What would A Year in Review be without one of those surveys?

I ganked this one from Tara.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? Sang onstage in front of a whole bunch of people (Orcas Idol tryouts – this year’s are coming up on Saturday), went to a writer’s conference, took a trip to the east coast that didn’t involve seeing family, took care of a dog for seven months, put a dog on a plane, did karaoke, went to the hot springs at Doe Bay, got full-length critiques of my book, worked at camp while living at home, saw my name in print…online, got certified mail from a magazine where something I wrote may possibly show up, read poetry at an open mic that wasn’t local, read part of my memoir in NYC, completely revamped my manuscript (including changing my title), kidnapped a stuffed gorilla, got professionally fitted for bras, shopped at Victoria’s Secret, received a DVD with soft-core porn on it as a present (a playgirl DVD) and other unmentionables.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I honestly don’t remember if I made any, New Year’s last year was a pretty dark and desperate time, I was probably too stressed and depressed to even consider it. Yes I will make some this year, and the first will be to sit down and make resolutions. As you can see, I’m a bit behind.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? The East Coast.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? A healthy, loving, passionate romantic relationship with great sex. Better credit. College acceptance letters, scholarships, an incredibly awesome financial aid package. Financial success for my writing (in 2007, I had some successes and none of them included that). A fling with Maynard from Tool (kidding). Or Hugh Laurie or Jesse Spencer from House, in character (again, kidding). A literary agent, one who the best interests of me and my book at heart, shares my artistic vision, and gets me the best first-time author book deal ever. A girl can dream, can’t she?

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Nov 6 – 28 – my trip.
Nov 24 – the reading in NYC.
Sept 30 – the target date for my revised manuscript.
April 11 – Adrian left, I was very sad.
July 26-29 – PNWA writer’s conference.
March 15 – the day I started working at Camp again.
and there are others I would mention, but since they don’t just pertain to me alone, I’ll keep my mouth shut. Of course though, those are the most poignant and emotionally charged and I’ll just say dates – June 30-July 3, Jan 14, Feb 14, Dec 27, Sept 26 (dentist’s appointment that morning was simply unforgettable, kidding), April 17 (Maynard’s birthday, people).
June 3 – probably the single happiest day with the dog, we went to the staff appreciation barbecue at the camp. She ran around for something like eight hours straight, I went on a Giant Swing, and later went skinny-dipping, but no one knows about that.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I’d say the myriad of little writing successes.

9. What was your biggest failure? The way I handled (or didn’t) my relationship (or lack of one) with Adrian – I will NEVER put myself through that much extended, soul-wrenching unhappiness again, compounded by my failure to do anything about it whatsoever and my steadfast dedication to suffer quietly, having mini-explosions over mini-things instead of dealing with how I was really feeling. I’m hoping that the fact of recognizing and trying to change these patterns in some way makes it not a complete failure, but I don’t know. I definitely had a failure of courage, a failure of communication, a failure of standing up for myself, a failure of authenticity. I also had times of knowing I was failing myself, times when I walked around with images and poems in my head of feeling like a frog in boiling water, times I felt I was losing my self, and I continued to let it happen. That is the biggest failure.

Derrick Jensen, my longtime author crush, (who I would have included in the list of wishful (kidding) flings in ’08 if his MySpace page didn’t say he’s “in a relationship,”) says, “Hope binds us to unlivable situations.” I’ve seen it to be true in the past, and I wish I’d remembered that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes. I was rearranging my room and my box spring fell on me, slammed into my lower back. That was extremely painful, and every now and then, it still hurts, though sadly it’s not one of those injuries I could use to predict the next rain or a coming cold.

I also had a mysterious rash for the whole month of September that covered my entire torso and itched like you wouldn’t believe. It made me want to writhe in the burning itchiness and scream, “I need Dr. House!” to solve the mystery of course, but instead I tried lotions, oatmeal baths, and walking around naked (b/c any clothing/pressure would only make the itching and burning a thousand times worse).

After a friend and I went through some internet self-diagnosing thingy, ruling out scabies, rocky mountain spotted fever, ringworm, syphilis, lupus (it’s never lupus) and a million other weird things, we narrowed it down to one, and my doctor (much nicer than House, might I add), eventually confirmed our diagnosis as pityriasis rosea. She recommended an all-natural chamomile lotion to deal with the itch, which worked to some degree, and the rash eventually went away.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Cool new clothes that fit me, that I love. If I had to pick one thing, hmmm, I can’t.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? All my friends. A lot of them are making huge moves. One bought a house with her husband and painted her living room a gorgeous red. Another is contemplating moving within her town, to have her own place unattached to her past. Another friend is maybe thinking of moving/changing jobs. Another is definitely doing both with her husband. Another friend is switching schools. Another is taking trips to the place she wants to live and making more time for her art. Another is reworking her manuscript. Another got a book deal and is currently writing her book. Another is starting a workshop that she’s dreamed of forever. Others are moving forward with their creative projects and dreams. Anyone who’s following their passions deserves celebration.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My family. Chris Cornell. Men I used to love. A woman I almost worked for. Oh and GWB and everyone in his cabinet, but that goes without saying. Judging by the debates in New Hampshire, there will be even more political people in this category for ’08.

14. Where did most of your money go? I don’t even want to think about this one, b/c it’s quite the sore spot, pffft. On the other hand, I spent $ on rent, monthly bills, paying off old shit, my trip and clothes, probably in that order.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going back to school.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? Anything from Fiona Apple’s “Extraordinary Machine,” I listened to it almost exclusively most of the summer, with the most played song being “Tymps (the Sick in the Head Song).”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? No idea.
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you with you’d done more of? Writing. Smiling. Reading. Being more authentic and saying what I feel.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being a pushover. Going on AIM instead of writing. Gossiping. Putting up with shit. Being scared.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? (Or did.) Read all about that here.

21. What was your favorite TV program? Of what’s on now – HOUSE!

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don’t think I hated anyone either time.

23. What was the best book you read? Paint it Black by Janet Fitch, The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Fiona’s Tidal and Extraordinary Machine (already had When the Pawn…)

25. What did you want and get? A better social life. Some writing glory. Fun. A much better financial situation. Inner strength.

26. What did you want and not get? Asked out.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? I’m honestly not sure I saw anything that came out in 2007. Do House DVDs count? I’m trying to think what my favorite movie I saw in 07 was, Reno 911 Miami was pretty hilarious. I watched The Girl in the Cafe again, and I love that one. Oh, CARRIE. I loved that.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 26, it was the superbowl. Some people came over and one of them threw cheez-its at the dog. It was insaaaanely exciting.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Romance, love, sex, or anything remotely resembling any of the above.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Out with the old, in with the good and sexy. I also ascribed to the “try on/buy/wear what you’re most instinctually, irresistably attracted to” philosophy.

31. What kept you sane? Heroin, lots of heroin. NO, I’m kidding, duh.

What really saved my sanity this past year was my fundamentalist devotion to Jesus and God and Pat Robertson. And, in said devotion, jumping on the righteous hatred bandwagon and the “only good atheist is a dead one” campaign. Oh and the “the original Bible was written in English so that’s the only one that counts,” brigade. NO, kidding again. Can’t help myself. If you’re wondering what the fuck I’m talking about, read this. As you’ll see, the examples I chose to mildly cite in this sarcastic answer are among the least offensive and outrageous listed.

FOR REAL now, my answer is numbness, good friends, my job (it’s hard to think about anything when you’re washing 500 dishes at top speed, except dishes) TV and good old-fashioned denial and distraction when all else failed.

FOR REALER, who says I WAS sane this year? I don’t always feel sane, think I spent half this last year tossing and turning when I should have been sleeping, crying, and avoiding things, like writing. I don’t even feel sane right now. Look at the things I’m writing for fuck’s sake. It’s all I can do to hold back sometimes, like I could almost have Tourette’s, but for the written word, probably coming from a long history of so much not-saying, so much suppression. So yeah, I don’t know.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Hugh Laurie, Jesse Spencer, and of course, I will always have an inner fire burning for Maynard. Oh and Corey McCormick from CC’s band, who looks excruciatingly similar to someone I know, and once adored.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? I kind of opted out of politics this past year, which is highly unusual for me. I think there’s only so much disaster and horror a brain can take though.

34. Who did you miss? Everyone.

35. Who was the best new person you met? Sergio, Kali, Linda, Janna, Cindy/Liz, Emily, Tallie, and tons more. And then some.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. I already did.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“There have been disappointments
These she knows all too well
But you losing you was not a part of this plan.”
Tori Amos

“So I will keep a deliberate pace, let the damn breeze dry my face.”
Fiona Apple

~Emilia J

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