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First lines of each month's first entry. I don't count memes or poems for National Poetry Month.

January: Stroke: Know the Symptoms

February: IN MEMORIAM: My Stepfather

March: Where have I been?

April: According to the wise and powerful Noël Lynne Figart, 'When you use the "You're too emotional" card to a woman in a debate, your Sensitive New Age Guy credentials get revoked. Please stay where you are and wait for the rainbows and unicorns to come by and beat you senseless.'

May: Joanna Russ died a few days ago.

June: What were you doing 35 years ago today? I was graduating from high school.

July: And People Say California Is Weird: Look what the Midwest can produce.

August: For all my friends, New Yorkers or not. Stay safe and dry, and have as much fun as you can with the wild weather.

September: This is what it's like to live with someone who has PTSD.

October: About a year ago, external forces suddenly hurled me onto the rollercoaster of one of those huge, unexpected events that effectively ends the life you have been living and starts a new one.

November: The recent World Fantasy Convention featured a guy so outrageously obnoxious in his groping, unwanted sexual comments, stalkerish threats, and refusal to take no for an answer that he's become the talk of the Internet.

December: Just finished Victoria Glendinning's biography of the extraordinary Dame Rebecca West, novelist, reporter, political thinker, and feminist.

25 Achievements of 2011

  1. I got back into relatively good shape.

  2. I served as respite care for a dying man; I know I was a help to his family.

  3. I used my professional editorial skills doing a permissions audit.

  4. I cleaned out 40 years' worth of files for a publisher in the city. (This helped a lot in the getting back into shape—walking from BART, hauling boxes, etc.)

  5. I did a serious cull of many books; this counts as an achievement because I had to change how I thought about books and about myself. Also, it was emotionally difficult.

  6. Wrote several new stories for the upcoming ebook of Lorelei stories and made a breakthrough on how I want to do the novel.

  7. I did a good job organizing and writing the FOGcon website.

  8. I did a reasonably good job of being on FOGcon panels.

  9. I kept good boundaries at my family reunion

  10. I dealt calmly and appropriately with a series of crises ranging from my nephew's arrest for armed robbery to serious health crises in people close to me.

  11. With the help of my housemates and one good family therapist (and despite the damage inflicted by a dreadful family therapist), we immensely improved domestic relationships and communications.

  12. I started crafting again. Although I haven't had time to do much in the past few months, given the intensive move preparation and book deadlines, making things with my hands really matters to me.

  13. I sold my first necklace.

  14. I posted often to the Lorelei Tumblr.

  15. The Lorelei Tumblr became a resource for several Twitter newspapers.

  16. I edited half a dozen ebooks for JMS.

  17. I hooked my partner up with a job opening.

  18. I started playing with makeup again.

  19. I started paying attention to my looks again.

  20. I reframed a difficult relationship in ways that make it much easier for me to handle.

  21. I got rid of the Giant Desk of Doom.

  22. I became much more aware of my body.

  23. During the year-long festival of Discardia I sorted ALL the things.

  24. With the help of wild_irises, I started the process of rights reversion for my first couple of books.

  25. I started doing Health Month—abortively in January, when I got so annoyed with the interface I stopped, but successfully in December, when I stuck with my own rules 97% of the time.



2011 in Review

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I worked as respite care for a man dying of brain cancer. Saw Kevin Spacey live in Richard III and Anna Deavere Smith in Let Me Down Easy. Saw parts of the Getty Museum in LA. Visited Chicago, although I didn't really see the city. Had a temp job in downtown San Francisco, which meant I got to commute on BART and visit the city on a regular basis. Survived a dangerously incompetent family therapist -- not someone fumbling or slightly clueless, but completely incapable of dealing. She caused us major damage.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? How about the One Word thing?
I've given up on making resolutions for the year. I like choosing my own rules/resolutions/choices for the month on HealthMonth. They're clear, measurable, and achievable. However, I spotted a motto for the year on [personal profile] circumspectly's LJ: "Dreams become reality one choice at a time." So my one word for this year is Choose.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several friends had babies, some of whom I've never even seen. But I know they are all adorable.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My stepfather, our lovely kitten Max, Joanna Russ, the man I was caring for, a cousin. The US Bill of Rights is looking pretty fragile, too.

5. What countries did you visit?
Chicago and LA.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A permanant job and/or financial security.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 19, my first day at the permissions audit job I did in San Francisco. I was so thrilled to have a professional job in my field again, even if it was just temporary. I even had a cubicle. And just as I was getting ready to leave, my big sister called with the news of our nephew's arrest for armed robbery, his addiction to Oxycodone, and his very nearly successful attempt at suicide. Oh Christ, what a shock. The horror of that news has echoed through the months since.

The other is December 2, the day [profile] abostick59 went to the ER with a possible deep vein thrombosis. Yes, he had DVT, but he also had a blood sugar level about four times what it should be. Plenty of my friends deal with diabetes, but this was IMO an unnecessarily spectacular reveal. I stayed calm, studied up, did all the things necessary, but now, after the crisis and Christmas and New Year's, I finally let it catch up with me and cried all over him.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting back into shape physically. (See Top 25 Achievements,) Almost finishing the new story collection.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Oh, I don't know. I fail all the time. I don't know that ranking them is healthy. (Answer swiped from [personal profile] sara, who is filled with wisdom.)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The usual minor crap, allergic reactions, etc. The big one was weeks of hives and itching in the hottest part of the year -- intensely miserable. Turned out that I've developed an allergy to the dryer sheets my housemate had been using for years.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Bought for me? The used third-generation iPod Touch I got on Craigslist. It does everything except make phone calls and deliver pizza, and that is fine by me. I have an excellent Android phone that makes calls. For other people? I found fabulous holiday gifts for both [personal profile] gramina and [personal profile] housepet this year.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friends who donated to keep my car on the road. Thank you all.
[profile] abostick59, who was kind and loving to me all year, and who rose to sudden health issues with grace and practicality.
[personal profile] wild_irises who went above and beyond on more occasions than I can enumerate.
[personal profile] housepet and [personal profile] gramina, who have been doing their best in some damned hard times,
Mine, for once. I handled most things pretty well, with a few dreadful exceptions. And I worked my heart out.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Republican Party, who seem bent on making Goldwater look like a comsymp and Richard Nixon look kind and cooperative. Jean Kwan, Mayor of Oakland, for her impression of a waffle. Arnold Schwartzenegger, the lying scumbag, for his treatment of his wife as well as for his treatment of California. My nephew's.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, insurance/healthcare, BART tickets to work, and my freaking horrible car.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Working! Wooooooorking, oh how I love to have a job. Also seeing Kevin Spacey in Richard III.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Maybe Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." Or Richard Shindell's haunting "State of the Uniion." It's about a smack addict's attempts to get clean, paralleled with the nation's addiction to oil, and the enabling president. (Dubya, when the song was written). Lots of interesting paralells to my year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter healthier or sicker? Healthier (also a little thinner, but that doesn't necessarily follow).
iii. richer or poorer? About the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Posting to DW/LJ.

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

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
If you mean Christmas 2011, at home with my chosen family. (Also having an allergic reaction.)

21. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Also at home with chosen family.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?
No, but I stayed in love with both my partners,

23. How many one-night stands?
There haven't been any in 30 years or more, and there aren't going to be any for the next 30 years or more. Can we retire this question?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Either Leverage or Dr. Who. Those are pretty much all I ever watch anyway.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, although my level of respect for the Republican candidates can no longer be detected with current technology.

26. What was the best book you read?
Novel: maybe Our Kind of Traitor by John LeCarre
Nonfiction: Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Landscape Wars of the American West, by Rebecca Solnit

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Berg Lyric Suite.

28. What did you want and get?
Love. Work (part time and temporary, but satisfying). Domestic peace. More strength. A particular book of local history for which I'd been waiting for six years. A flannel nightgown. Help from friends.

29. What did you want and not get?
Permanent work. My rights reversion for the first two books I wrote. Peace on earth. A sane political climate. Economic recovery.

30. What was your favorite film that you saw for the first time this year?
Hmmm, good question. Probably Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- it's been a LeCarre kind of year.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had a party, and I turned 52.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Permanent work.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
A compromise between something that looks reasonably professional and something I can comfortably have a hot flash in.

34. What kept you sane?
Therapy, meds, friends, good boundaries, and hugs.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't really do celebrity crushes.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Occupy movement. It gives me great hope.

37. Who did you miss?
My family. My beloved Adrian, who would have turned 60 on New Year's Day.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
CG at work. Smart, funny, cool.

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

Several:

After the initial period of pain from doing a new level of exercise, I feel much better the next day if I've exercised.

Getting over the inertia of not doing is hard, but it's worth the effort.

Just because drivers stop for pedestrians in Berkeley does not mean bicyclists will stop for pedestrians in San Francisco. Seriously, you can be jaywalking and the Berkeley automobile driver will stop. But bicyclists in SF run red lights with impunity. I was startled and appalled by this. More, I felt betrayed.

Also, aging is tough. Good thing we have years to get ready for it.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Sunrise, sunset, Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze
Sunrise, sunset, Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears...
What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another
Day by day

Hopes for 2012

1. Will you be looking for a new job?

Yes. Also for freelance work.

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship?
Excededingly unlikely. My dance card is full, and if something should happen to one of my partners (knock on wood), I'd be too shattered to go looking for a replacement until I'd dealt with the grief .

3. New house?
We're planning to move closer to [personal profile] gramina's work.

4. What will you do differently in 2012?
I'd like to continue the trend of the changes I've been making. Keep writing, keep walking, keep eating better.

5. New Years Resolution?
The word for the year is Choose, and the motto is Dreams become reality one choice at a time.

6. What will you not be doing in 2012?
I hope to do less procrastinating. I can always do that later.

7. Any trips planned?
FOGcon in March. Possibly Wiscon in May, because the magnificent [personal profile] wild_irises is Guest of Honor. Maybe back home in September.

8. Wedding plans?
None.

9. Major thing on your calendar?
See question 7. Also, I have another ebook ms. due end of July. The two story collections will be published as one paperback original, probably in September.

10. What can’t you wait for?
The move to be over and for us to be settled into a new smaller house.

11. What would you like to see happen differently in 2012?
I'd like a strong shift to the left in US politics and a serious resurgence of the economy.

12. What about yourself will you be changing?
I'm not changing, but I am trying to be more honestly myself, in all my imperfect and protean glory. (Or, um... something.) (Answer swiped from [personal profile] belleweather's survey last year.) Also, I'd like to hit all my deadlines and get a permanent job,

13. What happened in 2011 that you didn’t think would ever happen?
I can't think of anything -- but then I'm pretty cynical.

14. Will you be nicer to the people you care about?
I am trying. It took me a lot of years to notice that other people were hurt or distressed by my self-loathing moods; I figured as long as I was not blaming them, or being mean to them, they'd be fine with my self-lacerating internalized rage. Turns out other people don't like it if I'm in that mood. So I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

15. Will you dress differently in 2012 than you did in 2011?
I hope that dressing to avoid hot flashes becomes a thing of the past.

16. Will you start or quit drinking?
Too late to start, too little to stop.

17. Will you better your relationship with your family?
Chosen: I can try to. We've put in a lot of work this year. Blood: I'm hoping to do a little to reconnect with some family members who have drifted away.

18. Will you do charity work?
Of course. I'm working on FOGcon already, and I am hoping to do other webmistressing for charity.

19. Will you be nice to people you don't know?
I generally am.

20. Do you expect 2012 to be a good year for you?
I am doing my best to make it so.

21. How much did you change from this time last year til now?
A bit. More engaged with life, less utterly zapped by the traumas of 2010. More aware of my body.

22. Do you plan on having a child?
I would be astonished if I got pregnant this year.

23. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now?
I expect so. My relationships -- romantic amd friendly -- are quite stable.

24. Major lifestyle changes?
We'll see. I'm hoping to live without having lots of still-not-unpacked boxes, which would be a huge lifestyle change.

25. Will you be moving?
We plan to. We are preparing to. We don't have a new place yet, however.

26. What are your New Years Eve craft and creativity plans?
Once the move is done, I want to have regular craft times, do more cross-stitch, and make more jewelry. As for creativity, must finish another ebook, and I am hoping to do lots of other kinds of writing.

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