New Year's Quiz

Linda over at All & Sundry has posted a New Year's Quiz. Since I read her blog regularly, am a big fan, and had some time on my hands this morning, I have completed the quiz. My answers are below, but if you want to answer it for yourself, visit Linda's blog and copy/paste the questions! Here we go...

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

I got married, knit mittens and socks, ate scallops, bought a car from a dealership, participated in a graduation ceremony, and went to night school.

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

I don’t remember what my new year’s resolutions were last year, so I would guess that I probably didn’t keep them. The only ones I will make for next year would be to get into better shape and to open an Etsy shop.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister-in-law, Sonja, did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, my brother-in-law, Matthew.

5. What countries did you visit?

None, aside from the one I live in. How sad.

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

A baby? Maybe. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted. Also, a new computer and a new jacket, for I am in desperate need of both. A policeman husband (he’s almost ready).

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 23rd, 2008 was our wedding day, and August 18th, 2008, was our nephew’s birthday. November 26th, 2008, was the day Matthew died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I graduated with my AA! It only took over four years, but I did it! Oh, and ending Fall semester with a 3.76, my best GPA ever.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Neglecting to let go of the little things for long enough to enjoy my wedding. Allowing those little things bother me for so long.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Many minor instances of each. I am quite accident-prone.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A puppy. A reliable car. Both have brought unrelenting happiness and stress-relief.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Oh, many people. I was surprised at the outpouring of emotion from unlikely sources at both our wedding and after Matthew’s passing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My step-father’s. Conjecture wildly and odds are you will hit on at least some of his behaviors.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, credit card payments, eating out, and craft supplies (naturally).

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

Seeing my mother and brother for the first time in two years. That was awesome. Going to Ikea, because I’m kind of lame. Seeing Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Paper Planes by M.I.A. and Better Together by Jack Johnson. Oh, and Anyone Else But You by the Moldy Peaches.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier, in general. Sadder, for now.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter, unfortunately.
c) richer or poorer? Richer, fortunately (no pun intended, I swear).

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

Cooking, saving, sewing, traveling. I wish I had spent more time with family.

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

Worrying, dwelling, spending, hating, eating, complaining.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Eating and opening gifts with my family, driving 6 hours, and then a low-key celebration with my in-laws during which I doted on my nephew and received a screen-printing kit (woo!).

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Yes, after realizing how much more amazing my husband is than I knew. And with Trumpy, the cutest puppy ever.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I have to choose one? I think it would have to be Private Practice. Or Firefly. I would watch that any day of the week.

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

In general, I hate a lot fewer people nowadays.

24. What was the best book you read?

Cold Mountain, hands down. I would marry that book if I could.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Group X, via Chris’ iPod. Loves it.

26. What did you want and get?

A screenprinting kit, a Yaris, and a Kitchenaid mixer.

27. What did you want and not get?

A glass head from Pier One, and a new computer.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I also really liked Bedtime Stories.

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

I turned 23, and I went to work and then to school. It was a pretty crappy birthday, as those go.

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

Hmm… I guess it would be if my husband were a police officer already. That development is going to be the catalyst to a lot of (hopefully positive) changes in our lives.

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

Sweaters, camis, jeans, and Danskos were my weekend attire, and would be my work wear if you substituted slacks for the jeans.

32. What kept you sane?

Knitting, and Chris.

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

Fancy romantically? Or just fancy in the sense of whose work I enjoyed? I don’t know, in either case. Let’s say Barack Obama, because I’m glad he’s here.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gay rights. Gay marriage. Prop 8 in California.

35. Who did you miss?

My brother, and my mom.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My friend Ti, who has been there for me an incredible amount for how short a time we have known each other.

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

Don’t take your life or the people in it for granted. You never know when things will change.

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

“I get closer to the place inside where I can be normal, too…” –Everclear, “Normal Like You”

Thanks for reading! Up next, I'll do a Christmas craft re-cap!

Hoarding for the Holidays

The holiday season always inspires in me the urge to hoard. I have recently found myself at the grocery store on a daily basis adding the most ridiculous things to my cart, just in case. Guava? Sure, I may need it! Eleven cans of chicken stock? Obviously! Heavy whipping cream? Why not!

I think this stems from my mother's similar behavior around the holidays, though hers made a bit more sense. Growing up in Alaska, one wants to spend as little time as possible in the middle of the dark and sludgy winter running to the store for a gallon of milk or carton of eggs, so when we went to the store, Mom would go overboard, particularly in the area of snack foods (this could also be the reason for my desire of late to buy dips and chips and veggie trays). We would have two of everything we might want or need, just so that when we were all cozied up in the warm house and a craving for whatever struck, we wouldn't even have to think about suiting up in pounds of outerwear to brave the cold and snow and venture to the store while risking getting stuck or sliding into something or someone along the way.

For me, however, there is much less snow or cold and hardly any ice to contend with. Living in the desert is an unhappy experience for much of the year, but the one thing I enjoy about it is that the winter is incredibly mild (and short!). So my drive to fill my house (with all two of us living there) with way too many groceries is a bit less Alaskan pioneer and a little more obsessive shopper. Add to that the fact that we live about two minutes from no less than three grocery stores, and that we don't even HAVE to wear boots, gloves, or hats outside, and I just seem like a crazy person.

Does anyone else hoard around the holidays, or is it just me (and my mom)?

Back in the Habit*

First, before I begin, let me thank you all so much for your supportive comments on my last post. Chris and I are doing better and it gets a tiny bit easier with each passing day. We have moments that are difficult and other moments where we almost forget to be sad, but in all, progress is being made a little at a time. All of the comments I received were so helpful, and I appreciate each one.

However: did you see who left me a comment? Freaking Swistle, you guys! Swistle-whose-blog-is-not-linked-on-the-blogroll-yet-but-whose-blogs-are-on-my-Google-Reader-list-and-are-read-with-fervor-Swistle! I have to admit I'm a little starstruck. Or, the blogger version of it, anyway. Blogstruck? Anyway... Hi Swistle! I like your blogs! (How did you find me?)

...and now I look all John Hinckleyish. I'm not creepy, I promise.

In other news: Christmas is almost here! What the hell? I guess when you spend the better part of three weeks on the zombie grief train, time flies. Thankfully, I'm almost done with the gifts. Eleven days and two pairs of mittens to go. Oh, and four journals, and four sets of labels for our homemade extracts. I think I can make it, even if only by the skin of my teeth.

Today, finally, I finished the last of Chris' presents: the pair of mittens and scarf to match his hat. I got the knitting portion of the mittens done ages ago but had been putting off weaving in the ends.

He's going to get these in pieces: mittens for his birthday on Wednesday, and scarf for Christmas.

I'm also finishing our stockings. I had originally planned to duplicate-stitch our initials onto them after finishing the knitting, but the initials may have to wait until next year. I've never attempted a duplicate-stitch before and therefore don't have a clue how long something like that might take, not that I have a lot of time to allot to decor at this point, anyway. Simple construction of the actual stocking may have to do for this year, but you'll be seeing them when they're finished, like it or not.

How are your holiday preparations coming?

*Yes, I DID just make a Sister Act II reference. Thank you for noticing and not judging me for it.