Let's get the bad out of the way. Despite all the great things that happened this year, there were some not-so-great moments. It was a typical winter day in Lexington - gray, cloudy, cold, and rainy. So I'm in a gray, cloudy, cold and rainy kind of mood. Hopefully writing down some of the negativity will serve a cathartic function and help me move on, and enjoy the rest of my night.
Top 10 "Debbie Downers"
*note: if you are unfamiliar with the concept of a Debbie Downer, please go here: to watch a short clip before proceeding.
10. Plane Crash Nightmares
This one requires - wait for it - a flashback. During August 2006, my first month living in Kentucky, ComAir Flight 5191 out of Lexington bound for Atlanta took off from the wrong runway at Bluegrass Airport. It crashed, killing all but one passenger on board. This incident affected me greatly - maybe it's because the plane was heading to Atlanta and I felt that I could have been on it, maybe it's because I was still getting used to my new surroundings and this made me leery of flying out of that particular airport, or maybe it's because the stories about the passengers were so close-to-home, and tragic. Maybe it's because I personally know pilots, and feel like the errors that the pilots made on that particular day sound like something that could happen to any pilot, or to any group of passengers on board the wrong plane at the wrong time. Either way, I blame this event for spurring what has been my recurring nightmare for the past 3 years - plane crashes.
They happen frequently, and are a good indicator that I'm severely stressed out. Not one who's really in touch with my own feelings, I rely on my dreams to suggest what's really going on in my life. (Note: if I start sleepwalking, it's an indication that I need drastic life changes.) If I don't have a dream, it means things are pretty even-keel. Nightmares means I need to chill, and confront whatever is bothering me. I never have good dreams.
It's the same basic dream every time. I am outside. There are people around me, but usually I don't know them. Sometimes, Casey's there (probably because she was here the weekend of the 5191 crash). Each time, we look up and see a plane *almost* crash. We feel better, but then we see another plane crash, right before our eyes. Usually, they crash trying to land on a runway, or they crash by plummeting to the ground (kind of like Oceanic Flight 815). I immediately feel indescribably bad, and either I wake up right then, or I stick around in dream-world for a while to try to run over to the burning plane in order to help save people.
I wish they'd go away. Previous recurring bad dreams involved a big bridge (like the one on I-65 that's over the Tennessee River that is right between the Madison and Limestone County lines, or the drawbridge on Highway 31 in Decatur), that I had to cross, over the ocean, that I could never, ever get across.
9. 23,000 miles
That's how many miles I put on my car this year. I could have driven around the world. The positive thing is that it meant I got to see a ton of people this way. The negative thing is that it meant I spent an exorbitant amount of time in Cindy Ray Vaughn, mostly alone and bored.
8. Burning my hand
If I'm not careful, one day I'm going to chop off something that can't be reattached, or burn something beyond repair, or break something that will take years to heal. I am accident prone. This translates to "not good things" in the kitchen, where I'm surrounded by large amounts of heat, chemical reactions, and sharp objects. This year, my main injury happened when I grabbed the handle of my all-clad stainless steel sauce pan, that had just served as a roaster for a delicious piece of roast, and had just come out of a 500 degree oven. I thought I might have to go to the ER for a freaking burn. Luckily, with the help of Google, I figured out what to do and saved permanent damage.
7. Dave was in Atlanta and I was in Lexington
Long distance relationships are no fun. I know I'm not an interpersonal scholar, but I intend to someday write a book about long distance relationships. And how they should be avoided at all costs. Let's just say, Dave's proven himself a worthy and honorable man many, many times while we've been separated. If he's this wonderful far away, I can only imagine how great he'll be when I see him every day.
6. Doctoral Qualifying Examination
Answering 4 questions that test knowledge and competence on my supposed areas of "expertise" really wasn't so bad, nor was defending my answers in front of 4 legitimate experts (who are all brilliant). What was horrible was preparing for said exams. While taking 2 classes and conducting the pilot study for my dissertation. I can't imagine how intolerable I was from January-April. I apologize to anyone who had to interact with me during that time.
5. Sarah Palin
I usually don't get into political discussions. But. Seeing the "Sarah!" signs while out on my runs this campaign season made me want to stop and barf on people's yards. She is not a modern day Esther (despite what Pentecostal Grandmother thinks). She was not qualified to run for the office of Vice President. And I don't even think she was a feminist. Instead, she confused a lot of men and women out there about what it means to be a feminist. It nauseates me that people take her seriously and want her to run for president in 2012. That's all.
4. Havana Sandwich Shop was destroyed in a fire
The southern girl in me appreciates anything fried. Especially if what's fried is latin-spiced chicken or beef, cheese, and peppers. That's what I gorged myself on at Havana Cafe, in Atlanta. At least, until the place burned down this summer. I'm so bummed about it, I can't really say much else about the subject, other than if you went, you understand, and if you didn't get to experience the little shop's wonders, then you missed out. Guess I'll just have to go to Cuba?
3. Writer's Strike
Oh, how I fretted over what would become of LOST Season 4. They had such great storylines going, and the writers went on strike. It was such a depressing season for television, with even more reality shows and everyone all sad that their favorite shows were at a stand-still. I hope the writers are being treated more fairly and that this never, ever happens to us again. Especially not in 2010. When LOST is supposed to have its final season.
2. Auburn football
It's just no fun to wake up on Saturday mornings to watch a football game, when you pretty much know your team is going to lose. I got so many "WTF???" text messages this year from fellow disgruntled Auburn fans. I guess I was spoiled back in 2004 when we had such an amazing season, and at least had bowl-eligible seasons the past several years. But when both Kentucky AND Georgia Tech are both doing better than Auburn, something just ain't right. But...
1. Tommy Tuberville got fired
...the biggest disappointment is that Tuberville won't be around to coach them through another victorious season. At least I know that Auburn football will be back soon enough - I just can't imagine anyone other than Tuberville on the sidelines calling the shots. And no, I don't really care that much about football, but I do really care about Auburn. And you can't care about Auburn and not care about football. I was proud of Alabama and their near perfect season, I really was! But I don't think that Tuberville should have been let go because of one bad season either. War Eagle anyway, and we'll be back next year.
In typing this list of "downers," it makes me realize just how lucky I am that they are all so superficial. Never fear - I'll have a "Top Ten Best Things Ever" list later that celebrates the more positive sides of the year. But, to end on a happy, I'm so blessed that even the downsides in my life are not that bad.