2012 Year in Review - A Year of Fun New Experiences and Some Challenges | The Girl Next Door is Black
Spotted in Los Angeles, January 2012

This is the time of year when people start making resolutions that many probably will not keep. The time of year that regular gym-goers like me hate. The gym is packed with resolutioners who don’t know what the hell they are doing, hitting themselves on the head, breaking shit, all up on my machines, sweaty after walking 30 seconds on the treadmill, and hogging the free weights. Sadly for them, but happily for me, their enthusiasm for their resolution will die down within a few weeks as they forget they want Jennifer Aniston’s body.

I gave up on resolutions years ago when I realized I was ignoring them and not meeting them. Instead I decided to set goals for things I’d like to accomplish for the year. Here’s how I fared in 2012.

2012 Goals

Goal 1:  Read 12 Books (or a book a month)

Status: Overachieved.

I read 18 books last year. According to this study, the average American read six books in 2012. According this related post on Gawker, more than a few, er…Gawkerians, found time to read 50+ books, be snooty about it and in pearl-clutching shock that others haven’t matched their stunning achievement. Look, I have other things to do with my time, as well. The Real Housewives of Atlanta beckons. Nene is on fire again. I had to see what all the fuss over Homeland is about. I kinda like to hang out with other humans. I also like to take time with my books, bond with them, read discussions about them, love on them (or resist the urge to hurl them at the wall in some cases); not speed read through them and move on to the next like I’m running through big-bootied strippers.

2012 Year in Review - A Year of Fun New Experiences and Some Challenges | The Girl Next Door is Black
The books I read last year

Book I Had the Most Fun Reading Last Year: 

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games would be first, but I read it in 2011) by Suzanne Collins

Most Thought-Provoking Book I Read Last Year: 

It’s a tie!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens

Best Page-Turner Book I Read Last Year: Another Tie!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Biggest Waste of My Time

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Goal 2: Get the hell out of Los Angeles.

Status: Achieved.

Yep, that was the actual goal, emphasis on hell. I wasn’t happy there. I hadn’t been happy for years. Traffic had me all road-ragey and daydreaming about driving myself off overpasses. I set a goal to be out by mid-2013. I was gone by Mid-October. Booyah! Goodbye bitchass bitches in BMWs, people so flakey Corn Flakes are jealous and mockable obsessions with looks and status (speed dating a few years ago, a dude spent his intro telling me what labels he was wearing: Prada belt and pants, Gucci something or other. Funnily enough, he didn’t mention wearing Eau de Douche).  I miss my fave ramen place though. And the palm trees were pretty to look at. Oh and friends! I miss you guys!

2012 Year in Review - A Year of Fun New Experiences and Some Challenges | The Girl Next Door is Black
I had some good times in this city…
2012 Year in Review - A Year of Fun New Experiences and Some Challenges
but, it’s on to the next.

Goal 3: Get into bike riding.

Status: Kinda achieved.

Erm… On Memorial Day a friend and I rented beach cruisers and rode on the paths in Venice and Santa Monica beaches. With the wind blowing through my weave, it was a beautiful occasion. I loved it. I have confirmed this is something I WANT to do. I just need to do it more. Perhaps buy a bike in 2013? And put it where? On my fire escape? Damn sure ain’t room for anything else in my boxpartment.

2012 Year in Review - A Year of Fun New Experiences and Some Challenges | The Girl Next Door is Black
At the bike rental place, the attendant told me that I was “an in-between size” (she meant short) and asked if I’d be okay with a bike that looked like it was for a 12-year old. It was the right height, so I took it.

Goal 4: Improve Spanish speaking

Status: Uh…si.

I got this one in under the wire.  I enrolled in a Spanish course in November. Yo soy Keisha. Yo estoy en San Francisco. Kim Kardashian es antipatico. To be continued.

Goal 5: Get into art – take a painting or drawing class

Status: In Progress

I get bored. A lot. So, I’m always on the lookout for things to do in my spare time that will also help me further myself as a person. I’ve always wanted to learn to paint. One fine Saturday my friend Laura joined me for crafts & 80’s movie watching at my apartment. At the art store she appeared dubious as I followed an employee around picking up supply after supply. I grabbed a 16” x 20” canvas. “You might want to get something smaller. It’s a lot of work,” Laura warned. I bought it and two smaller canvases. I imagined being a hot new underground artist who discovered her brilliant artistic talent later in life.

Supplies acquired and a Heathers DVD playing, I began painting my 8” by 10” masterpiece. Amused, Laura commented, “I’ll be interested to see if you finish that.” I didn’t finish my masterpiece that day and months later, it’s still not finished. She was right. Gah! Now, I have all these painting supplies and two blank canvases and I’m not sure if and when I’ll take them out for a spin again. Look, I tried.

2012 Year in Review - A Year of Fun New Experiences and Some Challenges | The Girl Next Door is Black
My unfinished “masterpiece”

Goal 6: Run a 5k

Status: Rejected!

I decided I don’t want to do this. I hate running. Runners claim you reach a point when running starts to feel good, your mind clears and you see Jesus or some shit. None of these things have happened for me. All I feel is pain, suffering and a death wish. I decided it’s all bullshit some liar came up with to get people to beat themselves up, buy a bunch of expensive gear and speed up the aging process with all the face bouncing. Also, sometimes the things runners say get on my nerves. Here’s an example:

Woman: I am not sure how long it will take me to run this 5k.

Me: The average healthy person should be able to run a mile in 15 minutes or less. So, I’d give yourself 45 minutes on the high end.

Runner: 15 minutes?! That’s so slow!

Me: [Glaring] Uh okay, Speedy Gonzales (I promise you this person was not of Latin descent). I run a mile in a little over 14 minutes and I am proud of myself.

Runner: Oh, er….10-11 minutes is average. That’s what I run and I feel like I’m slow.

Me: Excuuuse me Usain Bolt, if I run at a 10-minute pace, I’ll fall out by the first quarter-mile. Face on trail. [Why don’t you go run into a bush!]

Runner: [Judgment face]

Me: [Fuck this running crap.]

A 2011 goal was to condition myself to the point where I could run 3-miles,

I did buy new running shoes

uninterrupted, for the first time ever in life. I made it and I was damned proud of myself! I don’t care how FAST I’m going, I care that I can do it without feeling like my heart is reaching for the heavens.  But, runners man, with their, “Don’t you want to increase your speed?” “You should get these awesome shoes that make you feel like you’re running on air and were tested on roadrunners in Botswana!” “Don’t you want to run on the moon?” Save it. Y’all can have your running, I’m going to find an activity where the people who partake don’t make me want to smack them or push them into traffic.

Goal 7: Be able to run six miles continuously.

Status: Double rejected.  

See #6.

Goal 8: Visit two new countries & three states.

Status: Not achieved. 

I’m overly ambitious with my travel goals. I want to go everywhere, but I am not rich and I do not have all kinds of free time. I have a job and I live in America. America doesn’t believe in vacation. “Here worker bees, take two days off a year and consider yourself lucky, ya whiny bastards. In my day, we worked seven days a week with dynamite strapped to our backs! Vacation is for the weak!”

I visited one new country, one new continent and two new states. While I didn’t hit all three new states, I did visit two repeat states, for a total of four.

2012 was a good year for me. I accomplished a lot, more than I expected. I made some new friends (not in SF, unfortunately), spent time with old friends, I discovered and developed a huge crush on Channing Tatum and saw three of his movies, petted a giant pig, saw Jon Cusack, finally got on base playing kickball and helped kick in a runner, volunteered some, got to go on an amazing trip and even created the blog I’d talked about doing for so many years.


2013 goals are under construction, but here are a few ideas:

  • Stop being so judgy. Judgy people bother me because I am judgy. Don’t you love how that works? Sometimes the traits that bug you most in OTHER people are those you possess yourself. I am acutely aware of people’s actions. I love trying to understand how people work. Thus, I notice things. Then I have opinions on these things. But, girl, just because someone types in text speak doesn’t mean they are incapable of using proper grammar and/or lack intelligence and should be tossed into a fire. It is also okay for people to use an excessive number of question marks on a single sentence, and do so repeatedly in a paragraph. And just because a co-worker takes the last slice of pizza and doesn’t throw the empty box away doesn’t mean they lack proper home training. Repeat and internalize.
  • Figure out what and who I want to be when I grow up. That ‘4’ number followed by a ‘0’  is getting closer than I care for. I gotta figure out who I want to be by then so I don’t reach the age and have some sort of early mid-life crisis.
  • Stop wasting money. I overcompensate for the times when I couldn’t buy what I wanted when I wanted. Now I buy too much. I’m 75% YOLO (do it now, worry about how to pay for it later) and 25% responsible. How do I walk into the drugstore to get a prescription and leave with a dog bed (I don’t have dogs), a pound of candy, an “As Seen on TV” product and five colors of nail polish that I will use once and forget about? Do better!
  • Make some friends.

Happy New Year!

2012 Year in Review - A Year of Fun New Experiences and Some Challenges | The Girl Next Door is Black

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  • Laura
    January 19, 2013

    Uh, I did not see “finish painting from 2012” on that list. That’s ok, I have too many to be talking anyway. Coincidentally, “Heathers” is on right now! Good job on last year’s goals(seriously, who invented running anyways?) and wishing you lots more achievements this year!

    • thegirlnextdoorisblack
      January 22, 2013

      Aw, Heathers. That was a fun day! We’ll see if I finish that painting. I don’t have high hopes for that this year, but you never know. 🙂

  • Heidi
    January 9, 2013

    Agreed on the running. Every. Bit. Of. It. It is stupid and sucks.
    I also agree wholeheartedly about Zeitoun. Amazing book.
    And agree on LA…. ugh.

    I think your main goal for 2013 should be ‘Move out of the US into a country that appreciates work/life balance.’ It doesn’t have to be the UK, anywhere in Europe will do.

    Thanks for the great and funny read.
    Happy 2013!!

    • thegirlnextdoorisblack
      January 9, 2013

      Lol, love this comment.

      Expatriating may have to be a 2014 or 2015 goal. I have to give SF a fair shot.

      Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      • Heidi
        January 9, 2013

        Ok. I can understand that… then again if I find you the right job……. 😉

        btw – if you want to learn vet stuff, my blog is: http://bvetmed1.blogspot.co.uk/

        It’s not entertaining at all, but if you want to fall asleep please have a read.

        • thegirlnextdoorisblack
          January 9, 2013

          Lol, I am curious, actually. I will check it out!

          • Heidi
            January 9, 2013

            Well i don’t have much on there yet. I’m trying to blog all the answers to learning objectives. But I started late last term….. So quite far behind.

  • cs201142
    January 3, 2013

    Running. No. Never. Why? I don’t care what they *say* about running, no one ever looks happy running. No one looks happy even after running. I go to the gym regularly too and no one looks that unhappy, unless they’re on a treadmill or its cousin, the stair machine. Good decision.

  • Trina
    January 3, 2013

    Wow! I could take some lessons from you on achieving goals. Nice work! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in 2013. 🙂

    • thegirlnextdoorisblack
      January 3, 2013

      Thanks! One year, I just got really tired of seeing long lists of things I wanted to do, but never did. So one day I made myself start doing them and its provided a great sense of accomplishment.

  • elizainhollywood
    January 3, 2013

    Being judgmental is one of my (many) favorite traits in you. Please don’t change. 🙂