Yearly Post

Jan. 1st, 2014 09:35 am
winterseaspray: (surprise)
[personal profile] winterseaspray
It is, in fact, the end of another year.

Funny, 2013 seems to have both been remarkably fast, and also quite slow. I've got complicated feelings about it, and I think part of it is doing a job for a year and the mind numbing effects it can have to go somewhere you don't feel really passionate about and how time slips away from you as you become an adult...

Anyways, but back to the questionnaire. It's my sixth year of doing this, and I find it really interesting to go through it again and again and see how I've changed.


1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
I bought a fucking car, with minimal involvement from my parents, and its brand new, and I love him. Oh but we'll discuss Demi later. What else did I do?

I took an adult class -- which is to say a writer's workshop, which was an interesting experience and definitely worth it for me, even if I did end up losing quite a bit of sleep.

I moved in with strangers -- oh wait, that's not new. But I moved into a group dynamic that was similar to Alex, Kat and I, and seem to have sort of fit myself in. I mean, I know right now that we're not 100% friends, but we're getting there, and its definitely me not them that finds this to be true.

What else? I flew with two cats across the country -- that was an experience. I moved in with my parents and didn't want to kill them. I improved my relationship with my parents. No, not to the level that my mother wants, but I feel much better about talking to her these days. And there's a shift in the power dynamic that is coming along.

I did not complete NaNoWriMo for the first time in nine years. There's plenty more, I'm sure, but those are the ones I could think of.

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Per usual, I did not make a resolution. I thought about it, but didn't. But its been a productive year all the same. I've been going to the gym (sort of), and I've been writing tons, and lately I've been working on projects of my own. I have attempted (sort of) to do things that will help me make friends. I think resolutions aren't great for me, I need to make focused efforts on lifestyle changes with tangible goals. Like, go to the gym once a week, and then move up from it. (Okay, but I haven't done the gym thing well, as you might surmise from the cagey reply. I try and go after work, but I get so tired and unhappy at work sometimes, I just can't make myself, and the last week I've been coldy -- not something for a pool). My resolution for the coming year is to go to the gym at least once a week, and more if I can make it happen. I know its kind of pathetic, but its better than nothing, and its an achievable goal based on my current performance.

Oh you know what I did do -- I committed to reading a book a week... starting at the end of March. While I have not managed to keep up with it (I blame Game of Thrones which took freaking FOREVER to get through), I have been managing to read a ton more as a result, and learned a lot and have so many interesting ideas come up. I think I want to keep going with it. So another 52 in 52 please?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, I don't think so anyways.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Gus and Daisy. My cats.

I both want to talk about it and don't. I'm still really upset about what happened with them and how very, very, very terrible it was and how it showed me something I don't like about my dad (who I usually side with), and... well basically I cried for three days straight and couldn't stop.

I think that's all I want to say on the subject.

5. What countries did you visit?
England, to see the fam. It literally took all my vacation days. But, I did meet my cousins, Daisy and Oliver, for the first time. Yes, my uncle from New Zealand had come over with his kids. Seeing my dad with his family was odd, because I've never seen them together as adults, and it changed my perspective on my dad. Poor dad, his life is not what I think he wants it to be, and I want to help change that, but don't know how. All I can do is keep talking to him.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Adventure! I'm planning on it anyways. I'm driving across the country with... well Paula maybe, or Dany if Paula can't make it work, or Josh if he ever gets back to me. Basically, I have a lot of exciting possible people to do it with, and I've got plenty of sites and places I want to see. I didn't get a lot of new this year. I'm really looking forward to it.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I'm not sure. This is the thing about being "an adult" with an "adult" job is that the days kind of blur together and the year starts to all be the same. It's just strange. I don't have dates from 2013.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I bought a car. A brand new car. At the price I wanted. I saved money for car payments next year (turns out its mad easy to save money when you don't even notice its vanished cause you set up direct deposit, I'm still attempting this with my spending money for the next year... banks are ridiculous about wanting information from you.)

Edit Funny story about this. The last day of 2013, I went to a bank to set up an account and me and the teller who was helping me had a lot of fun with setting up my account. I learned all about her family (from Northhampton, just got engaged), and was told "I've never laughed so much setting up an account". It was really nice, this interaction with Jessica. I kind of wanted to say at the end (cause at some point she was like "we should be besties") "If you ever want to hang out... you have ALL my information. Literally." But it felt too weird, sadly. Still, I left the bank feeling pretty good. I am capable of making a good impression.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing NaNo. I had such high hopes, but as it turns out, I may need to be more of a planner now. I guess I've left behind that stage of my writing where I could just run with it and get to an end. My first NaNo was my easiest NaNo, I miss those days. On the plus side, I think I really like the world I created and want to return to it, eventually.

10. Did you suffer any illness or injury?
I got sick a couple of times, and I had a pilonidal cyst burst -- probably one of the grossest things to happen to people and it knocked me out for a couple of days cause it makes it impossible to sit down, so you have to be lying down. It was not great.

11. What was the best thing someone bought you?
Uh... I got these awesome gloves from my mother that let you use your phone without taking them off. Of course, I suggested them as a Christmas present... so I'm not sure that counts?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I dunno... Kat's? She moved to LA and made the giant leap into the unknown, that's pretty darn awesome. PLUS SHE GRADUATED!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My brother. Apart from the whole not graduating from college thing (see below), is a misogynistic, homophobic asshole who can't even begin to see how privileged his shit is. Sorry, I got into an argument with him tonight (Dec 26) over the Robin Thicke song, where he basically said that Robin Thicke did it for publicity. And I yelled at him that as a white male he wasn't allowed to say anything on the subject... being far less eloquent than I wish I could be. It was during this argument that I got to the bottom of why he, and people like him, disturb me so much. Its not that they are pretentious -- they are (oh my god, the constant critiquing of design, you know what, ITS A FUCKING FORK WHO THE FUCK CARES? DO I GO AROUND FUCKING WITH OUR PARENT'S FRIENDS PERCEPTIONS OF STORIES BY ARGUING ABOUT THE STRUCTURE UNASKED? FUCK YOU) -- but its that they don't understand the system they are a part of, and when confronted with it, do nothing to explore and discover more of why things happen that way.

And its really depressing because he doesn't understand the purpose of school, or why taking a science course might be useful, and at his school he's never going to get the education on why the scientific method is so important. Why it's important to question what you do.

Ugh, and as for the school thing -- he didn't graduate this year because he failed a bunch of classes that I'm pretty sure he never even tried in, and has to take a fifth year when he knows just how broke my parents are. I just... don't understand. He's not a truly terrible person, but he is. I don't even know.

14. Where did most of your money go?
My car. Yup, this always seems to be car -- but dude, I own a 2013 Chevy Spark. His name is Demi and he is bright red, and I love him. He is small and spritely, and just perfect with great gas mileage. And he's brand new. And payments are about what I'm making in student loans, so I'm pretty chuffed.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Um, I got really excited by Catching Fire, partly due to Kat's influence. Going back to England was pretty exciting. I'm still pretty excited about the moving to LA plan. Reading and writing projects. I've got a lot that I'm cheerful about.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
I think I'm happier. I know last year I was probably pretty depressed around right now, but I feel all right. There's light at the end of the tunnel!
b) fatter or skinner? fatter. I'm working on this, but its really hard to be on any sort of schedule for food when you work over night. My body is all fucked up. Its one of the reasons I'm excited for LA, I'll be able to watch my food/weight and hopefully get into good exercise habits. Yes, I could start now, and I am intending to work on it before leaving, but I know that the overnight shift is wreaking havoc on me because when I switch back to a day time schedule, I eat a lot less because I don't use food as a way to keep myself up.
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Swimming! No, seriously, I love swimming. Sometimes when I get into the pool I know its going to be bad because I feel slow and gross and just want to go to bed, and those are the days when I do 15 laps and get out. Other days I feel so wonderful... its like flying underwater... or some other poetic garbage. I wish it took less effort to make me work out, but I'm happier when I've swum.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sleep. The problem is, if I'm sleeping, I'm not bored/eating/thinking about how I could better use my time/procrastinating on doing things. So it makes me feel better. Again, I think switching back to daytime would positively influence this.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I went to my parents. We made fajitas, and opened presents. I gave my dad a radio control helicopter which he loves so I'm pretty pleased with myself. My dad needs more hobbies, and this is one I think encouraging is positive. Then we played cards against humanity -- which was hilarious and awkward.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
No.

22. How many one night stands?
See last year.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Hahahahaha, last year I said I should try out Parks and Rec and it may be my favorite comedy of the year. I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine (apparently, I was surprised at my reaction to it), but Parks and Rec totally took me over. I love White Collar (thank you Kat), and also Chuck, (thank you again, Kat), and Suits was fabulous. I watched Orphan Black -- an excellent show. I have a lot of feelings about HIMYM and its final season. Most of them are positive, or at least, positive on the writing.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

25. What was the best book you read?
I'm going to go with the Spiritwalker Trilogy. It was truly excellent and full of wonderful world building and interesting concepts and I really enjoyed the way it ended. I started following Kate Elliot as a result and she's great. I also really enjoyed The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean. It's about the elements and I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable science writing.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery of the year?
Imagine Dragons. Lots of love for them.

27. What did you want and get?
A new car *dance*.

28. What did you want and not get?
To move to LA. The original plan was to go with Kat and Alex, and then I got sick and had to use up some more of my vacation days, and then I went on vacation to England and realized I wanted to not be working so I could actually work on creative things. And that was how the six month plan came up. I'm saving up money so I don't have to work for six months and will focus on writing. So, saving money, hopefully will be able to save up enough that I can make it last for six months. If not, than I'll just have to get a job.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Um... I saw quite a few... I'm going to say Frozen. I really liked Catching Fire, but I liked Frozen better with its chipperness and a story where TRUE LOVE wasn't about being between a boy and a girl.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Oh well, this is a good story. The day before my birthday, I got out of work at 7am, as usual, and drove to Vermont to pick up Jupiter and Donovan. I got them in their carriers, returned to Boston, showered and then got picked up by my parents to go to the airport. I had not slept in 30 hours by the time I got on the plane. But, because of the cats and some weird requirement of the airline, I ended up getting a row of three seats to myself. I had bought two seats, so this seemed like a great deal. I fell asleep for most of the flight, and when I woke up I was in LA and it was almost my birthday.

We settled the kittens in, Donovan peed on the floor (what a surprise), and then there was a lot of crying from them about where the hell were they. But eventually they calmed down and Jupiter started scratching the table legs (quelle surprise).

I ended up sleeping on the floor with the kits, who I missed terribly. Woke up around 9, then Alex and Kat drove me to get a zipvan. We got out of the car, and Alex was leading -- only she drove off without waiting for me, like a churl. I found IKEA eventually despite this. We did out shopping, which was full of ridiculously heavy furniture because for some reason, Malm is really heavy, and I don't know why.

Anyways, then we got back to the apartment and LUCKILY Boris, our downstairs mover, was moving in, so some movers helped us out with getting stuff upstairs. Somehow I was the "strong" on in the group, and I think Kat was the "flexible" one. Alex was just the one who lost Jupiter behind the fridge.

Then Alex went out and me and Kat got food and drank hard lemonade, and put my bed together (wrong at least once, cause I always fuck up IKEA furniture) and I passed out. That was my birthday.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don't know... having enough money to leave for LA right away?

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Jeans and t-shirts. I don't know why I keep answering this question, I don't like clothes.

33. What kept you sane?
Writing, writing and more writing.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Erm... Chris Hemsworth? Stana Katic, god you are gorgeous.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Not much really. Trayvon Martin I guess. I got into a couple of really heated arguments with my family about his shooting. Feminism. Watching Wendy Davis be awesome.

36. Who did you miss?
Kat? SHE LEFT ME.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My roommates. Jenny, Dave and Andrew. I don't see a lot of them cause of my job. Sometimes I feel like we really are in New Girl cause Andrew is the grumpy old man, Jenny is Jess with her lively and bright attitude, and Dave is Schmidt, slightly douchey, but well meaning. In this situation I am Winston -- with the weird night job and the cat brothel in my bedroom.

38. What was the best thing you ate?
I dunno... Thanksgiving was pretty good with me cooking all the vegetables. I really liked the cauliflower recipe...

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013?
I dunno... the world is kind of fucked up, but there are some people out there trying to make it better and I want to be one of those people?

No, I've got a better one:

I'm a snob. I'm terrible about meeting people and judging them on stereotypes. My roommates, for example, are not the kind of people I usually would hang out with. But living with them, I've found out a lot of things about them that I like, and how I'm kind of a know-it-all nerd, assuming that they don't know things. I'm working on back pedalling on this behavior (it gets bad when we watch Harry Potter, but it applies everywhere). I'm trying to stop assuming that people don't know what I know.

I don't know everything, clearly, and I am not special for knowing a factoid hundreds of other people know. Knowing it just means there are friends out there to be made!



Reading List of 2013
1. Screenplay by Sy Field
2. The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
3. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
4. If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother by Julia Sweeny
5. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
6. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
7. Seriously, I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
8. Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller
9. Game of Thrones by G.R.R. Martin
10. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter
11. What Einstein Told His Cook by Robert L. Wolke
12. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
13. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
14. Cold Magic by Kate Elliot
15. Cold Fire by Kate Elliot
16. Cold Steel by Kate Elliot
17. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
18. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
19. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
20. The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay
21. Timeriders by Alex Scarrow
22. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
23. Hyperbole and a Half by Ali Brosh
24. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
25. Rabid by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
26. The History of the World In Six Glasses by Tom Standage
27. The Alchemy of Air by Thomas Hager
28. Libromancer by Jim C. Hines
29. Writing the Pilot by William Rabkin
30. TV Writer's Workbook by Ellen Sandler
31. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
32. The Little Book of Sitcom by John Vorhaus
33. The Eight Characters of Comedy by Scott Sedita



Resolutions (or goals for life improvement to begin this year)
1. Read 52 books. A book a week might be hard, but then sometimes I can read three books in a week and not break a sweat. Plus I like being able to look at the list at the end of the year.
2. Write in a journal daily. I used to be pretty good about this, but I think its time to get back to it. It helps that the beginning of my year I get off from work. I have time for this shit.
3. Go to the gym, eat better, try and look after my body. No, not "lose weight" which is probably something I should do, but is a much less encouraging thing to aspire to, and really doesn't work. Its about making lifestyle choices. As is everything else I'm trying this year.
4. Go to events and classes and things where I can meet people. Work on networking. Stop being a snob about people you meet.
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