oceantheorem: (wtf mate)
Also, you know how I said I was afraid Jim would get paid for the first three weeks of his current job and it would be $300? Well, I was wrong.

He got paid for the first two weeks, and it's $411. Including flight reimbursement to Phoenix.

He is actually losing money working at this job.
oceantheorem: (I am volatile chemistry)
Apparently I can't remember to post these before midnight, so now they're all gonna have the wrong date attached...

1. I'm grateful for weekends. This one totally wasn't long enough, but it was still a good weekend. And it was good Jim-time.

2. I'm grateful for Jim. Thank you for putting up with me even when I'm cranky for absolutely no reason. You are an incredibly patient human being. You deserve a medal.

3. I'm grateful for having gotten to work with my coworker Ann for the last year and a half. She's leaving to go start a new position in Boston this week, and the lab just isn't going to be the same without her. She was great to work with and is a good person. (Anns tend to be good people!)

Okay, definitely sleep time now. I read all the comments on the last post and I will answer them all tomorrow, I promise. :-) But now... neeeeeed sleeep...
oceantheorem: (gg R pensive)
Last night I had this really awful dream. I was driving an SUV (like, a GMC Jimmy. a red one.) and I had Jim, Kayla, and Clark with me. It was late at night and I was driving down a straight road, and I fell asleep. I swerved off the road and Jim verrrrry slowly reacted and tried to grab the steering wheel to correct, but we ended up rolling. Everyone was fine, but we were all strewn across this weird field and everyone was mad at me.

I realized that the problem with journaling these days is that I do it in bits and pieces all over the internet. I don't write anymore because I've already written all the things I have to say. Mostly I have Ravelry, where I can communicate more easily with knitting friends than I can through a blogging interface. And more recently I have Google+, which I can use to post all the things that make me go "Huh, that's interesting", and then I can have a discussion with people easily in the comments.

It does mean I'm doing less introspective writing. Like this post. And I don't write down my dreams anymore, which is sad. So, I don't know what the solution is. Telling myself I'm going to write in my journal every day never works, and if it did work I'd just produce a series of short, shallow paragraphs telling you what new weird dream I had last night and that it's raining again, and I'm not sure that's compelling writing for either your sake or mine.

Oh well. LJ just renewed my paid account for another year, so it's not like I'm thinking of leaving. This journal does still serve a purpose, even if I only use it once a month, and even if only half of those entries end up being visible to my friendslist.

In other news, I should really update my journal icons. I don't think I've changed any of them since like, early grad school.
oceantheorem: (emperor's new groove feel the power)
 Guys! GUYS! Oh man. I'm posting in my journal AGAIN.

Life is really, really, really good right at this moment. I wanted to write it down, to capture it, to keep it forever. It is WARM outside (I don't know where spring went. It snowed here two weeks ago, and now it is 80 outside and muggy and LOVELY) and summer is here. The sliding glass door is open. I'm cooking a lovely marinated steak, and an artichoke. I'm drinking beer. I got a birthday card from Jim's parents that is signed, "Love, Mom and Dad." My friend Anne sent me a hilarious knitted whip (she's such a Slytherin, deep down) for my birthday. My best friend Ann sent me a box of incredibly good dark chocolate (does it GET any better than a box of dark chocolate??). I am marrying the most wonderful, sweetest, cleverest, offbeat man I have ever met.

Okay. Maybe the beer is getting to me a bit. I'm definitely feeling sappy. But life feels so, so good right now. Everything, in this moment, is just right.
oceantheorem: (one perfect rose)
Typed up nearly verbatim from my paper journal...

Monday, 25 April, 2011
Holy. Crap.
I am engaged.
I guess I should back up and write about the whole weekend.
Friday I picked Jim up in Lansing. We went to gaming at Jeff's and had a really pleasant evening.
Saturday Jim took me to the Toledo Zoo so I could see the elephants. It was a gorgeous day - really the first nice one we've had this spring. At one point I made him sit down on a concrete bench thing, and I laid down next to him and put my head in his lap and just drank in the sunshine. It was So. Nice.
We spent some time in the reptile house, and I lingered by the elephants for a while, but we ended up not really being at the zoo very long. On the way out, Jim bought me a stuffed giraffe, which I've been pestering him for two years to do. (It's adorable, by the way, and now sits by my computer.)
We went straight from the zoo to Jim's parents' house for Easter dinner. It was a smallish gathering - me, Jim, his parents, his brother and sister, his sister's fiance, and his cousin's soon-to-be-ex-husband (long story, but the family has decided to "keep" him, even though the cousin isn't).
Anyway, dinner was really nice. It was homey and comfortable and warm.
Sunday, Easter, was a nice quiet day for us. I don't think Jim even realized it was Easter (we don't really do the holiday thing, particularly for the religiousy ones). We slept in, had an easy lunch, watched some TV, and cuddled a little. We went in search of a Kindle for Jim, but the Best Buy was closed, so we stopped by Barnes & Noble and I lectured Jim on how he should give fantasy novels another chance.
Back at the apartment, I had just started up Minecraft when Jim picked up his car keys and said he was going outside for a few minutes. My reply was a slightly confused "Umm, okay." And then I went back to playing Minecraft.
About 20 minutes later, I got an IM on my phone, from Jim, asking what I was up to. When I replied, "mining" he sent back, "Come find me."
After a little back-and-forth, throughout which I mostly tried to be difficult, I got in my car and drove to the nature preserve two miles from our apartment. At this point I was honestly a little annoyed. He'd wanted to go for a walk earlier in the day and I had refused - was he trying to force me into walking with him?
I had expected to have to wander the paths in the nature preserve for a while until I found Jim, but as I pulled up in the parking lot I could see him through the trees. And as I  walked toward him, I thought I could see something green behind his back. At that point I stopped being annoyed and started being confused. What the heck was going on?
Finally I came around the first curve in the path, and Jim stepped out of the trees. He handed me what he'd been hiding behind his back - a single gorgeous red rose, wrapped in green tissue paper. My first thought was, "Wow, this is sweet, but kinda weird. Is this because I hassled him about not getting me flowers for Valentine's Day?"
He said, "The last two years have been the happiest of my life." I thought, "Awww, sweet."
Then he dropped to one knee and pulled out the ring, and the whole world kind of crashed through my head as I tried to grasp what was going on. I'm fairly sure he said, "Will you marry me?" and obviously I said yes, but all I really remember is throwing my arms around him and hugging him.
 
Within two hours, the cat had eaten the rose.
 
(this is me-now again, not me-journal)
Over the next week or so I went through a pretty crazy emotional rollercoaster. I told my friends, I told my parents, I told my coworkers. My coworkers were the only ones I got to tell in person, which was a little sad (why are all my closest friends online??). I got used to wearing a HUUUUGE piece of gorgeous jewelry on my left hand. My ring finger developed a sore and healed again. I  began envisioning the perfect outdoor Santa Cruz redwoods wedding, picked colors, picked a location, picked a date, discarded the date, discarded the location, and decided again I really do like the colors. It's amazing what the female brain does with the sudden onset of "impending wedding". The last two weeks have made me immensely grateful for Jim's influence on me - he has this ability to take my emotions and just let them roll over him until I'm calm and sane and things make sense again. He wrote a rough draft of our vows and let me start a spreadsheet to manage our guests (once I had a spreadsheet, everything seemed better).
 
We told Jim's parents about the engagement in person, a week later, at another Saturday dinner. Telling Donna in person was so far, by far, the most fun part of telling anyone. She actually squee'ed and I think she might have jumped up and down a little. It was awesome.
My mom also approves, and told me she thinks Jim is a great guy and a good match for me. My dad called Jim and didn't give him too much grief about not asking for my hand, which, from my dad, is a pretty glowing welcome.
 
I'm happy. :-)
oceantheorem: (gg rl strings)
After two weeks, I'm still not sure how to start a conversation - or a livejournal post - telling people I'm engaged. So there! I'm engaged! Jim proposed on April 24th.



I should probably type up the whole story, which I have written in my paper journal, but I'm not up to it at the moment. I just got home from five days in Reno with my mom, and I'm wiped out, but I thought I'd update while I had the inspiration to at least get something recorded.

Hmm. I had more thoughts in my head, but I think they're slipping away. It's past my bedtime. Poke me and I'll try to get something better written in the next few days.
oceantheorem: (Default)
Jim got his job back with the trucking company he worked for last winter. He left early this morning and will be gone for two weeks. We've both agreed to try to be more positive about the situation this winter, because the money is pretty good and at least he's employed.  So, the upsides are that I get a little more time to myself, which is really nice. Having today to do whatever I wanted felt pretty luxurious and very relaxed. It also means I can stay at work later without feeling like I'm cutting down on time with Jim; I just need to remember to bring extra food so I don't starve to death if I stay late.  It also means Claire will sit on my lap. I'm beginning to think she sits on Jim's lap because of his big comfy chair, and not because of inherent difference in lap or preference for him over me. When I use my computer, I sit on the floor against the couch, with my legs sprawled every which way. Since Jim took my laptop with him on the road, I'm using his desktop, which means I get to sit in his giant comfy chair. And lo, the cat comes to take advantage of the lap.

I made toffee yesterday. It went over so well at our friends' house for gaming I made another batch today. I'm gonna take it to lab tomorrow.  I also made some pumpkin walnut muffins, but I accidentally put in twice as much butter as I was supposed to and they are now pretty irrevocably stuck inside their cupcake liners. They taste fine, but to eat them you have to resort to scraping the paper with your teeth. Which is fine at home alone but not so convenient if I want to add some to my lunch. :-P Also, I desperately want some dried currants so I can make pumpkin currant muffins. Why are dried currants so hard to find??

I haven't knit anything today. I'm really itching for a lace project, but the patterns I want (Ravelry links) aren't free. I should suck it up and just buy one of them... the only problem is that I feel restricted to knitting large things for my silly game group, which would mean I can't start until January 1st. I might just start one now anyway and game be damned!
Seriously, though, there are actually about 15 other things I should really knit before I start another big lace project...

Man, this entry is boring.
oceantheorem: (wine)
Okay, Rhinebeck was amazing, and I need to make a post filled with lots of pretty pictures of awesome things.

But first, Jim and I made an incredible dinner tonight almost by accident, and I wanted to record it so we can recreate it in the future.

We found SimplyRecipes.com a while back and one of the first recipes we tried out was their Beef & Beer Stew. It turned out fabulous the first time we made it and got... successively worse every time we tried to make it again. So we finally stopped making stew.  Jim decided this week that we'd try a new stew recipe to see if we could get something tasty with a different approach.  He picked out a recipe for rabbit stew, though alas, we could not find any bunny meat.  We used beef instead (recipe below).

I went gluten free for a month a while ago, thinking gluten might be the cause of a host of abdominal problems I've been having over the last year and a half. The results were tenuous, and my doctor was adamant that gluten was safe, so over the last several weeks I've been slowly (and a bit distrustfully) introducing gluten back into my diet. First I stopped reading labels, then I started eating pasta, and finally I started to approach bread again.

I'm not sure how it came up in conversation, but a week or so ago a friend mentioned Artisanal Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, an article she'd read on the internet ages ago. She said it made a great recipe and I should try it.  So I did.

This is what I did:
Mix 3 cups lukewarm water with 1.5 tbsp fast-rise yeast. Stir. Add in 6.5 cups whole wheat flour and 1.5 tbsp salt. Stir. Let rise covered (but not sealed) at room temp for 2 hours. Refridgerate overnight.
Remove from fridge, pull out approximately 1/3 of dough (1 pound?? I have no idea how big the chunks were). Shape into vaguely loaf-shaped lump and let "rest" at room temp for 40 minutes. Bake at 450 for 30ish minutes.
(Except I didn't let it rest for 40 minutes the first time, because I wanted bread NOW and I didn't think it was important.)

The first three breads (from the same initial batch of dough) were a bit... dense.  They were good (and Jim could find no criticism with them, which is odd for him, but the man doesn't like bacon, so sometimes his opinion has to be discounted), but I really wasn't satisfied.

A call with my friend SG from high school set me on a better path.  Whole wheat flour, it turns out, contains a different amount of gluten from "regular" white flour or bread flour (go figure), and that has a profound effect on the bread product.  White flour has more gluten, which allows the bread to rise more, which creates a fluffier and less dense bread.  The resting phase is apparently also crucial to the final product. SG suggested mixing half whole wheat flour with half white flour or bread flour and slightly increasing the amount of water.  And also not skipping the resting period.

So I mixed up a new batch (without cleaning the bowl after the first batch, since apparently that can enhance the flavor of subsequent batches). I added 3 cups of lukewarm water to 1.5 tbsp fast-rise yeast. I added in 3 cups whole wheat flour and 3 cups all-purpose flour and about 1 tbsp salt. I stirred. I let it rise for 2 hours and OMG IT ALMOST ESCAPED THE BOWL YEAH I'LL SAY THE WHITE FLOUR MADE A DIFFERENCE WHOA.  I pushed it back from the edges of the bowl and put it in the refridgerator - for two days I think, though the amount of time shouldn't matter.

I got home tonight and a stew was simmering on the stove. Jim had gotten dinner started (mmmmm, I'm so keeping this guy).  I pulled out the bread bowl, tore out a large chunk (it didn't want to tear off - the increase in gluten definitely made a difference in the tensile strength of the dough...), plopped it on a piece of parchment paper, and let it rest for just over 20 minutes.  I put it in the oven and let it bake for just over 25 minutes at just under 450 while the stew finished simmering.  When I pulled it out of the oven, it was perfect.



Happily, at exactly that same moment, the stew was also perfectly ready to eat.



Ingredients:
  • 1.5 lbs beef, cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 10 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large parsnip, chopped
  • 1 quart turkey broth (can substitute chicken broth)
  • 1 cup sherry or white wine
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 loaf fresh bread, preferably homemade
Directions:

Add olive oil, butter, and turkey/chicken broth to a large pot, and slowly bring to a boil while chopping everything that needs chopping. Add the beef, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, and parsnip as you finish chopping them. Add the wine and all the spices except the parsley. Cover, bring to a gentle boil, and cook for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add parsley about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh bread, which is best dipped in olive oil with black pepper sprinkled on top. Best with a good seasonal ale or glass of red wine.



Also at exactly that same moment, I put a batch of pumpkin muffins in the oven.  I think we have achieved domestic bliss this evening.


Edit: Yes, and I did keep that coupon, because it told me to, and also I am hoping to win a raffle that will eventually be held somewhere on the internets. But more about that in the Rhinebeck post!

Second edit: muffin picture!

oceantheorem: (turtle love)
Sigh. "Definitely" and "defiantly" are different words, World.  Please stop using them interchangeably.  "Definitely" means "certainly" and is spelled exactly the way it sounds. Definite - ly.  "Defiantly" means "resistant, rebellious, insubordinate", is also spelled exactly the way it sounds (defiant - ly), and is actually very rarely used at the beginning of a sentence, and almost never on its own.  If you find yourself wanting to use one of these words to agree with someone, or as a complete sentence, you probably want "definitely".  Okay?  Okay. Moving on.

*****

Jim and I went to Mackinac Island over the weekend. Guess what? There were no cars there! *gasp* 
Seriously, though, it is a pretty cool little island. There's a little historic town, and we wandered through the museum and learned a bit about the island's history. It used to be the center of the fur trade, since it sits right in between two great lakes and is a great waypoint if you use lakes as a highway system.  All transportation on the island is by bike or horse (or foot), but it doesn't really matter, since the circumference of the island is only about 8 miles. It's quite small.  We rented bikes and rode around the outside, and it was a perfect day.




We stopped for a while and skipped rocks.  The water was too cold to swim, but it was a great day for sitting and watching the water.


We also bought 1.5 lbs of fudge, which is the other thing the island is famous for. I have to say, this is pretty amazing fudge. We may have to go back when I run out.
Later this week.

The rest of the pictures we took are here.
oceantheorem: (hp ginny closeup)
I made a lightbox for taking pictures (you know, of like, knitted stuff. Or stuff. Or maybe I was just bored on a Saturday morning).

Jim "helped".


Yeah.

pictures of the lightbox in action )
oceantheorem: (gg R pensive)
Thankfully, Jim will be coming home Friday. This is good, because I think otherwise I might explode.

This weekend (not including Friday), I...

drove to Ann Arbor, met a knitting friend, bought yarn, chatted for two hours, drove home, bought crickets for the chameleon, fed and watered the chameleon, took a nap for several hours, went to a cookie party with coworkers, watched a whole disk of West Wing, rented three movies and watched two of them, went for a run, did the dishes, cooked myself a nice dinner, wound 3000 yards of yarn into balls, knit a cowl for my mom's 50th birthday, played with the cat, wrote in my paper journal for the first time in 11 months, played Warcraft for the first time in 3 or 4 months, and got an absurd amount of sleep.

And that's not counting today. Today I got up, fed and watered the chameleon, played with the cat, went to the post office and mailed Mom's birthday present and the Traveling Scarf I've had since before Thanksgiving, went to work and worked a full 8 hours, dropped movies off at the movie rental place, bought more crickets for the chameleon, talked to Jim for a while, cooked dinner, had hour-long conversations with both my mom and my dad, watched a third movie, taught Claire that plastic bags are a lot of fun to play with, knit half a wristwarmer twice, chatted with several friends online, wrote this entry... it's not even my bedtime yet.

It feels like the days have twice as many hours in them. It occurs to me that maybe this much stuff happens in normal days, and they just seem faster because I'm not spending every moment waiting for Jim to come home...

Just for the record, Julie & Julia is not as good as it looks from the trailers and was only barely worth renting at all, Marley & Me is waaaaay better than it looks (I officially love that movie), and Twilight (the movie) really is as bad as everyone says, but I still maintain it's the writing and not the actual plot.
Just so we're clear.
oceantheorem: (turtle love)
Jim got a job with a trucking company (he recently got his CDL so he can drive semis for a while, so we can actually have income, so maybe in the spring he can finish up his helicopter pilot training--he's only got a few hours to go, but at $400/hour a few hours is still pretty heavy on the finances). So anyway, Jim got a job with a regional trucking company. And he left tonight for training. It's in Iowa, and he'll be there at least 2 weeks. Maybe 5 weeks if they can pair him with a co-driver right away, but we won't know that for 2 weeks.

So I dropped him off at the bus station and came home and meant to go to bed (it was almost 1 am by the time I got home...) and somehow just... couldn't. It's now 3:30 am and I'm exhausted and I've watched 3 episodes of West Wing and knit almost the rest of the hat I started Thursday (I did need a hat...) and I just don't want to go to bed. It's all empty and lonely and cold in there. I actually think I might sleep on the couch tonight, just so I don't have to sleep in an empty bed.

I think I'll have another cup of tea and finish the episode of West Wing I'm in the middle of... and then try to sleep. The hat should be finished by then too.
oceantheorem: (Default)
 Vaarsuvius felt left out after I posted those pics of Claire.  So he decided to be extra cute today.
IMG_3370 by you.

Lots (LOTS) of pictures below the cut. )

Doorwall

May. 22nd, 2009 10:43 am
oceantheorem: (Eek)
So, we're all moved in to our new apartment, which is fabulous. It's light and airy and there's enough room for my knitting stuff to take over an entire corner of the living room. I have my own "desk" (a table) which is blissfully completely coated in books, two computers, and various useless items like unused rubber bands, game CDs from the 90s, and a broken ceramic wizard waiting to have his staff superglued back into his hand for the third time. It's fantastic. For the first time since September, I'm completely unpacked.

I found all sorts of little treasures while unpacking, such as a book Stef sent me for Christmas, $10 in an old wallet, and a gift certificate to Borders that K la gave me for being a bridesmaid at her wedding nearly two years ago... So I've been reading a ton the last week, which is really nice. For some reason I stopped reading after I qualified, and I never started up again. It's been over a year since I actually finished a book, which is pretty much heresy for me, considering I was the kid who used to get in trouble for reading during recess instead of running around.

Anyway, so this post is really about the most hilarious feature of our new apartment. We have a little balcony (we're on the third floor), and it's got a nice big sliding glass door and a screen and whatnot (and a tiny new basil plant, but that's a subject for another post).

So last night as we were getting ready for bed, Jim said, "I'll go make sure the doorwall is locked."
Me: "The what?"
Jim: "The doorwall! Out to the balcony."
Me: "Oh! You mean the sliding glass door."
Jim: "No, I mean the doorwall."
Me: "What the hell is a doorwall!"
Jim: "The door out to the balcony! It's called a doorwall!"
Me: "That's not a real word; you made that up."
Jim: "Did not! It's called a doorwall! That's what it's called!"
Me: "That's ridiculous. It's called a sliding glass door; it's made out of glass and it slides. There's no such word as 'doorwall.'"
Jim: "It's a door! Set in the wall!"
Me: "All doors are set in walls! You're insane!"
Jim: "I'm going to google it!"

It turns out that people living in the Detroit area of Michigan (and ONLY people living in the Detroit area of Michigan) refer to sliding glass doors as "doorwalls." No one knows why, but apparently it started in the 60s and has taken a firm hold in the area, but hasn't managed to spread elsewhere (possibly because it's a RIDICULOUS term). Jim takes this as proof that "doorwall" is a real and viable term. I take this as proof that MICHIGANDERS ARE INSANE OMG WHAT AM I DOING HERE.

And I thought Michigan lefts were weird....

stuff

Mar. 5th, 2009 02:38 pm
oceantheorem: (Cassie)
Last night I had a dream. I don't really remember it, but I know there were ferrets in it. There were two ferrets, and they were trying to bite my hands, and I was screaming and asking, "Why??!! Why???!!!" until someone finally said, "Oh, they're looking for the bats." And then I replied, "Ooooh, the BATS, why didn't you just say so," and ran around a corner in whatever weird house I was in, unlatched something, and two bats tumbled out of the ceiling. The ferrets went nuts. I believe the bats perished.

So anyway. Life is moving along in the manner that it tends to do. I have a part time job as a medical editor for an online pathology textbook. Mostly I'm sort of a glorified secretary, but it's a good start and I like the company. I've been slacking about finding a second job to add to the mix, though. I need to get back on that....

The D&D campaign is... interesting. I'm playing an evil character, which I suck at. I have no idea how to be tricksy and secretive and tell lies, so in some ways it's very very frustrating. I do like my character, and I think it would be a lot of fun to write a novel from her point of view, but it's difficult to roleplay her in a live setting where I have to think on my feet. I have a very hard time putting myself in her shoes and figuring out how she'd react to any given situation.
Are there any good novels written from the point of view of the evil characters? I'd be interested in reading something like that.

My mom called the other day to talk to me about my dachshund, Cassie. We got her when I was 9. She was the most adorable little creature, and she was "mine," although Cassie never really managed to belong to anyone. She loved food more than anything else. And once she started to reach adulthood she wasn't so cute anymore; she has dachshund pattern baldness and is missing most of the hair on her ears and tail, which makes her look rather ratlike. Plus her nose is deformed. She's a weird-looking creature... but she was mine. In the last couple of years she's gone deaf, plus Buddy died, so she's been alone for the first time ever, and she'll be 15 this year. Mom said Cassie has stopped eating and appears to be in pain. Apparently she's "going downhill fast," so they have taken her to the vet and gotten her some pain medication and are trying to make her comfortable, but... she's not long for this world.
I want to go home to see her but I can't.

Also I still miss my cat.
I had a dream about a week ago that my parents lived a mile away from me and chastised me for never coming over to see my cat.

Jim and I have been casually discussing marriage, as something that will happen in the distant future, when we are financially stable and whatnot (and when we've been together more than 4 months...). We make (actually, mostly it's just me) lots of little comments about it. Last night I said something about Jim being "definitely husband material" juuuust before our raid started in Warcraft, and he replied, "Oh, remind me after the raid; I wanted to talk to you about that." Of course I immediately assumed that I was in trouble and that all my little comments have been freaking him out, or pressuring him, or he's changed his mind and hates me, or has randomly decided that marriage is a terrible idea, or, or, or... etc.

Turns out he wanted to know what style of engagement rings I like. So we spent an hour looking at rings on the internet in the small hours of this morning after the raid.


I like this one:
oceantheorem: (kara blue)
At long last, behold! Pictures of boyfriend.

These images aren't quite as screen-killing )
oceantheorem: (climber silhouette)
Some things have changed quite a bit in the last month or two, so I did most of this meme with the first 8 or 10 months of the year in mind.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Gave up. Dropped out of graduate school.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never make resolutions.

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

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
None.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A real career and a life goal. Happiness.

7. What day from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I left Connecticut was actually rather painful and will be difficult to forget.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Deciding to take action to force my life in a different direction because I was unhappy and not because I thought it was the thing I "should" be doing.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Choosing to drop out right before the economy crashed. Losing my sense of direction in life.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Pretty severe depression for the first half of the year. Glad to have that past me.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmmm. I bought Claire on Dec 30,2007. Can I count her as the 2008 best purchase?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hmmm. I think I'm going to abstain from comment on this and the next question.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, gas, rent.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Leaving Connecticut. And a certain new relationship. :-)

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Hmmmm. Dogtown Mines is the sound of driving west and trying not to feel guilty about leaving the east behind.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
Happier. With promise of continued improvement.

ii. Thinner or fatter?
Thinner. I'm not eating much these days.

iii. Richer or poorer?
Quite a bit poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Singing. Dancing. Trying to be a human being and not worrying so much about what I'm "supposed" to do with myself. I still need to learn to let go.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Waiting.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I'll be flying back to Utah on Christmas Eve, and spending Christmas here.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Uhhhhhh. This... ummmm.... ask me again on New Year's.

22. How many one-night stands?
Zero.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Oh man, I love How I Met Your Mother. Weeds is really good, too. I miss Gilmore Girls. :-(

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

25. What was the best book you read?
I didn't read much at all in 2008, actually. I will be remedying that in 2009. (is that really how remedying is spelled?)

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I think Darren Smith is actually a late 07 discovery, but I'm counting him anyway. I'll throw Blue October in there as well, just for the hell of it.

27. What did you want and get?
My personality and identity back from the vile clutches of the soul-crushing graduate program at Yale.

28. What did you want and not get?
I'm gonna leave Zach's answer here: "A job, a job, o yeah, and a job."

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Ummmm. I'm wracking my brain and I can't remember any of the films I saw this year.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23. My friends threw me a surprise party. It was absolutely wonderful. My wife carried a cake through the rain for me.
<3

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A more satisfying conclusion to the drop-out-of-grad-school thing. i.e. a real career.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
The same as always. I wear what is comfortable. Jeans, t-shirts, college sweatshirts. Lots of scarves (oh man, I love scarves).

33. What kept you sane?
Claire. Coffee. Loud music in my car.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Uhhh. Is this a romantic question? I really admire Obama, but not romantically.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The gay marriage issue and abortion. Don't even get me started.

36. Who did you miss?
Everyone, at one point or another, having moved across the country. I currently very deeply miss my east coast friends.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
*grin* Unequivocally, Jim.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Life is primarily something you go through alone, on your own power. You should therefore not do anything because you think other people will approve or disapprove; your actions have to be motivated by internal forces like desire for happiness and desire for success.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
So I'm putting my luck to the test, I'm bringing the eastern seabord's best. We'll be making it up someday, losing time along the way....

The same meme, two years ago

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