Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Year In Review

I found this on another blog and it seemed like an easy way to say something about 2009 besides, "At the end of it I ate a lot of junk food and I still feel like I'm suffering from a holiday hangover."

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Visited London and Paris. Finished a dissertation. Taught a literature course. Visited San Francisco. Celebrated 5 years of Staying Married.

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

My resolutions for 2009 were not divulged on this blog. Probably because then I would feel guiltier about breaking them... As a result, I can't tell you exactly what they all were, but I can guarantee you that the most important one was "Finish Writing My Dissertation."
That feels good.

So my resolutions for 2010:
• Defend dissertation.
• Be more optimistic, less of a worrier.
• Complete more sewing projects, possibly including something I will actually wear.
• Reread Middlemarch (no one said resolutions can't be fun)
• Write a novel (C'mon. Everybody's doing it.)
• Grow a vegetable garden.
• Find a job!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, actually. It was like the trend of 2009 with my college friends. Carol had Samuel, Allison had Aubrey, Stephanie had Gabriel, Kaley had Davis, and Beth had Lillian. Amazing and cute, all of them. (Moms and babies).

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. But I was saddened by a number of deaths of people I knew, most particularly the mother-in-law of my duet partner in high school (acting duets, not singing duets). She died suddenly and unexpectedly and right before the birth of her first grandchild, which seemed colossally unfair for all involved.

5. What countries did you visit?

England and France.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A PhD. Also an iPhone.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 20. The day my best friend Monica married the dashing Johnny Lewis and I had the honor of standing up with them as Monica's matron of honor.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Finishing that damn dissertation. Also managing to keep out of the red on a significantly reduced salary this fall.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Too much worrying, not enough enjoying.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Surgery for that stoopid burn. It still looks pretty gruesome. Scars are sexy, right?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our CSA share of vegetables. Changed the way we thought about eating and buying food and inspired us to start a garden this year.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friends who are new moms. They amaze me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I am not going to name names here, but I hate seeing people be ugly and hateful to their moms. For shame.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage. Groceries. Taxes. Surgery on my arm. David's braces. Trip to London and Paris. Gas for holiday travels. Wash U parking tickets damn the bastards.

15. What did you get really excited about?
I got really excited about that summer vacation. I got really excited about Monica and Johnny's wedding. I got really excited about all my friends having beautiful babies. I got really excited about the prospect of being finished with school at long last.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
"Come On Get Higher" by Matt Nathanson. Because it was sung at Monica and Johnny's wedding. And I loved the song the first time I heard it.

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

– happier or sadder? Happier. A huge project finished and so much to look forward to in 2010.
– thinner or fatter? I think I've stayed the same.

– richer or poorer? Poorer at the moment, thanks to funding issues in the fall of 2009. Life experience has made me richer!

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

More farmers market, less grocery store. More giving, less getting. More laughing, less grumbling.

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

see above.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

On a whirlwind tour of the Midwest. Hutchinson, Kansas to Nevada, Missouri, to Independence, Missouri, to Nevada again, to Seymour, Missouri and back to St. Louis.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes. With Veronica Mars's Logan Echolls, the Luxembourg Gardens, and Nutella flavored gelato.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Veronica Mars. Also Glee.

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

Hmm. Perhaps Glenn Beck? Maybe that's not fair to say since I don't know him personally.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I have no answer for this. Oh sad. My taste in music is completely obsolete. And I can't get David to listen to anything but country so we've heard a lot of Jamey Johnson around here lately. But I am sort of into this Casey Donahew Band.

26. What did you want and get?
Good teaching gigs. Time to read novels. A successful paper presentation at a conference. Vacations to some amazing cities. Time with friends and family.
27. What did you want and not get?
A really good-paying job.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I'm having a hard time answering this one too. I think my favorite film experience was going to see New Moon with a handful of girls from the department and then getting drinks and analyzing the really problematic depiction of romance in the film in a quasi-intellectual exercise that seemed to justify viewing the film without at all diminishing our enjoyment of watching that werewolf boy take off his shirt.
(Note: That is not to say that New Moon was my favorite film this year. I actually think my favorite film would have been An Education except I never got to see it...)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, picnicked in Russell Square and listened to teenagers playing music (including an accordion), and then went to see Billy Elliott in the West End. I was 29 and it was a very happy birthday.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A defense date.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Try To Make Cheap Look Chic.

32. What kept you sane?

David. My BFFs. The dogs. Exercising. And blogging.

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

34. What political issue stirred you the most?


35. Who did you miss?

Monica. My brother. My family in Nevada whom I barely saw this year, as Nana reminded me at Christmas!

36. Who was the best new person you met?

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

Mind the gap!
Don't go to the movies at 7pm on a Friday night.
Board games rock.

Things will be OK in the end. If they're not OK, this isn't the end.

OK, so I'm still working on learning that last one. But I have it written on a post-it note up on my desk so that should help.

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

I'm talkin' 'bout the good times, drinkin' down the bad
Tryin to remember all those crazy nights that we had
Now I'm empty, I'm not sad
Talkin' 'bout the good times, drinkin' down the bad
- Casey Donahew band "White Trash"

Alternatively, how about an excerpt from "Come On Get Higher":
If I could walk on water
I could tell you what's next
Make you believe
Make you forget

So come on get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire and the swing of your hips
Just pull me down hard and drown me in love

May we all be drowned in love 2010.


  1. zomg, so jealous you are starting a vegetable garden! you can finally put your compost to work!

  2. It will be great to watch Billy Elliot,i have bought tickets from http://ticketfront.com/event/Billy_Elliot-tickets looking forward to it.