After 2012, the year of alternating periods of basic survival mode and self-discovery, 2013 went by very quickly. It felt like a year of being stuck, of not being able to get going, of being so shell-shocked from 2012 that I spent the year sadly staring at the wall. But when I really looked at the year, it was a productive one, and one full of highlights and devoid of family health crises, just my own which I recovered from quickly. I have concluded 2013 was an average year and I’ll take that. But 2014 will hopefully be a very big year for me, for many reasons. I will jump into it tonight with excitement.
Best TV Show: Orphan Black. Obsessed and proud of it. It’s such an expertly acted, well-written, and important show. It changed my perspective on actors, taught me more about feminism and gave me so many amazing female characters to root for I can’t choose a favourite. And it’s flawed and I love things that are flawed.
Most Meh Show: Orange is the New Black. It was also very well acted, the writing was solid and it had real moments of genius. But I don’t get the hype. And it’s sad that such a large female cast can only come about in artificial circumstances like a show about a women’s prison, or all-girl’s school. If we can have organically mostly male casts, can’t we have organic mostly female casts?
Worst Show That I Know is Actually Really Great…I Just Hate It: The Americans. Extremely well made show from every angle. But what they do to the secretary disturbs me more than anything else on TV this year, even more than Brienne fighting [redacted for spoilers] which makes my stomach sick thinking of it. No one to root for on that show. All horrible people with nothing redeeming or, in my opinion, interesting about them.
Best Character: Mellie on Scandal. I adore her, always have. Excellent acting. Perfectly delivered monologues. Great internal and external conflict.
Best Unexpected TV Plot: Meredith and Cristina’s multi-episode debate about the whole career vs. motherhood issue. Extremely well written and performed.
Best TV Episode: “Ozymandias” of Breaking Bad was the best episode of television I’ve ever watched. That phone call is unforgettable.
Hardest TV Death to take: [Redacted for spoilers]
Best Reveal: What happened to Mellie 16 years ago on Scandal.
Worst Reveal: What happened to Arizona last spring on Grey’s. Should have been a plot as it was happening last spring.
Biggest TV Regret: That I didn’t get into Enlightened and Bunheads before they were cancelled. I still have to watch them.
Best Book: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I started a lot of books this year and finished only a few. This one I enjoyed the most of the ones I finished.
Runner-Up: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. So soothing.
Best Movie: Um, I didn’t see that many movies this year but I think I saw Lincoln this year and I loved that film.
Worst Movie: Man of Steel. I was promised a movie filled with hope and positivity. Instead I got a movie about wanton distraction with no consequences. Not what I was promised.
Best Song: “Normal Person” by Arcade Fire. A damn good hook and great lyrics that hit close to home.
Runner-Up: “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu” by Neko Case. I wish the whole album was like it IE. a capella. Just That Voice.
Best Concert: Neko Case. That Voice live is an aural experience to behold. I’ll never forget that show.
Runner-Up: The National. They put on a damn good show.
Best Musical Discovery: I really listened to The National a lot this year and fell in love.
Best Experience: The Orphan Black panel at Nerd HQ at San Diego International Comic Con. It was a thrill to learn that the actors are wicked smart and kind-hearted. If I was to pick my favourite moment of the year it would be Tatiana Maslany beat-boxing while Jordan Gavaris sang Taylor Swift.
Best Bite: The lardo covered uni at Marea in NYC. I am a complete uni convert.
Runner-Up: The pomodoro sauce at Babbo in NYC. I hate tomato sauce. This was divine.
Best Culinary Skill Gained: My ability to make lemon meringue pie. My favourite kind of pie, I can now make myself.
Best Trip: Now it would be Comic Con because of Orphan Black day at Comic Con, but there were silly exhaustion tears, an existential crisis, and appendicitis on that trip. Therefore I’m giving it to my New York/Toronto trip which was better overall.
Best Addition: Libby Hill as my Twitter friend.
Biggest Accomplishment: Not abandoning my novel after that terrible writing class experience.
Runner-up: Finishing my novel, reading it over and sending it for its first Professional Opinion.
Honourable Mentions: Publicizing my depression blog, making my own spice rack, painting 3 paintings for the bedroom wall, finishing decorating my office, working on my pointillism, selling a few t-shirts with my designs on them, making a box from scratch for my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law, making kindle cases for myself and my husband.
Biggest Regret: That my Cantonese isn’t really any better than it was a year ago.
Runner-Up: Taking that writing class. Alternatively, that I met some smart and interesting writers in that class and had the class gone differently, they would have made a great writing peer group. That stings.
Thing I’m most grateful for: The health of my loved ones.
Runner-Up: That I survived my appendix bursting, the nurses and doctors at St. Paul’s were so great and it didn’t cost us a penny. We didn’t even get billed for the toothbrush I was provided in the hospital. So grateful for the amazing government-provided healthcare I received this year.
Best Thing I Learned in 2013: How to recover. This was the year I learned how to recover from life’s traumas. I doubt this life lesson will stick but I was able to move on from life’s traumas faster than ever before this year. And there were many a life trauma this year…
Best Thing About 2013: By the end of it, I can make my Mother-in-Law smile and laugh again. This is everything to me. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Runner-Up: Orphan Black!