2012 was up and down. I did some amazing things and went some amazing places and met some amazing people. I also lost my job, moved back home, and had a lot of really tough nights alone. And while I know there are still several weeks left in 2012, I started to reflect today on the year that was.
I love those best/worst of lists that magazines publish at the end of the year, and so I took a stab at creating my own for 2012. A little bit of life, a little bit of the blog, and a lot of trying to entertain my fine readers. Enjoy.
Best concerts: 1. Green Day at Irving Plaza. 1A. Grace Potter & the Nocturals at the 9:30 Club. If I’m giving you my lifetime ranking, they’re both top 3.
Favorite book: According to GoodReads, I read 28 books this year, three of which I gave five stars (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Jane Eyre, and Gone Girl). Yet the one book that has stuck with me the most is The Night Circus. I had given it four stars, and yet I am still thinking about it months later. I went back to my review to change it to five – the only time I’ve ever done that.
Least favorite book: 50 Shades of Anything. No, I haven’t read it. I refuse to. And I hate how many of you have.
Favorite movie: I haven’t seen Les Mis yet, and when I do, it will be sure to take this spot. But Argo is fan-freaking-tastic. Seriously. I cannot rave enough. Ben Affleck has become one of my favorite filmmakers.
Favorite TV: I look forward to New Girl every week. I sometimes re-watch episodes. I basically have Z is for Zombie memorized. And I honestly don’t think anything made me laugh harder this year than these few seconds of television, which for some reason still makes me laugh even after watching it repeatedly:
Favorite theater: I finally saw The Book of Mormon, and it is every bit as spectacular as everyone has told you it is.
Favorite music: 2012 was the year I discovered how awesome Spotify is, so if you value my taste in music (and I’m not sure you should, it can be pretty terrible), then you might enjoy my 2012 playlist, in which I include both Mumford & Sons and Justin Bieber among my 15 favorite songs of the year.
Least favorite song: That Taylor Swift song whose name I refuse to type because it will just get stuck in my head. Dammit, too late. GO AWAY TAYLOR.
Second least favorite song: Gangnam Style. I still don’t get it.
Best weekend: The one where I was in very small rooms with both Jake Gyllenhaal and Billie Joe Armstrong (not simultaneously, that would’ve been mind-exploding) and then the Steelers destroyed the Jets. The fact that it was the first weekend after losing my job made it even more satisfying.
Best day: Despite being pretty hungover from an absolutely ridiculous evening the night before (involving bar games, cheese for dinner with Shannon, and an Australian bartender), biking through Stanley Park in Vancouver was one of the best days I’ve ever had in my life. It came at the end of an incredible vacation, and being surrounded by such gorgeous, pristine scenery – within the limits of a city! – was breathtaking. Vancouverites are a very fortunate bunch.
Worst day: Game 2 of the first round of the NHL playoffs. What? you’re surely thinking. That was the worst day you had the entire year? Well, I was under a ton of stress at work, I was sick, and all I wanted was a great hockey game to take my mind off of it. So I watched alone at home, with a few cans of Labatts, and what I saw was my team once again taking a commanding lead and squandering it to the team I hate most in the world. I got so upset by the end of the game that I called my dad in tears. Seriously. That’s how angry I was.
Most New York-iest thing: Camping out in Central Park from 4am to 1pm for Into the Woods tickets. And worth every single minute of sleep I lost.
Best blog search terms: For those of you who may not know, WordPress tracks the search terms that drive traffic to your blog. Over the past year, some of my favorites include: “sidney crosby butt” (41 times) and “sidney crosby ass” (21), “ted mosby is a douche” (20), “how to get ted mosby hair” (10), “i’m chuck bass” (9), “brooks orpik wife” (6), “brooks orpik girlfriend” (5), “brooks orpik dating” (3), and “who is brooks orpik married” (2, and apparently there are more girls out there who love Brooksy than I thought), “i met jeremy renner” (4, and I wish), “hangover hot guy” (4, probably all by my friend who can’t remember his name), “keep calm and watch gossip girl” (3), “kindly let me know your availability for a meeting” (2, and um… ok, hope you found what you were looking for), “mila kunis kills spiders” (2), “how am i going to afford therapy” (2, and I don’t know), “чак басс картинки” (2, apparently Russian for “chuck bass pictures”), “cute guys with piercings” (2, perhaps me time traveling from high school), “is timothy olyphant a good kisser” (1, and I think I might know her), “girlfriend losing boyfriend to nhl playoffs” (1, and dump your girlfriend, she sucks), and “cutest liberal arts colleges” (1, and of course mine is the cutest).
Most fun: The TV Boyfriend Bracket was, hands down, the most fun, most productive, and most satisfying thing I did in all of 2012. I could take that a few ways – that I need to put my energy toward more productive things which are more beneficial to society, or that I brought a lot of enjoyment to the world. I’m going to go with the latter, particularly when I saw people at my college’s holiday party who I hadn’t spoken to in years and the first thing they said to me was “I loved the TV Boyfriend Bracket!” I feel good about bringing new joys and new ways to procrastinate to my readers, and we’ll be going bigger and better in 2013. Stay tuned for details.
Best new tradition: The TV Boyfriend Bracket spawned many discussions among my New York friends, and the discussions spawned the Hot Man Movie Marathon Club, which is precisely as amazing as it sounds. Take a bunch of girls, add wine, and put in a DVD of SWAT, and you’ve got an excellent Saturday night.
Best date: My first night of a completely-impromptu-scheduled-meetings-to-justify-midweek trip to DC. Several glasses of wine and easy conversation, and more glasses of wine because I didn’t want the date to end just yet.
Worst date: The time I got a swollen eye.
Biggest waste of $75: The Online Experiment.
Best distraction: I am serving on my college’s 10 year reunion committee, and I’m loving having something else to keep me busy other than writing cover letters and begging people to meet with me. Reunion Weekend is the #1 thing I’m looking forward to in 2013.
Most unexpected: Meeting and getting to know people through this blog and Twitter that I’ve never met in real life. It’s been incredible to bond with women over the pain of going through something similar (or a mutual appreciation of Jeremy Renner) and to know there’s a support system out there – even if you never actually meet.
Best brunch: I ate a lot of brunch in 2012, but nothing beats Legal Seafood Harborside in Boston on a gorgeous summer day, right on the water, with the best Bloody Mary in the world.
Second best brunch: The time I drank a lot of sangria and then watched Newsies.
Best live sporting event: Sidney Crosby’s return 2.0 at Madison Square Garden. Being yelled at by Rangers fans has never been so worth it.
Worst live sporting event: Steelers/Ravens in Pittsburgh. Perhaps the second-worst Steelers game I’ve ever attended, second only to this MNF debacle.
Best use of Jeremy Renner: Tie between The Stand Off short on SNL and anytime his arms are shown in The Avengers.
Worst use of Jeremy Renner: the rest of SNL.
Best iPhone app: Remember those few weeks when we were all obsessed with Draw Something? That was really fun.
Last year, I posted some of the songs I was taking with me into 2012, one of which was Shake It Out. I wrote:
To me, this song is about letting go of your past and everything that is holding you back. About shaking off all the demons, the fears, and the people you’re clinging to. What better way to start a new year, than to let go of whatever didn’t go right in 2011 and look forward to whatever 2012 brings – good, bad, scary, or safe.
2012 brought that and so much more – it was good, bad, scary, safe, and everything in between. I think I made some progress in letting go of all of the bad stuff – with some backslides here and there, but always trying to take two steps forward and only one step back. Sure, I have a long way to go, and your past will always be with you, but 2012 was a year of endings and new beginnings, challenges and successes. It was a year of coming into my own as a 31-year-old woman who doesn’t always know what she wants but knows that she’ll figure it out someday – and if not, she’ll have a lot of funny stories that you people like to read for some odd reason. Thanks for being here this year.