A few things I’ll remember about 2012

The end of a year the start of a new one means it’s time for the annual blog post. Here are a few things I’ll remember about the year that was:

Yesssss. 500 miles run in 2012. I think I'll celebrate with new shoes, perhaps not the kind with rubber soles.

Resolutions, check. This was the year I managed to keep my resolutions. The main one especially, which was to take better care of myself — you know, get regular sleep and fresh air and eat like a grownup. The main part of it was to run 500 miles, which I totally did. 544 actually! All in all, it’s not really all that many miles (a little more than 9 a week), but it does require consistency. If you take a week off the next one kind of sucks. So you keep going. I did, and it worked, and honestly I think I’m in the best shape of my life. I also kept another resolution, and read far more than my aimed-for 12 books. A few that stand out:

  • Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. I started this out of a sense of obligation but finished it because it fascinated/disgusted me.
  • The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach. While I was reading this it carried me along like a great American novel, like A Prayer for Owen Meany. A few months on that feeling is fading, but it’s a perfect vacation read nonetheless.
  • Then Again, by Diane Keaton. A totally delightful and surprisingly deep memoir of the movie actress and her mother.
  • Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. Gah, this book gave me nightmares.
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan. Perfect in every way, even more because my very own pre-publication copy arrived (signed!) by post the day before my birthday. Hooray for very excellent friends.
  • A Hologram for the King, by Dave Eggers. A very fine and funny story about a very odd place.
  • Honorable mentions: Magic Hours by Tom Bissell, Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.

Bicycle adventure day 2: Middelfart to Odense. The last part was straight out of a fairy tale -- all lush forest and dandelion path.

An adventure across northern Europe. B & I turned a lucky work trip to Copenhagen — for a cozy little conference of community and social media folks, where I was honored to give the closing keynote — into a sprawling adventure across northern Europe. From Copenhagen, we rented bikes and took a train the other side of Denmark, where we hopped off and rode home through giant fields of flowers and tiny charming towns, stopping finally at an empty and perfectly sunny Danish beach.

Why hello, Russia. You are weirdly wonderful, and not just because your churches look like candy.

Then! We flew to St. Petersburg for a taste of Russia, which is every bit as weird and wonderful as I had hoped it might be. The days were incredibly long — the sun would set at about midnight and come back up by 3 a.m. — and the city blocks were too. We stayed in the center of town, but it was still a mile to the nearest metro station. And that was oh, say, 5 blocks or so. Three things I will remember from this trip: the bread and butter and champagne lunch on our first day in Copenhagen, the curious Edward Scissorhands cemetery in some coastal Danish town, and all the fiery trashcans on the streets of St. Petersburg (set off by the stubs of burning cigs).

A new gig. I took on a boatload of new responsibilities this summer — social media for CNN! — and have spent the last few months feeling my way in, building out a team of co-conspirators and setting up a rhythm. Feels good. Refreshingly unfamiliar, but good. 2013 is going to be a good work year.

Home sweet new home

A new home. B & I picked up and moved to Grant Park in September, to a lovely spot on a hill across from the park. I still can’t quite believe this is where I live.

Bonsoir, Paris!

Bonne année à Paris! And another from the I-can’t-believe-this-is-real-life department: we rang in the new year in Paris with our wonderful friends Katie and Jeff. We did it up right: rented an apartment in the Marais, started every day with almond-chocolate-butter pastries, ended every night with red wine, and spent the days strolling around the world’s most romantic parks and monuments, and stopping in chic little boutiques. I came home with perfume, lingerie and black leather boots — souvenir trifecta.

Audieu, 2012!