Sunday, January 02, 2005

You can lead a blogger to a meme, but you can't....

I'm stealing this quiz-meme thing from In Java, Literally (a WNY blog I just discovered last week).

Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't recall if I made any resolutions. If I did, they were to read more and write more, and I think I actually did less of both, depressingly enough. I never make resolutions of the "Lose Fifty Pounds" variety, since when I decide that I need to do something like that, an arbitrary turning of the calendar page doesn't strike me as a motivating tool.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Heh! (And another is due in March. No, not to us. To someone close. We're not that crazy.)

Did anyone close to you die?

The Wife's grandmother passed away. I wasn't close to her, but that probably counts.

What countries did you visit?

Canada, Gondor, Rohan, the Shire, Mordor, Coruscant, Naboo, Tatooine, Geonosis, Yavin, Hoth, Endor, Kamino. Tried to visit Alderaan, but there must have been some kind of error in the navigational computer, because it wasn't there and we ended up near this small moon....

What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

Things that are possible? A new Star Wars movie. Things that aren't possible? A new Lord of the Rings movie.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Becoming a father again, with getting a job at The Store running a close second.

What was your biggest failure?

Not finishing The Promised King, Book Two.

What was the best thing you bought?

A digital camera.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

The Daughter, who has been an amazingly kind and curious big sister to her baby brother.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I'm not sure I'd say "appalled" or "depressed", but I definitely don't approve of much of what the President of the United States has done.

Where did most of your money go?

Food, coffee, diapers, books, DVDs, CDs.

What did you get really excited about?

Starting my job. (Becoming a father again, to be honest, scared rather than excited me.)

What song will always remind you of 2004?

"The Mighty Quinn"

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

I'm happier, I think. It's hard to tell, because I can summon up a stiff bout of melancholy on command. Want to see me do it? Here goes….

Thinner or fatter?

I haven't officially weighed myself in quite some time, but none of my clothes fit any differently than they did a year ago, so I'll assume I'm the same (within, say, ten pounds either way).

Richer or poorer?

I'm not sure. I have a job now, whereas I was unemployed one year ago. But Little Quinn has been even more of an expense than are most newborns, so I'm not sure how to measure this. (And, more importantly, I don't much care.)

What do you wish you'd done more of?

Reading and writing.

What do you wish you'd done less of?

Well, I spent the month after Little Quinn's birth depressing the hell out of everybody who would talk to me at The Store, so I wish I could have done less of that. (In retrospect, I'm not sure that was really within my power to do less of that.)

How will you be spending Christmas?

Assuming this refers to Christmas 2004, I spent it with my immediate family. And I had a headache the whole day, which might have been Care Bear-induced.

Did you fall in love in 2004?

Assuming a non-traditional definition of "fall in love", I did this several times in 2004. If I'd been single, I might well have executed the traditional definition; but I'm not single and I have no desire to be.

How many one-night stands?

Now, aren't all stands "one-night" stands? I mean, the only way you could have a two-night stand is to never leave the person's bed for thirty-six hours straight, right?

Anyway, I'm in the seventh year of marriage, so no "one night stands" here.

What was your favorite TV program?


Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I don't like to hate people. That said, there's the Objectivist weirdo on the FSM message boards, but he doesn't even count for this year, so there it is.

What was the best book you read?

The Lord of the Rings.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

As usual, I shall cheat and name several: Madeleine Peyroux, Hilary Hahn, Curtis Mayfield (why did nobody ever tell me he was that good?!), and that Pan-Siberian Philharmonic thing that suddenly everybody at The Store told me about in the course of three weeks.

What did you want and get?

A digital camera.

What did you want and not get?

Of the Lord of the Rings films, currently the only one I have on DVD in the Extended Edition is The Two Towers. Rectifying this is a high priority for 2005. (I have the theatrical cuts of all three films, and the EE of Fellowship on VHS.)

What were your favorite films of this year?

I didn't get to see very many films in 2004, sadly enough. I liked Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow a lot. And even though it came out (I think) in 2003, I didn't see Love, Actually until 2004.

What did you do on your birthday?

Saw Sky Captain; ate at Quiznos for the first time; watched parts of the Star Wars Original Trilogy DVDs. The night before, we had dinner with my parents at a bar/restaurant in a tiny town outside of East Aurora, NY.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

I guess I'd call it "workwear chic", although PZ Myers calls it "axe murderer chic". And I don't even own an axe.

What kept you sane?

My wife; working at The Store; listening to music.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Miranda Otto, maybe.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Even in the face of a Presidential election, the political thing that made me angriest was Erie County Executive Joel Giambra's "Give me a raise of the sales tax or I'll close everything with the County's name on it (but don't ask me to fire the buddies in my office)" crapfest. (And we re-elected this turkey just a year ago. When did we abandon the idea that when things go to pot, we vote in new people to fix them? Did I miss a memo or something?)

Who did you miss?

I have very good friends who live beyond the "800-miles from Buffalo" line. I also got to see my sister for a day. And I miss Jerry Goldsmith.

Who was the best new person you met?

Wow. I genuinely can't say, because I met more fine people in 2004 than in any year since 1989, when I went off to college. Actually, I probably could come up with a name here if I really had to do so, but even then it would feel like a small slight to the people I don't name, if that makes any sense. Suffice it to say that I was extraordinarily blessed with new friends this year, some of whom have become very dear to me indeed.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:

Don't worry about whether you'll be a good parent before the kid is even born, because there's no guarantee at all that you'll even get to be a parent at all.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"People get ready, there's a train a-comin'.
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board.
All you need is faith to hear the deisels hummin'.
Don't need no ticket; you just get on board."

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