Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Is it really over?

It's that time of year. Time to rap up 2011. Is it really over? Where did the year go? 2011 started with the hope that I could find a better job and be more independent. wasn't meant to be. I was laid off and in the two weeks since I haven't really felt it yet.

I have had things to do in the last two weeks. Like finally cleaning up my cluttered room. It hadn't reached Hoarders territory, but I kept bumping into stuff. It's amazing how much larger this room seems without all the junk in it. Perhaps there is something to this cleaning thing. I tossed out eight bags of JUNK!!! It actually feels wonderful to have it gone. Sometimes you can't think with all the junk. Maybe I'll develop a better thought process now that all the crap is gone. I can start 2012 with a fresh perspective. Hopefully, I won't have to wait too long before I can find a new job.

Now, how have I done with my reading goals for 2011? I'm going to fall short of my re-organized goal. My original goal was 75 books, but as the year went on I realized that was a pipe dream. I reset it for 65 books, but I'm going to fall one short. I also wanted to read 20 YA books, but I clocked in at 13. Still I exceeded my reading total (60 books) from last year. Here is to higher numbers in 2012!!

Now, how will 2012 be different for me reading-wise?

What's with the Star Wars pic? Well......

Yes, I have crossed over to the dark side!! I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I know I have knocked Amazon in some prior posts. Yes I know I have said I don't like e-readers. But like with most technology, I have to adapt to the times. More publishers and authors are steering bloggers to e-ARCs. I'm not a totally convert. I still shop at bookstores. To justify my e-book purchases, I went to Books-a-Million recently and bought more physical books. I figured that would balance the scales. So far, I am sticking to e-books that are $3.99 or less. So if you're an author, publisher or publicist I will start accepting a limited amount of e-books. I'm just not a total convert to e-books. I still prefer physical books.

So now that 2011 is over how about a recap?

Highs and lows of 2011

Books: Faith by Jennifer Haigh and Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson were my favorites. Obviously some newspaper reviewers would disagree with me. Books that end up on the best of the year lists tend to be ones I've never heard of. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, 1Q84 (who came up with that title?) by Haruki Murakami, and Swamplandia by Karen Russell are just a few. I know there is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more.

Weather: If you live in the tri-state area, you had put up with A LOT OF SNOW.  It was just torture. One day it took me several hours to dig out my car. Our wonderful mayor, Mike Bloomberg, didn't see fit to have sanitation workers out plowing the snow. Perhaps if you shoveled every couple of hours it wouldn't have built up so much? No it makes much more sense to wait hours and hours after the snow has fallen and frozen to the ground before having it plowed. This dude even suggested New Yorkers to hit up Broadway and see a show. I swear I don't know what planet that man is from. It isn't Earth. But thanks to SNL we have this great skit...

Politics/News: Is it just me or is there a Republican debate every other day? What is there left for them to debate? Does the public like ketchup or mustard on their hot dog? I swear we aren't far off from a debate like that. And by the way it should be mustard!!

I'm totally disgusted by the Penn State scandal and all the others like it. To put a team above a child is 100% WRONG.

Entertainment/pop culture: I confess I saw the Royal Wedding. The day of the wedding I got up to go the bathroom and my mother was watching it. Hey curiosity got the best of me. Now, the other big "wedding" of the year....I've said it before and I'll say it again, I CAN'T STAND THE KARDASHIANS. A true mockery of marriage. What a family of media hounds. Everything for the almighty dollar. Mama Karsdashian is a true pimp. Everything that family does has to be photographed. But if not for Kim K's pending divorce we wouldn't have this gem....

Sports: The Cardinals won the World Series. Who saw that one coming?

I thought the Phillies had it locked up for sure. Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt, how could the Phillies lose? And this is coming from a Mets fan. But obviously championships aren't won on paper.

The NBA went into a lockout. I didn't sympathize with either side. Sure I felt bad for rookies and fringe players, but for the most part this was a bunch of millionaires and billionaires fighting money. The NFL had a lockout, but they came to their sense before losing actual money.

Gone but not forgotten: On a serious note, many influential people passed in 2011. There are many, but here are the ones I remember (in no particular order). Elizabeth Taylor....

There are just a few Hollywood legends left. Some of today's "starlets" are just no competition.

Christopher Hitchens, Jane Russell, Mike Starr, Jeff Conway, Peter Falk, Amy Winehouse, Jani Lane, Nick Ashford, Andy Rooney, Patrice O'Neal, Steve Jobs, Andy Whitfield, Bubba Smith, Betty Ford,

Smokin' Joe Frazier (above)

Heavy D (above), and the wonderful Clarence Clemons....

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