reflection

2011: A Year In Review

Autumn in The Morton Arboretum

I can’t complain. 2011 was a pretty good year for me. I got to do some neat things, go to neat places, and meet cool people (like Weird Al Yankovic!). I was introduced to new music, made some crazy life-changing choices, and did some neat things. I got to meet my Plurk friends Jon & Rho, I had the chance to see my favorite author Sarah Dessen (and she totally recognized me!), I got to see SJ Tucker loads of times, and I got to eat a lot of sushi!

The easiest way to recap is to do a survey. I know how much you guys love those. Feel free to steal and do it yourself.

Was 2011 a good year for you?
For the most part, yes!

What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
– attended Musecon
– rode a horse

Horseback Riding!

– pet a giraffe

Awesome!

– purchased exercise equipment
– got a passport
– Pilates reformer
– Capeoira
– got a facial
– lipolaser

Did anyone close to you give birth?
A lot of my friends had babies or are pregnant,
but I can’t say anyone particularly close to me.

Did anyone close to you die?
My aunt Lue passed away during the summer.

What countries did you visit?
None.

What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 5, 2011. I took my life back.
…and a giant leap of faith.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting into better shape.

What was your biggest failure?
Didn’t complete writing a novel. Boo.
Also falling back out of shape. Ha.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Mostly colds.
Had an incident in April that I thought might be gallbladder related,
but it was just gastritis.

Where did most of your money go?
Disney trips, dolls, clothes, sushi, gifts

What song will always remind you of 2011?
Nataraj (Dancing in the Flames) by Suzanne Sterling
Come Down by Ginger Doss

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– writing
– yoga

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Working. I worked way too many hours at Schawk.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ginger Doss
Bekah Kelso

What did you want and get?
– new camera
– Disney trips
– passport
– exercise bike
– books

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a treadmill (our apartment is too small for such things)
– a trip out of the country

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37. I spent the day with my family and ate
food from Harold’s Chicken Shack.

What kept you sane?
Reading. Lots of reading.
My family. My kitty cats.
Jen and Amy and our email chain.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Matt Smith

What political issue stirred you the most?
Anything that had to do with women’s reproductive rights

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
Having a lot of money isn’t everything.
It HELPS.
But when making the money
is costing your health, family time,
and sanity,
then it’s time to rethink some things.
So I did.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Sweaters and jeans, or tee-shirts and jeans, or hoodies and jeans.
Grey long-sleeved tee-shirts.
Sometimes a cute skirt with boots.
Long, hippy skirts or dresses.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I love that I can’t think of an answer to this question.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Magic touched my life again
in a single breath
shining in your eyes
like a firefly
and a moment of revelation
–Ginger Doss

Few Days Old Braidout

3 Comments

MMC’s Got It Going On…Funky Style! (Long, Multimedia)

I know I have blogged about this before, but watching YouTube today brought it back to the forefront of my mind.

When I was in high school, I LOVED LOVED LOVED the all new Mickey Mouse Club. This is the show that spawned Britney Spears, Keri Russell, and Justin Timberlake. I was a fan from the beginning–well, once we got The Disney Channel installed in my house. Back then, I had to beg and plead for us to get cable in the first place, and The Disney Channel was a premium channel, like HBO or Showtime! My parents knew how important Disney was to me, so they sprang for the premium. Back then, my cable life revolved around The Disney Channel, MTV, BET, and VH1. I loved music videos and there was no shortage of them in the early 90s.

I started watching MMC when I saw the video for Summer Vacation by The Party on MTV. I thought Damon Pampolina was the hottest thing on TV. I was ready for a new crush–I was over my New Kids on the Block phase, Joey Lawrence and Kirk Cameron did nothing for me, and Dino and Glenn Medeiros were just too old. I am not sure how I figured out that The Party had to do with The Disney Channel, but once I realized that The Party was made up of Mouseketeers from MMC, I was hooked. My crush on Damon was short-lived, though. I started watching MMC in its third season, and that’s the season that Ricky Luna started. More on that later.

The show, to me, was so different from any other show. It wasn’t a typical multi-camera sitcom filmed in beta. It was a variety show, with skits, singing, and dancing. My favorite was the musical numbers. I liked learning the dance steps and I liked singing along. The cast members used their own names, and at the end of a taping, they let the audience come down and dance with them, which made them seem more approachable than say, the kids on Blossom. I really wanted to be friends with all of them.

My life back then mostly consisted of school (ugh), an after school job at the deli, marathon phone conversations with my best friends (our record: 13 hours), writing (mostly fanfic), and music. I wasn’t getting out much nor was I participating in a lot of school activities. My life was MMC and those kids. I wrote fan fiction about them before it was cool. If I wasn’t planted in front of the TV at 5:30pm Monday through Friday, then the VCR was recording the show. That show was the reason I got up some mornings, the reason I got dressed and did my hair. Maybe I was just going to be in front of the TV all day, frantically rewinding the VCR so I could learn yet another dance step, but I was up and moving. And that was a good thing.

There were two Mousketeers who inspired me the most. One was Mylin Brooks. I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She had this gorgeous dark hair, this beautiful face, and she was on a TV show that was filmed at Disney World. She was smart and talented and I desperately wanted to be her.

It was this video here that started my fascination with Mylin:

Please refresh if the videos aren’t showing up. YouTube is being a pain in the rear.

Ah yes, Disney Channel’s watered-down pop lyrics. I didn’t care. I watched the video all the time. I even learned the steps. I can still do most of the steps. I NEVER in a million years would have imagined that one day, this would happen:

Me and Mylin

Through the wonders of the Internet, I reached out and asked Mylin to be my friend on MySpace back when MySpace was cool. She accepted, and we began talking back and forth. When everyone moved to Facebook, she and I kept in touch on there. I was part of her “American Girl” street team back in 2006. It was amazing to get to work with her.

In July of 2010, I finally got to meet and spend the day with this woman, and let me tell you, she is just as sweet as she is beautiful. My mom is tickled pink because she knew how important MMC was to me, and she knew how important those kids were to me.

The other Mouseketeer that changed my life was Ricky Luna. I had an obscene crush on him when I was a teenager, and I didn’t care. Every single day from 5:20-6:00pm, I would sit in front of my TV, VCR remote in hand, ready to tape anything with Ricky in it.

When the MMC came on, the Mouseketeers would pop into a circle and say their names. He popped into his circle, yelled “Ricky!” and I was instantly head over heels. Well, as much as a girl can be with a guy whose first name is the only thing she knew about him. But we don’t need to worry about that. Look at this video:

He’s the one in the red shirt and the suspenders. I dare you to say you don’t understand how teenage me could have fallen for that total Mr. Hottyness.

I got to meet him for the first time in 1993, when MMC came to Cleveland to do a tour. Boy did I make a fool out of myself. I grabbed him and yelled “I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU.” Mortifying. Forgive me. I had no social skills and I was face-to-face with the object of my teenage fantasies OMG what was my life??? Don’t judge me.

Here are a couple of pix from that weekend:

MMC in Cleveland 1993 MMC in Cleveland 1993

Forgive the blurriness. I scanned these back in 1997 when I had no idea how to really work a scanner.

In late 1997, Geocities came out. I could make my own web page, what! So I did. I made a Ricky Luna fan site. If you google “Ronni’s Ricky Luna Fan Page” some old, old, old mirrors of that site will come up. Good times. I made that site in hopes that Ricky would do a search of his name and find it. He did. That site was the top hit in all the search engines. He contacted me and we kept in touch on and off over the next several years. MySpace and Facebook kept us even more in touch. Back in 2009, this happened:

Ricky Luna & Me

Yeah, it was pretty awesome. I got to hang out with him and his manager’s family. It was a really fun day. He lived up to the crush that 17-year old me had on him and then some because he’s just an awesome, kind, and warm human being. We laugh about my declaration of love for him at Tower City mall back in 1993. I still can’t believe I did that. Anyway, now he’s a super talented producer and he makes really good music, which you can download for free from his site. I recommend the Electro Bomba mini mix. You can get it here. :)

I’m proud to call him my friend.

I leave you with this video. I just watched it again and it gave me chills because I loved it so much back then. And as I belted along with it, remembering all the words, I realized that I still love it today.

If only The Disney Channel was still this awesome. Oh well. At least they have Phineas & Ferb.

This post is cross posted at my Disney blog. Feel free to visit and follow!

6 Comments

Staying Positive

I try to make it a point to stay positive. I went through a pretty bad few years where it seemed like one bad thing after another was happening to me. I kept a lot of it under wraps–only the closest people to me knew the details. It was hard to pull through, and I had to work SO HARD to try to stay positive, and I usually failed at it.

The other night, my anywhere-is site did a wonky thing and wouldn’t let me into the admin panel. I was able to access my sites, so I wasn’t too upset. I just moved everything to the main directory, which I’d been meaning to do for a while anyway. I was going through some old journal entries, and WOW. Just wow. I ended up deleting quite a few of them (from anywhere-is; they’re still on Live Journal) because they reminded me of those bad times, and many other bad times. It was like I was two people. There was the happy Ronni presented to the world, the f-locked entries that expressed rage, sadness, deep depression, and the private entries that were just…. very sad. I knew that if I read them or dwelled on them, I’d get sucked into that emotional mindset. I don’t want that.

I’m not a huge believer in The Secret, but I do think that if you put out good energy, you’ll generally get good energy back. And that if you put out bad energy, you’ll get bad energy back. Not to say that everything bad that happens is anyone’s fault. I just remembered how I worried and worried and worried, and the stuff I worried about was the stuff that kept happening over and over and over with extra random bad stuff tossed in. Almost like I imagined it into existence. So, now I work on imagining GOOD things into existence.

It’s not easy. It’s not in my nature to be as upbeat as I have been. It helps that I have an Adam and an Aidan and a Crookshanks and a Helena. It helps that I have friends who have been there forever and during those really bad times, and will keep being there. It helps that I’m making friends and discovering new stuff and getting inspired every day. It helps that I’m not worrying about surviving. It helps that I am comfortable and everlastingly grateful for all of it.

Sunday afternoon, Adam and I headed to my car to go out to do some errands and hit some vintage shops in Pilson. Upon getting to the car, I noticed that the back window was broken out AGAIN. This is the 3rd time since I’ve lived here that someone broke into my car. (If we count the time in Columbus, this is break-in number four.) First thought was “WTF? Didn’t they know it was unlocked?” Second thought was “Ha, there was nothing in there for them to get. BAHAHA. Oh crap, did they do something to the McDonald’s drink I left in there?” Third thought was “I hope this isn’t the start of a downward spiral.”

It’s that third thought that set off warning bells. If I fall into that way of thinking, it WILL become a downward spiral, and we do not want that at all. I LIKE feeling happy. It’s weird but it’s nice. I don’t want to be showered with bad things/emergencies/problems. I REFUSE to be showered with them. I’ve had enough of it, and it was only by the grace of God (and some good, true friends) that I made it through. I will keep an attitude of gratitude, and I will keep sending that out in the Universe, because I’ve learned that when I truly appreciate what I have, then even more goodness will come my way.

2 Comments

One Month In (Reflection)

I’ve been 35 for one month. Most people tell me that I don’t look 35 at all. :) That makes me happy. I’m glad I still look pretty young, although definitely not as youthful as I used to look. And I’m noticing other things.

I’ve filled out surveys for companies for years. Now I’m clicking the next bracket of age tick boxes. The 35-40 bracket. When I hear about health risks for certain things, the “Women 35 and older–” thing kind of freaks me out because that’s ME now. If Adam and I decide to have a baby, I’m going to have to get loads of extra tests because I’m in the “at risk” part of my life. I remember watching TV and everyone was so grown up. Now, I’m older than almost everyone I see in commercials, on shows. People born in 1990 will be 20 this year!

One month into age 35, and I am a homemaker. An avid reader (I’m up to 16 new books for 2010 so far). I haven’t published a novel (yet). I have a seven year old son who is awesome. I live in Chicago (did NOT see that coming five years ago). I was once stick thin with a belly button ring. I’m definitely not stick thin anymore, but people still tell me I’m “tiny.” The belly button ring is long gone, and now I wonder if the way I dress isn’t too youthful. I like my jeans and hoodies and Airwalks, that’s for sure. I’m growing my hair out and will eventually chop off all the relaxed stuff and be completely natural. It’s challenging because well, I have no clue really of how to take care of my hair in its natural state. It’s been relaxed or straightened since I was a little girl. But I have not had a relaxer put in since May of 2009. But when I see women with before and after pictures, they all look way more amazing with natural hair. I hope that’s the case with me!

As I grow older, I notice that I am more sensitive to loud noises. I am becoming more of a homebody, preferring to hang around the apt with a stack of books, a glass of juice, and some comfy pillows than go out. Although, if someone mentions a trip to Target, I’m there. (I once told Adam that if he asks me if I want to go to Target and I say “no” to take my temperature. Seriously.) I am way more sensitive to smells. Certain scents I used to love, I can no longer stand. And bad smells drive me up a wall in a way that is not normal. I can smell things that most people don’t even notice, and bad smells stick with me for hours after the source is gone. I still like hanging out with my friends. I’m becoming a bit more frugal… by CHOICE this time, which is nice, although I do splurge on books too often. I’m debt free, I still love spaghetti, and bacon, and Cream of Wheat. I still get cold all the time. I’m still a night owl!

I don’t think too much about my mortality. I try not to, because death is so final. It’s not like I’m exactly “living it up” these days either, but I’m enjoying being restful for now. There were too many years when life was anything but.

I don’t have a five-year plan in place, because I’ve learned that a LOT can happen to blow even the best laid plans out of the water. I do have dreams, though. I’d like to move to a nicer, bigger place. I don’t know where yet. It could be somewhere else in Chicago. It could be a Chicago suburb. It could be back to Columbus. I’d like to have a book published by 2015, but I’m not going to stress myself over making that goal. I’d like to get a tattoo. I want to see Aidan a LOT more. I’d like to be working from home, as I do now, but more regularly and lucratively. I’d like to be comfortable financially. I don’t need to be super rich (although I wouldn’t turn it down!). I just want to be happy and healthy and secure and comfortable. Those are my main dreams. I’d like to travel too. Ireland!

Right now, I am content. I mean, the apartment has some issues, but it’s warm and keeps me sheltered. I don’t get to see Aidan as often as I’d like, but I get to see him a lot more than I used to when I first moved here. I like proofreading. I live in a cool city even though the taxes are ridiculous and some of the costs here are unnecessarily high and inconvenient. I have friends and I’m making new ones all the time. I love my husband like crazy. How could I not? He’s so CUTE!

Life’s OK at 35. I have a feeling it’s just gonna get more fabulous.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments Off on One Month In (Reflection)