Tschüß, 2010!

My New Year's Eve mood is leaning more toward nostalgic than celebratory. I'm actually feeling a bit sad to let go of this glorious year. It sounds absurdly hyperbolic to say that 2010 has been the best year of my life, so let's just say that 2011 has some big shoes to fill.

Highlights from the life of LMB in 2010:

I survived Tosca, Hamlet, Tosca again, Life is a Dream, Madame Butterfly, and La Fanciulla del West (hope I'm not jinxing anything—we've got 9 days left of this one). I was in a video on the New York Times website. For about 5 seconds, but still.

CameraMan got the most exciting email ever.

We got rid of most of our belongings in The Great Purge of 2010, first because we wanted to, and then because we had to.

We solidified incredible friendships and made a rich life in Houston. Then we moved. To another continent.

I started the Home on the Road feature. Then I neglected it. More to come in 2011, I promise.

We got engaged. It's a good story.

I crossed NINE items off my Bossy List: #67, #30, #42, #99, #21, #86, #84, #51, and #15. Thinking about topping that next year.

I spent a total of 165 days in the same city as CM. Definitely will be topping THAT next year.

I continued to write here, sometimes regularly, sometimes not. I even wrote several things that didn't make me cringe upon rereading them, including this, this, this, and this.

2011, you're going to have to work hard to top 2010, but I've got a good feeling about you.

Happy New Year, y'all.

Addio, 2009
Adieu, 2008

On the next episode of Cheaters

My Gay Husband is featured in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine (pgs. 294-5). Apparently he has a new Straight Wife.

Here they are playing croquet together (of course).

And here they are snuggling on a picnic blanket. They look happy, don't they?

I'm fine. Who cares? Whatever. I'm fine.

There's one of my disgusting habits gone

I can't remember when I started biting my nails, but I imagine it was right around the time I grew teeth. I was a nail biter for all of my childhood (also a precocious spotlight hog and a spoiled brat, but you knew that already, didn't you?), and the only way I was able to stop was to pick at and bite my cuticles instead, often to the point of bleeding. Lovely, I know.

I've always associated well groomed nails with an unattainable ideal of adulthood. There's something about being able to reach out your beautifully manicured right hand to be shaken that just reeks of chic and grown up. The trouble with manicures, of course, is they don't last very long, and I've never seen myself as the acrylic nails type. And home manicures are completely beyond my skill set; I can make a brave attempt on the left hand, but once I move to the right everything goes to hell. And the obvious solution, to just NOT do it anymore, has only ever been successful for a day or two at a time.

This summer I decided maybe the only thing for it, to truly break the habit, was to throw money at the problem. I invested in numerous schmancy cuticle creams (my faves are this and this), and started getting manicures every couple weeks or so. The creams help prevent hangnails and the manicures serve two purposes: to clean up my cuticles so there's very little to pick at, and to make me feel guilty when I ruin what I've just bought.

It's worked like a charm. I haven't bitten or picked in several months, and I seem to have mostly lost the compulsion to do so. It's an expensive solution, I'll grant you that, but for now it's worth it. It's nice not to feel self-conscious when I shake hands with someone new. And however irrational, looking down and seeing my beautifully manicured nails makes me feel like I may have finally reached adulthood for real.

51. Stop picking at my cuticles. It's a disgusting habit.

It's about time.

These boots were made for walkin'

I'm just now coming down off the high created by one of the most romantic, Christmasy weeks on record, followed by a giant snowstorm complete with thunder and lightning (truly—is that normal?). Sadly, the storm came about 24 hours too late to keep CM in New York, but the week we had was just perfect, all hot drinks and lazy mornings and Christmas music and chilly weather. Perfection.

The end of the year is fast approaching, and I have just enough days left to tell you about the three (that's right, THREE) Bossy List items I've crossed off in 2010 and not yet written about.

First off...

I bought Frankie in the fall of 2003, when I was just starting grad school. She was a gorgeous, dark blue New Beetle, calling to me from across the dealership parking lot. In the 7 years we were together we drove about 65,000 miles together, which doesn't seem like much, considering how many cross-country road trips we took. I asked a lot from her, often folding down the back seats to fill her to bursting with a summer's worth of belongings (and the cat), even attaching a tow hitch and towing a U-Haul trailer once (and only once).

Before I left Houston in November, I tuned her up, got her all shiny, and brought her to Carmax, where they offered me an embarrassingly low price to take her off my hands. Of course I took it, because I was leaving in 2 days, even though I knew in my heart that she was worth more. I thought I would be just fine, but as I handed my keys over I'll admit I got a little emotional.

And now, I'm living without a car and planning to do so for the foreseeable future. I'm taking public transportation, but mostly I'm walking. I'm walking in my beloved Wellies (especially necessary now that the sidewalks are a slushy disgusting mess) and my brand new Christmas Uggs all through this city, and I'll continue to do so in the other city (check out CM's blog for some seriously gorgeous pictures) in less than 2 weeks!

I've done it. I don't expect it to last forever, but for now I'm enjoying the ride walk.

84. Sell my car and live without one.


Thanks for the memories, Frankie.


I've been in a decidedly unbloggy mood of late, quick to snap when asked about it (sorry, Mama) and uninspired to write anything. I wrote several posts in my head but never took the next step to put fingers to keyboard. Generally when I'm searching for writing motivation I can go to the blog and something comes into my head, but I had to stop doing that because the MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8 was staring me in the face and making me depressed. People, that was over a month ago. Why on earth have I waited so long to write?

Reader's Digest version of my life right now:

I'm in New York, putting on Puccini's opera of cowboys and Indians. It's been a bit of a roller coaster, actually, one of the most challenging experiences of my career to date, but ultimately incredibly rewarding.

It's cold.

CameraMan is coming for Christmas in exactly two days. It's been far too long. I CAN'T WAIT!

I'm in the midst of figuring out what next season will look like, making decisions about where and how much to work. I'm excited AND scared.

We set a wedding date: July 9, 2011. Wedding planning hasn't gone much beyond that.

The Santa Mix is on shuffle at all times. Currently: Diana Krall, "I'll be Home for Christmas."

My sublet is ridiculously awesome, right across from the Museum of Natural History.  It's cozy, and the number of restaurants that deliver is making it far too easy for me to be a hermit.

Thank goodness for My Gay Husband, The Wise Soprano, and The Banker—New York would be so lonely without them.

I have 3 List items to cross off. Looking forward to telling you all about them.

I visited the Bossy Homestead in Oregon for a perfect 3 days with Mama and Papa Bossy. I would have gladly stayed longer.

If I weren't saving up for a wedding, I would be saving up for a Tempurpedic mattress.

I miss this.


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