2012 in review

  • Dec. 31st, 2012 at 8:44 AM
notemily: (hunger games - the mockingjay)
Well, I know I haven't made a LiveJournal post since (*checks*) July, but today is December 31st, and to let the year end without a year-in-review post on LJ just feels wrong. So, without further ado:

Media things

Best book of 2012: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. Hands down. Granted I didn't read many books this year that were actually released this year, but this book speaks to me on a level few others match, to the extent that my therapist suggested using it in our sessions. It also gave me a completely new appreciation for Fire, which I had previously been meh about.
Best book of 2012 not written in 2012: The only other new read I gave five stars to this year was Poison Study by Maria Snyder. It's pretty amazing, but my enthusiasm for it has been dampened by how disappointing the sequels, especially the "Glass" series, were. The world had so much promise, and the subsequent books rarely lived up to that potential, and sometimes had really unfortunate implications. So if you're going to read the book, do yourself a favor and stop there.
Authors of the year: I read 14 books by Tamora Pierce this year and 12 by Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. They both have series(...es?) that are extremely addictive, and though they write for different age groups, I recommend their books to all fantasy fans who like kickass female heroines. My favorites: Squire and Emperor Mage by Pierce, and the heart-wrenching short story In Sea-Salt Tears by McGuire. And yes, those are all later books/stories that you have to read the earlier books in the series to get to. Muahahahaha.
Chapter of the year: Chapter 26 of Feed. LIFE-DESTROYING.

Also: This year I finally finished my Goodreads Challenge of reading 50 books! I think next year I'll up it to 75. I would like to thank the awesome women who write addicting fantasy series for this achievement.

Musical artists listened to most: According to last.fm, they were Fun., the New Pornographers, Florence + the Machine, Tegan and Sara, and Neko Case. This year was the year I really got into Tegan and Sara, who are amazing.
Favorite songs of 2012:
- Look, I really like "Gangnam Style". It's fun and dancey and strangely subversive once you research the lyrics. Plus, PSY just looks like he's having so much fun. Video: Eeeeeey, sexy lady!
- My love for it has faded a bit due to overexposure, but I can't not mention "Some Nights". The fact that a song I loved this much got so popular warms my heart. You mean regular people really like harmonies and power-pop and Nate Ruess's voice? ME TOO! Let's be friends! Video: This is it boys, this is war.
- "Ho Hey" by the Lumineers is a sweet, simple love song that makes me smile. "I don't know where I belong / I don't know where I went wrong / but I can write a song." Yep, sounds about right. Video: I'd be standing on Canal and Bowery.
- This didn't come out this year, but I discovered it only recently: "Settle Down" by Kimbra. I have Alan to thank for introducing me to this gorgeous song that's more than a little bit unsettling. Video: On just one knee for now.
- Honorable mentions: Of Monsters and Men - "Little Talks", Imagine Dragons - "It's Time", Gotye - "Somebody That I Used to Know", Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (Like... ever.), Jay-Z & Kanye West - "N***as in Paris"
- Guilty pleasure: Maroon 5. Yeah, I know. I can't help it if One More Night is catchy as hell.

Best movie seen in theaters: Come on, did anyone really think I was going to award this to something other than The Hobbit? It's not the best movie ever made (or even the best Middle-earth movie ever made), but I just want to love it and squeeze it and call it George. Martin Freeeeeeman.
Movie I regret not seeing in theaters: The Hunger Games. It was amazing and so true to the book, especially visually.

Favorite TV show discovered this year: Teen Wolf. Shut up. It's one of those shows that's deceptively mainstream, but a lot of thought goes into it if you look past the hott dudes with no shirts on. Although there's that, too. Female gaze FTW.
Honorable mention: The Legend of Korra. It's no Avatar, but it tries.
Best rediscovery: Dollhouse. I never finished watching it the first time, but watching it again for Mark Watches I'm catching all sorts of nuance and awesomeness I didn't see before. Also TOPHER MY HEART.

Life stuff

Biggest life change of 2012 (positive): I got a job motherfucker. It is such a relief to be able to support myself! Working full-time is something I wasn't even sure I would be able to do, but I've been doing it for six months now and so far I'm not dead.
Biggest life change of 2012 (negative): I like my job, but I am really sad that it makes me so busy and tired that I can't foster kittens anymore. I miss my kitties so much. I haven't had one since Pippin and he was almost a year ago... but I remember how overwhelming it was even while working only 20 hours a week, and I know I'd run myself ragged if I tried to do it now. Someday, perhaps, I will be able to foster again. In the meantime, I have my own kitty and she is wonderful (and I'm sure especially happy that I'm not fostering anymore), but I miss getting to know all the different kitty personalities, and there's something special about the teeny-tiny ones. They're challenging and rewarding and when you finally earn their trust and love, it's a wonderful thing.

Speaking of tiny creatures--If it was a big year for me, it was huge for my niecelet, who turned 1 this year. I mean, she learned to walk and run and talk and do sign language! How awesome is that? Even though I only get to see her every few months, I love watching her grow up. She's not just "aww, cute baby" anymore--she's turning into a person.

I hope everyone has an awesome New Year's Eve. Happy 2013!

HAY GUYS

  • Jun. 18th, 2012 at 1:07 PM
notemily: (hunger games - the mockingjay)
Soooooo I have a job! A real job, with full-time hours and benefits and everything! I can support myself! I am no longer dependent on my parents! Yay!!

I haven't updated the eljay in forever, but I figured I should because for once I have actual news. I applied for this job last October, and after six months of what I assume was bureaucratic gear-grinding behind the scenes, they finally notified me that I was qualified to take the Civil Service Exam that would be the next step to getting the job. So I took the standardized test in March, had to wait two more months for results, went for interviews in May, and heard about the job on my birthday, June 7. Whew. I feel like years have passed in the past month. To the point that I was actually startled when I saw my niece's birthday balloon a couple of days ago, because I thought it had been much longer since her birthday than it was. (The niece is one year old now! She can walk!)

The job is with the Milwaukee Public Library, which covers all the branches within the city limits including the main branch downtown, but I'll be working at the East branch which is like a ten-minute walk from my house. Score. It's also my childhood library, where I discovered everything from the Alice books to Katherine Applegate's teen romances to Terry Pratchett. They're going to do a complete re-building of the site starting next year, and that should take about a year (by estimates, but we all know how construction projects run long), which means that for at least a year they'll have to squeeze the library into what will probably be a much smaller space. I don't know how long I'll be working there, but I'm excited to see the new building once it's done. That particular library is, IMO, long overdue for a new space.

It's going to be really strange to not work at Shorewood anymore, since I've given that library seven and a half years of my life. (Or to look at it another way, the majority of my twenties.) I only have one more week of my old job and then I start the new job. In between, Alan and Trish are coming to visit for the weekend, which OMG YAY. I haven't seen them in over a year. I'm currently working on de-allergizing the house for Alan, who is allergic to everything breathable, including, possibly, air.

And it's summertime, which is my favorite here in Milwaukee, and I'm 29 now and I don't have to feel bad about that since I can finally support myself, and once I get into the swing of the job I'm going to see about getting new kittens and saving up for travel and all the things I have been wanting to do for years and not been able to because of money. I feel like I can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Hannah!

  • May. 26th, 2011 at 11:19 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Sleeping on an air mattress in Madison, at Julie and Matt's apartment. Would love to spend all day tomorrow in HAPPY BABY LAND where everything is adorable and nothing hurts, but I just remembered I have a shrink appointment tomorrow morning at 10am, so my dad and I will be getting up super early to head back to Milwaukee. Maybe I can come back and see her in a few days because BABY.

My brand-new niece Hannah Grace was born at about 12:45 a.m. on May 26, 2011. She is teensy and has big eyes and keeps making little meepy noises like my kittens. I can't believe she's not even a day old yet! There's something magical about that time when a creature is so young that all it does is eat and sleep and snuggle. Its needs are so simple. Just a little ball of life.

Julie has the swankiest hospital room I've ever seen. In the swankiest hospital I've ever seen. It has, like, MULTIPLE waterfalls.

BABY:



Me & Hannah:

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