Entries Tagged 'Year In Review' ↓

Best of 2010

It’s already December 31, 2010. Where does the time go? 2010 was a turbulent year for the world, marred by a recession and an oil spill. But for me, 2010 was a downright banner year. Here’s my personal “best of” list.

Best Night Out:   July 22

Dishes shattering in the driveway.    German beer on tap and bratwurst on the grill.    Kaulsdorf’s best band playing under the stars. My friend Ellen’s pre-wedding polterabend was the best night out of 2010.   Described to me as a tradition when dishes are broken for good luck, the polterabend turned out to be one hell of a party.   Instead of separate bachelor and bachelorette parties, everyone united for a casual backyard barbecue, German-style.   But with Ellen marrying the mayor’s son, the polterabend was no small affair.  We broke dishes, we drank beer, we danced in the rain with a hundred new friends.

polterabend1

Best Day Off:  April 13

If I had written a 2009 review, it would have been filled with highlights of the Yankees’ championship season.   On April 13, 2010, I made the season’s first pilgrimage to Yankee Stadium to see the team receive their World Series rings.   The loudest applause was reserved for a visiting player.   Hideki Matsui, the World Series MVP who had signed with the Angels in the offseason, received his ring last.   When his teammates surrounded him in an impromptu mob hug, I doubt there was a dry eye in the House That George Built.

Matsui Mob

Best Career Achievement:   January 26

On January 26, I walked into 30 Rockefeller Center, signed in with NBC security, and auditioned for 30 Rock.   It was an audition that I had secured all by myself, by catching the eye of the director while working on set the month before.    It was one of those moments when I had to marvel at how far I’d come from a boring marketing job in a windowless room in Queens.  I auditioned for 30 Rock.   Me.   That’s right.   And I’ll be back.

NBC Casting sign

Best Example of Right Place, Right Time:   October 2

I rose long before the sun that day to help my friend Karen with an event in Central Park.   Handing out flyers wasn’t glamorous, but hey, I got paid in cash, saw my friend, and enjoyed a beautiful autumn day.  Then I recognized a former colleague who said his company could use freelance help.    So that’s how a few hours of fun grunt work turned into a month-long stint at Newsweek.

Best Use of $80:    November 9

Eager to learn some new skills and add some lines to my resume, I signed up for a beginner’s HTML and CSS class with Girl Develop It. Eighty dollars bought me entry into four two-hour classes where I learned that HTML isn’t as daunting as it seems.  Next up: Javascript.

Best New Obsession:  July 11

When I first began dating my boyfriend, he told me he’d be out of commission during the World Cup.  Since I wouldn’t be able to pry him from a TV during those four weeks, I joined him and gained a new sporting obsession.   Even though Spain was ranked number one at the start of the tournament, John was pessimistic after years of disappointment by his native team.  But La Furia Roja (literally, “The Red Fury”) just kept winning games.  He told me was excited as I had been for the Yankees last year, except more so, because in all his life, Spain had never made it far in the World Cup.    If they won, he wouldn’t know what to do with that level of joy.  On July 11, we watched nervously as Spain defeated the Netherlands in the final minutes of regulation.    I still don’t think John has processed that Spain actually won the World Cup.

Best Tribute:  April 10

Grandpa

This year, my family lost our patriarch.  My grandfather was one of the last surviving veterans of World War II.  He fought in North Africa and Europe, including the Anzio beach landing.   He raised six children and guided five grandchildren.   He found true love the second time around, marrying the love of his life at age 55 and staying by her side until he was 92.   On April 10, with an Army bugler playing Taps and a Champagne toast, we bade farewell to this great man.

Those are just some of the highlights of an amazing year.   I can only hope that 2011 will bring you as much prosperity and happiness.


2008 Year in Review

Is it too late to look back on 2008, although we’re already seven days into 2009? I hope not.

2008 was an unforgettable year for me. I jumped out of a perfectly good plane, dined with the chief of a Fijian village and appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

I danced the samba during carnival in Brazil, hiked on a glacier in New Zealand and parasailed in Argentina. I met people from all over the world. I crossed the international date line twice and the equator five times.

skydiving
I cheered for Botafogo at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. I drank aguardiente, Fernet, caiprinhas and kava. I learned how drive on the left side of the road and where to find the Southern Cross in the Southern sky. I got paid to bake cookies and became a Lost Girl. I learned that a visa isn’t a credit card, it’s a major hassle. I got hooked on Vegemite, alfajores and ceviche. I read books by Leo Tolstoy, Jules Verne, Joseph Heller, Isabel Allende and Bill Bryson.

I found paradise. I waddled with penguins, fed kangaroos, held a koala and played with monkeys. I danced the tango, made empanadas from scratch and spoke Spanish with a distinctly Argentine accent. I waded into the Indian Ocean. I found myself in the middle of a major Islamic city at sundown while the faithful broke their Ramadan fast.

fijilunch
I declared my independence and leaned on my wonderful, amazing friends. I started running. I channeled Cameron Diaz for Halloween and filmed a vignette for the WE network. I dialed Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Nevada for Obama and helped win an election. I met a band named “God or Julie,” I was quoted in New York Magazine, and I was sketched on my way home to Brooklyn. I got a column and started a new blog. I turned thirty.

obama

2009 may not be filled with as many exotic destinations, but I hope it’s just as exciting. I hope that when I look back on 2009, my list includes, “I found a job I love.” Maybe I’ll throw some trapeze lessons in for good measure.

Happy new year, everyone. May it be a happy one indeed.