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This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

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2011 in Summary

Posted by gck Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I wasn’t going to do it, but so many people are, so I guess I’m the sheep today. Some random highlights of the year 2011…

Finally, at the age of 28, after many years of being told to “go back to China!” (in friendly and unfriendly ways), I made it to China. Just Beijing, but I don’t know if I could have handled a week in Shanghai after all the incredible sights in Beijing. Sadly, that was it for international trips in 2011, not a very busy travel year for me.

Challenges
Three challenges stand out in my mind this year. National Novel Writing Month (which is nothing new), Six Items or Less, and the 30 day yoga challenge. For some reason, I never blogged about my 30 days of yoga, though I did keep a semi-regular private journal over at 750 Words during the challenge. In the end, I found that I did enjoy the benefits, both physical and mental, that I got from doing yoga so frequently, but I found that cost-to-benefit ratio to be too expensive to do every day.

Food
I ate a lot of good food this year, partially made possible by social media offers. A Chicago GirlTrip also included a trip to the #1 restaurant in the US, Alinea, and Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard’s Girl and the Goat. Other notable Seattle restaurants I ate at this year include Book Bindery, The Corson Building, Rover’s, Lecosho, Lark, Dinette, Crush, and Le Gourmand. I also cooked through the summer using CSA veggies.

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Outdoors
I continued my obsession with Seattle summers. This year’s hike count was roughly 9, one less than last year (but that’s just a weather thing). Last year, one of my hikes was solo. This year, three of them were. Did a backpacking trip on the last weekend of August, same as last year, but this time we were eaten alive by mosquitoes. Went sea kayaking on Lopez Island.

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The Arts
Another good year at SIFF! I logged approximately 27 volunteer hours and saw 22+ films (still need to put that full list together). It sounds like a lot, but I end up adding so much to my Netflix queue because there are a ton of films that look awesome but won’t fit in my schedule!

Two trips to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, still keeping up that trend. This time none of them were alone. Saw four plays. I have no idea how many plays/shows I saw in Seattle this year, but I’ll estimate about 20.

Re-Kindle-ing a Love for Reading
Yes, I got a Kindle. But thanks to the motivation of friends who are avid readers, GoodReads, and all the book giveaways I’ve discovered, my reading is starting to go back up. I don’t have accurate numbers from before I started using GoodReads actively (sometime in 2009), but these are the counts I have for the previous years:

2007 – 18 (started a Mission 101 goal to read 100 books)
2008 – 5 (this is probably more like 10)
2009 – 7 (this is probably more like 10)
2010 – 27
2011 – 35

I estimated that I finished about 50 of the 100 book goal for 2007 to 2009. This round of Mission 101, my book goal is only 75, but I am on track to pass 100! I’m also proud of myself because back in 2007, I read a lot of young adult fluff fiction, like all of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, and right now, I am reading Shakespeare. And The New Yorker.

10 Year High School Reunion
Yes, I am getting old. I got to meet the children of a bunch of my friends for the first time. I also got to see my cousin Brian for the first time! It’s great to go back to Baton Rouge and see people. It also gives me some perspective on how much I (and my life) have changed. In some ways, it’s great – teenage me would probably think a lot of the things I do now were really cool. But I also see some things in myself that seem to have appeared naturally with the onset of living an adult life – high stress, less flexibility, judgement, etc. So maybe what I do now is cooler than what I do then, but I think in a way, I myself am less cool than I was back then. Hmm.

Well, that’s it for 2011. Not all that different from 2010. We’ll see what 2012 brings!

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