Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In which I interview myself about 2011

Time for a 2011 recap as we head into 2012!  What do you mean, January 31st doesn't still count as "heading into 2012"? Whatever. It's still January, that's all I have to say. Oooh, not true! I also have to say, in my defense, that I have for the last three weeks been hanging out in places decidedly more concerned with the Chinese New Year than the January 1st new year. So I am entitled to only get around to doing this questionnaire, which I got from multiple bloggers, now. All right, let's look back:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
A whole lot! I visited new places and flew around the world with Brian - I'd been alone on most of my previous long-haul flights in life (symbolism intended in that statement). Also, I finally won NaNoWriMo.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Apparently my resolutions for 2011 were to acquire the Southern belle ability to speak my mind or tell people off without "being angry," and to read more books and travel to more countries than I did in 2011. Well. I did in fact make my Goodreads goal of reading 44 books in 2011, check! I traveled to the same number of countries in 2011 as 2010 - four, but one of those I moved to (Korea), and I took two trips to another (Japan), so on the whole I think we can say I traveled more, since two of the 2010s (England and Ireland) were just stopovers anyway. (My other two 2011 countries were China and at the end there Cambodia.) As for the Southern belle ability, I still covet it, but there were multiple times -multiple!- in 2011 that I successfully bit my tongue when listening to someone and responded diplomatically instead of arguing. It's a start. 

Duh, of course I will make resolutions for 2012! Writing and exercising more, as usual. Four books per month.  Visit four more countries. And one more that I'm forgetting now. I'll think of it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister welcomed #4, Kristen, so of course that is the closest. Some friends gave birth, too! It was a good year for babies.  (I suppose that's what happens when the previous four years have all been spent attending multiple weddings)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

In 2011, no, although my family and I were still reeling in some ways from Grandpa’s late 2010 death.  Aaron, a good friend of Brian’s from Michigan, whom I got to know a little bit through Brian and his crew during the last couple years, also passed away.

5. What countries did you visit?
Well, Korea again, as we moved there on Jan 1, 2011. Japan (twice), China, and Cambodia.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Willpower, the ability to set boundaries and convey my sense of urgency without starting quarrels, and a way for full-time freelancers and independent contractors and unmarried people (i.e., me and thousands like me) to have health insurance that the rest of the U.S. has through their employers or spouses’ employers.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 1 because Brian and I moved to Korea together. My birthday because it was a Friday the 13th, and those are my favorites! June 27th because my aforementioned niece was born on my friend Mo’s birthday. August 18th because we climbed Mt. Fuji. Actually, to be honest, that is more etched in my head as the Thursday of our week in Japan and I had to double check the date.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Mt. Fuji? Completing my teaching contract? Making myself act in a play again? Learning some Korean? Creating a book swap for Andong? I guess just coming back to live in Korea and having it work out really well. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Demand Studios. I don’t want to talk about it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was barely ever sick at all - one or two colds. Nothing at all like the first time I was in Korea! A few little minor injuries that would make me skip working out for a couple days.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Nike indoor exercise shoes for kickboxing class. I adore them with all of my being.

12. Where did most of your money go?
China. But not the way people in the U.S. funnel it to China, through WalMart. I mean directly on site! Well, and all the plane tickets I bought to various Chinese cities. 

13. What did you get really excited about?
China. And Japan. And galmegi.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
"Like a G6," "Please Be My Baby" (Britney), Rihanna's stupid sex in the air song, and anything else that played over and over and over at kickboxing. And I.U.!
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder?  I think about the same.
Thinner or fatter?  Unfortunately, about the same. I lost weight when we got to Korea, then gained it back. Brian cooks too much, too well. :)
Richer or poorer?
Just the eensiest bit richer. Only because I went from freelancing to having the teaching job, but really, just the teeniest little bit so don't get too excited, folks. (That means you, income-based student loan repayment.)

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


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

18. How did you spend Christmas?
On a plane. Seoul - Hong Kong - Bangkok - Phnom Penh, ending with a delightful Merry Christmas nightcap in a riverfront bar.  I love Phnom Penh, and I love Cambodia.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Cuh-rim-i-nal Ma-eend-dz. That's how it's announced on Korean SkyHD TV, where Brian and I discovered it, learned to love it, and began craving it during 2011. We are so excited that there are still many more episodes for us to see!

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Reasonable Creatures by Katha Pollitt. Everyone should read this book. Everyone. Yes, you too. If you are reading my blog, you should read that book. Your friends who aren't reading my blog should read it as well, so buy an extra copy for one of them. Also, I loved Virginia Woolf's The Waves, Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down, W. Somerset Maugham's The Summing Up and Jose Saramago's Blindness. Do I need to note that none of these came out in 2011? 
21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Anything and everything, as long as we were singing it in the no-rae-bang!
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
If these count because I saw them in 2011: True Grit, Eat Pray Love, and The Green Zone.  Out of movies that came out in 2011, it would have to be Moneyball, because I don't think it's Super 8. I definitely didn't see enough movies this year.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It was a Friday the 13th, that's all that matters!  And I had a one-track mind: noraebang. 

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More noraebang, Less of the b.s. noraebang resistance among the expat English teachers. It really bugs me when they do that. 

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
 Outsourced! I finally accomplished my lifelong dream of getting a personal shopper to go buy clothes for me. Actually, it was just once, but Jody and Brian totally went around Seoul and scored me some shirts, dresses, skirts, etc. and all I had to do was pay them. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do this all the time. I definitely want to repeat this in 2012. I am interested in having more/different/cuter clothes, but I am not interested in making the effort to pick them out. If I ever move to within striking distance of your city, do let me know if you are interested in my personal shopper position.
26. What kept you sane?

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
We need to bring back protective tariffs in place of income taxes, and stop this love affair with free trade. I have learned an incredible lot about this from reading my prez bios (I'm now on #18, Grant.)  I wish Michael Moore, the #Occupy peeps, and other people who care about the disaster that is the U.S. would listen to my reason and start promoting this idea far and wide. National boundaries as jingoistic lines in the sand are stupid, but as a place to collect tariffs they are genius, because economically-tax wise we are all divided up by country, for convenience. If we have tariffs, then we can stop blabbering about tax cuts and increases all the time (freeing our government to actually get some work done), and greedy corporations can stop f***ing everyone up by taking all their jobs out of the country, because it would no longer be cheaper for the companies to do that, because they would have to actually fairly pay to bring all the stuff in. NO MORE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS! I watched with interest as some in Korea tried to stop the Korea-U.S. FTA. Sigh. 

All righty then, so that's 2011. On to 2012! Or, you know. The rest of it. How was January for you? I missed a bunch of it on this blog because I was in China. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...