Archive:  Year 3 - January 2nd, 2009 "Oh, Nine!"

In the fine tradition of internet blogging, I am stealing the following idea from someone else.  A good friend recently answered a series of 40 questions regarding the passing year.  Not quite as tell-all as a Hustler Interview, not quite as intrusive as a chain email.  

As a disclaimer:  I am as nauseated as the next guy by the endless stream of retrospective commentary that accompanies this time of year… but I am not, as it turns out, immune to it.  

So here we go…

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

When 2008 began I wasn’t even aware that my computer had a program called IMOVIE, and wouldn’t have known what it was good for if I did.  In May I learned how to use it and shot and edited my first short video.  I have since purchased my own video camera, and can use phrases like “use handbrake to rip your footage and then render the clips through a Quicktime interface”.  Mwha, ha, ha. 

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Resolutions are for quitters.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, but a woman I shared an elevator with in Nashville looked like she would have any second…


4. Did anyone close to you die?

My grandmother – Gertrude Adams – died in June.  She was 92, and much loved.

5. What countries did you visit?

The United States, every single day.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Health insurance, and reliable plumbing… in that order.  

7. What date(s) from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 3rd - I went to the Obama rally at the Exel in St. Paul.  Hillary was about to concede and Obama announced that he was the nominee for the democratic ticket.  Long line, big day.

July 4th – I captained a great venture with a boat-load of friends for a day of celebration and frivolity.  I’ll never forget it.

Oct. 31st - Halloween will remain etched in my mind because it was the day that I heard a friend of mine had been arrested for the brutal murder of her brother.  

November 2nd - I don’t think many of us will forget election day this year.  Whatever your horse, it was a memorable race for everyone.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I managed to find and perform ably at enough jobs to compensate my life on the river.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I did not manage to find and perform ably at enough jobs to compensate for every year on the river…

10. Did you suffer any illness or injury

Nope.  Nor did I cause any… that I know of

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My video camera.  It ain’t top of the line, but it would be among the first things to grab if there were a fire.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Between the boat’s general maintenance and few repairs, and Grace’s general maintenance and few repairs… I think I had enough left over for a few bottles of booze and lovely new frock.

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

By early summer, I was really, really, really excited about Barack Obama and what he could mean to us as our President.  I followed that with great enthusiasm.

Also, the possibility of the cable show, which would follow me and the boat to the Gulf of Mexico, had me in foamy-mouthed excitement on a number of occasions.  Still does with some regularity.


16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Pink Martini’s version of The Bolero.  I took a solo roadtrip to Chicago by way of The House on The Rock and that song played heavily in my miles-long introspective.    

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Happier to be no sadder.  

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

I wish, generally, that I had listened more.  On too many occasions I recall an event or a meeting by what I contributed and not by what I was offered - and not because of any great insight on my part, but by great volume.

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

Whining and fretting.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With the Keller’s – a family who has been good enough to be my Twin Cities surrogates for years.  After a wonderful, huge family dinner – I had cocktails with friends in front of a fireplace… not bad.


21. Did you fall in love in 2008?


22. How many one-night stands?

A lady never tells.  

23. What was your favorite TV program?

The Original seasons of Saturday Night Live and Moonlighting (Netflix).  I also fell in love with Lost, Slings and Arrows, and Six Feet Under.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don’t hate anyone.  Except for you.

25. What was the best book you read?

The Road by Cormick McCarthy.  I heard there’s a movie brewin’.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Javier Trejo.  The man’s talent melts my face off.


27. What did you want to get?

A contract from Hollywood.  (Would have settled for a love note.)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I really thought The Dark Knight was stupendous… not to be a joiner but, seriously…  

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My two older sisters and my mother treated me to an incredible trip to Chicago to celebrate my 30 years.  We ate, drank, laughed and got our nails done.  I was also given “The Birthday Book” which was a collection of good wishes and fond memories from family and friends.  Still makes me cry.

When I got home, my girls took me to the strip club and then held my hair back.  He, hem.

30. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Gracie.  But that’s her job.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Not be caught naked in public.  

32. What kept you sane?

What?  Who said that?

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

As has been the case since 2nd Grade when he wore that sexy half-shirt in Nightmare on Elm Street - Johnny Depp.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I was nearly as heart-broken by Prop 8 as I was elated by the election of Obama.  I probably cursed the most regarding the bail-outs, however.

35. Who did you miss?

The one I didn’t meet.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Mo Perry – hands down.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008?

Don’t brag about something you intend to do.  

38.  What are you afraid of in 2009?

I’m currently afraid of the situation in the Gaza Strip – but increasingly on the backdrop of greater global unrest.  I am afraid of a great sweep of violence and general irreverence for human dignity.  Jeesh.

39.  What moment of 2008 do you wish you could forget?

I would hesitate to deliberately forget anything, on the off chance that it serves to help me avoid hardship in the future...  I wouldn’t mind forgetting Sarah Palin, maybe.  If only because she would be fun to re-discover.

40.  How did you celebrate the turning of the New Year from 08 to 09?

I was at a party full of friends, wearing a sexy dress, holding a glass of champagne – and we shrieked and kissed in the New Year like we outta.  

Here’s hoping it pays off!

**These questions (with some variation) came from the blog of my friend Mo Perry (see #36.)  She is someone you should know, and you can begin here: **

Next Post: January 13th, 2009 "The Tip of the Iceberg"

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