2015: A Reflection, Part 1/3

Writing an annual recap is one of my favorite traditions that I love putting off. I swear that I’m going to procrastinate dying and live forever. I have no interest in the grave, after all, there’s far too much to do. Too many things to see and experiences to savor.

Thinking back on 2015, I don’t recall it being quite so thrilling as 2014. How could this year compete with that one? I was in pyramids, yachting down the Nile, and living it up all over the place. Still, this seemed like an all right time, so I suppose I’d better get to it and find out.



  • My year began with a thrill that I’m still unable to put into words. My endless demands for a credit card with a chip were finally listened to, and I became the proud owner of a card that hardly worked in America. #blessed.
  • Work was delayed and cancelled a lot, which resulted in me drinking a lot of wine and wearing bigger pants.
  • I finally had enough hair to tie into a small ponytail. A bun baby, I suppose.
  • The Charlie Hebdo attacks happened in Paris, and I felt a gloom I’ve never experienced before. Paris is my hometown and I felt so victimized.
  • I thought an awful lot about donuts.
  • It was announced that Dolly Parton movies were being made for NBC and I. Lost. My. SHIT.
  • I really got into Murder, She Wrote, and started solving mysteries at work. It’s changed my life.
  • I forced my family to watch Fearless Fagan and weep.
  • A kid called me mom and I had an existential crisis.
  • I gave an Egyptological lecture to a group of seventh graders and I enjoyed it tremendously. It’s so satisfying when you get to pursue your passions.
  • I looked like this:10931513_10153115514957160_716327843596613949_n
  • Edwin looked like this:IMG_3531


  • It snowed a lot, and that pissed me off. So I watched Woody Allen movies. I was still pissed.
  • I thought a lot about salads from the Olive Garden. I mention them an obscene number of times. February must have been a strange time for me.
  • I received my first royalty check for the massive total of $24.84. WEALTH. Yachts and mansions are in the future.
  • I was hella cold, so I bought a plane ticket to LA. Unfortunately, I had to wait until July to go.
  • I stared at a spaghetti squash for a month. Then I ate it. I haven’t done that again, but it wasn’t bad.
  • I watched an episode of The Great British Bakeoff that featured my heroes: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, and Dame Edna. I cried for hours at how wonderful the world can be.
  • I discovered that you can go to the grocery store and buy Olive Garden salad dressing and croutons. That changed me as a person.
  • “You have to be really careful with genies,” I heard a student say with deep conviction. “They can be dangerous.” He nodded knowingly at another boy, leaving me to wonder what he’s been through.
  • Edwin and I looked like this: IMG_3834


  • DAME EDNA FAVORITED MY TWEET AND I DIED: 11017701_10203897284340745_723016249728707776_n
  • My Murder, She Wrote obsession was still going strong, but my everlasting love for Ina Garten was reawakened when I bought all of her cookbooks. Barefoot in Paris is the finest cookbook ever published.
  • I reflected on the day I ran after Jared Leto with a swarm of Japanese teenagers in Paris.
  • Spring started to come back and I FELT ALIVE. I’m really not meant for the winter. I wish it were reasonable to have a winter house in Luxor or LA or even in Florida.
  • I fell madly in love with a children’s book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It’s about a young girl and her brother who run away and live in the Metropolitan Museum. You can easily understand my love.
  • The flight was cancelled for my IMPORTANT trip to Washington DC, so I called the airline in fake tears and LIED a thousand lies. I got an earlier flight and an exit row.
  • DC charmed me, but I didn’t fall madly in love with it like Paris or LA. I was crazy for my apartment rental, though. It was like a palace.
  • I joyously sauntered through the National Gallery of Art and really identified with the ten-year-old who threw a tantrum, screaming, “Oh no. Not abstract art. Not again!”
  • I walked into Julia Child’s kitchen and sobbed. I didn’t think it would affect me that way, but she was an important influence on me.
  • I went on a tour of the White House and considered if I should run for president as I walked through the East Room. I’m still undecided.
  • While strolling through the National Portrait Gallery, I heard sirens, and then ran through the streets of DC to bump into Prince Charles. He’s jovial and kind. Blue is his color.IMG_4098
  • A childhood fantasy came true when I saw Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit. It was otherworldly, and I was endlessly inspired. I have never seen somebody so vibrant, so alive, and so in love with their life.
  • IMG_4987I shook her hand and we spoke. We stared into each others eyes. She smiled. I don’t know what I did. I was a mess. I haven’t cried so much in my life. I felt like I met an angel. And in a way, she really is. I’m still not over that night. It was magic. I’m tearing up now. That evening taught me something important: It’s vital that you put yourself in situations that let your dreams come true. They aren’t going to happen spontaneously. You have to force life to happen to you. It doesn’t come knocking.
  • ZAYN LEFT ONE DIRECTION. It was a big deal in March. I’m over it now. Harry is all that matters.
  • I looked like this: IMG_3941
  • Edwin looked like this: IMG_4365


  • The Museo Egizio in Italy reopened and I suddenly knew what I had to do this summer.
  • I read an interview by Maurice Sendak, and have rarely been so powerfully moved by words. He said, “Oh god, there are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die.” I think about that all the time. He ends, chanting, “Live your life, live your life, live your life.” I don’t think wiser advice has ever been given.
  • Jessica bought me 100 ounces of Diet Coke and that meant a lot to me.
  • I found my first website from the early 2000s. It’s dreadful, and I am so happy that I have become who I am and that I left that old Ben far behind. He was miserable. I’m not.
  • I received a ziplock bag full of my grandmother’s ashes. Odd to think that’s all she is now. This put a plan into motion, though.
  • My best friend, Alison, and I went to Chicago for a day trip and walked too damn much. We also went to Chanel and to afternoon tea. It was a wonderful time. I adore her. IMG_4556
  • Chanel sent me an email saying that they would serve me champagne the next time I came in. I was touched. I effing love champagne.
  • Flowers bloomed. That made me happy.
  • Edwin looked like this: IMG_4451

Aside from the seemingly endless winter, the year started rather wonderfully. I bumped into royalty, walked through the White House, met an icon from my childhood, visited some of the biggest cities in America, and Dame Edna liked me. Quite a good beginning, I think!

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