Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I usually don't make official "resolutions", but I did read more, so there's something done that I wanted to do. I also managed to learn a lot more on the job, starting with actual carpentry. For 2007 I plan to read even more (including some of that actual literary stuff), and I absolutely plan to write more. In 2006 I didn't write much at all, except for what I've done on this blog. I'll definitely get back to serializing The Promised King, sooner rather than later (an announcement thereof is forthcoming soon!).
Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but a number of ladies I know from The Store are expecting, including one very dear friend of mine.
Oh, wait -- people in Blogistan count, right? Alan had himself a second child! Huzzah!!
Did anyone close to you die?
My Uncle Jerry died a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't exactly close to him, having not seen him since my wedding in 1997 (he caught the garter at the reception), but he was a great guy who will be sadly missed by those to whom he was close. Other than that, my year was pretty much Reaper-Free.
What countries did you visit?
The usual: Hoth, Bespin, Endor, Coruscant, Middle Earth, Fionavar, Westeros, and the fine city of Metropolis. We also went to Canada.
What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
Finished manuscripts; a DSL hookup; the ability to do more carpentry. Oh, and peace and love.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Reading, listening, learning, living.
What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing The Promised King, Book Two. (Third year in a row! Yay!)
What was the best thing you bought?
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers complete score box set; jewelry for The Wife; the complete Firefly on DVD; bottles of spiced rum; a KitchenAid mixer; a new digital camera; books for me and The Wife and The Daughter.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
The Daughter, who has remained sweet, smart, a handful at times, and generally a very good student. And the American voters.
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
George W. Bush and his entire administration; any rightwingers who still cling desperately to the notions that global warming doesn't exist or that Iraq is a place of burgeoning peace if only the MSM would tell us so or that the forced removal of the Bible from all households at the hands of armed UN soldiers is imminent.
Where did most of your money go?
Food, books, DVDs, music, food, books, food. Oh, and rum. Quite a bit of rum.
What did you get really excited about?
The two BloggerCons I was able to attend; Superman Returns; Guy Gavriel Kay's new novel (coming early next year); the hippies winning The Amazing Race; JP Losman's positive development as an NFL quarterback; the rise of the soon-to-be Stanley Cup champion Buffalo Sabres.
What song will always remind you of 2005?
"Some Enchanted Evening", from South Pacific. Not really sure why, but this year I learned its lyrics.
Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Thinner or fatter?
I know I've gained some weight. Not enough to really worry about, but I think it's time to start going the other way.
Richer or poorer?
In terms of money, about the same, although I think I'm learning to make financial decisions that are less bad, and I'm picking up skills that will keep me employable for as long as I can pick up a tool. After all, there's only so much service-work that can be outsourced to Mumbai, and there will always be broken things that need fixing or walls that need painted.
What do you wish you'd done more of?
Writing and walking. I love walking. And drinking water (even though I drink plenty of it to begin with).
What do you wish you'd done less of?
Reading political stuff online. All it does is get me pissed, with no outlet except producing more political stuff online. It's self-replicating, and as the elections got closer, I found myself pushing my inclination to avoid political posting down more and more. This has always been primarily a personal blog.
Oh, and eating pizza.
How will you be spending Christmas?
This quiz is meant to be done before Christmas -- but no matter. We went to church on Christmas eve, and then we came home to open presents. Next morning we set out four or five more presents for The Daughter (these were the "Santa" gifts), and spent the rest of the day relaxing and helping her play with her new stuff.
Did you fall in love in 2005?
My answer from last year still applies: I fall in love on a daily basis. Who ever said that you can only fall in love with someone once?
How many one-night stands?
Like I'm gonna tell you that!
What was your favorite TV program?
Scrubs, American Idol, The Amazing Race, The Office, My Name is Earl, House, Grey's Anatomy.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Alex Ovechkin and Rod Brind'Amour. They must be destroyed!!!
(Generally, I don't like to hate people. It's such a useless emotion, when you get down to it.)
What was the best book you read?
Maybe I should blog about books more, since I can name a bunch of wonderful ones I read that I barely mentioned, if at all, in this space. I read three books by Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential, A Cook's Tour, The Nasty Bits) that I loved. A book called The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness that I checked out of the library on a whim and loved so much that I gave a copy to my best friend for Christmas. And the remarkable Little Chapel on the River: A Pub, a Town, and the Search for What Matters Most, which I blogged about here. That last book moved me deeply.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
This was more a year of musical rediscovery for me. I rediscovered Howard Hanson, Tchaikovsky, and a number of other composers.
What did you want and get?
A new computer and the afore-mentioned KitchenAid mixer! Huzzah!
What did you want and not get?
In spite of my lack of enough interest in one to buy one myself, I did enter a contest at The Store to win an iPod. I didn't win. Oh well.
What were your favorite films of this year?
Casino Royale, Superman Returns, Cars.
What did you do on your birthday?
I had to work and The Wife had to work, so we celebrated a few days later, if memory serves. What did we do? I can't remember. We probably went out to eat.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Why would I change my personal fashion concept? I just don't get fashion, people wearing whatever a group of magazines tell them is "in" that year. Shouldn't what's "in" be in because people buy a lot of it, as opposed to people buying a lot of what's "in" because it's "in"? Isn't that the central point of one of Plato's Dialogues or something? Anyway, same as always: I'm your hippie workwear guy. Tie-dyes or solid colors; overalls from September to May.
What kept you sane?
Sanity is overrated -- but I suppose The Wife and Daughter, my friends, and the various voices from Blogistan, Buffalo Prefecture and beyond, did the job as well as anybody.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Kate Walsh, Teri Polo, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jewel Staite.
What political issue stirred you the most?
It was an election year. I didn't need a single issue to stir me up.
Who did you miss?
My son, my friends who don't live in Buffalo.
Who was the best new person you met?
Aside from a couple of them, all of the fine Buffalo bloggers whose acquaintance I've made in real life, I made this year. And they're all fine, fine people whose blogs I either read daily or should read daily. (Say, when's the next official BloggerCon, folks?)
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
Not all learned in 2006, actually, but reinforced: The Internet is made of people. Rush more, blitz less. Don't punt when you're trailing or when you're in your opponent's territory. Democracy works, at least sometimes. Not all tears are an evil. Cool-whip is a miracle substance. So is ice cream. Use your library; limiting your reading to only those books you can afford to buy is madness. OpenOffice is a quality program. From pizza to quiche to apple to coconut cream, pie is the greatest of foods. We're not meant to be alone. No object fits in your hand so perfectly as your wife's hand, and no object fits so perfectly on your shoulder as your child's head. Keep smiling, because you never know what life will throw in your face next!
And don't take it all so seriously.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
The changes that have come over me
In these last few days I've been afraid
That I might drift away
So I've been telling old stories, singing songs
That make me think about where I came from
And that's the reason why I seem
So far away today
Oh, but let me tell you that I love you
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you're calling me
And now I'm going home
If I should become a stranger
You know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia's been everything
I've ever had
Now I have moved and I've kept on moving
Proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing
Found others on the way
I have kissed the ladies and left them crying
Stolen dreams, yes there's no denying
I have traveled hard with coattails flying
Somewhere in the wind
Now I'm sitting here before the fire
The empty room, the forest choir
The flames that could not get any higher
They've withered now they've gone
But I'm steady thinking my way is clear
And I know what I will do tomorrow
When the hands are shaken and the kisses flow
Then I will disappear....
--"Caledonia", by Dougie MacLean
And thus ends another year.
(This isn't the last post of this year, however, so don't stop checking in!)