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End-of-year roundup.

2007-12-31 - 11:30 a.m.

Clearly my colourful cast of family let me down in terms of scandalous actions to report this festive season. It was a sedate, well-behaved, and very average Christmas this year. My sister and her husband didnít do anything outrageous, there were no family scandals bandied about, no one had any big news, I got some nice presents, the food was good and everyone enjoyed themselvesÖ my only complaint is that there wasnít a lot of fodder to journal about! Sure, Spiderís husband didnít thank anyone for his Christmas presents or hospitality, and yes, they both drank quite a bit (Spider alone had a bottle and a half of wine, plus some sake, plus a beer during just the few hours we were at our dadís), but neither is unusual for them and at least no one got sloppy or maudlin. My grandmother probably did the worst thing when she opened a gift and complained about its contents, but thatís also par for the course and, at 83, sheís allowed a few peccadilloes.

So, yeah, the lack of material over here coincides nicely with the proffering of end-of-year round-up questions over at All & Sundry, so without further adieu, hereíre my answers:

1. What did you do in 2007 that youíd never done before?
Moved to the Ďburbs.

2. Did you keep your new yearís resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didnít make any and donít plan on any for 2008. I think that if you want to do something good for yourself, you should just do it and not wait for an arbitrary date to start.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
At my age, itís a baby-explosion amongst people I know, but in 2007 most people I know got pregnant (with their second or higher) and arenít due to actually give birth until 2008.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?
Cuba and the U.S.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
A second kid (check!), coupled with the assurance that I will be able to manage two of Ďem (no check yet).

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Seeing as how I canít even come up with one now, while still in 2007, Iím not sure there will be any. There may be memories, such as selling our house and our first Christmas in this house and Grommetís second Christmas ever, but the dates? Not so much, except as theyíre associated with the memories and events. Oh wait, I miscarried on September 7th. Iím betting thatíll stick with me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting pregnant, probably.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being able to keep my cool to the degree I want to when Grommet is doing something sheís not supposed to be doing. I need to work on my patience.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Again, no, thank God.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our two new houses? Though the proof of this will be when we go to sell the one weíre currently in.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Grommetís, for deciding she needed to use the potty all by herself at 1 year, 9 months.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Family and friends? I donít think it would be prudent to say online. In the bigger world at large? Not just the celebrities that act so famously moronic, but the press that has turned this behaviour into something to be watched and analyzed and almost celebrated, and the culture that is so rabidly into following this sort of thing. Politically, Iím appalled and depressed at the state of our environment and the way our politicians care more about winning votes than doing the right thing for future generations.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, property taxes and daycare.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting pregnant, both the one that ďtookĒ and the one that didnít (though of course we didnít know it wouldnít at the time).

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Hey There Delilah by the Plain White Ts, and Big Girls Donít Cry by Fergie.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Hm. I think Iím about the same for a) and c), though I feel poorer contemplating expenses in 2008, even though I make more money now. As for b) I think Iíd have to say fatter since I think Iíd pretty much lost my baby weight by this time last year, and Iíve put on about 7 or 8 pounds this pregnancy so far. Of course, I havenít weighed myself since the Xmas Orgy of Eating yet eitherÖ

18. What do you wish youíd done more of?
Photography, writing, reading, walking.

19. What do you wish youíd done less of?
Feeling cooped up instead of just taking out the stroller and going somewhere. Anywhere.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
With J? Over and over again.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Greyís Anatomy.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didnít hate this time last year?
I donít think so. Hateís a pretty strong word.

24. What was the best book you read?
Iím reading it now: Harry Potter et les Reliques de la Mort.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I sing a mean ditty/Xmas carol/popular song for toddler-entertainment purposes. Iíve always sang (choirs and even a band in high school), but havenít done so in a long, long time.

26. What did you want and get?
Pregnant. A polarizing filter for my camera. Iím sure thereís more Ďcause I usually get what I want.

27. What did you want and not get?
Cute clothes. What was the point when I was trying to conceive and was hoping they soon wouldnít fit anyway?

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Iím not sure I saw very many in the theater, but I really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 3D. At home I think it was Live Free or Die Hard. If it tells you anything, the two I thought of first were Little Miss Sunshine and Stranger Than Fiction, but when I looked them up I discovered they both came out in 2006.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Hm. On my actual birthday I had a very normal day Ė work, teach a class, get home and eat dinner late, get ready for bed. I was, um, 35? 2007 minus 1972Ö yes, 35.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having the time to apply for and participate in Art in the Park. My biggest disappointment of the year was doing the math and realizing that, despite planning for it for a year-and-a-half, I wonít be able to do it in 2008 since Iíll be due right around then.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Whatever fit that was ďclassicĒ in my wardrobe. Black or grey dress pants with a collared shirt at work; jeans/cords and short or long-sleeved Ts or sweaters at home.

32. What kept you sane?
My husband, J. He has been a pillar of strength and helpfulness.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Depends what you mean by ďfancyĒ. Thereís no one I salivate over for looks much. I like what Al Goreís been up to for the environment, and I admire the work of Michael Moore; even if heís deliberately inflammatory at least he gets people talking. Iíve also realized at some point that Iíve rarely seen a movie by either Bruce Willis or John Cusack that I didnít like. Iím not saying they are the best actors of their generation, but I like the movies they pick and the characters they play. (In the case of the former, I should maybe say ďcharacterĒ, since heís the same guy over and over again. But I like that guy.)

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The environment. The appalling state of womenís rights in some parts of the world.

35. Who did you miss?
Most of my friends Ė it was not a good year for seeing a lot of people, particularly during the second half of 2007 when we moved twice and changed phone numbers.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I loved meeting people in person, finally, at BlogHer in Chicago this summer, even though Iíd already ďmetĒ a lot of them online before. At work I really enjoyed meeting and developing an almost-daily coffee/lunch routine with my co-worker Catherine, who, unfortunately for me, found a new, better job across the river and left a couple of weeks ago.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
I think I became a bit more self-aware in 2007, in terms of what kind of like Iíd like to lead and what Iíd like activities I choose to spend my time on to mean. Now to translate that into something more tangible.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Oh no, another music question. I really draw a blank on these. Iím not sure I could sum up my year just with a phrase I make up, much less try to draw from a specific source. This year was really about staying the course and trying to make big decisions that would support a happy, more meaningful life for myself and my family. There were steps forward and setbacks as well, but at the end of the year I feel that progress has been made overall, and that Iíve made the best decisions I could with the information Iíve had. Iíve moved to the suburbs but it was in support of a better quality of life for my family overall in terms of proximity to Grommetís daycare, Jís work, and our parents. Iím pregnant and my fingers are crossed that Iíll have a healthy, happy Biscuit by mid-year this year. J and I are both soul-searching with regards to what to do for a living, but we have some time and the pressureís not huge since weíre pretty well situated as we are. Our family is all doing well. What more, really, could we ask for?

Hereís to 2008. Changes, they are a-cominí, and I hope theyíll all be good ones.

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