On 2011 In Review

January 1st. The start of a new year. A “turn the page” moment, a time when the slate is wiped clean and one can start fresh. That’s my feeling on every day, that the new day is a blank slate on which anything can be written, so it should be my feeling on the start of a new year, too. Except that it isn’t. New Years is, for some reason, just another day.

Many people make resolutions. They’ve taken stock of their lives, and decided that this and that will change. I don’t normally make resolutions, but here’s something I intend to do better in 2012 — tell the difference between good ideas that are productive and good ideas that waste time.

There’s a specific reason that’s come to mind, but it’s a trivial, insignificant thing, much like my mad inclination a few weeks ago to recode my website to work with Habari instead of WordPress. Yes, that’s an interesting idea, but it’s not practical or sensible. :)

Since this is the start of a new year, I’ll take stock of the year that was. A few years ago, a friend posted a list of questions on his LiveJournal, and I answered that at the time. Now I’ll use them again. :)

  1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
    Spend time in New Jersey. I’ve been through New Jersey, but I’ve never stopped there or spent any significant time there. In November, I attended PhilCon, a science fiction convention that happens to be held across the Delaware River from Philadelphia in the wilds of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
  2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    I put it this way a few years ago: “As a child I never made New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m not planning on starting now.” I plan on putting more thought into my decision-making vis-a-vis ideas as mentioned above, but I’m not sure that falls under the category of “resolutions.”
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    One of my coworkers, a graphics designer, gave birth to a son in November. Among close friends, no, there were no births in 2011, though there are some impending births in 2012 among my friends.
  4. Did anyone close to you die?
    My grandmother, in July.
  5. What countries did you visit?
    Sadly, I did not leave the country in 2011. This means I need to redouble my efforts!
  6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
    Money, maybe? I’m having a difficult time thinking of anything I lacked in 2011.
  7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    There are many I can choose from. Seeing Elbow for a second time in September was pretty memorable.
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    How to choose? I built a website for a friend — and it turned out really well, I think. I wrote two articles for Star Trek Magazine — and one of those (on Star Trek: Voyager‘s “Timeless”) is, in my admittedly biased opinion, one of the best pieces I wrote for the magazine. I also did some ghostwriting this year, and the article I ghosted three weeks ago was an awesome piece of writing.
  9. What was your biggest failure?
    I was about to write that “nothing comes to mind,” but I’m not sure that that’s true. A friendship went off the rails earlier this year, and I’m not really sure why. Then there’s someone else, someone that I don’t know very well, to be honest, that I feel like I’ve treated appallingly. My failures in 2011, then, were failures of the interpersonal nature.
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    Thankfully, no.
  11. What was the best thing you bought?
    I bought a mobile phone in February. I don’t know that that’s the best thing I bought, but it’s become my Shadowfax, my companion through many adventures.
  12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    In my life, personally? Ehh… I’ll get back to you on that. No, wait, no I won’t get back to you on that. I have no idea, really.
  13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    The Republicans in Congress. Anarchists and nihilists, all of them. Teddy Roosevelt would punch every last one of them in the mouth.
  14. Where did most of your money go?
    My student loans. And since my car is now paid off, I’ve been overpaying on my student loans. Someday I’ll see the end of them…
  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    The Hobbit trailer. The Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover (I literally cried tears of joy at the office). The One Day movie. Noel Gallagher’s solo album. The Elbow gig. Shamrock Fest (and I’ve already bought my ticket for 2012’s).
  16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
    “If I Had a Gun…,” by Noel Gallagher. I wrote a little about it here; it’s a haunting piece of work that I just can’t get out of my head.
  17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
          i. happier or sadder? Happier.
         ii. thinner or fatter? A little thinner.
        iii. richer or poorer? Richer.
  18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Reading. My leisure reading has fallen off the map. I’m still reading a lot — I really have to, if only for work purposes — but I feel like I’m not reading the things I want to read.
  19. What do you wish you’d done less of?Arguing with people on internet message boards. In the past few months, I’ve made use of the “ignore” feature at TrekBBS, for instance, just so I don’t have to be bothered. :)
  20. How will you be spending Christmas?
    I spent Christmas with my sister, her husband, their daughter, and my parents.
  21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
    I’m not really sure.
  22. How many one-night stands?
    That would be… Zero. I’m not a one-night stand kind of person.
  23. What was your favorite TV program?
    Downton Abbey. That was can’t-miss television for me, and I can’t wait for next Sunday when the second season begins on PBS’ Masterpiece.
  24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    This time last year I was indifferent to Mitt Romney, but now I find him an appalling example of humanity.
  25. What was the best book you read?
    One Day, by David Nicholls.
  26. What was your greatest musical (re)discovery?
    In terms of discoveries? Aerials Up. A Scottish band with a unique sound. I wrote in January about them here, and I bought their first single a few months ago.
  27. What did you want and get?
    A Hibs scarf. I have no idea how to wear a scarf, but now I have one.
  28. What did you want and not get?
    I wanted the Cubs to win when I saw them at Nationals Park on the fourth of July, but no, Mike Quade had to send Carlos Marmol up to the mound with the game on the line… Suffice it to say, the Cubs did not win that day. Still, it was a good day. I spent it in DC and attended the Capitol Fourth concert on the lawn of the Capitol Building.
  29. What was your favorite film of this year?
    Probably Winnie-the-Pooh, which was pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be.
  30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    It was a Friday, so I worked, and apparently I wrote a lot of copy that day. I also received a Charlie Brown “Keep Calm and Carry On” t-shirt, which was cool, though it didn’t make me feel that the “Keep Calm” meme hasn’t overstayed its welcome, which it so clearly has. And I turned thirty-eight.
  31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    The Beer Diet. :)
  32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
    Functional.
  33. What kept you sane?
    Twitter. No, really. It’s such a great place to vent.
  34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Katie McGrath.
  35. What political issue stirred you the most?
    The nihilism of the Republicans, in general. They are wholly unwilling to govern, and they have an agenda that is so morally bankrupt that it verges upon evil.
  36. Who did you miss?
    Where to start…?
  37. Who was the best new person you met?
    We had some new people at work who were pretty fab.
  38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
    New Jersey was designed by traffic engineers who freebased acid.
  39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
    “We got open arms for broken hearts
    Like yours my boy, come home again”
     — Elbow, “Open Arms”

And there you have it. My 2011 in review.

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