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2009 - The Highlights

Considering how much of a crap ass, bad news year 2009 was for just about everyone, I thought it was going to be difficult coming up with a summary of 2009 Ten Happy Things highlights.  Then I started reviewing and I found it was going to be pretty easy.  I guess when a lot of bad stuff happens in a year, it makes the good stuff stand out a little more.  Or a lot more.  Either way.

2009 was a fantastic media year, especially if you're a huge geek like I am.  Watchmen, Star Trek, New Moon, Zombieland, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Inglorious Basterds, Where the Wild Things Are, District 9, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Wolverine, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, 2010, GI Joe, Sherlock Holmes, True Blood....  It was like a cornucopia of geektastic-ness.  Well, geektastic-ness and Vampires.  There are just Vampires all over the place and I'm lapping it up like a starving Armenian.  Twilight books and Twilight movies and True Blood books and True Blood shows and Vampire Diaries and ridiculously good looking underage boys playing Werewolves who hunt Vampires.  It's insanity!  I'm so grateful for all the wonderful media outlets that have served as such fantastic escapes from reality for so many of us.  And then there was Jersey Boys.  I really can't say enough about Jersey Boys.  The thing that really makes it such a highlight for me is the fact that I went into it with such an 'eh' attitude.  I mean, I didn't NOT want to see it.  I was just eh about it.  It's nothing I would have went to see had my Gram not asked to go for her birthday.  I figured I'd be entertained....and I ended up being blown completely away.  Sadly, Jersey Boys just left Chicago a few days ago.  It'll be traveling the country for a while now.  If it comes to your city, GO.  Go multiple times, if you can.  It is hands down the BEST stage production I have ever seen.....and I'm someone who's seen Les Miserables 15 times.  I spent the entire show in wide-eyed wonder with my mouth hanging open in awe.  Great show. 

I bought an iPhone.  Any of you who see me in person on a frequent basis know full well how much joy I have gleaned from this phone.  I'm permanently attached to the thing.  I think it's going to slowly meld into being a permanent part of my hand.  I LOVE it.....especially Scrabble.  I play this kind of text message Scrabble kind of game with and old friend named Joe.  It annoys my Joe to no end because I'm forever studying the board trying to figure out my next move.  He lets me get away with it, though, because I'm cute.

My Gram moved here and while it hasn't been the best of times for her since moving here thanks to cancer, she's at least here where she has access to top notch medical care and loads of family around her to help, two things that she was lacking in Upstate New York.  I've waited many, many years to have my Gram live near me again and, honestly, it's very comforting having her near.  When most of your extended family lives far away, it can get kind of nerve wracking because you're always far away from them God forbid anything bad happens.  I've spent most of my life living away from most of my family.  With me, every little bit that I can bring in closer is monumental. 

Sports has been pretty outstanding as well.  True, the Mets sucked to an almost insane degree and Sergio didn't win anything but my Penguins started out the year by winning the Stanley Cup (which, by the way, was extra extra extra sweet because they won in game seven in Detriot against the stupid Red Wings that everybody in their right mind has the common decency to hate).  Brett Favre debuted with the Vikings and has pretty much amped up my football watching joy to ridiculous degrees....even moreso than he did last season playing with my Jets.  Speaking of my Jets, they made it to the playoffs with a rookie coach and a rookie quarterback and are still at it, though I admit this weekend will most likely be the end of their run.  Tennis was wonderful, especially Andy Roddick and the host of new, young American players that are breathing new life into the USTA.  While providing copious amounts of entertainment through very festive outfits, quasi-nudity stints, and all around deliciousness, a bunch of my boys also managed to win at golf - Ian Poulter won, Henrik Stenson won, Paul Casey won a couple of times (including his first PGA Tour win), Jim Furyk won...  And that's just the boys.  The American girls kicked their own amount of ass as well by winning the Sondheim Cup and Michelle Wie finally, finally, FINALLY won on the LPGA Tour.  I even logged in my own golf win by winning a set of Cobra golf clubs through the Golf Channel's "Play with Poulter" contest.  I've yet to win anything actually playing golf but I'm working on it.  

The true golf win for me, though, and most likely the biggest highlight of 2009 was my BMW Championship Sergio Garcia slice of heaven experience back in September.  I hadn't been to a golf tournament in ten years.  When I found out the BMW Championship was coming to the Chicagoland area, I was giddy with excitement.  I got my tickets and spent two days following Sergio Garcia (and Ian Poulter on the second day) around while wearing my custom-made Sergio Garcia logo t-shirt and basking in the glory that was Sergio actually acknowledging that I exist.  He smiled at me and talked to me and was an all around ball of wonderful pleasantness.  The absolute best, though, was the golf ball.  Sergio gave me a golf ball.  His golf ball that he used to play the 17th hole on the second day of the tournament.  He made a birdie with the ball, took it out of the cup, and then walked over to me on the sidelines, smiled, said "here you go", and put it right into my hand before sauntering over to the 18th tee.  Let me just tell you this:  I died and was reborn right there in that moment.  Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT dramatic...but you get the point.  It's not just because I adore the man.  It's also because it's so rare that you can be a devoted fan of someone and actually get a moment where that someone lets you know personally that they appreciate your devotion, whether it be a sports figure or a musician or an actor or a politician or whatever.  That was really what it was all about.  I have spent a lot of years and a lot of energy being a very loyal, very devoted fan of Sergio and the game he plays.  He's not the only member of that sporting group that I'm a fan of but he's certainly the top of the list.  It's not easy being a Sergio fan.  He's not Tiger (and considering recent events, THANK GOD for that!)  He doesn't win all the time.  He's not a beacon of controlled, professional behavior.  He's a head case and a cry baby and a diva and, oftentimes, a petulant child.  He wears all his emotions on the outside and while it certainly shows the world his passion, it also shows the world his weaknesses and flaws.  Nevertheless, I have loved him since I first saw him play at Medinah in 1999 and I'll keep on loving him whether he wins a major or not.  With all the time and energy I've spent adoring his silly Spanish self, it was really nice to get a moment where he let me know it wasn't for naught.  He could have been a real dick to me that day.  I mean, here I was, this goofy orange-headed girl following him through his round wearing a completely unlicensed shirt with his logo printed on it in bright red and yellow.  He could have been really pissy about that fact, but he wasn't.  He smiled and he laughed and he told me how great he thought it was and took a couple of seconds out of his round to give me a golf ball as a thank you.  I know he's given out a million golf balls to a million fans but that doesn't matter.  He gave me a golf ball and it made my whole entire year.  I carry it around with me all the time.  I know that's stupid but I don't even come close to caring.  ;o)  

Finally, 2009 has been a baby extravaganza.  I knew a ton of pregnant chicks in 2008.....which meant LOTS of babies in 2009.  I love babies.  I covet everyone's children, especially little Colin.  I try not to play favorites...but he's my favorite.  ;o)  He is the happiest, funniest baby ever.  He's funnier than my sister was at that age, and she was pretty damn funny.  I've mentioned the birth of these babies here and there throughout the past year.  Last month, I mentioned the hilarity that is the Meredith Pregnancy Watch Group which was punctuated by my silly-ass sister who was insistent that I was pregnant simply because I could smell some tomato basil soup that was being transported in my car.  As it turns out, she's not as retarded as we all thought......because I COULD totally smell that soup.........and I AM totally due in September.  ;o)  Put that in your pipe and smoke it!  

Needless to say, 2010 is going to be full of lots of new things for me.  Here's to hoping that my year and your year is a good, happy, safe, and healthy year and that all the Ten Happy Things keep adding up!  :o)

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