Monday, December 26, 2011

2011: A Recap

(updated on 12/31/2011)

Well 2011, I can't say I'm gonna miss ya. This year has been a bitch, with a few moments of brightness thrown in here & there.  To read all about it, continue after the jump...


  • First and foremost, the suckiest part of the year was losing my mom to cancer. We learned about her diagnosis in March, and by the end of the month she was gone. She had a rocky life but she also had the gift of humor which she definitely passed on to her kids. While I miss both of my parents terribly, I find myself being increasingly proud and grateful to have been born to the two of them. Sure they weren't perfect, but I have yet to meet anyone who is. They did the best they could and I love them for it.
  • Academically I had some highs this year, mostly in finishing the last of my Ph.D. coursework. I never thought I'd be in a Ph.D. program, but once I got accepted I was absolutely determined to make the most of the journey. This year that journey included a nasty glitch with my written prelims. I don't want to relive the details here (you can read some of it here if you wish), but I will say that this snafu set me back at least one semester. 
  • 2011 will go into Minnesota history books as the year that asshat politicians voted to put marriage discrimination up for a public vote on the 2012 ballot, and potentially into the state constitution. Charming. So my marriage, which is legal in other states but not my own, may now be extra super not-legal? I just don't understand the purpose of changing the constitution except to prove to the rest of the world that the majority of voters in your state are ignorant bigots. Still, I am remaining hopeful that Minnesotans may become the first fair-minded state to strike down this very hurtful and discriminatory measure. 
  • So amidst all of the stress of the year I was lucky to have a friend (thanks again, Kieran!) recommend a class on mindfulness as an approach to stress reduction.  Of course I enrolled. The class taught me techniques that I intend on using for the rest of my life. I have already experienced some positive results from meditation. As one of the most stressful years of my adult life comes to a close, I actually seem to be more at peace than I remember in a looong time.
  • 2011 was a great year for live music: The Go-Go's, The Cars, Lemonheads, The Monkees, Weezer, fDeluxe (aka The Family), The Bangles. What a gas.
  • I started a tumblr site this year after developing a passion for lo-fi photography (ha - develop, photography - a bit of a pun there).  Initially I thought the site would replace this here blog, but it turned out to be more of a photo blog of its own, while I have kept this site alive for entries containing more content. The tumblr has been a blast tho, and I've met a few new bloggers in the process. Go team. 
  • 2011 turned out to be the year that I started creating music again. It began this fall when Leo and I were cleaning the upstairs level of our home and I uncovered my old TASCAM portastudio. Soon I was rummaging through old tapes, which led to the eventual creation of a bandcamp page for my band Words. I'm currently in the process of cleaning up our first album, song by song, to be available for download at the site next year. Hearing this music for the first time in decades has been unexpectedly therapeutic, reinforcing my belief in the healing powers of music. (BREAKING: As of this writing, my longtime friend, bandmate and music collaborator Matt and I are recording tracks for the first new song we've written together in over 20 years).
  • Finally, I have to thank my husband Leo for his unwavering support throughout this journey.  I can't say enough about having him with me through all of these highs and lows. He is an incredible man and I am beyond fortunate to have him in my life.  
To all of you who have continued to frequent this blog, I offer a sincere thank you. I wish you all a very super fancy & shiny 2012!

xxxooo
your pal,
Jeff

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Jeff, be safe a well!