Friday, January 04, 2008

end-of-year meme

A meme borrowed from A Girl And A Boy:

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
I... went to Mexico? And also I did better than the bare minimum on Latin, which is pretty exciting.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't believe I made any New Year's Resolutions last year, because I was in a really weird place this time last year. I was basically juggling flaming chainsaws in the work-school department, and doing an okay job, so I'm pretty sure my resolutions were summarized by "don't drop a flaming chainsaw". This year's resolutions are in my last entry, which are basically summarized with "be fabulous" and "blog every day". Of course, the former actually means lose weight, but also upkeep my general appearance and get cracking on having a job and so forth, because being an archaeologist is definitely fabulous.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not really, unless you count bloggers.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Early in the year, we lost Binnie the rat, but other than that, no, especially in the human department.

5. What countries did you visit?
This year, as I mentioned, I spent a month in Mexico, mainly in the south and also a bit in Chiapas. En route I flew through the States, but my actual visits to the States outside of airports still stand at zero.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Money, fame, fabulousity. I already have the internet, and also a coffee maker and a toaster oven and a TV/monitor for watching downloaded shows and playing on our borrowed Wii, so as far as possessions go, I'm pretty set.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 15th was the absolute most intense day of my Mexico experience for a bunch of reasons. I've just realized that I never actually blogged it, so I'll write it out here.

May 15 was a major field trip day in Chiapas. I was feeling pretty sickly that day, but felt well enough to carry on (I never did opt out of anything except trips to the bars, which I suppose was a good thing). We piled into the bus to head up to the mountains and visit a place called San Juan Chamula, which is a little town populated mainly by very traditional Maya folk. This is the sort of place where people wear cloaks and skirts that they've woven themselves and trek down from the mountains every now and again to sell things in the market outside the church. The church itself is Catholic, nominally, but doesn't have a priest; he only visits for baptisms, marriages, and other major religious occasions. The church is constantly the focus of religious activity, though, because the people of the town and surrounding area pray to the saint idols in a very non-Catholic sort of way - burning rows of candles while chanting prayers in Maya and sacrificing eggs, alcohol, Coke and even chickens. It's called syncretic religion, the melding of traditional belief and a mostly-successful invasive religion. We actually got to walk around inside the church and see this going on, with whole families chanting prayers and lighting candles on the floor. It was just amazing.

When I left, I walked around the market for a bit and then began to walk back to the bus, and on the way ran into Will, who was looking oddly uncomfortable. He grinned at me and said "Happy anniversary!" and produced a bunch of roses from behind his back, and explained that Sean had asked him to do it because he always gives me roses on the 15th. I had been handling being away pretty well to that point, but completely lost it and cried my eyes out all the way back to the bus, while trying to thank Will and explain that I wasn't upset at him, and then trying to explain to Christiane (the professor) why I had completely lost my mind.

And we still had more day left. We went further up into the mountains to a little town where there are a number of weaving cooperatives, and visited one for a bit. Most people weren't really into it as much as Anne and I, mainly because we were actually interested in fiber and also were doing our independent study on weaving, and so when they left on the bus, Anne and I stayed behind to talk to the women more and watch them weave for a while. I started getting light-headed and even sicker, so when the women packed up for the day I was pretty happy to head back down to San Cristobal and hopefully sleep. Unfortunately, the only transportation was a weird mountain taxi that waited around for an hour hoping for more passengers before heading back to the city, and then dumped us almost twenty blocks from the city center. I was pretty out of it at that point - I later found out that I probably had a touch of altitude sickness from the second village's remoteness - and Anne basically led me back. Being a pedestrian in Mexico is no time to be asleep on your feet, though, and as we were waiting to cross the street at a corner where a pirated DVD merchant had set up a stall, a bus took the corner too sharply and clipped the stall, breaking one of its windows and showering us with Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and bits of glass and metal. We were both fine - I was so out of it I didn't really react until it was all over, and Anne was more concerned about the woman with the baby standing next to us than her own health, but it all seemed to work out.

In the end, we reached the market and parted ways; I bought a mango on a stick, ate it, and went back to the hotel to quietly pass out. Not without collected the roses from Will, though, who babysat them after we stayed at the second village.

And that was May 15th, 2007.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through last school year successfully enough to make the Dean's List was a pretty huge deal.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I have difficulty really feeling good about this school year so far. I have this thing where I feel the need, like a TV persona, to continually find new ways to jump the shark and surpass all previous achievements, but instead of interesting TV life, it's just school and work, and there is a limit to what I can do and still be a happy person who gets to sleep sometimes. Last year, with the seminars and the Latin and the three jobs, and new relationship on top of that, was sort of jumping a tank of sharks with frickin' laser beams and jet packs, and I just am not equipped to try and surpass it, especially with graduation looming at me. So I feel as though I've failed at school, when in fact I'm just sort of muddling along doing what I need to do. Maybe the failure here is in appreciating what I am doing.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Persistant illness in Mexico was pretty lame, but ended up not really having much effect, and otherwise my health is peachy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
If "education" isn't on the list... probably my fall trenchcoat, because it made me smile for months whenever I saw my reflection.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Sean, far and away, because he is way nicer to me than really anyone should be. He cooks, he does dishes, he puts up with my insanities and cats and yarn. Also, in a non-me context, he has totally rocked this semester at attending class, getting work done, and actually caring about what he's learning, which is rarer than you would think.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Fred-eZone. Seriously. No internet in the apartment = bad, but they seem to actually be losing coverage in Reads so that now I can only get the sketchiest connection there.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, of course. Also food. We tend to eat pretty well for being starving students, mainly because Sean is an amazing cook. This is less expensive than you may think, because as a result we tend to not get convenience food like pizza.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The possibility of actually getting to be an archaeologist for real. Also, the new apartment, which I must say, is still great.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend", because it made Shasta spontaneously burst into song at work on more than one occasion. Also, Feist's entire Reminder album is pretty sweet.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? Less stressed = happier, I think. b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. Boo. c) richer or poorer? Still broke, so about the same, though cash flow has gone done because of the less working.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Creative projects like sewing and writing. You'll notice that NaNoWriMo sort of never got off the ground, and my sewing projects get derailed by large amounts of the lazy, and also just not being very happy with the size of clothes I need to make.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stressing. Being more zen certainly fits under "being more fabulous" for me. Work tends to stress me out, languages stress me out, being disconnected from the internet stresses me out. I need to be less of a stress cookie or I'm going to have an aneurysm.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I went home to be an only child, for the first time, and spent the first bit of vacation (after briefly visiting Sean's terrific family) hanging out with my grandfather watching Bonanza and fairly bad cop movies. Christmas itself was a "family" event of hanging out with my mom and dad and grandfather, and also Corey, who isn't technically family but has been doing Christmas with us for years now. Since then, Sean came up, and then Angus, and then Michelle and Scott, and then my party left and went to Sean's parents house in time for the storm that delayed us there for New Year's, and now... we're here. It's still Christmas vacation to me, goshdarnit.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Technically no, but there was a whole lot of love anyway, so that's okay.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
The new season of House is pretty sweet, but with Rome being over, Doctor Who on hiatus, and having still not seen Razor (the only Battlestar Galactica on offer at the moment), Dexter takes the prize. It's a show about a serial killer who is also a CSI-esque blood spatter analyst, with lots of storyline and character stuff going on. It's pretty sweet. Season 2 just finished, so I'm out of luck there too at this point.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not really, though I'm less cool with Nick than I was. Luckily it doesn't seem to matter a whole bunch.

24. What was the best book you read?
I've been reading in whole authors rather a lot, and finally devoured as much of Terry Pratchett, P. G. Wodehouse and Ian Fleming as was readily available online. Still, though, I think Martel's Life of Pi wins. Tigers on lifeboats make for fascinating reading.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Feist's new album was pretty awesome, as are the Arctic Monkeys, whom I didn't actually download until the very beginning of 2007. I tend to not really explore music a lot, because I have people for such things (Sean, Angus).

26. What did you want and get?
All kinds of things, basically. Christmas alone was a flurry of wish fulfillment, especially because we had a sort of Tetris-like alignment of things just waiting for a final piece to set off a cascade of awesome. We now have a TV/monitor (seriously, it has more input jacks than can possibly be healthy), so we can watching things on something other than a laptop screen, and also can watch VHS again on the VCR that has been dormant for ages, and also use the Wii we have on loan from Porter. Similarly, Sean brought in a tuner that makes the Great Big Speakers actually work again, which - of course - we can route through our TV/monitor. It boggles the mind a bit.

27. What did you want and not get?
Pretty much nothing, except the Internet, which has been remedied already in 2007. I wouldn't mind more money to play with, but I refuse to stress about it.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn't actually see many films of this year, what with no internet and no money for expensive theatres. As to movies I saw this year, Formula 51 was pretty sweet.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23 this year, and celebrated by doing absolutely no celebrating because I flew to Mexico at 4 am the next morning. Hopefully this year will be less restrained.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not worrying at all would be nice, but not worrying about money would be sufficient here. It just sucks to juggle bills and talk about getting second and third jobs when you are already sinking into debt and working. Boo to that, too. I'll have a real job soon (knock on wood).

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Officey skirts as well as I-don't-care, I'm-a-student skirts, as well as lots of respectable officey black. It drives Mom crazy but it's easy and I end up looking professional as well as slightly eccentric, which suits me both as a student and as an office worker for a very artsy non-profit.

32. What kept you sane?
Sean.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't really tend to fancy said figures. The movie Harry Potter is growing up to be unusually pretty, which is cool.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
My political awareness has been waning slightly, but the flurry of excitement over Iran definitely concerned me deeply.

35. Who did you miss?
My sister, which I've tried to remedy with text messages, and also Erica, who is off seeking her fortune and looking more fabulous by the second in Toronto. She's coming to visit soonish, though, which will be great.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I think I personally met Megan in 2007, though Sean knew her slightly in 2006. She's Awesome. Also, we've been getting more and more friendly with Danielle, who is similarly great, though we've known her in a less familiar way for some time now.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
You don't get points for being miserable. This is something that I keep having to learn, but it's important. Worrying over things you can't do anything about doesn't do anything for you spiritually, just makes it harder to focus on anything else. Don't put up with situations that suck out of habit or inertia. Don't do things that you'll regret.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I'll come back and edit this when I think of some. This year has been such a mixed bag of experiences that summing up is pretty hard.

Also, somewhat related, this track is pretty amazing if you listen to the radio at all.

2 Comments:

Blogger dp said...

great blog... awesome... makes up for no blogs for a million years... thanks xxoo

6:59 PM  
Blogger GailM. said...

Oh, man, it must have taken you 2 hours to write this blog. Great update on the year. You're going to have a great year 2008, graduating, getting a full-time paying job. That will relieve all the financial stress. Happy New Year Kiddo.

9:23 AM  

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