Inspired by Arleen's blog post recapping her 2010, I thought I'd be a copy-cat and do the same. So grab a cup of coffee, or a stiff drink, or just bypass the mixer altogether and grab the nearest bottle of booze, and join me as we take a journey down memory lane. 2010...let's see if I can even find ten things worth writing about!
1. I visited New York City for the first time.
I've been obsessed with New York since I was in the fourth grade. You know how I can pinpoint the exact grade I was in? My obsession was synonymous with my goal to become a writer, and when I was in the fourth grade, I decided that I wanted to be a writer. At first, the fixation was purely logistical: most of the major publishing houses were in New York, so it just made sense to move there at some point to get my writing career off the ground. It wasn't until I got older (and with the help of Sex and the City) that I realized what a cool town New York City actually was.
So why did it take me so long to visit? The usual crap: no money to travel, travel plans falling through, yadda, yadda, yadda. This year, it finally happened. Ever since she visited the city on her high school senior class trip, my sister has always wanted to go back, and this year was the perfect time to go because this was the year she turned 21. Since you only turn 21 once, why not do it with some flair and celebrate in one of the coolest cities in the world? So in March, we packed our bags and headed for the Big Apple.
It was a fun trip. We saw Wicked, got lost a few times, toured Central Park, reconnected with our inner children at the BADASS TOYS 'R US IN TIMES SQUARE, and Laura didn't get carded one damn time. I want to go back. And I still haven't given up on my dream of becoming a writer or moving there.
Laura (left) and I at Top of the Rock
Times Square, holla!
2. I visited southern California for the first time.
This is a bit of a fallacy, actually. I was born in Orange, California, but my family moved to Florida when I was a year old, so I don't remember going to places like Griffith's Observatory the first time around. Since I don't remember it, it doesn't count, so I consider this trip my first visit to Los Angeles and the surrounding area.
Back in July, my friend, Meagan, and her husband, Edwin, moved to Pasadena because Edwin was offered a job at Caltech. Prior to that, they lived in Tallahassee, which was only a mere four hours north of Tampa. I've known Meagan since we were thirteen, and considering that the farthest we've ever lived apart during our friendship was four hours, I was a little bummed that they would be moving across the country. The silver lining, however, was that it would give me the opportunity to explore southern California when I visited them, so in October I flew out west as a a birthday present to myself.
I. LOVE. SOUTHERN. CALIFORNIA. Honestly, I didn't think I would like it all that much. I had preconceived notions that all the people there were stuck-up and plastic and that L.A. wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. I'm glad I was wrong. The people I interacted with were actually friendlier than the people in Tampa, and we went to so many cool places (including Griffith's Observatory). One of the highlights? Seeing the Journey star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame IN THE FLESH.
Yeah, that's me with the Journey star. Jealous?
Even though I haven't given up on my dream of living in New York, after this trip, I now want to live in Pasadena and/or L.A. I face a conundrum of sorts: is it possible to live in two awesomely cool cities in one's lifetime? Guess I'll have to get started on my whole, "Marry Curtis Stone Plan" to find out (because if I married him, I could actually afford to live in both places--maybe Australia, too!).
3. I got a dog.
Back in August, my sister gave me Ava, a one and-a-half (now two)-year old, eleven-pound miniature schnauzer. The arrangement started out rocky, but we've made some breakthroughs and now I can't imagine not having her. I won't go into a whole diatribe about how she has enriched my life and how I'm not quite as selfish as I used to be since I got her, so I will just say this: she is bitchin'. And cute.
4. I completed Apartment Fivers.
2010 saw me finish my manuscript for Apartment Fivers, a novel about my friends, roommates and experiences in college. (The title is a nickname I gave to my roommates and to myself because we lived in Apartment 5. Yay, creativity!) It was a labor of love four years in the making. I still have to go back and edit it, but the hardest part is over with, in my opinion. Hopefully, 2011 will see me complete it for good and send it to agents.
5. Lover of Many, Father of None turned a year old.
I'm just surprised that a bullshit blog about Steve Perry has lasted for as long as it has--and that my reservoir of ridiculousness has not dried up. I started the blog in March of last year out of complete boredom and it's still going strong. Normally, my projects (writing or otherwise) don't get beyond the idea phase, or if they do, they fizzle out incredibly quickly. Not so with this one. This blog has been a blast to write, and I intend on keeping it up until I stop believin'. (See what I did there?)
6. My bad theme park karma continued.
When I say "bad theme park karma," I mean it in the best possible way. Honestly, I do. The little quirks I encounter at theme parks only serve to make the trips much more memorable, and I hope this "bad karma" doesn't run out. 2009 saw me projectile vomit at the Magic Kingdom, and in 2010 the hits kept on comin'. I'm talking getting stuck on rides and vomiting on rides, people! Good stuff!
7. I got a promotion at work.
I still don't know what the hell I do, but I got a pay increase, so that's pretty awesome.
8. I got my very first taste of the coolest blues club ever.
I first visited the Bradfordville Blues Club during this excursion with Meagan and Edwin, and immediately fell in love. The BBC is the kind of place people write songs about. It's literally a little shack at the end of this long dirt road in north Florida, off the beaten path, and it has the best live blues music you will ever hear. It's the kind of place where you make friends with people on the dance floor, and where the musicians are up close and personal. Oh, and it also has bonfires.
9. I joined Events and Adventures.
As 2010 was coming to a close, I found myself in a social rut. I wanted to expand my social circle and try new things, but still wound up doing the same. Exact. Activities. My friend Ali mentioned Events and Adventures, I looked into it, and ended up joining. It's a social club for singles and it has something going on literally every day. Last week I went to an icebreaker event for new members, and tomorrow I'm going to a New Year's Eve party at a restaurant downtown, a restaurant I've always wanted to try but never got around to it. I've met a few nice people already at the icebreaker event, and I'm excited to see how many more I will meet, and how many stories I will come away with in 2011.
10. I started reviewing coffee shops for Examiner.com.
I started writing for Examiner.com because I thought it would give me good exposure; however, I reaped an additional benefit that I didn't count on: it opened me up to meeting new people. Because of this gig, I met Dave and Susan Ward of Buddy Brew Coffee, as well as other coffee bloggers and enthusiasts. I got to try out new cafes and chat with the people that worked in them. I've tasted amazing coffee and stumbled upon a whole subculture that I never would have known about had it not been for this gig. It's been good to me, and I can't wait to see what will happen next year.
Well, would you look at that! Looks like I did find ten things worth writing about! And you know what? Looking back, 2010 was a pretty amazing year. 2011, you have big shoes to fill.