But in my case, the end of '09 and start of '10 really does mark a major shift, something worth noting, and (hopefully!) something worth celebrating.
Thing is, I can't tell you why just yet. But trust me when I tell you that it's going to mean a serious shift in focus for myself and for The Lost Albatross - and I'm crossing my fingers and working my butt off to see that it'll all be for the better. The "official announcement" should come mid-January, so please do check back. In the meantime, let's get to that time honored tradition of mixing navel-gazing with list-making and enjoy THE LOST ALBATROSS YEAR IN REVIEW ('09):
- Total site visits for the year: 22,843
- Most clicked post: "Big losses for progressive talk radio in Madison" (494)
- Top keywords: "emily mills" and "lost albatross" (people got here because they were actually looking for me - crazy!)
- Weirdest keywords: "clever name calling," "norm fjelstad" (who?), "emo techno bands," "huffy albatross"
2009 wasn't the kindest year on record in general, but for me personally I really can't complain too much. I joined/helped start a new band that's been nothing but awesome thus far, self-published by first novel, increased my freelance writing work, went on a fantastic mountain biking trip to Moab, threw two successful burlesque events, and hit the vaunted five year milestone with my fella. Not bad, I'd say.
The uptick in activities meant a falling off in blog content, though, which certainly isn't the end of the world (and you can actually expect a significant uptick in content next year, oddly enough). Still, there were some fascinating and infuriating topics covered this year.
The year started off with major shake-ups at Madison's progressive talk radio station, The Mic, including the loss of Lee Rayburn and serious public discontent. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, self-professed hater of government, officially decided to run for governor - a saga that will continue to play out until the elections next year. In April, the hilariously named Teabaggers descended upon Madison to wave grammatically and historically incorrect signs around for a little while. Wisconsin then (finally) passed a state-wide smoking ban, which goes into effect in July 2010. Major changes gripped the Common Council, and everyone marveled at Thuy Pham-Remmel's thoughtful, well-worded, and surprisingly concise speeches.
In August the bikes took over the streets for the first annual Ride the Drive event, which was, quite frankly, pretty cool. Throughout the latter half of the year, we watched as the Edgewater Hotel redevelopment process began to dominate public discourse--strange lobbying practices, immovable neighborhood associations, a mayor's single-minded quest. In the end, that particular proposal was cock blocked by both the Landmarks Commission and the Common Council, but it remains to be seen if its deathly specter might rise again.
At the beginning of November I began my tenure as the Isthmus Daily Page's newest regular blogger, something I'm hoping to continue in the new year. I also went to my first opera, where they forced me (OK, asked nicely) to sit in the lobby and blog for all the gawking masses to see and be baffled by.
So like I said, I've been pretty damn fortunate in that the Great Recession and general decline of the Roman...err...American society (due to all those people gay marrying terrorist abortions) haven't taken quite so terrible a toll on me. Which is to say, I've never had money to begin with, so there wasn't much for me to lose. But I'm also blessed with amazing friends and family, a great town, and relatively decent health (ulcerative colitis be damned).
I'd be a fool to complain.
Here's wishing you all a happy, safe, healthy and productive new year! Thanks to everyone who's been on this crazy blogging journey with me--really and truly, thanks--and I hope you'll stick with me as I enter what promises to be one wacky, eventful period of my life.