Reverb2010: Days 1 through 4

December 28: I made it through day 11 and realized that these questions are just not for me. Maybe I'm not sentimental enough, or deep enough, or there just aren't enough opportunities for me to insert photos of my dog. After the break are my 11 days of reverbing.

Just what I was waiting for, another blog meme. (Not that I've finished WBThirty, but I think I'll just use those topics as filler when I can't think of anything else to write). This project, called reverb, is a daily prompt each day in the month of December that reflects on the previous year. I love it when somebody else tells me what to write.

I just learned about this little project, so I'm playing catch up. Below are days 1-5.

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

Although we've been here two years, I think I've finally adapted, finally feel somewhat comfortable in this city. Our house really feels like home, I'm not dying to leave every minute I'm here (only every other minute ;) ) I have favorite restaurants, and I feel like I can tell someone the quickest way to get somewhere. I have a hairdresser. And a dentist.

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

I'm not sure I actually do anything each day that contributes to any sort of writing. Except hang out with Ike. That's where I get all my best material.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

My best guess at what it means to feel "alive" is a moment when I, ironically, feel like a character in a movie. I have this moment when I'm running, or walking and listening to music, my mind going a million miles a minute with ideas and goals, and I'm suddenly looking down on myself from above, as if I'm looking at a character in a movie, lost in their world and wondering what will happen to them in the future. I like it call it an Annette moment, as in Annette from Cruel Intentions, driving away to start a new life as Bittersweet Symphony plays over that final scene.

This usually happens to me when I'm listening to music from a soundtrack. (figures)

Lately it's been this song:

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

I got out of town. Although I didn't visit anywhere new this year, there's always so much to take in while on vacation that wonder is kind of a given

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I can't think of anything, but this does remind me of another song that make #3 happen.

I'm joining in Reverb10, a daily prompt to reflect on the past year. I'm playing catch up - this post is days 5-10, see days 1-5 here.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I have millions of little post it notes whirling around in my head, each with a different craft, baking, writing, cooking project to take on. I have precisely 43780234 google reader entries starred, over 100 bookmarks with inspiration, but I just can't make myself sit down and do any of them.

Last year around this time, my sister took us to a cute gelato shop (Staccato Gelato) in the middle of an even cuter neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Not only did this place have homemade gelato and homemade donuts, they had something I never even know could be...made: marshmallows. I guess I was kind of under the impression that they just...existed - or at least used ingredients that required a lab of some kind. Anyway, not only did they have homemade marshmallows, they had peppermint ones. A lot of things make me crazy for winter, the holidays, and cold weather, but one of my favorite is peppermint hot chocolate. I skipped the gelato and the donuts for peppermint hot chocolate with a big fat peppermint marshmallow.

Ever since then, I've been dying to make my own marshmallows. Almost a year later, I finally tried it. It was pretty simple - I made cinnamon and pumpkin spice flavors. Although I'm not even sure I would rank marshmallows on my list of top 200 foods, there is something about mixing a list of ingredients and coming up with a big fluffy lump of sweetness usually taken for granted.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

2010 was the first official Carol Convention (an event that clearly deserves to be capitalized). Carol Convention is more than a weekend of nonstop laughter and Abita Strawberry, it's a commitment to each other that once a year, we'll have an epic weekend - which are few and far between these days -- no matter what. We grew from 5 to 7 this year, definitely for the better.

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

At my favorite quirky location... the MoMA

A few months ago I was called quirky. I'm not sure what this means.. is it because I prefer reading to watching TV? Because I don't speak with a Southern accent, or like my everything deep fried as is the norm around here? Because I talk to my dog... a lot? Because I'd rather go to the mountains than the beach? Because I can't tell a story to save my life but sometimes can't help it and end up swimming in word vomit? Because I choose dingy improv shows with $2 PBR over Broadway? Because I make marshmallows?

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

Speaking of marshmallows (can you tell I'm excited about them?), I made them as part of the toppings bar for a hot chocolate get together I hosted last week . I don't know where the idea came to me -- possibly after seeing 15 different flavors of hot chocolate at the grocery store and wanting to try every single one. I made regular hot chocolate and white hot chocolate and set up our dining room table with my marshmallows; peppermint, almond, and vanilla extract; Bailey's, Kahlua, Cinnamon Schnapps, and orange liqueur; peppermint candy; whipped cream; gooey meltable caramel balls; sea salt; sprinkles; and crushed candy canes. The 6 of us grabbed mugs and went to town, my white chocolate/peppermint/Bailey's creation did not disappoint.

My friend Lindsey posted pictures on her fun blog, Focused Linz. I stole one (sorry Lindsey!)

Other than that party (which was pretty rage-y...), I can only think of 3 other parties that happened in 2010. As a person who likes any excuse to celebrate anything, I think 2011 needs more parties. Who's with me?

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Proving that 2010 didn't include much wisdom, I would say my wisest decision was to start a blog. I feel much better about the lack of updates I send my friends and family about my life, and I've reconnected with a lot of old friends that I've really missed.

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

I'm going to go with 4: excuses, gossip, inhibitions and baking disasters.

Supposedly, these are macarons.

Less excuses will make Y happy, as my excuses usually revolve around why we don't need dinner. Less gossip will never happen, but I can always dream. Less inhibitions will ensure that I actually use my new camera in public -- oh, and possibly make friends. Less baking disasters will probably significantly lower my blood pressure, and give Ike's neck a rest as he'll no longer have to cock his head in confusion when I throw a spatula across the room.