Before starting the new year fresh, it’s common practice to put forth the best and worst list for the year that was. My 2007 was such a masterful, chaotic mish-mash of both good and misfortune that I’m not quite sure where to begin. But because I like a challenge, here’s my best shot.
Movie: Sweeny Todd, A Life Apart: Hasidism in America
Book: Mao, The Untold Story – Jung Chang and John Halliday
Music: Lilly Allen, Celine Dion Live at Caesars and the Music and Lyrics Soundtrack (Hugh Grant singing like George Michael, need I say more?)
Old friends familiar with my once oh so American’s Next Top Model lithe physique will be happy to know that last year was one of whittling… down. I jazzercised and ran my little but off until I was once again within a 10 pound shot of what I said I really weighed on my driver’s license. I did this through strict math genius adherence to Weight Watchers points and keeping my New Year’s resolution of running at least one road race a month. I was thrilled by October to be keeping up with the cute pony-tailed blond cross country stars 20 years my junior. I also switched jobs in 2007 with an extended summer recess in between during which I delighted in doing nothing but watching the Style Network, vintage clothes shopping and taking care of my man with whom I’m still ever so besotten. The switch in occupation took years off of my haggard face and drained psyche and I’m happy to report my cheeks are once again rosy and business is booming!
Domo Arigato Japan! I got the once in a lifetime opportunity to tour for three weeks in Japan to places both modern and ancient. From Mijajima to Mitsokoshi, the land and people proved magical… that is save a rainy day mountain hike complete with the wrong shoes and attack monkeys. A karmic trip to Hiroshima, the coordinates where my grandfather had accompanied the bomb sixty years earlier, was an incredible, gut-wrenching and all-together essential experience. Check out our pics of Nikko and Nippon at http://www.nosilver.org. Like Godzilla, Tokyo is my favorite place on the planet, although the bite I took out of it was a bit smaller and less filled with concrete.
2007 was also the year I got some religious mojo back. Faith is a funny thing and has waned in years past as life disappointments and emotional debris piled up. I made a concerted effort to open my heart a bit last year and let some positive kernels of knowledge and hope flood in. I have to credit technology and America’s super-pastor Joel Osteen in part for this, as Joel’s weekly Podcasts really touched my heart and laid the groundwork to rethink religion. Can he be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? Experiencing the karmic connection and every day miracles with my Charlie Brown didn’t hurt either. What I learned was that God is always watching over you and he’ll inject as many miracles into your life as you can handle. I can’t wait to see what 2008 holds.
And speaking of miracles, I was blessed this year by a baby… no silly, not my own of course but my cousin’s. It was incredible to experience pregnancy and the gift of life with someone to whom you are so close. As far as I’m concerned, baby boy Jonah should be the star of all Pampers and baby food commercials because he is the cutest little thing in the universe. His mom and dad are pretty amazing as well.
Movie: The War, Ken Burns (I love Burns and thought his Civil War documentary was rapturous but the War was too overhyped, uneven and PC)
Book: The Yiddish Men’s Policemen’sUnion by Michael Chabon (I thought I would read anything Chabon wrote until this snoozer with forced narrative)
Music: Blackout, Britney Spears (Yes, Gimme More is on my playlist but the other tracks are wasted with her vocals barely a hushed, tired whisper)
Those of you who read TLRG know it’s not my nature to accentuate the negative but the ground of one 2008 tragedy must be covered: the train wreck otherwise known as my ravaged knee. High on the race-against-the-clock victory I had just experienced at the Kansas City Waddel and Reed 5K, I traveled to Philadelphia in October and summarily hurt myself in a train station mishap during which my knee became much too intimate with the marble floor. Many weeks of pain and a diagnosis of a torn meniscus later, I faced the knife no not a mini-face lift but for my knee. I have been rehabbing on crutches and going without many things (walks, nookie, showers, you name it) for almost a month. It is challenging but I can’t wait to run (or heck walk or scamper) again soon. All the aches and inconvenience does however have an upside, time to nest and make a home with my honey in Kansas City. This Christmas, unlike the normal traveling mayhem, I have memories of cozying down on the couch with my kitty and man watching marathons of Food Network favorites. If I never had tragedy befall me, how would I know how to build a replica of the New York skyline with only breakfast cereal and a blow torch? I’m quite sure I’ll be able to apply that knowledge… sometime.
As I close, I look ahead to 2008 with eager thoughts of once again running like the wind and traveling to Europe’s most beautiful hideaways and to Jerusalem’s Old City. I’ll have more tales to tell than Anthony Bourdain. I promise to blog it all. My wishes for a fabu new year for all!