2011 in Review: Part 3


September was one of the last months that I remember feeling like myself. Everything was going along swimmingly. On one lovely day I decided to go for a bicycle ride. Over the Summer, I had become an avid cyclist, but this jaunt was a bit extreme–60 miles. I survived, but I didn’t walk properly for several days after that. I was proud of myself, though. Here’s a view from the bicycle:

Janet Jackson tweeted me. I felt famous for weeks after that:

All Summer long I had worked on converting an old cow waterer into a pool. It was a lot more work than I anticipated, and I have lots left to do, but I’ll save that for this Spring and Summer. Here’s a look as I filled it up:

I finished the final draft of my novel, Terrible Miss Margo, towards the end of the month. I was so proud of myself for finishing it and I think it’s rather a good story. We’ll see if anybody buys it this year or if I will be a bitter starving artist.

I was driving around town one day after work when I spotted this:

A beautiful brick, Victorian house that I quickly deemed the Palazzo. I fell passionately in love with it and we made plans to buy it. It was cheap and gorgeous. But alas, all this happiness couldn’t last…let’s get it over with.


This was one of the worst months of my entire life. If I could have it obliterated from my memory, I would. But I can’t, not until the Alzheimer’s kicks in, anyway.

At the beginning of the month we took a couple tours of the Palazzo, it was gutted inside, but had the promise of such beauty. I had every design detail figured out in my head: checkerboard marble tiles in the entrance hall, the flooring chosen, I’d even selected an artist to do a portrait of me for above the mantle.

Everything about that house was perfect and I couldn’t wait to claim it for my own, and I was sure that I would.

Here’s where everything went to shit. On a Thursday in the middle of the month, I received a horrible email. A notice for you in the future, never send a breakup note over email, and never do it while I’m at work. I was crushed and miserable. I don’t recall much that happened during the rest of the month, I would go through the motions at work and then swig NyQuil like it was water when I got home so that I could black out. I spent a lot of time by myself, crying–good thing I did it alone, I’m hideous when I cry.

I put all my frustrations into plans for the Palazzo, which was only a couple of bank appointments away from being mine, but then one day, the FOR SALE sign was gone and I had lost my dream home as well.


This month just kind of drifted by, I wasn’t really myself anymore. I was depressed and I showed it. Kids at work would say to me, “You look sad, Mr. Phillips.” They also noted that I didn’t dress up anymore. I used to put a lot of effort into my attire and I’ve started to again now, but at that point in my life, I just threw things on.

We have another house, so I decided to paint the walls there. If I couldn’t claim the Palazzo as my own, I could at least take possession of something. I decided to convert the old dining room into my writing studio. My brother came over one day and we painted everything white so that I could have a white box.

It turned out very well, and I plan to start working on my next novel, Hôtel Ker-Maria, very soon. It’s peaceful there, surrounded by such northern European starkness.

A brief rekindling of something took place towards the end of the month, but nothing really came from it. A happy moment while it lasted, though.


Winter wasn’t very harsh, there wasn’t any snow and I was starting to return to myself. I had to remember to love myself…God that sounds pathetically Oprah-esque, doesn’t it? True, though. I reminded myself that I had been happy with myself for decades and I could be again. I was and am the most charming, handsome, delightful, and witty fellow around. I loved my own company. My emotions had definitely expanded and I think that it’s good for my writing, that sounds very cold, though. I’d rather things were the way they were during the Summer, but I can’t change things, much as I wish I could. Who knows what will happen, anyway?

I ate at a few places and looked devastatingly debonaire as I critically reviewed the dinnerware.

I bought myself a fancy espresso machine and discovered that I love grapefruit. I drank an awful lot of espresso:

Christmas came quickly. I bought my family expensive gifts that they would use in Disney World. Actually, I bought them for myself and let my family tag along. Ma and I are going to high tea at one of the resorts, Pa and I are going to a luau, and Jessica and I are going on a safari. It should be good fun.

I was given a lot of nice things, too: a Blu-ray disc player for my new giant television, books about macarons, the Louvre, Joanna Lumley, gift cards galore, and a few other lovely items. Then the moment we were done opening our gifts, Ma said that we were putting the dog to sleep. Merry Christmas to me.

So, a few days later, Shadow was dead. It’s rather upsetting.

On New Year’s Eve, I got lost in the ghetto, and I’m quite happy that I’m alive because I was doubtful I’d make it. It was a beautiful day, though, so getting knifed by a drug lord wouldn’t have been as bad as it would have been had it been snowing.


I assume this year will be decent, every year is decent, I suppose. I’m going to Florida in a couple of weeks and I’ve been looking forward to that for quite some time. I don’t really make resolutions, just a couple of the usual goals: abs, become a model, become famous, get published, build a brick house, learn how to wire and plumb said house, be artistic, master Spanish, become besties with other celebrities. I’m sure it’ll be simple.

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