Blogger Gwen Bell put together a "Best of 2009" project, with one topic for each day of December to wrap up the best of the year. I just found it today, so I thought I'd throw them all into one post and see what I came up with!
You can click on each topic name to see blogs of the bazillion other people who have posted about that subject, too, if you are so inclined!
(I apologize in advance for the purple font. I wanted a way to distinguish my answers from the questions, and by the time I decided the color was annoying, I had already nearly finished, and was way too lazy to change it.)
December 1 Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?
Unbelievably, for someone as obsessed with travel as I am, I only left Orlando ONCE this year, and that was just for a day trip to Cocoa Beach with Ashlee, so it wins by default! Here's to much more travel in 2010!
December 2 Restaurant moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?
I am not a big eating out in restaurants person, because I am incredibly cheap, and don't eat all that much to begin with. All of my restaurant memories of the year are more about the people I was with than where or what we were eating. Katie and I had a silly, fabulous time at the Garden View Tea Room, where the manager asked us to keep sampling new teas they had gotten in, and we got on a rediculous sugar high. Dave and I had an equally silly time eating hummus at Urban Flatts after a Battle of the Bands, trying to decide what was in what we were eating (and deciding upon monkey brains.) Kouzzina with Mike and Ashlee, because the spanikopita was yummy and we got to see Cat Cora, and it's an oddly vivid memory.
December 3 Article. What's an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious'd and reference throughout the year.
Sadly, I don't think there's anything that stood out to me this year!
December 4 Book. What book - fiction or non - touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?
Oh my, I've read SO much this year that it makes this hard to pick! The first thing that came to mind, though, was Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book", which was fantastic, as is everything Neil does.
December 5 Night out. Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?
Ooh, there have been some good ones! It's a tie between two; the first was back in February when Ashlee helped me get over my recent house breaking into and moving trauma with a LOT of alcohol at AKA Lounge. Plus it was a fun full circle moment, because it was the venue where I had first seen Black Ship Sky almost exactly a year before, and we were there to see them again. And there was silly fun!
The other one that stands out is going to see Black Ship Sky, Ambertone, and Lost In Chaos
at the Haven, because hello, those three bands at once is pretty much as good as it gets! And the company that night was excellent.
December 6 Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?
None of those, sorry!
December 7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can't believe you didn't know about until this year.
I have found a LOT of new ones in just the past few weeks, but I will be decicive and pick one and go with The Bloggess because that is the first one that came to mind.
December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?
No one moment stands out, probably some time spent sitting out soaking up the sun outside, just enjoying some quiet.
December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?
I'm actually REALLY proud that I finally completed/won a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) I've don it several years before, and I think the best I ever did was 40,000 words during the month. Actually sticking with it and pushing to get word count at the end was pretty hard, but I did it, yay!
December 10 Album of the year. What's rocking your world?
Ambertone's Shifting Stars & Disregards has been in my car's CD player ALL YEAR. I mean, it is a 6 cd changer, but still, to hold one of those coveted spots for an entire year is pretty impressive.
December 11 The best place. A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?
I spent a lot of time wandering around Disney's Boardwalk this year, but I always do that, so it isn't particular to 2009. Still, it's where I go to think and write and such.
December 12 New food. You're now in love with Lebanese food and you didn't even know what it was in January of this year.
I can't think of any culinary adventures this year that have become a new favorite. Something else to add to next year's list, I guess!
December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?
The end of January, I moved out of the apartment that got broken into TWICE, into the place I live now, which I love. Quite the upgrade!
December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?
This is a tie between getting to go over 100mph in a race car at the Richard Petty Speedway, and parasailing at Sammy Duvall's watersports center, both free (love my job sometimes!). Stuff like this is going to turn me into an adreneline junkie!
There is another story involving getting rained on, but I can't tell you that one. Maybe someday!
December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?
I think the best evolution in packaging is that Oreos and Chips Ahoy and various other nutritional necessities (read: cookies) now have the little pull tab on the package to make it resealable, so your cookies don't get all funky if you happen to not eat the whole package in one day. Huzzah for progress!
December 16 Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What's yours?
Eros from the Garden View Lounge with LOTS of sugar! Quantity-wise, I drank about eighty gallons of Bigelow Apple Cinnamon tea, because that is what we have at work, and if you add a LOT of sugar, it will help you be nice to guests and not punch them in the face. That is the real secret of my company's success- a LOT of sugar.
December 17 Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. "2009 was _____."
Long. I wish I had a happier word to describe it, and that my year end wrap-up was more jolly in general, but the naked truth is that it has been a LONG year, an exhausting emotional rollercoaster, and I am worn out from it, and could really use a cookie.
December 18 Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?
This was The Year of the Poor, so I had no mad money to spend. My idea of living it up was buying the name brand cat food for 12 cents more per can. In fact, right now I have some gift certificates to use on Amazon, and I can't bring myself to spend them! I will find myself starting to put a book in the shopping cart, and then thinking "$12! That would pay for blah blah blah insert boring expense here!" And then I remember that no... I can't use this money to pay for gas or food or bills, it is just for fun books and dvds and such! And my brain is all "Does not computer!", so yeah. I haven't spent them yet.
December 19 Car ride. What did you see? How did it smell? Did you eat anything as you drove there? Who were you with?
There are two, and I can't tell you either story. I am so very sorry! I hate that there are certain things I can't post about, but someday if circumstances change, or the people involved are no longer a part of my life, I promise to share.
December 20 New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?
I didn't meet a lot of new people this year, oddly enough. Oh wait! My wif, Shelley! (Yes, "wif". Like wife, but not.) We accidentally got married at work one day, and even though she is totally engaged to some dude now, she is still the best wif ever!
December 21 Project. What did you start this year that you're proud of?
I started my new 101/1001 list. I like lists!
December 22 Startup. What's a business that you found this year that you love? Who thought it up? What makes it special?
I really can't think of any new businesses that came into my life this year, hmm...
December 23 Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn't live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.
December 24 Learning experience. What was a lesson you learned this year that changed you?
Don't ever take Colonial Drive to anywhere you want to get to on time? No, I think my BIG lesson of this year was not to take ANYTHING for granted.
December 25 Gift. What's a gift you gave yourself this year that has kept on giving?
I wish I had something great to put here, but I haven't been particularly generous with myself this year. I will put a serious effort in taking better care of myself next year, so maybe that lesson was the gift.
December 26 Insight or aha! moment. What was your epiphany of the year?
I think I'm still working on getting to one.
December 27 Social web moment. Did you meet someone you used to only know from her blog? Did you discover Twitter?
I've probably actually been LESS internetty this year than in the past. I've realized just how much of my time it sucks up, and tried to cut back on that in favor of other things.
December 28 Stationery. When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationery find of the year?
I can't say I got all that excited about any paper, so I'll go with the awesome peacock notebook I got on sale at Target for like fifty cents that I used as a journal for a few months:
December 29 Laugh. What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?
Oh, wow. The first thing that came to mind was early this month when Katie tried to said she was going to give me back a book she had borrowed like a birthday present, but her mind somehow translated that to typing "I will give it to you like a bitch." Awesome. And then just a couple of days ago, I was on the phone with my mom, fretting about impending financial DOOM, when my cat Cricket walked in wearing a plastic Wal-Mart bag as a superhero cape, and carrying one of her toys in her mouth. I lost it, and was laughing so hard I couldn't even talk, and I'm pretty sure my mom thought I had just been shot and was dying of an asthma attack or something, because it came out of nowhere, but then I e-mailed her pictures, and she understood.
December 30 Ad. What advertisement made you think this year?
The beautiful thing about not having a TV is that I am very rarely subjected to craploads of advertising. It's a delightful thing!
WAIT! I totally take that back! There WAS one excellent ad this year!!!
If you aren't from Orlando, it probably isn't funny until you know what they are spoofing:
December 31 Resolution you wish you'd stuck with. (You know, there's always next year...)
I didn't make any actual resolutions last year, but I did say I would go back to trying to take photos every single day, which I totally failed at. Maybe in '10? (It will take me approximately three months to stop accidentally saying "0-ten", since the past decade has been "09" and such.)
No real NYE plans for me this year. I am still getting over my whole End of the Year Health Debaucle, which I can't even spell, so I'm still not quite celebratey. I will stay up till midnight, and let out a whoop of joy that the year is over, though, and welcome a fresh start with arms wide open!