I was not looking for a meme, but I did think I needed to write a post or two about end-of-year stuff. As it turns out, I found one from that American expat in New Zealand, Nik at spatulaforum, that met my needs. Oddly, Nik has written about spatulas only once.
Not incidentally, Nik's meme was stolen for this week's Sunday Stealing, which I usually purloin. Like a circle in a circle.
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Go to a bunch of kindergarten events, such as the "Apple Run"; the daughter is fast! Go on a vacation with the wife, without the daughter, for our 10th anniversary; it was surely the highlight of the year, though we were only 30 miles from home. Saw Bruce Springsteen live. Flew on an airplane with the daughter, her first flights.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make the things. Less grief.
3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
Watching my wife valiantly trying to stay awake but likely failing.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, though the husband of a fellow choir member did.
5. What countries did you visit?
None, including the US. In fact, the longest trip was the aforementioned flight to Charlotte.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
More sleep. More democracy. Less war. Steve Bissette wrote What I Won’t Miss About 2009, and I really can't argue with any of it; re: the year, this video Steve found will do nicely.
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 3, the massacre in Binghamton, NY. May 14, Springsteen.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through my wife's two weeks away at college, taking care of the daughter while trying to maintain a semblance of a work schedule.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Controlling the temper, especially during the aforementioned trip to Charlotte.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The usual minor aches and pains. My neck is a little stiff. I have a cut on the heel of my left foot which makes walking without at least slippers, and preferably thick-soled sneakers, painful. And I suffered with some sort of head congestion/lung congestion/coughing up phlegm thing for two weeks in December which seems FINALLY to be over.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
The Top Pop Singles book. Fun! Actually, I liked buying Wonder Pets DVDs for the daughter; she enjoyed them.
12. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage, of course. Also house renovation; the attic is being insulated this very week to take advantage of a tax credit.
13. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Tennessee Jed by Levon Helm, from his new Electric Dirt album, one of the very few albums I actually got in 2009.
I also bought A Very Special Christmas 7, and it had a bunch of newer artists that don't cut it; Kellie Pickler doing Santa Baby is unconvincing. A Christmas Song by Charice was the best tune, though Gloriana's Silent Night I liked as well. Still, it's for a good cause, the Special Olympics, and I'll probably buy the next one when it comes out in 3 or 5 years.
14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Playing racquetball. Also wish I had bought my bicycle earlier than June. I saw no live baseball - bummer.
15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
16. What was your favourite TV program?
"Glee", for sure. It's a show I get to watch with my wife, which doesn't happen that often. People say it's not realistic, as though it were a docudrama. No, the cheerleaders wouldn't wear the outfits ALL the time. Sheesh. I bought the wife both soundtracks for Christmas. Al;so been watching The Good Wife, which is a show I watch sans wife.
Whereas The Office has lost something, and I can't put my finger on it - Jim & Pam being married? The co-managing thing?
17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Well, not hate. What's interesting is when there is someone everyone in a certain circle seems to love. But you're just not that enamored, and it seems to be mutual.
18. What was the best book you read?
The Jack Kirby book by Evanier. Or was that last year?
19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Well, there's this British band called the Beatles that I seem to be newly into. Also, to a much lesser degree, Queen. About as little NEW music as I've ever experienced.
20. What was your favorite film of this year?
2008 movie I saw in 2009: The Visitor.
2009 movie: Up or Amreeka or maybe District 9. Though if I just got the Julia part of Julie and Julia, it'd be that. But there are a LOT of films I haven't seen.
21. What did you do on your birthday?
Played (hearts) cards.
22. What kept you sane?
This assumes that I am sane. There's no evidence I've seen.
23. Who did you miss?
Nobody, really. I mean I wish I saw some people more often, but that would be a shopping list. And because of the magic of electronics, I feel I DO keep up with them and/or know they keep up with me. Without that, it'd be pretty tough.
24. Who was the best new person you met?
There are some new folks in church I'm rather fond of, but I won't name names.
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot...
Actually, it is the wisdom of Satchel Paige:
"Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter."
"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."
"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."
"Not to be cheered by praise, not to be grieved by blame, but to know thoroughly one's own virtues or powers are the characteristics of an excellent man."
"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching."
Joe Hittorff, Jr. (Dec 2, 1916- Dec 7, 1941)
5 hours ago