1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Went cabin-ing and hot-tubbing with people I'm no longer friends with, acupuncture, found a decent place to live in Greenpoint (not a shit hole or a place someone's going to booze me up and use me sexually or otherwise), discovered French 75s at the Richardson, failed at meditation, went to Ikea, bought sleeping pills and used them as much as possible during April and May, took a Punk Rope class (which in turn made me join the Greenpoint YMCA and regularly work out there), befriended literary ladies, infrequently shopped at Brooklyn Industries (buying two dresses, articles of clothing that I was previously against wearing), picked up a guy in a Greenpoint bar and later made out with him on the Pulaski Bridge, attended my cousin's wedding near Amish country and spent two days in Philadelphia, went to a Scrabble barbecue, bought and fell in love with a smartphone, tasted tamales and feijoada, raised over $500 for the Brooklyn Heart Walk, learned how to orgasm, and participated in Jewish Christmas.
2010 update: Broke up with the best lover I've ever had (he who provided the aforementioned orgasms), answered a Craig's List missed connection (big mistake), appeared in Time Out New York, had oral surgery (wisdomtoothectomy), hosted a mostly vegetarian Super Bowl party, attended a Sunday Night Dinner, edited a book proposal for which I got paid, ran a twelve-minute mile with the Word running group, signed a lease, trained for an athletic competition (the Punk Rope Games!), kayaked in the East River, lost my job, attended a World Cup party, appeared in re-election material for an excellent assemblyman, had a colposcopy (an extremely unpleasant procedure), fell completely and utterly in love with someone I felt fully comfortable with until I couldn't stop crying after he asked me a question, became clinically depressed when he broke up with me, took antidepressants (for two weeks and never again), biked sixty miles in the New York Century in the middle of all that drama, took a Zumba class, painted my room blood red, and traveled to San Francisco (for a conference for my new job).
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes! Joining Punk Rope has given me the irrefutable knowledge that I belong. I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing for 2010, but it has to do with increasing my health and confidence.
2010 update: The luster of Punk Rope wore off after the Games, around when I lost my job -- the first terrible blow of the worst summer ever -- and though I reached my all-time lowest adult weight of 143 pounds this year, it was after a weekend of doing nothing but crying.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
2010 update: No.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Oma (Andrew's grandmother), and everyone associated with Guernsey is dead to me.
2010 update: No, but there were plenty of times I wish I did.
5. What countries did you visit?
Amish country, with a layover in Philadelphia.
2010 update: 'Frisco.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I'm saving up for a premium full-sized bed.
2010 update: I have a full-sized bed now, but no one to share it with. In 2011 I want to believe that I am stronger than I think I am, even when I'm at my weakest.
7. Which dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The week of my cousin's wedding was fantastic: I went to an event for the broken-hearted at Word, met someone at the Punk Rope happy hour, caught the bouquet, went to the Mutter Museum and Philadelphia Zoo. I bounced all around, fit in a lot of time at the gym, and felt great through it all.
2010 update: All the time I spent biking with Joe Katz (to Ikea, in the Tour de Brooklyn, to Floyd Bennett Field, and in the New York Century), and all the time I spent with Prom King (that I have to bury). I took this picture on June 28, before the company picnic, and I think it was the apex of the year: I had just met a fantastic guy, I was moving into my own apartment, and I was completing a project from hell at work -- and damn, I looked hot! Everything went downhill from there, and the last day I was really happy was during Bitchcakes's bowling birthday party.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Inching my way out of depression through physical activity and from relying on others to get me out.
2010 update: Not only did my team, Chick Lit, come in fourth place in the Punk Rope Games, but everyone at the after party complimented my athleticism. I was an athlete!
9. What was your biggest failure?
Believing a relationship was an good option with a sourpuss stoner.
2010 update: Expecting that Prom King meant what he said when he offered to be "vice president of cheering [me] up."
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A mysterious knee pain bothered me for months.
2010 update: "Subacute thyroiditis with complete resolution" and an abnormal pap smear.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
The poor man's iPhone, the Google My Touch, lovingly called "Touch My Google."
2010 update: A passport. We'll see in a few weeks if "a round-trip ticket to Turkey" tops it.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
All hail Bitchcakes! She got me through a horrible period in my life, and there is nothing I would keep from this woman.
2010 update: Joe Katz put up with a lot of shit from me after the nervous breakdown/breakup, and he deserves much more from me than the book I got him for Christmas.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I would love to put up appalling pictures of Sourpuss Stoner, but I won't. Guy from Enid's made me depressed for about a week, then I got over it.
2010 update: My own.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent again. And I got a great 100% wool coat from Bluefly and a trench from Banana Republic.
2010 update: The apartment and new furniture.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My cousin's wedding! Discovering I could work out consistently with eight-pound weights!
2010 update: The first ever Rocky Horror-themed Punk Rope class.
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
I didn't answer this question for 2009, but in 2010 it's "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, and not for the reason you'd assume: while biking in the New York Century along the Shore Parkway Greenway (under the Verrazano), I felt this sudden urge to yell: "I'm a free bitch, baby!" In that moment, the worst summer ever was gone. It subsequently returned when I wasn't good enough for Prom King.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Infinitely happier.
b) thinner or fatter?
Just a few more pounds of serious muscle.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer because I overdid it with x-mas gifts.
a) happier or sadder? Much sadder.
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer? Broke even: richer because I automatically put money into savings with each paycheck and poorer because I spent too much on booze.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
2010 update: Same answer.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Playing a woman scorned.
2010 update: Wasting the last third of the year.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Spent x-mas eve with Gentleman Caller and celebrated Jewish Christmas with Joe Katz and Michelle.
2010 update: I will answer this question in a nearly finished forthcoming blog post.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I didn't answer this question in 2009, but in 2010 I can say without a doubt that I did -- and look where it got me.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Continued watching Mad Men, and House remains superb.
2010 update: Add Dexter and Steven Moffat's Doctor Who.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Matt, Ben, Gina, the whole kit and caboodle.
2010 update: I finished a project from hell for the Bitch Editor and was laid off soon after. She didn't give any acknowledgment of my contributions.
24. What was the best book you read?
I did not answer this question in 2009, but the 2010 answer is This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. If you liked the Coen Bros. A Serious Man, you'll love this book.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I did not answer this question in 2009, but in 2010 I initially hated Sufjan Stevens's The Age of Adz, then loved it at his performance at the Beacon.
26. What did you want and get?
I did not answer this question in 2009, but the 2010 answer is my own apartment.
27. What did you want and not get?
I did not answer this question in 2009, but the 2010 answer is an secure romantic relationship.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Inglorious Bastards. Meg and I could not get enough Chrisoph Waltz.
2010 update: The Social Network is perfection from start to finish.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23 with Andrew in Philadelphia. He took me out to a churrascaria. I celebrated with Punk Rope pals -- even Ashley ventured into Brooklyn -- and knocked back glass after glass of French 75s at the Richardson. I had earlier enjoyed pizza with Bitchcakes at Motorino for her birthday.
2010 update: Here are pics from my birthday party (with a few more from Bitchcakes): I had dinner at Roberta's with my family and friends followed by drinks at the Counting Room. On my birthday proper, I attended a Jimmy Fallon taping (care of Prom King) to see a band he likes, Menomena. I'm 24.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
2009 was an above-average year, and 2010 riding on its wave and ultimately crashed.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
In 2009 I felt more comfortable in dresses, and in 2010 I wore short shorts! Then I proceeded to get very out of shape because there's no more motivation to go to the gym (or do anything else once pleasurable).
32. What kept you sane?
I did not answer this question in 2009, but the 2010 answer is an illegal drug that most likely kept me sane in 2009 too.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks.
2010 update: Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I don't really get involved in politics, but let's say term limits: I do not believe in them. Yes, Mike Bloomberg played dirty to get elected to a third term as mayor of New York, but he still got my vote.
2010 update: I should mention Jimmy "the rent is too damn high" McMillan for a laugh and then get serious about my sympathy for David Paterson -- absolutely no one can "clean up" Albany -- and my anger about the mismanagement of the MTA. Second Avenue Sagas does a great job of placing blame correctly, either on Albany or the MTA itself.
35. Whom did you miss?
Same answer for 2009 and 2010: Bill and I don't see each other often enough, and it's one-way communication on my part.
36. Whom was the best new person you met?
I technically met her last year (2008), but Bitchcakes takes first place, with Punk Rope Tim coming in at a respectable second.
2010 update: Professor Eval and, though I've only met her casually, Judy "Dategirl" McGuire.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
I did not answer this question in 2009, but the 2010 answer is Fox Mulder's motto: "Trust no one."
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I did not answer this question in 2009, but the 2010 answer is: "Here's to all the pretty words we will never speak. Here's to all the pretty girls you're gonna meet," from Rilo Kiley's "Breakin' Up" (Under the Blacklight).