|2010 End of Year Survey
||[Dec. 29th, 2010|09:00 pm]
A Dedicated Follower of Fashion
|||||I Wish It Was Christmas Today - Julian Casablancas||]|
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
I taught 10th grade.
2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I had two resolutions last year: I wanted to read 50 books and I wanted to write more. I definitely read 50 books- my GoodReads tally brings me somewhere around 55, not counting comic book trades and graphic novels. I also did a lot more writing... just not necessarily on LiveJournal.
My new New Year's Resolutions are to try to swear less and to read 60 books.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one very close. Ellen's friend Emma had a baby this year, as did my old next-door neighbor Alexis. I wish 'em both well, but I'm not very close to either lady.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Well, Ellen's best friend's father died. Shannon was something of a fixture in our lives in Ohio. He rented us our first house when we moved here. He was genuinely a great guy and the world is poorer for having lost him. Besides Shannon, no. We squeaked by this year.
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
I've applied for tenure at my school, and I would like to have that in '11. I'm hoping to get it before the very concept becomes extinct.
7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 15th, 2010. That's the day I, as I was carrying Henry down the stairs, tripped. We both tumbled down the stairs and landed on the floor badly. Easily the worst day of my life.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I raised the reading levels of my 9th grade students, according to the Scholastic Reading Inventory. One could argue that the SRI scores aren't alone the measure of success for a teacher, but I was pleased.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I think one of my big failures continues to be running the student newspaper. It's the same thing every year- I start off with a large number of students who are dedicated and interested... and I simply do not have the time or the resources to cater to them all. By mid-year, most of the kids drop off and I'm left scrambling. This will hopefully get better in 2011-2012 school year, as it looks like I may be teaching a journalism class for the high school. We will see.
I also feel constantly out of my league as a father.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing Earth-shattering. I've been sick a couple of times. I threw my shoulder out or something in April and that was excruciating.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I think it's a tie between the new dishwasher and the grill... although the grill was a gift from my parents, so I guess I'd have to go with "washing machine". Oh, and we got the new MacBook. That's pretty good.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I know I'll sound like a broken record by the end of this thing, but Ellen is just the best wife and mother ever. She does an amazing job with the boys, she does terrific work at Gallery 42, and she continues to put up with me for some reason.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
As usual, a few work-related things could have gone a lot better with far less drama.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, mortgage, and food.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Middletown Journal did a front page article on my class this year. Elliot started pre-school. Lots of cool DonorsChoose stuff, including havin' Neil Gaiman tweet about one of my projects.
16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I know this is about two years behind the curve, but "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. Elliot became obsessed with Lady Gaga this year and he listened to that CD over and over and over again.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or Sadder: Happier.
Thinner or Fatter: Thinner! I can't wear my wedding ring anymore, it doesn't fit on my formerly fat finger.
Richer or Poorer: Richer, although that is entirely do to a confluence of events (we sold a car, I was paid for the school newspaper). We are still relatively poor.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish Ellen and I had more time to ourselves. By that I mean, I would like to go out with my wife more.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I wish I could do less brooding on the past. Every once and awhile, I'll get myself into a funk thinking about something stupid that I did when i was 22. I have no power to change something I did eight years ago, and yet I can mull over the embarrassment or shame for a good long while before I snap myself out of it.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
We spent Christmas in Mason with my parents and sister visiting from New York. The boys got more toys than they know what to do with. Ellen cooked her very first Christmas dinner. It was a good time.
22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I continue to be in love with the most amazing woman on the planet.
23. How many one-night stands?
Zero one night stands.
24. What was your favorite TV program?
I suppose it would have to be Mad Men. Ellen and I had a pretty long-running streak of watching AMC this year, going from Mad Men to The Walking Dead. I also really enjoyed NBC's Community and look forward to return of Parks and Recreation.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I'm going to keep it professional and just say that while I do not hate anybody, I strongly dislike some people more now than I did last year.
26. What was the best book you read?
Well, you can look at my GoodReads profile here to see what I read in '10. Personal favorites include Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris, and The Passage by Justin Cronin.
I sort of quality comic books as their own thing separate from novels and books sans pictures, but if you're interested, the best graphic novel I read this past year was Smile by Rania Telgemeier
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Seedy Seeds which sounds like a made-up band name but they're really fun. We also listened to a lot of The Bird and the Bee in the house, but that was mostly their Hall and Oates cover album and Elliot really loved that one.
28. What did you want and get?
The Ghostbusters 2 toys from Toys R Us.
29. What did you want and not get?
A new couch. The couch we have in our house right now is a complete embarrassment and only seats TWO people. When we have guests over, people have to sit on the floor. It's grossly stupid.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I've done this same survey every year since I've become a father and every year it bums me out. I used to see EVERYTHING, and this year I think I saw something like six movies in the theater. I have to give the nod to Toy Story 3. I have a lot of history with those movies and the third flick did NOT disappoint.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My actual birthday was kind of a mess. I wanted to eat at this old school steakhouse in West Chester and asked Ellen to get us reservations... she did not, and we couldn't get in. We spent the next couple of hours spinning our wheels and trying to figure out where we could eat at short notice. I was 29.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I feel like a geek for saying this, but there's not much that would have made 2010 more satisfying. When '10 goes into the books, I'm pretty contented with how things shook out for me and mine.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Consistent. Button-down shirts, slacks, and ties for work. Hoodies, tee-shirts, and jeans while at home.
34. What kept you sane?
Drawing. Reading good books. Ellen.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Christina Hendricks continues her long-running streak as the woman I most crush on in any medium.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I am so disgusted with politics right now that I'm constantly turning off the radio in the car. I guess I'd have to say the ongoing health care debate in this country, wherein Democrats kowtowed to Republicans so much that anything meaningful in the new plan was watered down to almost meaningless drivel.
I also anxiously await the kick in the nuts public schools are going to take in Ohio now that Republicans are in the drivers' seat.
37. Who did you miss? (in no particular order)
Mom & Dad & Laura. Melissa and Brad. Mary.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
It was really nice to meet Sally and Adam Stobbe. We haven't met any new people our age here in Mason, so they've been very cool.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
You can only help people when they want to be helped. If someone doesn't want help, you are wasting your time.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
As in 2008 and 2009, I don't have one, but I thought I'd leave the question up for anyone who would like to copy and paste this for their own. I always hate it when someone edits these things and then I'm left with a misnumbered and confusing survey. For example, this survey is missing many questions. The person I copied it from probably didn't take them out, but somewhere down the line there is some schmuck doing exactly that, and I don't want to be like him/her.