I woke up this morning, just a bit ago, and stood looking out my window at this weird icy-looking fog (incidentally, the word of the day in my email inbox was pogonip) and no signs of life. I live on a busy street, so I usually have cars zipping past day and night. But, it was quiet, tranquil, really, and Kitty and I stood looking out the window for several minutes before we saw anyone else stir.

Remember last year, how I shared, for the first time ever, my annual list. Well, I thought that was a good thing, so I’m doing it again. Feel free to read the list of things about me from last year, if you missed it or would care for a refresher. My feelings won’t be hurt if you skip it, though.

So, this list is an annual tradition for me. I make a big list of some kind. Some years, it is a list of things I want to make happen in the year ahead. Sometimes, it’s things I learned in the previous year. This year, I don’t have a plan or theme, really. I’m just jotting things as they come to mind. in any case, thank you for indulging my 2008 list.

  1. I still did not tackle SCUBA or Tango this year, but I learned more about them and will certainly attempt both. Maybe this year. Probably next. This year is already got some major projects in store for me, and I think I’m about finished with the “not taking time to chill” routine. So, in the name of not packing my schedule to the gills, I might wait another year. but, you never know.
  2. I conquered my fear of schmoozing in 2007. A book called The Art of Mingling helped more than I thought it ever would. So did getting fed up with clamming up in social situations.
  3. I look at love a lot differently than I did last year.
  4. I got three new tattoos this year, all in support of the big quarter-backpiece that’ll be all over my right shoulder. After I started tattooing items and images I love there, I realized that they’re all creative/positive rather than destructive/negative. And I was glad about that. I have several more tattoos get to finish it completely.
  5. Katie Schwartz taught me the greatest trick for getting through having blood drawn. I still dread it, but it’s doable now thanks to her and a special good luck charm I found in the dirt at my grandparent’s place.
  6. I think it’s a good idea to wear something expensive if it quietly makes you feel fantastic and gorgeous and confident when you wear it. But I think it’s absolutely awful to wear something expensive just for the sake of saying you can afford it or to discuss the label. Also, not being objective or thinking critically about fashion (wearing something because it’s by a certain designer and not stopping to think it might be garish or ostentatious) is a little pitiful and fashion-slavey to me.
  7. I figured out how to keep up with my phone better: get a BlackBerry and put my whole life on it. Funny how I misplace it way less than I did the shitty cheap phone I used to have.
  8. I hate smoking more than ever after that needle-in-boob and needle-in-lung situations this summer. Years ago, when I smoked, I used to think smoking bans were an infringement, but I can’t wait for the Illinois smoking ban now. I don’t get mad at smokers, though. I don’t think smokers are bad people, like some do. I’m just afraid for them.
  9. I’m still afraid of dying too soon or meeting a violent end. I probably always will be afraid of that.
  10. I can tell there is less kitten in my cat this year but I still talk to him like he’s a baby and sing “kittenROOO!” at him all the time. He’s a chatty cat and if you stand there and ask him baby-voice questions (Are you a good kitten? Do you want a treat? Who is mama’s little snuggleroo?) he’ll just meow and meow. That cat wants to talk.
  11. I love Canada more than I did last year, made some new Canadian friends and now have a favorite bar and diner in Sault St. Marie. My favorite cafe is still that one in Montreal, though.
  12. You guys are not going to believe all of the whopper mega-bombs I toss your way in 2008. I couldn’t be more excited about this very full year ahead. Be patient. I’ll tell yas when I can tell yas.
  13. The year ahead is a full one, but I learned to build in some space to chill. 2007 was too busy and it made for some long stretches of rushing around and working too much and suddenly realizing weeks had gone by. I’m human though, so maybe I’ll always have to remind myself that it’s okay to stop and chill.
  14. I am so happy to be where I am right now.
  15. I think I’m going to sleep more in 2008. I might as well get a new bed. I learned in 2007 that bamboo sheets are really great. I’ll stick with them, I think.
  16. I’m going to buy myself a new desk this year. I can’t bear this alley-rescued chair and $5 thrift store tiny, wobbly desk with a piece of folded paper under the front leg much longer. The rest of my furniture is pretty nice but then this awful desk and chair are like the rednecks of furniture. All I could do to make them redneckier would be to maybe just put them on cinderblocks or add NASCAR stickers.
  17. I think that George Duran has a good idea going with his SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) And that makes me want to work smarter not harder this coming year.
  18. I wish language wasn’t so exaggerated anymore. You didn’t “literally” watch a movie a “million times” and your bad date likely didn’t make you want “go on a killing spree”. Also, not everything/everyone you are fond of is “amazing”, and unpleasant things don’t have to all “frighten small children” or “small woodland creatures” make you want to “commit a violent act” or whatever. It’s almost like things that used to be funny occasional exaggerations suddenly went everywhere and they stopped being used as funny exaggerations but as things said without thought. I think you can say funny and sarcastic things and say the truth of things, too. In fact, I think plain truth is funnier. Also, when describing something unpleasant, say being under the weather for a couple of days, it doesn’t have to be that you were “violently ill” because just “being sick” is enough of a reason to cancel plans/call in sick/whatever. You know? Or maybe I’m just tired of the same old expressions and am eager for something new.
  19. I, literally, have said that a hundred times.
  20. I’m going to call 2008 The Year of The Forch.
  21. I’m having an important birthday this spring. Important being generally defined as either ending in a 5 or a 0. I’ve downplayed a lot of birthdays, but I think I’m going to whoop it up a little for this one. I’m excited for the birthday and for the whooping it up. I never once heard either of my parents complain about a birthday, in fact quite the opposite, so I am happy to take the years as they come.
  22. Never having walked your mile, I’ll never call you or anyone else a baby or tell you you’re too young to understand something. I did a few things in my life on a different schedule and felt dismissed and judged when people said that to me. So, I’ll not say it. That said, I know some wonderfully self-aware and thoughtful teenagers and some full-on disconnected, immature jackasses in their 30s and 40s (and beyond) so I do reserve the right to deal according to that. I’ll rarely ask anyone how old they are, either. Mainly because I don’t care about that.
  23. I like Freecycle a lot. It feels good to get rid of things and know the things are going to people who really want them.
  24. I love Post-its. I love lists. I really love seeing my posted Post-Its decreasing in number and seeing lines through my lists.
  25. Cleaning types of books are like porn to me. I just can’t think when a mess around me, sure, but also, I find it really satisfying to clean. It’s almost like meditating to me. When I stand back, having cleaned my whole house, I’m really relaxed having done the cleaning.
  26. I started going grey in high school. I decided to let it go a few months ago and stopped coloring my hair, hoping to let it go salt and pepper then gradually get lighter and lighter. I have since modified that plan. I didn’t realize just how grey I’d be. One thing at a time, people. One thing at a time. I have the rest of my life to be a silverhead.
  27. Right now, I think my tolerance for bullshit is at an all-time low. I still believe people have unlimited potential. I still believe kindness is the greatest virtue. I just don’t believe some people care much about anyone but themselves, though they might claim otherwise. And, what’s the use of being around types like that? They’ll suck you dry and clean you bones if you let them.
  28. I’ve never kept many photographs displayed in my house, but I’m finding myself doing that more and more.
  29. My in-between length hair is driving my crazy. But I’m not cutting it. Not just yet. I want to see if I can still pull off long hair at all anymore.
  30. I am such a scent and light person. Rooms with garlicky foods, good perfume and wine smells plus low lighting are so gorgeous to me. I think they remind me of the restaurants/clubs my Dad used to work for when I was growing up.
  31. I hope I take a big trip this year to someplace I’ve never been before.
  32. Never, ever, ever say never. I’m surprised by the words I’ve eaten.
  33. I think it is rather unforch that here we are in an era where we have greater access to information than ever and most people are too lazy to research and make decisions, but rather prefer to follow buzzwords and catchphrases and fall victim to bandwagonism.
  34. It astounds me the amount of things people think they know about Jews. The myth of the shagging through a hole in the sheet is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.
  35. I found the greatest diner this month. Full breakfast and coffee for about $3. I don’t want to tell you where it is and if you stalk me to breakfast, I’m going to be more than a little bit cross at you. But this diner makes me believe in a whole list of warm-fuzzy things.
  36. I still wish I sang for a little alt-country band.
  37. Last week, I had zero bottles of wine in the house and thought, “I should fill that wine rack to start the new year.” Today, I have a full wine rack and a few extras thanks mostly to nice gifts.
  38. A few times a year, I give my place a good clean, I stock my pantry, I give my stuff the shakedown. My birthday/Passover, Rosh haShanah and New Years Eve. There’s something nice and tabula rasa about those occasions and I like to start on the right foot.
  39. As much as I have zero desire to be in the military, I don’t necessarily think required service for a brief period (that many countries have as a policy) is a terrible idea because I think our elected leaders would see and use the military differently and hopefully more sparingly if their own children were going to have to be or were part of it. That said, I think we’d be in real trouble if Jenna and Barbara Bush were defending the country.
  40. I hope this time next year, I know how to do something that I can’t do now.
  41. I hope this time next year, my French is better.
  42. I think there is a difference between discussing and arguing and that discussing is a lost art.
  43. I still think you can’t be too much of a shit if you love and can quote the Simpsons. I also still believe that there is a Simpsons quote for any occasion.
  44. Just because I haven’t told you off doesn’t mean I like you. I might just not see the value in telling you off.
  45. Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I don’t like you or even love you to shreds. That was not a shout-out to anyone.
  46. I hope animals think humans are complete idiots.
  47. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins is still my favorite book, just like it has been since I read it about seventeen years ago.
  48. I use cloth dinner napkins, but I don’t think I would use cloth diapers if I had a kid. I am trying to use/eat/wear/apply/buy fewer and fewer chemicals, and I am hung up on bleach. I like bleach a lot. I’ll find an alternative.
  49. I don’t think any of us are as non-conformist as we think we are or wish we were.
  50. If nothing else, I am resourceful. I always find a way to make things work. Always have.
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