So, last year! I transferred stores, went back to management, had two short stories published, returned to school, changed majors, and took up piano again after ten years. Also, I literally sang for my grade. I expected that to be nerve-wracking, but oddly my experience teaching dog-training classes came to my aid--I'm only moderately nervous singing to an audience, since I feel like I'm interacting with them. Piano involves being stared at while I look at something else, plus all the teenage memories of catastrophic Bach failures at recitals (I tanked the third-to-last measure of Bach in my piano jury, too. Third-to-last! I was SO CLOSE. But fortunately I'd already played the Bach piece well at my semester recital, so the professors knew I could do it).
Surviving the holiday retail season this year was a special challenge--this store is much busier than my old location, which means a greater number of those customers who make new cashiers cry and managers quietly imagine homicide while smiling and nodding. Also, there's a really quality level of crazy cat lady here. One talked to me for thirty minutes about the Fluoride Action Network and how fluoride is evil and the conspiracy of people who evilly put it in our water. Another actually cried in the aisle when she discovered her cat litter was made from GMO corn rather than organic. I tried to be comforting but honestly I have the tender-emotion-expression skills of the average teakettle, so I'm not sure how successful I was.
A friend talked me into seeing the latest Hobbit movie on New Year's Eve. My two favorite characters: 1, the war-moose; 2, Thranduil's clothing. The rest of the movie, well, it--it happened.
My mom and I are slowly Netflixing our way through the X-Men movies, because we are on the cutting edge of pop culture. Our favorite character: Wolverine's abs.
Despite my general lack of free time, I read quite a large number of books last year. My overall favorite of the new releases was The Goblin Emperor, by Katharine Addison/Sarah Monette, although Ilona Andrews' Burn For Me made a surprising run for the top. I bounced off her Kate Daniels series pretty thoroughly, but this new world/series was deeply enjoyable, especially the heroine's large, loving, and eccentric family. The heroine's power--telling when people are lying--was also a great deal of fun.
On a super-nerdy note, my other favorite of the year was Everett Fox's The Five Books of Moses, which is not new but was new to me; it's a much more literal translation from Hebrew than most English versions of the Pentateuch, so it gives some fascinating angles and rhythms on different passages. I'm really excited to take Intro to Biblical Hebrew this fall semester. (Neeeeerd.)
Bring it on, 2015!