It started out with drinks, strippers, Portland Trail Blazers, and smooching my boyfriend at midnight. In other words, pretty badass. I was fairly confident at the beginning of the new year, and was assured 2009 would be just as awesome as ’08 had been.
Then there was this whole economy-having-Mexican-food-diarrhea thing, where it crapped out a hot, steamy bowl (bowel?) full of unemployed Americans. Myself being one of them, as of mid-January. Whoa. That was a screeching halt to what I had considered a steady and reliable job that I enjoyed.
After 5 weeks of depressing and stress-ridden unemployment (but so much sleep! my cats LOVED my jobless ass!), I found a temp job as an administrative assistant for a farming company way up in the boonies of southern Washington, a whole 40 minute drive from my house. If anyone knows me, they know that I am not cut out to be an administrative assistant, and the soul-crushing lack of creativity spurred my 61 days of daily photos on this here blog, forcing me to get well acquainted with all my camera’s functions and be creative on a daily basis.
I left the temp job early (after 7 weeks of paper pushing and being hit on by a drug-dealing murderer) for what has definitely been a highlight of 2009: becoming an employee-owner of an absolutely rad craft brewery (one I’ve emulated and imbibed for years), working in the marketing department. As my dad phrased it, “Steph, you’ve finally arrived.” Hella, dad. HELLA.
Summer was a dizzying array of fun things. Camping. Digging for fossils in the desert (childhood dream!). Hiking. My brother getting hitched. My car breaking down multiple times. Paddle boarding the Columbia. Sean’s and my first big roadtrip down to Sonoma for my college roommate’s wedding, which was where I also spent my 27th birthday. That was a divinely wine-filled week. Leading the Oregon Brewers’ Festival parade with my coworkers and the mayor of Portland through the city’s downtown streets. Southern family reunion. Raccoon wars on my side patio. Cherry harvest with my sister and Sean. Baking in the 100+ degree heat on the new riverside beach near my office. Cowboy boot roller skate photo shoot for Lea’s 30th. Touring and drinking beer in hop fields for work. Dance parties around a campfire. Meeting Mike Belotti and Kenny “The Pick” Wheaton. 300 foot slip and slide. Hating myself for reading the Twilight series. Playing a beer-serving extra in a party scene from an indie movie. Smooching on a windswept cliff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge on the last day of summer.
Fall was as lovely as ever. Sean’s and my first anniversary of dating. A girls’ weekend with the ladies of my family out in the high desert of central Oregon. One shitty corn maze paired with an overpriced yet adorable pumpkin patch. Dressing as “Major Trouble” with my Saudi oil baron for Halloween. Mad Men and Dexter DVD marathons. Screaming like mad at a soccer game. Screaming like mad at college football games. Ending up on ESPN screaming like mad over the Ducks’ Rose Bowl clincher when they won Civil War.
This chilly season has been pretty great thus far. No skiing yet, unfortunately, but the holidays treated me well and I stuffed my face proper-like. This New Year’s Eve will be without the strippers and professional basketball players of last year, but still has the boyfriend to smooch at midnight and the drinks in hand. Only this time the drinks are from my place of employment, which I have to say, is pretty damn rad.
2009, despite your initial setbacks, you were oh-so fine. PEACE!
Tags: 2009, 2010, beer, brewery, college football, columbia river gorge, ducks, economy, espn, life, new year, oregon, portland trail blazers, recession, strippers, the gorge, twilight, unemployment, year end review