2009: year in review

I think this is my favorite post out of the year and it’s something I started last year. I’m always trying to remember what exactly did I do this year? It’s always a blur. Lots of photos, trinkets, and blog posts. And it’s not until I sit down and pull this together that I understand why I sleep so much when I go home to Alabama each Christmas! So, what was 2009 all about?

Well…

In January, I rung in New Year’s just off of Times Square, learning that getting west of Times Square comes dangerously close to being as much as a headache as getting into Times Square (except with access to bathrooms, food, & drinks – upgrade). My friends had their tacky holiday party in Queens, and I won for tackiest costume for my hideous Bridget Jones-ish sweater vest. We cheered on the Gators in the national championship game after I fought with the server to get us in sans-reservations at the Town Tavern. I stayed up all night, and cheered in the streets with strangers when the election results came in. Unforgettable. I decided to get a late start too on the 365 day project, something I’m still plugging away at now.

In February, Dixie fell in love with Colin Farell, and then decided he drank too much. Dixie pulled up all of the wood filler in my apartment. The East Village lost a couple of their elements of local flavor in the passing of Joe Ades and Stefan Lutak. Dixie got a new boyfriend – Ernie, a cat who’s a resident of the UWS. We celebrated some friends’ housewarming by learning Bollywood dance moves. Dixie had her first birthday, which I thought was a perfect reason to have a bunch of my friends over for brunch.

In March, Dixie killed her gator. RIP. We did the Hoboken St. Patty’s Day Parade, and my iPhone took an unintentional swim. Andrea and I went to FAO Schwartz and I played on the big piano like Tom Hanks in Big. LOVE! Tam and I hiked out to Jer-zee to see Britney Spears perform, confirming she lip syncs mighty fine. I took off to Aruba with a couple of my Bama ladies, where we went parasailing, cha cha’d on the scuba boat (and no, fail #2, still no scuba for me), were serenaded by a mariachi band, and encountered random live Arubian roosters!

In April, we wished Videogum a happy birthday. Me and a couple of friends joined in on the Snuggie Pub Crawl, which happened to fall on a randomly warm Saturday. We made friends with an ecclectic group of characters, were interviewed and videoed for various news channels due to our coordinated homemade t-shirts for the event. My friend S even learned how to use a Beddazler in a bar. So much random! And NYC saw no rain. Weird.

In May, I joined in on the Food Network’s Food2 launch event over in Chelsea. I went to the reading in Union Square for Jen Lancaster’s Pretty in Plaid book tour, electing to show my plaid rather than my 80s. No accidental mushroom consumption this time around. I began planning my July/August journeys in conjunction with the upcoming Tori Amos tour as an early “farewell to my 20s” present to myself. I went to DC for DC101’s Chili Cook-off and to join in the festivities for the Tour Guide’s bachelorette party.  I spent Memorial Day in Central Park with Dixie, N, and her two yorkies.

In June, I managed to hurt myself (again – yes, this is a trend), spending many quality weeks in physical therapy. A and I went to the Big Apple BBQ, where we consumed more BBQ than we ever thought possible. My parents were in town, and we went and checked out the musical 9 to 5. NYC was confused by the lack of warmth in the summer. Weather, what’s up?

In July, DrP came into town and we spent the 4th of July at a rooftop cook-out. I went back down to DC to visit with friends for the weekend. And the Fashionista came up for a weekend, and we spent a day out at Coney Island. It was like being a kid again! At the end of the month, I returned to Miami for the first time since I left the area in 2005. I called it my “make peace with Miami” tour. After leaving South Florida, I rented a car (driving for the first time in over two years) and headed north to Orlando for the first Tori Amos show I attended of the tour. We headed back South for the show in Miami Beach before I flew back North.

In August, I saw Tori Amos shows in Washington DC, NYC, NJ (Red Bank) and the final concert of the tour in Boston, where I met all kinds of fun new people. The Tour Guide came in for a weekend visit, and we did a lot of shopping and sweets-ing. Jax and I started planning our 30th co-birthday party, which we dubbed our 60th birthday. I rediscovered Gap Jeans at Karyn’s Born to Fit party.

In September, I decided to hop on the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) and head out to Long Beach for the day over Labor Day weekend. Dixie and I spent Labor Day itself again in Central Park. Just before Fashion Week began here in NYC, I went to Dream Sequins’ Pre-Fashion Week Bash in SoHo. Jax and I celebrated with a bash along with many of our good friends, many of mine which were so kind as to make the hike in from DC for the occasion. For the actual day of my 30th, I went out for karaoke and a pre-singing dinner at my favorite Indian restaurant. I went to the San Genaro Festival in Little Italy, which could easily be retitled Fried Food Extravaganza. Artery clogging scents running amuck. Tam, Angelina and I went all over Brooklyn in the name of good crabs.

In October, I went to Cupcakes for a Charity, contributing some double maple cupcakes for the cause. In the process, I met a ton of fabulous new social media people. I went to Butter Lane’s “Better Cupcake” class at the Bowery Culinary Center, learning how to make yummy cupcakes an more natural way. Over Columbus Day weekend, I headed South and met my parents and visited Charleston, Hilton Head, and Savannah. The highlight for me was getting to tour Mercer House, the scene of the crime in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I joined as a Featured Publisher on FoodBuzz.com. And, of course, we headed out for Halloween. This year, I was “The Babe”. Yep. A play on Ruth. We ended up at a massive Halloween party, spanning the entire floor of an amazing Flatiron apartment.

In November, I went with a group of friends to the New York Chocolate Show. So much chocolate. Chocolate covered bacon was my favorite, along with the mannequins dressed in clothes made of chocolate. Amazing. We went to the Awesome 80’s prom for my friends’ birthdays, and I got pulled up onto the stage. I ended up singing Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart solo in front of about a hundred people. In hot pink tulle and black sequins. I finally finished off my CCP Certification (Certified Compensation Professional). Big accomplishment! I spent much of the month in various coffeehouses and tea shops around the city, writing furiously for this month’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I managed to make my way through another 50,000 words in 30 days on my same work from last year, a memoir based on my time in DC. It now stands at 318 double-spaced pages – 100,011 words. So much revising ahead in my future! For Thanksgiving, my parents again came into town. This year, we instead did Thanksgiving at my sister’s slightly bigger place in Brooklyn.

In December, I watched Alabama win the SEC championship in a crowded bar with some 400 screaming fans. I attended a wine and cheese class through Artisanal’s Cheese Center. My friend WT came into town, and we had a fun local weekend in the city, including brunch at Poco and so much karaoke! I spent the second half of the month back in Alabama, taking a true extended vacation for the first time all year. It was a fabulous time to spend time with my family and to enjoy spending time with friends I see all too little of these days. I’d been a bit homesick, and now that I’ve returned, I ironically feel it again.

It was a good year. Some fantastic highs balanced by some all-time lows. I’ve now been in NYC for over two years. It’s flown. Thinking ahead, I’m blank on resolutions. Not sure what to expect and lots running through my mind. I am excited though about the year ahead. I think it’s somewhat not true, but I like the idea of a blank slate for a new year ahead. I’ll take it. Enjoy your evening and be safe!

Happy 2010!

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