Here is the non-book edition of this post, since I guess I also did some other things in 2011. It was a bigger year than usual for me, so I thought I would reflect on some high and low points.
Some notable things that happened in 2011:
February: My sister, i.e. my favorite person in the world, got engaged. Found out during dinner at Beretta with S and MG (after attempting to go to Flour + Water right when it opened at 5:30, only to be told the wait was already an hour and a half. Also the day I decided never to eat at Flour + Water).
March: Hosted the first of a fair few dinner parties at my place, despite having lived here for over 2 years. E & P as guests, S’s miso-glazed sea bass, and Sharon Van Etten at the Bottom of the Hill afterward. Discovered I am allergic to mangoes (ironically, after texting E & P to make sure they were not).
May: Took 2 weeks off work for the first time. Rather than recharging, it made me want more. Got Netflix for the first time, a real eye-opener.
Later in May: We lost my cousin Jimmy, a gentle soul missed by many.
June: Went to Chez Panisse after a decade of ogling it from afar. Our meal was just right but the stand-out of the night was the tisane at the end, made entirely from long, fresh mint leaves fanning out inside a beautiful glass teapot. I just learned from this very nice blog that they use lemon verbena when in season.
End of August – Labor Day: Burning Man. I still don’t know how best to talk about Burning Man except that I learned to ride a bike, avoided heat stroke, and managed to behave myself. Which in my case means hugging sweaty strangers without giving them dirty looks.
September: Went to Big Sur, learned to identify poison oak, and decided that age has entitled me to do stodgy things like leaving a show after four songs and going to bed early. In fairness, we had gone to see the opening act, a charming, fist-pumping, eye shadow-wearing young man with a synthesizer, and decided, when the headlining band emerged wearing raccoon hats, that we’d had enough hipness for one evening.
Also in September: My Grandpa died at 95, the most stylish man I knew. Thank you, Grandpa, for teaching me bad words, slipping me candy, and finding me delightful just because.
October: Turned 31 on 31, dressed as a purple robot.
November: Stopped billing, tasted freedom. Despite uncertainty going forward, have not looked back for a second.
December: My sister got married. Pardon me for being conventional, but isn’t it nice to end with a wedding?
(Photo by someone on Facebook, which has its uses after all.)