December just might have been my favorite part of 2017 and not because my birthday is in December (as you might remember, I was sick on my birthday). For me, December wasn't about my holiday or the holidays, in fact there were a few times when I forgot about them. Instead, it was about new opportunities, weddings, and fitting what felt like a year's worth of things into 28 days (I'm writing this on Dec. 28th). Apologies in advance because this favorites is a long one...
I included a birthday summary in my post "Thoughts on Turning 31," so I won't go into it again, but I will say that I spent the day feeling very loved. Though I told my parents I didn't want or need anything, they got me a gorgeous pair of earrings and a cozy but stylish sweater, cheers to having something I can dress up while also staying toasty and comfy.
Art: Yayoi Kusama's Festival of Life
Three years ago, Yayoi Kusama had an exhibit in NYC but due to timing and lines, I missed getting to go. This past November/December, Festival of Life was at the David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea and I was lucky enough not only to go, but to go during a private viewing. Her installations play with your perception of space and time and leave you feeling both introspective and playful.
Theater: Come from Away; The Dead
This month I saw two wildly different shows. Come From Away, is a musical that I will think about for the rest of my life. If you aren't familiar with the show, it is the true story of how a small town in Canada became a place of refuge and comfort for hundreds of passengers from grounded planes on September 11th. It is a testament to the good of mankind and the cast is phenomenal. The Dead is an immersive theater experience of James Joyce's novella "The Dead," put on by Irish Repertory Theater. You arrive at the Upper East Side townhouse home of the American Irish Historical Society and look on as the dinner party unfolds. I had a ticket that included dinner so it was truly the full experience. While not necessarily my first choice for a show, I had never experienced immersive theater before and it met and exceeded my expectations.
Writing for My Life Out of Office
As you may have noticed, this month I started writing for My Life Out of Office. So far I have had two pieces published (which you can find here & here OR here and here on my blog). I love to write and having the opportunity to speak to a wider audience is thrilling. I have really enjoyed my topics thus far and hope to keep writing for them in 2018. *I have three pieces slated to run in January and will share them here once they go live.*
Bucking convention for north easterners, this December turned into a mini wedding season. December 9th the jelly to my peanut butter, the Ann to my Leslie, the Turk to my JD, my ultimate sister from another mister got married. It was a spectacular weekend and lest I make her blush any more than she already is reading this, I will stop there. Pre-Christmas, I had my cousin's wedding in Miami. I got to spend time with some of my favorite second cousins, lounge on the beach, and thanks to Rent the Runway, wore a killer dress. The woman my cousin married is so lovely and I really hope I get a chance to know her better over the years.
Books: Promise Me, Dad
Air travel calls for reading material and I went with Papa Joe's (Joe Biden) Promise Me, Dad. I have been a Biden fan (ok, more like fanatic) since high school and his book only reinforced my respect and admiration for him. What Joe Biden has been through, the values he holds, his commitment to his family and ideals, we don't deserve someone that good and we didn't know how good we had it. Mr. Biden, Senator, Vice President, whatever I am supposed to call you, I know you will never see this, but I still must take a moment to thank you for being an tireless force of goodness with an unyielding dedication to justice.
Movies: The Post
When it comes to movies, "save the best for last" holds true, ok really it's just awards season but still, the end of the year is full of heavy-hitters. From what I've seen this month, The Post takes the cake. Maybe it is the current political climate, maybe it is because I am very pro-free speech, or maybe it is because Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks shine, but all I know is that I have never been on the edge of my seat watching a printing press. The publishing of the Pentagon Papers is a story that needs to be told and The Post tells it exquisitely.
Music: The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
I am not a fan of movie musicals so while I didn't love The Greatest Showman as a film, I am so into the music and the film's message. The songs are so full of heart that they feel like more than songs; they have life and personality. Am I making sense? Probably not. Listen to the following and then you'll get it: "From Now On," "The Other Side," "The Greatest Show," and "This is Me."
I've got one more thing but I'm not ready to share just yet ;) so instead, tell me YOUR December favorites!