Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 In My Rearview Mirror

I still like these even if Joe thinks they are passé.  However, my life is a bit more boring than Joe's.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Probably coming to terms with the fact that I'm more Buddhist than I am anything else in terms of religions.  I've never been hellbent (pardon the expression) on religions and I seriously explored Judaism this year, but Buddhist is what I've always been, even when I didn't know it, or thought I had no religious slant.  But I'm not in your face about it.  It just is.

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

I've kind of given up for the most part.  It's too hard for me to adhere to one single day to make a resolution.  I need to ease into it.  I did get a picture hung today which has sort of been a resolution off and on for 20+ years. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I know of.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Lost a Facebook friend in April.  And I'm kind of glad we had never met because it's so much easier to deal with when you remove that personal dimension.

5. What places did you visit?

Like travel?  I didn't leave town unless you count Round Rock for an IKEA trip.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

I would like to have a job for the entire year.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

(a) Election Day because I never get what I want and this time I got a bonanza on so many different levels.

(b) The day after Election Day, while I was enjoying my blissful state, I got a job offer which I accepted.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?

Probably getting about 25 books read while I was unemployed.  I got reconnected with Buddhism and Eastern philosophy which helped eradicate a lost of depression I routinely experience.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I didn't stop smoking.  I gave it the best run for the money ever, and for a few days I was down to 3 cigs a day.  Then 3-5.  This is the hardest thing to kick. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

None at all.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Really happy I decided to get a Nikon D7000 camera.  That was a great gift to myself.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I have to quote Joe verbatim on this one:  Chief Justice John Roberts. I may never agree with another decision he makes in my entire life, but by casting the swing vote to uphold Obamacare he quite literally changed tens of millions of American lives for the better. Good on him.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The leader of the NRA whose name I shall not speak.  And pretty much anyone and everyone on the far right during the election year. 

14. Where did most of your money go?


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

I was really excited about reading books!  And when my stereo amplifier when on the fritz I had to hook up my mid-80s tube amp in the interim and was blown the hell away by how great vinyl records sounded.  And Elizabeth Warren beating Scott Brown.  And the marijuana vote in Colorado and Washington.  Buying a box set of every Blur LP.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

This is always a tough one because music is pretty timeless for me.  And just because a song reminds me of 2012 doesn't necessarily mean I like the song.  But Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" caught my attention during the start of the year when I was being laid off AND feeling like shit.  So definitely that one.

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

a) Happier or sadder?
Happier.  Definitely.
b) thinner or fatter?
About the same.  Thin with a beer gut that needs to go away.
c) richer or poorer?

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

For some reason I can only think of things I wish I'd done less of.  Sorry!

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

Oh fuck.  I didn't see this coming.  Just go back to #9.

20. How did you spend Christmas this year?

Lunch with my neighbors and their family.  It was lovely.  Then an evening at home.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

With more music.

22. How was work?

Considering I didn't work between 13th January and 8th November it was great!  But it's been even better now that I've started back again.  I'm getting my mojo back again.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Just whatever.  Home improvement shows and cooking shows.  (I am going to miss No Reservations.)

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2012?

Nothing much.  Read a book.  Probably went out for lunch.

25. What was the best book you read?

Mercy.  I can't begin to tell you.  I enjoyed the hell out of Alan Watts.  And a D.T. Suzuki book called "Zen and Japanese Culture."

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Blur and Gorillaz.  I totally fell in love with Gorillaz and then Damon Albarn and then started working my way back thru the Blur discography.  Got their box set on vinyl and have had a blast with it.  It takes me so many different directions and levels.  So many great influences that sometimes come through the music in abundance.  I've had whiplash on a number of occasions.

27. What did you want and get?

Lots of things.  If I want something I usually find a way to get it.  I guess the biggie was the camera.

28. What did you want and not get?

Toyed with the idea of a turntable upgrade and a newer model tube amp but that can wait.  There ain't nothing wrong with what I've got.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

Didn't see one that was released this year.  Not one.

30. Did you make some new friends this year?

Surprisingly enough, yes.  Mika and Jen who are living next door to us, renting rooms from our neighbors.  We had lunch with them today!

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

Being 27 again.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Cargo shorts with hiking boots.

33. What kept you sane?

Walking when it was warm.  Playing music when it wasn't,  and sometimes playing music when it was.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I can't really disagree with Joe on this one either, so I quote: Guns. I could say the election or the bullshit around the fiscal cliff, but no, guns. With each gun massacre it seems the fuckhead gun apologists double down. People come out of the woodwork to explain how guns aren't the problem, that gun control can't work, that guns have nothing to do with gun massacres. FUCK guns.

Yeah, that's about it.  I was so depressed about Sandy Hook I damn nearly deleted by Facebook page, and I felt the need to unfriend a couple of people just so I wouldn't see their incessant pro-gun posts.

35. What political issue stirred you the least?

Again Joe nailed this one:  Benghazi. I wish a permanent case of herpes on each and every Republican liar who tried to turn this unfortunate event into a political scandal. They should be utterly ashamed of themselves. Disgusting people.

36. Best sports moment?

Seeing the Razorbacks fire their good coach because of some infidelity and then go on to have a horrendous losing season, getting beaten by some embarrassing teams.  There was a lesson to be learned here.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

I don't think I met any new people besides Mika and Jen.  See #30.  I don't get out much.

38. Burn any bridges?

I try not to.  Some bridges do need to be burned though.

39. Best new restaurant you went to?

Cafe Malta for Sheldon's birthday.  We just don't go to places like this often.  It wasn't fancy.  In fact it was rustic in a European way, and tucked inside a strip mall in south Austin.  But I was so taken with the place that I ordered an appetizer AND a dessert, AND coffee.  And it was divine.

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Easy.  Don't allow work to rule your life.  It's OK to do a good job and not allow it to consume you or extend into your personal life.  There's no reason to feel guilt for that.