1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Tried out the whole "dating" thing, and started an independent minyan.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Mu, and no.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
The, uh, floodgates are starting to open. Amy's the person I talk to the most who did. Sam did too. Possibly some others; for the first time, there might be enough births around that I can't always keep track.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. My paternal grandmother died at the end of June. And Harry Kalas died in April. Both of those were quite hard.
A brief digression to put into words something I've been thinking about since then: I loved Harry Kalas. I loved him in a way you can only love someone you don't really know. It was a true love, unblemished by the flaws and 3-dimensionality that all real people and all two-way relationships have. That doesn't mean it's not real. It's real, but it's purer, and that makes it a bit less real. Emotionally I miss him at least as much as I miss my grandmother, but I'll get over it sooner. And in every other way, I miss her more.
5. What countries did you visit?
If this question were about states or time zones, I could answer. (Minnesota! CST/CDT!)
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
No thanks, I'm good.
What, you insist? Fine. A 42" flatscreen TV, a custom-built DVR to match, and a primary computer that can make it through the year without dying.
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The first 9 days of August were all pretty good ones. I don't think anything can match August 1, the first minyan meeting, for sheer emotional release. I was really nervous beforehand, and really proud afterwards. We did good.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Depends on how you define achievement. The two answers are similar to those for #1 above. One was a big achievement personally, and the other was a bit smaller personally but has a bigger outward impact.
I'm noticing two running themes through these answers.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Same as last year: keeping the apartment clean. Also, let's add doing a worse job of separating my feelings about work and my work performance than I have in the past.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Several colds, but I still have a lot of FSA money left, so it can't be that bad.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
In the end I might think it's the new computer I got this week, but that can't be my answer when I'm still fighting with it and as frustrated as I am now. Let's call this incomplete for now.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
This is always a weird question. I celebrate all of you! Gotta say, though, that curlybopbop continues to amaze me with the way she handles hard situations and just radiates compassion wherever she goes.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There's a lot of hate going around these days. It's less focused than it was 8 years ago at this time, but it seems like there's more of it. I wish people could generalize less, and temper feer with an attempt at understanding.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, and a lot of the rest went temporarily back into the company. It was nice, because I've been paid back now, and I was living a bit more frugally then, so some money got saved!
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Er, visiting Minnesota? And receiving a visitor from Minnesota?
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
True Colors? It's really been a Gleeful few months.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier!
Older or wiser? Wiser!
Thinner or fatter? About the same!
Richer or poorer? Richer!
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Socialized when it's not Shabbat. Possibly even in my own apartment sometimes.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
You know, I don't think I'm doing anything to excess right now. That's pretty awesome.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
It was kind of crazy. Christmas eve in North Jersey with Dad, Stepmom, and the stepbrothers. Back home. Christmas day in Northeast Philly with the extended stepfamily, as usual. Hit up my mom's birthday party for a couple hours after lighting Shabbos candles, and then Shabbat dinner with jox and her mom.
21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
As I have many or even most years, with the same crowd of high school friends.
22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
23. How many one-night stands?
Heh. Still not my style.
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Glee, with NCIS second. I think it's time to watch more non-procedurals.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Only people who hate back. No one I know personally, I don't think.
26. What was the best book you read?
I feel like I spent more time thumbing through prayer books and the like than I did reading anything with a narrative. There were, however, a couple really good short stories in Malie Meloy's Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It. I'd have to check my bookshelf for anything more.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Heartless Bastards might become it. They're definitely the greatest of the past few months. I think this was also the year I realized how much I like Phil Ochs.
28. What did you want and get?
Interesting that it doesn't ask this in the other order. Given that, I'll just say the new minyan. And, if you bend the definition of "get" to include things you already had, there's lots of love and stability and security too.
29. What did you want and not get?
Nothing. Again. I think I'm good at keeping expectations low?
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Not sure I saw one.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 a bit over 11 months ago. A bunch of us played laser tag and then came back to the apartment and hung out for awhile. Best birthday in a few years. Maybe since the last laser tag one.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The ability to give newspaper and package delivery people a key to my building.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Khakis, cargo shorts if it's warm enough, t-shirts, and a fleece top or zipper hoodie if it's cold enough. Same as the past few years. After a lull in buying "designer" (i.e. Threadless, shirt.woot.com, and so on) t-shirts, I might be picking back up again.
34. What kept you sane?
The people in my life. I'm lucky to have enough of them that whenever I need to talk, the right person to talk to always exists.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Lea Michele! Oh, it's been too long since my last proper celeb crush.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Same-sex marriage and other related rights.
37. Who did you miss?
I still have a bunch of people in a bunch of cities, and I'm still not able to visit all of them as often as I like. Also, long distance relationships are...interesting. Also also, see "deaths" above.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
So there's this girl...
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Communication and compassion can solve many, many things. When in doubt, apply more.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Man, for as much as I like music, I'm still awful at lyrics. Hmm. You know, I'll just reuse "We Are The Champions" by Queen. 2008 was mainly marked by two huge accomplishments for the city and country that I've always called home. This year was more about two more close-to-home, personal accomplishments. They're less competitive by nature than team sports or elections, but they don't make me feel any less like a champion.
I know a bunch of you had a rough year, but for me, it turns out I was mostly right about 2009. I'm not going to root for an even better 2010 for myself, because I'm still all about the blessings of low expectations. But here's to a good year, for me and for all of you.