Thursday, December 31, 2015


Inspired by the brilliant and adorable Tim Sailer, 100 things that made my 2015 so good:

  1. Speaking at my first conference in Washington, D.C.       
  2. Speaking at my second conference in Greensboro, NC.
  3. Speaking at my third conference in Indianapolis.
  4. Spending an evening with cousins in Ohio at an event called Monocles & Bourbon.
  5. Lunches of cheese and grapes at the end of the summer.
  6. Spending two weeks in August and September in a trunk while playing Iachimo for my Shakespeare company.
  7. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.
  8. Graduating at the top of my class with my first master's degree.
  9. Winning the thesis award on the day I graduated.
  10. Having my father and my brother in Staunton to celebrate graduation with me.
  11. Doctor Faustus at the ASC.
  12. An extraordinarily wonderful conversation about theses and ideas in Indianapolis with my dear friend Molly.
  13. The Great British Baking Show.
  14. Spending winter Mondays with my best Marfall watching Downton Abbey and Wolf Hall.
  15. House sitting for Matty for a week and enjoying all the delights of his garden, his porch swing, and his cat, Prince Madoc.  
  16. House sitting for Doreen and JP for a week, and enjoying all the delights of their magnificent kitchen, their deliciously plush carpets, and their kittens, Jellybean and Snickers.                                                    
  17. The Winter's Tale at the ASC.
  18. A Midsummer Night's Dream at the ASC, especially Greg's face.
  19. Getting a doozy of a first publishing contract—a chapter in a book on early modern stage directions, published by Arden, co-authored with my favorite professor/the director of my program.
  20. Getting my first article published in a small academic journal.
  21. Everyman in his Humour at the ASC. Specifically Ben's socks, Ben's face, and Chris's everything.
  22. Shakespeare Prom, aka the ASC annual benefit gala.
  23. Rick Blunt's triumphant return to and victorious departure from Staunton.
  24. A delicious summer research trip to the Library of Congress, wherein I spent an entire day touching 400-year-old books.
  25. A picnic in front of the Capitol with my rad gal pal Haylie and her super cool husband Ross.                                                            
  26. Listening to the entire first season of Serial for the first time, one after the other, on my drive to Indianapolis.
  27. Walking 2300 miles this year.
  28. Two days in Richmond at the Library of Virginia touching letters, diaries, and documents from the Civil War.
  29. Voice class with the amazing René Thornton, Jr.
  30. My darling Haylie's incredible podcast, Philia.
  31. Julius Caesar at the ASC, specifically Tim's incredible turn as Cassius.
  32. Seeing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, and finding out that it's kind of charming. 
  33. Marriage equality, y'all.
  34. The Importance of Being Earnest at the ASC.
  35. Speakeasy night at Queen City Brewing with Sarah, Merlyn, Aubrey, and Kayla.
  36. The Boston time capsule.
  37. Putting up the amazing Clyomon & Clamydes with my very best Marfall.
  38. Getting to sit through the Textual Culture class for a second time by TAing for Dr. Menzer.
  39. Getting to caress a three-volume set of Jonson's 1640 folio and meet the lovely people who donated it to our program.
  40. Being asked to be a "guest expert" for an event that ultimately never happened. But still, thrilling to have been asked!
  41. Finishing my Master of Letters thesis and creating this great word cloud of it.
  42. A late-night trip with friends and pajamas and blankets and cocoa to see if we could see the northern lights. We couldn't.
  43. The New Street ducks.                                  
  44. Presenting at my fourth conference, right here in Staunton, in front of about 200 of the finest scholars my field has to offer.
  45. A tour of Gettysburg with my darling Meredith.
  46. Starting my second master's thesis, and writing the entire thing in six days. Then making this great word cloud of it.            
  47. Wearing ribbons in my hair nearly every day of the spring and summer, and most of the fall.                                                                                    
  48. Joan of Arc, aka 1 Henry VI, at the ASC. Hung be the heavens with black.
  49. Dessen &Thompson's Dictionary of Stage Directions.
  50. The new Norton Shakespeare.
  51. This gorgeous font.
  52. A summer of long, long, long walks full of bunnies (in the morning) and fireflies (in the evening).
  53. Sending off all my PhD applications.
  54. Making this great patriotic cake for a super fun fourth of July party.
  55. Having blue hair for two and a half months in the summer and the fall.
  56. Mystery Show.
  57. Meeting a fellow Oregonian in the parking lot of Kroger the day before Thanksgiving.
  58. Eating funnel cake at the Augusta County fair.
  59. Lots of gelato. A whole summer of gelato. So much gelato.
  60. Turning 30, and having the best birthday in a very long time.
  61. Wearing so many cute dresses.
  62. Feeling better about my body at 30 than I ever did at 20, and loving it.
  63. Learning and growing so much.
  64. Fuck in the 14th century.
  65. Dirty Dancing in the park with Merlyn.
  66. A perfect week in September in which I got a publishing offer, went to Shakespeare prom, saw The Winter's Tale a zillion times, and had great good times in class.  
  67. Learning to tolerate Antony & Cleopatra at the ASC. Made easier by Rick's dancing and Greg's face.
  68. Getting the biggest coup of my career so far: a solo-authored chapter in an anthology on absent mothers in literature.
  69. Getting to interview the amazing Stephanie Holladay-Earl about her role in The Winter's Tale as research for my chapter on absent mothers.
  70. Selfies with Marshall at Shakespeare Prom.            
  71. Cutting a super-weird seventeenth century play about cuckoldry.
  72. Getting accepted to one of the biggest Shakespeare conferences in the world, and finding out my panel includes my favorite professor/the director of my program.
  73. Making plans to travel and room with my dearest Haylie at this big awesome conference.
  74. Finding a love note in my wallet after a play, left by the dearest Ellie.
  75. My sequined gold skirt, which got me a wink and a nod from Greg on my birthday.
  76. A delicious fall break staycation in Staunton with my dear Haylie and her husband Ross.
  77. Getting business cards for the first time.
  78. Another delicious, long conversation with that delightful Molly, this one full of gossip as well as ideas and research.
  79. Seeing my bestie Tiffanie for the first time in two years. And meeting her husband!
  80. Deep lunges.
  81. Overcoming two enormous personal events that should have ruined my year and having one of the best years ever in spite of everything. 
  82. Becoming actual friends with people I'd hero-worshipped for two years.
  83. Not Your Father's Root Beer.
  84. A June weekend in Staunton with Haylie where she made me try guacamole for the first time and revolutionized my entire existence.
  85. Being hit on by an ASC actor at the Blackfriars closing night party.
  86. Creating an index for a great book by my favorite professor/the director of my program.
  87. The amazing five days that was the Blackfriars Conference.
  88. Dressing as a footnote for Halloween.       
  89. Becoming Twitter friends with several of my academic crushes.
  90. Six weeks of bruises all over my arms and legs because of Hamlet combat rehearsals.
  91. Spending every spare minute at the playhouse during the fall.
  92. Bath bombs.
  93. A tiny Christmas tree from my very best Marfall.
  94. Nights of drinking and dancing at the breweries with non-Wag friends.
  95. Accidentally teaching rhetoric to my freshman comp students.
  96. A crazily uncharacteristic program party right before Thanksgiving. There was loud music and dancing and someone puked and people made out.
  97. Cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal in my teensy, barely-functional apartment kitchen.
  98. Skyping with my darling Ellen in the summer and with my nerdy brother and father on Thanksgiving.
  99. Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  100. This actual video of what my soul looks like.

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