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motion and moments, 2021

Oh, hi, hello! It's been a minute... or I guess, a lot of minutes since I last wrote anything in here (April 2020 to be exact. I clicked the last thing I wrote and, do y'all also blur your eyes when you're looking back at things you've created, sorta in the same way someone might to avoid directly looking at gore in a horror movie? Just me? I started reading the first few sentences, and my eyes auto-blurred to avoid head-on confronting that early pandemic naivety and loneliness. Oof, bless my 2020 fucking heart).

2021 had wild Stretch Armstrong malleability, some months zipped, some were arduously long, some probably just feel faster or slower on reflection than they probably were. 2021 had its low and difficult moments, of course it had continued uncertainties and heaviness and stress, but I feel fortunate. 2021 was a very kind year to me. 2020 was lonely limbo. 2021 had motion, physically/emotionally for me. It's been a good journey, and I'm excited to see where 2022 leads me.

I have a tradition of informally scribbling out key moments*** from across the year as we approach the end, and I wrote out my 2021 list last night. Here's some of that list.

*** “moments” = a selection of meaningful but hyper-curated points in the year that I feel comfortable publicly sharing. Mostly focused on very light things that warmed my heart. You don't get the full list, internet.


  • January

  • Started the year in Austin, in a cute airbnb bungalow (with a yard!) I had only planned to be in for the month of December. I extended my time through January, and I ended up staying for, uh, longer.

  • Got my first tattoo, a sweet ocotillo stick-and-poke

  • Bought inline skates (and lots of protective gear), then spent the next few weeks skating all over the old wooden floors of my airbnb. Despite all the time I skated around that Airbnb I am still an absolute disaster at skating.

  • February

  • Texas’s Snowpocalypse. I was over the top lucky that week, barely lost power and kept my water the whole time. I had friends without both for over a week. I felt guilt

  • Nested bullets were FINALLY added to Slack after years of me repeatedly trying to indent bullets in a thread and then realizing indented bullets weren’t supported.

  • YES, this was a key 2021 moment, and no, I’m not just including it because late-Jan/Feb is a bit fuzzy beyond record high covid numbers and the biggest infrastructure/leadership failure in Texas.

  • March

  • Finally decided I should stop living out of my suitcase and start preparing to go back to Seattle

  • Spent my last month in Austin sitting on patios with friends, going to Barton Springs, and soaking in the sun of early Austin spring.

  • Rented a pool (that’s a thing you can do!) and had a going away celebration with a small group of friends on my last full day in town.

  • My first day of driving away to Seattle, I got Pfizer vax #1 in Lubbock, then continued driving to Albuquerque, where I’d end up staying for the week.

  • April

  • My journey back to Seattle took me through New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington.

  • Stayed in Albuquerque, Orem, Boise

  • Arrived back in Seattle, stayed with sweet friends that week, and quickly found an apartment in Wallingford

  • Got Pfizer vax #2! That one was a trip.

  • May

  • Caught up with Seattle friends, boated around Lake Union/Lake Washington with friends, enjoyed a really stunning Seattle spring.

  • Went to my first soccer game (the Sounders!), which was also my first sporting event since pre-Covid! I got emotional.

  • Learned the word Cheugy.

  • June

  • Baked bagels for the first time in 2021!

  • Celebrated the Summer Solstice with friends in an amazing cabin in Oregon. First Friendcation since the pandemic started.

  • First pandemic flight to San Antonio to visit family. Drove to Austin to visit some of my friend-family.

  • July

  • Experienced the extreme winter in Austin, so it only made sense to get back from Austin and experience extreme summer in Seattle. Missed the hottest day ever in Seattle, but a few days later returned to a 105 degree F night. Seattle is not an air conditioned city, so I lived off popsicles that week.

  • Visited my lovely friend in Portland. Finally went to Powell’s Books. The former library master’s student in me embarrassingly geeked the fuck out.

  • Visited my lovely friend on San Juan Island. 3ish years in Seattle and I had never been up there and wow, I get the appeal of island life (definitely felt some desert life parallels, though you don’t see whales and seals in the desert, and probably shouldn’t eat oysters).

  • August

  • Lots of sun, parks, soft-serve ice cream.

  • Went to beautiful goodbye party for a wonderful friend in Seattle (they moved to Texas! I miss them, but very happy to have more excuses to visit Texas).

  • Work related thing! Shipped the physical release of Hades. This was a lot of work (that’s putting it mildly), but what a killer team I work with, some real team work making that dream work. (sidenote: limiting work-related moments to just this one- which is a big one! -on this list. There were so many big work milestones I accomplished/celebrated, but many aren't exactly public facing. But… please, trust, this was a ridiculously busy year of work...).

  • Celebrated my bday with friends on a patio in Seattle. Felt really loved.

  • Flew to NY, celebrated my bday with my sis, my bro-in-law, and some friends on a few patios. An indulgent Virgo season for me.

  • September

  • Stayed in NY for the week, went to the US Open for the second time in my life for a couple days.

  • Same week I totally got stuck in mid-town Manhattan with a wonderful friend as we attempted to trek back to Queens and Brooklyn during Hurricane Ida flash floods, just as all MTA transportation shut down. A 30-minute trip turned into 6ish messy and adventurous hours, what a wild ride that was for the both of us.

  • Baked more bagels, tried some new things

  • BOUGHT A SEGA DREAMCAST (yes, this is a 2021 update not a 1999 update), played a lot of Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Virtua Tennis.

  • BACK to Austin for one more long weekend in the year: saw my first show in 18+ months, Waxahatchee at the Mohawk. A treasure of an Austin night.

  • October

  • The beautiful part of Seattle autumn!

  • Spent a long weekend in Palm Springs and FINALLY went to the Indian Wells Masters (the tennis tournament I was planning to go to just before the whole world shut down in March 2020).

  • Actually did Halloween this year with TWO costumes, AND a bagel brunch with friends.

  • November

  • Did karaoke for the first time since pre-covid. YIKES I’m embarrassingly out of practice, but I can still do some Pat Benatar Heartbreaker with my eyes closed.

  • Joined a very supportive online running group, basically with the goal to just go out and regularly run, and not let myself get in my head about my pace, or my body, or… ya know, start to compare my pace or my body to others, lean into self-loathing and then lose all motivation, stop running entirely and self-destruct. I know, I know, I am historically my own worst enemy, but so far I haven’t dragged myself down this path and have focused on celebrating my victories, and celebrating the victories of those around me.

  • My second show of the year at my favorite spot in Seattle, METZ at Tractor Tavern.

  • Went to Portland for the most decadent Friendsgiving I could ever ask for.

  • December

  • Third and final show of the year, saw the exceptional and incredibly underrated Jesse Lanza at Barboza.

  • Went ice skating for the first time as an adult. I figured it'd be similar-ish to inline skating, and it sorta is! Also I was extremely terrible.

  • A blur of a LOT of work leading up to the holidays, and then… the longest time-off I think I’ve had as an adult.

  • Flew down to Los Angeles for a couple nights. Rented a car. Drove down to San Diego to stay with friends for a couple nights. Then to Borrego Springs and Julian for a couple nights (now smitten with The Courts and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park). Drove up to Joshua Tree, camped in Twentynine Palms, went to Joshua Tree NP, drove back to LA. After a week of exploring Southern California, I took the Coast Starlight back to Seattle, arriving at 2am on Christmas Day.

  • Not much Christmas in my life this year. I was very content with that, though, admittedly, I do believe I might do 8% more Christmas next year? Like, maybe wear something shiny at some point?

  • Day after Christmas, snow and lots of it in Seattle. I think I am notoriously bad at cold weather, but after my week of adventures in the desert, watching and walking through all the snow has been a lovely way to wrap the year.

Peace out, 2021 💖.


Hi, I'm Jo.  I live in Marfa, and seem to be fixated on trying to master baking a perfect New York bagel.  In the west Texas desert.  Yep. More about me.

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