2017 Year In Review

This year is an abbreviated list. 2017 was not a good year in a ton of different ways. I’m going to keep it very simple this year.

Previous Years in Review

2017 Year in Review

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

March 17th – I turned 33 this year.

Spent the day celebrating a St. Patrick’s Day potluck at work, and then out to dinner with Charlie at Burntwood Tavern in Fairlawn. K, Kenny, Charlie, my parents and I went out to celebrate K’s and my joing birthday at Gigi’s and The Speakeasy.

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Joint birthday celebration with K.

2. Did anyone close to you die?

I lost two wonderful people this year: DadZ’s friend, Rob Smith, on Valentine’s Day, and Hooman’s wife, Vera, to metastatic breast cancer in July.

3. What vacations/trips did you take?

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With Charlie at the finish line of the 2017 Flying Pig Marathon.
4. Where did most of your money go?
  • Mortgage
  • Amazon
  • Eating Out
5. Favorite / Most-Watched TV Shows:
6. Best Books / Books Read

I also read Nemesis, by Jo Nesbø, but I had a hard time getting into it, and finishing it. I think I’m done with the Harry Hole mysteries. I don’t think I have the patience for them.

7. What was your favorite film of this year?

Book of Life, and it was absolutely my favorite film.

8. Podcasts in Rotation:
Don Draper Aviators

2016 Year-End Reflection, A Meme

Previous Years: 2011 | 20102009

What notable things did you get into in 2016?

Most notable is the development of my makeup and skincare hobby. I subscribed to a buttload of YouTube channels and started becoming very particular about the stuff I slathered on my face.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t actively make any New Year’s Resolutions for 2016. I’m not sure that it was a good or a bad thing. I lived the vast majority of this year in “Reaction” Mode. 2017 is going to be better, and I have a loose idea of things I want to get done, but I haven’t formalized it into any cohesive plan.

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

3/17 – I turned 32 this year.

The day of, I attended an LGA SHRM luncheon (I’m the VP of Programs). The Saturday after, MomZ, DadZ, Charlie, K and I went to dinner at The Standard, and then hung out after.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Our friends, Chuck and Andrea had their baby girl, Emily, at the end of October. Time really flies: I can remember being at their wedding.

Did anyone close to you die?

I didn’t lose anyone close to me, but two of my former co-workers lost a parent (or in-law). And of course, according to Internet Lore, 2016 will be the year that we, collectively, lost some of our best and brightest. Alan Rickman’s death sucked particularly for me because he died of Pancreatic Cancer.

What vacations/trips did you take?

  • April – Trip with Charlie to
    Toledo, OH so he could complete his 3rd marathon, the Glass City Marathon.
  • June – Washington, DC for Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day and a tacked-on mini-vacation with MomZ.
  • July – Weekend to Dillon State Park.
  • August – Traveled with Binkles down to Jeffersonville, IN for his job interview.

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

More ambition, more sense of accomplishment, more books read, more artwork done.

What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

So, the very tidy version of this story was that I lost my job on August 1, 2016. I knew it was coming, and had been forewarned of it about 2 months in advance. Those 2 leading months and the day of were –head and shoulders above anything else –the worst days of the year. It was a mostly tidy split, but it was completely full of angst, and the ripples from that thrown stone continue to lap up on shore.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

For me, it will be not losing my dignity through the unemployment process, and holding out for what has turned into the perfect job for me.

What was your biggest failure?

Being let go from my job. I know that there was nothing that I could have done to change the outcome (and believe me, I really, really tried), but there is still something incredibly demoralizing to be told you’re no longer wanted.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I got the cursory New Job Munge that I always get when starting a new job (I basically suffered for an entire month). This was also the year I finally got my conch piercing, so an adjacent-to-self-inflicted injury.

Whose behavior merited celebration [Hero of the Year]?

I passed on this particular toast at Yule this year, and I’m going to still take a knee. In the two weeks since Yule, no one rose to the top.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

All of the people who decided to vote for Trump even after he displayed all of the values that I think are wrong for the future of this nation. Do I think that all Trump voters are racist misogynists? Of course not. But I’m disappointed that those ideals were not deal-breakers for those voters.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

In short, yes. And said person utterly deserves it.

Who did you miss?

I find myself constantly missing my co-workers at the Old Job. I miss those daily conversation, the 2.5 years worth of lived-in jokes. I did not intend to become as close as I did with them, but I did, and I miss them.

Who was the best new person you met?

New person? Probably Miss Lys, even though we’d been orbiting each other for a couple of years. I think she and I made a more concerted effort to develop our friendship, and it has been a good thing.

What was the best thing you bought?

In DC, MomZ and I went shopping (as is our hobby), and I found a beautiful pebbled-leather Coach bag at the Coach store. I bought it, saying to MomZ, “Do not let me open this until I get my new job.” I’d heard the week before we left for the trip that the writing was on the wall for me at Old Job.

That Coach purse became my reward for finding my new job. The Coach store delivered the purse to NeuZiffelhaus, and MomZ kept it in her closet for 4 months. On October 6, I accepted the offer for my new job, and celebrated being able to reward and comfort myself after a shitty, shitty summer.

Where did most of your money go?

Top expense was the mortgage for The Apiary, and then paying down the debt from improvements on The Apiary. This had not changed from 2015. I also don’t anticipate that changing in 2017.

What did you get really excited about?

Our wedding was pretty exciting.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or sadder? Happier, in so many ways. I feel like the sun is coming up again.
  • Thinner or fatter? Fatter, I think?
  • Richer or poorer? Richer, both literally and metaphorically.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading fiction. I didn’t get through nearly as many fiction books as I wanted to. I wish I’d spent more time creating Zentangles, and learning lettering. I’m going to try to improve that for next year.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Mindless social media surfing.

Did you fall in love in 2016?

In a matter of speaking, I finally made an honest man out of Charlie, so there was the public declaration of love and other gross smoochy stuff.

What was your favorite TV program?

Hannibal. But I also watched a lot of Project Smoke (with my beloved Crazy Uncle Steve), and America’s Test Kitchen.

What was the best book you read?

Here is the entire list of books I read/listened to in 2016. I would have to say that the very best was Leah Remini’s memoir, Troublemaker. I listed to her read it, which I think made it better. And it prompted me to read Going Clear.

In addition to that, I read a bunch of blinks to figure out if I wanted to read the full version. Here’s what I blinked in 2016.

What was your favorite film of this year?

2016 was another sparse year for Julia and movies. The only two that I can remember actually seeing in the theater were Doctor Strange, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

I really am not a sit-and-watch-a-movie person anymore, but I caught Straight Outta Compton, and Zootopia on Netflix with Charlie. Zootopia was great. The rest were thumbs meh.

Best new podcast you subscribed to?

Real Crime Profile, which I started listening to beforeThe Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey” was even announced. I also found and subscribed to I Doubt It with Dollemore, and I’m listening to new ones as soon as they drop, too.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

I’m digging through my 2016 Mix playlist, and there’s not anything that’s jumping out to me as OMG the BEST!

The top-listened to songs are:

  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, by Taylor Swift
  • Ways to Go by Grouplove
  • Hang with Me (Acoustic) by Robyn
  • Elastic Heart by Sia
  • Talking Body by Tove Lo
  • I’m Not Part of Me by Cloud Nothings

What did you want and get?

A long-time want that I finally got was my conch piercing. My MIL gave it to me as a Christmas present. She asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I impulsively said, “I’ve always wanted my conch pierced. Would you be wiling to take me to get it done?” And then it got scheduled and happened.

It ached and throbbed the day I had it pierced, and was tender for about 4 days after. Now, I don’t even know it’s there, unless I ram my finger into it when I’m blow-drying my hair. Then, I want to die.

What did you want and not get?

I wanted the opportunity to be the one to declare the split from the Old Job first. I did not get to do that.

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

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

I have put on about 30 pounds in the last three years. None of the clothing I’ve purchased previously to 2016 fits. 2016 Fashion is anything that fits, and it’s not much. So I’m sticking to a few staple pieces that have become a uniform — it’s hard to unlearn 12 years of Catholic school.

But at the same time, it makes it so easy to get out the door, especially now that I’m working out at the Rec Center before work. Jeans/Slacks and a crepe top? Perfect.

  • January to August: my Betabrand yoga pants in varying colors, and some kind of blouse.
  • August to October: jeans and a tee shirt.
  • October to December: Betabrand yoga pants or jeans and a blouse.

Fashion Forecast for 2017 is working these 30 pounds off, maintaining a very simple wardrobe, maybe moving into more of a morbid fashion style, and a lot of accessories.

What kept you sane?

During my Funemployment – spending time painting pottery at my friend’s studio while bartering my marketing wares.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I developed a fancy for Mads Mikkelson, which, to be fair, had been blossoming since Casino Royale, but grew with Hannibal. I’m not sure that Doctor Strange did anything major for it, and according to Miss Lys, Rogue One won’t really either. [Update: I saw Rogue One between writing the draft and making edits – Miss Lys was right.] But dude: that Death Stranding preview? :.fans self.:

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What political issue stirred you the most?

What a year for that question, amirite?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

Not everyone’s advice is given with the best intentions.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go.
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why:
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time.

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs and still frames in your mind.
Hang it on a shelf in Good Health and Good Time.
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial.
For what it’s worth, it was worth all the while.

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

2011 Year-End Recap

It’s time for the 3rd Annual StyckyWycket look-back.  I’m recapping the year with a series of 27 questions, that really get to the meat of what happened.  For other year-end recaps:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Attended my first Lebowskifest.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I tried starting a second Day Zero Project, but to be honest, my heart wasn’t really in it. I couldn’t even find 101 things that I wanted to to. It was the perfect project for me three years ago, but I don’t think it’s as applicable today. For 2012, I’m going to scrap the Project, but have a small list of things that I want to get done in 2012. But, as far as “resolutions” go, I don’t have any nebulous ones.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one close to me, that I talk to on a regular basis, but two of my fellow high school classmates did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me, thank god-particle. But the husband of my mother’s friend passed away very suddenly, and I get very sad every time I think about it.

5. What countries did you visit?
I stayed stateside again this year, but plans are in the works to head to Niagara Falls this year…like last year. We’ll see how that pans out, I guess.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More disposable income. More financial security. A better attitude and more patience and self-confidence.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The end of July, because I got to meet a long-time, transnational heretofore-only-by-internet friend and his wife as they toured the United States.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting myself into a personal training regime, and also seeing a therapist bi-weekly. Both have done wonders for my body and mind.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Biggest failure? Probably squandering opportunities I didn’t see for what they were, I guess. I realize that it’s a nebulous answer, but I don’t have anything that sticks out right now.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Two bouts of strep throat in a year, which blew majorly. Also, the various strains and sprains of working out with improper form.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably the fee I paid for the Zentangle class I took this summer. I really enjoyed the gateway it opened up for me.

12. Where did most of your money go?
A toss up between the basic bills (added a car payment to the mix at the end of 2010), and continuing to pay down debt.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Finally getting to meet my longtime friend and his wife. Also, seeing Anthony Bourdain live. Seeing Charlie cross the finish line of his first official 5K was really exciting, too.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
The only real music that I listened to this year were songs off of my workout playlist. Everything else was podcast or audio-book related. I can tell you the songs that I loved hearing when they came up, though:
Home, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Gimme Sympathy, Metric
Help, I’m Alive, Metric
Young Blood, The Naked and Famous
Teenage Dream, Katy Perry
Creature, Phantods
Dog Days are Over, Florence + The Machine
Don’t Cry Out, Shiny Toy Guns
Club Can’t Handle Me, Flo Rida

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Getting happier.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter, I think, but much, much stronger.
– richer or poorer? Still pretty cash poor, but I’m doing better than last year.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d spent more time making art. I also wish I’d spent more time actually studying for the classes I was in, rather than trying to cram in everything in the last three weeks. That would have made life a lot easier….

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying about what other people thought.

18. What was your favorite TV program?
I discovered the Cooking Channel, and Simply Baking is one of the only cooking shows that’s gone on my DVR, so I think that says a lot. So, when I did have time to watch TV, that’s what I lazy-watched. Of course, Justified came back for season 2, so I watched that religiously.

19. What were your favorite books of the year?
The Nerdist Way, Medium Raw, and Emotional Blackmail. I also read The Help, which was good, but not my favorite. I need to get into reading more fiction.

20. What was your favorite music (podcast) from this year?
I listened to a lot of Nerdist and Extra Hot Great podcasts: I think those stayed on my iPod and got listened to religiously throughout the year.

21. What were your favorite films of the year?
I loved seeing True Grit, and also really liked Sherlock Holmes.

22. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I celebrated with a good friend of mine a joint birthday at Lola. I turned 27.

23. Who was the best new person you met?
I got to “meet” a lot of people this year, but the vast majority were not physical, and the one I finally “met” in person, I’ve known for 13 years. So, the best new person I met physically, this year, without knowing previously, was probably Sunshine.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Probably better documentation of my year as it went by: more pictures, more blog posts. It’s easier to remember when you have pictures and words. Breaking my spender would have helped out, too.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Jeans, Woot Shirt, long-sleeved undershirt, and boots on casual days. Business casual-to-almost-formal at the office. Dark denim, boots, and jackets on up-dressed days. Very few dresses.

26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Don’t feel the troll.

2010 Year-End Recap

It’s time for the 2nd Annual StyckWycket look-back.  I’m recapping the year with a series of 27 questions, that really get to the meat of what happened.  I also completed this survey at the end of 2009.

I followed along with Linda’s example and used the updated questions format as my example.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

I ran a 5K, which I never thought I’d do.
I visited the Coca-Cola Museum and the Georgia Aquarium.
Had Lasik surgery.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I got through a little more than 50% of my Day Zero Project.  The goals that I really felt committed to when I wrote them, I stuck with.  The ones that I used as filler fell by the wayside, much as I expected they would.

I really enjoyed having 101 things to do in 1001 days, so I’m definitely going to start a new Day Zero project in the beginning of 2011.

Some of the things I want to do next year include more day-tripping, getting better at and more committed to photographing and documenting my experiences, and doing more creating.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not anyone close to me, no.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not close to me, personally, but someone who’d been in my life on a fairly regular basis when I was a kid died of a brain tumor this year.  She had been sick for a long time, and I only heard about her occasionally from my mother, but it was still very sad when she died.

Also, as of writing this, I found out that a beloved member of my office passed away after a short battle with cancer.  It was a pretty steep decline.  Everyone is pretty bummed.  He will be missed.

5. What countries did you visit?

I stayed stateside this year…again.  And honestly, for the foreseeable future, unless The Boy and I go to Niagara Falls next year.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

A lot more drive to do the things I need to do to get where I want to be in life.  I feel like this is a recurring theme.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

My trip to Atlanta in May, finishing my first 5K in June, celebrating my one-year, quit-smoking anniversary on November 8.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

It’s a tie between actually finishing my 5K, and making it an entire year without smoking.  Never in my life did I actually conceptualize that both things would be a reality for me.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Letting my fear and complacence control so much of what I do.  Had I been more brave, had I been more determined, a great many things would have been different this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Mostly my recovery from Lasik surgery.  I also had strep for the first time in 10 years in December.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hands-down, Lasik surgery.  I would say that I wish I had done it sooner, but the payment was a perfect storm of a decent bonus, and a funding of my FSA at work.  I wouldn’t have had this opportunity sooner.

12. Where did most of your money go?

To debt payment.  35% of my paycheck went to paying off my consumer debt, and I’m making $500-a-month headway on my MK debt.

13. What did you get really excited about?

I got really excited about my trip to Atlanta in May.  I went with a good work friend, and found out we make good travel companions.  I’m hoping I get to do some other small things with her in the future.

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Any of the songs that The Boy shared with me from CD101 this year.  Stuff from Fanfarlo; Peter, Bjorn and John; Phoneix; Silversun Pickups; Hockey; Mumford & Sons; Broken Bells; Passion Pit.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Pretty much on-par with last year.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner, but definitely not strong.
– richer or poorer? I’m pretty cash poor, but my net worth is going up, I got a raise this year, and in addition to paying off debt, I’m socking away tons of money into different investment accounts.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish that I had gone with my impulses more.  This means more traveling on a whim, done more to advance my career, been more creative.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Navel-gazing, as always.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

With The Boy’s family on Christmas Eve, and my family on Christmas day.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Justified, hands down.  I’m really geeked for it to come back.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

A Cook’s Tour, by Anthony Bourdain; Blink and Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell; and More than a Pink Cadillac by Jim Underwood.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Everything on CD101, that I can listen to now through my new phone using TuneIn Radio.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I loved Easy A so much I saw it twice, and I really liked The Town.

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

I love it: the year I turned the age I was dying to be, and I don’t remember what the hell I did for it…

Wait, no: The Boy took me to see Alice in Wonderland, and I think out to dinner.

I already have plans to take myself to Lola next year, and do something a little more special, just for me.

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

Both having more discretionary income, and living in the same goddamn zipcode as The Boy.  Both of those things would make my year immeasurably more satisfying next year, too.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Jeans and a sweatshirt at home.  I did break out a little more at work and started dressing more artsy.  I plan on continuing this trend into 2011.

26. What kept you sane?

Being able to take time to read, and having my decompression time at home.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

For Chrissakes: if it feels like you should be doing it, go do it, and don’t stop until you’ve done it!

2009 Year-End Reflection, A Meme

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

I volunteered at the Cleveland Food Bank; I took a cooking class; I bought an original piece of artwork (btw, I have No. 68/100); made my own batch of Christmas cookies; opened a joint account with The Boy; got started on my MBA; and met someone that I had seen on TV.

 

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

A lot of my explanation is in this entry. “I wanted to complete the set number of tasks – all predetermined.  In the first two years, however, I have found that I’ve accomplished some on the list, and some I’ve never thought about putting on the list.  I guess this is the driving principle force behind creating the list: that you discover that goals change the fundamental person that you are.”

In short: I’ve discovered its not necessarily the “things” you do that determine what kind of person you are, so much as the “why” behind the things.  2010 is going to be about figuring out what kind of person I will be when I accomplish my tasks.

Is there any coincidence my Saturn Return feels like it’s coming early to an age I thought would be my “Golden Age” of 26?  I always projected that my favorite age would be 26 – I thought that I would be more mature, more enlightened – and it just feels like 2010 is going to be that way.

Bigger still, does this mean that when I turn 29, I will reach an entirely enlightened state in which all of the problems that I’ve been fighting since 15 will finally fall away?

 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

The Boy’s college hall-mate and his wife had a baby girl this year.  But we heard about it from our friends in Ashland.  I’m still not sure what day is the actual birthdate.

 

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thank goodness, no.

 

5. What countries did you visit?

I was boring, and I stayed in the States this year.  Come to think of it, I didn’t do any serious traveling this year.

 

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Working on this meme, I see that I would like to make a serious effort to make an account of my time on earth.

I”ve faced facts and realized that I will not be the next Dooce, Pioneer Woman, or Sundry, and I probably won’t have a cult following on my blog.  But I have a traceable impact that I can access whenever I want, and that matters more to me.  In that vein, I’m sure I will work on more “private” entries of happenings I can’t make public, but still need to write down.

 

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 8, 2009.  It’s the day that I will mark as my anniversary that I quit smoking. For real.  For good. Forever.

 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

It’s a toss up between the immeasurable, un-quantifiable personal change and growth that happened while I was busy living life, and that I quit smoking.  Really quit smoking.

 

9. What was your biggest failure?

Every opportunity that I let pass me by because of fear – be it the fear of embarrassment, failure, success…whatever fear it was, I let it conquer me.

 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Just the respiratory infection I had this year, but it was really minor.  I survived the Swine Flu Scare, 2009.

 

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The item that will probably bring me the biggest return-on-investment this year is the mutual fund that will eventually be my “down payment fund”.

 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Hero of the Year definitely goes to The Boy this year.  I realize that he is one of the most important people in my life, but this recognition goes above and beyond.  In 2009, he quit smoking, lost 35 pounds, and committed to an entire life change that revolves around health, fitness, and general wellness.  I was something that I never thought I would ever see happen, but I am so pleased that I did.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I try not to get too personal on the blog, but I will say this: the marital situation that I am in with The Boy is “not fun”.  It is an issue that I have lived with for the last three years, with no visible end in sight.  The pain wrapped up in this issue is one that I live with every day.  If I didn’t feel like The Boy was The One, I would end the relationship.  It’s that simple.

I think I handled the wedding of his younger brother as gracefully as I could, given the situation. And in the time that has passed since the wedding, I’ve been as gracious and tight-lipped as possible. But the whole situation just sucks, and it’s hard.  Our families try to be understanding and caring during this time, and if they judge, they don’t say anything to me.

However, and I don’t know if it was mal-intended or not, but there was a family incident where I definitely felt like I was “not family” and my 7-year relationship with The Boy was summarily dismissed because he and I were not married. (Despite that he and I are working very hard to be educated, established, and make smart choices before we make anything official.)  I was shocked. I was hurt. Most of all, I was embarrassed.

Like I said, I don’t believe that the circumstances surrounding the exact incident were indented to produce the consequences that they did.  But, the fact that it did happen, the fact that it was a deliberate decision made by a particular person to commit the act, changes my feelings for the person.  I wish my feelings hadn’t changed, because I care greatly for the person, but my reaction is so visceral and so painful, that I think it will take a very long time for me to “get over it” if ever.

I really, really hope that when I look back in this in a year, I can laugh, rather than cry.

 

14. Where did most of your money go?

Most of my money went to debt-repayment this year.  And will probably continue into next year, but now I have a better handle on it.

 

15. What did you get really excited about?

I got really excited to se Summer Solstice 2009 come to fruition.  I’m still latently hoping that there will be a SuSo2010. If there is, though, the startup will begin in only a few weeks.

 

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

In years past, I have always had a song that has been the Blah, Blah Year song, but this year, probably The Hazards of Love by the Decemberists.

 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder? This has been a recent (last two weeks) feeling, but happier.  More at peace.

Thinner or fatter? Fatter, a little.  But I’m working on it.

Richer or poorer? The general state is a feeling of being poor.  But I am a lot better off financially this year, than last year.  Let me put it this way, I can sleep at night.

 

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

I wish that I had spent more time doing the things that I summarily dismissed doing because I was worried about other people’s impressions.

 

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

Wasting my time worrying what other people would think.  A little outside awareness is a good thing, but I let too much of it cripple my life.

 

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With The Boy, at our annual Christmas Party; with our dear friends in Columbus, with The Boy’s family on Christmas Eve, and my family on Christmas day.

 

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Um, in a platonic way, sort of.  I found a girl friend, which I think was something long-overdue.  So, I guess, yeah, I’m smitten in that way.

 

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I discovered NCIS this year, and it became one of those “seminal series” that I love wholly, like The X Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer before it.

 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Not that I can think of.  In fact, I consider that a good thing, as I can be a pretty harsh judge of character mostly.

 

24. What was the best book you read?

The Trump Card by Ivanka Trump.  Please don’t write this book off just because of the author.  In fact, I think this book will change your opinion of her.  It’s such an important book for anyone who wants to be successful at what they do, no matter what they do.

 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Plushgun, Pins and Panzers

 

26. What did you want and get?

I think The Powers That Be finally heard me and gave me so much to “get accomplished” that I stopped freaking the fuck out all the time anymore.

 

27. What did you want and not get?

I really wanted to be re-accepted to Phi Mu, but that didn’t happen.  In a way, I’m still bitter about it, but I’ve resigned to using it as a lesson learned about missing/throwing away critical opportunities.  So, missing out wasn’t all that bad.

 

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Between Coraline, Zombieland, Public Enemies, and Pirate Radio.

 

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

I turned 25 this year.  I spent it very quietly at home.  But, I’m hoping, with K turning the big 3-0 this year, and her birthday almost a week from mine, we might be able to plan something a little more exciting. /hoping

 

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

More income.

 

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

Fashion Matters™

 

32. What kept you sane?

Being too busy to notice I was going insane.  I had no time to go nuts: shit had to get done.

 

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

Mark Harmon, hands down. Full stop.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Mmmmm.

 

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Again, the erosion of personal freedoms in exchange for the government legislating this nation under the very thin veil of the alleviation of the fear of Fear.  It makes me crazy.

 

35. Who did you miss?

I actually did a few short-takes and missed both my grandma and my uncle, both of whom died 7 years ago, and I tried not to think about too much.  Feelings are sneaky.

 

36. Who was the best new person you met?
K.  Definitely K.

 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Two things: not missing opportunities, and not worrying what other people might think of me.

 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

No Matter What, by Jakob Dylan

I just need to remind you that the brave — they carry on.

No matter what, there is a new day on its way; and no matter what, there is more love to be made. No matter what, there is a heartache on its way, and no matter what, there is more love to be made.