Well, well, well. Here's my blog, mostly alive and neglected. No time like the end of a year to randomly post in here...
1. What did you do in 2019 that you'd never done before?
Damn. Ok, Though I'd been to Scotland before, I'd never been to Hogmanay. I'm glad I did it but won't do it again. Had TWO of my poems featured in a reading series, led a panel discussion about writers of color in Queens, had two essays published, hired (and fired) employees, had major surgery, spent a LOT of time in Brooklyn, visited Toledo, Segovia, took up swimming first with lessons and then swimming regularly at a lap pool at the Y for the last three months of the year, was in the same room with Margaret Atwood and Wallace Shawn (and managed to NOT say "Inconceivable!"), became an aunt for the second time, successfully set up a library in a new space in a new community and didn't destroy the whole endeavor with crippling self doubt. Woop woop!
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I made a resolution to lose weight last year and I got very, very sick so I lost 54 pounds. I don't consider this a success but before I got sick I had lost like, 20 pounds so that was good!
In 2020, I'm going to apply for grants, residencies, submit more work and follow through with taking my own work seriously. Mayhaps reviving this blog? I can make no promises on that one. I have also made a resolution to buy no new clothes AT ALL this year and to wear what I already own and weed out a lot of clothes. I've become a bit of a clothes hoarder and I need to work on that.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My brother and sister-in-law welcomed Daphne Jane into this crazy world.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No and I count my blessings every day.
5. What countries did you visit?
Scotland and Spain.
6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?
The time-turning necklace Hermione has so I can do all the things, all the time.
7. What date from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 1st, the day I had major surgery. December 18th, the day we impeached the president.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Opening that library, goddamnit! Everything associated with my job felt like an accomplishment to me so I'm glad to put a pin in 2019 at this point in time.
9. What was your biggest failure?
For the 43rd year in a row, I was not Miss America.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. A major, life-altering illness. I have a rare, incurable (but symptom-manageable) disease called achalasia. I am the 1 in 100,000 it affects so...lucky me?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Second-hand and thrifted clothing.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, most of the House Republicans, Louis CK, Piers Morgan, Roseanne Barr
14. Where did most of your money go?
I'mma go with clothing on this one.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Books. Traveling. Living in NYC.
16. What song will always remind you of 2019?
"You Missed My Heart" by Mark Kozelek, "Modern Girl" by Sleater-Kinney, all of Billie Eilish, all of Phoebe Bridgers
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? happier
thinner or fatter? thinner
richer or poorer? richer
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading. My book count went way, way, way down from previous years. I attribute this to being ill. And busy. Almost unbearably busy.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
20. Did you fall in love in 2019?
I fell in love with a lot of things and people this year. Romantically, platonically, in theory, in practice...I'm full of love.
21. How many one-night stands?
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Fleabag, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Schitt's Creek, Fosse, His Dark Materials
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. Hate is still a waste of time.
24. What was the best book you read?
"Girl, Woman, Other" by Bernadine Evaristo, "Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead" by Olga Tockarczuk, "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" by Ocean Vuong, "A Fortune for Your Disaster" by Hanif Abdurraqib, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Apparently, young women are making the music of my heart. Billie Eilish and Phoebe Bridgers both have given me my favorite music this year.
26. What did you want and get?
A writing retreat. I had to jam it in between the busiest time of my professional life and the holidays but by god I did it. Three uninterrupted days.
27. What was your favorite film of this year?
Oh man, I have not seen even a fraction of the amount of movies I used to watch. I didn't see "Call Me By Your Name" until this year but it was my favorite.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
43 I AM SO OLD....time keeps creeping, through the neighborhood...
I went to work where my coworkers gave me some champagne, then saw a play..."Sea Wall/A Life" with Jake Gyllenhaal. It was a good bday.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Normally I answer this by saying "nothing." But this year, I'd have loved not being sick.
30. What kept you sane?
Working. I worked a ridiculous amount of time this year. (That's the same every year.) Swimming kept me sane as well. And writing.
31. What political issue stirred you the most?
Impeaching the damn president. Children locked up in prisons after being torn from their parents.
32. Who did you miss?
Old friends who live far away!
33. Who was the best new person you met?
I meet pretty remarkable people every year.
34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019:
Value your health, treat your body with love and respect. Also, mute work email when you are not at work.
35. What was your dirty secret this year?
I'd tell you, but I'd have to kill you.