Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010 - The Year In Review

As we approached the Paerdegat at the end of yesterday's paddle, this barge (part of the bridge construction equipment) reminded me that I had not gotten around to grabbing the ball that has been being tossed around since Capt. JP kicked it off. So, having ascertained that TQ is comfortably settled on the Evil Futon of Nap with a book & a beer & therefore almost certain to be dozing off in an few minutes & peacefully asleep for an hour or two - here we go!

Seems like overall, it hasn't been the best year this country has ever known - the oil spills, the continuing bad economy, the vile politics engendered thereby (I still thank God that Paladino started threatening to hit people before he got anywhere CLOSE to office, although it's really too bad that he didn't start sooner so that the Republicans could have fielded an actual viable candidate - not that I'd have voted for that person but it would be nice to have an election one of these days where you actually might have a hard time deciding), etc. etc. - but I'll leave the heavy lifting to the professionals & stick to my own year in NY & beyond - which was really pretty good all around.

Got off on the right foot with a great Frostbite Regatta. TQ couldn't make it here for New Year's (and after a couple of nightmarish Greyhound trips on holiday weekends I had given up on going there for holidays) but it was still a lot of fun. Funny thing looking at the comments there - last year I was saying "Wow, 2010 sounds so weird & futuristic!", this year I've been saying "Wow, 2010 didn't sound that weird, but 2011 sounds so weird & futuristic!". I guess I just got used to 2010. :D

January was mostly uneventful on the paddling front - it was very cold (as I'm reminded by the picture above, from one of a couple of Proxigean Paddles) and I spent a lot of time hypnotized by the whole Ady Gil thing (remember that) and then feeling helpless as we watched the horror unfold in Haiti.

On a happier note, I went fishing for the first time since I was a kid when Andy Novick organized a herring fishing - no fish, but had a good time anyways.

And I finished off January with a post that led to something really, really great. Dennis G. Moonstruck had sent a link to an absolutely glorious photo that a Chelsea Yacht Club clubmate of his, Dennis Truett, had taken one of the magnificent old stern-steerers that are restored & sailed by the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club -

which I paired with a post about how with it being such a cold winter, I'd really gotten fascinated watching the ice yachters getting happier and happier as us softwater boaters got crankier & crankier - happy because they were at the point where they could get out and sail.

Well, that post was just supposed to be an observation on how there were some people who were delighted with having such a cold winter - but my friends Tugster and Bowsprite read that, got excited & I think it may have been the very next weekend when I was amazed to find myself out on the ice with those two & another old friend from kayaking who lives up there, Jeff Anzevino. Jeff turned out to actually know some of the iceboaters, he got us proper directions how to get there & oh my, was it a glorious day...

I was blogging about it for days and days afterwards - it was all the more fun for all the cross-posting with my friends. I even made a music video:

March was pretty uneventful - work started cranking up with budget season as usual, but I got a nice early start to my own sailing season thanks to my friend Chris getting a drysuit for Christmas. March 6th - WOOHOO!

There was a very big storm, and at the end of March, the legalization of beekeeping in NYC kicked off a big debate at Sebago, which was rendered moot when we found out that NYC Parks still had a no-beekeeping-in-parks rule.

April was pretty uneventful as far as being on the water - work was in serious high gear and I think I got sick or something, there are vague references to a missed marsh-grass planting & beach cleanup. I did get in my normal Spring pilgrimage to the BBG & got a nice photo rainbow, and then later I did the same thing with Victorian houses in my neighborhood. Main event of the month, though, had to be the first of the big NYC Vision 2010 Waterfront Planning Meetings.

May: Work work work. Plus served as starter, recorder, and unofficial photographer for Sebago's second annual Laser District 8 Regatta. It was a great day, and I'm looking forward to 2011.

June: YAHOO! After 20 years in NYC, I FINALLY made it to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade!
Mermaid Parade 2010 049

July: Sebago had a great All-Club Invitational. I got drafted to guide an unplanned long trip, a circumnavigation of the bay. It was hot hot hot but I had a great time & we got to see an incredibly unusual visitor to the Bay:

The high point of the month, though, had to be getting to say "Aloha" from Hawaii. That trip may warrant a separate wrap-up...

August found me returning to NYC (what, you thought that was a given?) and joining Tony & Walter, aka "Pinky and the Brain", aaka, "Co-Chairs of the Cruising Committee", on a fabulous trip to Orient Point. I must've been reading the Malden Yacht Club blog, 'cause I still read that post & think I was channeling Ol' P when I wrote it.

September - Started off the month with one of my unusual political rants plus a trip downtown with a camera in a feeble attempt to make a point. I don't know if it did a shred of good but I was absolutely incensed by the way people were acting over the Park 51 Community Center. The main paddling event was of course the 5 Years Around Long Island crew's reconvening for a mostly successful Year 4 - we had the usual group paddling problems (we have some different styles & speeds & that's been really a constant issue that we've never been able to solve to everyone's satisfaction) but we made great time & I'd say the main thing that makes me say "mostly successful" instead of "totally awesome" is really the fact that John H. had to drop out for Day 3 - he had had shoulder surgery earlier in the year & felt like he'd had enough after Day 2. Fortunately he & John W. were able to go back & pick up the Day 3 leg later in the summer - John is one of the people who is making this happen by being ground crew, so it was especially nice that he got to paddle some of it. Here's where we are - anyone want to start a pool as to whether we'll really wrap up in Year 5? :D

October: I continued to suck at dinghy racing, but the month ended well as TQ & I had a wonderful trip to Cape Cod. I actually had a great time with some wordless posts while we were there - don't think I ever quite finished the trip review but we had a fantastic time watching whales, paddling, eating seafood & sailing! It was especially fun meeting Dan Kim & I just told Tillerman that one of my main regrets of 2010 was the sudden attack of don't-want-to-be-a-botheritis that kept me from lining up lunch with him & Tillerwoman en route - apparently they have these things called "stuffies" that are not to be missed, and we missed them. Other than that, oh what a trip!

November: One word. CLAYMATION! I have always loved animation & I was thrilled when New York International Children's Film Festival announced an adults-only benefit where you could drink cocktails, play with clay & make a movie.

And it was exactly as promised:

Here is one of my cocktails...

Here is my character -

And here is the movie he got to be in:

NYICFF Claymation Benefit: Nov. 4, 2010 from Jennifer Birmingham on Vimeo.

And it was so much fun, I did one at home - a video Thanksgiving card.

Ticked Off Turkey! from Bonnie on Vimeo.

I was going to do one for the holidays, but that got set aside when I got the first piece of news that led to the biggest week in December. I'd been having a fun blogging month anyways - I got very silly looking for cute guys for Bowsprite, and I got very nostalgic (and hungry) trying to convince Tillerman to go to Hawaii, and I was blown away by Bernadette Peters & Elaine Stritch in A Little Night Music, my first Broadway musical in years, and I got to blog the solstice eclipse - but the year really ended with a bang with TQ moving to Brooklyn, an unbelievable Christmas Eve feast, a wonderful Christmas Day paddle and then of course the Great Boxing Day Blizzard of 2010 - it was indeed An Eventful Holiday Weekend.

And that's the wrap-up!

And again, here's a warm Hau'oli Makahiki Hou from Brooklyn, with best wishes for a peaceful, happy, healthy 2011 for all.


Tillerman said...

Woo-Hoo. Now I am even more sure I was right to name you as best kayaking blogger on the planet. I really enjoy all the different topics you cover as well as kayaking. Keep up the good work. And let's have a stuffie together one day!

bonnie said...

Thanks! We like Rhode Island, too, so maybe next time we can correct this year's omission.

I have to say, 2010 was a pretty good year. Reviewing it was FUN.

JP said...

What an absolutely great review of the year!

Sounds like you had a lot of fun despite all that work pressure!!

Here's hoping 2011 has the fun without the pain!!!

Oh no!!!! Exclamation mark overload!!!!!

bonnie said...

Well, I can't complain about work pressure too much. I've got a lot of friends who call it "job security" when their contract gets extended for 6 months.

BTW, for those not on Facebook, Capt. JP's joke about exclamation overload is a reference to my New Year's resolution, which is to stop using exclamation marks so much. It's a pet peeve of mine about my own writing -- I don't realize I'm doing it when I'm writing but this post is a perfect case in point where when I went back & reread it this morning, it hit me that almost every paragraph ends in an exclamation point.

I'll be calming things down some tonight.

I don't mind writing a cheery blog, but I think it would be nice if it read less as though it was being written by a cheerleader. Yay Team! Go! Fight! Win! :P

bonnie said...

Couldn't stand it, I've gone back & reduced the exclamation points by about 80%.

The resolution is not to stop using them, period, it's to stop overusing them. I think that WOOHOO, YAHOO, finally making the mermaid parade after 20 years in NYC, and a couple of other places did warrant exclamation points, but most of the rest are now periods.

arnold the cockroach said...

frankly bonnie i don t know how you manage any punctuation at all

all of that extra jumping around on the keyboard just wears me out

and even with a computer keyboard i m still consigned to a life without exclamation

sounds like you had a great year though

hey how about this ./

that s pretty close

happy new year./


bonnie said...

Arnold! Happy New Year! I hope s-O-mebody spilled some Champagne for you.

Yes, 2010 was a pretty good year.

bonnie said...

and ps - I like ./

Maybe if I typed ./ instead of !, it would make me think about it a little more!

Ben Orlove said...

Hi Bonnie, I came across your blog while searching online for Ralph Diaz. He and I kayaked from lower Manhattan to Ellis Island back in 1998 when I was last living in NY. I had been back in California but returned recently to the city, am looking forward to getting out on the water, especially once the temperatures rise a bit. Thanks for all your wonderful posts! And let me know if you do know Ralph's whereabouts, and could help us get back in touch.

bonnie said...

Hi Ben! I don't see as much of them as I used to since they retired & moved up the Hudson, but I'm definitely still in touch with Ralph & Donna. If you're on Facebook, I just sent you a message.

PeconicPuffin said...

Bravo! I'm right with your thinking on Soprano Paladino too.

A special shout out for your map!

Baydog said...

Ploffskin Pluffskin Pelican Jee
We think no birds so happy as we
Pluffskin Ploffskin Pelican Jill
We think so then and we thought so still

pia said...

My friend has a magnet of the mermaid parade on her fridge but has never been there. Nor have I. Am a bit jealous. Next year I'll probably be in NY for the holidays and go Thanks for the recap!

bowsprite said...

ok Frogma!!! ready for more!!! whoo hooooooooo!!! hello, 2011!!!! (put excess '!' here.)