2011: A Year of Growth


JANUARY: Following with tradition, I rang in 2011 at home with my mom, watching the New Year’s Eve celebrations on TV (our favourite David Archuleta performed ‘The Other Side of Down’ on one of these specials). I got a new laptop to replace my dying one. My girl Brooke White made her acting debut with a made-for-TV movie called ‘Change of Plans’. This was just one of many new projects that she would introduce over the year! I wrote a film review on “Change of Plans” (endorsed by Brooke White herself). I celebrated my 22nd birthday. I started the Spring semester at SFU, taking courses in British Columbia Literature, Communications and Power, and Communications and Rhetoric. I also declared my second major in English Literature! Chris Colfer won the Best Supporting Actor Award for Glee at the 2011 Golden Globes. Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy joined ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. I continued to watch (and get hooked on) a few new television series: Community, Mad Men and Misfits. Season 10 of American Idol began.

FEBRUARY: Tensions rised in the Middle East, sparking many more political uprisings to come in 2011. I went on many job interviews (seeking for a Summer co-op placement) with unfavourable outcomes. I wrote a realistic response to Valentine’s Day and romantic love in general, sentiments which I would stick by throughout the year. I saw and met Bryan Greenberg at the Media Club! I tried watching the Superbowl but failed to keep up – enjoyed the Puppy Bowl and Glee Superbowl Spectacular instead. The Grammy’s happened – pop music in 2010 was forgettable to me so I hardly even remember what happened. I wrote a review of ‘The King’s Speech’ for my friends’ blog project, For Your Consideration: 10 Films, 1 Best Picture. TKS won Best Picture at the 2011 Oscars! David Archuleta splits from Jive Records – which will turn out to be the best decision for his career. The American Idol Season 10 Top 24 were selected, and I already had many favourites in the bunch! Oh, and BABY LOCK THEM DOORS AND TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW!

MARCH: The beginning of the end? Natural disasters erupted around the world. Japan suffered a devastating tsunami. The world lost Elizabeth Taylor. I wrote a tribute to her.. Dearest Elizabeth Taylor, You make the sun shine, the clouds move, and the world spin. So many people love you and so do I. You will always be my inspiration to live life to the fullest and to spread love and happiness to those around me. Your tremendous talent, captivating beauty, generous heart and extraordinary courage will be remembered forever. I will search for that violet diamond in the evening sky tonight. Rest peacefully, my Queen. I was consumed by American Idol Season 10 – professing my adoration for certain contestants (and ill-will towards others) and making predictions on who will stay and who will go. Many of these turned out to be wrong – with Tim Halperin and PIA TOSCANO’s early exits and Scotty McCreery and James Durbin continuing on and on and on… AND there were also several surprises – like Casey Abrams’ dramatic save and falling in love with the very eclectic and unpredictable Haley Reinhart. After a long hiatus, hipster!David Cook is back in business! He recorded the Season 10 elimination song – a cover of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”.
I hate Glee.

APRIL: This month didn’t start off too great. I contracted a bad stomach flu and was ill for the first part of April. It was also finals week, so that added to the pain and stress I was feeling. Also, Pia Toscano’s elimination from American Idol happened during this time, and I nearly died from the heartbreak (well, not really, but I was really sad. Even more sad than I was when Michael Johns got the boot in Season 7, which is saying A LOT). I would have given up on Idol all together if it wasn’t for the amazing Haley Reinhart (and cute-as-a-button Lauren Alaina). I was determined to see a girl win for once! David Cook released the first single, The Last Goodbye, from his sophomore album, This Loud Morning. Thank @God for him. Seriously. Watched a fairy tale unfold on TV, otherwise known as The Royal Wedding! Congratulations to William and Kate!
I still hate Glee. (WHAT DID JENNA DO?)

MAY: Osama bin Laden was found and killed! The breaking news brought peace of mind to all those affected by the terror he caused, but his death couldn’t erase all the trauma endured over the past ten years. A virus almost killed my new laptop. It was fixed within two weeks – thank goodness! I started the Summer (academic, not co-op) semester with three courses – Women and Comedy (Literature), Magazine Publishing, and Communications and Design. I was annoyed when Haley Reinhart was eliminated in third place. An all-country finale didn’t entice me at all, because I knew that Lauren didn’t stand a chance against unstoppable Scotty (even though she is the far superior singer). But I took his victory better than I expected – especially knowing that the Kristy Lee Cook prophecy was finally fulfilled. Hopefully he’ll be the last WGWG winner for a while! I saw Bonnie Dune (the band Cory Monteith is in) in Vancouver!
I love Naya Rivera. I still hate Glee.

JUNE: Vancouver was on fire. The Vancouver Canucks were up against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals. Vancouver pride was at a high (just as great as it was during the Olympics), but that all came crashing down with the riots that broke out after the Canucks lost the Cup. We were angry at the opportunists who tarnished our reputation with their selfish acts, but we showed ourselves to be the better men/women that we are by helping with the clean-up duties the next morning. Vancouver stood united! My dad went on a six-week trip to Indonesian, so my mom and I had the house to ourselves. Adele postponed her North American tour due to illness, and we were all worried that she may never sing again. She was determined to get out and perform and re-scheduled her Vancouver show for August. What a fighter! I gained experience with group projects and knowledge of the magazine industry from my Magazine Publishing class. I watched a movie by myself for the first time – Midnight in Paris (appropriate choice). David Cook’s This Loud Morning is flawless.

JULY: Mischief managed! As a member of the Warner Brothers Street Team, I participated in a real-life Quidditch match (as a Seeker!) in promotion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The movie itself was incredible – the perfect ending to a great journey that defined my childhood. I’ll forever be grateful to J.K. Rowling for introducing our generation to the power of magic. As she once said, whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. I saw Bonnie Dune again in Vancouver – this time at a Pinkberry launch party. I got to spend some time with friends who I haven’t seen in months! Lauren Alaina, Pia Toscano, and Haley Reinhart signed major record label deals (Go Team Powerpuff Idols!) and David Archuleta released some new songs while touring in Asia. Amy Winehouse passed away.

AUGUST: After a record-breaking series of interviews (including two with the Vancouver Canucks!), I accepted a job offer with my university’s Career Centre as a Volunteer Services Assistant! I received two As in my summer courses and enjoyed a relaxing two week break before starting my new job in early September. I saw Adele in concert – she was AMAZING! I got sorted into Gryffindor at Pottermore (and abandoned the site ever since). I went to the Summer Fair at the PNE with my mom. Jack and White (Brooke’s new music project) provided the soundtrack to a great summer.

SEPTEMBER: This month marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – a day that affected modern society in a tremendous way. I started my eight-month co-op job at SFU Volunteer Services as a Marketing and Communications Assistant. My first big project was helping to plan, manage and execute our Campus Career Fair. I went into great detail about how my job has changed my perspective. Kelly Clarkson released the first single, “Mr. Know it All”, from her new album, Stronger. We got a new car. I got my first designer purse at the Aritzia Warehouse Sale – Marc Jacobs for $99!

OCTOBER: This was such a marvelous month for music! I saw and met David Cook and Gavin DeGraw in Seattle with my very good friends! There were lots of great album releases – including Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”, Lauren Alaina’s “Wildflower”, Tim Halperin’s “Rise and Fall”, and Gavin DeGraw’s “Sweeter”. I joined the Young Women in Business Society (YWiB) to meet and learn from other like-minded Communications and Business students. I dressed up as Hermione Granger for Halloween.

NOVEMBER: Crazy month at the office and around campus! Blog meetings, event planning (for a Careers in Teaching Fair), coordinating (for the annual Student Leadership Awards), workshops, information sessions, presentations… oh my! On top of my work-related duties, I attended numerous workshops and socials for YWiB and met with my mentor, who is an SFU alumni and a Marketing Specialist in the industry. It was exhausting, but that’s the price you have to pay for knowledge and experience! On 11/11/11, I realized that I’m more like Summer (from 500 Days of Summer) than I thought, but I also learned something really important: to always trust my instincts. Community got benched (NOOO!), The Muppets rule (YEAH!), and Miss Representation is really eye-opening.

DECEMBER: ‘Tis the season for holiday music and pretty lights! Christmas crept up quick this year! Usually, the holiday season presents people with the perfect occasion to share big announcements, and 2011 was no different. Brooke White is pregnant (expecting a daughter next summer)! David Archuleta is embarking on a mission for his church starting in 2012 for TWO YEARS! Adam Lambert was in jail in Sweden! As for me, I just wanted to have a peaceful winter break, especially after overloading myself with work projects, Christmas party planning, volunteering at the Christmas parade in Vancouver, Christmas preparations, and more. My mom celebrated her 65th birthday this month – she’s now a senior! Glee got better. New Girl is delightful. Community ended (for now) on a high note. The X-Factor USA crashed and burned. I’m anticipating the return of American Idol in January even more now. I already miss David Archuleta but I hope that David Cook has lots in store for 2012 (those two are very secretive, but I respect that).

After a very eventful year, Santa rewarded me with a very nice Christmas. πŸ™‚

Ethel Wilson’s Swamp Angel
Joy Kogawa’s Obasan
George Ryga’s The Ecstasy of Rita Joe
Colin McGinn’a Mindfucking
Harry G. Frankfurt’s On Bullshit
Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power
Daniel Goleman’s Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence
Serge Moscovici’s The Age of the Crowd: A Historical Treatise on Mass Psychology
Marshall McLuhan’s War and Peace in the Global Village
Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric
David Raizman’s A History of Modern Design
Adrian Forty’s Objects of Desire: Design and Society Since 1750
Sammye Johnson’s The Magazine From Cover to Cover: Inside a Dynamic Industry
Eighteenth-Century Women Dramatists
Aphra Behn’s The Rover and Other Plays
Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina
Frances Burney’s Evelina
Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights
Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice
Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility
Grace Metalious’ Peyton Place

“Change of Plans” (2011)
“A Star Is Born” (1954)
“Despicable Me” (2009)
“The Duchess” (2008)
“Never Let Me Go” (2010)
“The Romantics” (2010)
“How To Train Your Dragon” (2010)
“The Illusionist” (2010)
“The Fighter” (2010)
“Hop” (2011)
“Soul Surfer” (2011)
“Jane Eyre” (2011)
“Rio” (2011)
“I Am Number Four” (2011)
“Kung Fu Panda 2” (2011)
“Midnight in Paris” (2011)
“Super 8” (2011)
“X-Men: First Class” (2011)
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (2011)
“Winnie the Pooh” (2011)
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011)
“The Help” (2011)
“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)
“Wild Target” (2010)
“Driving Lessons” (2006)
“Ballet Shoes” (2007)
“The Lion King 3D” (1994/2011)
“Dolphin Tale” (2011)
“Sense and Sensibility”
“My Week with Marilyn” (2011)
“Happy Feet 2” (2011)
“Miss Representation” (2011)
“The Muppets” (2011)
“Sleeping Beauty” (1959)
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (2011)
“Bridesmaids” (2011)
“Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” (2011)
“50/50” (2011)
“We Bought a Zoo” (2011)
“The Adventures of Tintin” (2011)

First Song of 2011: The Animals – It’s My Life
Personal Anthem: David Archuleta – The Other Side Of Down
Album of the Year: Adele’s 21
Song of the Year: Adele – Rolling in the Deep

See my Top Albums/EPs and Top Songs lists of 2011 on Tumblr.

American Idol: Season 10
Mad Men
New Girl

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