The biggest life event in 2011 was my job change. Admittedly, I still work for the same company and, in fact, the same management team within that company. But I am supporting a different customer. True to my short attention span method of career planning, I am enjoying working across pretty much the entire defense space portfolio. The biggest downside is being located in the Mark Center, which I have taken to calling The Land That Transit Forgot. The commute is actually OK, thanks to a shuttle bus from West Falls Church, but there is nothing nearby so my lunchtime errand running is severely curtailed.
I read 109 books, with a decided preponderance of mysteries. Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series provided a lot of pleasure. Other rereading included Joan Hess (both the Maggody books and Claire Malloy books) which are amusing but slight, and H.R.F. Keating's Inspector Ghote novels, which are wildly inconsistent. Other notable books included Christopher Moore's Fluke: Or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings, Tracy Kidder's House, Dino Buzzati's Restless Nights (a reread). Jesse Kellerman's The Genius and Ben Mezrich's Ugly Americans. The biggest disappointment of the year was Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity Goes West. My very favorite book of the year was Kim by Rudyard Kipling. This surprised me, but I was totally drawn into this story of The Great Game.
I got rid of only 34 books this year, but I have another 101 ready to go out. I'm hoping to do a used bookstore run next weekend, weather permitting.
I did only 20 Volksmarch events. That included finishing the Historic Churches Book #2, Museum Walk America, Artistic Heritage, and Celebrate Flower Gardens special event programs. I added four state capitals (bringing me to 28/51) but only one new state (leaving me at 32/50). I'm at 17/20 on the Hooray for Hollywood program and 2/18 on America's Baseball Walks. There are a few new special events I'm sending off for the books for, so I will have plenty of ways to satisfy my walking obsession.
Travel is always a big part of my life. My biggest trips were to Mali and Burkina Faso in January and to Iceland and the Faroe Islands in August / September. I also managed long weekends in Zurich (with a side trip to Liechtenstein) and Prague. I leveraged off a business trip to Anchorage to do a bit more sightseeing in Alaska. In addition to a few other business trips to Los Angeles, my domestic travels took me to San Antonio, Reno, Nashville, Denver, Providence, Boston (twice), Chicago, and New York.
As far as storytelling goes, I continued serving on the boards of Voices in the Glen and the Virginia Storytelling Alliance. I was a featured storyteller at the Kensington Row Story Salon in April and performed at a benefit for the Arlington Planetarium. I also competed in the Virginia State Liar's Contest. And, of course, I went to lots of story swaps.
The cultural life of the Washington area continues to keep me occupied. The highlight of the year was Mark Glanville's A Yiddish Winterreise, which was part of the Pro Musica Hebraica series. Other notable events included Pierre Bensusan in concert (twice), Thrill Me at Eldon Street Players, The Boys from Syracuse at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Hairspray at Signature Theatre, Next to Normal at the Kennedy Center and The Book of Mormon on Broadway. The latter was not, of course, in D.C. but so it goes.
I saw 15 movies on airplanes and 3 in theatres. My favorites were Win Win, Paul, Bridesmaids, and The Help.
I completed three lifelist items in 2011, all related to my travel. Those were going to Timbuktu, going to the Festival au Desert in Mali, and going to the Faroe Islands. I did make a little progress on others, but I am never as focused as I intend to be.
I failed miserably at two of my goals from last year, having written only one travelogue and not finished any sweaters. I did some work on others, having I started knitting a pair of socks (but I am only a little under halfway through the first) and I am just a little more than halfway through the Apocrypha. I did reasonably well on going to dance classes, though I slacked off a bit towards the end of the year. Similarly, I did fairly well on decluttering, but there is always more of that to do than there is time for. On the plus side, I completed two goals. I mentioned the Volksmarch programs above. My other success was in submitting entries to the Washington Post Style Invitational. I actually submitted entries to eight contests, with some involving multiple entries. That was more than my minimum goal of six, though I still haven't gotten any ink. I've even gotten a start on continuing with that by submitting a couple of entries for the current week.
Which brings me to goals for 2012. Let's see:
- Get caught up on travelogues already
- Finish the Apocryphya already
- Finish those sweaters already
- Finish the socks and, while I'm at it, finish the slipper socks I've been nalbinding for the past couple of years
- Keep up with dance classes
- Organize my postcard collection
- Clean out the map and travel brochure drawer in the filing cabinet
- Walk at least four times a week
The latter is related to my having let my friend Suzanne talk me into doing the Susan B. Komen 3 Day Walk in Boston in July. You will be hearing more about this, since I need to get organized about both training and fundraising.