We had a little more than 4,000 visitors this year at Butterscotch Sundae, which is about par for the course these days. The majority of those folks were from the the United States, Australia and Canada. We also had a few from Macedonia, the Maldives and Mongolia!
What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
I shook the hand of a U.S. president, and I went to California.
Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t think I made any last year, but several of my 2013 resolutions still need attention. In 2016, I resolve to make more homemade pizzas.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several of my friends had babies this year!
Did anyone close to you die?
My grandma passed away. She had been diagnosed with leukemia about a year earlier, so it wasn’t a complete shock. When she started to decline, though, it was very fast. I’m grateful that we had enough time to get to Michigan to say goodbye to her.
What countries did you visit?
I did not leave the United States yet again this year.
What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Willpower in the face of delicious, unhealthy foods and the motivation to work out regularly. Those are both things I’ve lacked for many, many years.
What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don’t have a good head for dates, so I don’t have an answer to this one.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Conquering my anxiety so I could go hear the president speak at a BlogHer Town Hall meeting.
What was your biggest failure?
That think about needing willpower and motivation? I’ve been trying to lose a good bit of weight for a good number of years, and this year I only added to the amount I need to lose.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I developed a weird rash from wearing my Jawbone Up, but other than that I don’t think there were any illnesses or injuries that were out of the ordinary.
What was the best thing you bought?
Tickets to Disneyland. It’s been on the kids’ wish lists for as long as they’ve known there was such a thing as Disneyland, and we started saving money and airline miles a few years ago when Rockford saw that a conference he always attends would be in Anaheim. It was Pete’s first time on an airplane (and the first one Poppy remembered), and it was the first time the kids and I had been to California. It was a wonderful trip.
Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage, probably.
What did you get really excited about?
Disneyland, the president and “Star Wars.” Not necessarily in that order.
What song will always remind you of 2015?
Probably “Uptown Funk.” Pete loves to dance to it, and my nephew Perry Mason Jr. loves to sing it.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Either writing or exercising. I haven’t had much discipline on either front lately.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stressing over things over which I have zero control. (This was the same thing I said way back in 2010.)
How did you spend Christmas?
We stayed home this year, and it’s a good thing we did. Rockford was struck down by a kidney stone midday, and we spent several hours in the ER to confirm that that’s all it was. We hosted a less-than-Martha dinner that evening for Rockford’s parents, his sister and her fiancé and some friends.
What was your favorite TV program?
I didn’t think this season of “Fargo” could be better than last season, but it was. I think it was the most under-appreciated show on television, and I can’t wait to see what they do next season.
What were your favorite books of the year?
“Station Eleven” was my very favorite this year. I wrote about all the books I read this year yesterday in “The One With All The Books.”
What was your favorite music from this year?
Sufjan Stevens’ “Carrie and Lowell” is so beautiful and sad and uplifting all at the same time. I’ve also been listening to Leon Bridges a lot recently.
What were your favorite films of the year?
I loved “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” I’ve seen it three times now, and I’ve enjoyed it wildly every time. I also liked “Spy,” “Inside Out” and “Ant-Man.”
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37 this year, and I spent my birthday at a Sufjan Stevens concert. I’ve never been to a show like it. It was cathartic, transformative performance art. I know that sounds kind of silly, but it was a really special experience.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It would have been great not to have to say goodbye to my Grandma.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Same as it ever was.
When I logged into Goodreads last week to record a book I’d finished, I noticed a link at the top of the page that said “See your year in books.” So I clicked on it and found that Goodreads has compiled a very nifty page with all sorts of statistics about my reading this year. They didn’t include an option to embed it, so I copied it all as jpeg files to share here.
I set out to read 40 books in 2015, and I ended up with 43. This may be the only area in which I exceeded expectations this year.
I love that they included the “most popular” and “least popular” titles I read this year. I read “Eleanor and Park” after reading many, many rave reviews about it. Most of the people I know who’d read it said it made them cry; I can’t remember whether or not I cried, but it was a pretty good book. “The Mechanical” was the last book I finished this year. I read about it on BuzzFeed’s list of the best sci-fi of 2015. It was a weird and intriguing book of reimagined history, and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t gain in popularity on Goodreads. I’ll be looking out for the next book in the series.
Here’s everything I read this year:
My favorite books this year were — in no particular order — “Jurassic Park,” “Wave,” “The Martian” and “The Song of Achilles.” I hadn’t read “Jurassic Park” before, and I liked it even more than the movie. “Wave” is a memoir by a woman who lost her family in the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, and it is beautifully raw and devastating. I loved the movie version of “The Martian,” but the book is a little richer in detail and characterization. I read “The Song of Achilles” when I was preparing for my Greek mythology class. It isn’t canon, but it’s an interesting telling of Achilles’ story from an alternative voice.
On the other side of the equation, my least favorite reads were “Mr. Mercedes,” “Killing Floor” and “A Cold Day in Paradise.” That wasn’t really surprising, as I’ve mostly stopped reading murder mysteries. I picked each of them up on a whim and didn’t enjoy either. I was also somewhat disappointed in two books I’d been looking forward to reading. “As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust” and “Avenue of Mysteries” just weren’t as good as previous books by their respective authors.
I’m aiming to read 40 books again in 2016, and I’m starting with a few more selections from BuzzFeed’s sci-fi list. I’ll also continue working through my presidential biographies. I’ve been stuck on Madison for a few months, so I don’t imagine they’ll make up the bulk of my 2016 reading. What do you think I should read next?