Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Year In Review

2011 Year in Review

I haven't quite kept up with this blog as frequently I had intended. Life, Depression, lack of motivation, and a whole world of drama has been taking up space in my brain and causing me the worst case of mental block ever. I'm not going into detail about it all, some matters are meant to be private and not broadcast across the internet. So instead of trying to write something fun and witty, I've decided to just review my year questionnaire style. Hopefully it's not boring as shit.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
- Attended live MMA events: Bellator 47 & 57, and UFC 140.
-Went to a UFC press conference with a friend I had JUST met on Twitter. She didn't try to stab me.
-Organized a peaceful gathering to raise awareness about animal cruelty legislation in Canada. It didn't go so well but I tried.
- Sex stuff that I am not telling you about. :P HAHA!

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

-I don't make New Year's resolutions. Why set goals and choose to change one day out of the year? If you want something, go after it!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

-Yes. Congratulations Meredith & John, Leah & Pete, Matt & Sophie!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

-Not personally close, but definitely someone I hold in high regard: Shawn Tompkins. Matt and I attended funeral services for him on behalf of MMA fans everywhere to show his team just how much we all love and support them, and how much Shawn is loved and respected and always will be.

5. What countries did you visit?

-No travelling for me. I stayed here in Canada, didn't even leave the Province!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

-Much better focus and determination.
-More damn sleep...well maybe a regular sleep cycle. How about just no more of this fucking insomnia? that works.
-Stronger, healthier, sexier body.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

-April 31st (UFC 129 Fan Expo in Toronto/First UFC in Ontario-I attended the Expo!!)
-July 23rd (Bellator 47 at Casino Rama, my 1st ever live MMA event - Also 2yrs DRUG FREE!)

-Aug. 14th (Shawn Tompkins passing, I found out that evening when Mike Straka broke the news.)
Nov. 12th (Bellator 57 at Casino Rama, Matt and I won our tix free through twitter. Thanks Bjorn!)
-Dec. 10th (UFC 140 in Toronto that Matt, Leash and I attended through the generosity of others.)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

-Losing 50lbs since about May. I'm kind of proud of myself. Still losing!! Love being a loser! hehe :P

9. What was your biggest failure?

-I've said this before: I don't like to use the word failure, It implies so much negativity. Yes, we stumble, we trip, we even fall...but we don't necessarily fail. I spent much time calling myself a failure to say I have failures. Did I fuck up? Sure did, a few times.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

-Oh yes, bad year for that. Crohn's kept flaring up like a bitch, I've had difficulty with Depression, and in the spring a near 2yr old ankle injury decided to act up. That's not all of it, but that's all you need to know.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

-Those tickets to Bellator 47, that was GREAT! One of the best experiences of my life.
Okay my Android phone too. Despite the problems it's given me, it's useful and fun.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

-My friends, holy shit talk about amazing people! I know I'm a difficult person to be friends with, but when someone's willing to accept and love you just the way you are and be there for you through the craziest shit possible, that's a real friend. I don't have many, but the few I have mean everything to me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

-No one's behaviour makes me depressed. It can make me sad or upset, but definitely not depressed. Silly questionnaire. I had my moments, that's for sure. I think we all do. As for who appalled or upset me, they're not worth my time.

14. Where did most of your money go?

-Paying the bills, looking after my herd of cats, my expensive restrictive diet.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

-Every single MMA-related event I went to...duh!!

-Putting on my once "tight/skinny" jeans and finding they fit perfectly.

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2011?

"Let it Rock" - Kevin Rudolf
"Go With Me" - Jesse Blaze Snider

"On the Floor" - Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull
"Coming Home" - P.Diddy & Skylar Grey

17. Compared to this time last year, you are: Happier or sadder?

-About the same.

Thinner or fatter?

-Much thinner! *self hi-five*

Richer or poorer?

-Technically richer but I don't feel it...or see it! lol

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

-Yoga, I didn't get to enough classes.
-Had more sex (NOT a shot at my man, being sick takes my ability away)
-Socializing. I'm still finding my feet in that sense.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

-Put up with nonsense from people.
-Been tempted by sweets (vegan sweets...dammit)

20. How will you be spending Christmas / Hanukkah?

-I spent Christmas at home for the first time in 8yrs. The in-laws were away for Christmas so it was different. Visited my friend Jay and his lovely wife at his Mom's, really was nice to be included...thanks guys.

21. What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in 2011?

-Did something happen to me that was supposed to be embarrassing? 

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?

-Do I have to answer this? I don't remember how many times I did...I saw a LOT of little kittens and cats. ;)

23. How many one-night stands?

-This really is made for young people. I'm an old bitch...and still in a relationship! lol

24. What was your favorite TV program?

-Criminal Minds
-The Ultimate Fighter

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

-I don't "hate" anyone, I may hate what someone says or does though.

26. What was the best book you read?

-I don't remember if I read a book. My memory took a hit this year. Huh?

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

-Jesse Blaze Snider!!! ♥

-"Beautiful Dangerous" I had NO idea Slash did a duet with Fergie...damn!!

28. What did you want and get?

-Weight loss!

-Friends/acquaintances to talk MMA with. 
-Live MMA...oh wait I already mentioned that. :P

29. What did you want and not get?

-Didn't save enough $$ to get a few necessary items for the house.

-Still no home for Nitro (foster kitty) but he's going to live with works out. :)

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

-I don't remember what I did for my birthday. I don't think I did anything at all. I turned closing in on 34. Oh yay.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

-Can't think of anything, it was one hell of a year. Why ask for more when I was blessed with so much?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

-Casual at first, loose and frumpy. As the weight came off, jeans and nice t-shirts/pretty shirts came out. No real name for it, just simple I guess...flattering to my body. Cleavage friendly for sure. lol ;)

34. What kept you sane?

-Who the fuck says I am sane? Please. ;) Okay so some things and people kept me grounded.

-Jay and Alicia, my two favourite people. They each have their own way of helping me keep it together when I feel like I'm falling apart. I needed that a lot last year.
-Watching/reading/immersing myself in ANYTHING MMA. Seriously, if I had to get away from whatever was going on in my life or in my head, I watched fights, read articles, or listened to podcasts.
-Social Networking. I joined Twitter last year and met SO many interesting people. I joined to keep up with fighters and MMA (big surprise) and ended up making great online friends and connecting with so many other MMA fans. Between that and facebook, they create diversion that keeps me talking. When I go quiet, things are not good.

35. Which celebrity / public figure did you fancy the most?

-I'm not a celebrity chaser, I do have favourite fighters and MMA Personalities though. That being said:

Fighter: Dan Henderson.
Personality: MAURO RANALLO 
(Yes, he's fucking awesome enough for caps!)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

-At the beginning of the year, legalization of MMA in Ontario. Obviously successful.

-The Sled Dog Massacre in Whistler BC. Details surfaced early in 2011. Opened a lot of eyes to how pathetic animal cruelty laws are in Canada.
-Like every year, the Commercial Seal Hunt. It's still going. Not for fucking long.

37. Who did you miss?

-Everyone, I have the worst aim. ;)

Okay seriously, I miss my "hotel" girls the most. They know who they are.

38. Who was the best new person you met?


We met via Twitter, both live in the same town though. Met up in Toronto for the UFC 140 pre-fight press conference and have been friends since! She's such a fantastic person.
We're online friends, he was the first guy to talk to me on Twitter and NOT be a jerk about MMA. He's hilarious and a good friend I can chat with, my Broski! lol

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

Real friends will understand when you just aren't able to "do." When life has become too much, expectations are too much to handle, promises cannot be kept, and you just need to take care of the burdens set in front of you. That it's okay to be this way, life happens and the people who truly care for you will understand and respect that.
Life is short, live it. Chase your dreams, be with the people you love and want to be with, don't waste a second being unhappy. Do what makes you happy, do it with all your heart. Fight for it. (Attending a great man's funeral opened my eyes to this, I wish it didn't have to be that way. Thank you Shawn.)

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"When you wake up everyday, please don't throw your dreams away. Hold them close to your heart."
- "Ordinary Miracle" by Sarah McLachlan

There you are my friends, a year in my life summed up in a craptastic questionnaire for you to enjoy or not enjoy. 

Yes, I derived much joy from MMA and the events I attended last year. That's not what defined 2011 for me though, but they were all memorable and important to me. I almost wanted to write the year off due to some situations that were so dire, I could have easily let them overshadow all of the positive and joyful things that happened. I wasn't about to do that, no way. Why let one or two difficult situations ruin a year full of fun, friends, fights, laughs, accomplishments, surprises, and inspiration? No way, not going to look back at 2011 and think poorly of it when I accomplished the things I did, met the amazing people that are now in my life, reconnected with an old friend that now helps to keep me from falling apart, finally broke my live MMA cherry (so vulgar, I know) and lost my UFC virginity, and dammit, I dropped the inhibitions a little and started speaking my mind like this...and sometimes tweeted pics of my boobs to Liz Carmouche on Tuesdays..okay not fully nude, just more than what I show in public. Ha!
Bottom line, 2011 was memorable and I intend to cherish it because  it was a year of firsts, filled with both love and heartbreak, many laughs and many tears. Not easy to forget, definitely worth remembering for the RIGHT reasons.

I thought some photos might be appropriate for those of you brave souls that made it through all of that. So, here you are! No, none are the boob pics I sent to Liz...suckers! lol Ah I love you all!

Thank you for reading!!

Happy New Year!
♥ ♥ 

Check out UFC 140 pics HERE at N3RDGAZM!

"MMAMandy" In the cage at the MMA Expo Toronto Dec. 3rd

Me posing with Carlos Newton - MMA Expo
New Years Eve outfit, went out 1st time in 8yrs!

Jay & I -Finally a pic together, 20yrs later!

Leash & I day we met!

Leash & I - MMA Expo
Wanderlei Silva & I Sept. 24th

Dan Miragliotta & Yves Lavigne & I at Bellator 47
Josh Rosenthal & I at Bellator 47

Shawn "The Coach" Tompkins & I at Bellator  47
 This was the only time I met Shawn Tompkins, he was so kind, so vibrant, and didn't stop smiling once. I was appreciative of the time he gave us to chat and take a photo, we even shared a laugh. A memory I cherish. He passed away three weeks later. I remember telling him how much I looked forward to meeting again. I keep a photo of him here on my desk as a reminder of how to truly live, because he knew how to.
Cheers to The Coach.

Please go to iTunes and buy "The Greatest" by Jaclyn VanHappen in memory of Shawn. Proceeds go the the Shawn Tompkins Memorial Fund.