With the end of 2011, I am also nearing the end of my first year of blogging.
I published my very first blog post in the end of January, having dragged my husband along to take this Salsa dance class with me. We were pretty bad. I didn’t know what I was doing when writing a blog post either. I went back and revised the post a few times to try to make it sound less textbook-y. My son punked me by secretly giving me my first-ever comment from cyberspace. I was so excited, but I was suspicious immediately since he used a different spelling of his middle name.
“I just need to walk back and forth to the beat, but I get mixed up repeatedly. It helps when the instructor has us close our eyes. To really tune in to the music, we practice clapping on different beats, and I can manage to count to eight again.”
This was an interesting challenge, and I learned a lot. It also allowed me to “meet” other bloggers. I felt great and didn’t really miss meat very much, but by the end of the week, oh, did I hanker for a hunk of cheese.
“I was shocked to discover that Guinness (along with many other beers) is not vegan. Guinness especially shocked me since I had toured the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which has exhibits based on its famed four ingredients: barley, hops, water, and yeast. There is no exhibit on isinglass, a substance from the bladder of a fish.”
I gave up the Internet for a week. I read. I talked to people face to face. Very strange.
“My students were born in 1998. They are shocked to hear about the world I grew up in, the world before the Internet, ATMs, and cell phones. (If they do picture it, it is a hazy world with horses and buggies traveling down the dusty road and overly fancy children churning butter.)”
Or did it? This was probably the hardest challenge and also the most valuable. It really raised my awareness about how useless it is to complain, and I did cut down on my complaining. I also made this cool cartoon.
“I survived the computer lab fiasco that is detailed in the above cartoon without complaining, only to be done in by ice cream, so I started over. And over. And over.”
This challenge was really a blast. Getting on the mechanical bull was the hardest part (aside from staying on or posting photos of myself on it, that is).
“I have an inordinate love of the movie Urban Cowboy. Little did I realize that there is a full-fledged Gilley’s-esque country Valhalla right in my midst at Cadillac Ranch.”
My vegan week went perhaps too well, giving me a false sense of security that I could make decent vegan savory ice cream sandwiches. They were truly wretched.
“It was time for the taste test, and that’s when things took a terrible turn for the worse. My husband and son David volunteered. I set up my camera on continuous shooting mode and watched them trying my lovely creations. It appeared at first that they were less than thrilled with the flavor.”
Two famed New Haven pizza restaurants battled pie to pie, with Pepe’s coming out on top. So good.
“Pepe’s white clam pizza was sublime. Huge, juicy chunks of freshly shucked clams were all over the pie, interspersed with big chunks of garlic and swimming in olive oil.”
For this post, I jammed as much gaming jargon into it as I could, the language of my teenage boys these days. My oldest son tried to be patient with me as I played, but I just couldn’t get the hang of Warcraft.
“My two sons and husband were amazed I could even die so early and thought I should get an achieve* just for doing so at level 1. I couldn’t help it. I was totally OPed* by the mob* that I attacked. It was my first time trying an MMORPG*, and my first PvE* went horribly wrong.”
Two different budget related food challenges coincided in September.
“As for the Hunger Challenge, I know that eating for $4.72 every day would be much harder than it was to try it for only one day. It also makes me crazy that the U.S. government is subsidizing junk food through corn subsidies that end up pumping Americans full of high-fructose corn syrup while the cost of a fresh tomato is overly expensive for many people.”
I would like to do another one of these posts one day. There are so many great movies out there that don’t get as much exposure as the big blockbusters.
“Oldboy is a hyper-bizarre Korean movie that’s uber-violent but also amazingly creative with many twists and turns that will leave you speechless. Think Kill Bill without all of the tender, cuddly moments.”
In November, I revealed the Photoshopping behind my son’s one-finger handstand at Four Corners, U.S.A.
“I took two pictures: One of my one son being held up by my husband and me and one of the same view without any people.
“Then, I used Photoshop to layer the two images, with the empty background shot on the bottom layer.”
This is my favorite “Scene from a Memoir” so far — rock, romance, the Iran-Contra affair. What more could I want in a post?
“Right before I was to leave on a trip with my parents, Randy asked me out to dinner. Away from the bank, our easy, never-ending conversation dried up into awkward pauses as we struggled for something to say. I convinced myself it wasn’t a date and went on my trip. When I got back, he handed me a new mixtape.”
It’s been great fun to begin blogging in 2011! This year has gone by so quickly and has been filled with so many different experiences. Looking forward to 2012, I would like to do more writing, and I am making a list of new challenges I would like to try.
What do you plan to try in 2012?