Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ten Things I Loved in 2011

  1. The book “The Anthologist” by Nicholson Baker. To say I enthused about this book is putting it mildly. I continue to press it on people in hopes of someday having someone to talk with about it.
  2. Getting and getting to know a terrific new sister-in-law and smart-as-a-whip stepniece. I think my family got the better end of this deal. (Sub-thing I loved in family: Three now, my preemie nephew has mostly caught up developmentally and is using his new verbal skills like a talk show host to often hilarious effect. I call him The Spanish Inquisition.)
  3. Watching and, just as enjoyably, mocking “The Walking Dead.” Plot mock: Why are the ravenous zombies so poor at actually eating the people they catch? To wit, 12-year-old Sophia was fully intact as a new walker; shouldn’t she at least have had her arm chewed off or something? Staging mock: Random cars still in line in a traffic jam are upside down. Don’t you hate it when you’re stuck in traffic and your car just flips over? Wardrobe mocks: Is an off-the-shoulder top really the best choice when you’re running from zombies? Rick complains about the psychic weight of being perceived by the group as an authority figure, yet he continues to wear his police uniform. Everyone else wears full-length blue jeans in the summer in the south; that must be cool and comfy. Why is Rick wearing a watch; does he have an appointment to get to during the zombie apocalypse? See -- don’t get me started. But no dissing the Redneck; him I love.
  4. Seeing the Lansdowne Farmers Market come fully into its own in its fifth year, weathering both a hurricane and a sleet storm and still setting sales records for many vendors. It’s so successful that I feel I’ve done most of what I can as committee co-chair and now can and should step back a bit and let other volunteers have a bigger impact. It’s time for new blood for Market management and a break for me. And that’s a good thing.
  5. The podcast “Books on the Nightstand.” The hosts find too many books and authors “amazing,” but their enthusiasm for the printed (or read-aloud) word is infectious and encouraging.
  6. Learning to live alone again. It appears that so long as I have pets to talk to, TV, books, phone Scrabble, Facebook, and a few friends nearby, I’m good. (Sub-thing: Being told repeatedly and finally accepting that I really was too [insert admirable characteristic] for him.)
  7. Without a heroic effort, losing the weight I gained after I hurt my back early last year and then consoled myself with too much food as my life got rocky.
  8. Being informed by a jewelry customer that she’d been cyberstalking me only a day after I got an email from a stranger who’d seen someone wearing a splash ring in a restaurant and then had tried to find me on the internet because she was desperate to have one too. I was too flattered by these ladies’ interest in my work to be concerned about the “stalking” aspect.
  9. Making a music playlist, putting it on my iPod, and then singing along loudly and so very badly in the comfort of my own home. And not really caring that anyone who happened to the door during this could never again listen to “Angel from Montgomery,” “Here Comes My Baby,”  “Over and Over Again,” or any Avett Brothers song without recoiling in horror at the memory. (Sub-thing in the music category: Mumford and Sons.)
  10. Miranda July’s movie “The Future” and her writings, which I consumed in quantity this year. I discovered her work at a difficult time, and it speaks to me in a rare way. It’s as though she knows where all my most tender and tense spots are, and she puts her finger there and presses. She’s a massage therapist for my soul.

Bonus thing:  Having my head and heart clear enough to find that while I’m walking Ruby I’m thinking of how many things I really enjoyed this past year instead of the crap parts of it, and being moved to make and share this list. (Sub-bonus thing: Knowing I could have done 20 Things I Loved in 2011 pretty easily.)

If you stopped in because you are interested in my jewelry, here are some recent pieces.