This is the traditional New Year’s Meme. Started doing it, hell, five years ago? I don’t know. But I like it, and I feel like doing it again. Stupid blog has to be good for something, right? So here we go!
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Purchased and used a chainsaw. Yeah. I’ll skin your ass raw.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make resolutions last year. In fact, I explicitly settled for “vague good intentions” instead. I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t gained any either. That’s kind of an accomplishment. For this year? I have one goal: To run a 10K. And you can bet your ass I will. Take it to the bank.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
“Hey Hon, did any of my cousins have a baby last year?” “Yeah… I think Shea is new…”
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My beloved bird. I can’t even type this without my eyes welling up. I miss you, Stonie girl. I miss you every hour of every day.
5. What places did you visit?
China. No, really: CHINA. By far the most foreign place we’ve ever been to. Dalian, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. It was amazing. Seriously, we stood atop the Great Wall. We walked Tiananmen Square. We saw the Bund. We took a ferry across Hong Kong harbor. It’s still kinda surreal. (Thanks, Hank and Helen!)
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Peace of mind. I was a wreck in 2011. I need to get my anxiety under control in a big way.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 29th. Snoctober. The Storm of the Millenium. If you weren’t here, you just don’t know. Driving through the storm back to our house and seeing shit ON FIRE in the middle of the street. Gathering up the birds, shoving them in the Prius, and getting the fuck out of Dodge. Driving up Route 10 in the pitch black, dodging downed trees by driving onto lawns. Almost passing out from panic. Huddled in the Bradley Airport garage trying to figure out where the hell to go because nobody – none of the area hotels – had power. Driving down 91 and 9 in a driving blizzard to reach safety with my mom and her friends in Stonington. That was one of the craziest and scariest experiences of my life.
8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Learning Force.com and transitioning to the Cloud. Bold career move. Might just push my sell-by date back a few years.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn’t build the goddamned bookcase. I was supposed to build a bookcase. I suck.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I stepped on a cultivator and punctured the sole of my foot. That hurt like a motherfucker.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Pizza screens. Huge win. Making pizza at home shouldn’t give a person a coronary, and trying to get my pizzas to slide off the peel onto a pizza stone drove me to my wit’s end. Also, my chainsaw. I love you, chainsaw. Oh, also, my new glasses from Zenni Optical, who I can’t recommend highly enough. (Thanks, Gina and Bob!)
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The hundreds of line and tree crews who came to Connecticut to help repair our battered ass. I know they weren’t doing it purely out of the kindness of their hearts, but damn, those dudes were working 20-hour days to clear streets and restore our power. To the guys from Michigan who finally took the hanger off our power line and made it possible to get into our driveway, MAD props.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The piece of shit who lives down the road from us on the corner of Latimer and Simsbury Manor. Every weekend now since last spring he puts up half a dozen anti-Obama lawn signs. Disgusting shit. Obama = Hitler. If you voted for Obama you should hang your head in shame. Confuse a liberal: use facts and logic. I have to drive past this shit ten times a week. Look, put aside the fact that the asshole is dead wrong – confuse a liberal: use facts and logic? Methinks thou dost project too much – the thing is this: I hated George W. Bush more than anyone has hated anyone ever. But I didn’t pollute my neighborhood with my hate. I didn’t shove it in strangers’ faces day after day. It’s a scummy thing to do. Oh, and the son of a bitch has one that says “01-20-2013: End of an Error” too. I can not wait for Obama to be re-elected. I’m going to park in front of his house, point my finger, and laugh and laugh and laugh. Fucking scumbag.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Interest on our two mortgages. This answer won’t change for quite some time, I think.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to CHINA! Duh. Also, the UConn Huskies’ completely unexpected destruction of the Big East Tournament and the Big Dance. I’ve watched a lot of great UConn players and teams, but nothing beats what Kemba and company accomplished last March (and April). That was insane. Donyell, Ray, Ricky, Rip, Ben, Emeka… Welcome Kemba into the Huskie Hall of Fame.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
“Dive Into the Un” by Mike Doughty. Mystical. Self-reminding. Transcendent.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
About the same.
c) richer or poorer?
Richer. Finally wiped out our revolving credit card debt last spring.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Building. Creating. I mean, I did a couple of home brews, so there’s that. But I need to put more time into my hobbies. Not the drinking hobby. I do quite enough of that. The other ones.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying. It’s never worth it. Things almost never turn out as bad as you think they’re going to, and even if they do, what’s the point of pre-experiencing the bad shit?
20. How did you spend Christmas this year?
Dinner at our house. Tracy’s mother, father, father’s girlfriend, sister, sister’s friend, brother, and nephew. And, of course, my DEAF MOM. It was pretty chill.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
More times than I can count. Years later, my wife retains the ability to gobsmack me with how freakishly lucky I am.
22. How was work?
Interesting! I made a big move, transitioning over to the Salesforce.com development team. Learned a new platform and a new programming language. Love the technology. Not quite so thrilled with the monthly releases and the pace of activity and the constant pressure, but I’m getting used to it.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Justified. I have a large man crush on Timothy Olyphant.
24. What did you do for your birthday in 2011?
Went to the Cask Republic in New Haven. We were staying with Fridge down in Clinton, displaced by the storm, and so we took advantage and headed over there. Phenomenal beer selection and great atmosphere. Man, did I need that.
25. What was the best book you read?
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I wrestled with this bitch from May through December, taking a break in July to read A Dance With Dragons. It was incredible. It was a double-black-diamond literary obstacle course. Sometimes it felt like an unbearable slog and sometimes it was stupidly exhilarating. And, dealing extensively as it does with addiction, obsession, and like human foibles, it gave me a shit-ton to think about. Oh, and funny. No book has ever made me laugh until I was doubled over and red in the face in a public place.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
2011 was the Year of Mike Doughty. I was obsessed with him. Seriously, I would say, at a guess, that 80% of the time I spent listening to music this year was consumed by Mike Doughty. If you think I’m exaggerating, ask Tracy. His songs resonate with me in a way that is profound and utterly addictive. Which is – what? funny? ironic? – considering Doughty’s history with addiction issues. No artist has ever hit me in quite… this… way. He has joined Ben Folds as co-Poet Laureate of my soul. (Huge props to Angelos for the referral, btw.)
27. What did you want and get?
A new smartphone. And damn, has it been a mixed blessing. The Droid Bionic is, on the surface, a goregous phone. Dual core processor makes it fast as hell. Great, big, beautiful screen. But the thing has issues. Data connectivity drops constantly, necessitating a toggle to airplane mode and back, or a reboot, or sometimes a battery pull. Verizon and Motorola pushed a system update last month to fix the problem and it did exactly jack squat. Kinda wishing I’d held off for one more month and gotten the Droid Razr instaed.
28. What did you want and not get?
A winning Powerball ticket. Those douchenozzle investment bankers who already have more money than anyone needs can win Powerball, but not me, the guy who was custom-designed by the Flying Spaghetti Monster for a life of not working.
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Uh… Bridesmaids, I guess? Wow, really, take a look at 2011 in film and tell me you can remember a bigger pile of rubbish for movies. They should just cancel the Oscars this year.
30. Did you make some new friends this year?
Yep. Gina, Christienne and Amy, who we met through Debbie. Good people.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I wish the Democrats had called the Republicans’ bluff on the debt ceiling. Those fucking shitstains need to be taught a lesson. I don’t care how much economic chaos it would have caused. Anything that breaks the back of the Republican party is good for America.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
“Hon, how would you describe my personal fashion concept in 2011?” “Evolving.” It’s true. I’m growing up a bit. I like… sweaters. And Earth tones. And my new glasses are tres cool.
33. What kept you sane?
My wife. She is the tether that keeps me from flying off into outer space.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Republican party’s new version of nullification: Preventing a duly-passed piece of legislation (in this case the CPFB) from being executed on by refusing to confirm any nominee whatsoever to head the new agency. It’s sheer lawlessness. Every last one of these dirty fucks should be thrown in jail.
35. What political issue stirred you the least?
The War on Christmas. Moronic, but it won’t die. Happy Holidays!
36. Best sports moment?
The Jets beating the Patriots in Foxboro in the NFL playoffs. (sigh)
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Fridge’s new +1, Julie. Hope I’m not jinxing anything, but we think she’s a keeper.
38. Burn any bridges?
Not that I’m aware of?
39. Best new restaurant you went to?
Mushroom Hot Pot in Dalian. So, so, so awesome.
40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Get outside your head. Get outside your head. Get outside your head.
I tag ALL OF YOU. Do it, bitchez!