The Year in A, B, C’s: A Retrospective, Alphabetical Look Back at 2007.
A- Activism. This year I finally started acting rather than just wishing, or thinking. Everyone should chose something to work towards, an unselfish goal that really gets your goat. Mine is animal rights.
B- Breakup. Did you know that Dave and I broke up in March? Nope, I don’t think many people did know. It didn’t last long, but in that short time, my heart was wrenched out of my chest and stomped on, and then placed back in my chest again, bruised and battered. Now, however, I am totally over it! Three cheers for the tenacity of hearts! Hip hip horray!
C- Carnivale in Venice- I have always wanted to go to Venice during the festival, and this year we finally did, and it was beautiful!
D- Dogsitting. Dave and I began dogsitting in August, and it has been crazy, tiring, emotional, fun, frustrating, and rewarding, all at the same time. And it is helping us save for our trips, so I can’t complain (too much).
E- Excellent Live Music Scene. Amsterdam, you seriously kick ass for live music. It was SUCH a good year for concerts, and I saw acts that I have been waiting to see for ages!
F- Family. This year, I met my paternal grandmother and aunt for the second time ever. We sat in pubs in Dublin and talked and talked and talked and it was just….awesome. So awesome.
G- Gym, yes gym. For three or four months, I went every day, sometimes twice a day, and the rewards were outstanding. I’ve never felt so great in my entire life. I’ll definitely be back in the New Year.
H- Helicopter Pilot. Hang in there, buddy! You’ll be home soon! Then maybe you’ll finally come and visit?
J- Josh Ritter. Saw him AGAIN this year, for the third time. Sweet. As always.
K- totally can’t think of anything for K! How about my mom, Kim? She and Steve came to visit recently, and brought me sweet relish and swedish fish! Gotta love her!
L- Lola, my steadfast little girl. If every dog that we watched were as cool and chill as her, then this dogsitting bidness would be sweet as. However, this year has been all about trying to get her to lose weight, the little porker!
M- Mylo. We got him on a whim in Paris, and have regretted it ever since. I mean… No, seriously, the dog is so cuddly and cute, it’s hard not to love him. Even though he eats shit.
N- National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I got to 12,000 words, so missed the mark by more than half, BUT! I have the beginning of a book that I will continue to work on without the pressure of finishing it within 30 days, so I’m happy with that!
O- Obesity Surgery (for the second year in a row). This is what the company I work for does. Again, you paid the bills. And so I thank you.
P- Pamplona, Running of the Nudes. A crazy group of likeminded animal rights activists, wearing very little under the Spanish sun. Sounds like fun to me!
Q- Quick! Think of something for Q! …nope, nothing.
R- Rock Werchter. 4 days of camping, great music, and friends in the Belgian countryside…oh, and glowstick charades!
S- Sharkattack. My award-winning Halloween costume! Nothing like running around half-naked through town, wearing a home-made shark, drunk as a skunk with 2 Ghostbusters! We raked in the prizes at 3 different places over the course of 2 days celebrating. Man, I love Halloween.
T- Travel. This year was supposed to be the year of travel, going to at least one place a month, but sadly we only got to Ireland, Belgium, France and Italy. Next year, however, will be better.
U- Under the weather. In January, I was sick for 2 weeks. Who gets sick for 2 weeks? Not me (usually). I nearly NEVER get sick unless it is self-induced (read: hangover), so this really shocked me.
V- Veganism. Back on track. If you are vegetarian, you should, for the exact same reasons, consider veganism. But I’ve said enough about that over the past year, so I won’t get into it here again.
W- Wheels, Mikey. And Ryan. (Had to get crafty with this one, as M was already taken.) This year, Mike Williams from my hometown came to visit with his friend Ryan, and we loved having them over. You guys are welcome any time! The only bad thing was that you wouldn’t let me fuss over you as much as I’d have liked. Next time, bitches!
XYZ- Hm, nothing here, so I did a bit of research and found that xyz means “examine your zipper” and is used to indicate to someone that the zipper of his or her pants is open. Which makes sense because one of my favorite pairs of jeans has a faulty zipper, and I practically spent half of the year with my fly down.
So here it is, the last day of 2007, overcast, wet, a dreary day altogether. I have my resolutions written, but I can’t help looking over the past year and wondering where it all went wrong. I can’t place my finger on one exact event, but I leave this year with the feeling that it was one of the worst years I have spent since I was 17 years old.
When I was 17, I was just entering my last year of high school and wanted nothing more than to leave it quickly. My grades were slipping, I wasn’t enjoying myself, I didn’t feel that close with my friends, and I spent every lunch time in the guidance office exploring ways to leave school early, daydreaming that it would happen, but not altogether hopeful.
Luckily, by some odd twist of fate, one of the organisations that I had contacted sent me a postcard about a scholarship to Japan. I’ll admit- I knew nothing about Japan, had never given it a thought, but I knew that I wanted to get the hell out of New Jersey, and so I applied.
It was probably the best thing that could ever have happened to me. I got the scholarship, left New Jersey, and spent an amazing year in a country that was full of tradition, contrasts, history, and kindness, and that birthday, when I turned 18, was probably the best one that I had ever spent. That year really instilled in me my love for travelling and getting away from everything that you think you know and are comfortable with.
And since then, every year just got better and better. From Japan I went back to Jersey to work for a bit, and spent the money that I earned on trips backpacking in Europe (I think three trips within one year) and one trip back to Japan. I had missed the time to apply for colleges, and wasn’t really inclined to begin then either, as I was too busy travelling. Then my mother and I moved to Belgium, an things got even better still. After one year when my mother accepted a job in Germany, I moved into my own place, my first ever apartment (with my then-boyfriend). I lived in Belgium for a total of 5 years, got my degree, met some wonderful people, worked in a number of places, and then finally, when Belgium and I had had enough of eachother, I moved here to Amsterdam where I have been for 2 years.
In these past 10 years, I of course had some low points. There were breakups, mistakes, too much partying, too little eating, hardship, crimes committed against me, fights, rough times, friends leaving (too many!), jobs letting me go, unemployment for what felt like ages, car accidents, visa trouble and bad choices for sure. But through all the shit times, I always had the impression that it was temporary, that good times would come again, that this wasn’t what would kill me. I had pretty good optimism that carried me through whatever life wanted to sling my way. I was never truly unhappy, never.
And 2007 started off in the same way, on an upward incline. I had high hopes, lofty goals, and I was happy. We took a few great trips (Paris, Venice) and saw many, MANY great bands live (The Shins, Josh Ritter, Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes, Cold war Kids, BellX1, The Decemberists, The Frames, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, and the entire Rock Werchter lineup), had loads of guests come to stay (Mikey Wheels, Ryan, Petra, some of Dave’s friends, some of Veronica’s friends), was hanging out loads with my friends, we got a new puppy, and I changed to a distinctly healthier lifestyle. Went to the gym every day (sometimes twice a day), stopped drinking as much, completely stopped smoking weed, and became healthier and more active than I’ve been in years. I even began animal rights activism, which I had wanted to do for years, with the Running of the Nudes in Spain, and an anti-fur protest, as well as becoming a vegan. And I also went to Dublin to visit my paternal aunt and grandmother, for basically the first time in 15 or so years (and the second time ever), and it was such a great trip. There was a lot to catch up on!
So the first half of the year was brilliant.
And then it all changed. I don’t know why, what exactly is different, but some crucial element is missing. Since September, I’ve been in this funk that I keep trying to climb out of. It isn’t sparked by any one event. I am not going through a breakup, a fight, unemployment- nothing like that. But that unfailing optimism that things will make a turn for the better is gone, completely gone. I don’t feel like going out, I don’t feel like staying in. I’m bored, but I don’t feel like doing anything. I don’t feel anything at all, and therein lies the problem.
I am happy that the majority of 2007 was fabulous, and indeed better than any previous year before it. I’m just a bit disappointed that these past 4 months have been nothing but BLAH.
Maybe the first half of the year was just hard to contend with? Maybe it’s a cycle and once every ten years I will have a down moment?
In any event, I’m happy to say goodbye to 2007. I can only hope without conviction that 2008 will be better, that these past 4 months are just a tiny blip on the otherwise fabulous horizon. I am of course looking forward to going back to the States in Spring, and our trip to South America in winter, but other than that, I’m just waiting for life to get back to normal. For things to pickup again. For that happiness to come back.
Sorry this was such a morose post. I’m usually so chipper at this time of the year. Have a great New Year’s Eve everybody! Be safe, get wasted, and enjoy the night! And don’t forget your resolutions in the morning!
While trying to find out what Michael Jackson meant when he said “Mama se mama sa mama makusa” in the song “Wanna be startin something”, I came across misheard lyrics for the same line.
Here’s what people thought was being said. Funny thing is, if you sing these words, they all fit, ridiculous as some of them are.:
Mama said, Mama saw my Moccasin.
A moose say, I’m a son of a mongoose sa…
I was saved by the sound of Michael’s song.
I’m a say, I’m a saw, I’m a Mike-you-saw.
Same as the sound of moccasins
Mama say mama saw the Makusa.
Gonna save on the sound of monkey slot.
Same old song in Arkansas,
You’re the same mama-san from Arkansas,
Gonna sail by the song of a Michael’s song.
Gonna save by the sound of Microsoft.
I wanna sing it on the side of mountain top.
I’m a sail on the south of Makusa.
And the winners, in my opinion:
Mama say Mama want some apple sauce.
I’m a say, I’m a saw, I’m an applesauce.
I’m insane of the sound of a Monkey spunk.
Bubba say, Bubba Zombie Lasagna,
Did they say they were from the Yakuza?
My Christmas wasn’t particularly Christmasy. Normally I revel in the giftwrapping, the Christmas carols, the tree decorating, and the festive cheer, but this year was somehow different. I couldn’t get myself in the proper mood, and it ended up feeling like just another day.
You know….another day where we have champagne and a 6 course meal….cuz we do that so often……
We posed for this retro photo especially for you!
This is our teensy little tree. It was spraypainted white! And on sale on Christmas Eve! So of course it was the tree for us!
Even the Bonsai Tree was feeling the yuletide cheer more than I was.
Dinner was a 6 course meal at the fancy shmancy American Hotel. Lots of wine and champagne…
The American Hotel restaurant is known for its Art Deco decor. You can peep the chandeliers in the background. Such a beautiful setting!
I think my flightiness has started to rub off on Dave, because the other night we were sitting there talking (again) about where we should go to get away from Amsterdam and our current lives for a bit, and we have decided that sometime late next year we are going to go to South America and do some jungle exploring along the Amazon. I won’t speak of the creepy crawlies at this point, but I did a quick search and JESUS MARY AND GUISEPPE there are LOADS of things to be wary of in them there trees!
ANYWHO, that’s not the point of this blog. The point is, we are going to go away for one month (maybe a bit more), and our most major obstacle now in going, is who will watch the dogs??? My sweet little lovely furbabies?
So, what we are looking for is someone responsible, who is an animal lover, who has some free time on their hands and is up for coming to Europe to watch my dogs in exchange for free rent (but not free charges like gas, phone, etc but that is comparatively cheap).
Someone who will take care of them the way that I want them taken care of (three walks a day, one at least an hour, not overfeeding the little fat one, lots of cuddle time, letting them sleep on the bed with you, or at least in the bedroom, etc, etc, and so forth), and will not be too plastered during their stay here to give them the attention that they need. Someone who will be OK with staying in Amsterdam during that entire time, and someone who will have enough money to get them by, as the chances of finding under the table work here are pretty slim! We couldn’t pay for your ticket, but you would get free accomodation.
Maybe you will be in between jobs at that time, and are looking for a short change from your day to day life? Maybe you will have just ended university and are job hunting, but not too seriously and would like a little European break for a bit? Maybe you work from home and you can do your job from here? Maybe it’s not you, but you know someone who fits this description?*
You’d have a 2 bedroom apartment (so maybe you and a friend, or you and your bf/gf?) with everything that you need just a short walk away, including nightlife. You can use our bikes, my cell phone, the computer- basically everything, as long as you take ****really good care of my dogs***!!! (no pressure there or anything!)
If you are interested, or know someone who might be interested who you trust, please email me on whatareyouthinkingrightnow @ gmail.com
This trip won’t be for another year yet, and it won’t even take place unless we find someone that we are comfortable with, so there is a lot of negotiation time, but please let me know if this could work!
* Maybe you already came to visit us and liked it so much and said that you wanted to come back?
If you have a few minutes, take a look at this video:
With all the “Britney’s gone crazy” news circulating (OK, I admit, I have said the same myself a lot recently), tell me if you don’t agree that Britney Spears and her sister are really the ONLY normal person in this really odd situation.
You have the paparazzi, who are swarming around her and her sister, falling all over eachother, not letting them have an open path from their car door to the restaurant. This makes their one minutes journey about agonizing 5 minutes.
You have this crazy ass bitch yelling at her to “Get the fuck out of our neighborhood! We don’t want you here!”. And apparently she even grabs the sister, but I can’t see that. Seriously, does Crazy Lady have nothing better to do with her time than hurl insults?
You have the paparazzi- the paparazzi!!!- then defending Britney by telling the crazy woman to “shut the fuck up” and “don’t you fucking touch her!” and yet still not letting Britney and her sister alone. Can they not take their own advice?
And then you have Britney Spears and little sister Jamie Lynn, cool as cucumbers, letting both the personal questions from the paparazzi and the abuse from Crazy Lady just roll of their backs. All they want is some food. Can they please just get some food?