Friday, December 31, 2010

The Questions (Courtesy of Sundry)

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Attended Blogher10, lived with a small dog, joined an internet dating site, developed a sex and health blog.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I made my Year of Yes list and I did a lot of things on it and I left a bunch undone. Oddly I'm doing this before I update that list so I can't even guess at percentages. I feel....ok about what I got done. I always wish I'd done more and I'm struggling with how to make myself love next year's list and my Life List a little more. I want them to be objects of desire not fear.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nanny, Queen Bee's mom, died this spring. It's a whole different world without her in it. Why wouldn't it be? Emily's oldest dog-friend, Teddy, went just in August.

5. What countries did you visit?
Ohio? Kidding. I mean I did visit Ohio but, despite grand plans I didn't make it out of the US. Doing so is a high priority goal for next year.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A desire-fueled sense of purpose and accomplishment.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 5-7 for my first Blogher. Oddly May 4th. I went out to see Sondheim on Sondheim with C-ann. It wasn't an earth shattering thing to do but it had been far too long and we talked of deep things. August 18th when the little dog landed on my doorstep and changed everything.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not just attending Blogher but wanting to go and wanting to get the most out of it so letting that spur me to meet neighbors and new friends. While proofreading this list I remembered that I took a really fantastic Shakespeare class with my friend, April, and it put a whole lot of confidence back in my bag of tricks.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not making the call. Mostly this is about not making the call to get a venue for the speed dating play but it applies to so many things. I am always reluctant to make the call and I wasn't any better about it this year than I have been in the past.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I think I've got an ear infection right now but I'm waiting to get it looked at until after the 1st because my new health insurance has a $1250 deductible and I don't want to waste the cost of the office visit in this year when the deductible rolls over day after tomorrow. My ankle has been messed up on and off for months. I think I need bifocals but that's a major financial commitment. I had my first 2 cavities of my life filled this summer. Had another piece of my face shaved off and biopsied but it was benign.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Wow, I think it has to be a three way tie between my trip to see Spoon & Charlie get hitched, my Blogher10 conference pass and the training class for Eddie and me.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Politically I think Obama still gets this category. Did he do everything everyone wanted him to do? No, but he did a lot and he's stayed calm and firm and presidential throughout. I was looking through some photos from the White House today and was struck by how both he and Mrs. Obama always seem to genuinely like all the kinds of people they meet. They listen and reach out for heads of state and little babies equally in a way that feels natural. Personally I've been incredibly inspired by Misti Ridiculous. She really took her life by the short hairs and made it go the direction she really wanted to go this year. I'm so glad that we got to spend a weekend celebrating her this fall. Artistically I've been keeping abreast of Kevin Smith's shenanigans this year, thanks to Twitter, and he's like a life coach wrapped up in an activist wrapped in a film maker. Maybe that's why he doesn't fit in Southwest Airline's seats.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Every time I think John McCain can't disappoint me any more he goes out and leaps to a new depth. His bull over DADT has forced me to turn away from media reporting more than once. My new dog's behavior has both appalled and depressed me time and again but on a different scale. We're still getting to know each other so the annoyances diminish every day. Also, seriously America, there are those of you out there who think that the script for Avatar was worth a plugged nickel (or more)?!?!Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Health insurance, mortgage, maintenance and, since August, this dog. Wow, the start up costs on a dog are extensive and at least with a restaurant you've got the chance to make it back in 5 years.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My new furniture, the fancy camera lens I borrowed, a lot of TV shows, Blogher, my Shakespeare class.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
This is just never a question I can answer. It's made especially difficult this year because I've almost entirely given up listening to music since Eddie came to live here. Maybe My Left Arm by Mark Allen Berube because I've gone to see him play a lot this year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? fatter, ooph
c) richer or poorer? richer after having changed health insurance and gotten a bonus and raise

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Acting, Writing, Singing, Cooking, Traveling, Kissing (which I initially mistyped as Kizzing)

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Being frightened, being in the office, waiting, worrying

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas in New England as usual. Got up at 6:15 and had over an hour to drink cocoa and chat with Queen Bee before we got started. Later I went to have a very Jewish Christmas breakfast with MamaKizz, Aunt Rena and SoDivine. We had latkes and blintzes and cocoa and bacon. Delicious! Moved on to Pond House and a party with plenty of people and 5 dogs and just the right amount of crazy in a beautiful setting. Swung by the Chili homestead then back to mom's. There I was asked to peruse the weather report. After doing that I decided I had to either stay for an unknown period of time (and pay the attendant car rental fees) or head back to Brooklyn right away. So after a fairly relaxed Christmas Day I wound up hurriedly packing my shit into the car and driving with sandy eyes propped open until I arrived home. Sigh. Kind of ruined the nice holiday buzz (high on life, nothing else, promise) I had going but it worked out for the best. Even today, nearly a week after the storm, I wouldn't have felt comfortable driving that boxy little car in the snow.

21. Did you fall in love in 2004?

22. How many one-night stands?
0. Again. (Curse you biology!) Is it uncool to put that on one's New Year's Resolution list?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
What wasn't? I continued to love Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy and the usual suspects. Also got hooked on Justified, Modern Family, and, posthumously, Lost.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Oh lord, do I? I have no idea. Probably not. I think I'm doing better about dissolving the hate. I am still wildly distrustful of a whole host of people and I'm afraid that list might have gotten a little longer this year.

25. What was the best book you read?
Again I have a really hard time picking one. I loved the Hunger Games trilogy. There's a short story by Neil Gaiman in The Secret History of Fantasy the fed me deeply. I finally read Brokeback Mountain and loved it even a little more than I expected. Bonk was pretty inspiring, too.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Did I discover any music this year? I think I failed to look.

27. What did you want and get?
Tangibly I got an iPad. Emotionally I finally said out  loud that I wanted a no stuff Christmas and to give donations instead and the response people had to that was inexpressably wonderful. Everyone was supportive of the idea and most people were really excited about it. It was the kind of response that makes you wish you'd spoken up sooner and I had a whole bunch of fun picking out the organizations to donate to and the photos to use on the cards I made to announce the donations.
28. What did you want and not get?
Spontaneous career success which is a fine thing to want but a stupid thing to expect.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Wow, I really need to start recording what I see. It's tough, I see a lot of stuff. I loved Winter's Bone and I really hope it gets noticed during awards season and not just for one actress. She was brilliant but she wasn't the only one and the whole film deserved praise. A Single Man was also supremely affecting.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 41. I can't remember, but this is what blogs are for. I'll go look. I had dinner with Kath & Alex at the Italian place around the corner and the day after was a brunch day so we went bowling at Chelsea Piers and ate German Chocolate cake with both coconut and chocolate buttercream frosting. It was a delicious birthday.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having boldly taken a trip out of the country.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
Shrinking. I've known for months I'm gaining back weight but haven't committed to changing habits so I've been slowly narrowed in what I can wear by what I'm carrying.

33. What kept you sane?
Writing, as always. Not having a dog for so much of the year meant I had some more time for it, even if it was just brain dumps to get the thoughts out of the jail in my head.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
All the usual ones - Josh Jackson, James Marsters, Lee Tergesen, Idris Elba - and a few new ones. Dax Shepherd made a real impression this year.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Repeal of DADT is still fresh in my mind. A lot of budgeting issues have been at the forefront locally and I think they've stirred me the most because the city and state seem to be in real trouble with no help or end in sight and the people being asked (nay required) to pay for the mistakes of the group are the people least able to do so.
36. Who did you miss?
I miss my Emily. I miss Nanny & Joe. I miss a lot of folks.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Man, I met so many new people this year. I think I'm going to go with Rev. Coop, though. We met at a wedding in OH and found we had a friend in common from Portland, OR. Rarely has someone made me feel so comfortable in so short a time and just being in his orbit keeps you entertained, interested and just a tiny bit terrified, but in a thrilling way.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Realizing that it may be that I don't leap often because when I do I tend to go right in the deep end. This month two or three people have said, "So you just took him sight unseen!" about the dog and, in my mind, I didn't but they're right, I totally did. There was no question in my mind that, barring some catastrophic difference of opinion, I'd keep the dog that was dropped off at my doorstep that night. Why would I make such a big choice on such short information? I don't know but I think I do it a lot. I knew I needed to go to NYU and I knew basically nothing about it, certainly nothing at all about the day to day workings and I'm still here in NYC nearly 25 years later. Well, christ, if that's how I do my leaping no wonder I hardly ever do it. I might need to learn how to revise more than I need to learn to leap.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
This just came to me out of the blue while I thought about this question so I read the lyrics to the whole song and I think I'll stick to it. Here's the most pertinent chunk of Bjork's It's Oh So Quiet but the whole thing  works pretty well for my year:

it's nice and quiet
but soon again
starts another big riot

you blow a fuse
zing boom
the devil cuts loose
zing boom
so what's the use
wow bam
of falling in love


  1. you motived me to do this list :-) Have you really been doing this since 2004?

  2. Whoopsie, I knew I'd miss at least one. I'm not sure exactly when I started this but it was after 2004. I cut and paste the questions from the time at Linda at Sundry Morning did them in 2004 because since then she's modified the questionnaire and I like to have the original one. I was halfway through before I realized I needed to be paying attention to changing dates in the questions. I almost got them all. Almost.