2009: The Year in Meme.

Oh, I love a good meme. As an only child, talking about myself is one of my favorite occupations. Almost as fun as talking to myself – wait, did I just say that outloud?

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Went to Portugal! There were many attendant new foods in that experience, but the rest of the year pretty much involved things that I had done in at least some similar context before. I started a new job, but in the field that I already work in. I moved… to a place where I’ve already lived. I suppose you could say that 2009 has been about getting back to my “roots.”

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t make resolutions since it’s so absolutely discouraging when I start failing at them, which just makes me feel awful about myself – which doesn’t really help ANYTHING. Instead, I try to work consistently on the Build A Better Sonika Campaign and whatever that may entail. There are lots of things I can improve, and I try to just work on that continuously rather than making specific resolutions at specific times of year. I’ve found that anytime I try to start a project that “I will do this! Every day!” it goes awesome for a week or two… and then… I miss a day. And then I try to keep it up, and miss another day, and it’s just DONE at that point and I feel like a jerk because I “failed” at some arbitrary goal, whereas if I just say “I want to do this!” and let the time frame be more open-ended, I don’t feel bad if it doesn’t get done every single day. Same with resolutions – if I make them, I feel bad if they’re not carried out. If I just “resolve” to improve what I can, I can accept my foibles more gracefully.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! One of my dear friends from WAY back in the day had a beautiful daughter who had the good sense to be born on MY birthday! September 4, FTW!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately. A good friend from high school – that is to say, he was one of my good friends when we were in high school, I’m sorry that we weren’t in touch since – passed away on November 9. I went to his funeral and it was a beautiful service, but g-ddamn, 29 year olds shouldn’t be having funerals.

5. What countries did you visit?

Portugal! And the Independent Republic of Vermont, of course.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Money in my savings account, for one. I was good at that for a while… and then… yeah. It was the resolution problem. Once I started failing, I felt like such a jerk for failing, that I gave up entirely. Other things as well, but it feels like saying them outloud would jinx my chances of obtaining them.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

None specifically. There were dates when things happened that were significant, but even now I can’t remember the specific date for various events this year without looking it up in my blog archives or in my paper journal. To me, this is a good sign that nothing shook up my life so much as to have a clear before/after delineation.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think I’ve done well at work this year, both finishing out my year with the Schmoops and starting work with Thing 1 & Thing 2. I consider it an achievement that I’ve established successful working relationships with both the kids and their families.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I failed to save money. Or learn Portuguese. Or solve peak oil.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

A few urinary tract infections. The usual.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My laptop, Stringer Bell. Though I’m still paying off the First National Bank of Nuno for it. His installment plans are more reasonable than those of any credit card company.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The people that I know are generally awesome. I think celebrating them would be totally reasonable.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Happily, no one I know personally. If I turn on the TV, I could give you at least half a dozen names in five minutes, but this is why I don’t turn on the TV.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Overwhelmingly: Health Insurance. At least half of my salary every single month. This is why I would vote for a TOMATO if it would provide socialized medicine. On top of the insurance, I’ve had doctor’s copays, prescription copays, and still been charged for testing and labwork. The amount of money I’ve spent maintaining my health is nothing short of COMPLETELY EFFIN’ INSANE. And I’m lucky! I can “afford” it! I’ll stop now.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Going to Portugal! Moving back to Providence! Cheese – basically any time that I ate it!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Womanizer. Though this has nothing to do with Ms. Spears and everything to do with Michael DiMartino who I think should make every music video ever.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Same. Maybe a little fluffier around the edges, but no significant size change.
– richer or poorer? The same. Though really, I SHOULD be richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Money saving. Socializing. Cheese eating.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Nothing. As in, I wish I had occasionally filled my nothing with slightly more productive endeavors. Don’t get me wrong, nothing is one of my favorite things to do, but I would at least have a larger art portfolio to look back on if I had devoted some of my free time to “something” vs. “nothing.” It’s very easy to lose your weekends to the internet and computer games and Netflix when you’re tired from a long work week, but the line between “relaxing” and “self-indulgence” is a thin one and I’ve firmly planted myself on the wrong side of it more often than not.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

In Portugal! (Are we sensing a theme yet?)

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Not in any kind of romantical way. I remained in love, and if you want to get out your inflight air-sickness bag I could start babbling about “falling deeper in love,” but I won’t because if I do that, even I will start gagging.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

The Wire, even though it wasn’t broadcast in spontaneous dissemination. We watched the whole run on Netflix and it has ruined me for “bad” TV. Also, The West Wing, which I couldn’t watch during the Bush Administration because I was always too upset when I turned off the TV that Jed Bartlett wasn’t actually President. Man, that’s an awesome show. And not just because I would like to do unspeakable things to Josh Lyman.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I am very irritated with the underpants bomber, of whose existence I was not even aware at this time last year.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Michael DiMartino. Even though he’s not necessarily the “musician,” I’m an extremely visual person and watching his videos in ASL just totally awe me every single time.

26. What did you want and get?

Happy employment. Travels.

27. What did you want and not get?

A toilet made of solid gold.

I kid, but really I can’t think of anything that I didn’t “get” as opposed to things that I didn’t accomplish.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Watchmen is the first one that comes to mind.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Hung out with Kat and swam in the ocean! And I turned 28.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Nothing in “thing” form that I can think of.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

“Hello, I work with small children who are, by nature, biohazards.” On my off days, the same kind of “urban bohemian” sort of thing I’ve been cultivating for years, 2009 didn’t see much of a change there except perhaps for efforts at fine-tuning. Fashion is one of those areas where I’ve been frustrated this year because I’m so limited to what I can wear at work and my work time is vastly greater than my not-work time. Oh well. This is what we call a “first world problem.”

32. What kept you sane?

Nuno. Friends and family. Wensleydale.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I think the answer here is always Johnny Depp. Whether or not he even does anything other than exist on this Earth.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I’ll take “Insurance companies making bazillions of dollars off of bozos like me who have to have insurance due to ‘pre-existing’ conditions and are then suckered into paying more insurance because of said conditions which is total extortion because hi, we can’t decide NOT to pay it, we’re just totally, totally fucked” for 800, Alex.

35. Who did you miss?

A lot of friends and family who have the POOR SENSE to live NOT HERE. Jerks.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Things 1 &2.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

There are ways to mitigate the risks of UTIs. Let’s just leave it at that. There weren’t too many other “know this, young grasshopper” moments.

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