The next post below this one is my yearly navel-gazing in which I link all that stuff of mine online that I particularly like: photos, blog posts, and specific posts about books and movies.
Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Aside from the usual -- read more, write more, continue eating ever healthier, and so on -- not really. As for last year’s? Well, I did read and write a lot, and I did continue eating healthier, and I did lose weight. So yay, me!
I also screwed up on one ‘resolution’ -- I signed up for a blogging ‘challenge’, centered on reading literary classics. And I had my list of books picked out. And I read one of them. And then I promptly got distracted by The Shiny and forgot the entire thing. Oops!
Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but I have some friends who are going to in the next few months, so a healthy Mazel tov! to them!
Did anyone close to you die?
Luckily...no. I’m keenly aware that the likelihood of continuing to dodge that bullet will continue to drop every single year now, but we have suffered no major visits from The Reaper since my mother-in-law’s passing.
What countries did you visit?
We went back to Canada! First time since 2006 that we were able to enjoy that country’s wonderments. (Or, at least the wonderments in Toronto.) We can’t wait to go back!
Other than that, all the usual fictional countries that I visited in movies or in the books. In a lot of ways, that’s the best kind of traveling.
What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
My usual answer: A book on my shelf, a real book, printed by a publisher and everything, that I wrote. Good news is that I think I’m heading in that direction. I really really really hope I am. I don’t like to count chickens before they’re omelets, or whatever that expression is, but I have a sense that with Princesses In SPACE!!! (not the actual title), I’m on to something in a way that I’ve never been before, writing-wise.
I’d also like a more definitive sense that my country is moving in a direction that I wish. It’s hard being liberal in this country.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
It’s all writing, baby! Writing, all writing. I got the first draft of Princesses done, then I let it lay fallow, and then I got through one round of edits before handing it off to an able group of beta-readers. Now I’m putting together my final draft (until a professional editor requests/suggests alterations, should I be fortunate enough to get that far). This was a big deal for me -- the first major completion of a writing project in quite a while.
I also did a NaNoWriMo project, which I ‘completed’ in the sense of generating 50,000 words in November. The story itself still isn’t done -- I back-burnered that one while I’m doing edits on Princesses -- but I know where it’s going, and will get back to it as soon as the more pressing work is done.
And it’s always nice to go to a doctor’s visit for a 6-month follow-up and have her be impressed across the board with everything.
What was your biggest failure?
Probably the afore-mentioned ‘Classics reading challenge’. I mean, I completely forgot about it. Remembered in September. Ugh! I feel pretty dumb about that one.
I also started a novel, a fantasy book not actually titled The Adventures of Lighthouse Boy!, but I had to shelve that one temporarily because the story just wasn’t unfolding very convincingly. I need to rethink that one a bit. (And that will bring up some decision-making, as the sequel to Princesses is now gestating in my head!)
What was the best thing you bought?
A new laptop (Dell Inspiron), a tablet (7-inch Samsung Galaxy II), two pairs of Carhartt overalls, a retro-rocket ship and a UFO-with-alien Christmas tree ornament, some books, and so on.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
The Wife, The Daughter, and generally lots of folks!
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
God, I wish the Republican Party would come back to the land of the sane. I’ve been thinking a bit lately about President George HW Bush, who has been sick of late. I didn’t agree with him politically, and I think that he does bear some responsibility for the Republican party’s trip into the cesspool (his winning campaign in 1988 was pretty nauseating), but he was also the last Republican of national standing who didn’t make me feel like throwing up.
Where did most of your money go?
Food, bills, books. Same as most years!
What did you get really excited about?
Finishing drafts of Princesses, voting for Barack Obama a second time, and finally seeing Les Miserables on the stage. (Yes, I’ll see the movie. Not sure when, but I will see it!)
What song will always remind you of 2012?
It’s interesting about ‘viral’ videos: I watch ‘em like everybody, out of curiosity, and then I usually don’t watch them again. This one, however, I still watch a couple of times a month, because the sheer happiness of the thing, the fact that this fellow rounded up that many folks to help out with his little proposal project, and the fact that the song he used is just great, in that ear-worming pop-tune kind of way. It’s Bruno Mars’s “Marry You”, used in the now-famous ‘Live-Dub’ Proposal:
Boy Howdy, I love that! It’s things like this which make me think that maybe, just maybe, no matter how bad things get on the ‘macro’ level, we humans have a chance to get our shit together.
Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Happier. Indisputably happier -- and that’s a trend that’s been ongoing for a while now.
Thinner or fatter?
Thinner! Again, not by a whole lot, but I remain convinced that slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to weight loss. (Admittedly, the last month has not been helpful in this regard, but January is coming!)
Richer or poorer?
Not so much richer, but I continue to be a better steward of what I have and plan to continue to be that. Plus, when Princesses achieves renown as the science fiction equivalent of Harry Potter, well then--! (Yeah, now I’m really getting ahead of myself!)
What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading and writing, of course.
What do you wish you'd done less of?
Bitching about politics (which is something I already don’t do much of to begin with). Noodling about online. (“Hmmmm, I could use a break! I’m gonna watch some West Wing clips on YouTube.” [90 minutes later] “Huh, I should really do some work....”)
How did you spend Christmas?
We’re always low-key on Christmas: family at home, eating, playing games, eating some more, watching stuff, maybe drinking a bit of rum. Visiting Little Quinn at the cemetery, and then stopping at 7-11 for BigGulps.
Did you fall in love in 2012?
My stock answer applies: I fall in love on a daily basis!
How many one-night stands?
Zero. I’m taken, as always! (Unless the salacious dreams I occasionally have about Stana Katic and Kat Dennings count...in which case...uh....)
What was your favorite TV program?
Castle, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, Mentalist, and the new biggie, Person of Interest. Oh, and Once Upon a Time.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don’t hate. Well, sometimes I do, but I catch myself and try to stop as quickly as possible.
What was the best book you read?
In fiction, probably Sacre Bleu! by Christopher Moore. In non-fiction, Space Chronicles by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and the remarkable The Long Walk, by Buffalo author Brian Castner. Amazing books, all of them!
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. See below!
What did you want and get?
Closer to a finished book. New tech toys. The re-election of the President. Carhartt overalls. A smaller body. Pies in my face.
What did you want and not get?
Even closer to a finished book than I am now. A sane opposition party that acknowledges science and reality and doesn’t base its every action on opposing whatever the President wants. Some power tools that I’ve had my eye on, but not purchased yet. Forest green Carhartt overalls -- they don’t make them anymore, so I have to keep an eye out on eBay for a pair my size. (When I do, they will be mine. Oh yes, they WILL be mine.) And, as it only happened the one time...pies in my face!
What were your favorite films of this year?
Of movies that came out this year, Skyfall and The Hobbit rocked my world pretty soundly. Of movies I saw that didn’t come out this year? I really liked Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Inglourious Basterds.
What did you do on your birthday?
On my actual birthday? I worked. We celebrated a few days later with our annual trip to Ithaca for their Apple Harvest Festival; we ate at PF Changs in Rochester, had waffles and fried chicken at Waffle Frolic in Ithaca, and at Chipotle Mexican Grill for the first time; we shopped for arts and crafts and books at some of the fine bookstores down there. And then a day or two later, the annual pies in my face.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Heh! Same as always: utilitarian to the max, dominated by bib overalls. As noted, I did finally get on board with the Carhartt brand, and now I love ‘em to death. I bought a new fleece sweater, too. As usual, though: the hippie-in-workwear.
What kept you sane?
Same reply as last year: Laughing; reading; writing; discovering that even though we've been together in one way or another for almost twenty twenty-one years, I still have ways of getting to know The Wife; singing loudly in the car when I'm by myself; torturing The Daughter with awful puns (something my father did to me, coincidentally enough!); geeking out to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings; getting hit in the face with pies. It's awfully hard to take yourself seriously when crust, custard, and whipped cream are dripping from your face.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Oh, the usual ones! But now that Castle is letting Detective Beckett actually be happy...oh my, Stana Katic!
Seeing as how I had no idea who she was a year ago? Adele. She’s awesome.
Outpacing her, though, is my growing admiration for Michelle Obama. She’s just an amazing woman. Our President is a fortunate man.
What political issue stirred you the most?
It was an election year, so there were a whole lot of them. But of late...my general distaste for guns has crystallized into hatred for the damn things.
Who did you miss?
I miss Dr. House. I hope he’s finding a way to solve medical mysteries and call people stupid while he tools around the country with Wilson.
Who was the best new person you met?
Just about all were folks online; I continue to meet more folks online each year, more now on Twitter and Facebook than in Blogistan, but it’s still cool. There are a lot of smart people in the world!
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
WRITE. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
READ. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
And keeping the ones from years past: We learn by screwing up, so embrace your inner FAIL! The Internet is made of people. Never, ever punt. (You know, I’m serious about that one. F*** punting. Always go for it. Even if it’s 4th and 30. From your own 2.) Democracy works wonders, but it works them eventually. Not all tears are an evil. Whipped cream is a miracle substance. So is ice cream.
Use your local library! Limiting your reading to only those books you can afford to buy is madness. OpenOffice rules. Buy good tools, take care of them, don't lend them out, and they'll last forever. Pie is wonderful stuff, whether on your plate or in your face. Screw fashion; if it's comfy, wear it. 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. Let it be, and all you need is love.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I heard this song way back in May in, of all places, FOX’s ads for the series finale of House MD. It’s just a wonderful song, and I love its moving sound, its sense of pleading optimism, and its general sense of inspiration. It’s “Live Forever”, by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.
Laughter is the only thing
that’ll keep you sane,
In this world there’s cryin’
more and more every day.
Don’t let evil
get you down,
in this madness
spinning round and round!
I want you to live forever,
underneath the sky so blue!
Some people say faith
is a childish game.
Play on, children,
like it’s Christmas Day!
Sing me a song!
Sing me a melody!
Sing out loud--
You’re a symphony!
I want you to live forever,
underneath the sky so blue!
I want you to live forever,
underneath the sky so blue!
So that’s 2012. Onward to 2013!
And as always, in a 'last but most certainly not least' vein, I'd like to thank all you fine, wonderful readers for dropping by this year, either regularly or 'once-in-a-while'. May each and every one of you enjoy a healthy, happy, and ultimately heavenly 2013!