Posted in meme

a year in review – 2012

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Visited Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, received a security deposit back from an apartment, added cinnamon while brewing a pot of coffee, ate at Cheddar’s and Zaxby’s, saw a film 4 times in the theatre (3 at non-dollar shows), saw a film at the theatre while I had the DVD of it at home, walked laps on a rubber(?)-coated track, attended an outdoor wedding, changed the flapper on a toilet, and fed kittens who lost their momma. 😦
Health firsts: was diagnosed with mild Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, took a fake (“PE”) sudafed, got an EKG, had an IV, took Tums, then took Tums regularly, and had a strange “aura” headache in which my right eye was filled with light for about 15 minutes.
Food firsts: made – from scratch! – vegetable soup, chicken salad, chicken broth, and salmon loaf.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2012, I planned to work at not being so sensitive and to try to stay positive while looking for a new job. I’d say that overall, I succeeded at both.
For 2013, I want to make more nutritious food choices and walk more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No – thankfully!

5. Where did you travel?
I took an overnight trip to the east side of Mississippi.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
My biggest dream is still to own a home. If I can get closer to that in 2013, that would be awesome. (It seems like I write that every year, and the lack of progress on it is starting to get depressing…)

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 21st, because of all the hype and hysteria

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I started early moving things out of my apartment, which gave me ample time to work them in to the stuff already at mom’s, in a reasonably organized way.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Twice I did nothing when I should’ve done something, and I will regret both for a very long time.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Both! The mystery ailment that started last year continued, though it finally showed signs of improving. Plus, in March I had the worst broken nail I’ve ever had; no details, but it was bad.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I found one shirt that I really like, and it was on clearance. Woo hoo!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The people who hired me and my sister!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The so-called medical professionals who repeatedly failed to diagnose both me and my mother

14. Where did most of your money go?
A new roof, with medical bills second

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Avengers movie

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Maybe Train’s “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” because one of my first real-person crushes in a long time ended badly.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Content
Older or wiser? Wiser
Thinner or fatter? Thinner. I changed my diet because of my “mystery ailment,” and I’m down to the smallest weight of my adult life.
Richer or poorer? Poorer, because I was unemployed for half of the year

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Avoid fatty food and sweets, because my “mystery ailment” seems to calm down when I do

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Been affected by others’ rampant negativity

20. Did your heart break?
Nearly every time I watched the news 😦

21. How did you spend Christmas?
First, Mom and I watched our 2010 Christmas videotape while I recorded it to DVD. Then I set up our two video cameras – one old, one new, both really cheap – to capture the opening of the presents. Alas, the new cameras batteries died after 10 minutes, and the old camera was being temperamental, doing that thing it does where it records video with no sound. Anyway, we had a delicious lunch that included Yum Yum Muffins made with a banana supreme cake mix. I computered a bit and visited some blogs that I hadn’t been to in a long while. In the evening, we watched the cheesy classic Babes in Toyland, the 1986 version.

22. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?
I have to work, but it’ll be pretty slow because nearly everyone else is taking vacation. Later at home, the fam and I will probably watch some DVDs, and then ring the new year in as we typically do: sleeping.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Thanks to hulu and DVDs, I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Gilligan’s Island, Hunter, Designing Women, My Two Dads and The Greatest American Hero.

24. What were your greatest food discoveries?
Vegetable tacos from a local Mexican restaurant. Fish tacos at Ruby Tuesday. Aloo Mutter from the Indian restaurant. Chocolate cheesecake with chocolate cookie crust from a certain grocery store.

25. What was the best book you read?
“Be Anxious For Nothing” by Joyce Meyer. I can’t say enough good things about that book!

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The first time I heard “Drive By” by Train, I was pretty much obsessed with it. I couldn’t get enough of it. I’d replay the vid over and over at YouTube. My “fever” finally calmed down… but I still like it. A lot.

27. What did you want and get?
Jobs for me and my sister!

28. What did you want and not get?
For my sister’s job to be as fantastic a fit as mine is for me

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
Films Seen This Year and Really, Really Liked: The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,
Films Seen This Year and Liked: The Dark Knight Rises, Men in Black 3
Films Seen This Year That Weren’t Quite What I Expected: Puss in Boots, Madagascar 3

30. What did you do on your birthday?
I got up very early and headed off to work in the rain. For lunch, I went to Cracker Barrel and treated myself to two helpings of their yummy macaroni and cheese. I ate supper with the fam. Since I knew work would take up most of the day, I opted to skip my usual b-day shopping trip. Instead, I started shopping weeks earlier, casually looking for things. As I found them, I tucked them away in my closet and then “opened” them after supper, to show the fam.
FYI, I made a slide show to commemorate the day; the first picture (in a series of nine) is here:
chezannegallery.shutterfly.com/1084

31. What would have made your year more satisfying?
If our mini-garden had produced more vegetables. After months of watering, weeding, mulching, etc. I don’t think we got ten tomatoes – and we only had one green pepper the whole year.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
For the first time since way back when I was a student-trainee person, I’m able to wear jeans regularly at work. So I get to be comfortable while wearing what I think is most flattering on me. Yay!

33. What kept you sane?
“Be Anxious For Nothing” by Joyce Meyer was SUCH a help!

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
A movie character: Loki, from The Avengers

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election… reminded me why I diligently avoid talking/thinking/caring about political matters.

36. Who did you miss?
Caren, from my old job

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Having started a new job, I met a lot of people, and really, they’re all a great bunch of guys. (I’m very diplomatically avoiding picking any one as the best, in case they ever read this. 😉

38. What changed the most in your life this year?
My job, and so far it’s change for the better. I can’t recall a job before that’s been such a great fit with both what I can do and what I like to do.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Whatever problems you’re facing, a negative, fast-forwarding-to-the-bitter-end attitude only makes it worse. Try to find some perspective.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“It takes a little time, sometimes, to get your feet back on the ground. It takes a little time, sometimes, to turn the Titanic around.” ~ Takes a Little Time, Amy Grant

Posted in meme

a year in review — 2011

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Tried orange roughy, got scanned in a body scanner at the airport, ate at Red Lobster, used a treadmill, transcribed a whole TV show episode (twice), ate a waffle shaped like Texas, ate oatmeal without sugar, chopped cilantro, walked across the Tennessee River, changed the oil and filter on a riding lawnmower, hosted the fam for a night at my apartment, worked from home, been expected to check my company email after I was let go from a job, and visited Colorado, Maryland, and Oklahoma.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2011, my goal was to try to not be so sensitive. Well… I tried! Seriously, though, I think I did well with the effort overall.
For 2012, I plan to again work at not being so sensitive, and try to stay positive while I’m looking for a new job.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No — thankfully!

5. Where did you travel?
I took 11 business trips: to Virginia, Louisiana, Texas (twice), Colorado, Missouri (twice), Maryland, Oklahoma, and Georgia (twice).

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
My biggest dream is still to own a home. If I can get closer to that in 2012, that would be awesome.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 8, because that’s the day I was let go from my job

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
“Achievement” seems too grand a word, but I accomplished some things on my To Do list, such as converting all of our home videotapes to DVD and saving a backup of notable emails that are in my Yahoo accounts.

9. What was your biggest failure?
There is one area of my life where, just when I think I’ve got it, something happens and I feel I have to start back at square one. Repeatedly.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes, a mild yet lingering mystery ailment that started the week before Thanksgiving and is still with me as I write this.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
a new desk chair

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
our community, who came together and worked hard not once but twice after storms toppled trees in my mom’s yard

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
the store manager who fired my sister over seven spare cents

14. Where did most of your money go?
to paying for my apartment

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
fish tacos, added to the menu at Rosie’s Mexican Cantina

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Probably “Rollin’ in the Deep,” because I first heard a *fantastic* version of the song by one of the entrants in a talent show as part of the WC Handy Festival in Florence, Alabama.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? about the same
Older or wiser? wiser… I like to think so, anyway
Thinner or fatter? about the same… I like to think so, anyway
Richer or poorer? poorer thanks to weeks of down-time (read “no pay”) at work

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
appreciated people for who they are and not what I think they should be

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
been a raving hypochondriac

20. How did you spend Christmas?
The fam and I went to the service at church. Back at mom’s, we ate a fairly simple lunch that included Yum Yum Muffins made with a spice cake mix instead of devil’s food. We then opened our gifts, and I videoed the openings with the cheap videocam that I bought the day after Thanksgiving. We ended the day watching some non-Christmasy shows on DVD. (My sister wasn’t interested in the Christmasy offerings we had to watch.) In the background of our festivities, I did a load of laundry

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
No

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Thanks to DVDs, I continue to get reacquainted with my old favorites, such as Caroline in the City, and I remain enamored with Simon and Simon, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Young Riders, and Booker.

23. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
my (now former) boss

24. What was the best book you read?
Aside from Christian periodicals, the only book I read this year was Dan Hyland Police Reporter by Norton Jonathan.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Near the start of the year I discovered the wonder of fan (music) videos at YouTube, and thanks to those I’ve been exposed to some great songs that I’d missed before such as “Touch My Hand” by David Archuleta, “Creepin’ Up on You” by Darren Hayes, and “Big Bad Handsome Man” by Imelda May.

26. What did you want and get?
My mystery ailment finally started showing signs of improvement. Runner-up: the neighbor’s dog finally stopped coming into my mom’s yard.

27. What did you want and not get?
Seems like there was a lot this year that fits in this category; without a doubt the biggest was a diagnosis of and medicine for my mystery ailment. Runner-up: I wanted very much to see U2 in concert – literally the only concert I’ve wanted to see (and no doubt, WILL want to see) for many years – but thanks to a weird work schedule and my nearest venue being sold out, I didn’t get to go.

28. What was your favorite film of the year?
Films Released This Year and Really Liked: Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean 4
Films Released This Year and Liked: Tangled, Source Code, Moneyball
Films Released This Year That Weren’t Quite What I Expected: Green Lantern, Captain America, Cars 2

29. What did you do on your birthday?
I computered first thing: downloaded several mp3’s and watched U2’s video for “The Sweetest Thing” for the first time. Then I went shopping with Jeff, and I was thrilled to find most of the things on my list – on sale, even. Unfortunately, after looking forward to dinner at the Indian restaurant, I was disappointed to find that they took my favorite dish off of the menu, and then I was further disappointed that I didn’t like the dish I ordered.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
This is so shallow… but true… If I had felt pretty.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Since I started working from home in June, I’d sum up my “personal fashion concept” for the year in one word. Lazy! Some days I didn’t even change out of my pajamas.

32. What kept you sane?
Faith, especially repeating this Bible verse: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.” Joshua 1:9

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Bono (from U2)

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
the inability of both sides in Congress to put aside party differences and actually accomplish something

35. Who did you miss?
Caren, from work

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I met a lot of people while on business trips, but the only one who kinda stands out (for not being obnoxious) was the grandfatherly gentleman that was our main contact in Virginia. He was such a hoot!

37. What changed the most in your life this year?
Here as the year ends, I’m unemployed again, so I’ll be starting over in my career yet(!) again(!).

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
Life doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect to be pretty dang good!

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“When the waves are takin’ you under, hold on just a little bit longer. He knows that this is gonna make you stronger.” ~ “Stronger” by Mandesa

40. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?
I’m supposed to drive over in the afternoon to see my long-distance (okay, one hour away) boyfriend; we’ll probably part ways by 8:00 and then I’ll hang out with my mom and sister. We will not stay up to see the new year in.

Posted in meme

a year in review – 2010

Year End Review – 40 Questions

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Saw the most movies in the theatre (9) of any previous year (thanks to a new dollar theatre), saw the same movie three times at the theatre (twice!), saw a movie where it was just me in the theatre, saw an armadillo in my mom’s yard, changed the oil in a mower, and traveled the most of any previous year (see question 5), all to places I’ve never been before.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2010, I only wanted to know my job better, and I’d say I’ve done that.
For 2011, my goal is to try not to be so sensitive.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No – thankfully!

5. Where did you travel?
I took six business trips: to Washington (state), New Orleans, Kentucky, Arizona, Georgia, and Missouri.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
My biggest dream is still to own a home. If I can get closer to that in 2011, that would be awesome.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No one date really stands out…

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I accomplished at least three of the more ambitious projects on my To Do list.

9. What was your biggest failure?
At least twice, people asked me a Very Important Question, and I *totally* blew it on the answers.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Minor illness (“sinus business,” as I call it), and recurring travel sickness when I fly before noon

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A (refurbished) DVR/VCR that was less than $100 at BestBuy.com. I’ve been planning for years to move some of our home video recordings to DVD, and I’ve actually been able to put a dent in that task.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Caren, at work. She’s so positive, and we’re really like-minded on a lot of things. Both of those things are so refreshing when sometimes it seems as if everyone else I know has issues and lives to disagree.
(Runner-up: my mom’s neighbor who helped us with the huge task of spreading truckloads of gravel.)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Maybe not “appalled and depressed,” but there were several contenders for “behavior repeatedly disappointed you,” and the most disappointing had to be my boyfriend, who let me down in a big way.

14. Where did most of your money go?
To paying for my apartment

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting to work reduced hours for a few weeks during the summer at my job

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Possibly Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” because I heard it at the height of my latest celebrity obsession (see question 33).

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? happier… I’m happy to report 🙂
Older or wiser? alternately both
Thinner or fatter? fatter. That inch I can pinch seems to be growing. :sigh:
Richer or poorer? richer, but then again I was unemployed for 9 months in 2009

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Connected with other people

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Dwelling on bad feelings

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Since we woke to a rare Alabama white Christmas, I took pictures first thing. My mom, sister and I opened our gifts, then ate lunch and hung out, which is what we usually do.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
No

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I’ve enjoyed re-discovering Scarecrow and Mrs. King on DVD and on-line.

23. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Probably the boss

24. What was the best book you read?
I read 4 books and liked them all: “Cherry Ames, Camp Nurse” by Helen Wells, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, “The Lure of the Mask,” by Harold MacGrath, and I re-read “Pride and Prejudice,” by Jane Austen.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
At work we re-lived the classics for a few weeks and listened to songs from the ’50s and early ’60s. (Every time “The Twist” came on, we invariably twisted in our chairs. It was great!)

26. What did you want and get?
I wanted the problem with our VCR to be only that the heads needed cleaning — and that was it!

27. What did you want and not get?
Feedback from the boss on my job performance.

28. What was your favorite film of the year?
Films Released This Year and Really Liked: How To Train Your Dragon, Iron Man 2, Knight and Day, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Red (saw the last two three times)
Films Released This Year and Liked: Date Night, Shrek Forever After, The Bounty Hunter
Films Seen This Year For The First Time and Really Liked: Rocky, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Iron Man

29. What did you do on your birthday?
I took the day off of work. I had my favorite lunch with my mother and my sister, which included cherry pie. I went shopping and found a few little things. I ended the day watching Iron Man for the first time. Oh, and I had almost 30 happy b-day wishes from my Facebook friends. (I love you guys!)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If it hadn’t felt as if so many aspects of my life are stuck at Square One.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
A work in progress. I’m still trying to find “my look.”

32. What kept you sane?
Faith… and when that seemed strained, brief mental “escapes” through TV shows or website work

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Would you believe Sylvester Stallone?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The elections

35. Who did you miss?
Brown Eyes, one of our cats, disappeared back in August. 😦

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Dan, from work

37. What changed the most in your life this year?
My hair. I got a ‘do that I’ve never tried before, and it’s silly but it kinda does make me feel like a different person. In a good way!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I do believe it’s gonna be another red letter day. I do believe it’s gonna be another chance for me to take His Word and walk by faith.” ~ Red Letter Day, by Newsong

Posted in etcetera, meme

a year in review – 2009

Again this year, I’m doing the Year End Review – 40 Questions meme.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
watched entire seasons of TV shows on-line, got diagnosed with the flu, rented a non-ground floor apartment, rented and drove a large moving truck, hired movers, received unemployment compensation, told my boyfriend about my websites/blog, almost got hit by a snake that fell out of a tree

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2009, I had a few goals: 1) learn the Stayin’ Alive dance, 2) read another of Jane Austen’s books, and 3) get involved in something worthwhile.

Results: I definitely got involved with some worthwhile efforts; I didn’t read the book but I saw the A&E version of “Pride and Prejudice” and *loved* it, and I made zero progress toward learning the Stayin’ Alive dance.

For 2010, since 2009 went nothing at all like I thought it would, I’m actually scared to set any big goals. I just want to know my job better.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No – thankfully!

5. Where did you travel?
only to local cities that I’ve visited before

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
My biggest dream is still to own a home. If I can get closer to that in 2010, that would be awesome.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 15th, the day my former supervisor told me I was fired

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I’m pretty pleased with what I accomplished during my unemployment. Sure, I started off sitting around and whining, but I got past that and really put a dent in my To Do list.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Thanks to getting fired, I felt like a failure most of the year, having to reply for nine months, “No, I haven’t found a job yet. Still looking.”

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Both! Thankfully nothing serious, but I visited doctors three times in two months: once for a stopped-up ear, once for an ingrown toenail, and once for my first-ever diagnosed case of the flu.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
In this Year of Living Frugally due to unemployment, I’m more proud of the things I *didn’t* buy: I repaired my years-old coat, I pulled an old coffeetable out of the attic to use for a printer table, and instead of buying a new cell phone, I dug out my old pre-paid model, which the company upgraded – to one that works – for free.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The people who hired me! and Angie, who insisted that I apply for unemployment

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The people who fired me

14. Where did most of your money go?
A dishearteningly large portion went to paying for an apartment where the fees for terminating the lease would’ve been more expensive than finishing it out. As I’ve heard it said, that apartment was very expensive, very inconvenient storage space.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The ample storage space in my new apartment

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Congratulations by the Traveling Wilburys, because every time I hear it I think of how I felt so blindsided by my former bosses

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? maybe a little sadder
Older or wiser? this year, I’ve just felt older
Thinner or fatter? about the same
Richer or poorer? definitely poorer, since I was unemployed for nine months

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
been a blessing to other people

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
dwelling on how my boyfriend hasn’t sent me a single email all(!) year(!) [FYI, I sent him two earlier in the year, and I’m beginning to suspect that he’s lost my address.]

20. How did you spend Christmas?
My mom, sister and I opened our gifts, then ate lunch, then went to my cousin’s house for a visit. Back home, we finished the day by watching “While You Were Sleeping.”

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
No

22. How many one-night stands?
Zero

23. What was your favorite TV program?
I *really* enjoyed watched Simon & Simon on-line.

24. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
my mother

25. What was the best book you read?
IIRC the only book I read was “Rebuilding the Real You” by Jack Hayford – and it was VERY good.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Make it Better (Forget About Me) by Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers. (I was pleasantly surprised to find a song of theirs I hadn’t heard – and an upbeat one at that!) I also really liked Free To Be Me by Francesca Battistelli.

27. What did you want and get?
a good new job

28. What did you want and not get?
a sensitive spot on my foot is not going away, and will probably require medical treatment: that is definitely not getting what I want!

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
Fave Film Released This Year: (didn’t see any movies in the theatre this year)
Fave Film Seen This Year For The First Time: the A&E version of “Pride and Prejudice”

30. What did you do on your birthday?
I worked on some computer projects, emailed a resume to my soon-to-be employer, ate my favorite lunch with the fam (including my dessert of choice, cherry pie), went with my sister to the mall, watched some of my favorite videos on-line – and made screencaps! – then watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
if I could’ve gotten my well-worth-the-wait job earlier in the year

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Continuing my efforts from last year, I’m still trying to assemble outfits that I like. Hair-wise, I’ve been trying a new tip – blowdrying hair from the top (no flipping hair over to dry) – and I think that’s been helping my hair not to be so dry and brittle.

33. What kept you sane?
faith

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
This guy and a TV character, AJ Simon

35. What political/current events issue stirred you the most?
unemployment

36. Who did you miss?
the people from my old job

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Caren, from work

38. What changed the most in your life this year?
It feels like everything changed: I got a new job and a new apartment in a new city.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
I’ve been surprised several times this year after being “so sure” I knew how things were going to work out. I guess that’s the lesson: don’t get too comfortable but don’t give up because you really don’t know what will happen next.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need.” ~ The Rolling Stones

Posted in meme

a year in review – 2008

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Went to Big Spring Jam in Huntsville, Alabama, saw Kansas perform, made egg salad, and started moisturizing my neck on an almost daily basis. I also started eating fish again for the first time in about ten years.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I had two goals for 2008:  1) to “be happy and do good” which I’d say I succeeded at, at least more than I failed, and 2) I resolved to have a serious talk with my boyfriend about our relationship: I did try, more than once, but the attempts did not go well. It seems to me that he doesn’t want to talk about things; he’s perfectly content to wear his rose-colored glasses and think everything is okay. So, I stopped trying to talk to him, and we continue going through the motions.

For 2009, I have a few goals: learn the Stayin’ Alive dance, read another of Jane Austen’s books, and get involved in something worthwhile.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
We weren’t close, but my great-uncle Neil passed away. I remember him from family reunions.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just the US.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
My own house. I’m working toward fulfilling this dream, but honestly, I don’t think it’ll happen in 2009.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My birthday (October 1), simply because I made a photo essay to commemorate the day (lackluster though it was)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
After putting it off for way too long, I finally started to learn CSS for a new website layout that I’m working on. Now that I’m using CSS, I see how efficient it is, and I’m embarrassed that I waited so long.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I bought a car, and I did everything wrong. I bought the only car that I test-drove, I didn’t negotiate at all on the price, I accepted too little for my trade-in… I’m saving the rest of the gory details for a blog entry titled “how NOT to buy a car”.
 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had the sniffles once or twice. Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A Creative mp3 player that was marked down to $29

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Three of my former co-workers’. I’ve really appreciated their efforts to keep in touch with me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My new bosses’. From the start they’ve oozed with disrespect, and so far they’ve remained very critical while offering little guidance.

14. Where did most of your money go?
To paying for the car that I bought

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

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
“Love Story” by Taylor Swift, because I heard it for the first time as I was driving home from an interview in a town near the state line. Oddly enough, the song made me feel better about realizing that the job wasn’t the one for me.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier
Older or wiser? Hopefully wiser, since I’m still trying to learn things from my experiences 
Thinner or fatter? about the same
Richer or poorer? Poorer, since I bought a car

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Communicating with people instead of talking about them

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Insulting people when I truly didn’t mean to

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I stayed at my mom’s. We opened presents with my sister. I helped make lunch, which included a homemade (by Mom) pecan pie. Later we watched “Adventures in Babysitting”, which was one of my gifts.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
No.

22. How many one-night stands?
Zero.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Current programs? None. But thanks to DVDs, I continue to get reacquainted with my old favorites: The A-Team, The Dukes of Hazzard, Laverne and Shirley, My So-Called Life…

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No… although the media REALLY ticked me off with their Chicken Little style coverage of the economic situation.

25. What was the best book you read?
I read three books: Tigerheart by Peter David, A McKaslin Homecoming by Jillian Hart, and Kennedy Square by F. Hopkinson Smith. I enjoyed the first two very much.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Traveling Wilburys. Their “Volume 1” CD is fantastic! I also started to appreciate The Beatles’ music.

27. What did you want and get?
A new camera from the day-after-Thanksgiving sales

28. What did you want and not get?
After the company I work for was sold, I desperately wanted a new job because my new bosses let me know how little they needed me. I went on several interviews before I finally calmed down and decided it was in my best interest to stay where I am for now.

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
Fave Film Released This Year: has to be Mamma Mia and Wall-E, because those are the only two I saw in the theatre.
Fave Film Of The Ones Seen This Year For The First Time: I watched The Beatles’ first two movies – A Hard Day’s Night and Help! – and I really enjoyed them both.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
For the first time in years, I had to work. I went to CiCi’s Pizza Buffet for lunch, and then did just a little shopping. I ended the day by watching “Help!” which I’d bought in June and saved until my birthday (i.e. “a special occasion”) to watch.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If my supervisors at work had been as interested in helping me learn as they are in telling me I’m wrong

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Style-wise, pretty much the same: more classic than trendy. A new fashion development is that late this year I realized that for the longest time, I’ve been wearing several outfits that I don’t like just to avoid wearing the same thing too often. So, I tried to start wearing more outfits I really like. I’m still working on that, because I don’t have enough “outfits I really like” to cover the wide range of temperature differences I’m bound to experience during the day.

33. What kept you sane?
My faith and talking to my family

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Tom Petty and The Beatles, particularly George Harrison

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Well, if you mean what political issue was I sick of since WELL before this year even began, then that would have to be the Presidential election with all of its drama, mudslinging, and media hypercoverage.

36. Who did you miss?
My former OfficeMate, and Tammy, from work

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Matt S, from work. He’s one of the new “higher-ups”, but not really one of the 50 or so people classified as my supervisor, which is too bad because he seems pretty cool.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
The more I learn about other people, the more I see that they’re just like me.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I have been blessed, and I feel like I’ve found my way. I thank God for all I’ve been given at the end of every day. I have been blessed – with so much more than I deserve. To be here with the ones who love me. To love them so much it hurts. I have been blessed.” (from “Blessed” by Martina McBride)

Posted in meme

a year in review – 2007

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Visited Houston Texas, took a direct flight to my destination city, made waffles in a waffle maker, and made green bean casserole

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2007, I set some goals, and I did work toward them.

Again for 2008, I plan to continue – like the Bible says – to “be happy and do good.” (Ecc. 3:12) I also resolve to have a serious talk very soon with my boyfriend about our relationship.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Great Aunt Laverne passed away in January, 2007, although I hadn’t seen her for quite a few years.

5. What countries did you visit?
None, but I did travel more (three separate trips) than I did in any previous year.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
A better understanding of my job

7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 4th, because of the incident mentioned below in question 9

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I accomplished quite a few of the website-related items on my To Do list.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Without going into detail, on one specific occasion I did nothing when I should have done something, and I will regret that for a very, very long time.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing terrible. In fact, after changing my diet, some spots (warts?) that had been on my left hand for years cleared up.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Some furniture (stackable storage units) from Pier 1

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Stacey Grenrock Woods, who cited my MacGyver website (albeit misspelled) in her story for the book “What Would MacGyver Do?”

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Drama Queens and Petty Game Players at work

14. Where did most of your money go?
Again this year, to my apartment

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My crushes on the guys at work

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
“Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie, because my feelings for my boyfriend cooled down

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier
Older or wiser? Wiser, as I really do try to learn things from my experiences 
Thinner or fatter? Fatter, since my old jeans still don’t fit :depressed sigh:
Richer or poorer? Richer, since I continued work in my entry-level job in the engineering field

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sharing my faith and encouraging people

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Complaining about my boyfriend

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I stayed at my mom’s. We opened presents with my sister. I helped make lunch (hey, someone’s gotta open the cans). My sister and I watched a Scooby Doo video and then Pretty in Pink.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
No, but I had a couple of *really* strong crushes 😉

22. How many one-night stands?
Zero.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Current programs? None. But thanks to DVDs, I’m still falling in love with my old favorites: Remington Steele, Wings…

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No.

25. What was the best book you read?
I actually read two books this year, and I liked them both: “What Would MacGyver Do?” by Brendan Vaughn and “Helen of the Old House” by Harold Bell Wright.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I rediscovered several of my favorite, not-heard-in-WAY-too-long songs via their videos on the Internet, of which my most favorite is arguably this one.

27. What did you want and get?
My six-year-old computer was on the verge of crashing. I wanted it to keep working, so (yesterday) I tried reinstalling the operating system. The computer is now working with no Blue Screen of Death. And woo hoo, I had my files backed up prior to all of this!

28. What did you want and not get?
Fresh tomatoes. This spring, I planted two plants, but thanks to a worm attack, they produced only one small tomato.

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
Fave Film Released This Year: Ocean’s 13
Fave Film Of The Ones Seen This Year For The First Time: Pretty in Pink
Least Favorite Film Not Just Of 2007 But In All The Years Since I Saw Anaconda: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

30. What did you do on your birthday?
My sister and I took the day off from work, and she drove me around as I shopped. Alas, I didn’t find anything to treat myself to. And I decided to get a haircut which turned out to be the worst one of the year. Grr.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If the company I worked for had been more profitable

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
I experimented with some looks I’ve seen at work: flowy, “girly” tops and an accessory or two.

33. What kept you sane?
My faith and talking to my family

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Kiefer Sutherland, I guess. As I recall, most of my “thoughts of fancy” in ’07 were directed toward people I know in real life.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I’m not really political…

36. Who did you miss?
Still the people from my old job: Mary, Cassandra, and Johnathan.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Jessica, from work.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:
Sometimes you get what you want only to discover that it isn’t what you were expecting.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I survived all those long, lonely days when it seems I did not have a friend. ‘Cuz all I needed was a little faith so I could catch my breath and face the world again. Don’t forget your second wind.” from Billy Joel’s “Second Wind”

Posted in meme

in other words

The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase; if you pursue happiness you’ll never find it.
— C. P. Snow

The phrase “the pursuit of happiness” does seem to be a contradiction in terms. It makes happiness sound like something that’s somewhere you are not, and, coupled with the word pursuit, it brings to mind an image of chasing after an always-elusive prey. Similarly, in real life if you’re looking for some thing -some person, some purchase, some event – to make you happy, you’re wasting your time.

I’m reminded of another quote: “Success is having what you want, but happiness is wanting what you have.”

(Quote from … in other words…)