It would be pretty easy to scratch this year off the books and sum it up in one shitty sentence. Things were tough this year, but I am refusing to forget the hands I held, the elbows that I rubbed, and the stitches I burst from laughter. In this post, I want to honor the good of 2012.
Restaurant: Red Fez in Providence. We ate there twice in two days. Same meal. Macaroni and cheese with a side of brusell sprouts. Never has a meal made me so happy.
Food: I like the act of chewing, but this year I discovered the slurp. Growing up in a home where you were expected to be completely silent while eating, there's such a release when you're sucking in your cheeks and ramen noodles are filling up your taste buds. So, my favorite food of the year: noodles. I couldn't get enough and can't wait for some more in 2013.
Dessert: The opening of Georgetown Cupcakes in Boston is probably to blame for the rediscovery of my sweet tooth. Their peanut butter cream frosting is worth traveling by bus and train to get. Not sure if I am ready to leave this obsession behind in the new year.
Song: Rihanna's, "You Da One." On repeat for weeks on end, only being changed when I found her track, "Do Ya Thang." I'm clearly a teenage girl.
Book: Junot Diaz's, "This is How You Lose Her."
Heart Warming Moment: Watching my oldest brother hold our niece for the first time.
Outfit: Layers of mix-matched clothes. Lace skirt, anorak vest, blush pink scarf, cream beanie hat, and leather combat boots with gold spiked studs.
Exercise: Hot ass yoga.
Cafe: I can't tell you where it is, but it's quiet, has booths, fresh coffee, looseleaf tea, big windows, and a clean bathroom.
Relaxation: A flute of champagne followed by a massage on a mountain in New Hampshire.
Night Out: Cousins karaoke when I danced backup for my cousin, Victor, as he sang Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative."
TV Show: I know I should say Girls or Scandal or Homeland, but this month I watched all five seasons of Friday Night Lights and have to hand this meaningless award over to them. The writing and acting in a series about small town in Texas and its obsession with football has been a great lesson about the impact of sports and community on the lives of young people. In a society that is becoming infatuated with followers, "friends," and other detached measurements of interconnectedness, I love that you can see how important it is to have a strong core group of people around you in real time. About a month ago, I returned to my old high school for a board meeting for girls' basketball and ran into my old guidance counselor. I couldn't believe that ten years later he still remembered my name, but in between an awkward hug and sweet pleasantries he told me that he'd taken early retirement after the death of his wife. He was emotional and I rubbed my hands on his shoulder, and had never been so proud to be from my city, Somerville. He thanked me for the "creative ideas" I put forth during my time in the school and that my impact had not been forgotten. Yes, it's nice to have been mentioned in a NYTimes article or to have people recognize me on the street from blogging, but there is nothing better than knowing that you have had a positive effect on your hometown.
Moment of solidarity: A month after Victor passed away, my cousins came together to raise money for cancer research in a Relay for Life event. Before the thunder and lightning, we walked one lap in silence around the track in memory of him. Before the tears could start, his father showed up with glow sticks. With the sticks poking out of ponytails and around necks, it became a celebration and an honor to be a part of this family.
I'm proud of this next list. I don't think I did much learning about myself, but sometimes I think it's just as important to learn how to do things. I think self-doubt is a symptom in the absence of trying something new and/or difficult.
How to throw an ax. I barely hit the target, but it felt pretty good not to hurt myself.
How to hold chopsticks and chow down with them.
How to draw symmetrical eyes.
How to do a twist-out.
How to comfort a crying baby. Kinda.
How to make sweet Korean style beef short ribs.
How to catch a ball with a lacrosse stick.
How to take a chill pill and let young people make mistakes.
How to not compromise my vision and values for someone else's feelings.
How to drink a cup of tea minus the sugar or honey.
How to survive at work without a stash of chocolate in the top drawer (or bottom).
How to downward dog.
How to let go of the materialistic blogger mentality and fall back into a hate/love relationship with writing.
How to properly canoe with a group of middle school girls without tipping over the boat.
Photo taken by Kris10
Peace out 2012!