January 5, 2016

thirty-seven

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:34 pm by kate

  1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

It was a whole lot easier to answer this question when I was 23 and basically moved to a new country and learned a new language every year. In 2015, uh, I don’t know, I finally saw The Lowest of the Low live.

  1. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t think I made New Year’s resolutions last year! My resolution for this year is to publish something in a publication other than the one I work for.

  1. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, but a TON of people that I know had babies. Like five different people that I work with and many ladies on the internet.

  1. Did anyone close to you die?

I am 35. Between the time I turned 30 and the time I turned 33, six people who were integral to my life died. Now it’s been several years since someone died and I’m still trying to pull out of dead-friend crisis mode and it’s surprisingly hard. No one died this year. No one has died for years. Everything is fine (my heart is still broken).

  1. What countries did you visit?

I will quote myself from last year and the year before: “this answer is always the same and I’m okay with that: Mexico and the US.”

  1. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Before I answer this question I want to note that last year I talked about how in 2015 I’d have a good boss because my incredibly shitty manager finally left the company and a new director came in and it turned out to be 100% true. Everything about my job improved immeasurably this year. I am really happy! I work with great people! I stopped coming home from work literally every day and telling my boyfriend about how shitty and terrible my boss was!

So. What I would like to have in 2016 that I lacked in 2015 is a super great apartment. We had to move in June and it was awful. I had lived in a really beautiful house from 1880 for six years and then my landlord decided to turn it into a store and we had to find a new apartment and even though our new apartment is completely fine I hate literally everything about it and I want to move again this summer. I am embarrassed to admit it, but one of the primary problems with this place is that it’s three kilometers from my office and that is too far. I feel like I live in the fucking suburbs. It takes like 35 minutes to walk each way and ain’t nobody got time for that. I like to walk a lot, but apparently I do not like to spend 35 minutes walking to work in the morning carrying my shoes and wearing sneakers with a dress may god forgive me.

  1. What moments from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The three quintessential moments of 2015 are probably finding out we had to move, moving, and finding this amazing secret spot between the coral reef and the shore that we visited every day in Mexico.

  1. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Being very good at my job. I’m a very good employee and I work hard to be a very good boss. One of the greatest joys of my professional life has been assembling and managing a really good team of editors. It took a lot of work (and one hundred thousand job interviews) to get there but it’s great.There is a lot (A LOT) I can say about being a good boss and a good employee but something I have been thinking about lately is that my old terrible boss did not really have a life outside of work. Being single-mindedly devoted to your work makes you a terrible fucking boss because you have no frame of reference for what kind of outside demands a regular person has on them outside of work. Having a healthy work/life balance is like, good for you as a person but also good for the way you interact with your coworkers.

  1. What was your biggest failure?

This year, like basically every year in recent memory, I failed to find a huge, wide-brimmed sun hat to take to Mexico. My head is gigantic (seriously, it is huge) so regular sun hats fit me, but very snugly (and not at all if I have my hair in a bun). It’s reasonably easy to find big floppy sun hats for people with regular-sized heads or basic hats for people with gigantic heads, but I want both. And it has been impossible to find. (Although to be fair, I basically only remember to look in the 7-10 days before I leave for Mexico every year.)

  1. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, like last year my insane immune system kept me from getting sick (and also from eating like 90% of all possible food — my insane immune system is a mixed bag for sure).

  1. What was the best thing you bought?

Well, paying for movers is never a bad idea, and also, the people who lived in this house before us had TERRIBLE TASTE, so I bought a bunch of cans of paint (all a pale grey called Ruffled Feathers which was perfect because my personal feathers were CERTAINLY RUFFLED by having to move) and paid for a painter which improved things about 20%. (Although I hasten to clarify now and forever that I hate living in this apartment and can’t wait to move.) Also, when we moved in, the apartment had a TINY fridge, like one size up from a dorm room mini-fridge, and we lived with it for six months until it broke and then the landlord replaced it with a HUGE fridge that we are literally still talking about. HAVE YOU SEEN HOW BIG OUR FRIDGE IS.

  1. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My boyfriend’s. He’s a gem.  I am not used to having a partner who shoulders 50% off the load. My boyfriend often carries more than 50% of our mental, physical, emotional requirements and while that is SO AMAZING it has occasionally been hard for me to allow it. (I AM SO USED TO BEING THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES ANYTHING.) My natural inclination is always to be the valedictorian of everything. I want to be the valedictorian of MY JOB and ERRANDS and LAUNDRY and BAKED GOODS and CLEANING BEHIND THE COUCH. This year I really worked hard to let go of stuff that doesn’t matter and part of that was embracing Todd doing more and even though it sounds like I’m basically just describing a ten-step program for becoming incredibly, incredibly lazy I promise it was more nuanced than that.

  1. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

This is a hard question to answer because I know responsible gun owners and I know very smart, non-racist cops BUT SHIT Y’ALL DID NOT HAVE A GOOD YEAR.

  1. Where did most of your money go?

A LOT of my money went to savings this year, which was honestly a huge accomplishment.

  1. What did you get really excited about?

Last year my answer was “having friends over a lot and cooking for them” and that was also true this year, although I also got pretty excited about laying on my couch and not moving.

  1. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Gosh, so many of the songs from the musical Hamilton. I started listening to it in September and literally have not listened to other music since.

  1. Compared to this time last year, are you:
  • happier or sadder? probably happier?
  • thinner or fatter? the same, to the pound.
  • richer or poorer? richer.
  1. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I had been more proactive in planning my workflow for the year. I also wish I had written down the names of the books I read.

  1. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Even though I had an amazing year professionally, I do wish I’d worked less.

  1. How did you spend Christmas?

This was the third year that I’ve spent the day with my boyfriend and his mother. My boyfriend’s birthday is Christmas Day so we did birthday presents + cupcakes on Christmas Eve and Presents For Everyone on Christmas Day. I got + gave some really great presents and we talked, drank and played cards and board games.

  1. Did you fall in love in 2015?

No, but I’m still super in love with my boyfriend and our amazing cats.

  1. What was your favorite TV program?

I don’t know that I had a stand-out favorite this year. I did watch Friends and Seinfeld both from beginning to end and I really, really enjoyed them.

  1. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

  1. What was the best book you read?

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It was literally a life-changing book. If you read it and loved it (or read it and hated it) EMAIL ME SO WE CAN TALK.

  1. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I think I have to say Hamilton again — I love the whole thing so much.

  1. What did you want and get?

A big improvement in my happiness level at work, a really good trip to Mexico.

  1. What did you want and not get?

Magically being able to stay in my old house instead of having to move. I can barely even articulate how much I wanted that. Also to magically be willowy and lithe.

  1. What was your favorite film of this year?

This is what I said last year and it’s still true: I never, ever watch movies. I never, ever do! I don’t think I’ve been able to answer this question in any of the years I’ve done this quiz.

  1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 35. I had a lot of trouble turning 35 because it felt SO FUCKING OLD, like ten times as old as 34. I couldn’t think of a single thing that I wanted for my birthday (which was unusual, I LOVE PRESENTS and always know exactly what I want) although at one point I gestured to my ears and told my boyfriend “I want earrings like this BUT BIGGER” I guess because I am an animal? Then I decided I did not want a new pair of diamond studs. Because I am an animal. In the end, my boyfriend gave me some great presents and I sort of eventually worked through my angst over being old by reminding myself that it’s okay if I don’t accomplish anything else before I die. In hindsight that sounds incredibly macabre but it was really helpful.

  1. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Winning ten million dollars in the lottery?

  1. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

All winter: these five dresses from J.Crew basically feel like wearing pajamas, so I’m going to rotate between them without ceasing. When I’m in Mexico: have you considered taking my masterclass in wearing a bathing suit under your clothes?

  1. What kept you sane?

Walking, reading, working.

  1. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Last year I said basically every day I want to email Barack Obama and say YOU ARE DOING GREAT and that’s still true.

  1. What political issue stirred you the most?

Same answer as last year: everything about the way the world works breaks my heart.

  1. Who did you miss?

My beautiful, smart, funny dead friends. I miss them all a whole bunch.

  1. Who was the best new person you met?

She is not a person and I did not meet her this year, but I cannot overemphasize how much joy animated Pusheen stickers and gifs gave me this year. This cat is so plump and charming and every time I see her I literally want to jump up and down and applaud.

  1. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

You should always hold out for what you really want. Never settle! (I learned this when I moved into an apartment I hated with every fiber of my being.)

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January 13, 2015

thirty-six

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:06 pm by kate

  1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Probably nothing! Well, I saw someone through a psychotic break, which was incredibly hard, and when one of my employees applied to law school I wrote a letter of recommendation for her, which was one of those, huh, I guess I am an adult moments. I also hired, fired, and gave raises, all of which I enjoyed doing.

  1. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year I said “I’m not sure what I want to do. Lose ten pounds? Keep being honest? FINALLY start wearing makeup for the love of god?” I did not lose ten pounds. I did keep being honest and I did actually start wearing makeup for the love of god, although of course when I started wearing makeup I had no idea I had thought about committing to it as a new year’s resolution.

I should also clarify that when I said “keep being honest” I did not mean, like, don’t tell people lies (like I’m a Belgian countess/dog) but that I wanted to keep being honest with myself about what I wanted out of life and what I could be doing better at any given time.

  1. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No.

  1. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

  1. What countries did you visit?

I will quote myself from last year: “this answer is always the same and I’m okay with that: Mexico and the US.” Eventually, sure, I will visit other countries but for now I find it so satisfying to go back to a very, very small town in Mexico and go snorkeling a lot.

 

  1. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

I did not lack anything this year except for maybe ten million dollars. I had good relationships, true happiness, many wonderful times. One thing that I am going to have in 2015 that I lacked in 2014 is a good boss, because I got a new director and my old manager left (in two unrelated events) and guys, my satisfaction level at work went up about 500% when my old manager left. She was a really shitty boss. She was negative and terrible with people and never advocated for her employees. She was a half robot/half human with the very shittiest traits of both parts. God, she was terrible. It is wonderful that we are not working together any more.

 

  1. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Hm. I’m not sure there are ones, although I had a really nice anniversary trip with my boyfriend (we stayed in an old wonderful hotel in downtown Toronto that had a wood-burning fireplace and also, there were many glasses of wine) and I enjoyed driving to the south-eastern tip of New York by myself in June (just because the last couple of hours of the drive were so pretty — I love the Hudson Valley so, so much).

  1. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

There were probably a thousand times during the year when I could have been involved in drama but chose not to be. In my real life, on the internet, whatever – I absolutely did not in engage in drama and it was great.

  1. What was your biggest failure?

My food allergies went from being bad to being terrible and ever-multiplying and I kind of rode it out in a way that wasn’t helpful (like, at times I was literally developing new food allergies every week and instead of calling a thousand doctors to help me, I just sort of removed the new allergies from my diet and went on). I want to be more proactive about them this year. Also, after a long time of not eating any meat I started eating fish again and that was really sad and hard for me.

I should write down what I am allergic to as of January 13, 2014 because I hope against the hope the list will be a lot smaller next year: cow dairy, soy, walnuts, almonds, honey, corn, sesame, egg white (but tiny amounts of egg yolk are okay), salmon, tuna, halibut, and raw apples, melons, kiwi, cherries, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, plums, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots.

  1. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My food allergies stem from an extremely, extremely over-active immune system. The upside of that is that I literally never get sick.

  1. What was the best thing you bought?

I gave a lot of great, thoughtful gifts this year and that felt great. Also, my gift wrapping game was tight.

  1. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mine.

  1. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Basically every day something happened in the world that appalled and depressed. Terrible crimes against women and children and minorities and man. It’s really not easy to live in this world.

  1. Where did most of your money go?

Rent? I realized at the end of the year that I have given my landlord $100,000 since I moved in and that number left me gobsmacked. I am really happy with my life and I love the house I live in but Jesus Shitting Christ, one hundred thousand dollars in rent?

  1. What did you get really excited about?

Having friends over a lot and cooking for them. I guess because I can’t eat regular food I find it so satisfying to cook delicious, wonderful things and serve lots of drinks.

  1. What song will always remind you of 2014?

I listened to “Reminds Me Of You” by Van Morrison on repeat for a couple of weeks. It’s really sad and poignant and perfect if you have ever missed someone (although when I found out the song was actually about a broken engagement I kind of wanted Van to reel in the melodramatics).

  1. Compared to this time last year, are you:
  • happier or sadder? Happier, even happier than before
  • thinner or fatter? Fatter, actually! I’m okay with that
  • richer or poorer? Richer
  1. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Not totally answering the question, but I thought A LOT this year that I really wish I had yelled at my parents more when I was growing up. I was a pretty laid back, trouble-free kid, but I really wish I had been difficult and contrary instead.

  1. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying. It has no point and serves no purpose.

  1. How did you spend Christmas?

Like last year, I spent the holiday with my boyfriend and his mom. I worked a lot (a lot) before the holiday and my boyfriend was so helpful at getting things ready that I started joking that I am actually dating a set of identical triplet brothers (because otherwise, how could he possibly work a full day, do all of the holiday food shopping, feed the cats, wrap the presents, deliver dinner to me at work etc etc etc etc). I unplugged on Christmas Eve afternoon and we had a great night of board games, birthday presents (my boyfriend’s birthday is on Christmas Day, so we do his birthday presents the day before) and general merriment. Then I got up at 5 AM for a few hours of work and then I went back to bed and slept until it was time to open presents. I was spoiled with thoughtful presents and it was great.

  1. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Yes. My boyfriend moved in at the end of September and I told him beforehand that I thought his cats were great and I liked them very much, but that my dear darling Chaos was always going to be my favorite cat. After all, she is 13 (and a half!) and she understands English and she has an amazing sense of humor (for a cat). Then his cats both completely stole my heart and I really do love each of our cats with my whole entire heart.

  1. What was your favorite TV program?

I watched Parks & Recreation from start to finish and was surprised by how much I loved it.

  1. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

  1. What was the best book you read?

I’m not sure I read anything that captivated me.

  1. What was your greatest musical discovery?

My musical discovery of the year was sort of that listening to the Van Morrison Pandora station and cooking is always going to make me so, so happy.

  1. What did you want and get?

Another trip to Mexico, a very peaceful and smooth transition from living alone to living with my boyfriend and his cats, a vastly improved work situation.

  1. What did you want and not get?

More money from work (I got more, but I wanted MORE). No more new food allergies.

  1. What was your favorite film of this year?

I never, ever watch movies. I never, ever do! I don’t think I’ve been able to answer this question in any of the years I’ve done this quiz.

  1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 34. I debated a lot about where I wanted to go for dinner and then I finally decided that I wanted all of my favorite foods at home for a snack-style dinner, so my boyfriend left work and rounded everything up. I got flowers and some lovely presents from him. On the weekend following I had some people over for dinner and probably served a themed meal, although I cannot remember what it was.

  1. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A really huge, 1800s-era house to renovate, restore and decorate. A dollhouse replica of Downton Abbey.

  1. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

Last year I wore jeans twice and I thought maybe I would do a whole lot more of that this year. Update: no, I wore jeans literally zero times this year. I did wear yoga pants to work one day because I had a lot of errands to run and I thought I could literally run them faster if I wasn’t wearing dress shoes.

  1. What kept you sane?

I think being sane kept me sane.

  1. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I really appreciate Barack Obama, even though my very liberal friends think is he not doing enough on any issue. As if being president equals turning into a magician who can immediately do whatever he wants. And does not have to work with a congress that stops him at every move. At any cost and with no regard to what might be best. Basically every day I want to email him and say YOU ARE DOING GREAT.

  1. What political issue stirred you the most?

Everything about the way the world works breaks my heart.

  1. Who did you miss?

My friend Lynn, still, honestly, although on the two-year anniversary of her death one of our friends posted this video of her and it was SO GREAT to see her (and completely different than seeing still pictures of her) and just being happy to see her (instead of having mixed emotions) made me realize I was in a different stage of grief than I had been the year before.

I also had some moments of missing my best friend Karen, who died when I was 24. She was astonishing.

  1. Who was the best new person you met?

I don’t think I met a best new person this year.

  1. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Whatever you’re worrying about doesn’t matter.

January 20, 2014

thirty-five

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:11 pm by kate

I’m still not writing here but I’m interested in writing a year-end summary to look back on. So here we go.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I did a lot of small things for the first time. And I told someone a secret that I’d never ever told anyone. That was actually a really smart thing to do — it was the emotional equivalent of that dream where you realize that your apartment has rooms you’d never known were there — although at the time I was terrified.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My resolutions were to keep up my tai chi practice (like some sort of fucking hippie or something) and to do a thing I wasn’t ready to talk about yet (which was going back to school). I had a hard time keeping up with my tai chi practice once I started playing rugby three days a week and I was offered a spot in one of the programs I applied to and then declined it for a lot of different reasons. This year I’m not sure what I want to do. Lose ten pounds? Keep being honest? FINALLY start wearing makeup for the love of god?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Last year, three friends died (one in May and two in December) but despite the one constant thread running through my life is that my friends keep dying, no one died this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

This answer is always the same and I’m okay with that: Mexico and the US.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Last year I said that I really did not lack anything and I think that is also true this year. I mean, I want things, but I’m a human and that’s how human nature works.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 13: I went on a first date. It was a Wednesday night and we met for drinks (except neither of us drank) and dinner (except I have one thousand food allergies and he was too nervous to eat very much) and then we went back to my house and kissed and it was great.  We’ve seen each other every Wednesday since except for once when he was out of the country and once when I was.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I played a whole season of muddy, vicious, full-tackle rugby. I tried to be as kind as I possibly could as much as I could.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I could have been more prudent, financially.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I bruised a couple of ribs in rugby and also pulled something in my arm.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Tickets to Mexico, a small assortment of bathing suit halves.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I have to give a shout-out to goat cheese and Finn Crisp crackers, without whom I would be a withered husk slumped in the corner.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My sister’s. My aunt’s.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent! And vegetarian, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free, nut-free food.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Uh, shit. Going to Mexico?

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

The whole album “Shakespeare My Butt” which I listened to one thousand times, give or take.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? The last four years my answer was “happier, by far” and that’s also my answer this year.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner.
– richer or poorer? Poorer, although not by much.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I had to cut myself off from my sister (and her delicious, delightful kids) and it was incredibly, unbelievably painful. I wish, though, that I had done it sooner.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

More early morning walks, less sleeping in.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Day is also my boyfriend’s birthday. I spent the evening of December 23rd working and barfing and then on Christmas Eve my boyfriend and his mother came over to my apartment and we had the most fun. It was lovely. He opened his birthday presents and we played board games. Christmas Day we opened our presents and went to the aquarium and then I made pie for dinner (chicken pot pie for the meat-eaters and spinach pie for me). I got a lot of great presents including a huge (huge) print of a classic green highway sign saying WELCOME TO NEW YORK to hang above my couch. The present that I had bought for my boyfriend’s mother was stuck in warehouse about 25 minutes away thanks to some shit for brains planning by UPS, which was so embarrassing that it actually went all the way back around to oh well, shit happens! Then we had birthday cake and watched Love Actually which — god forgive me — continues to be the greatest, greatest movie. I love it. Despite the barfing/working, it was actually the best Christmas I’ve ever had, hands down.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Yes.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Downton Abbey, sort of. I also (finally) watched Game of Thrones and it was great, of course.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

I loved (loved, loved, loved) Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Regina Spektor, who of course wasn’t a discovery at all but someone that everyone else had been listening to all this time.

26. What did you want and get?

After Lynn died, there was some uncertainty about her house in Mexico. I was heartbroken to think that I might not get to see it again. I was lucky enough to go in April and again in January and both trips were incredible. Lots of time on the beach and snorkeling on the reef.

27. What did you want and not get?

I wanted a really crystal-clear directive from the heavens and/or god about what to do in terms of going back to school. And I wanted a giant vault of money a la Scrooge McDuck.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Sort of cheating, since it was 2014, but in January on the plane back from Mexico I saw Enough Said and loved it.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 33. It was a Wednesday, conveniently, so my boyfriend came over and we went to dinner. I had a pizza with tomato sauce and basil leaves on it which was delicious. I got presents and drank wine. It was warm enough to eat outside!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

As a result of being very sick at the end of last year, I lost a lot of hair. It grew back (which is great) in this MADDENING fringe (not great) which spent most of the year defying my efforts to stay attached to my head (seriously, not great). At times people were like oh you cut bangs! And I’d have to say NOPE, THAT’S JUST HOW MY HEAD WORKS NOW. I’m finally at the stage where it’s basically under control but if that could have happened nine months earlier IT WOULD HAVE BEEN GREAT.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Skirts, dresses, skirts. I wore jeans twice in 2013.

32. What kept you sane?

Honestly? Laying on the couch with my cat watching television. And walking.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I usually have an answer for this but, shit, I don’t know!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Everything about the way the world works breaks my heart.

35. Who did you miss?

My friend Lynn, keenly. This summer I got a huge packet of letters that we had exchanged and they were so wonderful and heartbreaking. I miss her so much.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My boyfriend, but not just because he’s my boyfriend — he also happens to be really great.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Always be honest.

January 1, 2013

thirty-four

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:42 am by kate

I haven’t written here in a year but I’m interested in doing the end of the year review anyway. Here we go.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Well, shit. I had surgery and spent three nights in the hospital and then I had a lot of severe allergic reactions and spent a lot time in the ER.  I started going to church and started oil painting (landscapes) and I started a tai chi practice. I broke off an engagement. I went to the movies on Christmas Day.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Sort of. My resolutions were to stop carrying so much fucking stuff in my purse, do some neck/shoulder stretches every night because my neck was a total disaster and to start dressing more mindfully. I did decently well with not carrying a bunch of stuff in my purse, I totally NAILED IT in regard to my neck problem and sort of like the year before, dressing well was a mixed bag. For next year, I want to do some things I’m not ready to talk about on the internet and I want to keep up my tai chi practice like some sort of hippie or something.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I feel like this answer is the same every year. My sister had a baby. Her fifth.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

This year, my friend Violet died on May 29 and my friend Lynn died on December 12. They were both too young. A week after Lynn died, her godson, someone I’d known since he was a kid, disappeared on the Hudson River and is presumed dead. He was 26.

5. What countries did you visit?

Mexico and the US, same as usual. I don’t think I went to California this year (I usually do) but I went to NY six or seven times and I spent three perfect days on the ocean in New Jersey by myself.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

I really did not lack anything this year. Truly, my life is full.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Lynn dying, certainly. She asked me to come to NY and be with her and it was one of the most special and meaningful times in my life. And the day that I ended my relationship.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I made a really big decision that I can’t talk about on the internet yet. That was it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

This sounds awful, but I kind of didn’t have one.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Jesus H, yes. I was off of work for four weeks after my surgery and then there were all of the visits to the ER with head-to-toe hives. I mean, other than THAT I was healthy, though.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The money that I paid my house cleaner and my cat groomer was the best money I spent all year.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mine. My friend Andrew’s. And Lynn’s, too. To her dying day — and I’m using that term literally — she was kind and smart and funny and insightful.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My mother’s. As well as many of  the people she’s related to, unfortunately.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, savings.

15. What did you get really excited about?

I got excited about living in my apartment alone again, after Bill moved out.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

The Les Mis soundtrack, which I listened to a lot this summer.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? The last three years my answer was “happier, by far” and that’s also my answer this year. My capacity for joy, like my capacity for grief, is basically limitless.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner.
– richer or poorer? Richer, actually.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I don’t have regrets about this year. I had to make some really hard decisions but they were the best thing I could have done.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I wish I had spent less nights uselessly staying up too late and just gotten more sleep for the love of god.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I worked on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas Day, went to see Les Mis with a friend.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

I fell more in love with my cat, who is the most ridiculous and charming cat ever. And my new nephew — when he was four months old my sister spent a week in jail and I watched him and his two-year old sister and oh my gosh, that baby. He is a sweetheart. A hammy little sweetheart.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Downton Abbey, again, and Suits.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read some really wonderful books, essays and emails by David Rakoff, who was a friend of a friend. (And who also died this year — who didn’t die this year?)

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

My music tastes continue to be pedestrian to the point of embarrassment.

26. What did you want and get?

I wanted desperately to be single and live alone again, and I got that. I wanted my friends to know how much I love them before they died and I was lucky enough to get that as well. I wanted to lose weight, and I did.

27. What did you want and not get?

I wanted to resolve my myriad allergies and instead I developed new allergies and started having even more severe reactions. I do want to make headway with this in 2013 because I’d really love to be able to eat a fucking apple. For example.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I actually saw two movies in the theater this year, which is two more than I see in the average year. But not much beats the series run of Frasier, which I watched while I was recovering from surgery. God, that was such a good show.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 32. I had just returned from a week at my sister’s house watching her kids while she was in jail, and I took Bill out for dinner to thank him for helping to look after my cat while I was away. I had a really, really good glass of wine at dinner — it was seriously so good I am thinking about it three months later.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I would have liked to have a glimpse into the future to see that yes, all of these hard and scary things I was hesitating to do were going to be right and good and TOTALLY WORTH IT. Also, I really want curly hair.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Oh, hell. I don’t know.

32. What kept you sane?

Therapy, dear friends, long walks.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Obama. And Patrick J. Adams.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I live in Canada, so I have the luxury of being mostly unstirred by political issues.

35. Who did you miss?

All of my dead friends, I guess.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I had known Lynn’s sister for many years, of course, but she and I became closer this year, so I’ll say her.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

I say this as tongue in cheek as possible, but at the same time, honestly, YOLO.

 

January 3, 2012

thirty-three

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:42 pm by kate

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

I can’t think of a single thing!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did! And I will. My resolution last year was to have more parties, and I did decently well with that. My resolutions for this year are a lot more mundane, for one, I’d like to stop carrying so much fucking stuff in my purse, for two, I would like to do some neck/shoulder stretches every night because my neck is a total disaster and three, I would like to start dressing more mindfully, because I started out 2011 dressing well and then sort of spiraled into a morass of yoga pants. Toward the end I started wearing jeans with sneakers, god forgive me.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Some of our friends had a baby and it’s literally the cutest baby I’ve ever seen.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My father died in July and it was pretty awful. He was 52, we were estranged, and my grief for him was  far more pervasive than I had imagined it would be.

5. What countries did you visit?

Mexico, twice, and the US a handful of times. (I think it was San Francisco, New York, Santa Barbara, New York.)

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

Last year I said I wanted  more people to share my life with and that I would like to finally get my Canadian citizenship. I got so many more people to share my life with in the most wonderful way but I did not get my Canadian citizenship. I’m still here for good, though.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Well. When I met Bill, when my father died, the snorkeling trip we took at the end of our trip to Mexico.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I don’t feel like I personally had one, although starting to see a therapist after I realized that I couldn’t deal with my father’s death on my own feels like a substantial accomplishment. Also, I played 212-point word in a Scrabble game. (It was AMORTIZE.)

9. What was your biggest failure?

In November I asked my ex-husband, Cram, to take Mervyn full-time. That was brutally hard.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

A little. I had surgery for this weird abdominal thing and like I mentioned above, my neck and shoulders are sort of a disaster.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Tickets to Mexico, twice. Every trip out to the reef and every plate of ceviche.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The behavior of my boyfriend and the behavior of my manager and our senior  manager, who are my second- and third-favorite people on earth.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Rob Ford. He’s Toronto’s mayor and he’s a terrible, shitty person with bad ideas.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, sushi. And I paid for my father’s funeral, despite the fact that he left me $1 in his will as a way to indicate he didn’t want me to receive anything else (and despite the fact that he did not even know my date of birth).

15. What did you get really excited about?

Going to Mexico, being in love with the right person.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

A particular Pearl Jam bootleg, any one of several songs by the Lowest of the Low. And Adele!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? The last two years my answer was “happier, by far” and that’s also my answer this year. I am exponentially happier than I was last year.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner, by a tiny bit.
– richer or poorer? The same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I did more of everything I could possibly want to. It was a year without regret, really.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I also don’t feel like I have an answer to this one, although I guess I could have spent less time being annoyed by incompetence.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve, Bill and I had a quiet day together and opened our presents, ate some appetizer-style foods and I probably fell asleep on the couch at least once. On Christmas Day we went to his parents’ house, attended mass with them and had an extremely delicious Christmas dinner.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Oh my goodness, yes! I fell super in love with Bill, who is my boyfriend. We met in March. He is handsome and kind and funny. I hope we will be together for many years. I also fell in love with a handful of babies and a portly, reserved cat named Chaos.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Downton Abbey, Community, Top Chef. Sadly, I had to drop Project Runway from this list after many years because the last two seasons have been just terrible. Awful, gimmicky editing and terrible judging.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

I don’t think I read anything extraordinary this year.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I lost my iPod about halfway through the year, so Bill loaned me his old one, and I got to listen to a lot of the music he loved in college, which was great.

26. What did you want and get?

The love of my life, a real partner. And more local friends. Basically I got everything I wanted.

27. What did you want and not get?

For a little while I wanted to get engaged to Bill IMMEDIATELY and then I realized that there was really no rush—we’re going to be together for a very long time no matter if we get engaged now or a year from now.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I’m really terrible at watching movies so I might say Downtown Abbey again. It’s really so wonderful, and truly produced at the level of a feature film rather than a television program.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 31! It was a Sunday, and I was leaving first thing Monday morning for a week-long business trip to Santa Barbara, so we kept it low-key: diamond earrings, super-delicious dinner.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I said this last year and it’s still true: if my tiny, charming apartment had a dishwasher OH MY GOD. That would be so great. Seriously, I want for little else.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

It started out so well! But Jesus H, I ended the year on a down note.

32. What kept you sane?

100%, without a doubt my boyfriend Bill.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I seemed to develop crushes on interiors and historical homes this year rather than people.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Jack Layton’s death this summer was incredibly unfortunate. And Rob Ford, again.

35. Who did you miss?

My grandfather, still. My dad, in a different way.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Bill, of course. He’s amazing. We were talking the other day about how we had a totally normal first date that was actually pretty unremarkable (I mean it was fun, but not spectacular) and then we fell in love with each other. I was not expecting to fall wildly, head-over-heels in love with him (or anyone, I think) but I totally did.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

I am not sure I learned one. I felt like I became acutely aware of how quickly time moves, though, and how mindful you have to be to appreciate the good things in your life.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I am still not a song lyric person.

 

April 28, 2010

twenty-two

Posted in things I feel strongly about, Uncategorized at 9:42 pm by kate

1. Confession: I don’t have an iron or an ironing board and in the rare event that I need something de-wrinkled I just take it to the dry cleaner.

2. That usually happens before business trips; on my last personal trip I brought three pairs of yoga pants and a sign that said no, seriously, fuck you.

3. Confession: I have been struggling lately, by which I mean, I feel as if everything has been a struggle. Work has been excruciating in a way that I won’t talk about on the internet. I’m unhappy and I keep thinking YOU ONLY GET ONE LIFE and then I punch myself in the face. Mostly because only giant douchebags walk around saying YOU ONLY GET ONE LIFE even if it is actually true.

3. Confession: I have been pretty much obsessed with buying a gigantic diamond ring for myself. I will probably buy a lab-made diamond or maybe something synthetic because I would prefer that this be a ridiculous purchase rather than a genuinely foolish one. But still. I cannot stop thinking about this. Crazy old lady with gigantic diamond ring YOUR TABLE IS READY.

January 10, 2010

twenty-one

Posted in things I feel strongly about, Uncategorized at 1:37 pm by kate

1. So I recently bought this tote in grey from Lululemon  and it is wonderful.

2. The tote came in a reusable shopping bag, which is a fine and reasonable thing, except that one side of the reusable bag was covered with earnest inspirational sayings (“BREATHE DEEPLY!”), which is also fine and reasonable except that most of the earnest inspirational sayings were 100% bullshit.

3. Ergo, “Do one thing a day that scares you.” Many things scare me, chief among them crossing a busy street with my eyes closed, eating food that I find on the sidewalk, going to bed with my front door unlocked and open, asking my ex-husband if gee wouldn’t he like to marry me all over again. Doing things that scare you is stupid. There is a reason they scare you.

4. On the other hand, I am tempted to do the Lululemon reusable shopping bag one better and simply obtain a full-grown, untrained puma, store him in my bathroom and spend every single day in full-blown terror! I mean, if you’re going to do it YOU SHOULD GO ALL THE WAY, right?

5. One of the other ridiculous bullshit sayings is so profoundly disturbing I don’t even want to write about it and yet. I kind of have to. The saying, in full, is “Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let know how great children are until you have them.”

6. So.

7.  I mean.

8. It’s not okay to have “children” and orgasm” in the same sentence unless you are discussing your post-partum sex life with your partner, your best friends or your gynecologist. Other than that it’s pretty much gross and/or creepy.

9. Further, it’s not like children are something that only happen behind closed doors. There are children everywhere and they are often wonderful and joyful and very frequently they wear adorable outfits. It seems obvious to me that kids are great. And it seems obvious to me that orgasms are something completely and totally different.

10. Although — if any of your orgasms have learned to ride a bike, fly a kite, or jump double-dutch, please let me know. I am always happy to stand corrected.

January 5, 2010

eighteen

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:17 pm by kate

1. Every Wednesday I publish a pregnancy column where I talk about pregnancy and pregnant ladies and what pregnant ladies are wearing and let me just clarify right now: I am not pregnant right now, nor have I ever been.

2. I really like writing this column, though, I like finding really wonderful maternity pieces and newborn gear and also, I am moderately envious that there is an entire branch of fashion which promotes ladies sticking their tummies out and beaming. I have a tummy! I like to beam! But because my tummy isn’t made of PERSON it’s just not as cute.

3. When I had been writing the column for thirty or so weeks I heard from my older sister for the first time in a long time.

4. She was thirty weeks pregnant.

5. My initial reaction was sadness, because I hadn’t realized we were so far out of touch she could move across the country (she had) and gestate an entire person (she had) without my knowing.

6. That’s not a trend I want to encourage in my life. One of my goals for this year was to be warmer and I think when I say warmer I mean closer and when I say closer I mean kinder, more considerate, more involved.

7. I have said this 100 times already but honestly all I want to do with my adult life is to go back to the person I was when I was eighteen: full of hope, endlessly supportive, open, optimistic, inquisitive, unfailingly kind.

January 4, 2010

seventeen

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:24 pm by kate

1. I think I can safely say that I know how to start off a new year: after a long walk with the dog (and the dog’s footwear and no, I am still not over that) I went to work and was very productive, I ate sushi and bought an iPod Touch and then joined a gym between my office and my house (which are only 1km apart themselves).

2. Plus I looked super-cute.

3. I believe this is what we call being on fire.

4. Right now it is extremely important that I sit on my couch with my dog and watch some episodes of How I Met Your Mother. This show is sort of my favorite thing lately and it regularly makes me laugh until I cry.

5. Real live tears! Running down my face. You heard it here first.

April 27, 2009

eight

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:16 pm by kate

1. So Saturday night I was watching a Medical Mystery Drama about these sick children (AND WAS THE BABYSITTER MAKING THEM SICK?) when bam the power went out. And stayed out. And then it got dark. And then I sat on my couch with the dogs and instant-messaged my favorite co-worker on my phone for two hours. And then I went to bed.

2. The power was out for eight hours total and the take-home message here is that I would be a terrible pioneer. I had TELEVISION PLANS and they were thwarted and then what the hell was I supposed to do? Other than instant-messaging on my phone and going to sleep I had absolutely no idea what I could do in the pitch dark (and no, I did not have candles because that alone would have made me a PASSABLE PIONEER).

3. The following day when the lights came back on I rolled around on the floor with a blender set to CRUSH in one hand and my fully charged and buzzing Sonicare toothbrush in the other. I watched TV and read a book and took no less than three showers. It was an orgy of electricity use and I loved every second of it.

4. Even though I immigrated to Canada three years ago I am still an American at heart and I blame her, that native-born American inside of me, for pausing between showers two and three to watch TV, browse the internet and eat waffles on the couch. Simultaneously. As the good Lord intended.

5. Amen.