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Clearly Not THAT Secret


March 29th, 2015

2014 - Year in Review @ 07:11 pm



-Where did you begin 2014?
The ever lovely 201, ringing the New Year in with friends.

-Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any New Years’ resolutions for 2014…so there were none to keep.   As for making more in 2015?  Maybe?

-What New Years’ resolution do you have for 2015?
Maybe?

-What was your relationship status by Valentine's Day?
Single and contemplating the worth of all life’s different pieces.

-Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Actually…no.  In December, I officially dropped out of the FNP program at CU.  It was, easily, one of the hardest, saddest decisions I’ve ever made.

-How did you earn your money?
Nerdy research stuff at RAND.

-Did you have to go to the hospital?
In July, I had surgery on my “mess” of a hip.  I didn’t technically need to go to a hospital for it, but considering it was surgery, I suspect it counts.

-Did you have any encounters with the police?
Nope

-Where did you travel?
I had trips to Seattle/Tacoma, Sacramento, Raleigh, and Nashville (but not the fun part of Nashville) for one project; Charleston, WV for another.  Other than that, it was just a lot of back and forth to Colorado and one trip to Portland, ME/Peaks Island, ME for Devin and Erica’s wedding.

-What did you purchase that was over $500?
I…am not actually sure.

-Did you know anybody who got married?
At this point, the question should really be “was this the year no one you know got married?”

-Did you know anyone who got engaged?
I always do.

-Have you run into anybody you left high school with?
I still have some great friends from high school, so yes, I have run into people I left high school with.  By choice.

-Did you move anywhere?
I did not move anywhere in 2014.  Someone alert the presses…

-Where do you live now?
Washington, DC. Again.

-What sporting events did you go to?
A few hockey games, a few Nats games (including one playoff game)...that about sums it up.

-What concerts/shows did you go to?
Nickel Creek with Jason Woods.  I was finally somewhat mobile after a month on crutches and it was a BEAUTIFUL night on the lawn listening to good music.

-Are you registered to vote?
Yes.

-What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2014?
Orthopedic surgery probably counts here.  Also included:  Drove across country, again (you are SO welcome Mark Hall), willingly took on a project involving SAS, got a DVT (um, I never thought that would happen in my LIFE let alone in 2014)…

-What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Orthopedic surgery again.

-What was your favorite moment?
February 15th at Biergarten Haus, the Avs game with Mark that resulted in tears (yes, favorite moment), Abigail’s 2nd birthday, hiking in Ward CO, trips to Linden Vineyard, my first two-legged HAM weekend, finishing the Army 10 miler, beerfest in April

-What was your worst moment?
Superbowl Sunday, DVT day (week?), November revelations

-What's something you learned about yourself?
I have no earthly idea what I'm doing with my life...kinda.

-Any new additions to your family?
Not this year.

-What was your best month?
Hm, May, August, and September were all pretty great, at least to my recollection.

-What was your worst month?
January and February were arguably fairly rough.  Mix tons of travel with a variety of circumstantial incidents and “you have no choice but to work through it” bullshit and you have some rough stuff on your hands.  November and December were very similar.

-What adjectives (or words) would you use to describe 2014?
Strength, perseverance, love

-Who has been your best drinking buddy?
Bachelor Wednesday Crew.  Best drinking AND therapy buddies.

-Favorite night out?
February 15th was pretty awesome

-Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few people did, yes.

-Did anyone close to you die?
In August, Gray Montgomery, a dear family friend, died of cancer.

-What were you for Halloween?
An overworked nerdy researcher?   No, seriously, I did not do anything for Halloween.

-What countries did you visit?
I...don't leave the US.  It's a sad circumstance.  Maybe someday...

-What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
A disposable income…

-What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 3:  WTF Broncos…
July 9:  Mmm, hip surgery
October 12:  Ran the Army 10 Miler

-What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Running the Army 10 Miler three months and three days after significant hip surgery

-What was your biggest failure?
I’m not sure…

-Did you suffer illness or injury?
Hip surgery may or may not count here, but it was a long road back to recovery.  As for illness, I stayed fairly healthy, Grinch flu aside.

-What was the best thing you bought?
Grill pan!

-Whose behavior merited celebration?
There are a few people on this list.

-Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There are a few people on this list as well.

Where did most of your money go?
Rent.  Always.  FML.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Olympics, World Cup, trips to Colorado, finally PTing enough post hip surgery to run again, getting to quit blood thinners

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Climbing mountains.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Impulse purchases at ModCloth…

-Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No

-How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas suffering from one of the worst flus I have ever had. Body aches, fever, chills, and some lovely respiratory symptoms.  I slept until 6 PM, woke up, ate some soup, and went back to bed.  Bah. Humbug.

-Did you fall in love in 2014?
Yes

-Were you in love in 2014?
Yes

-What was your favorite new TV program of 2014?
I can’t remember if Sons of Anarchy was discovered this year, but oh my God it’s amazing!  I miss Tuesday nights with Ryan and Jax…

-What was the best book you read?
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and Lamb by Christopher Moore were both great books for very, very different reasons.

-What was your greatest musical discovery?
I can’t think of any singular music discovery that blew my mind this year but I am loving my John Mayer-free Pandora station.

-What did you want and get?
I’m not sure

-What did you want and not get?
Sigh…

-What did you not want and get anyway?
A fucking polar vortex and exceptionally painful fluoroscopy and cortisone injections into my right AND left hip sockets.  And a DVT.

-What was your favorite film of this year?
I should probably start remembering these things...

-What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
For my 30th birthday, I had a 30th birthday weekend doing lowkey things with friends.  Then, afterward, I flew to Colorado and spent almost two weeks there wondering why I ever left.

-What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A disposable income?  And a plane that could take me from DC to CO and back in less than 20 minutes.

-How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
 “When it gets cold, I’ll wear anything to stay warm…” and “God, I love summer fashion”

-What kept you sane?
Bachelor Wednesday, yoga, PT

-Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I almost wish I were a teenybopper so I could answer this question year after year, but honestly, no one.

-What political issue stirred you the most?
The issues surrounding the deaths of African American/Black men at the hands of police were almost impossible to ignore, bringing a mirror to society that I’m not sure many are ready to look into.

Also, the Hobby Lobby decision was an interesting point in history.  And anti-vaxxers:  Come. The Hell. On.

-Who did you miss?
Colorado peeps.  Alawys.

-Who was the best new person you met?
Mark Hall, Jason Woods, Brie Van Cleve

-Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Sometimes life is a compilation of difficult choices that we have to make in the hope that the next choice will be easier.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“I know you want to stay in bed, but it’s light outside, it’s light outside”

“Oh damn these walls
In the moment we're ten feet tall
And how you told me after it all
We'd remember tonight
For the rest of our lives”

Any regrets?
A few, yeah

What are you looking forward to the most in 2015?
Two functioning hips!
 

January 3rd, 2014

2013: Year in Review @ 06:02 am

2013.php

-Where did you begin 2013?
I went out to dinner with some friends, then was going to go out with Justin Clark but was foiled by a flat tire.  Ended up long-distance watching Safety Not Guaranteed with Delaware.

-Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any New Years’ resolutions for 2013…so there were none to keep.   As for making more in 2014?  Maybe?

-What New Years’ resolution do you have for 2014?
Maybe?

-What was your relationship status by Valentine's Day?
Single.  Single, working, and admiring the hundreds of boxes of flowers that were delivered to Children’s that day.

-Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Aren’t I always?  On January 22nd, I started the FNP program at CU-Anschutz.

-How did you earn your money?
Back to nursing…until September when it was back to DC for an excellent nerdy research job.

-Did you have to go to the hospital?
Twice a week at least until September.  More if there were meetings.

-Did you have any encounters with the police?
Nope

Mt Hood-Where did you travel?
Cross country twice, once from DC to Colorado, then from Colorado to DC.  I also made it to Portland to visit Jeff and Boston to visit Simon.  And then there was that Reno thing in June...

-What did you purchase that was over $500?
Trust me, my tuition is WAY over $500…

-Did you know anybody who got married?
Tam and Chas, Scott and Libby, Sam and Joey

-Did you know anyone who got engaged?
Hm, I think I do?  I always do.

-Have you run into anybody you left high school with?
I still have some great friends from high school, so yes, I have run into people I left high school with.  By choice.

-Did you move anywhere?
Was it a new year?  Then yes, of course I did.  In October, I moved from Colorado to DC...in what was probably one of the hardest decisions I've ever made.

-Where do you live now?
Washington, DC. Again.

-What sporting events did you go to?
After morally objecting to going anywhere near hockey, I...went back to hockey.  But only a few times.  Add in a few Rockies games, including Todd Helton's retirement game, and that about rounds it out for the year.

-What concerts/shows did you go to?
None.

-Are you registered to vote?
Yes.

-What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2013?
Move back to DC.  There is no way in hell I thought that would ever happen.  When I moved back to Colorado last year and started school again,  I figured that was it, I was where I was supposed to be.  Life is funny that way...

-What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Cross the sawtooth at Evans and Bierstadt (scary!), code in Atlas, receive flowers on my birthday, learn how to make pulled pork (Mmmm), wear four inch heels for longer than 20 minutes.
Pet Rock
-What was you favorite moment?
Making a pet rock, Christmas with Abigail ("Shae! Shae!"), girl's night at Leah's, Top Gun night with Jefe, finally beating Clarissa at Scramble...

-What was your worst moment?
Broncos loss to Baltimore, Delaware, leaving CO (mixed bag, but it was very, very hard), the day after Thanksgiving...

-What's something you learned about yourself?
I have no earthly idea what I'm doing with my life...kinda.

-Any new additions to your family?
In November, Randi gave birth to a cute cute baby girl.  And Sam married Joey.

-What was your best month?
August.  August and early September.

-What was your worst month?
October...and December.

What adjectives would you use to describe 2013?
Highly-mobile, confusing, heartwarming, heartbreaking, challenging, strengthening, and altitudeish (not a word, but it fits here)

Who has been your best drinking buddy?
Hm, well, since my "drinking" consists of 1-2 drinks per outing and I most likely went out with Julie, Jenna and Becky, Erica, Harrison, Josh, JR, and Lily...those would be the drinking buddies.

-Favorite night out?
Science Lounge date night.  It was the best date I'd ever been on.  Ever.

-Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few people did, yes.

-Did anyone close to you die?
I lost a primary in August, but more importantly, a family lost their sweet son.

-What were you for Halloween?
Actually...nothing.

-What countries did you visit?
I...don't leave the US.  It's a sad circumstance.  Maybe someday...

-What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A disposable income…

-What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 12th:  WTF Broncos?!
July 29th:  Bone marrow
August 12th:  Happiness
October 4th:  Leaving Colorado

-What was your biggest achievement of the year?
The nerdy research job was pretty fantastic...and took a LOT of hard work to get.

-What was your biggest failure?
We will see how moving to DC turns out.

-Did you suffer illness or injury?
Aside from some cracked ribs, nothing.  Well, there was that kidney thing.  Meh.  Ooh, and that awesome EPIC sickness in April.

-What was the best thing you bought?
Hm, a crockpot?  Oh, and my hiking boots (that only made it up four 14ers until I left CO).

-Whose behavior merited celebration?
There are a few people on this list.

-Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There are a few people on this list as well.

Where did most of your money go?
Moving across country, as it turns out, is expensive.  I did it twice.  Then there's rent and bills and all sorts of unfun adult things...

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Colorado in all its forms, Haider's visit, the Color Run, Chris, RAND, and 14ers.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Hiking, reading, kissing, basking in zero-humidity Colorado summer.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Second guessing every difficult decision over and over again.

-Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No

Christmas-How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas in spectacular orphan fashion with both Robert and Susan/Abigail.  It was a good Christmas.

-Did you fall in love in 2013?
Not love, but like.

-Were you in love in 2013?
See above...

-What was your favorite new TV program of 2013?
I don't...really watch TV.  But I did find Sons of Anarchy on Netflix this year.

-What was the best book you read?
I read the latest two books in the Joe Ledger series (I love this series so much it's not even funny...), finished a few Gillian Flynn books, read A Fault in the Stars (heartbreaking), and annihilated the Divergent series (if you loved Hunger Games...you'll love this too).

-What was your greatest musical discovery?
My Pandora station is finally John Mayer free (I hope), so things are excellent right now, music-wise.

-What did you want and get?
A new job.

-What did you want and not get?
Hmm, I have no idea.

-What was your favorite film of this year?
I should probably start remembering these things...

-What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
For my 29th birthday, I went to Snooze with Harrison, then spent the day downtown taking nerdy pictures with Julie.  It was a good birthday.

-What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A disposable income?  And a plane that could take me from DC to CO and back in less than 20 minutes.

-How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Mix between "Some Days, I Look Downright Polished" and "Some Days, I Look Like a College Student."

-What kept you sane?
Friends, music, hooded sweatshirts, Clarissa's voices, and a hell of a lot of hiking (SO MANY 14ers!)

-Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I almost wish I were a teenybopper so I could answer this question year after year, but honestly, no one.

-What political issue stirred you the most?
I know it was a lot of media hype, but if legislators could lay off trying to overregulate women's reproductive rights and focus on issues that actually matter (like the fucking national debt, perhaps.  Or oh, I dunno, almost ANYTHING else), that would be great...

Also, the death of DOMA was a thing to celebrate.

-Who did you miss?
DC friends, CO friends, Simon, Mom.

-Who was the best new person you met?Poem
The Walt Whitman of birthday poems.

-Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Sometimes life is a compilation of difficult choices that we have to make in the hope that the next choice will be easier.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Is there a chance, a fragment of light at the end of the tunnel, a reason to fight?  Is there a chance you may change your mind?  Or are we ashes and wine?"

Any regrets?
We will see how leaving Colorado shakes out...

What are you looking forward to the most in 2014?
It’s an even numbered year which is reason enough to look forward to 2014.
 

March 3rd, 2013

Sunday Confession @ 06:53 pm


This is far from easy...

...and far from over...

...and I'm so, so tired.

-Shaela
 

December 8th, 2012

2012 in Review @ 07:41 am

-Where did you begin 2012?
A house party at Alicia and MEPs in DC.  There was pretty dresses, delicious food, good music, and bow ties.

New Years Eve-What New Years’ resolution do you have for 2013?
I...don't know yet.

-What was your relationship status by Valentine's Day?
I went with a truly amazing man to a Caps game.  It was one of the best Valentine’s Days I’ve ever had...perhaps made better by the hilarious backstory and the fact that this man's boss was also in the box with us.

-Were you in school (anytime this year)?
I feel like I will perpetually be able to answer "yes" to this question for a long, long time…but yes, again, I was in school until May when I graduated.  I start school again in January.  Nurse Practitioner program at CU.

-How did you earn your money?
I had three amazing internships this year at NACCHO, American Cancer Society - Cancer Action Network, and Women In Government respectively.  Could not have asked for better learning experiences.

-Did you have to go to the hospital?
Not yet…knock on wood.

-What kept you sane?
Friday or Saturday nights out, Sunday morning brunch with Bontrager, MNF, Netflix Instant, Clarissa's "voices" and musical tastes...

-Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I almost wish I were a teenybopper so I could answer this question year after year, but honestly, no one.

-What political issue stirred you the most?
Seeing as how it was an election year, can we just sum this up with politics in general?  It was an ugly one...

-Did you have any encounters with the police?
Nope. Ducklings

-Where did you travel?
Aside from the few trips to Colorado (including the giant move in December), I went to Boston, MA and Ocean City, MD  (twice...and trust me, there's no reason to go to Ocean City, MD twice in one year.  No reason other than the fact that it's cheap and a beach within 200 miles of DC.) and the Shore. I will head to Reno, NV for Christmas.

-What did you purchase that was over $500?
Tuition, dental work (ugh, dental work), shipping boxes home, tires, brakes, furniture for the new apartment.  It was an expensive year...

-Did you know anybody who got married?
I always do...

-Did you know anyone who got engaged?
Erica and Devin!  And Sam and Joey!

-Have you run into anybody you left high school with?
I still have some incredible friends who I went to high school with...so yes, I have.  On purpose.

-Did you move anywhere?
On December 4th, 2012, I moved out of my cute little studio apartment in Eastern Market and headed across country to a (what seems to be HUGE in comparisson) one bedroom apartment in Denver.  It took two and a half days, eight states, and 1700 miles to get from A to B, but here I am...

-Where do you live now?
Denver, Colorado.

-What sporting events did Fenwayyou go to?
A few Nats games, including one playoff game (which the Nats ended up winning) and a few Caps games (back when there was hockey...).  I also went to a Bo Sox game IN Fenway Park.

-What concerts/shows did you go to?
Does Rocky Horror count?  Because I think that's the extent of my concerts/shows this year.  Kinda sad, huh?

-Are you registered to vote?
Yep.

-What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My birthday stretched into several different little celebrations, all of which were phenomenal (and one of which included Cards Against Humanity.  AMAZING).  On my actual birthday, my 28th birthday, I worked and then went and got sushi.

-What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Oh there are a few things…

-How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
“My clothes still suck so I accessorize”?  Or “H&M and Forever 21:  I Don’t Know What I’d Wear Without You”?  Or maybe even “I Wear Heels Now…and I Kinda Like it”?

-What was you favorite moment?
There were quite a few, most of which include time spent with my wonderful friends.  As for specific moment, can we just call it Sunday Funday and leave it at that?

-What was your worst moment?
Leaving DC was difficult.  I'm not sure if it was the right call...but we'll see.

-What was your best month?
May was a fairly fantastic month.  October was pretty awesome too.

-What was your worst month?
January was a rough one.  So was December.  Both for markedly different reasons.

-What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2012?
Move back to Colorado for more school.  Without question that is the last thing I expected to have happen this year...and yet...Gatsby

-What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
I went to a Great Gatsby ball in DC (I was told to check this off my DC Bucket List before I left) and a Drag Queen Brunch at Perry's.  I also went to a Bo Sox game IN Fenway Park.

-What's something you learned about yourself?
I learned that I am more logic than emotion, which surprised me to the core.  I learned I have strength beyond my means and that I am more determined than I ever knew.

-Any new additions to your family?
Not this year.

-What adjectives would you use to describe 2012?
Social, heart-involved, decisive, exploratory.

-Who has been your best drinking buddy?
I don't have a best.  They're all good.

-Favorite night out?
I don't know that I can pick one.

-Did anyone close to you give birth?
In March, my friend Susan gave birth to a CUTE little girl named Abigail, who I love.  Then, in July, my friend Gabrielle gave birth to a very adorable girl named Autumn.

-Did anyone close to you die?
No, but someone I knew, who was close to many, did.

-What was your favorite new TV program of 2012?
I don't know if I watched more than a 1-2 hours of TV a week in 2012...but I did find and like Revenge.

-What was the best book you read?
Ready Player One
.  It's truly, and surprisingly, fantastic.

-What was your favorite film of this year?
Argo and Skyfall were both very good.  The Decendents was also a great film.

-What was your greatest musical discovery?
Anything that happens to cross my Pandora station with a thumbs up...?

-What did you want and get?
I…am not sure

-What did you want and not get?
Umm…

-What countries did you visit?
Yeah…I definitely did not leave the US this year.  At this rate, I may never leave the US again.


-What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A disposable income would have been nice.  Or a dream job.  Or a glassy-eyed stranger with all the answers.

-What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There are a few. 

-What was the best thing you bought?
Gym membership to Crunch...?

Graduation-What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I finished my master's degree and was accepted into the FNP program at CU.

-What was your biggest failure?
I'm...not sure.

-Did you suffer illness or injury?
Other than a few colds and the routine re-"injury" of my shoulder and hip (thank you, gym!), I was pretty healthy this year.

-Whose behavior merited celebration?
My fellow MPHers who fought like hell to graduate with me this year.

-Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
NSFLJ

-Where did most of your money go?
School and rent.  Essentially every borrowed dollar...

-What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Graduation, Sunday Fundays, ...Cap Lounge pizza...

-What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exploring DC (never did get pizza at 2Amys), traveling the world, cuddling, reading, hiking.

-What do you wish you'd done less of?
There are quite a few things I could list here…

-Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No

Wasted Vote-What were you for Halloween?
A wasted vote.

-How will you be spending Christmas?
In Reno.  Any additional information for that question is a mystery.  Could be insane...

-Did you fall in love in 2012?
Um?

-Were you in love in 2012?
Ah?

-Who did you miss?
My friends and family back in Colorado (and Simon in Boston)...and now my friends back in DC.

-Who was the best new person you met?
Devin and Erica as well as the random dude who put his hand on my shoulder in a beachy dive bar in Ocean City.

-Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
I never truly believed this before, but 2012 taught me that life is about taking risks and having hope.

-Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Honestly?  "Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.  Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go..."

-Any regrets?
We'll see how leaving DC shapes up. 

-What are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
Starting school, being in Colorado (and ditching the humdity), seeing the mountains everyday.

 

December 31st, 2011

2011 - Year in Review @ 05:14 pm

-Where did you begin 2011?
Of all places, I began 2011 at Toby Keith’s bar with Squishy, his co-worker Jason, (who lived ACROSS the street from me in Golden.  Small world) and Jason's wife Sarah.  I’m not into country music or the scene surrounding it (at all) so I was pretty surprised by how much fun we had that night. 

-Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any New Years’ resolutions for 2011…so there were none to keep.   As for making more in 2012?  I have a few.

-What New Years’ resolution do you have for 2012?
They're all written down.

-What was your relationship status by Valentine's Day?
Very, very single...even though I did go up to  NYC with Bontrager that weekend to see American Idiot on Broadway (which drew a lot of questions).

-Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Oh my God yes.  Aside from two brief breaks before and after summer session, I was essentially in school all year.  I have one more semester to go before I finish my masters and leave school, probably forever.  May cannot come soon enough.

-How did you earn your money?
Aside from a brief stint with Dr. Gurman, Uncle Sam was my main benefactor.  I actually paid to work this year (effing GW) but that all changes come January 2nd.

-Did you have to go to the hospital?
Sigh…yes.  And this year, it wasn’t as a nurse

-Did you have any encounters with the police?
Nope. 

-Where did you travel?
Aside from relatively frequent trips to Colorado, I went on a road trip to Boston in May, which ended up being fantastic.  If it weren’t so miserably cold in the winter, and if I didn’t hate the Sox and Pats so much, I’d seriously consider living in that city. 

I also went up to Minnesota in July for the NHL Draft, which was fun.

-What did you purchase that was over $500?
Trust me, my tuition is WAY over $500…

-Did you know anybody who got married?
Katherine and Matt, Dan and KC, Irina and Abe, Kenton and Jenny, Gabrielle and Zach.

-Did you know anyone who got engaged?
(Seemingly everyone in Colorado and) Lots and LOTS of old-coworkers

-Have you run into anybody you left high school with?
Aside from the friends I have maintained from high school, my run-ins with Creekers were fairly minimal.  Which is probably good…

-Did you move anywhere?
In June I moved to a little studio in Eastern Market, continuing the trend of moving at least once a year, every year, since 2002.

-Where do you live now?
Eastern Market

-What sporting events did you go to?
I got to go to a Caps vs. Rags playoff game, which was definitely fun (although it had some draw backs).  I also went to quite a few Nats games throughout the summer, the Skins opener vs. the Giants, a few Caps games, and the Avs vs. Jets game (which re-solidified my 30 Teams thing).  Add in Peter Forsberg’s retirement ceremony in October and Tim Tebow’s regular season debut against the Chargers (second half) and it was a pretty good year.

-What concerts/shows did you go to?
I went to ShamrockFest with Eric…mostly to see Dropkick

-Are you registered to vote?
I am...but I haven't voted in a while, not for lack of interest but for lack of options.

-What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2011?
Let’s just call it the Night of the Irish...

-What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
I met with a bunch of DC City Councilmembers this year to discuss The Good Samaritan Act, which we’re trying to pass in DC.  I NEVER saw myself operating under any sort of political agenda…and yet…

-What was you favorite moment?
There were definitely some great moments in 2011.  I’m not sure I have a favorite…

-What was your worst moment?
I think the moment my ceiling collapsed was a pretty big low.  That whole week was actually pretty miserable.

-What's something you learned about yourself?
I learned my “survival mode” capacity is stronger than I ever thought it could be…but it definitely comes with a price and sometimes, I'm not sure if that price is worth it.

-Any new additions to your family?
My cousin Roni had an adorable little girl and my cousin Erica welcomed a handsome little boy this year.

-What was your best month?
May and October were pretty great.

-What was your worst month?
September.  Hands down.  Though December was not that great either.

What adjectives would you use to describe 2011?
Challenging, existential-crisis inducing, rewarding, identity-stretching.

Who has been your best drinking buddy?
No question here:  Jenna.  I’m not sure how sane I would be without Friday nights out.  My classmates have been fantastic drinking buddies as well.

-Favorite night out?
Hmm…tough one.   I feel like most Fridays out with Jenna have been pretty epic (especially hurricane night and sushi date night).  I have also had a great time with my classmates on various nights out and the all day/all night adventure with Jeff was phenomenal too.

-Did anyone close to you give birth?
Beth, my cousins Roni and Erica, several old co-workers from Children’s

-Did anyone close to you die?
Fortunately, no, not this year.

-What countries did you visit?
Yeah…I definitely did not leave the US this year. 

-What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A disposable income…

-What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 22nd.  I don't think I have ever been that worried or anxious about one single day in a long, long time.

-What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Coming within one semester of finishing grad school is pretty big, I guess.  Landing the paid internship at NACCHO felt pretty good too.

-What was your biggest failure?
Eval in and of itself lead to a lot of failure…even though I got through the class in one piece. 

-Did you suffer illness or injury?
I broke both my foot and my finger this year.  Fortunately neither required surgery and both have healed (relatively) well.  Unfortunately, that surgery-free run would come to an end in December.

 -What was the best thing you bought?
Both the loveseat and the spinning/rocking chair for my studio.  LOVE them.

-Whose behavior merited celebration?
My fantastic classmates for their constant support and “we’ll get through this together” mentality, my amazing friends for just about everything, and my older brother for not being grossed out by kidney tissue (long story).

-Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Every politician in DC…?

-Where did most of your money go?
School and rent.  Essentially every borrowed dollar...

-What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I distinctly remember this feeling of incredible elation when I finished the semester in May and then again in August.  I was definitely on the post-finals high. 

-What do you wish you'd done more of?
I really missed doing my art this year.  I miss painting and photography.  I also miss reading for pleasure and working out in a gym.

-What do you wish you'd done less of?
There are quite a few things I could list here…

-Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No

-How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas sleeping, almost all day, and then hanging out with Magnani and his family for Christmas dinner.  Which was fantastic even if Jay Cutler wasn't playing against the Packers.

-Did you fall in love in 2011?
Nope

-Were you in love in 2011?
Nope

-What was your favorite new TV program of 2011?
The Walking Dead.  It’s beyond amazing and satisfies nearly every zombie-loving cell in my being.

-What was the best book you read?
Ugh…let’s just say this was not the year for pleasure reading.  I started Game of Thrones only to get about half way through it before school stole every last ounce of free time.  I did manage to restart some of it over break

-What was your greatest musical discovery?
Pandora (which I know is not a band).  I’d used it plenty of times before but since I started an office job, it’s been a lifesaver.  Especially after I customized John Mayer completely out of it, which was surprisingly (and annoyingly) difficult.

-What did you want and get?
I…am not sure

-What did you want and not get?
Umm…

-What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn’t really see a lot of movies this year, but there were a few.  Thor was the best (seriously.  Which either tells you how many movies I saw or how bad my taste in movies is).  Cowboys and Aliens, the worst.

-What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had class on my birthday, with Sparks.  Not exactly the way I wanted to ring in 27, but that’s what happens when you get old.

-What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Oh there are a few things…

-How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
“My clothes still suck so I accessorize”?  Or “H&M and Forever 21:  I Don’t Know What I’d Wear Without You”?  Or maybe even “I Have to Wear Heels Now…and I Kinda Like it”?

-What kept you sane?
Friday nights out, Sunday morning brunch, and Tuesdays or Thursdays with my classmates.  Also, music, photography, coffee, and my fantastic friends.

-Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I almost wish I were a teenybopper so I could answer this question year after year, but honestly, no one. 

Well…unless you count my love for Ryan O’Reilly, but that admiration stems solely from his fantastic hockey abilities and nothing more.

-What political issue stirred you the most?
Honestly, the future of this country, in general, is pretty concerning.

-Who did you miss?
My friends and family back in Colorado (and Simon in Boston)

-Who was the best new person you met?
There were a few.

-Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
It’s definitely the return of Saturn…

-Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
A mix between A Fine Frenzy's "Happier", Ingrid Michaelson's "Sort Of", and Meiko's "Reasons to Love You."  I know, I'm as shocked as anyone else that there's no punk in this mix.

-Any regrets?
Yeah, a few...

-What are you looking forward to the most in 2012?
It’s an even numbered year...which is reason enough to look forward to 2012.

 

September 18th, 2011

Sunday Confession @ 10:16 pm

It's high time to bring this tradition back...



I would erase every moment if it meant I could put everything back as it was.

But I can't.  It's just too late...

...karmic synergy at its finest.

-Shaela
 

July 16th, 2011

Confused @ 05:15 am

China has urged the US to cancel a planned meeting between President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, suggesting such a meeting would be harmful to US-China relations...

My confusion:  Hasn't the harm already been done?  China's well documented cyber attacks are essentially a slap in the face to US-Chinese relations and China's absolute refusal to consider implementing environmentally-sound energy options (when it has both the money and resources) doesn't really help either.

Look the other way, China.  We have...
 

July 11th, 2011

If home is where the heart is, I haven't found my home yet... @ 08:05 pm

Current Mood: blah blah

When I first moved to DC, I knew the first six months would be the hardest.  That's what everyone always says about moving:  The first six months are miserable but it gets easier after that. Just get to month six...

The first six months for me, however, were fine.  Not perfect, not easy, but really, truly fine.  I made some great friends, I developed so many pieces of myself in a big, demanding city, I accomplished so much of what I came to DC to accomplish.  Things made sense and despite the risk, despite the fear I felt a tremendous sense of purpose and strength.  I knew I had done something big in leaving Colorado and I hoped that the lingering doubts would slowly melt away as I pressed on.

Throughout that time, I knew I was growing.  Sometimes, I felt the growth, real pain, like skin stretching, shedding, and flaking off.  Other times, I had to look at the scars and bruises to see the map of where I had been, what I had gone through.  But I appreciated it all.  At every step I knew I was doing something important, that being here was the right choice and would open so many things within me, for me, about me.

Today is July 11th.  In almost a month, it will have been a year, two six-month blocks, since I packed up and left Colorado, left everything I knew, my comfort zone.  I took so many difficult steps to get here, challenged myself so much...and sacrificed a lot...and today, when I look into the reality of what I have become, of where I am...I have to start fighting back the tears because...I don't know what I'm doing and I definitely don't know if what I doing is right for me anymore, if what I'm doing will lead me to a future I have fought for for so long.

Before I dive into this emotional entry, let me be frank:  Moving to DC was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  I needed something new, I needed a change.  I had so much I needed to discover, both about the world and about myself, and I truly don't think I could have done that staying where I was.  When life is stagnant and you feel stuck, it's imperative that you break free, that you test new waters and push yourself, sometimes into the deep end, to find things that make you feel alive again. 

That said, pushing myself to this point has pushed me away from so much of my life that sometimes, I don't recognize myself.  While that can be a good thing, and often has been throughout the year, this month, it has been very, very difficult.  The sense of loss has finally hit with full force and I'm struggling, in a lot of ways, to push through it.  I'm also struggling, in a lot of ways, to believe that loss will ever find a substitute.

During the month of June and into the early days of July, I saw so many of my friends settle down and really come into their own.  First Irina got married, then Katherine, then Jade.  Then, Beth had her baby shower and on July 3rd, her son, Elliot, was born.  It's been a month+ of celebration, of events, of meaningful moments...and while my heart spills over with happiness and joy for all of my friends, I find myself constantly fighting a sense of distance I don't quite understand, a sense of worry I can't quite shake.  The premise:  This will never happen for me.  I'm doing this all wrong.  In fact, I don't know what I'm doing...except for making a big mistake.  This all feels like a big mistake...

Perhaps this is the result of a six-month time-span that wasn't miserable or impossible or terrible.  Perhaps this is karma and the universe doing what they do best:  Keeping the balance.  Perhaps this is just the way it is and will always be. 

But perhaps this is just not fair.  I've worked hard.  I've sacrificed.  I've opened myself up.  I've tried to be a good person, to give of myself as often as possible, to leave things better than when I found them.  I've acknowledged my short comings and examined my issues.  I've made peace, I've opened my heart, I've pushed so hard to change...

And none of it matters.  None of it. 

I used to think there was a grand plan, a reason behind all of this.  I used to think if we put the effort in, worked hard enough, things would eventually come together for the better.  I used to think I had a chance, that all of these bumps and bruises would disappear and something beautiful would shine through.

Used to.

Is this really my life?  Is this what I gave up so much for?  While I cannot deny the many beautiful things that have come out of moving to DC, I still feel like so much is missing...

...and I don't know where to find it.

-Shaela
 

April 24th, 2011

Finish the Sentence... @ 01:25 am

Current Mood: sleepy sleepy

Finish the sentence:

1. My ex is still...
not totally definable.  As in I'm not sure who "my ex" is.

2. I am listening to...
the waning moments of Game 5 of the LA vs SJ series.  LA's up 3-1 with 2 minutes left.

3. Maybe I should...
be working on any number of school related things.

4. I love...
how much it rains in DC.  And playoff hockey.  And many, many other things.


5. My best friend(s)...
are like my family. 

6. I don't understand...
biostatistics!  At ALL!

7. I lost...
much of my 20s to school.

8. People say...
a lot of things they don't always mean.

9. The meaning of my screen name is...
something I laugh at now.

10. Love is...
complex, difficult, overwhelming, beautiful, powerful, scary

11. Somewhere, someone...
is having a much more interesting 2011 than I am.

12. I will always...
be just a bit nerdy. 
hate the Red Wings.
love my friends and family.
be addicted to chewing gum.
be just a touch germaphobic.

13. Forever seems...
unlikely.

14. I never ever want to...
lose my Colorado roots.

15. My cell phone is...
used more for checking sports scores than talking to people.  Unless you count texting.  And even then...

16. When I wake up in the morning...
I realize just how off my schedule is compared to most people's...

17. I get annoyed when...
people disrespect others for absolutely no reason.  I also get annoyed when I think about politics and the sad state of this country. 

18. Parties are...
usually not something I look forward to.  But get-togethers are.

19. My pet(s) is/are...
back home in Colorado. 

20. Kisses are the best when...
the earth is still circling the sun...

21. Today I...
worked a LOT on my qualitative paper, finishing two full sections.  Then I started in on the evaluation section of my planning paper.  I also watched a ridiculous amount of playoff hockey (four games!) and later, Winter's Bone with my roommate (during which we drank delicious Dark and Stormys)

22. Tomorrow I will...
watch even MORE playoff hockey while working on even MORE stuff for school.  Then I'm headed to Karin's for Easter dinner!

23. I really want...
this semester to be over.  Then I wouldn't mind having a pretty fantastic internship this summer...

24.  I'm wearing...
a big sweatshirt and jeans.

25.  When I'm sick I...
fight like hell not to be.  Zycam, Vitamin C, tea, water.  Then, once that all fails, I sleep ALL the time.  And go through a ridiculous quantity of Puffs Plus with Lotion (seriously, you should buy some stock...)

26.  On roller coasters, I...
scream.  A lot.

27.  My bad habit(s) is/are...
numerous.  The most frustrating as of late?  My tendency to destroy my room when school gets busy.  I looks like a tornado blew through it right now.  My bed?  Yeah, one entire side is covered in books and papers.

28.  I was hurt the most when...
I trust someone not to hurt me...and they do.

29.  I regret...
quite a few things...but since it's impossible to change any of them...

30.  I would never...
kill anyone (unless I had a extremely vital reason to do so).

31.  The scariest thing that ever happened to me was....
getting vanjacked in Aurora.  I still have nightmares.

32.  The last time I drank coffee was...
sigh...this morning.  Like every morning.  I did switch to the occasional decaf pot, however, after spending March on the 'withdrawal and dose' ride.  Fucking caffeine.

33.  My wallet...
is very skinny right now :(. 

34.  I sing...
in the car.  That's it. 

35.  The last time I talked to an ex...
we joked about how he has too much blood and needed to go donate some of it.

36.  When someone cuts me off on the road I...
sometimes mutter obscenities under my breath, sometimes yell, sometimes just roll my eyes.

37. My favorite time of the year is...
summer, especially for the summer nights.  Right around the 4th of July.  For the most part, I hate winter (because I am always cold and stay that way until about April) so the direct opposite of that is desirable.

38.  The last thing that made me laugh was...
probably today, but I remember laughing a LOT at the recent Policy is OVER BBQ


39.  I'm excited for...
this semester to be over.  Two more weeks!

40.  When I get embarrassed I...
I turn really red. 

 

January 13th, 2011

Weak First Week @ 10:23 pm

Current Mood: blah blah

This semester is going to suck.

I know, I get it, negativity never gets anyone anywhere, there's power in positive thinking, how can you say that on the first week of school...blah blah blah...

Enough. 

I don't care.

This semester will kick my ass.

This semester is going to suck.

There really was not a way around this car-accident of classes I managed to find myself in.  Every course I'm taking this semester is required and some of these courses are only offered in the Spring.  Because of this, I managed to slam every notoriously miserable class into one five month stint.  Program Planning for Public Health (with Sparks)?  Check.  Policy?  Check.  Biostats?  Check squared.  Research Methods?  Check.  

Forced cold-calling of various public health organizations?  Check.  Group papers and massive projects with presentations?  Double check.  Endless amounts of math?  Check.  Two 40 page papers?  Check. Dry subjects which have next to no appeal to me?  Check.  $500 on textbooks?  Check...

It's just not my cup of tea.  Grouped together into five classes, it's a cup of tea that might induce stress-related seizures and "I really hate this subject" nausea.

I know I signed up for this.  I know I put myself in this.  I know I will get through this.  I know I will come out of this on the other side with new skills and knowledge...and several hard-fought credits under my belt.  But right now, I'm just not feeling it.  Right now, I'm planning on getting through this semester with a ton of strength and perseverance and a shitload of caffeine.

Just get through it and try and smile along the way...

Right?

-Shaela 
 

Clearly Not THAT Secret