Gentle Reader, last New Year’s Eve I started a tradition on this blog: the Year’s End Wrap Up – just like every blog on the Internet! Nonetheless, while I won’t tell you what the sexiest food of 2014 is or whatever, I have a lot to share. It’s the return of the Best and Worst of Everything!
2014 was a glorious year, and then very abruptly a rough year. It’s been a transitional period – a span of growth and soul-searching and introspection. It’s also been a riot, at points, in no small part because of The List and the friends who helped make it possible.
Giddyup, Kittens: This is a long post – without further blather, I present:
Best Thing Ever: While I was in Portland, I had a day all to myself to explore the city. I wandered, as lonely as a cloud, exploring and learning travel techniques and meeting new friends and trying foreign cuisine and it really was just a marvelous day. The Best Thing Ever, though, was when – needing directions – I spotted a pair of rainbow flags flying, and stumbled into/upon one of Portland’s gay bars quite by accident. The bartender was friendly, helpful, ludicrously attractive, allowed me to use my magic vapor stick indoors, and the bar had free wifi. It was like I’d come home.
A similar thing happened when I visited Anchorage, Alaska, the same month. Mad Myrna’s was a delight.
Worst Thing Ever: Bird Milk. I discovered that birds grossly secrete a milk analog that’s comprised of blood cells that are large enough to visibly wiggle, as well as other gross things. Yuck.
Best Thing Ever: I attempted to explain to people, using highly-researched visuals, that Canada and the U.S. together looked like an unspeakable Chimera. Behold:
Worst Thing Ever: Facebook, in honor of its tenth anniversary, creepily created its “Look Back” videos and, personally, I feel that despite collecting all of my information for years on end – well, Facebook, you don’t even know me at all!
Best Thing Ever: Brunch with Darling, Capere, and Darling’s Mother the morning of my going-away party. The whole day was amazing, but Mrs. Darling’s been so absolutely thoughtful towards me this year – and Darling and Capere have both been looking after me quite a bit this year – and it was a lovely morning, you know? And I adore brunch.
Worst Thing Ever: Obviously, having to cancel Europe at the very last second – three days before I was to fly out. That, of course, was also the Worst Thing Ever Of The Entire Year; I was completely crushed and didn’t know how to proceed.
Best Thing Ever: I started dating this fella that I’d met at my going-away party. He taught me that yes, I can still feel that first fluttering rush of emotion a new infatuation can bring, which was pretty amazing – I’d thought myself long past such things. It’s nice to know that I can still be made to grin stupidly at the mention of someone’s name.
Also, the evening I went up to town and had a night of debauchery with Darling and Capere over the Europe Affair, we went thrift shopping, and Darling found a gauzy, flowy black duster that I bought on his advice and that has since become my favorite garment. It flatters me while fitting in with my style and is just a delight.
Worst Thing Ever: The Graffiti Garages, of Tacoma, are now Beige. People kept going down to tag them over again; the new owners keep painting them in shades of ecru. Quelle dommage. Officially, that happened as of November 1, 2013 – but I’d been there late in March, 2o14, and the garages were as vibrant as ever. Early April was when I first saw the ugly new makeover, and it’s stuck ever since.
Best Thing Ever: The Leavenworth Trip was marvelous, but I’ve brought it up fifty times. I also went to lunch with my Aunt Carole around what would have been my grandfather’s birthday, and she – an educated woman, who taught school for years, and who’s read my humble little book – she told me that she anticipated huge things from me artistically in the future. Who knows if she’s right – I’ve rather a smaller opinion of myself – but it meant a lot; I look up to her.
Also, at her own graduation party, Ms. Capere insisted on holding a poetry reading involving my poems. People are too kind to me.
Worst Thing Ever: I know not everyone cares, but, um, Warehouse 13 ended. It was a television program that, you know, actually made me watch T.V. Over its five-year run, I actually made sure I was home the nights that it aired so that I could watch the new episode. In an age of Netflix, On-Demand, and Streaming, that’s impressive. And now the #EndlessWonder has ended. Sad.
Also that time that cops were blocking my driveway while parking in it and were super rude about it totally sucked. Seriously, I walked out the front door, down the driveway, OPENED THE GATE WITH THE KEY, and asked why they were there (on our property) and they asked me if I lived there and were threatening. Not that that’s anything compared to some of the police action that’s been going on, but it really freaked me out for a while.
Best Thing Ever: I really wish I’d been able to get a photograph, but I was playing my ukulele on the chaise longue in my boudoir, and an actual tiny songbird actually flew in the window and perched on my shoulder, singing along. This is all the proof I needed to know that I am, in fact, an actual Disney Princess.
The reason I couldn’t get a photo? The second I stopped playing to reach for the camera, the bird flew away. Lame.
Worst Thing Ever: Seattle Pride was terribly disappointing. I was with good friends, but the event just didn’t gel for me this year. Ms. Capere and I ended up leaving quite early, and not staying in town for the weekend as planned. (That bit was sad. The bit with Sarah’s Bridal Shower earlier was lovely).
Best Thing Ever: The Champagne and Caviar Picnic I keep bringing up? It was really amazing. I already spoke about it at length otherwhere, so I won’t bore you further beyond reiterating that it was fabulous beyond measure.
Worst Thing Ever: The non-censored version of this existed.
And I fully support having safe sex! But I disapprove of reducing people who are positive to inhuman monsters. HIV isn’t a death sentence anymore, and while one should be careful, one also shouldn’t be an asshole.
Best Thing Ever: I participated in G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. – the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen! And though after like two days I sucumbed to stress and was reduced to cheerleading for my team, those two days were intense and amazing.
So, uh, I guess breaking a Guiness record was pretty great, you guys. No big deal. We also broke a second record – for the most hats crafted to a specific theme for an event – and Gishers also broke a third record that my teammates and I didn’t participate in. Although Ms. LeCasse and Mr. Sevaaetasi did both get to personally help Misha Collins build a human pyramid.
Um, also I found this comic – I’ve no idea who made it, but I have done this for real and seeing this made me very happy. YOOOOOOO!
Worst Thing Ever: The Seattle Opera Company was having a Costume Sale with their ridiculously over-the-top items priced reasonably and I couldn’t attend. If this sounds like a minor issue, you don’t know me at all.
Best Thing Ever: I became a Disney Villainess. What – you want proof?
And then the news spread all over Social Media and it was hilarious and amazing and it brought me a lot of joy. How did I manage to become a Villainess, you ask? By following the beauty tips in this awfully outdated video!
Worst Thing Ever: EBOLA FEVER!!! That is – well, the hullaballoo about Ebola. To date – and I just checked, so this is accurate as of December 12, 2014, at 7:36 p.m. – there have been four total cases of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. since the panic began. There were a total of ten cases, but six of them originated outside the country. The panic over Ebola was more infectious in this country than Ebola itself.
Also? It was time again to dust off my very own Royal Baby Drinking Game!
Step 1: Take a drink every time you hear about the Royal Baby.
Step 2: Die of Liver Failure before it’s born.
Best Thing Ever: Uh, I made an elaborate Edwardian day gown with matching hat for $26 dollars. I win.
Worst Thing Ever: My Halloween plans mostly went tits-up, I’m afraid. At the eleventh hour, I had to cancel all but one engagement – where I had a splendid time, until I had to babysit my companion, Miss S. I don’t mind looking after someone, but it was freezing, we had to sit in her car away from the other celebrants, and I honestly didn’t think we were going to make it through the night. I was eventually able to secure a lift home from the gracious Ms. Banks, and the next day – after a series of complications – was able to get S. to her car.
Best Thing Ever: Friendsgiving at Tranquility Base Mach III was rather lovely; there were two separate clumps of guest discussing Social Justice at once, and it was utterly delightful. At Thanksgiving proper, Maman and I watched a marathon of Wives With Knives on her favorite channel, Investigation Discovery. I discovered, a few years late, that Grey Gardens had been made into a musical, and wasn’t just an overlong documentary.
And my Uncle Syn was offered an Artist’s Residency in Iceland. (After some suspense, they were able to raise the funds, and they got it! They fly out on the 2nd of January.)
Worst Thing Ever: For a solid week, while Maman was abroad in places like Greece, and Turkey, and Romania, and rather close to the Crimean Peninsula – she was unable to telephone or to email or to write. It’s unlike her, and if I’d tried to pull that kind of thing, she’d have unleashed seven kinds of hell. I was honestly scared she was dead. She wasn’t, but it gave me rather a lengthy scare.
Best Thing Ever: My friend Ekgo, out of a clear blue sky, sent me money towards getting a banjo. My mother, as a Christmas present, swooped in and provided the rest. I now have a banjo – a brand new one, actually, that was rather more expensive than the pawn-shop one I’d been lusting after and it’s amazing and I love it. I haven’t named him yet, but I’m thinking he might be a Lear (Since my ukulele is Chordelia. Heh.)
Worst Thing Ever: My great-aunt Helen passed away about a week ago – I was actually writing a Christmas card to her when the phone call came. She had passed the day before, but still – synchronicity, you know? She’s the great-aunt I recklessly declared I needed to take cocktails with about a month ago, if you follow me on Social Media. She was very kind to me when I was young, and my heart goes out to her more immediate family – knowing her was like having a fourth grandmother.
My best and worst of the year are, of course, intended to be lighthearted – and I can’t end on such a sad note. I deliberately avoided all of the tradgedies of the last few months – around the world, brutality and murder and riots and protests- but out of them, a dialogue is arising, about income disparity and racial inequality and oppression, and while the circumstances break my heart, I can only hope and pray that significant change comes from the discussion currently on the table. If that thought doesn’t lift your heart up, I don’t know what could. Here’s a silly photo, just in case.