Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010 In Review

So I'm a few days late here and December was really somewhere between blah and depressing (Having a property tax payment, real mortgage payment, and mortgage-esque loan repayment to my parents perpetually on the horizon tends to get me stressed late in the month, and early in the month I was just feeling kind of isolated. Visiting my parents, I think, was that month's one saving grace. But then, of course, the year was capped off by the news of my paternal grandfather passing.

But the rest of the year, as a sum, really was pretty awesome.

The Situational Awareness and Dating Story: Though I did quite a bit of dating in 2010, I am still single. Aside from practice, I've tried to get a better idea of who I'm looking for, and what that feels like. I have a pretty good idea, intellectually, and physically who I'm interested in but I'm finally honing in on what really hooks me.

Situational awareness is "being aware of what is happening [around] to understand how information, events, and [...] actions will impact your goals and objectives, both now and in the near future". For better or worse, I tend to mantain a fairly high level of situational awareness, and it's rarely lost.

Essentially (since I've tried writing and rewriting this paragraph in a way that both provides more detail and doens't sound demented) I'm most attracted to people who that je ne sais qoui is so strong that I loose all situational awareness and we are the only two people in the world--the type of person with whom a connection is so compelling that I can walk into a parked car while listening to her. Its a feeling I've experenced but a handful of times....Ok, so enough of that...

January, spent my first quality time in New York City, primarily Manhattan, including 3 nights at the famed Waldorf=Astoria (probably not something I'll do again, though) and a night at the Hilton Times Square (one of the best hotels of 2010 for both location and service). I attended New York City Ballet for the first time [I wish Cleveland had a professional ballet company], and heard the Chicago Symphony at Carnegie Hall [I was underwhelmed...but reminded of what a gem we have with both the Cleveland Orchestra and Severance Hall]. I discovered that if I ever leave Cleveland, the only other city I can imagine living in is New York--I love the mass transit, walkability, energy, and immense culture. I'd love to have a pied-a-terre in Manhattan some day, but I don't know that I'd permanently leave Cleveland.

We started the year strong in a musical theatre sense with both the standard Phantom of the Opera and the new Next To Normal, but I didn't really fall in love with any of the other musicals I saw in 2010.

Chasing a musical that I love on several levels, I saw Spring Awakening in Detroit, both the matinee and evening performance from the on stage seats on the same day-- the night before leaving an Akron Symphony concert at about 10pm and arriving at the hotel at 1am, and needing to be at a project in Columbus for 9am the next day. These were the 7th and 8th times I've seen that show in the 4th state, making it the show I've seen the greatest number of times without having any creative involvement.

I went back to Minnesota and had an interesting experience with the Minnesota Orchestra, along with visiting the Walker Art Center for my 2nd time -- It is one of a handful of museums outside of Cleveland that I'd make a point to visit again (the only other that comes to mind is the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in NYC)

I found myself back in New York for a weekend mid-year with just a handful of days notice, courtesy of PlayhouseSquare...and I attended the Tony Awards. And almost tripped Scarlett Johansson twice.

For the Cleveland Museum of Art's Summer Solstice, my aforementioned friend and I participated in and won a photo scavenger hunt, making it one of the most memorable and fun nights to date. I almost went in for a kiss at the end of the night*. I chickened out. I think I'll regret that for a while. Meanwhile, more of the collection has been installed and the remaining pieces of the puzzle are well under way. I continue to be a proud member of this fantastic and free resource.

Over the summer I made my way to my maternal grandparents in St. Ignace, Michigan which combined with Mackinac Island is an amazingly picturesque corner of the world and a nice way to get away from that hustle and bustle--but yet again, had to drive to Columbus for a project. I did a lot of driving to Columbus (and greater Pittsburgh) for work this year; I'm not particularly fond of either city, but I also keep forgetting to visit the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh [I swear it's on my list].

The only truly "new city" from this year was Jacksonville, Florida wherein I saw the "far" end of Interstate 10 -- the other end of which is near and no so dear in California, and touched the water of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. Compared to the wonderful energy and compactness of New York City, Jacksonville disappointed me with so/so culture and urban sprawl second only to Southern California.

September saw Cleveland Public Theatre's Pandemonium benefit party where, in one of the more disappointing events of the year the woman I had invited for a first "date" canceled with what would be the most creative excuse I've ever been given, had it not unfortunately, been true.

In October, I visited Las Vegas where I served as an excuse for my dad to avoid a baby shower, having previously seen Cirque du Soliel's O [wonderful] and Zumanity [**] on my own, my dad and I attended Ka, which ranks as one of the most technically captivating bits of live entertainment I've seen, and a great use of technology.

Later in October, I attended Heights Arts's 10th anniversary concert and everything Heights Arts does, thoroughly enjoyable, though 2 glasses of pinot grigio might have been a glass too many and I finished the night with a silent auction bidding war that I hadn't planned on getting involved with. But it is for a good cause.

Of course, throughout the year in Cleveland there were almost countless performances at...

...Cleveland Play House (Bill W. and Dr. Bob being the most moving drama of the year, The 39 Steps being one of the funniest),

...The Cleveland Orchestra (wherein I haven't missed a performance of a program at Severance Hall since the beginning of the 09-10 season, and only missed two weekends of the Blossom season.) If I was going to choose one concert from 2010 -- it is tough. I've enjoyed most of them, though Ashkenezy's Pictures at an Exhibition and Mahler's Symphony No. 1 (combined with Franklin Cohen playing Neilsen's Clarinet Concerto) both spring to mind.

...The Cleveland Institute of Music continues to amaze with a seemingly endless (except at the holidays and summer) menu of free concerts by amazingly talented students and faculty. Quite possibly one of the most delightful recitals I've heard, was violinist Diana Cohen's Second Master of Music recital.

...If I were to list every other organization that made a mark on my 2010, I'd invariably leave a few out...and this post is already long enough.

Oh, and I've continued studying the violin. It's a long and steep hill, but I'm making progress. I'm getting pretty good at reading music, my tone is improving, but I still have a way to go with rythm.

Suffice it to say, it turns out 2010 wasn't that bad. Let's see if 2011 can beat it!

*- Excluding relatives, there have been exactly 0 thus far. Hey, I'm socially conservative.
*- Not really for me. Hey, I'm socially conservative.

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