We bought a pair of plastic shades at the dollar store shaped like "2011" in preparation for New Year's Eve. Perhaps we should start a tradition with that cheap accessory.
Another tradition I'm trying to keep is my categorized year-end summary of my life. The best parts are the "firsts!" Here are the highlights of my 2010:
- Albany, New York: Drove there twice; first in February, then in July. During each trip, I was with a different college friend (both flew in from California) for an experience we wished never had to happen again. In February, I met this friend's brother, sister and mom for the first time. The attractive brother, who's a physician, said these memorable words to me: "At last, I meet you in person." I was warm all over, and not because of my winter jacket! It's probably the most unintentionally romantic first meeting greeting I've ever had. That smile, that Close-Up Smile! Last I heard, he was touring Paris by himself. Handsome men like him exist to torture women like me who can't have them. In July, I drove myself alone to Albany, but came back to Jersey with a friend and her husband.
- The Met Museum: Finally set foot in this famous museum which inspired the book-turned-movie "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief." First visit was with Ody, second time was with my family.
- Brooklyn Bridge: I got to visit this iconic bridge three times this year. First was in March when it was still freezing cold. Second was in July in which I photographed my friend and her husband in what would later be used as their wedding thank you postcard, which I also designed. The last was in October when I toured a friend who is staying in Queens.
- Jollibee in Queens! The only Yumburger hive in the entire East Coast! And my first visit was with Ody! We had a little trouble finding it after getting off the train in Woodside.
- The Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park's Upper East Side. It was the height of Tim Burton's movie version of that classic fantasy story.
- Philippines! From May-June, I flew there for multiple family reunions, a cousin's wedding (in which I caught the bouquet), a pilgrimage to Manaoag and a visit to relatives in Villasis, both in Pangasinan; then Boracay (my second time in this paradise island) & a hometown fiesta. While there, I met Ging's family for the first time in a fun dinner with videoke for dessert. Hung out with my classmates and even played our version of "Pinoy Henyo" and sang videoke as per tradition. Also witnessed the first ever nationwide automated Presidential Elections using the controversial PCOS machines. My family and I watched stand-up comedy for the first time at Laffline in Quezon City. Ethel Booba was the main act. We didn't like how dirty-racy the jokes became so we didn't finish the show. My alma mater, UST, is more gorgeous than ever, ready to celebrate its 400th year with a bang!
- Illinois: Drove with family to attend a June wedding, in which my parents were invited as godparents. Also got to experience "Taste of Chicago" for the first time, an annual food festival in downtown Chicago in which the best restaurants let you sample their specialties either in "taste" size or meal size! Food is purchased with tickets. The centerpiece of this event is the majestic Buckingham Fountain, which I got to see up close for the first time. Also got a guided Architectural Tour on a boat along the Chicago River. We lost our big golf umbrella in Navy Pier. We thought Chicago might carry a curse on our belongings because I had lost my celfone while in downtown Chicago back in 2009!
- National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Washington, NJ: Was invited to be part of a pilgrimage back in October.
- Coney Island: It was 45 minutes by subway from midtown Manhattan, and Ody and I were too tired that we slept while riding. It was nearly deserted when we did reach the place, as it was April and the carnival grounds were closed. We did visit Nathan's, Home of the International Hotdog Eating Contest.
- Atlantic City: Proud to have driven there for the first time to tour my friend and her husband. Fun picture-taking along the boardwalk.
- Marakesh Restaurant right up in our county. Moroccan food and bellydancing!
- I became a proud, doting aunt to my sister's baby in August! I was there when she was born! Because of this life-changing event, I learned how to bake (more about this below), change diapers, properly carry a baby, burp a baby, and be a discriminating baby clothes shopper!
- My sister and I were on the local news back in February's blizzard. A CBS 2 crew interviewed us at the mall parking lot about how we were preparing for the snow! It was my six seconds of fame! I hope my uncle hasn't erased that news video from their DVR.
- I can bake! I'm a Betty Crocker-in-training! Bride of Duncan Hines! Pillsbury DoughGirl!
- Once again strapped on dancing shoes for a fundraiser. Think Chiquita Banana apparel and Mambo No. 8 music.
- I bought myself a shiny new Nikon D3000 DSLR which I named "Nikita."
- I worked in Manhattan for two weeks as a temporary secretary for a lawyer friend who was away on a family trip.
- Joined my second Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness and raised money for a worthy cause!
- Hung out with four of my lawyer friends this year, each of whom I took to New York City.
- Hung out with three of my Miss Igorota blogger sisters this year! Dinner-videoke at Ging's house! Met Ody for the first time in New York City!
- Recruited two new sisters for Miss Iggyhood! Lauren and Witsandnuts! That makes us nine!
- I won a Superheadz Yellow Peace camera via a Twitter Contest! I used it to photograph the Antipolo Church vicinity.
- Actually saw two shows in New York City this year: "In The Heights" the musical which featured Jordin Sparks in her Broadway debut, and Cirque du Soleil's "Wintuk," their final season at Madison Square Garden.
- I flew a kite for the first time! In Boracay, no less!
- Discovered that my hands still have the skills! Now if I can only turn it into something that'll pay the bills!
- Door shut in my face twice this year. It just got more expensive to try to unlock it, too...by $500! I can haz new career instead? Then when I can afford that exorbitant fee, perhaps I'll try again.
- I had a major, major job interview. It was the first time I was interviewed by a panel of people. They threw questions at me like I was a Miss Universe contestant. I was prepared for the "What is your weakness?" question. I left the place feeling confident they were going to hire me. A few weeks later, I was informed their company was putting a "freeze" on hiring new people. So I didn't get the job.
- My cat Siomai gave birth to two kittens which both died shortly thereafter.
- I am broke as hell!
And to all who care to read my blog, I sincerely share the sentiment on the sailboat photo posted above, one of my favorite vacation photos this year. Thank you for making me a part of your online reading selection.
*Happy New Year!*