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The Best of 2009 – Part One

December 18, 2009

I met Gwen Bell when I was 21 years old. I had just started my first job in social media at MWW Group and on my second day at work, I asked if I could go to BlogHer. My boss, Tom, said yes. But he’s awesome like that. Anyway, I was the youngest person there by probably five years, but because I am an old soul, I fit right in. I met Gwen on my first night there, through a couple of girls that I met on a shuttle from the hotel to the conference center. I am still Facebook and Twitter friends with most of them, and if I can ever come up with the money to fly to Colorado, I will probably sleep on their couch.

Gwen is the second from the left. Yep, she is tall.

Anyway, Gwen is a bit of a social media princess and I kinda feel like I’m one degree away from Kevin Bacon whenever I think about how popular Gwen is but in that “she’s so nice I can’t possibly not like her” kind of way. She’s not a bitch who’s popular, she’s a cool Buddhist hippie who happens to be popular. It’s a good look for her.

So anyway Gwen, being the social media phenom that she is, started this crazy ass popular meme called The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge, where you are supposed to write a post everyday about one of the 31 things that Gwen has written down.

Unfortunately I can’t commit all my blog posts to this one challenge, so I’m breaking it up into two sections. The first one I am publishing today. The second one I am going to publish next week. Enjoy!

December 1 Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?

Picking my BEST trip of 2009 is a tough one, mostly because I went to a ton of places. I went to Minnesota twice, I went to Chicago (again), Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Oregon, Vermont, Florida, Rhode Island, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C. …. I think that’s it.

I think my favorite trip, though, was when I went to Philadelphia with Erik. It wasn’t exactly the most noteworthy trip, because it was just me and him, hanging out with some of our friends (hi Hannah!), but it was our first trip together and thus very important to me. And I like Philly so it’s all good.

December 2 Restaurant moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?


I think my best restaurant experience was at the Claim Jumper for my birthday. It was my first birthday dinner with my family and Erik, so that was big. And it was also the first time I ordered an entree that cost LESS THAN TEN DOLLARS in, like, a million years. Because things costing less than $10 just don’t exist in New York City. Unless you’re buying, say, a bottled water. In which case, that’ll be $8.95.

December 3 Article. What’s an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious’d and reference throughout the year.

I read a lot of interesting articles but I’m not sure that one really stands out as being something that I shared with a gazillion people. I will say, though, that the only article I ended up blogging about was the one featured in the St. Petersburg Times about the journalist who is going to lose is COBRA coverage soon. I suppose that blew me away and I totally wasn’t expecting it. But it really made me reflect on my own life and that hasn’t happened in a long time.

December 4 Book. What book – fiction or non – touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?

The Omnivore’s Dilemma – hand’s down. I read it over the summer, mostly while flying or sleepless nights in hotel rooms. It will change the way you think about everything related to food. I am totally fascinated by the whole process now, and I want to read more books about food, and eating, and our industry of gluttony and consumption and almost the superficiality that has completely overtaken our culture. But I’m also afraid it might turn me into some freaky agoraphobic hermit or something.

Really, it will change the way you think.

December 5 Night out. Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?

Can my favorite night out actually be a night in? My favorite night out from this entire year was sitting in a hotel bar in Indianapolis with twenty-nine of the most AWESOME people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I am a bit sad that I didn’t get a chance to hang out in the hotel room, because I hear that was pretty bad ass. But the entire time spent in Indianapolis was completely surreal and I wish I could do it again and again.

December 6 Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

The funny thing is, I didn’t really learn that much while in Indianapolis but that’s primarily because we went there to teach Roche about social media. So everything that was said on our side was something I already knew. As far as a conference or workshop where I learned something new, that was definitely Florida, but in particular the time spent in the Diabetes Research Institute. Meeting the researchers and hearing about the work they are doing completely changed my outlook on cure research. It made me hopeful and that’s the best lesson you can learn.

December 7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can’t believe you didn’t know about until this year.

SEA OF SHOES. OMG. I want to be this girl when I grow up. Tall, skinny, blond and with a ton of cash and fantastic style. OK, so I don’t really want to be her (I like being me), but her blog is awe-inspiring and totally click-worthy. Check it out, yo.

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

Peace… was not really a theme this year. I live in New York City. The closest I get to solitude is when I’m taking a shower. But sometimes being out in the world can give me the most peace. I love walking around with headphones on and just taking in the world. When you have headphones on, you don’t get as easily distracted by random noise, so it’s much easier to observe people, parents, children, old ladies and men who walk hand-and-hand down the street. It’s adorable and definitely gives me a sense of community and continuity in a town that is always changing.

December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

Finding a new job was a challenge. I had not been particularly happy at my last job for awhile and it was a struggle to find a new job. It was also a struggle to finally move into Manhattan, which was a goal that I have had for many years and for the last two years, it has taunted me from across the river. But I overcame the challenges before me and now I am living and working in New York City and LOVING EVERY STINKIN’ MINUTE OF IT.

December 10 Album of the year. What’s rocking your world?

LADY GAGA. I love her music. It’s like the only thing I listen to right now and it’s actually a little disturbing. But it’s great.

December 11 The best place. A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?

The best place is any place where Erik is. Sappy, but true. A room just doesn’t feel complete without him.

December 12 New food. You’re now in love with Lebanese food and you didn’t even know what it was in January of this year.

MUSSELS. Is that weird? There was, like, two weeks in October where every time we went out to eat, I ordered mussels. I haven’t actually had them in awhile, so I maybe kicked that addiction pretty quickly but they are delicious and so much fun to eat!

  1. December 19, 2009 2:21 AM

    Love that you’re doing the #best09 in two parts. How perfect! It’s fun to get a quick hit on all of the prompts.

    Based on your favorite book, I think you’d love a documentary I just saw:, Check it out if you get the chance. It’s actually inspiring.

  2. December 19, 2009 12:03 PM

    I love how you did this in one fell swoop! And Lady Gaga…yessss.


  1. The Best of 2009: Part Two. « Lemonade Life

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