I don't think I can complain one bit about 2013. It's been an adventurous year for me--busy, certainly, but mostly busy with wonderful things. Busy with fun, busy with spontaneity, busy hanging out with all of you, busy with thrilling upheaval.
I saw a great deal of the United States this year. In January, Meg and I went to New York City to visit Kevin. We explored Brooklyn and attended an over-the-top David Bowie/Elvis birthday party. We also stopped at a Doctor Who-themed bar:
In March I traveled to Las Vegas to see if I'd actually like living there, as I'd been accepted into UNLV's fiction MFA program. Turned out it wasn't just a single street full of brightly lit casinos in the middle of a cartoonish desert as I'd always imagined it. I sat in on a poetry workshop, I won $15, and I met many delightful people who thoroughly won me over and who would eventually become my friends. But that comes later...
Also in late March I went with Gena to Green Bay for Easter. We dyed eggs and visited Lambeau Field and bought records and lots of underwear and we watched musicals and had a generally lovely time.
In May I went to Florida to meet up with my family and participate in a 5K for stroke research in memory of my Aunt Tracey. We stayed in a cottage near Jacksonville Beach, and on the way back to Uncle Bill's house in West Palm Beach we stopped in St. Augustine to fulfill my history nerd desires. Here's me with my parents at the old fort there:
In July I went back to Las Vegas with my dad to find an apartment. It was 117 degrees that week. I won $70 this time, and I found an AWESOME roommate in Lulu. But I still wouldn't get to know her until a little later.
In August I finally made the move to Vegas, but I had to get my car out there. This called for a cross-country road trip with the best friends! Meg and I left from Chicago and drove to Omaha. We ate a pound of Goldfish crackers in one day. We pretended that we did not. The next day we drove from Omaha to Denver, where we explored bars with Sacha and Dan (a gay cowboy bar, a Grateful Dead bar, a super divey dive bar), and where we picked up miss Leta for the rest of the ride. From there we drove on pitch black roads to a tiny town in the middle of the Utah, and the next day we finally reached my new home. It was amazing to see so many different landscapes in just a few days. Albert, my dinosaur plant, accompanied us. Here he is heading into some mountains:
And here we are on top of a mesa in Utah:
Did you think the traveling would stop just because I officially became a graduate student? Of course not! Over Labor Day weekend my new friends Michael, Shaun, Olivia, and I took the Extraterrestrial Highway to Area 51.
And in October I drove the rest of the way to the Pacific to visit my friend Katie in Los Angeles, where we attended a Halloween masquerade, among other things.
In November I flew back to Chicago for Thanksgiving, and now I'm in Chicago again, enjoying my Windy City friends before I fly back to Vegas on Wednesday.
Here are some other rad things I did this year:
Death-to-Our-Youth-Themed Birthday Party! (Sharon Tate, Kim Jong-Il, and Madonna's Career)
C2E2! (Meg and I make a pretty good Buffy & Faith, don't you think?)
Got a Chicago flag tattoo!
Met Neil Gaiman!
Chopped off all my hair!
Chicago-themed going away party! (St. Valentine's Day Massacre & Lake Michigan)
Taught my first class ever!
Read my stories in public for the first time ever!
Started playing Dungeons & Dragons!
Not to mention the fact that I started an amazing program and that I've been working hard on my writing and that I've made tons of new friends who I adore and who are becoming just as big a part of my life as my friends in Chicago.
I realize that my 2013 would not have been such a resounding success without all of you. And I mean ALL of you. Your love and support has made this major life transition far easier for me. Thank you.
Enough with the sappy stuff. Let's toast to 2014! I'm certain it will be just as wonderful.