Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2009: the year in review

NOTE: Bold type indicates something that was either a major highlight or a serious low point of the year. I think it will be obvious which is which!

JANUARY: On New Year’s Day, G, C, M, and I went to Santa Monica to shop and ice skate. Went to Little Tokyo and stocked up on magazines, calendars, and our beloved jyaga bata potato chips; also got our curry fix. Finished Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Got a strange text message warning me that “Sherwinz buggn”. Celebrated President Obama’s inauguration with champagne. Left for 10 days in beautiful Costa Rica, where I enjoyed breathtaking scenery, close encounters with monkeys and sloths, and long walks on the beach. I also ate a ton of chicken and rice, walked a zillion miles, logged countless hours on buses and boats, and stayed in hotels ranging from the sumptuous to the shitty. Read 3 novels, 5 nonfiction books, 8 volumes of manga, and 6 graphic novels; saw 7 movies.

FEBRUARY: Ended my Costa Rica trip with a bad cold, a lousy flight, and an endless wait in customs, but I was thrilled to see G waiting for me at LAX. For an early Valentine’s Day present, G surprised me with tickets to the ballet. Got a rock chip in Ginji’s trunk fixed; had to make do with a temperamental rental until he was finished. Watched the Oscars. Daddy-O had to have emergency surgery to fix a detached retina, but fortunately he healed up quickly and with no lasting effects. G’s XBOX 360 came down with the dreaded red ring of death. Headed off to Vegas with G and C; we met up with G2 and Spock, ate tons of delicious food, gambled, and had an awesome time. Read 3 novels, 1 nonfiction book, 14 volumes of manga, and 2 graphic novels; saw 9 movies.

MARCH: Spent countless hours playing Resident Evil 5. Got a clean bill of health at the dentist’s (and a free pink toothbrush to boot). A coworker irritated me by e-mailing me a link to a weight loss site, and then followed it up by putting a picture of a hideous monkey collectible on my desk. Somehow, I managed to keep from slapping her. Housesat for C and M and loved up on their cats. Went to Santa Monica and gorged myself on plum rice balls from Famima. Read 6 novels, 1 nonfiction book, and 17 volumes of manga; saw 4 movies.

APRIL: G and I went to Little Tokyo and were sad when we couldn’t find our favorite chips; consoled ourselves with curry and kitschy toys. Started my new job duties doing salvage recoveries. Took a mental health day and spent it going to see I Love You Man, reading magazines, and napping, which helped improve my mood immensely. G went home for Passover, but since I didn’t have enough vacation time left, I had to stay behind. I spent a lonely weekend going to the movies, eating tons of crap, reading, cleaning, and sleeping way more than necessary. When G and I were reunited, I practically broke one of his ribs hugging him. Finished Gardening Mama. Got a nasty virus on my computer which took forever to eradicate. My downstairs neighbors had a loud party that lasted until 1AM; I purchased earplugs the next day. Went on a cooking jag and made G omelets and pasta salad. He said the omelets were just as good as his mom’s, and since she’s a bona fide Jewish mother, I was quite proud of myself. Got a silver Tiffany’s ring for my ten year anniversary at work, and it was a size too small, so off to Ebay it went. Administrative Assistant’s Day was even worse than usual because we didn’t get our customary free hour off; instead, we got a lame notepad, pen, and bookmark, as well as “treats” from a crappy bakery. Met up with Daddy-O in Las Vegas and had a great time…until I returned home, walked in the door, and began puking and shitting my guts out. Went to the doctor the next day and was diagnosed with massive food poisoning. By the time Cipro cleared everything up, I had lost six pounds. Read 6 novels, 4 nonfiction books, 8 volumes of manga, and two comic collections; saw 5 movies.

MAY: Southern California was rocked by several small earthquakes. Just as I started to actually enjoy doing salvage recoveries, I was taken off that job and put back on my old one. Housesat for C and M while they were away and just about shit myself when the gardener suddenly popped up in front of the kitchen window while I was standing there pantsless and eating a cup of yogurt. Went on a hike through the Malibu mountains with C, M, and G. Went to the Third Street Promenade for window shopping and plum rice balls. Read 4 novels, 5 nonfiction books, 8 volumes of manga, one comic collection, and one graphic novel; saw 10 movies.

JUNE: One of my favorite magazines, Shojo Beat, folded. Went to the eye doctor and actually managed to hold still during the air puff test for once. The new John Connolly book came out, but I wouldn't allow myself to buy it until I made a very overdue appointment with my crotch doc. To my horror, I was forced to move to a different department at the Cube Farm…the same one I once said I’d rather quit than work in. The worst part was being evicted from my choice cube, next to the one person at work I consider a friend, and being relocated behind Giggles and next to Twinkletwat. To add to the fun, that same week I got a nail in my tire and cut my leg badly while shaving. Despite rinsing it out immediately and covering it with Neosporin, it got badly infected, necessitating two trips to the doctor and three prescriptions. Finished Cate West: The Vanishing Files. Read 5 novels, 10 nonfiction books, 5 volumes of manga, and one graphic novel; saw 12 movies.

JULY: My stupid ankle finally healed, although now I have a 2” scar. Went to the crotch doc. G and I found a relatively deserted spot to watch fireworks on the 4th of July, and we leaned back in our lawn chairs and held hands as the sky lit up in the distance. Persona 4 ate our souls. My irritating downstairs neighbors and their loud hump dumpling moved out; I celebrated with a bottle of Moet Chandon. Received many wonderful presents for my 38th birthday, and we went to dinner at my favorite restaurant, where I overindulged in both food and drink and paid dearly for it later. Went to Little Tokyo. Read 4 novels, 5 nonfiction books, 5 volumes of manga, and one graphic novel; saw 3 movies.

AUGUST: Work continued to suck my ass out. Went to the county fair with G, C, and M; we ate a ton of food, and G and I went on the Ferris wheel and made out. He also won me a big stuffed dog (promptly named Pochi) at one of the game booths. To my dismay, someone moved into the apartment below me, but fortunately they were nowhere near as loud as the previous tenants. G’s grandmother died, so he headed back to Florida for the funeral, and I spent a lonely weekend reading book after book and binging on Hell’s Kitchen. Hung out with G2 during his brief visit to California. Stubbed my toe so hard I thought it was broken, but fortunately it was only badly bruised and swollen for about a week. G and I celebrated our five year anniversary. Read 12 novels, 4 nonfiction books, 1 graphic novel, and 8 volumes of manga; saw 6 movies.

SEPTEMBER: Football season began. Finally finished Persona 4 after almost 150 hours of gameplay. The Cube Farm pulled up stakes and relocated to a new building, which was much nicer than the old one but filled with snotty people who ratted on me for using “their” vending machine. Originally I was supposed to share an office with Twinkletwat, but fortunately that turned out not to be the case. Still, work was even more frustrating than usual, and it took all my strength to keep from throwing my hands up in the air and yelling “I quit this bitch!” at the top of my lungs. Read 6 novels, 4 nonfiction books, 2 graphic novels, and 5 volumes of manga; saw 6 movies.

OCTOBER: G and I took a particularly enjoyable trip to Little Tokyo, which included a delicious curry lunch and an awesome exhibit of kokeshi dolls at the Japanese-American National Museum. Got a migraine that led to me barfing up fettucini carbonara; the smell cannot be described. Work sucked so bad that I cried in front of my horrified boss. Went back to Minnesota for a week and spent lots of quality time with my dad and brother. I also got my feed on hardcore, visited two museums and the zoo, shopped, read, met Daddy-O’s girlfriend A, and caught up on my sleep. When G picked me up at the Van Nuys flyaway upon my return, he was really crabby because of the Giants’ slaughter at the hands of the Saints. Went to the Silent Hill/Fear haunted houses and had a screamingly good time. Bought a bizarre vintage-looking photograph of a fox and rabbit wearing clothes. Read 7 novels, 3 nonfiction books, 1 comic anthology, 4 volumes of manga, and 1 graphic memoir; saw 3 movies.

NOVEMBER: At the end of my rope emotionally when it came to work, I took a mental health day and went to Ventura for a decadent lunch and a long walk on the beach. Went to Royal-T’s 35th anniversary celebration of Hello Kitty and couldn’t resist getting my picture taken with her. Received the sad news from K that Sneakers had passed away. Was disgusted with Levi Johnston’s last-minute change of heart when it came to showing his Alaskan pipeline for Playgirl. Spent Thanksgiving weekend cocooning with G, although we did venture out to Malibu and Santa Monica with C and M. Lots of football meant lots of reading; I read 4 novels, 5 nonfiction books, 9 volumes of manga, and one graphic novel; saw 9 movies.

DECEMBER: Finished Cooking Mama 3 and CSI: Deadly Intent (though just barely; there was a chemical analysis near the end that had me tearing out my hair, but then I found a walkthrough online, and even though it was in French I was able to translate enough to get through that stupid goddamn chemical analysis, otherwise I would have returned it to Gamefly with about ten minutes left in the stupid game). A rainy Monday was improved by the guy at Subway giving me an impromptu $3 discount and the sighting of an egret in front of work. My move to a new department was delayed because so many people were out for the holidays. Our friend R came for a visit. Spent Christmas break in New Mexico, where I lounged around, nommed out on Madre's famous cheesecake, hiked (and fell down three times), and visited Roswell, Carlsbad Caverns, the International Folk Art Museum, and Ghost Ranch. Rang in 2010 with champagne and a kiss from G. Read 2 novels, 4 nonfiction books, 15 volumes of manga, and 5 graphic novels; saw 6 movies.