Category Archives: Good Reads

2009; a year in review

Just like last year

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Got an Oregon Drivers License, lived by myself, bought a car (photos coming soon!), successfully navigated a long-distance relationship.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did pretty well, honestly. And I’m going to try to revive the ones I’ve been slacking on.  I’m also adding one WHOPPER for 2010 – I am going to run a 5 mile race.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! I got two new baby cousins this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. Thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just Canada. Wait, does Vegas count as a foreign country?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Patience.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 20th – Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day (and the day the Kilmorey burned down).

May 9th – Galen took me on our first date.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Living on my own has been very empowering, as silly as that sounds. I always thought I’d hate it, but it’s been pretty nice.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I don’t like this question. I failed to pay a couple of bills on time?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing more serious that the Swine Flu, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I’m hoping my new(ish) car will fill this role.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The Blazers.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I’m going to change those words to “disappointed and confused” and say President Obama. Not overall, mind you, but I’m still sort of confused about a few things, like the deployment of so many troops to Afghanistan.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, car.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Pretty much every time Galen came to visit. And my cousins having babies.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

“Boom Boom Pow” – Black Eyed Peas
“Don’t Trust Me” – 3Oh!3
“Battlefield” – Jordin Sparks
“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga
“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
“Love Story” – Taylor Swift
“Single Ladies” – Beyonce

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? Happier
thinner or fatter? Thinner, I think. Maybe the same.
richer or poorer? About the same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d spent more time in Montana.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I wish I’d spent less time worrying about the future.

20. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Yes. :)

21. What was your favorite TV program?

The Daily Show, 30 Rock, So You Think You Can Dance, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Boston Legal (reruns).

22. What was the best book you read?

It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita by Heather Armstrong

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Zac Brown Band

24. What did you want and get?

A new job, a new car, A fabulous boyfriend.

25. What did you want and not get?

More sunshine. It’s never enough.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

Wow, I saw so few (as always). I’m going to have to go with either The Hangover or Bolt. I saw both of them without knowing anything about them, really, so I was pleasantly surprised.

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

I turned 26 and went to one of my favorite bars with almost all of my favorite people in Portland. It was a wonderful reminder that I have friends of all ages from many different areas of my life, and they’re all amazing.  It was also a reminder that tequila shots are never a good idea.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I’m going to state the obvious here and say that living in the same city as my boyfriend would have made a huge difference.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Jewel tones. And jeans whenever possible. (Damn you, new dress code at work! *Shakes fist*)

30. What kept you sane?

My mom.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I’m going to change “fancy” to “admire” and go with Heather Armstrong.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

Healthcare stirred me so much it left me exhausted and more than a little depressed.

33. Who did you miss?

Galen, my family, my friends who live elsewhere.

34. Who was the best new person you met?

It’s hard to believe I only met Galen in April…

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

I have very high standards when it comes to my close friends. In return, they have my undying loyalty and love.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Now my feet turn the corner back home
Sun turns the evening to rose
Stars turning high up above
You turn me into somebody loved

Somebody Loved, by The Weepies

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Filed under Bleeding-Heart Liberal, Boys are Dumb, Girls are Crazy, Good Reads, Musical Notes

Bookworm

My top five favorite books (that I can think of right now) in no particular order:

The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Rebecca Wells
A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Norman MacLean

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Obituaries

Have you ever seen the movie Serendipity? Jeremy Piven’s character writes obituaries for the New York Times. Towards the end of the movie, he writes a letter to his friend the only way he knows how – as an obituary.

It’s hard for me to separate the sad parts of obits from the content, usually, but the movie did a great job of making it sweet instead of sad. There’s a similar theme in one of my favorite books, The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss. The protagonist is sort of constantly thinking about what his obituary will say. But Nicole Krauss manages to make it beautiful instead of heart-wrenching (although there are parts that are that, too).

But never before today have I smiled and almost laughed when I read an obituary for a person that I didn’t even know.

Behold, the best obit EVER.

I was going to pick out my favorite parts, but I’d rather let you do that for yourself. (And thanks to Emily for sharing!)

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A Page from the Late David Foster Wallace

Alot. Where you at? What’d you bring the book I didn’t want to be read to out of up for? Then and than. Please clean your food out of the refrigerator’s before 3 PM or it will be thrown out. George and I’s mailbox is full. Supposubly. Why don’t you just set down? In the town that I grew up in. Drive safe. You guys did real good. Reoccurring. Heighth. Irregardless. Equate to. Utilize or utilization. HIV Virus. ATM Machine. Nucular. Does his friends get all your time? Is your mom and dad coming? I don’t take offense to that. Regardless of whether or not we win or lose. Driving a SUV. Complement vs. compliment and stationary vs. stationery. Pew-litzer Prize. The thing is is that…

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To Powell’s with Love

“The idea… The fact that there is a place like this that people are keeping alive… is a sign that there is good in the world.”

– Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of The Shadow of the Wind, talking about Powell’s Books.

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Filed under Good Reads, Keeping Portland Weird, Words to Live By

Year in Review

I’m copying Blythe, who’s copying Linda‘s reflective questionnaire. I’m thinking I’ll do this every year like she does. Any suggestions for questions I should add?

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Wow, pretty much everything relating to my job. Worked for a nonprofit in a full-time position? Planned an auction? Been heartwarmed by the work I’m doing?

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t believe I made any new year’s resolutions this year… So I’m doing pretty damned well. And I will definitely be making some for 2009 (coming soon!).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My friend Michelle gave birth to an adorable baby boy named Seamus on Christmas day. He turned a week old yesterday!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Nobody close to me, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?

Canada and Mexico. Yahoo, North America! (This is a HUGE difference from 2007, when work took me to Taiwan, Spain, France, and Japan in addition to my annual Canada trip for fun).

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Boots with the fur. To be purchased on Endless shortly…

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 4th. History was made.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Honestly? Making cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner that actually tasted good. I can now cook one thing!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Probably not paying for all of those parking tickets when I had the chance (and the money)!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Well, I tend to get sick fairly often, but nothing major. I’ve always been pretty lucky that way…

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My wool coat, I think. Or maybe my first Jubelale.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The Democrats. Way to get your act together. And in an election year, no less.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Still President Bush and Vice President Satan.

14. Where did most of your money go?

To pay rent for my awesome apartment. But other than that, lots of it went towards my car.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Am I focusing too much on Barack Obama becoming President of the United States?

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Low – Flo Rida and T-Pain, Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis, So What – Pink, Rehab – Amy Winehouse, Viva la Vida – Coldplay, Mercy – Duffy, anything by Katy Perry or Taylor Swift, and the Mamma Mia! soundtrack.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:


a) happier or sadder? 
happier
b) thinner or fatter? thinner, but this last week may have changed that…
c) richer or poorer? poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Hanging out outside when it wasn’t raining. Walking by the river and in Forest Park.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Beating myself up. Being negative.

20. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Nope. Fingers crossed for 2009!

21. What was your favorite TV program?

Ooh! Either 30 Rock or So You Think You Can Dance. Those were the ones I started watching this year. Then there’s always The Daily Show, Scrubs, and Boston Legal.

22. What was the best book you read?

I’ve had a pretty long string of bad books, but I did like Three Cups of Tea and Eat, Pray, Love (I’m embarrassed to admit it). Plus I received quite a few books for Christmas that I’m looking forward to reading!

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Paramore.

24. What did you want and get?

Brian to stay in Portland.

25. What did you want and not get?

Talia, Alex, and both Bens to stay in Portland.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

Hmmm… Probably either Wall-E or The Dark Knight.

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

I turned 25 and did a pub crawl with my friends on N Mississippi Ave.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A relationship that worked out.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Low-maintenance clothing in solid colors. I’m guessing that every year I complete this survey, this answer will be the same.

30. What kept you sane?

My roommate. As always.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I’m going to go with Jon Stewart on this one. I am so predictable.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

Usually I’m pretty fired up about abortion rights, but this year healthcare was front and center.

33. Who did you miss?

My family. I can’t get enough of them.

34. Who was the best new person you met?

I’m going to go with either Michelle or Jess from work. Sami’s a close third, too.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

I have a hard time enjoying the moment when it comes to relationships because I’m too busy worrying about the future. This is not a good thing. I’m working on it.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Outside you will find
There is love all around you
It takes you, makes you wanna say

That it’s a beautiful life
And it’s a beautiful world
And it’s a beautiful time
To be here, to be here, to be here

Beautiful Life, by Fisher

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Filed under About Me, Bleeding-Heart Liberal, Boys are Dumb, Girls are Crazy, Good Reads, Musical Notes, Nine-to-Five, Travel, Words to Live By

Quotable

“If stars are the light, then I’d say saints are people the light shines through. Light shines through the everyday saints around us in the world and illuminates what they see. The light just goes right through them to what they love so that we can see its beauty. They don’t get in the way because they’re looking too.”
– Michael Malone, First Lady

I read this book years and years ago, and this quote struck me. So much, in fact, that I grabbed a pen and wrote it down on a piece of yellow legal paper, which I have kept ever since. Tonight, I was reminded of it and pulled it out of my bedside table drawer in order to share it.

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