"This is goodbye, I think?"

Don’t you wish you’d been at that party?

I know these kind of lists are more common around Thanksgiving, but I always do a lot of thinking about year-end summing up around this time — usually pondering the subject from sometime around mid-December to sometime in the mid-January range. So, despite my girlfriend‘s despairing cry as she looked through her feeds this morning that, “All anyone’s doing is end-of-the-year sum-ups!”, here goes with my idiosyncratic, BBC-heavy list. 🙂

1. Doctor Who. God bless Russell T. Davies, but I am glad for the new series. I am happy about just about everything about it and I am just over the frackin’ moon about Matt Smith. I really didn’t think I would be, but I’m sold and I am Steven Moffat’s bitch. There are quite a few shows that I started or got seriously into this year — Bones and Supernatural top the list — and several to which I return regularly — Spongebob (don’t judge), Deadwood (ditto!), Carnivale, the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes, Good Neighbors, MST3K, this list could really just go on — but Doctor Who will forever have a special place in my list of fandoms. It and Star Wars have kept me from going stir-crazy more times than I like to remember; the Doctor is simply one of those characters for me that I had no choice about: from the second show I ever watched, it was all history — downhill (or uphill!) from there!

2. Yoga. I have spent the past month seriously concentrating on ensuring that I get in at least 20 minutes on the mat per day — sometimes a lot of that 20 minutes is spent between a reclining twist and corpse pose but, hey, it’s 20 minutes, right? Shiva Rea isn’t going to come kick my ass if I don’t spend all the time in half-moon. Some time on the mat is better than none; anything is better than nothing; and, as my therapeutic kinesiologist back in Vermont used to say, “Movement is life.”

3. Meditation. Over the past year, I’m delighted to say, I’ve managed to wrangle together something that looks, smells, and tastes very like a regular sitting practice and I love it. It has made the last three or four months much better than they would otherwise have been. Thanks to the teacher whose class I originally took last spring, I have not only been receiving regular acupuncture treatment for a bad wrist and ankle, but also an introduction to a lovely online meditation community. I can’t say I spend a lot of time indulging in particularly high-flown conversation on the Tumblr or anything like that, but it is always nice to know it’s there. The continual reminder to practice, too, is really valuable if you’re like me and tend to put things off.

4. Coffee. I am endlessly grateful for the quality, number, and variety of coffee shops in Boston:

Boston Beanstock,
North End.

Crema Cafe, Harvard Square. (My photo)

Cafe Japonaise,
Commonwealth Ave.

Kookoo Cafe,

Oh, yes, I am, because I am a dedicated and hardworking addict. You can’t just drag me by a door with stacks of coffee beans just inside and a menu promising some new, bizarre combination of spices in a latte. Plus there are usually scones, cinnamon buns, muffins, cupcakes, or some other fantastic new pastry just begging to be tried. And the best places for people-watching? Cafes and bookstores. Brilliant free — or nearly free or damn close to free — entertainment every time.

5. My friends and my girlfriend. I realise this comes as an element in all these lists but, y’know what? This is my list; if you don’t like it; get your own. You guys sent me random emails, pictures of your cat, LOLCats, chocolate, tea, pretties for my computer desktop. You made me tea, bought me coffee, sent me candy, and loaned me books. You followed me on Tumblr, commented on my blog, and listened to me complain endlessly about work. Better than that, you listened, sent good vibes, mailed postcards, helped me out when I needed it, smacked me upside the head when I needed that, too. I thank you more than you will ever know.

Peace, pleasant thoughts, calm and good luck for all our 2011s.

Compassion by candlelight.

( Even if the Doctor goofs and we end up doing bits of it twice.)