My Year: 2011 in Review

I’m not sure it’s right proper to say that this year totally blew, since you know, I’m alive and kicking and all, with a roof over my head and a heart that’s broken but still beating. So I’ll just say that I was not a fan of 2011, not one bit, no, not at all. It sucked and my heart broke again and again and I struggled and I fought with myself and with others.

There were moments of joy and I know I would be remiss to discount them, it just seemed that this year, the bad outweighed the good in terrible measures. In an effort to ring 2012 in on positive note I’ve decided that instead of reminiscing about what we lost in 2011 I’d rather review what we/I gained, what I did and what was good.

This January found us living in a new apartment, our second ever home in five years of living together. We all survived the move well, though the hallway closet survived it with a splash of yellow paint. I will never forget the ‘movers’ faces when they realized we didn’t have big stuff, like furniture, only little stuff like thousands of heavy boxes.I was a lucky one and survived the blizzard that created 8-10-12 hour evening commutes in January. My commute took only 30 minutes, I was so very grateful!

In February I turned thirty-two years old! We went bowling, traveled to Philly for a tattoo convention and I dyed my hair completely blonde for the first time! We visited Maryland and went to the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore, enjoyed theScience Museum and dined at the Rusty Scupper. This month I had my first ever “Rock the Dress” session — it was a blast! I was a brunette again by the end of February.. you know, always so indecisive.

March found us celebrating Jennifer’s thirty-ninth birthday. I photographed I soldier and his daughter in our Nation’s Capital. We also went to see Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, which, was surprisingly fun and good!

In April I totally tied one on at Fashion for Paws — which was a complete luxury and blast.The rest of April was really awful, May seemed to be endless and sad and it wasn’t until the end of June when things started to turn around again. The best part about the month of may was a trip down to Polyface Farms, truly an extraordinary place.

Mid-June found us proud and happy at the Baltimore Pride Festival. Later that month we hit a few of the museums in DC. My favourite was the RACE exhibit, enlightening, troubling and well done.

Jennifer and I celebrated our fifth anniversary in July. I made my first ever blueberry pie in July…and though it wasn’t gorgeous, it was pretty tasty.

We finally made it back to Maine in August, took Atticus for his first ever long car trip and he did pretty well. Things were very difficult when we got back, but we had a small reprieve when we went to see Wicked on its last night at the Kennedy Center. It was then we survived a 5.8 earthquake, crazy, right?! Well not crazy enough because we survived Hurricane Irene shortly after that.

In September Getty Images selected a few of my photographs and I saw and heard Ellis for the first time at the Cooper’s House in Columbia. I also helped my Aunt harvest her vineyard, perhaps for the last time ever.

In October I saw Ani DiFranco at the historic Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, DC with my friend and fellow Ani lover, Jenn G. Lover bought me a vintage suitcase and we watched all three Paranormal Activities.

I started November as a red-head. We made the trek to PA to bid a proper farewell, it was a beautiful fall day.. I entered my first ever pie contest and made two different pies; my first ever apple and a sweet potato pie as well. We also went to the opening night of Twilight, Breaking Dawn.. and that was unreal, amazing and the best date night in a very long time. Lover had successful surgery in November and we shared our first ever Thanksgiving alone, twas really quite lovely.

December found me feeling hopeful and ready for the year to be over. We got a tree and started a new Christmas tradition: A visit to the National Christmas Tree and dinner at Old Ebbit Grill on Christmas Eve. I was very spoiled for Christmas this year and it was really nice…

It’s nice to first make a list of what was good this year, for it seems like this year was epically tragic. Just as remiss as I would be not to mention the good stuff, I must, I feel at least pay tribute to the souls we lost. Therefore, without going into much dramatic detail I will dedicate this post to Ruth, to my paternal grandfather Ron Mandigo, to my beautiful and beloved Carrie, to our sweet kitties Petunia and Gertrude, to my friend Amber’s mom – Wanda, to my love’s father on his journey to beat cancer, to Dr. Salmon on her journey to beat breast Cancer, to my mama’s beautiful cat Sasha and lastly, to our very cool fish Merlin.

Tonight is the night before New Years Eve eve; it was a very busy, hectic but good day at work. In a few moments lover is going to pick me up and we’ll head to the Silver Diner for Dinner… I’m thinking I’m in the mood for French Toast and French Fries. I’m going out with a big elastic bang… because next year I really am going to stick to that exercise gig. Really.

Stay tuned for more 2012 intentions…

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2 thoughts on “My Year: 2011 in Review

  1. Candice says:

    Your words made me smile for you. And, although you focused on the positive (which was abundant), I still felt your sorrow. My prayer is that this new year holds nothing but beauty, joy, prosperity and much love. With little to no sadness …

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