The biggest life event of the year was the announcement that the government agency I support is being dissolved. Except that nothing has actually happened as far as that goes, so it mostly means that I am swimming in the Lake of the Lame Ducks without a life jacket. My company will take care of me, so I'm not worried in a sense, but transition is always stressful and not helped by some other (government) management changes.
The most interesting thing I did this year was participate in creating The Smithsonian Community Reef, a part of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef which is on exhibit at the Museum of Natural History through April 24, 2011. The complete reef is totally amazing and I am very happy about having been a part of this project.
I read 111 books this year. Slightly over half of those were mysteries and a lot were rereads. The most delightful of the rereads were several of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. I've also enjoyed rereading Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware series, though they require a bit more suspension of disbelief than I prefer. My favorite books of the year were By a Spider's Thread by Laura Lippman (mystery with complicated Jewish themes), The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky (history of New York City via its oysters), Pecked to Death By Ducks by Tim Cahill (humorous travel and adventure pieces), Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller (about her childhood in Zimbabwe), Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (a mountain climbing disaster story), A Pocketful of Noses by James Powell (mystery short stories), and The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith (part of the 44 Scotland Street series). My absolute favorite book of the year was Barry Deutsch's graphic novel Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword. I am not surprised to have been disappointed in most of the chicklit I read, as I should know better. Especially when it involves vampires.
If I added correctly, I got rid of 77 books this year. I have about another 60 ready to go out, but have no idea when I will find time to get around to that. I also have a ton of things to list on freecycle and no idea when I will get to that either.
I did 30 Volksmarch events, which included finishing off my 150 events and 1500 kilometers record books. I finished off three Special Events programs - Spirit of Walking / Cemetery Stroll, Riverwalk America, and Historic Churches. But I decided to do a second Historic Churches book (they have an a second patch award for that) and I am sending off for a new program, which involves sites associated with baseball. The programs I am working on and my progress towards them are 50 States (31/50), 51 Capitals (24/51), Celebrate Flower Gardens (10/20), Artistic Heritage (14/25), Museum Walk America (24/25), Historic Churches Book #2 (2/15) and Hooray for Hollywood (9/20).
Of course, I traveled. My international trips were to Canada to go to the Vancouver Olympics (plus a couple of days in Victoria and a train trip afterwards to Jasper) and to Monaco (plus Nice) for my birthday. Domestic trips included business trips to Los Angeles and Albuquerque, as well as excursions to Dade City, Florida (for the kumquat festival and an associated Volksmarch), Minneapolis, Phoenix and Milwaukee for baseball games, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls, New York (3 times), Philadelphia, and Boston (twice). I went to the NPL convention in Seattle and used that as an excuse to drive down to Olympia and check off another state capital. And I spent a couple of days in Honolulu on the way to the National Storytelling Conference in Los Angeles. Finally, there was Star Mega Do 2, a charter flight with other frequent flyers.
Speaking of storytelling, most of what I did this year was go to story swaps. I have been suffering a bit of writer's block, though not quite admitting that until a few weeks ago. I did, however, perform at Tellebration.
In terms of being entertained, the definite highlight of the year was the concert performance of Life Begins at 8:40 at the Library of Congress in March. Other notable theatre events were seeing the Victorian Lyric Opera's production of The Grand Duke (as well as their Fringe Festival production of Engaged), Of Mice and Manhattan at the Kennedy Center (part of a Frank Loesser event), Walter Cronkite is Dead at Signature Theatre, and The Language Archive at Roundabout Theatre in New York.
I saw 9 movies on airplanes and 6 in theatres. My favorites were A Matter of Size (seen at the Northern Virginia Jewish film festival) and The Social Network.
I completed three life list items (though I need to update the list). In short, I've now been to both a Summer and a Winter Olympics, have been to a game at every major league ballpark, and have been to Niagara Falls. I've made progress on a couple of other items, but not as much progress as I'd hoped for.
In terms of my goals from last year, it's a mixed bag. I did okay on dance classes (though I did not quite make it to 10 one session) and, as noted above, finished off the major league ballparks and finished the Volksmarch cemetery program. But I remembered the reusable shopping bags less often than I'd have liked. I only made it about a quarter of the way through the Apocrypha. I got rid of a lot more than 10 recipes (probably over 100) but I don't think I actually tried 10 new ones. While I am using a different briefcase, I am still not really satisfied with it as a long-term solution. And I've done next to nothing about writing projects or organizing household files or consolidating web pages or doing any needlepoint. So I'd give myself slightly under half credit. (I should also mention that I did get a new camera, which I mentioned in a later post.)
Goals for 2011 are:
- Get caught up on travelogues
- Continue going to at least 10 dance classes during each session at the studio
- Finish reading the Apocrypha
- Finish the Volksmarch Gardens, Artistic Heritage, Museums, and Historic Churches programs
- Make some progress on decluttering every day that I'm home
- Knit a pair of socks
- Finish the four sweaters I am in various stages of knitting
- Submit at least 6 entries to the Washington Post Style Invitational