1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
Experienced our first hurricane. Evacuated for 17 days and were incredibly fortunate to have little damage compared to most people in the Keys
Saw a fascist idiot elected president
Became a travel agent
Saw the green flash
Started an aeroponic Tower Garden, then got a second one
Filed for FEMA assistance
Camped at the Dry Tortugas
Had my orchids rebloom (some of them after many years)
Had lunch at a cricket oval
Celebrated Chris and Meg’s 10th anniversary in Chicago with 8 of our friends from Minneapolis
Did the Tour de Jose Andres in DC, which was possibly the best meal of my life
Participated in the Women’s March on Duval
Caught a fish (it was a mangrove snapper)
Joined the Democratic Socialists
Had bookings and earned commission as a travel agent
Kayaked to Indian Key Historic State Park
Got Zika (in Jamaica)
Volunteered doing hurricane cleanup in Big Pine Key
Did the Masquerade March (i.e. the Locals’ Parade) during Fantasy Fest
Visited a Cold War missile silo
Saw Bob Dole and Mike Rowe in person, because they were speaking at Matt’s work event
Went to the World Baseball Classic
Climbed the Key West Lighthouse
Built a rainbarrel
Saw manatees in the ocean
Toured Pigeon Key
Visited the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian), the National Building Museum, and the Newseum
Was co-captain of the Women’s March Florida Keys Environmental Group
Saw a crocodile in the wild
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I resolved to keep my Christmas fund money where it is instead of transferring it to use for other things. Then there was an end-of-the-year pay kerfuffle at work that prevented that, so I ended up using it to cover other things. Sigh. I’ll try again in 2018.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Cindi and Adam had Bea. Looks like Wendy and Amelia are waiting til next year, but maybe not?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
A hurricane-free season would be GREAT.
7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Hurricane Irma, September 10th. It kind of erased all the previous memories of the year.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I’m pretty proud of the work I’ve put into becoming a travel agent and getting educated about the travel industry. I love it so much, and I love learning more and more about it.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I wish I’d done more research on what exactly our insurance coverages were before the hurricane. We didn’t have enough damage to come anywhere close to the deductibles (even if they had been low), but now I want to understand it completely and make sure we’re protected better going forward.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I TOTALLY HAD ZIKA. While it was ultimately not too bad, I definitely wouldn’t recommend getting Zika. I got it from a mosquito in Jamaica, and had a few days of fever followed by a few days of very itchy rash. Luckily, I had no microcephalitic babies or anything.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Steam mop (shut up, I like having a clean house)
Everything related to my travel agency – it’s been a worthwhile investment.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
People coming together to help out after Hurricane Irma. The recovery efforts here were incredible, and help from the federal goverment was slow to materialize.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The people in goverment who are making this a 3rd world country where only the super-rich get to live well.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Savings and my yard/garden. I figured we’d be starting over after the hurricane, too, but we really only lost a few things like the mango tree. I’m amazed at how resilient plants are.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Owning a travel agency. I LOVE IT. Have I mentioned that yet?
16. What song will always remind you of 2017?
Despacito. It’s been known to make me cry, re: Puerto Rico.
Me Enamore. I love Shakira a lot.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Fatter or thinner: Fatter – FU, Irma. Time to diet.
b) Richer or poorer: Richer
c) Happier or less happy: Happier. I live in Key West, it’s hard to be unhappy here.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Being in the ocean. And travel, because I always want to do more travel. It sucked cancelling our trip to New Mexico and Vegas after the hurricane, but there were more important things going on.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Evacuating, living in hotels, crying. Is this hurricane thing getting old yet?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We flew to Minneapolis, drove to Watertown, and had Christmas Eve/Day with Matt’s parents, where we mostly hunkered down in the house because it was below zero the entire time. Then we drove to Minneapolis where we hung out with friends, I went to work, and we had brunch and opened gifts with my family before flying back to Miami.
21. Did you fall in love in 2017?
I *am* in love in 2017.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Humans, Bloodline, Better Call Saul, The Americans, Game of Thrones – there’s a lot of good stuff to choose from now.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not an individual, but the number of people who took the opportunity of a natural disaster to exploit and scam people. There were people stealing food and supplies, fake FEMA reps, insurance scams… it was unreal. What kind of garbage person do you have to be to be willing to do that to people who have already had their lives destroyed??
Oh, and Paul Ryan. Fuck that guy.
24. What was the best book you read?
I’m currently reading Hotel Scarface, about the cocaine cowboys in Miami in the 80s, and it’s AMAZING.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery of 2017?
I don’t even think I became aware of anything new in 2017. We mostly listen to Pandora and Miami radio and it’s all basically 3 Wisin songs in a row followed by some Daddy Yankee. Nothing new.
26. What did you want and get?
A Tower Garden, a trip to the Bahamas (I hadn’t been back there in a long time, and it was fantastic), and a new purse and bike camera mount (Matt got me those for Christmas).
27. What did you want and not get?
Not to have a hurricane hit my island? Is that being unrealistic?
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Man, there were a lot of good movies this year. I’m thinking maybe Florida Project, Logan Lucky, or The Last Jedi.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I worked and then went to trivia at Vivia. There were three of us celebrating birthdays that week, so I brought a coconut cake (it was delicious and hella sweet). Had a great time with everyone there, as usual. I turned 44!
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not having to worry about work stability. That kind of put a damper on the last several weeks, and I didn’t sleep very much. It’s looking like everything will be back to normal for 2018, though.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
Keys Casual. Flip-flops 4 LYFE.
32. What kept you sane?
Travel agent training, my garden, and Matt.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Eh. I don’t really care that much about celebrities.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
There are so many of them, but having white supremacists running the country pretty much TRUMPS everything. See what I did there?
35. Who did you miss?
Our Minnesota friends! I’m glad we got to spend at least a little time with many, many of them this year. We need more group trips.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
There are a bunch of new people we’ve become acquainted with here, and they’re all awesome. Not surprisingly, we met almost all of them through trivia, or people we know from trivia.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:
Prepare for a disaster long before you’re actually threatened by one. We did a really good job of prepping for a hurricane, but when I realized there was an extremely good chance we were losing everything, I had a lot of regrets about not bringing certain things along. They weren’t even expensive or important things, just sentimental ones. Try to put yourself in that position (and the mental state that accompanies that sheer panic), and think about what you’d want to have done. Also, do the same disaster-prep financially – my new goal is to have 6 months’ worth of ZERO income (no jobs, and no renters – a true disaster) in savings, so that’s what we’re working on for the next few months.