saw it twice!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 35 and was treated like a queen both at work and at Bridge Street later with the family. We rode the carousel, the train, and threw coins in the fountain.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I honestly wish I had written more. I need to get back to that.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? I actually made a big step and simplified my wardrobe. I have six or so pairs of black pants, about as many white tops, and tons of blazers and cardigans. So 99% of my wardrobe is already chosen. It’s made life SO much easier.

32. What kept you sane? My husband. My work family. My kids. (Note: these things often also kept me INsane a lot as well.)

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I already mentioned Lenny, the new online magazine founded in part by Lena Dunham. It’s introduced me to tons of powerful women who all have tons of goodies to share. I’ve been really impressed by female stars who are starting to not accept the status quo – folks like Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy, and the always great Fey/Poehler duo.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? The refugee crisis is something I still have to be careful about exposure to. It eats me alive. So many children are in a bad, bad way and we’re arguing about helping them. I don’t get that. Maybe my world view is too naive, but I just don’t understand. We have enough to help. Why wouldn’t we?

35. Who did you miss? I missed YOU. I missed being able to come here with no bra on and three day old hair and you’d be here, happy to have me. Man, I missed y’all. Can we FIX that this year?

36. Who was the best new person you met? On top of a really terrible memory, I also have this thing where if I like you, it feels like I’ve known you forever. So if I met you this year, but I couldn’t recall you specifically now, it’s because you’re already family to me.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. The only thing standing between you and your goals is that bullshit story you keep telling yourself. Change your story.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.“Witches can be right. Giants can be good. You decide what’s right. You decide what’s good.” – Into the Woods

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