Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Year in Review Survey Tradition

Every year around Christmas, it is my tradition to post in my blog a recap to my year. This goes back to the days of my whiner Livejournal, and I compare them every year. This year, since I've jumped blogs, this be the place. So here we go:

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?:Held two jobs, was honest-to-god financially independent, bought a laptop, took a martial art, talked about my own marriage as more than a hypothetical concept without having a full-blown panic attack.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
These were my resolutions for last year:
1. Be more decisive. (Maybe? I'm getting better at it.)
2. Stop apologizing for things I'm not sorry for. (FAIL.)
3. Write more. (Success! Just look at this shiny new blog!)

My next year's resolutions are as follows:
1. Keep up aikido regularly at least until I move.
2. Make it back to swing dancing at least twice a month.
3. Apply for graduate school by December 15th.
4. Find a job and activities in Chicagoland that will take my mind off of living in the suburbs again.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?:
My choir director, my friend Ja Nelle, some people I knew in high school.

4. Did anyone close to you die?:

My grandfather, my friend Craig, and my cat Tabitha.

5. What countries did you visit?:
Uh, just this one. Does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?:
A better sense of where I want to go in life and more initiative to make it happen.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?:
Blues workshop in Purdue, July 11 (Katie's wedding), November 1 (the day I started this blog). 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?:

Planning and executing a whole slew of traditional Maid of Honor duties for FloBus, making it through a summer of unemployment and finding not one but two jobs afterwards, raising $750 for diabetes research and doing Step Out, finding a women's choir that I love and getting a solo with them, starting this blog and keeping up with it, building a life with which I am more satisfied.

9. What was your biggest failure?:
Once again, shying away from graduate school and Fulbright applications because I fear being rejected again.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?:
I had the flu for about two days but otherwise I've been pretty healthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?: 

Toshi, my Nokia Twist, my kitty Ferdinand, a whole bunch of Exalted sourcebooks.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?:
My family's, once again. Out of a tragedy which could easily have pulled us into depression and stagnancy, all of us have instead grown and reinvented ourselves. Especially my mother. She's broadening her horizons in ways I never imagined she would, and she's become much more easygoing and much less narrow-minded. Thus also does Steve's behavior merit celebration, for showing my mom that there are other ways to live and for generally being a swell guy. Emily's behavior merits celebration because she's grown up so much, and she's become much less antagonistic and learned to temper the drama with reason. Josh and Becca merit celebration for going out and building themselves functional lives. Yay, all of us! Also, Andy's. He's really thrown himself into his business this year, and it's really starting to pay off. I'm always in awe of his determination, and I'm really proud of him.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?:

My students'. Sometimes they make me, quite literally, weep for the future of our country. 

14. Where did most of your money go?:
Rent, gas, food, bills, books, yarn, the occasional gadget.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?:
Gaming, Katie & Kyle's wedding, vacations at my mother's, acquiring a new kitty, eventually finding out what surprise Andy's been holding over my head all year (pretty sure I'll still have to wait a bit more).

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?:
Jonathan Coulton's "Thing A Week" set, Death Cab for Cutie's "Soul Meets Body" and "I Will Follow You Into The Dark", Fun's "Be Calm," YACHT's "Voodoo City," all the Amasong music, and Smashing Pumpkins' album Adore.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? 
About the same.
iii. richer or poorer?
Richer, just barely.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?:
Academic pursuits, research, community involvement.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?:
Procrastinating and wasting time on the internet.

20. How will you spend Christmas?:

Relaxing at home with my family and probably visiting Andy's house a bit.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?:
I continued to be in love.

23. How many one-night stands?:
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?:
Doctor Who (still), Black Books.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?:
No.

26. What was the best book you read?:
I kind of broke up with fiction this year, and read mainly nonfiction on a host of subjects, mainly linguistics, education theory, and religious studies. I can't remember the names of all of these. The few fiction books I have read this year included Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which I had some prejudice of my own against reading, but which I actually enjoyed quite a bit.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?:
Busdriver, Girltalk, Regina Spektor (again), Fun, Dan le Sac/Scroobius Pip, some fun techno.

28. What did you want and get?:
A laptop (after a year of saving up), my job at the high school back, a solo in Amasong, a callback for the Vagina Monologues, to attend my grandfather's memorial service, a visit from Katie Floeter for my birthday. I got a lot of great stuff this year.

29. What did you want and not get?:
Accepted to grad school, my dad.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?:
Watchmen and Avatar, which were the only two films I saw this year.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?:
I turned 24. It was my golden birthday and I got myself a bottle of Goldschlager to celebrate. Katie drove down with two dozen cinnamon and espresso cupcakes with homemade vanilla bean frosting and yellow roses on top. Then she, Jessa, Eric, Andy, and I went out to White Horse and had beer and burgers and sweet potato fries and artichoke dip. Then we went back to my place and and mixed up a pitcher of Pink Panthers, which contain lime juice and grenadine and simple syrup and bourbon and bourbon and bourbon and bourbon and club soda. Then we all fell over on my couch and in the morning had hangover pancakes. All things considered it was a pretty great birthday.

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

I don't want to seem materialistic, but it would be really nice to make more money.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?:

Educator/sellout casual, but personalized with pretty scarves and Chuck Taylors.

34. What kept you sane?:
I stayed sane?

34a. Okay, what kept you less crazy?
My family, Andy, my friends, and my own dogged insistence on continuing to function.

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

36. What political issue stirred you the most?:
(cf. the rest of my blog)

37. Who did you miss?:
My wonderful Yuais, and my wonderful father.

38. Who was the best new person you met?:

The swing dancers, my Amasisters, several of my students, Chris and Ja Nelle, and a large group of Andy's friends.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Once you make a decision once and for all, your whole life feels easier.

40. Quote a song lyric that describes the past year:
"So enjoy yourself, do the things that matter
Cause there isn't time and space to do it all
Love the things you try, drink a cocktail, wear a tie
Show a little grace if you should fall

Don't live another day unless you make it count
There's someone else that you're supposed to be
Something deep inside of you that still wants out
And shame on you if you don't set it free"
Jonathan Coulton, "A Talk with George"

Posted by Silent Five @ 5:24 PM

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Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

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