Reflections on ’08

And here’s another old post I’m importing from my old blog, an end-of-year survey post for 2008. Funny thing, some of the stuff I was a little coy about and hinting at? I have no idea what most of it refers to anymore, and it’s only a few years later. Kinda sad.

Anyway, here’s the post:

2008imagesWell, my first reflection is that it flew by fast. I feel old. I’m not really, just approaching 28, but it feels old in a way. I remember having a discussion with friends about how people go through a major change around that age. Saturn return and all that. Oh, it’s coming for sure. My other thought is that I think this past year was sort of boring in comparison to the one before. Last time I filled out one of these things I felt present and sparky, this year felt a little blah.

So anyway, here’s my answers to the end of year survey, same one I did last year.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Went to Hawaii, and with that flew over the ocean, used a composting toilet, tried Brazilian food, drank out of a coconut, ate fresh coconut, papaya, guava fruit and other new foods. Got published, once in print, once online. Went to an artist residency, which was awesome in soooo many ways. Ate Ethiopian food (thanks Eileen), had parties at my apartment with friends from work, got set up on a blind date (which I didn’t actually go on), got a lot of really bizarre dating approaches – getting approached at all was pretty new – (let’s see, one of my ex’s friends, who’s probably 20 years older than me, at least, asked me out and months later when I was out with friends, he kept trying to grab me and hug me as I walked by; I got hit on by a much older woman one night; had a gay man telling me he loved me and flirting with me; then there was the blind date guy who was also quite a bit older, who freaked me out in our first (and only) conversation (yeah, it went from him telling me he doesn’t do any drugs to him telling me about this one time he did crack while driving down the Florida highway in the span of about one sentence) and who, after our first conversation on the phone, asked if he could call me every day (I think that was a bigger dealbreaker than the crack, for serious); and there were others I won’t go into, some truly bizarre). Usually I get no approaches, so this year was, uh, flattering I suppose, nice to be noticed, but yeah, a little overdosed on strange.

Let’s see, what else? It’s the first year since I was seventeen that I didn’t see any live music at all. That one’s unforgivable and I must make amends for the coming year. I had friends visit from the east coast who never had before. I had a solo visit with Leo. And oh yeah, I visited western Canada (Victoria) with her which was years overdue and which also meant I took an international ferry, got my first stamp on my passport. I rode a horse – traded with the horseback riding instructor at camp, tarot for horse riding. It was great, we rode through all these trails, and then went to the arena and had the horse cantor. It was fun. My legs hurt for days after that! I added lots of guilty pleasure songs to my music collection (oh some of it is downright embarrassing). There are other things I’m too embarrassed to admit, at least here anyway.

I gained almost 30 pounds, which was definitely a first. I was at the same weight since eighth grade or so, steady for over a decade, then I suddenly lost weight a few years ago, no idea why (but it was really lovely when a doctor asked me if I had an eating disorder or if I was using heroin). So last year at this time I was at an all time low in body size, and this year I made up for it and then some. Funny thing is, I feel much happier at my current size than I used to at my old standard eighth grade size, even though my old size was more culturally desirable (a friend very tactfully said that I actually look like a real person now). When I think of my old size, it’s like a breeze could’ve blown me over and I don’t want to go back to it. I feel fuller now, substantial and stronger, more womanly and voluptuous, and surprisingly, I feel a lot sexier.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t think I ever did get around to making any last year and if I did I most certainly didn’t keep them. I don’t know if I’ll make any this year, though I like to think I might. A friend and I always make three wishes for the year to come, and I remember two of mine from last year, and neither happened. Hmmm.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, and it’s starting to freak me out, especially in the last few months. I mean, knock on freakin’ wood, I haven’t had to deal with that much death of anyone directly close to me. Whenever I read or hear things (or watch medical shows where people die), I start thinking about that and it’s like, life can’t and won’t stay that way. I don’t know, I suddenly feel very aware that every person I’m close to is someone who will one day die, and I also start worrying what if I haven’t experienced that much death because I’m going to die young? I’ve been really worried about death lately. More than usual.

5. What countries did you visit? Hawaii, Canada, America.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Dating approaches and flirtation from guys who are at least mildly appropriate. Romance, dates, hot sex. College acceptance letters, scholarships, an incredibly awesome financial aid package. Financial success for my writing (in 2008, I had some successes and none of them included that). A fling with Maynard from Tool (kidding). A girl can dream, can’t she?

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
This is where I feel that 2008 was a little blah – nothing stands out with searing joy or sorrow, like it did last time I filled this out, it’s hard for me to remember specific dates (and I have a mind for numbers, so this is unusual for me). Feb 20-25 – Hawaii, March 7-14 artist residency, Oct 18 (last day of work, party), June 15-20 Leo’s visit, Jan 19 found out I got published in The Sun and saw my name in print for the first time, Feb 26 found out I got a piece in Shark Reef, July 19, Oct 31, and I’m sure there’s more

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Pulling together this India trip, for sure. Months in the making.

9. What was your biggest failure? I’d say the fact that I’m still on Orcas feels kinda failure-y, like I should be doing more with my life, but then again if I had left earlier, I probably wouldn’t be going to India next month, so. It definitely wasn’t a successful year for love. Or for doing actual writing, probably the year I’ve written the least in a loooong time.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Knock on wood, no.

11. What was the best thing you bought? A bed, that I love, that I will miss in India and that I will relish when I get back, it’s freakin’ awesome.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Everyone cool, I don’t know? Nothing jumps to mind. In fact, with most of these, I have to really think, no pressing answers, again the blah.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Chris Cornell. My own.

14. Where did most of your money go? Rent, bills, savings, the aforementioned bed, clothes, the deposit for the India program.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? India. But also really, really, really terrified.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? ELECTRIC FEEL by MGMT, hands down.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Depends on the day, I don’t have an overall answer.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter.
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you with you’d done more of? Writing. Smiling. Reading. Being more authentic and saying what I feel. Making out.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being a pushover. Being scared.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? (Or did.) You don’t want to ask me that, because you really don’t want to know.

21. What was your favorite TV program? Ohhhh can I have more than 1 vote? I want to say House for the medical mysteries and intellectual stimulation and the back and forth banter and witty sarcasm (and I like that House and Cuddy made out, and how screwed up they got over it afterwards). I want to pick The Office because of how hilarious it is, and how intricately woven the plot can be. I do have to say though, I think this season is a little lacking. It’s like they keep dropping story lines (Holly arrives and a few episodes has to leave and nothing more w/her, Ryan leaves after a few episodes, Jan has baby and you never hear anything about it again, sort of nothing happened w/Pam in art school, just feels like they are sprinkling things in, then doing nothing with it, and it’s bugging me, though the episodes are still great). I think though, that if I was forced to pick, I’d pick Grey’s Anatomy. I just love it, love the characters, love the stories, love how it’s funny and dramatic and sexy and medical and rich emotionally, and if we’re going with current, I love Alex and he had some great storylines this year. Especially with everything that happened with Rebecca/Ava. I always rooted for him with Izzie and man did they have some scenes (the one where he tries, pretty idiotically, to tell her he wants to “go steady” with her, and then when he says he loves her before the solo surgery) that I’ve watched over and over. So, all in all, Grey’s.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don’t think I hated anyone either time.

23. What was the best book you read? The Kite Runner. The best book I re-read was The God of Small Things.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Damien Rice’s 9 Crimes – never listened to it really before this year, and god I love it so much, even though I’ve played it to death. A few of his more rare songs too. I discovered (and in some cases re-discovered) some rare Jeff Buckley tracks. The one I’m stuck on now is “Alive” and also played the shit out of “Forget Her” earlier in the year. Also got pretty obsessed with Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” which I think is expertly written. And a bunch of songs from my favorite shows. Can’t forget “Colors” by Amos Lee, love that song!

25. What did you want and get? A better social life. Some writing glory. Fun. A much better financial situation. Inner strength. Better credit.

26. What did you want and not get? Asked out/hit on by someone remotely appropriate – I swear if I wanted to go out with fifty year olds (or older), older women, gay men, married or otherwise unavailable men, or guys who want to tell me about doing crack, and how it made them 50-60 times more turned on than usual, I’d be rolling in dates, but apparently single, male, into girls and remotely near my age is a lot too much to ask.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? The Secret Life of Bees.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 27, and if I remember, it was really, really low-key. A few people came over, we hung out, then went to the bar, and no one was there. Monday night on an island in the dead of winter isn’t exactly the recipe for partying hard.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Romance, love, sex, or anything remotely resembling any of the above.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Out with the old, in with the good and sexy. I also ascribed to the “try on/buy/wear what you’re most instinctually, irresistibly attracted to” philosophy. Actually the only thing that does bother me about my recent weight gain is that I have to buy all new clothes, and I like getting hot new clothes as much as the next girl, what bugs me is that I bought a bunch of clothes last year, and I always buy clothes thinking I’ll have them for years (I’ve seriously had some things for over ten years), so last year when I replaced some old stuff and got some great clothes, I expected they’d last, and now they really don’t fit, at all.

31. What kept you sane? Insanity.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Alex from Grey’s – and I don’t mean Justin Chambers the actor, though shit he’s hot, I mean the fictional Alex. I’ve never, ever been so into an on-screen person, to the point where I rewind and watch all his hot scenes over and over (and he has a lot of hot scenes, omg) and feel like I’m melting inside. Yes, I’m ridiculous, but in the absence of anything else, it’s cool. I’m fascinated by his dichotomies, and I’m drawn in. I like to analyze the males on that show, they’re all really interesting, and Alex, to me, is the most complex by far, the most emotionally rich of the male characters in a lot of ways.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? The thought of Sarah Palin as VP was a little too much to stomach.

34. Who did you miss? Everyone.

35. Who was the best new person you met? I can’t pick just one, I met sooooo many cool people this past season working at camp and they are all so awesome. Jenny, Heather, Tami, Shane, Travis and many, many more! What also springs to mind the most are two people I met in 07 and got to know a little bit but who I got to know better this past year – Maryam and Forest.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. I think this year I was too exhausted by all the enormous life lessons of previous years.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Anything else would just not cut it:
“All along the western front
People line up to receive.
She got the power in her hand
To shock you like you won’t believe.
Saw her in the amazon
With the voltage running through her skin
Standing there with nothing on
She gonna teach me how to swim

I said ooh girl
Shock me like an electric eel
Baby girl
Turn me on with your electric feel

I said ooh girl
Shock me like an electric eel
Baby girl
Turn me on with your electric feel

All along the eastern shore
Put your circuits in the sea
This is what the world is for
Making electricity
You can feel it in your mind
Oh you can do it all the time
Plug it in and change the world
You are my electric girl.

I said ooh girl
Shock me like an electric eel
Baby girl
Turn me on with your electric feel

I said ooh girl
Shock me like an electric eel
Baby girl
Turn me on with your electric feel

Do what you feel now
Electric feel now
Do what you feel now
Electric feel now
Do what you feel now
Electric feel now
Do what you feel now
Electric feel now
Do what you feel now
Electric feel now”

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