Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007: the year in review

JANUARY: For the first time in years, I woke up on New Year’s Day without a hangover. G and I went to Little Tokyo and stocked up on the jyaga bata chips we adore. Was plagued by nightmares. Broke the fart barrier with G, and was punished the next day when an elderly man at Borders walked by me and ripped a growler. Took Martin Luther King Day off so I could spend it with G, whose workplace is somewhat more liberal than mine, and we slept in, went to the movies, and had a nice dinner out. Finished Fatal Frame 3. Mean Grandma plagued me at work. Went to the dentist. Read 7 non-fiction books and 3 volumes of manga; saw 8 movies.

FEBRUARY: G forced me to watch the Superbowl with him; I retaliated by falling asleep about halfway through. My brother R came out to California for a visit, and we went to Central California to visit Hearst Castle, Moonstone Beach, and the Madonna Inn, where I had a slice of pink champagne cake that was as big as my head. Our hotel restaurant also had Bailey’s French toast, so I got my feed on hardcore. G sent me a beautiful arrangement of roses and lilies on Valentine’s Day. After work, I went to his house and we had Chinese takeout, watched Lost, and exchanged gifts. Mine all came with a clue that I had to decipher before I could unwrap them. Watched the Oscars; guessed exactly half of the winners. Finished Hotel Dusk. Read 8 novels, 8 non-fiction books, and 2 volumes of manga; saw 5 movies.

MARCH: Signed up with GameFly. Got my taxes done, and as usual, owed slightly more in federal than I got back from the state. Finished Touch Detective. My musical tastes almost got me in trouble at work. A lifelong dream of mine was realized when I got to touch a monkey on the Third Street Promenade. I was traumatized by my coworker’s hideous Beatles-singing stuffed animal. Indulged my sudden, bizarre craving for Popeye’s chicken; was not impressed. Went out with G, C, and M to celebrate M’s birthday. Went to Little Tokyo. Read 13 novels, 5 non-fiction books, 2 volumes of manga, and 2 graphic novels; saw 8 movies. Left for New Jersey.

APRIL: I spent the first week of the month in New Jersey with G and his family. We ate colossal amounts of phenomenal food, talked, played games, and visited an art museum and a ghetto amusement park. I had a major emotional meltdown on the last night of the trip, but other than that, I had a good time. Finished Big Brain Academy and Cooking Mama. My brother had surgery to correct his breathing problems, and he came through it like a champ. I took a belly dancing class and stumbled around like a zombie on downers. I came down with a nasty cold, but fortunately it only lasted three days; I credit lots of rest and a Jamba Juice Orange Dream Machine for my speedy recovery. For Administrative Professionals Day, my bosses threw us a crappy breakfast and gave us all one paid hour off work. That sure beat a proper raise! Had cheesecake with an almond biscotti crust that made me moan with delight. Read 9 novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 4 volumes of manga; saw 8 movies.

MAY: I fell in love with the baby birds nesting on our patio, and was surprised by how sad I felt when they flew away. People at work irritated the fuck out of me with their odd bathroom habits and claims that people who are unmarried and have no kids don’t actually have families. Spent a G-less Saturday going to the movies, watching anime, and reading Ron Jeremy’s autobiography from cover to cover at Borders. Fortunately, our schedule was back to normal the next day, and we cocooned with DVDs and Chinese food. Another dead month at work meant that I was averaging a book a day. Finished Trace Memory. Got a smog check, and the nice lesbian who did the test also oiled my squeaky door for free; no, that's not a euphemism. Finished QuickSpot. I was disgusted when Komodo won $11,000 in the lottery; not only does he not need any extra money, but the man is a dick. Got my hair cut at a salon located in the ghetto, and was horrified when the receptionist almost got into a fistfight outside. Went to the Santa Barbara Zoo with G, C, and M, and my love of monkeys went down a couple of notches after watching one of them pee into its hand and drink it. Apollo Ohno won Dancing with the Stars. Read 10 novels, 12 non-fiction books, and 2 volumes of manga; saw 6 movies.

JUNE: I spent the first Saturday of June in a G-less funk, but our routine picked up as normal the next day. My schadenfreude kicked into overdrive when Paris Hilton was sent to prison. An old business partner of Padre’s died, so he flew out to California for the funeral, and I had three dinners in a row with him and G. I signed the lease for my new apartment. G and I went to Chinatown and watched an amazing Shaolin martial arts demonstration. I went to my fourth John Connolly book signing, and this time I mustered up the courage to ask for a picture with him. Marked a decade without my mom. Began the tedious process of carting all my crap over to the new place. Went to the gynecologist, where I was glad to see that the picture of Matthew McConaughey on the ceiling had been replaced. Read 9 novels, 11 works of non-fiction, and 2 volumes of manga; saw 8 movies.

JULY: I bought my first piece of “big girl” furniture: an unbelievably comfortable couch with the texture of a teddy bear. Watched fireworks with G and cringed in horror as the hillside caught on fire; fortunately, the fire brigade got to it before it had a chance to spread. At the new place, I found a Mexican porn magazine in my parking spot. A stinky prick at Ralph’s cut in front of me in line and had the audacity to look me in the eye and smirk; I entertained fantasies of stabbing him in the nuts with a broken beer bottle. Finally finished watching The Sopranos. Once again, G proved his worthiness by putting up my mini blinds, hanging my pictures, putting together my new TV cart, hooking up my VCR, and soothing my frazzled nerves. The shower in my new apartment went haywire and soaked the entire bathroom, but fortunately my landlady fixed it quickly. Finally moved completely out of the Merry Mansion and into Casa C. Lost four pounds in the process of moving; unfortunately, thanks to three birthday celebrations in one week, they came back and brought friends. Saw John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl. Turned 36 years old. Waited in line with all the other geeks to get the new Harry Potter book. Had a truly frustrating day which included Time Warner being unable to hook up my internet, arriving at work without my purse and having to go back home to get it, and then getting pulled over by a cop; fortunately, I was able to talk my way out of a ticket. Read 11 novels and 4 non-fiction books; saw 6 movies.

AUGUST: Finally got to try cult favorite Pinkberry, but didn't see (or, er, taste) what all the fuss is about. Giggles, my malingering coworker, was out for a full week, so my slacking time was greatly curtailed. My gorgeous new couch, Big Brown, was delivered, but not without a great deal of hassle. I housesat for C and M, which went fine aside from the night I freaked myself out watching Inland Empire; had to take the next day off because I only got four hours of sleep. Tempted by a rave review online, I tried a chicken sandwich at Chick-Fil-A and wasn’t impressed; four days later, I tried the chicken nuggets and found them much more to my liking. G’s friends G2 and R came out for a short visit, and we had a lovely day which included a Giovanni Ribisi sighting and a trip to the Redondo Beach pier. Continued my hopeless search for a dining room table that wasn’t too expensive or too big. G and I celebrated our three year anniversary. Received a lovely compliment from an elderly man at the grocery store. Read 4 novels, 8 non-fiction books, 11 volumes of manga, and one graphic novel; saw 7 movies.

SEPTEMBER: Finally found a dining room table that suited my needs, although it took longer to be delivered than I would have liked. Upon noticing a big hole in the armpit of one of my favorite t-shirts, G whipped out needle and thread and stitched it up. He also fixed the inside release lever for my trunk. Returned to Minnesota to attend Daddy-O’s retirement party and go through the things I still had sitting in my old closet and the basement. I also got my feed on hardcore, found an old story I’d written in which Daniel Ash took me to the prom and then deflowered me in the back of a limo, and visited the Walker Arts Center and the Como Park zoo and conservatory. Bought an Ecosphere. Locked my keys in my car on a rainy afternoon, just as I was expecting my dining room table to be delivered; fortunately, the nice old lady downstairs let me use her phone to call AAA. Read 4 novels, 6 non-fiction books, 3 volumes of manga, and one graphic novel; watched 4 movies.

OCTOBER: Finally finished decorating my new place. Got my hair cut for the first time in almost six months. Yelled obscenities at a silverfish in my apartment; forgot that my bathroom window was open until I heard people in the parking lot laughing at my outburst. Went to a cheesy but enjoyable fall festival in a nearby town. Wildfires raged throughout Southern California. Took a trip to Las Vegas to see Spock and meet up with my dear friend Susan and her boyfriend. I saw Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity, ate obscene amounts of food (including the infamous Vosges bacon chocolate bar), gambled, visited the Neon Museum and the Valley of Fire, saw the Bodies exhibit, walked about fifteen thousand miles, and enjoyed spending quality time with good friends. The New York Giants won every game they played in October, which kept G in a good mood. After almost 60 hours of gameplay, G and I finally finished Odin Sphere. Read 6 novels, 8 works of non-fiction, and one volume of manga; watched 4 movies.

NOVEMBER: Went to the insanely crowded Takashi Murakami exhibit at MOCA; marveled over the cute, weird, and mildly disturbing artwork. Afterwards, G and I wandered around Little Tokyo, and I bought my usual magazines and junk food. Finished Touch Detective 2 ½. Housesat for C and M and loved up on their kitties. Work was exceptionally shitty right before I left for vacation, which I figure was the universe’s way of telling me to appreciate my time off. G and I went to Florida for Thanksgiving vacation, including two days in Key West, where we walked approximately two hundred miles and visited everything from the Hemingway House to Robert the Doll. Finished Cooking Mama 2. Read 3 novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 2 graphic novels; watched 3 movies.

DECEMBER: Put in some overtime at work to earn a little extra Christmas cash. Went through a paranoid phase when I was convinced I’d brought bed bugs back from Florida, but fortunately it just turned out to be a delayed reaction to the tiny biting flies that had plagued me throughout the trip. Watched (and slept through) lots of football. Some shithead hit my parked car, damaging the rear end rather badly, and didn’t leave a note. Thanks to various work luncheons and the candy, cookies, and cake all over the damn building, my pants kept getting tighter and tighter. R came out for a visit. My brother was diagnosed with skin cancer, but fortunately it was caught early enough that it shouldn’t come back once he has his surgery. G and I visited his family in New Jersey for Christmas vacation, and in addition to eating approximately two hundred pounds of delicious food every day, we took walks, hung out, talked, played games, went to New York City, and attended a New Year’s Eve party. I also fell madly in love with Winston, the gorgeous British shorthair kitten that Padre’s friends just got. Came back to California with a whopper of a souvenir: one seriously nasty cold. Read 6 novels, 2 works of non-fiction, 13 volumes of manga, and 2 graphic novels; saw 7 movies.