1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Ran two half marathons and a ten miler. Wrote a eulogy. Said goodbye to a close family member. Got a tattoo. Participated in a worldwide Secret Santa gift exchange. Ate bone marrow. Did a push-up. Taught a graduate course.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not as many babies as in 2010 (good lord), but yes.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
We lost my grandpa in September.
5. What countries (or new places) did you visit?
I ran to Canada and back – does that count? Other than that, no new countries or cities.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More real mail and more nights on the dance floor.
7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
We lost Grandpa on September 18.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Are you tired of hearing about running yet? Because the two halves were a really big deal for me. My first semester of teaching was also effing hard, but really good.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I basically always wish I could’ve been more prepared for the first (and all subsequent) days of class.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was sick most of May, and took this awful antibiotic that made my mouth taste like metal for weeks. Other than that, no significant illness or injury.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My newest Queen Bee bag is thus far my favorite of all of the QB bags I’ve purchased in the last five years. And that’s saying something. Also my crinolines and vintage dresses.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister is great – great person, great sister, great wife, great mom. I’m so proud of the woman she’s become.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Basically everything done by our government was appalling and depressing with the exception of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Apart from the normal expenses: food, drink, travel, and running.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving to Chicago. Getting back together with bourbon and Neo.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
We’ve already established that I mostly listened to old music in 2011.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
A draw? The last month has been hard.
ii. thinner or fatter?
Thinner and, more importantly, stronger.
iii. richer or poorer?
Richer, I guess?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Drinking and dancing.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Rockford with the family, a welcome respite from the endless move.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
With Chicago, yes.
22. How many one-night stands?
I left my heart on the dance floor a few times.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
New: Sherlock. Old: Fringe. Always: Law & Order.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
25. What was the best book you read?
26. What was your greatest musical (re)discovery?
The Radio 1 Essential Mix
27. What did you want and get?
Strength and good health. New friends, and time with old friends. A decent amount of travel. A new, much better job with a really great boss and big boss.
28. What did you want and not get?
A productive garden devoid of mosquitos.
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Nothing to report here, actually, and that makes me sad.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My 31st birthday was sandwiched between a tough (but ultimately successful) job interview and the first day of my first semester of teaching. Shane tried to surprise me with dinner at Eve, which turned out to be a huge disappointment. We hopped over to Vinology and had a totally lovely evening.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Air conditioning in the summer.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Vintage day dresses.
33. What kept you sane?
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I’m not all that pleased to admit that I spent most of 2011 checked out as far as politics are concerned.
36. Who did you miss?
Chicago and DC friendos, my sister.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
I met Michael, the Black Pipes, and a lot of fun MPub people – and Kristen, who I’d known online but met in real life for the first time. I got to know the ladies of the A2BC, who I will miss now that we’re somewhat disbanded. Also Max is much more of a person than he was this time last year, and that’s awesome.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
I can’t point to specific factors that resulted in this epiphany, but around October I realized that I’ve spent the last two years – possibly longer – turning inward, avoiding connection, enabling my introversion rather than reaching out into the world. I’m trying to change that.