Wishing: All good things to everyone, everywhere, in 2003. That's not too much to ask, right?
Also, a happy 65th birthday to my father tomorrow. He's very excited about going on Medicare.
Reading: A Traitor to Memory by Elizabeth George. And I now love the name Gideon.
Listening: If I Had A Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies. And, New York, New York by Ryan Adams. I don't know why. It's not like they go together.
Watching: In the last 24 hours, I have watched Moulin Rouge, Bridget Jones's Diary, The Contender, Dangerous Liaisons, and three episodes from Season 2 of The West Wing. This is the first weekend I've been home alone in about two months, and clearly I have no idea what to do with myself.
I can't tell you how many times in the past three weeks I've sat down to write something, and how many times I've gotten back up without typing a word. Or maybe I did type two, or ten or a hundred, but never enough to form anything cohesive or, you know, post-able.
It's the time of year. Or else, it was, right up until 11:59:59 on December 31, when it turned into 2003 and was supposed to lift the melancholy that always accompanies my holiday spirit.
2002 was a very strange year for me, full of high highs and low lows. My life changed in a lot of ways, some of which you know about, some of which you don't, for no other reason than I'm not sure I know either. I feel as unsettled as I ever have, but I've felt unsettled for years, so maybe this is just the way I'm supposed to feel, and maybe I just need to get used to it.
Obviously, the most important thing I did last year was move, from Kansas City to Washington. When I think back on it, I am surprised at how easy it was, at how much of an adult I actually am. I said out loud "I want to move" and then it happened, more or less just like that. I wanted to move, so I did, and I'm happy about it. I am closer to my family, my closest friends.
I lost a couple of friends, though. No one died or anything, but people I thought I would have in my life forever are no longer in my life at all. In one case, I am at least 50% responsible, and I learned a very difficult lesson about it, about friendship in general, and about the kind of friend I thought I was. The other I am still absolutely clueless about.
However, I did make new friends in 2002, and friendships I already had became deeper and more dear to me, and for that I feel blessed.
In 2002, my brother got married. I was the maid of honor in the wedding of one friend, a bridesmaid in the wedding of another, and was honored to be a guest at the wedding of a third. One of my friends got engaged. Two of my friends had babies last year, and my best friend will be having one in June.
When I think of each these events, the engagements and the weddings and the pregnancies and the births, my heart overflows with happiness for these people I adore, so much so that sometimes I think I can actually see the love that surrounds them.
But if I were ever to tell you that my heart does not ache at the same time, just a tiny little bit, when I think of these things, then I would be lying.
Some other notable events and/or revelations of 2002:
I stopped wanting TiVo when it suddenly occurred to me that I watch two hours of actual television a week, Buffy and The West Wing, and I forgot why I wanted it.
I watched every episode of Sports Night on DVD at least twice and every episode of the second season of Buffy on DVD at least once and the DVD of Dress to Kill eight thousand times. (I also got the first season of 24 from my brother for Christmas, but my mother stole it. I know she'll send it to me as soon as she's done, but still.)
I spent three months on the parental dole. I'm still on it to a certain extent. I am so cool.
On a related note, I did not get a job.
I admitted to myself that I am completely bereft of religion, and that I do not miss it, and that I am okay with that for the time being.
I admitted to all of you that, for three weeks in October, I was very, very afraid.
I turned thirty-one years old and spent the evening by myself, Christmas shopping, and I am grateful to Nora Ephron for another five years. (Sally: "I said to myself, you deserve more than this. You're thirty-one years old..." Marie: "And the clock is ticking." Sally: "No, the clock doesn't really start to tick until you're thirty-six.")
I bought a Palm Pilot. And I actually use it. No, really. It is not a $150 backgammon game.
I visited the World Trade Center site for the first time.
I acquired, through a visit to a free bookstore and a used book sale at work, 47 new-to-me books, and have read exactly none of them.
It took me almost four months to pay the winner of my Oscar pool due to a kink in the system, mainly that I'm an idiot about money. Rest assured that he got every dollar that was donated, but I think I'm going back to the old way this year.
I actually believed someone who told me I was beautiful.
I got an E-Z Pass, which is an ingenious device that lets you pay tolls at practically every toll booth or turnpike in the Northeast without having to stop the car, and it works brilliantly except when you accidentally pull into a non-E-Z Pass lane to exit the turnpike, as then you will find yourself paying $9.80 for a $.65 toll because you have no ticket and they have to charge you the maximum. (Not that that actually happened to me, you understand.)
I got drunk at night, at home by myself, more times than I care to admit.
I got drunk at night, out with other people, more times than I care to admit too.
I visited New Orleans for the first time, a year ago this weekend. (And I got drunk there, as long as we're keeping track.)
I pretty much quit smoking. I mean, I haven't been a true smoker since college, but since moving here, I usually had a pack somewhere and would smoke maybe two or three a week. A couple of weeks ago I suddenly realized that I hadn't had one in about four months. (Okay, except for five or six the last time I went drinking, but I left the pack with the bartender.)
What is with all the alcohol in this list? I'm not a lush, I swear. Please don't go planning an intervention.
I hit a child with my umbrella when I was in New York last month. (Not on purpose or anything.)
I did not win $315 million in the Powerball, and I'm bitter. The guy who did win was already a millionaire, and I think there should be a law against millionaires playing the lottery.
I got my hair cut and highlighted by the most fabulous gay hairdresser on the planet. He gave me a hug at the end of our three hours together. I wanted to take him home with me.
I learned more about cooking the books of corporate America than I ever wanted to know, and some of it I actually understood.
So, now we're about almost a week into 2003, and while I'm as cynical as the rest of you when it comes to actual New Year's Resolutions, I have thought about a few things I want to do this year.
1. I want to write more. Not just here, but in general. I want to write something every day, whether it is here or in my private journal or in my novel or something else I haven't even thought of yet. I need a passion, an outlet, because right now I have nothing. (Except, as the above list might indicate, a propensity to sit on my couch watching DVDs and drinking.) And when I am able to get my head in the game, I do love to write.
2. I want to learn more. This is a corollary to #1 (assuming I still know what "corollary" means). When I look around at the people I know, it seems that everyone has a passion, or at the very least, a hobby, something that interests them and in turn makes them interesting people.
I do not. And up until now this hasn't really bothered me, this jack-of-all-trades awareness of the world. But I have realized that there is something about listening to people talk about their passions that draws me in, even if I don't know the first thing about what they're talking about. You could ramble on for hours about horror movies from the 50's or the works of Julian Schnabel or the Fibonacci Series or the Punic Wars, and if you are truly passionate about it, you will captivate me.
And I decided that I want to be captivating too, but there is nothing about which I can speak with any passion or expertise, except the works of Eddie Izzard and Aaron Sorkin, and they don't count.
So this year, I want to learn things. I want to discover my passion. Or at least make one up.
3. I want to take better care of my skin. I need to do this, as I am not getting any younger, and while I don't have wrinkles today, you never know about tomorrow. So I marched into Sephora with my gorgeous little gift card and bought a bunch of stuff from Philosophy. Though the little product quotes are kind of cheesy, I'd read good things about it. Plus they have a fragrance called Grace, how can I resist?
Anyway, I bought the Health Bar soap, some Hope in a Jar moisturizer and eye/lip cream, some topical Vitamin C which I think may be so much balderdash but what the hell, I'm using it, and a lip balm called Kiss Me, because really, that's the greatest name ever for a lip balm. (For something I think really is balderdash, check out Falling in Love, a four milliliter bottle of pheromone which can be yours for sixty dollars. People. Even I'm not that desperate.)
(Well, at least not today. You never know about tomorrow.)
4. I want to lose some weight. Not a lot. Just some. As those of you who have been around for a while may recall, I lost forty pounds in 2001. Not as much as I needed to lose, but enough to make me feel better.
Believe it or not, I spent 2002 actively not dieting. I didn't scarf down a pint of B&J every night, but I didn't try to lose any more weight. At the beginning of the year, I decided to see if I could come to terms with this body. To see if I could learn to (gasp) love it, imperfect as it may be to my eyes.
Well, okay, I'm not exactly there yet. I don't love my body, but I don't hate it either, and that is progress. And after a year, I've only gained about eight pounds back, which is pretty damn good, considering I ate whatever I felt like eating whenever I felt like eating it and never actually exercised on purpose. If I had to live at this weight forever, I think I would be okay with it.
And I think it is this acceptance that is making me unafraid of the idea of trying to lose a little more, because it removes the risk of failure and the self-flagellation that would follow it. If you start out at "okay" and don't go anywhere, at the end of the day you're still "okay." So I'm going to do Weight Watchers Online (praise the Lord, there is a way to do it now without having to go to the meetings, or séances, as my aunt calls them), just for three months. And at the end of the three months, I'll see where I am, and if I want to keep going, I will, and if I don't, I won't, and either way, I will be fine.
And now, I have a few announcements, if you've actually made it this far down in this barnburner of a navel-gazing entry.
First of all, if you are not reading Lizardspace, then something is probably wrong with you. Lori is whip-smart, funny as hell, and does not shy away from telling it like it is. Every single entry of hers makes me laugh out loud, except the sad ones, which make me cry, and it is a travesty that I have taken this long to link to her.
Secondly, Elise, my aforementioned pregnant best friend, has started a pregnancy journal. Yay! I would hassle her about updating more, but people in glass houses...
Finally, for those of you not on my notify list, I got a digital camera for Christmas, in an indirect kind of way - my mother gave me a check and told me to buy something fun with it. So I did! Just in time for all the holiday fun... oh wait, never mind. Since I missed all of that, all you get are pictures of the weather (it's snowing today) and my cat (pictured here with some of the 47 books I haven't read).
You knew there was a reason you were sticking around...
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