Monday, December 29, 2008

The Great Sundry New Year's Meme

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Passed the bar! That's the main thing. I also seriously considered pursuing alternative teacher certification, in case it didn't work out. And I almost exclusively stopped biting my nails.

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

I don't think I got far enough on this meme to really make resolutions last year. I do have several in mind for this year, primarily involving moving more and eating less, and reaching out socially.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

Just this one.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Steady employment! As an attorney! Hopefully the good kind!

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Halloween, because that's when I found out I passed.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Ahem. Er, see above.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I was not prepared for the possibility of a good outcome on the bar, so when it happened, I sort of flipped out. Like, in a bad way. I'm still trying to figure that out. To be honest, to a certain extent I'm also still flipping out (along the lines of, "BFD, I still need to get a freaking job," etc. etc.). Why am I discounting this Big Success? Am I that scared of writing letters and meeting with people? I don't know.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Well, I had had a remarkably healthy year...and then there was the Thumb Incident. I'm still not ready to knead (because...yack) or to use our spiffy cookie-dough dishers (because they require vigorous thumb action), but I will probably try and make something shortly.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

This bar thing has been extremely expensive (love you, Spouse!). I'd like to think that it's finally worth it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Spouse's was stellar. I owe him so big. And both our families were all really supportive.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My own, at times; certain national pundits and candidates; and as someone who was privileged to live in Chicago for a little while, I cannot get my head around the Blagojeviches, man.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Toward quieting the bats in my head (prescription co-pays, therapy co-pays, major therapy bills when I ran out of covered appointments). And toward bar fees. And a new gas tank and muffler.

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

I made a good female friend who actually lives here! I am finally starting to get [a teeny bit] excited about my career. I did some community service recently and met nice people through that.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

This is a toughie. I would probably fall back on those few songs that could perk me up when I was in my lowest depths: "A Touch of Grey," "Mother and Child Reunion," "Kodachrome," that kind of thing. I am completely and utterly out of touch musically. (Note to self: mayhap you should resolve to get a clue about music made in this century.)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

a) MUCH happier (the holidays don't freaking count when you're up against a February bar, which I was at this time last year).

b) A teeny bit thinner, amazingly.

c) Decidedly poorer, alas.

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

I wish I had...Reached out to people and socialized. Been more dedicated about writing, if not about blogging necessarily. Taken pictures of all the food I keep writing about!

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

Freaking out. Worrying. Crying. Living through other people's blogs.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With our families. (Also: bandaged!)

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Am happy to report I stayed that way.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

We are almost done watching TNG (sorry, that's Star Trek: The Next Generation, the one with Captain Picard) on DVD and most of them have been surprisingly good.

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

Um...yes, strangely. Someone from my past, someone with whom my last interactions were actually pleasant. Recently I kept remembering things and getting pissed about stuff that was said to me in, seriously, 1994. It was really weird.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle was surprisingly affecting. I'm still trying to come to some resolution about how it ended.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I don't have one, but this was the COOLEST random media fact I discovered. Okay, you know Lt. Worf [warning! plays a soundbite!], the Klingon, right? It turns out that the actor who plays him, Michael Dorn, is seriously, incredibly, HOTT. Like on a George Clooney scale. So much so that I don't understand why he isn't a household name. Anyway, when I IMDB'd him to see what else he'd been in, I found out something that should have been smack-yer-forehead obvious, and is completely unforgettable once learned: He Is Weasel! That is, on the Cartoon Network show I Am Weasel [click for show opener], he was the voice of Weasel.

This completely revolutionized my viewing of TNG, such that pretty much whenever Worf is onscreen and looking like he is about to make one of his famous pronouncements, I am compelled to proclaim "I Am Weasel!" in a big, booming voice. (And then Spouse rolls his eyes as if he sorely misses the days when he could watch TV in peace.)

26. What did you want and get?

I wanted to pass the bar and I did.

27. What did you want and not get?

I've been waiting for a job to magically materialize and it hasn't. Similarly, I wanted my home to magically organize and decorate itself, and it didn't. I need to get on the stick.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I am about as useful on movies as on music. Sex and the City was the only thing I saw at an actual cinema, and it really benefits from being watched with a big gaggle of women. At home the mind is freer to ponder provoking questions such as
  • What the hell is wrong with Carrie?
  • No, really, how many times does "Big" have to run her over with a bus?
  • Why would anyone spend so much on shoes? Particularly when it doesn't look like they can afford food?
  • How cute is that Steve guy?
  • Could I possibly pull off Miranda's haircut, bearing in mind that I do eat food, am not a redhead, and am likely to burn down the house, let alone my ears, if I attempt to use a curling iron? (Seriously, she looked GORGEOUS.)
  • If I sort of hate these people, why can't I stop watching?

...and it makes for a much less satisfying show.

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

I turned 31. Spouse did dinner and candles and bought an adorable stuffed kitty, who has received so much love that his poor furline is receding. I have since purchased an Emergency Backup Kitty, which is less realistic but a little more resistant to wear. [Hat tip: Dave Barry and his Emergency Backup Dog, which you can read about here.]

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

Seriously? I don't like how superficial this is going to make me sound, but I wish my face hadn't resembled a pepperoni pizza for much of the year. I'm getting there--I think I finally have the right products, I just need to apply them regularly--but man, I don't know that there's much of a downer than that. (Somehow I am used to how my body looks, and it doesn't bother me nearly so much, even though it could.) It would help matters immensely if I could just Leave Stuff Alone.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

There were days when I was doing good if I got showered. Pass!

32. What kept you sane?

Er, see above re Spouse, and therapy, and drugs. I would also say M'n'Ms.

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

On election night, when Michelle Obama hit the stage in her striking red and black, it suddenly sank in that she was going to be the First Lady, and I wore a goofy grin until we went to bed that night. I think we may be following her as closely as we do the President.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I think I spent more time fuming about what might be labeled "Women in Politics" more than anything else. Was Hillary really crying? Oh my Lord, did she actually say "white Americans"? Why is she Queen B-word, and how the hell does Sarah Palin get to be Diana the Hunter by comparison? Elizabeth Edwards is fierce--why isn't she running for something? What the heck is a "fist bump"? etc. etc.

35. Who did you miss?

My friends from working in another city, who live 60-90 minutes away. First I didn't have time and then there was no gas to be had and gas is cheap, and plentiful, but I'd feel guilty spending the money.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My yoga teacher, who has become a good, local friend. Yaaaay!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

I found the Serenity Prayer ("God [or whoever] grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference") really helpful this year, and I need to focus again on making those distinctions every day. From my therapist, I learned a three-syllable version: "Whatever." There is also a two-syllable version, and it rhymes with "bucket."

Also: I made myself a little sign when I was studying. It listed how many possible points there were on the exam, how many I needed to pass, and then said in giant purple crayon, "67.5% = COUNSELOR!!!" Under that it said, "So let go of Lisa Simpson, and embrace your inner Bart!" This was extremely helpful when I was panicking over minute details and convincing myself I would bomb the exam if I didn't master them completely. I need to figure out a similar incremental approach to Getting a Job so I don't feel overwhelmed.

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

"This is the day your life will surely change." From that song by The The that I haven't heard in ten-plus years.


  1. Okay, the 2-syllable version of The Serenity Prayer may be the funniest thing of 2008.

  2. Oh purr! Thanks! In the [weeks-long, agonizing] process of trying to name this blog, I seriously considered both "two syllables" and "rhymes with bucket."