New Year's Survey

Once again I am doing Linda’s year’s-end survey. I’d link to my previous entries, but they are buried with the old blog. Feel free to do this on your own blog or answer any questions in the comments if you are so inclined. I mean, who doesn’t love a good survey? If you do it on your blog, please post a link in the comments so I can read it!

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

I started running road races (two 5Ks, a 12K, and now training for a half marathon) and I love it. I also traveled to Las Vegas for the first time and hosted (and cooked) Christmas dinner for the first time.

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

Last year, I claimed I would pay more attention to healthy eating, exercise, and making my house and office more environmentally friendly. I did manage the first two, but didn’t really do much about the third. My new office doesn’t even have a recycling bin! Must work more on this.

For 2010, I would like to get another article published, present at at least one conference, complete the triathlon I signed up for (June 5th, baby!), and waste less money on entertainment.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! My BFF Mel in Las Vegas gave birth to her son in January — he’s almost a year old now and cute as the dickens. Also, my friends Dangermoose and Zabaglione had a little boy, whom I have yet to meet. Pictures reveal him to also be as cute as possible.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately, this one’s also a yes. My grandmother passed away on St. Patrick’s Day this year. The date seems significant because of her proud Irish Catholic heritage. She was my last living grandparent and an all around lovely person.

5. What countries did you visit?

In the U.S., I traveled to Las Vegas, NV; Louisville, KY; and San Jose, CA. Also in and around Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, but that hardly counts.

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

Once again, a tenure track job. C’mon now. Let’s do this thing.

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

January 7th – birth of my friend’s son
March 17th – death of my Grandma
June 9th – Day I officially quit smoking and started losing the grad school weight (almost done now!)
December 12th – ran my 12K race, something I thought I would/could never do.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Taking control of my health and fitness is a big achievement, as is getting my first scholarly article accepted at a journal.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I’ve found myself getting too irritated too easily with people lately — indulging in silent grumble fests in my own mind and then praying no one notices my disgruntlement. Even though I generally keep my crankiness to myself, the negative thoughts make me feel like crap. This needs to stop. More yoga? I don’t know.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

A couple of colds and then the whole champagne bottle explosion thing. That was over two weeks ago and I’m still not completely healed yet! WTF!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My beautiful Raleigh Alysa FT1. I love that bike, man.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I’m grateful for the patience and high tolerance for exercise talk my friends have shown this year. I count myself lucky to know such a supportive and wonderful bunch of people. Much appreciated.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Occasionally a student’s behavior will appall or depress me, but the feelings have now faded quickly enough to have been almost forgotten. A few politicians’ behavior, naturally, but both of these things are true every year.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, bills, bills! Any discretionary spending went toward my shrinking wardrobe, exercise gear, and movie nights.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The birh of my friend’s son, hanging with my two BFFs in Vegas for spring break (where I got to meet the baby), teaching my special summer writing course, and getting back in shape. There’ve been many good things this year.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

There are few I’ve listened to over and over again this year because they’ve been MVPs on my running playlist. Among these, I think “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson is my pick here.

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

a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? The same-ish.

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

Yoga, probably. I need a lot of stretching and a lot of chilling out. A lot.

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

Having hypothetical, imaginary fights with people in my mind. Not with THE PEOPLE IN MY MIND, but with people, in my mind. Oh boy.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

A few days before Christmas itself, I hosted my dad and brother for the holiday at my house — it was lovely! I loved my tree and making dinner (two things I’ve never gotten to be in charge of before) and having them just chillin’ in my apartment. Then, for the holiday itself, I went to midnight mass with my friend Brunbec, which was my first church service in probably 15 years or more. No comment on that.  Then on the 25th, B. and I had sushi dinner and saw Sherlock Holmes. Great way to spend Christmas, in my opinion.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

I remain blissfully love-free this year, thank dog.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Probably Dollhouse. SO ANNOYED it is getting canceled. This season has been amazing.

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

No! Thank dog! I ain’t need to be hating.

24. What was the best book you read?

Hands down, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I still think about that book, like, daily. I also really enjoyed Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, which I will probably post about soon.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

One can hardly call Neko Case a “musical discovery” at this point, but this was the year I really started listening to her stuff. I’ve had a few albums rattling around the hard drive forever, but this was the year it all stuck. Love her newest one, Middle Cyclone.

26. What did you want and get?

A bicycle, improved health, a publication, a great vacation.

27. What did you want and not get?

A tenure-track job. I shall keep on trying.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

You can see my 2009 film post below, but out of the best ones I saw, I think I am going to have to go crazy and pick Whip It. I wasn’t expecting that either, but it’s the one I really can’t wait to see again.

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

Ran my 12K, took the longest nap ever, dropped champagne bottles on my feet, and then hung out with all my local friends for a great party at the home of my friend S., who shares my birthday. With the exception of the champagne explosion, it was a perfect day. I turned 32.

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

A really great local vegan restaurant, so when my friends wanted to go out to eat there would be somewhere I could suggest.

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

My clothes this year came mainly from Target and Old Navy – since my clothing size kept changing, I didn’t want to spend any more than I had to on pants that would soon be too big. This year I’ve needed, um, five different pants sizes. Eeek. So my concept was basically just cheap.

32. What kept you sane?

Working out, writing, talking to my close friends.

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

Barack Obama and Tahmoh Penikett.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Health care reform, hands down.

35. Who did you miss?

All my far-flung friends. I wish they all lived near enough that I could just pop by any time, but if that were true they’d all be living in Alabama. I wouldn’t wish that on them.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I met the usual batch of new hires in my department at work, and this time I kind of love all of them. They’re pretty cool.

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

Once again, qui patitur vincit. Also, stretch after every run.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Next day’s function: high class luncheon
Food is served and you’re stone cold munchin’.
Music comes on; people start to dance
But then you ate so much you nearly split your pants.
A girl starts walkin, guys start gawkin’;
Sits down next to you and starts talkin’.
Says she wanna dance ’cause she likes the groove,
So come on fatso and just bust a move.
— Young M.C.



  1. I gotta admit choosing this particular verse because of the phrase “stone cold munchin’.” You pretty much can’t beat a line like that! Happy new year to you, too!


  2. NOTE TO SELF: Right when we were ready to leave for the night, they played “Bust a Move.” A move was duly busted. NYE 2009, you have me.


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