Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 In Retrospect

I rang in the new year in another country this year. That's right, I got to celebrate and count down a few hours before most of the people reading my blog, because I was in London with my study abroad program. I can look back on the trip and say that I had a lot of fun, but the fact of the matter is, I spent a good deal of time being miserable while I was there. However, I don't regret it for an instant, and I think it was one of the most important things I've ever done in my life. 

I went to Oxford while I was there, and in spite of all the traveling I did in the past year, it remains to this day the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my entire life. I would pack up and move there in an instant if it wasn't for the fact that I'd be immediately rendered destitute because of the miserable exchange rate. Instead, I've covered the walls of my apartment with framed photos of my trip, so that I can always take a moment, and appreciate the memories. 

I turned 21 this year, and began to exercise my legal right to drink myself silly. I still have yet to drink myself so silly that I've thrown up, and I'm quite proud of myself for that. For those of you wondering when this story is going to get as interesting and dramatic as my life has the tendency to be, fear not, for my love life kicked up sometime in February, when I reconnected with an old friend...

After a few conversations that pointed in a hopeful direction, I headed off to Ohio, home of the Browns, the Bengals, many cornfields, and the now-burned-down Touchdown Jesus. There, I met up with my amazing friend Robbie, who lead me to reconnect with my long lost crush who would, in the coming months, become my boyfriend. The irony of the term cannot be properly understood without the information that he was, in fact, twice my age. Those of you who have known me for a while are not at all surprised. After a night of drinks, gossip and catching up in Ohio, we set our first real date for the following week, back in New York City. 

Thanks to the wonderful invention of Skype, the relationship clicked, and made it through until April. (Ironically, it was also this month that I met the man who would later be dubbed "Prince Charming", though I have no memory of the day we met.) In April, I packed myself, and my friends Danielle and Megan into my father's car, and drove us all down to North Carolina. For me, the trip was to visit my boyfriend. For them, the trip was to see a performer they really liked. Fun times were had by all, and we visited a plantation that was supposedly haunted, and continued our road trip tradition of ordering Dominoes for dinner. 

May kicked softball season into full swing (pun intended), and I spent much of my spring and summer just as I had every other year for the past five years - with my butt parked on a dusty bleacher and my camera in my hand. One of my favorite photography projects has been the photos I've taken of my friends and their teammates. Though I do also play, this year I didn't because I was completing my final semester of college, and had to sprint from school to get to the games, and couldn't always be on time. My friend Greg, in the photo above, played his last season (for the time being anyway) before moving to the west coast, but he knocked a few great home runs into the next field before he left! 

Ah, June. The photo above is the only photo on the fact of the planet that exists of myself and the infamous That Man. It is a blurry cell phone photo from a bar where we both drank too much tequila, and it has never been shared online. It is, however, tacked to my bulletin board to this day. I went home with him that evening, and we fell asleep in bed together. In the morning, I kissed him on the forehead as I left, he was too hungover to say goodbye. It was the last time I ever saw him, and the last time I ever will. 

I celebrated the Fourth of July with my family at our house in Cape May. I've decided that in the future, fireworks are something that most definitely require a tripod. I also completed college the week after, though it will likely be 2011 before I hold the physical degree in my hand. After graduating, I spent most of the month job hunting, and secured work on two shows, as well as a volunteer position in a costume shop. I also finalized plans to visit my boyfriend in August. He never heard about tequila night. Some things are just best left unsaid. "I'm still in love with the man who broke my heart" is one of them. 

August was an eventful month - jobs, parties, traveling, and a rather tumultuous time in my love life. (As if my love life is ever stable) In August, I visited my boyfriend in Milwaukee. Let me tell you, the only thing more uncomfortable than ending a long distance relationship is ending a long distance relationship while you're visiting. Especially when you've still got two days left. After a mix of sightseeing, sex, tearful arguments, and silence, we agreed that we'd remain friends, and I returned home, where I ran promptly into the arms of the man henceforth known as Prince Charming. 

And so the month continued, with the sting of the breakup passing quickly into oblivion as I fell fast and hard for another guy who would toss my heart into a blender. I took him out to Six Flags for his birthday, and it was the first time I could remember that a guy would hold my hand in public. 

I continued work at my first real wardrobe job, on two Shakespeare plays in a park in Brooklyn. We performed Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar, and it was baptism by fire. I was thrown into the park with no tools, no resources, and a hell of a lot of obstacles, but I'm proud to say that I did my best, came out on top, and have been working more or less consistently in wardrobe jobs ever since. The photo above was taken when we had to punch new holes in belts half an hour before a performance with no tools besides our seam rippers, prop daggers, scissors, and keys. Just one of many interesting tasks I performed, along with washing costumes in the stream that ran behind the backstage area, and throwing crashboxes for sound cues. 

I closed off the month of August with all my friends from my retail job, as we gathered at a party to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the closing of the show we used to work for. Though I generally neglect to mention who I work for because I wouldn't want them to catch me saying anything bad about them, I'm sure from this photo, it's rather clear. 

In spite of entering September jobless (except of course, for my retail job which it seems I will never leave), Prince Charming and I took what turned into a week-long vacation to my family's house in Cape May. As we speak, I'm awaiting an angry phone call from my younger sister who is visiting the house this week. We played a bit of a trick on her, and I'm sure she isn't going to be pleased at all. Shortly after returning to the city, I landed myself another job on a NYMF show, where I worked through October. 

October, of course, means Halloween, which means that I was left with the task of coming up with an extremely badass Halloween costume. Whether or not I succeeded is up to you. I'm pictured above in my costume, a "sexy" replica of one worn in the show I used to work for, alongside my boss from that show, who is dressed as one of his bosses. 

November opened in Florida with my family, and right before I left I secured my next job, subbing on the wardrobe crew at The 39 Steps, where I work now until the show closes next month. My sisters and I had a blast as we took Harry Potter World, and Disney World by storm. 

We visited our favorite face characters, and said hello to my friends Mandy and Courtney, and just generally had a blast. My mom even used one of our photos for our Christmas card this year. (Though not this one with Alice, which I would have picked had it been my decision.) 

I also exercised my right to be a complete and total alcoholic, and tackle the task of drinking around the world in Epcot. The Epcot World Showcase features 11 countries, and each of them has its own variety of delicious alcoholic beverages. I survived without throwing up, or even being stuck with a serious hangover. 

I also got to spend the following day drinking beer at the ESPN Club and watching football all day! Every team I cheered for won that Sunday. (I know, not a photo of me at ESPN Club, but it proves two things: I wore my jersey that day, and I am at least as pretty as the chick dressed up as Belle, so my desires to be a princess one day are not entirely in vain!) 

I returned home to get dumped for a Rockette in a text message, a story which most of you have already heard or read. I proceeded to drink myself silly for a couple of weeks, and cry on my shrink's couch for hours over this, hurt and angry, and often feeling like the dummy from the show I work for, who apparently was very depressed, as we see above. However, I survive, as I always do.

After a sufficient period of moping, crying, and feeling sorry for myself, I toss myself head first into my new job at The 39 Steps, endure a multitude of frustrating hazing rituals, and eventually settle in to enjoy myself at my new job. I enjoy the company of a friend of Prince Charming, which I can safely say is the only positive thing that came out of that relationship. I also work on the costume crew of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, which was truly a unique experience... though I'm not so sure I'll need to repeat it any time soon! I had a fantastic Thanksgiving with Stacey, Mick and his friends, and Clay and all the other folks down at House of Brews. (At least, I think it was Clay that night... my memory is a bit foggy!)

And that brings us to about... now. I'm working 2 jobs, one being my retail job, the other being my off-Broadway wardrobe job, I'm casually dating a really nice guy, and I'm enjoying my Christmas gifts, even though I'm atrociously bad at Black Ops. I've got plans for the upcoming year... but that's going to be a whole different story to tell, isn't it?



  1. Love this post so much, Jess. It's been a hell of a year, hasn't it? Thanks for sharing this--for being here and for being who you are. I'm glad to count you as a friend.

  2. Wow so live so much life! I feel silly. I don't think I did much this past year. That's changing though.

  3. Your life is more like a movie than mine. Congratulations! hahah. Hope you have a wonderful new year.