My Year in a Meme
Following Tim's lead, here's a year-end meme. Feel free:
1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? Started a blog. Still haven’t figure out what it’s for. Keep going back to that “Simpsons” scene in which a destitute Krusty holds up a sign: “Will drop pants for food.” Bart and Lisa ask how it’s going and he points to a crazy old man, pants around his ankles, and complains, “Not good. That guy’s giving it away for free!” I’m that crazy old man.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Might’ve done the usual “write an effin’ book” one, in which case: No. As for 2009, it’s a bit late.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes.
5. What foreign countries did you visit? Vancouver, B.C. It felt like home.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? A greater sense of national and international stability. Plus less rain. Plus improved French. Should I go on?
7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? November 4.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Enduring? I was kind of proud of the Slate and the Believer pieces. P and I also took care of a lot of kids without injuring any.
9. What was your biggest failure? They were numerous and more-or-less equal.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Healthy for 10 months, sick for six weeks. Plus the pulled back muscle. To quote J.T.: "You old."
11. What was the best thing you bought? Probably the HDTV. You could also say “an Obama victory” since I contributed, but...the contribution was small compared to how much I contributed to the HDTV.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Well, P put up with me, so that’s something. And Obama here and here. And Andy here. Too many to count, really.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Steve Schmidt? Sarah Palin? John McCain? All those who sacrificed long-term possibilities for short-term profits.
14. Where did most of your money go? Into the housing crisis.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Obama. “The Wire.” Paz Vega. Jean Gabin. That hike Jim and I took near Mt. Baker on an impossible clear and warm Sunday in September.
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2008? “Oh What a World” by Rufus Wainwright; “F**k Was I” by Jenny Owens Young; “Supernatural Superserious” by R.E.M.; “Breathless” by Dan Wilson; “Ramshackle Day Parade” by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros; “Henrietta’s Hair” by Justin Roberts.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder? More resigned. Also hopeful.
18. Compared to this time last year, are you thinner or fatter? Same.
19. Compared to this time last year, are you richer or poorer? About the same. If I were a stock, my shareholders would be pissed. Although I guess not this year.
20. What do you wish you'd done more of? Travel, write, study French. Should I continue?
21. What do you wish you'd done less of? Watched movies that, yes, everyone was right, weren’t that good. Surfed the net meaninglessly.
22. How will you be spending Christmas? Spent it. Nursed burgeoning bronchitis while two boys went slowly crazy with presents.
23. Did you fall in love in 2008? Every day. Or tried to.
24. How many one-night stands? No singles bars, either.
25. What was your favorite TV program? “The Wire.”
26. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Well, I’m still pissed that John McCain dragged Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber onto the national stage and they haven’t left yet.
27. What was the best book you read? “Dreams from my Father”? Really? I've got to read more.
28. What was your greatest musical discovery? I rely on the discoveries of friends.
29. What did you want and get? That HDTV.
30. What did you want and not get? Oh, honey. Where does one start? Some were good not to get, too.
31. What was your favorite film of this year? “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”
32. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 45. I’ve forgotten.
33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Coalescing my thoughts into something that felt substantial.
34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Is this waterproof?
35. What kept you sane? P. Obama. Andrew Sullivan. Craig. Jim. Jellybean. Music. Anyone doing the hard work to articulate the trouble and see the beauty.
36. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Paz and Penelope and Obama.
37. What political issue stirred you the most? No one issue. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The Republicans keep tossing up figures who aren’t that smart but whose minds are closed. Obama, meanwhile, is the smartest man in almost any room he walks into...and he still wants to hear what you have to say.
38. Who do you miss the most? Sharon and Scott. Plus Jordy and Ryan everyday. Plus about a dozen people around the world I could talk to right now.
39. Who was the best new person(s) you met? I’m sure I’m forgetting someone.
40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. I keep learning the same things on hopefully deeper levels.
41. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Twofold.
“Too far out
Too far out
This is what they said would happen
We were warned
We were warned
We were too far out”
— The Tropicals
Honey, it’s alright
Long as I know that you love me, baby,
— Sam Cooke