Feeling reflective this morning and inspired by Ronnie 's all-in-one Best of 2009 blog post, here's my Best of 2009.
1. Best Trip.
We got to travel so much over the past year thanks, mostly, to Matt's job change & I loved each and every trip, whether we were out seeing new sites or hanging out in hotel rooms & pools. The whole year has been a trip: Chicago & it's suburbs several times, middle-of-nowhere Indiana, Middle-of-nowhere Illinois, Memphis, Pittsburgh twice, DC, Baltimore...
2. Restaurant Moment.
Chowpatti vegetarian restaurant in Arlington Heights, IL outside of Chicago. The moment that stands out for me is when Seth walked up to the owner & told her that her food "tastes like heaven."
I love most everything Glenn Greenwald & Norman Solomon wrote all year. But the thing that popped into my head was not an article but a series Jason Jones did on the Daily Show called "Behind the Veil" where he travelled through Iran trying to show the real people we might want to think about in between episodes of "all options are on the table" bravado.
Will Tuttle's World Peace Diet. It wasn't at all what I was expecting it to be about, and I almost put it down when I realized it was an argument for a vegan diet. But by a few chapters in, I was quite intrigued by the connections he drew between socially acceptable violence toward people and animals.
5. Night out.
Midnight opening of Half-Blood Prince!
6. Workshop or Conference.
G-Fest. The yearly Godzilla Fan Festival in Chicago. We went there because Seth is such a huge Godzilla fan, but we all had a blast. It's always fun being surrounded by people who are passionate about something!
7. Blog Find.
Waging Nonviolence. Happenings in the world of nonviolent social change.
8. Moment of Peace.
On Flagstaff Hill in Pittsburgh at the Mass Meditation for Peace before the People's March to the G20. Sitting outside on a grass hillside overlooking the city of Pittsburg with a group of people thinking about, praying for, and/or meditating on peace.
Has been and still is trying to figure out how to live joyfully *and* ethically in this world. I pretty much feel like my life -- everything I have & do -- is at the expense of someone else, or lots of someone elses, around the planet. I haven't gotten very far in figuring anything out around that conflict or in figuring out anything to do to make a real difference -- makes for lots of sleepless nights.
10. Best Album
Playing for Change -- Songs Around the World. Love the idea of linking people all over the world together through music.
11. Best Place
In a canoe on the Little Miami River near where we live. We had a blast, all 5 of us squished up in that little canoe, and it had been way too long since I'd been swimming in a river. Aaaaaah.
12. New Food.
The cheeseless veggie pizza Leslie made when we had Mom's night out at her house! Happy, happy to discover I could love pizza without cheese!
13. Change you made to the place you live.
Incorporating a work space for Matt to work from home!!!!
An early morning trail run in the woods on a misty summer morning. No one else around. It was like running through the afterlife-in-the-jungle setting of Thich Nhat Hanh's haunting poem/play The Path of Return Continues the Journey.
"It is neither Hell nor Heaven. And it's not as far away from the world of the living as people generally believe."
15. Best Packaging.
Obama -- same old service to corporate and military interests wrapped in the appearance of & energy of so much "hope and change".
16. Tea of the Year.
I'm more of an iced tea fan than hot tea fan. Loving Panera's fruity-sweet iced green tea and Starbucks' minty iced green tea.
17. Word or Phrase. "2009 was..."
Craig's List, Amazon one-click shopping, and The Hunger Site.
19. Car ride.
My solo trip to Pittsburgh. Left home at around 3:30 a.m. by myself to drive 5 hours to a place I'd never been before for something I really, really wanted to do.
20. New person.
The very nice couple who helped me find my way -- on foot and by bus -- back across Pittsburgh to where I'd parked my car before the disorientingly long and winding March!
And Dona, sweet peacemaker friend, who I'd met through Facebook and spent a day hanging out and hiking with.
Experimenting with vegan cooking and baking.
And the Unschooling-in-Action collages I made from photos I had taken all year that are now framed and hanging on our living room wall. "So many great memories" we keep saying.
Fickle Skateboards and Galaxie Skateshop
23. Web tool.
Not new, but new-to-me. My ancient but loved cell phone died this year, and I like being able to upload pictures to my blog or facebook from my new cell phone.
24. Learning Experience
Oh, it's *all* a learning experience!
Argh, I can't pick just one thing. I'm choosing the gift of gifting, of giving or doing something that brightens someones holiday or regular old day.
That it's not so much about figuring out how to change anyone else but how/who to be within the situations that exist.
27. Social Web Moment.
The comment thread with my childhood friends' memories of my Mom.
A spiral notebook?
29. Biggest Belly Laugh.
It doesn't work so well to tell the story, but it had to do with a Beavis and Butthead moment Matt had while we were all in the car talking about food. "heh, heh...fat nuts."
Where the Wild Things Are movie trailers.
31. Resolution I wish I'd stuck with.
Trail running. There was always about as much walking in my efforts to run as there was actual running, but it was fun. I quit when my running shoes wore out & it was mid-summer and really hot. New shoes are now on the way, though.