This Meme is becoming another annual tradition, I forgot how hard it is!
1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
While I rarely if ever make a formal resolution, I did vow early to go into the year with a “Pay-it-Forward” attitude and I did that very successfully (in my opinion).
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my pal Barbara gave birth to the very cute Parker Raymond at the end of January.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My aunt Lena, affectionately known as “Aunt Babydoll”. Aunt Babydoll was the last living member of my mother’s siblings.
My friend Wayne also passed away as did my cousin’s wife, both at a very young age.
5. What countries did you visit?
Remained in the U.S.A. all year (though I believe I was on tribal land at one point).
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I’m not sure how long I should ponder this question without an answer before moving on. It would be relatively easy to take it from a materialistic perspective but that seems like such a cop out.
I must say that earlier in the year, during a pretty big snowstorm, I vowed to get a pair of “grown up” boots as my feet were freezing; the boots I have are kind of shitty. I have not yet invested in those nice warm, high end boots as of yet – but I hear L.L. Bean calling me.
7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 15th. I got to spend that that with 5 amazing people that I wish I could spend more time with. Also, I was psyched that the jelly Belly factory had sugar free jelly beans after the tour of the factory!
April 20thwas pretty special too – see next question.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think my commitment to paying it forward, most notably capped off by a visit on April 20th to some areas deeply affected by hurricane sandy. I was able to tour the damage, spend time with friends who were affected and bring handmade afghans and blankets to a number of victims as gifts from the knitting guild at my church.
9. What was your biggest failure?
One that comes to mind is not podcasting as much as I feel like I wanted to.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a pretty bad go with some gastritis that sidelined me for a short time but kept me uncomfortable for a long while and to this day has my flora off.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I recently bought this “as seen on TV” contraption called the “Flip Fold” and I love it! It’s a gadget for folding shirts; I blogged about it here.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I recently learned of a situation where several of my friend’s kids were either giving away all or part of their lunch and buying food for people in their school who have less access to food. They did this all on their own with no prompting and had been doing it for as long as a year before revealing so to their mother. These are not just extraordinary kids, they are extraordinary people. I am so proud and honored to know them.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Dennis Rodman, Kanye, and that Duck Dynasty jerkoff.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Kitchen remodel – in progress. Mortgage got a hefty chunk as well.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
One student in particular that I know has dreamt of being a nurse but flunked out on two occasions for a variety of reasons. In the midst of the second time, her mother was diagnosed with leukemia but she persisted and just passed the program this week. These are the stories I live for in this line of work.
16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
While I am not sure if listening to this song will bring me back specifically to this year (or it will but I won’t recall the specific year, just the year it was out), I do know that of the songs that were big this year, the one I feel had the largest impact on me was “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. I love the song, the sound and the vibe and have heard two great cover versions of it performed by some friends of mine.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Yes
ii. thinner or fatter? Regrettably, fatter.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer financially, but only a little (thank God).
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Creative writing, reading.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating when I really shouldn’t have or didn’t need (or even want) to. I know, that just made me sound like I’ve gained 100 pounds instead of just 6 or 7!
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With friends, and some time with my daughter.
21. How many one-night stands?
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Breaking Bad – though it was the last season, every second of it was brilliant and it had the best series finale in television history.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
Here, There, Elsewhere: Stories from the Road by William Least Heat-Moon
Attempting Normal by Marc Maron
25. What did you want and get?
My daughter to have some kind of epiphany about school; she’s really come into her own and made honor roll for the first time and I’ve received several notes about her improvement.
26. What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn’t see many movies at all and even less of this year’s releases. That said, I loved “Sound City”, a music documentary directed by Dave Grohl.
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to see my friend perform and hang with a few other pals. I turned 49.
28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I know it would sound shallow and perhaps even stupid to say winning the lottery, especially because I think I played once, maybe twice. I don’t have a problem working, even working hard – I’ve done so for all of my life thus far. I just wish that my work was more about a ministry, mine is teaching and not have to have a dependence on working to live. Quite frankly, I’d settle for a nice salary boost but should I luck into a windfall, I have vowed to help others and make a significant part of the rest of my life about giving and donating time and money to those less fortunate.
Reading this back about an hour or two after reading it and it sounds so ridiculous in a way! I’m not really sure how to approach this…this whole exercise is quite draining!
29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
30. What kept you sane?
What is this “sane” you speak of? Seriously, my kid keeps me grounded more than anything. Also, trying to keep things into perspective and respect the things I have and try my best to share with those that don’t. There are times when I feel down and like I wish things were different but then I see people without jobs, without shelter, food and realize even at what I feel are my hardest moments, there are people that would kill to trade places.
31. What political issue stirred you the most?
The gross misconception of the Affordable Care Act and the Conservative bashing of our President. The conservatives in general were a major downer as was the fundamentalist Christians who have destroyed this country.
32. Who did you miss?
My friend Wayne passed away suddenly earlier this year, at the age of 45. We didn’t spend a ton of time together after he changed jobs but we had a lot of good times together and it was a friendship that grew from a working together situation that didn’t start well.
33. Who was the best new person you met?
I haven’t really gotten to know any of the new people I’ve met this year well enough to add them here.
That’s about the size of it.
And now for a current picture of me: