2008: The year of the general malaise

Linda has put up her annual End-of-the-Year thing again. I filled it out in 2006 and 2007. If I do it again this year, is it officially a tradition? I guess we’ll find out a year from now.

What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Celebrated my son’s birthday.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t officially resolve to lose weight last year, and it’s a good thing. Because I didn’t do it. I’m not making any resolutions this year.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don’t believe so. (And I apologize if you did and I’m not remembering it.)

Did anyone close to you die?

What countries did you visit?
Not a one.

What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
I’d like to rediscover the ability to deal with stress. I used to deal with it pretty well — or maybe I didn’t deal with it at all. Whatever the case, it’s causing problems now. And I’d like to get that in hand in 2009.

What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I’m very bad with dates. It’s one of the reasons I scrapbook.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I can’t think of anything.

What was your biggest failure?
I didn’t make it a resolution, but I was hoping to lose weight in 2008. Mostly because it rhymes, but also because I need to for reasons that fall somewhere between health and vanity.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a terrible stomach virus in October. It was very unpleasant.

What was the best thing you bought?
Rock Band.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
Pete’s. He’s a wonderful, laid-back little guy.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own. I haven’t been entirely pleasant to my loved ones this year. (See: Dealing with stress. Also, last year the answer to the “biggest failure” question was that I wasn’t nice to Rockford. This year, I’m just equally mean to everyone. Hm.)

Where did most of your money go?
Pizza and video games. (Not really.)

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Poppy’s enthusiasm over Christmas was pretty infectious this year.

What song will always remind you of 2008?
When I said I was bad with dates? That applies to entire years as well.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
I don’t know. I mentioned that I’m having a hard time dealing with things right now, but there seems to be less to deal with right now than there was this time last year. I’m definitely sappier, though. Everything makes me cry.
b) thinner or fatter? Two pounds fatter. Thanks for asking.
c) richer or poorer? Nearly the same.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Laugh with my family.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

How did you spend Christmas?
With family.

Did you fall in love in 2008?
I stayed in love in 2008.

What was your favorite TV program?
2008 was the year of “Battlestar Gallactica” for us.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t think so.

What was the best book you read?
“Bel Canto”

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Blitzen Trapper

What did you want and get?
Rock Band

What did you want and not get?
Smaller pants.

What was your favorite film of this year?
I finally saw “Enchanted” a few days after Christmas. I don’t know if it came out in 2008, but that’s when I saw it. And I liked it a lot.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30 this year. I was recovering from the stomach virus on my birthday, and I can’t remember whether we did anything in particular.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A grand and wonderful vacation.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Did you see the episode of “Seinfeld” where George is wearing sweatpants and Jerry tells him that he’s broadcasting to the world that he’s given up? That’s me in 2008. Sweatshirts and mom jeans.

What kept you sane?

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I’m not crazy about any of them.

What political issue stirred you the most?
I got more worked up than usual over the presidential election this time around.

Who did you miss?
Aunt Judy.

Who was the best new person you met?
It’s been a blast watching Pete’s personality develop. I think that counts.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Poppy seems to think I need to be reminded to “Never give up.” But she also calls me Benny when she’s encouraging me. I’m not altogether sure what to make of that. But it’s not a bad lesson, regardless.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I just want to be OK, be OK, be OK
I just want to be OK today
I just want to be OK, be OK, be OK
I just want to be OK today.
– Ingrid Michaelson, “Be OK”

Reading over this, it sounds like 2008 wasn’t a great year for me. While there were definitely difficult bits, though, it wasn’t all bad. We’re healthy, we’re sheltered, we have plenty of food on the table. I think maybe I have a brain cloud, that’s all.

The books of 2008

I wasn’t as diligent in keeping my book list in 2008 as I’ve been in years past, so there may be a few missing here. Even so, I definitely didn’t read as many books this year as I did in ’06 or ’07. Heck, I didn’t even read as many as George Bush did this year.

But there were a few worth reading in my list. Those picks are in bold, and the links will lead you to my reviews.

  1. “The Blackbird Papers” by Ian Smith
  2. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan
  3. The Man Who Tried to Save the World” by Scott Anderson
  4. Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett
  5. The Double Bind” by Chris Bohjalian
  6. Mary Modern” by Camille DeAngelis
  7. The Rabbit Factory” by Marshall Karp
  8. “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen
  9. “The Day After Roswell” by Philip Corso
  10. Bridge of Sighs” by Richard Russo
  11. “The Best American Mystery Stories”
  12. Good Poems for Hard Times
  13. The Rolling Stone Interviews
  14. “At Risk” by Patricia Cornwell
  15. “Promise Me” by Harlan Coben
  16. “Toehold” by Stephen H. Foreman
  17. “Big Boned” by Meg Cabot
  18. Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her” by Melanie Rehak
  19. Sammy’s Hill” by Kristin Gore
  20. “Sammy’s House” by Kristin Gore
  21. “I Don’t Know How She Does It” by Allison Pearson
  22. “The Magician’s Assistant” by Ann Patchett
  23. “Devil in a Blue Dress” by Walter Mosley
  24. “A Red Death” by Walter Mosley
  25. Dead Until Dark” by Charlaine Harris
  26. Autism’s False Prophets” by Paul Offit
  27. So Brave, Young and Handsome” by Leif Enger
  28. Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s” by John Elder Robison
  29. “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks
  30. “Living Dead in Dallas” by Charlaine Harris
  31. “Made in the USA” by Billie Letts
  32. “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer
  33. “The Mulberry Tree” by Jude Devereaux
  34. “A Wicked Snow” by Gregg Olsen
  35. “Darkly Dreaming Dexter” by Jeff Lindsay

What was your favorite book this year?