year in review: 2013

So I’m a sucker for quizzes, surveys, memes, all that stuff. I think these are usually more fun to do than they are to read, though — so you should feel free to just skim my answers and do your own, if you like. If you do read, though, I warn that there may be some snark along the way. That’s my traditional new year’s gift.

Year in Review: A 2013 Survey

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Well, I got married, which I definitely have not done before, to the best of my knowledge.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Yes, and no. I made a resolution to stick to a particular diet plan and I did stick to it; it wasn’t successful, but that’s not the fault of my willpower. I don’t think I’m going to make any for 2014. Lower expectations, greater rewards, and all that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not yet, and probably not by the end of the year, but soon. 🙂

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not really. My grandmother died this year, but in truth we were not close. I am sorry for the family members who were close to her, though.

5. What places did you visit?

The Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls, and, of course, Long Island, a lot. Though it doesn’t count as visiting anymore.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Nothing. I just want to keep everything I have now.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched in your memory, and why?

I think I’ll remember our wedding date, November 9, pretty much forever.  But there’s also October 26, which is the day Dave came to Buffalo and we stopped being apart. That was the best day of all, really.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making it to October 26.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Weight loss. I tried a new method and it didn’t work for me. I’m disappointed to have not made any real progress this year. I’ll keep trying some other way, but I had high hopes for this.

10: Did you suffer illness or injury?

Unfortunately, as has been the case the past couple of years, I still struggle with my back. Recovering from surgery was long and hard, and only partially successful. Not to sound corny, but if you have good health, value it. I feel I didn’t do that enough, before.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Last month I bought an iPad mini (and sold the 1st-gen iPad I bought way back in the day in 2010) and I’m really thrilled with it. Steve Jobs was thoroughly opposed to a smaller iPad; in general I think he was a true genius and Apple will never innovate as it did under his direction again, but I think he might have been wrong about this one. The mid-size between an iPhone and a full iPad is perfect, at least for me.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My niece Rebecca makes both Dave and I incredibly proud just to be related to her. She’s awesome.

13. Whose behavior was not so exemplary?

Georgie is a bad, bad kitty, and he knocks things over all the time for no reason at all. I still love him, though.

14. Where did most of your money go?

FredCo’s offshore accounts. Also, rent and moving. And a wedding.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Well, the wedding. Also, in no particular order, bingo, marriage equality, Catching Fire, and spaghetti parm.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Probably Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder? Happier.
b. thinner or fatter? I think almost exactly the same.
c. richer or poorer? Well, I’m unemployed now.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

At home, with the kitties, our tree, and cheeseburgers.

19. Did you fall in love in 2013?

From now on, I fall in love every year.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

How I Met Your Mother. But we also love Modern Family. In a surprise move, I’ve also gone back to both Glee and Top Chef.

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?

I hate all the same people I did before, plus our downstairs neighbor, who once complained about the noise we were making when we were out of town.

22. What was the best book you read?

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I didn’t read a ton this year, though I started a lot of books I never finished.

23. What did you want and get?

A husband. Also, a Supreme Court ruling (two of them actually).

24. What did you want and not get?

Marriage equality everywhere. A cure for AIDS. A totally non-broken back.

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

Catching Fire

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Dave says I was 41 this year (I never remember). We were in the Finger Lakes at our favorite bed and breakfast, The Hayward House.

27. Which celebrity/public figure did you admire the most?

I don’t think about celebrities much. But I like Sir Patrick Stewart, and not just for his ability to moo with different accents.

28. Whom did you miss?

I missed Mom a lot this year.

29. Who was the best new person you met?

Michael & Mindy Shedler, Dave’s former and sometimes boss and his wife, who came to our wedding as well. Also Uncle Norman and Aunt Jane, and a lot of other new relatives.

30. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

From the Goo Goo Dolls, “Come to Me”

Today’s the day I’ll make you mine
So get me to the church on time
Take my hand in this empty room
You’re my girl, and I’m your groom

Come to me my sweetest friend
Can you feel my heart again
Take you back where you belong
This will be our favorite song
Come to me with secrets bare
I’ll love you more so don’t be scared
When we’re old and near the end
We’ll go home and start again

when you’re leaving on a jet plane

In the past three years, I’ve taken 27 round-trip flights, mostly from Buffalo to New York. Today will be #28.

I’ve got it down pretty well — checked luggage, small carry bag, book, kindle, phone. I park my car, take the shuttle, go through security, and hopefully it’s not too long to board. I like the window because it’s easier not to be bothered that way. When I get to JFK, my luggage usually beats me to the carousel.

936full-up-in-the-air-posterUnfortunately, not everyone else seems to have their ducks in a row.  In the spirit of the friendly skies, here are a few unsolicited tips from me, the frequent traveler next to you, that might make your next trip more pleasurable not just for you, but also (more importantly) for me.

1. If you’re not ready, don’t get in line. Don’t go up to the check-in desk if you don’t have everyone with you, if your husband is still getting the bags, if you don’t know where your ticket is in your purse. That mad dash you just made to get ahead of me in line so I can stand behind you and watch you dig for your license for five minutes? Classy.

2. Try to be prepared. Just try. I mean, airport security isn’t something new. We’ve been doing this for awhile. And when you’re waiting in line, at every airport I’ve been in, the TSA agents are saying over and over again that you need to take off your shoes, your belt, things out of your pockets, laptops out of their bags. Over and over. Even if you’ve never flown before, and you missed all the signs, and you made no attempts to find out what was expected of you ahead of time, could you just listen to them? And take your shoes off before you have to be reminded again, personally, while we all wait?

3. Check a bag or two. Honestly, they don’t lose luggage all that often. And last time I checked, you’re only supposed to have one carry-on. So I’m puzzled how it is that every time I fly, most people seem to have four or five pieces of luggage, each the size of a filing cabinet, with them as they board. Must you? Because there isn’t really room for all of that, and you slow us down trying to cram it into the overhead bin, eventually to be gate-checked anyhow… oh, wait. You’re trying to avoid bag fees. I get it. Okay, you’re a cheap bastard then.

4. Keep your kid happy. Look, I know travel is hard on parents, but you had the kid, not me. I don’t want to listen to him or her cry, whine and complain the entire time. That’s not unreasonable of me. It’s unreasonable of you to expect the little guy to be okay stuffed in that seat, sitting still, for hours. Hell, I get restless, and I’m an adult who has control over her own life, unlike this kid you told to sit still. So please see #2 above: be prepared. Think snacks. Think toys. Think bribery. Bring this shit with you, and give it to them when you get on the plane, so that they’re happy. If a new coloring book does it, we’re all happy. If it takes a $300 handheld electronic game to make your kid happy, well, you might be a little less happy, but that’s not my problem.

5. Quiet the heck down. During the flight, do not assume that the person in Row 25 wants to hear everything you’re saying from Row 3. I’m sure it’s a great story you’re sharing about that fab party you were at last night, but the guy in Row 25 wasn’t invited, and it’s sort of mean to rub that in, don’t you think?

Is this all too much to ask? Probably. Hope springs eternal, though. Go #28.


The other day someone asked me “what’s new” and, of course, I answered by saying I was getting married this fall. This was a person I don’t know that well, and only in a work-related context, but I’m excited about getting married, and freely admit that I rarely miss a chance to talk about it. So I said, I”m getting married”, and she replied, “Oh, finally!”


photoI know, right? I’m withering on the vine, here. A spinster. Long past the point where I’d given up hope, of course. My hope chest itself was covered in dust and stored away in the attic. I’d been thinking idly about taking up crochet and getting a few more cats, maybe playing some mahjong. Someone should give Dave a medal for taking me on, aged though I am. It’s like when Taki says in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “We never think this day would come!” Finally. Who says these things? Does no one think before they speak anymore? I think even she was a little chagrined at her slip because the rest of the conversation was rather awkward and couldn’t have been over quickly enough for either of us.

Look, I’m a thousand times happier now that I have Dave in my life. I feel like the luckiest person alive. That doesn’t entirely mean that therefore my life was miserable beforehand. I was okay. Nowhere near as happy as I am now, but okay. I would have been okay, too. I wasn’t languishing around feeling worthless because I didn’t have a man. So I don’t know that I like putting it that way, because it makes it sound like the reason I’m happy now is that I finally have someone, not because I finally have Dave.

So, finally? Well… yes, in the end, even if not in the way she meant it. 🙂