Friday, January 14, 2011

Year End Meme

Mea culpa!  I know, it's been an absurdly long time since I've been around.  Scusatemi!  I could fill you in on all the daily activities that have kept me occupied, all the feasts we were forced to endure (I know, sometimes life is tough ;), and all the tribulations of travel that laid me low for a while.  But it would take more time than I have at the moment.  Pazienza, as they constantly say around here.  (For a nutshell version, hop over to Bryan's blog.) 

Instead, I'm settling back into the nest with a meme.  It's been quite a while since I've done one, and I was inspired by friend Laura over at Ciao Amalfi to head into the New Year with this one. 

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Bought a house in Italy!  Made two trips without Bryan (but one was with dear friend and side-kick Maria, aka Louise, making it my first international chick trip!).  Acquired a rustic room that used to be a stall that will one day be incorporated into our living space.  Met an entire village.  Carried furniture through narrow medieval pedestrian lanes.  Learned to live with heating from just a fireplace and a small electric heater.  Participated in three grape harvests.  Went to two Italian funerals.  Watched a pig slaughter (well, we said we wanted to "go local", and thankfully it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be).  Cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 28 people.  Spent four months in Italy without visiting any historic sites or traveling around.   

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make resolutions.  But I do choose a theme song for the year, which helped keep me focused. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, nobody.  Sadly, I'm getting to that age when my friends' kids are having kids, maybe this year!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me, but my neighbor and a friend's dad died, so we attended both of their funerals.

5. What countries did you visit?
Italy (three times, including the move).  Though in a way the year in Viriginia spent more like visiting than residency.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
The winning lotto ticket!

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I am not good about remembering specific dates, though I ought to be able to remember the day in January when I signed the paperwork for the house (jetlag...I blame jetlag!)  I do remember that I arrived in Italy on September 14 to become a resident of this here village.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through bureaucratic hurdles again comes to mind.  But becoming a real resident of the village is the best thing; trudging through with my Italian language skills, being accepted and made to feel part of the town has been a real achievement.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not working hard enough at adapting to metro DC life.  I gave up rather easily.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just the usual seasonal allergies and cold/flu.  Thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A 300-something year old house!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Our friend Tonino.  Without him, things would have been more difficult and definitely less fun.  He's been a hero...and a great guy to hang out with.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Well, Berlusconi comes to mind. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
House, home and hearth.  Pretty much in that order.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Leaving northern Virginia!  (Are you catching the drift that I really didn't like living there?)

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
My annual soundtrack.  (See question number 2).  Go With The Flow by Giovanni Allevi was last year's soundtrack.  For 2011 I have chosen another song by Giovanni Allevi - Back to Life- because I feel like leaving the grief and stress of our life in northern Viriginia to live in this lovely village did help bring me back to life.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
Happier, thinner, and poorer. 

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Laugh.  Especially at myself.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying. But I come from a long line of worriers; it's in the genes.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
A tavola!  Five days of feasting marked our first Christmas season in Basilicata, and it was beautiful!  We even had a nice dusting of snow to make it perfect.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Yes, with our village and its inhabitants; and with a kitten named Lucano.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I don't watch much TV, but I did get into White Collar (all blue eyes and charm!) and I liked Castle.  Here we have only three channels so it's a bit limited.  I find myself watching i Soliti Ignoti rather often.  And I still like the crime-fighting priest, Don Matteo.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, I don't hold hatred.  There were some people who severely ticked me off, but I don't hate them.

24. What was the best book you read?
That Summer in Sicily by Marlena di Blasi.  Her writing is sumptuous and the story is amazing.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Boh.  I didn't have any.  I listened to a lot of jazz to relax.

26. What did you want and get?
A little house of my own.

27. What did you want and not get?
That winning lotto ticket I already mentioned!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
It's been ages since I've gone to a theater, and for some reason I can't remember most of the movies we'd rented last year!  So I'm going to have to say...and don't judge me for this...The Bounty Hunter.  Why?  Because it's only movie I can definitively remember and because I do *heart* Gerard Butler.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Well, this meme is rather nosey ;)  I turned 44 in November.  We celebrated by having pizza with friends and staying up past midnight to toast my birth, a sweet gesture on their part.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More work and more money.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Same as always- comfy, casual and classic.

32. What kept you sane?
Bryan, aka The Voice of Reason.  And walks.  Lots of walks.  And Giovanni Allevi CDs.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Can't say I'm totally impressed with any public figure or celebrity at the moment. 

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Do you really want to get me started?  Did you not notice that I live in Italy, where Berlusconi makes a monthly mockery of the political system?  And then there's the Tea Party people, health care, immigration...oy veh.  Don't want to go there.

35. Who did you miss?
My sister, my mamma, family and friends.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Can't pick just one as I met an entire village!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Things work out in the long run.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I can see clearly now the rain is gone; I can see all the obstacles in my way.  Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, it's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiney day.

Buon anno!
Please feel free to create your own end of year meme and post the link in the comments!


Yvonne said...

Welcome back, you have been missed.

I enjoyed your answers to the meme.

It's wonderful that your life in Italy is going as you wanted, brava.

Brianna said...

Great answers! and like you I also don't make new year's resolutions. I've always believe in actions speaking louder than words. And I also wish for that winning lotto ticket!!! I hope we all have it this year 2011 :D

LindyLouMac said...

Ciao all the best for 2011. I have also been missing from the blogsphere! I have enjoyed reading this meme and getting to know you a little more.

Maria said...

Bravissima Thelma! Would that the elusive little lotto ticket fall into mine hand or yours! I'd spend it on more visits, more rollicking episodes of Thelma and Louise. And you, I'll bet, would stay right where you are and do just what you're doing - only with a few more Euro in tasca. Che bel sogno! Louise

Valerie said...

Yvonne - Thanks, nice to hear that you missed me.

Brianna - I think to get the winning ticket I need to first buy a ticket, something I rarely do. Need to do it every now and then!

LindyLou - Ciao! Hope to see you back to blogging soon.

Maria - Hey Louise! First thing I would do with that ticket is buy youse a coupla tickets to come to the motherland! Hope to see you here soon.