Meme ideas

New Year's Day postcard circa 1900

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New Year’s is one of those reflection points that inspires some of us to review the past and possible set new goals for future realigning of purpose, body or spirit.  My husband’s blog is lit up with hits on an old meme, so I thought I’d revive it here as well.  Play along at home via the comment box or link back from your own blog if you like. Just keep in mind that the point isn’t to answer every question or even any.  It’s just an opportunity to meditate.

Happy New Year!

1.  What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

I stopped caring about my weight. Truly.  And it wasn’t a conscious thing nor has it kept me from monitoring intake and adjusting when necessary, but it’s allowed me to be free of the obsession that I should weigh this or that amount and that the amount matters in some tangible way.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t make them.  I do have a loose idea of what I’d like to do throughout the course of a year, but resolutions remind me of all that nonsense goal-setting mumbo-jumbo in the professional portfolio’s we were required to maintain back in my teaching days.  It was busy-work to appease politicians and a public who had only a half-assed idea of what teachers actually do.  It also allowed lazy and/or incompetent administrators to weasel out of their obligation to keep an eye on what it was their teachers were or were not doing.  I put no faith in “scrapbooks” as performance indicators and less faith in the idea that resolutions mean anything or are jump-starters for the majority.  They are mostly empty promises that make people feel better about themselves without having to really do anything.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Ah, no.  The mother of one of Dee’s soccer mates gave birth to a little boy in October, but I wouldn’t call her a close friend of mine.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My great-auntie died. She was 102ish or maybe it was 103?  I can’t recall.  I wouldn’t say we were close.  She was the last man standing, so to speak, of the old generation and being so had litter upon litter of nephews, nieces and their children and their children’s children to claim matriarchal status over.  I get lost in that crowd.

A close friend of my parents died early this year too.  Again, not a close tie to me though at one time early in my life, I saw her more often than my own aunties.

5. What countries did you visit?

In 2011, the only country I visited was the United States.  We traveled through Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Minnesota, and we caught up with friends and family in Iowa.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Direction where my writing is concerned.  I have been at the whole “writing thing” for nearly five years and still haven’t found my niche, but I think I am closer to figuring at least some of it out than I was when I started.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Nothing specific comes to mind.  Overall, the year has been a good one in general without any major highs or lows.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I was voted one of the top five mom bloggers in Canada – with a lot of help from my friends.  I scored a position on the city’s yoga teacher roster. My biggest achievement, and I don’t know if you can rightly call it that, is that I continue to be quite happy with my life, a five-year run which owes its longevity to those around me more than to anything I’ve done or not.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Well, my potato rolls were not the success I hoped they would be and the garden was a non-starter.  Probably not huge on the failure scale however.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I came down with a bad case of costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage around the breastbone and ribs.  It plagued me for much of the year and I am still dealing with after effects.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I didn’t buy, but I received an eReader from Edie and Mick for Christmas that is just magnificent.  I also got a smart phone from Rob for my birthday, which is proving useful.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Dee has grown up quite a bit, but I suppose that is to be expected of someone so young, and my brother, CB, seems to be reinventing himself with some purpose.

13. Whose behavior appalled you?

Appalling behavior seems to be the given in our world anymore.  No one in my life can lay claim, overmuch.  Anyone I know who tips beyond the pale has always done so and it’s ceased to surprise me in any long-lasting way.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The usual suspects. Nothing out of the ordinary.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I’m a Sagittarius.  I get “really, really, really excited” about anything.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Moves Like Jagger.  Normally I loathe Maroon 5, but this is an infectious ear-worm.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  I am basically happy and that hasn’t changed.
b) thinner or fatter? I’ve probably stayed about the same but I’m stronger and look leaner.
c) richer or poorer?  In what sense? I feel richer as a person. Money-wise? Wealth is an illusion really. Aside from those liquid assets you can put in your pocket and the material things that you own outright, all other wealth is theoretical and isn’t real until it becomes a material good or money in your actual pocket.

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

Slept. I still don’t get near enough sleep for my needs.

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


20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas was spent with husband, daughters and one son-in-law’ish type.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

I continued on in love with Rob.  Count myself lucky for the privilege too.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I don’t watch TV.  I did watch the last season of The Tudors on dvd.  Does that count?

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hating is a waste of energy.  There are those I don’t care for much and that’s about as far as it goes.

24. What was the best book you read?

I am working on The Game of Thrones, which I wish I had read earlier.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I continue to enjoy popular music, which is good because the second you stop liking new music is the moment when your youth truly begins seeping away.

26. What did you want and get?

I wanted to be a top five Canada mom blogger and I am.

27. What did you want and not get?

I wanted to be able to start running again, but alas, my knees will have none of it.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I don’t really remember too many of the films we watch beyond the moment.  Films in general aren’t noteworthy anymore.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

We tried to eat out but couldn’t find a restaurant without a long wait list, so we ended up at Edie and Silver’s, eating take away from Boston Pizza and watching Elf.  I am 48.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

It would have been nice if I could have figured out a way to take over The Yoga Room after Jade decided to close it.  I had the chance but couldn’t figure out a way to do it financially or make it work within the confines of my personal life.  Owning and running my own yoga studio would have been sweet indeed.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Oh, it continues to be yoga mom-ish.

32. What kept you sane?

If a sanity check is needed, I get it from Rob. He’s a Virgo, the definition of sane.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Fancy? I don’t really pay that much attention to that sort of thing.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Occupy movement invigorated me for a while.  I went to a rally with Mick.  Donated to the OccupyEdmonton campsite. In the end though, I think they are simply just the other side of the coin where what is wrong is concerned. You can’t change anything without actually doing something tangible, getting your hands dirty, pitching in and tackling real issues with real solutions.

It doesn’t surprise me that a generation of young people accustomed to living virtually would think that all you need is words, Facebook and camping to change the world. The world bends only to those who take action, which they really aren’t doing. They are the future buck passers and obstacles and nothing more.

35. Who did you miss?

I’m not sure how to answer this, so I won’t.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I didn’t meet anyone new in person and those I met virtually have each added to my life in different ways.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

That you must accept those in your life for who they are right now or don’t bother with them. No one will ever live up to your idea of their potential, so don’t waste your time or theirs with such childish notions.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

It’s not a song lyric but it’s source is a singer.

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened…
or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.” – Tupac

Senators' party membership by state, since Feb...

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It’s Midterms, people, and though I am not as frenzied as I was for the ’08 POTUS race, I have fears.

Not for me personally as I live in the Canadian Utopia, but for all of you, who should be planning your exit strategies if things go drastically to the right because 2012 is the year the Mayans decided to end their calendar with – just saying.

As I imagine the airways are polluted with negative ads and phones are bombarded with robo-calls, perhaps a good movie is in order. Fave political movies?

Let’s see. This is what Time Magazine thinks:

I’ve seen Bob Roberts, The Candidate, Citizen Kane And Primary Colors. The last is probably my favorite Travolta role ever and the saddest, most apt commentary on the enigma that is Bill Clinton ever.

But I loved Kevin Kline in Dave.

And Michael Douglas as The American President.

I like my politics with a bit of chick flick.

How about you?

I was tagged by Unbearable Banishment who was tagged by Leah, who was tagged by Scarlet. The mission – to answer the 10 questions written by UB. In turn, I am to write 10 questions of my own and tag six people. As my per usual, I consider tagging optional and invite those who care to do so to play along in the comment box here or take it to their home turf and tag back.

1. George Bush. Lindsay Lohan. Dick Cheney. You have to sleep with one, marry one and kill one.

Ugh, this is just an awful question. I simply can’t kill anyone for being un-evolved. And it’s very un-yoga. I wouldn’t want to sleep with any of them but I have Rob, so there isn’t a need for me to even ponder the idea. And, of course, Rob relieves me of the whole “marrying anyone” thing.

Seriously, Bush is probably just banal evil whereas Cheney is pure evil by choice and poor Lindsay was raised  Beverly Hillbilly style and never stood a chance.

2. Would you prefer a comfortable relationship that was passionless or a torrid affair that’s riddled with angst and uncertainty?

I am certain that neither of those things is even possible for me at this point in my life though I did the latter as a younger, much dumber, woman. Minus the “torrid” because .. well … I just didn’t know any better or know myself well enough to insist on what I deserved.

3. What is your drink of choice?

Alcoholic? Because I can’t drink these days between sulphites and my pesky tendency to migraines. When just a few sips makes you ill, really, what’s the point? Not that there was a point back in the day, but it was easier when the nasty side-effects were a night’s sleep away.

I drink tea. I prefer it hot and sweetened. Chai if it’s available but I’ll make do with whatever is on hand.

4. Would you rather work an interesting job that was low-paying and be under constant financial duress, or have a comfortable lifestyle with a job that wasn’t very satisfying (but not a nightmare)?

I think I’ve done both – and with the same job – but at different points in my career. When I first started teaching, I made $18, 200 a year. It was an awesome job back in the days before standardized testing, NCLB and Race to the Top. I had autonomy and could make it as interesting and fun as I pleased. The last five years of my teaching career I was finally making money enough to be comfortable – not rich – but I didn’t worry much (dying husband and medical crap aside). But gawd, it was boring. Hemmed in by all sorts of idiotic rules and oversight. I tried to make it as fun as I could, but the wiggle room was less and less every year.

Money is awesome. There’s no substitute for the ease and freedom associated with having money in the bank and bills that are paid, but a boring job really has to be weighed heavily before you commit to that route.

5. You are boarding a plane tomorrow morning. Where are you going?

In no scenario I can think of  – short of someone dying or being near death – would I be getting on a plane. Have you forgotten who I am? I loathe air travel. Even for fun. Even if someone else was footing the bill.

But, if I could take off tomorrow for somewhere?

I have no friggin’ idea. Really. None. I don’t really think much about traveling too far away. Ask Rob. He’ll say,

“Where do you want to go for summer holiday?”

“Oh,” I’ll reply, “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?”

Travel is good. Staying home is a tiny bit better.

6. What was the last piece of music you purchased?

People still buy music? I get music from Rob and he … um … is Canadian. ‘Nuff said. But I did get an iTunes card last year and downloaded a bunch of pop rock and bad country stuff. There was Nickelback and Ludacris in the mix – I think – and quit judging me because I don’t care what the “hip” factor is on my music. That’s just too high school and faux cool to the point of actively being a poser.

7. If a book isn’t working for you, do you hang on hoping for redemption or bail out?

I ‘m done. No question. Life is full of great writing and I don’t waste my time or limited brain capacity on less than ideal prose.

8. Is it easy for you to admit when you’re wrong? Let’s be honest here.

Out loud? Kidding. I will eventually. First, I have to realize that I’m wrong. That’s what takes time.

9. Do you think fame is a useful tool or more trouble than it’s worth? If it came knocking on your door, would you open it?

Fame is useful but using it in a useful manner can be troublesome. If if came knocking, I’d make use of it.

10. Fill in the blank. I wish my parents had not __________.

I’m not going to second guess them. Mostly because I can only view their lives – that part which I was around for – from the perspective of a child and that is not very sharp hindsight, imo.

My questions now:

1. If your life was a romantic comedy, where would it be set?

2. Standing up or lying down? Context – subjective.

3. Which Star Trek era would you live in – provided that Star Trek was real and time travel was real and … you know … it was a geeky thing to contemplate even in the abstraction of a meme? Prequel? Original? or Next Generation?

4. Shower or bath?

5. Current event that most affects your actual life?

6. Celebrity crush? (celebrity being relative)

7. Do you read the novel or wait for the film version?

8. Bottled water or tap?

9. How prepared are you for the next Armageddon (keeping in mind that “the end of the world” is also relative and subjective in our modern times)?

10. If you could claim citizenship anywhere on the planet, where would it be and why?

I found this via Lora who discovered it at Kelly’s, who got it from someone else – that’s why it’s a meme. It’s alphabetical and arbitrary. I like it.

a. area code – 780(CAN) and like many folks these days, we have to dial it to access anyone local. Previously I was 515 (US) and before that 319(US). Those three prefixes have seen me through 13 residences and in five different zip codes. AND I have never been afraid to reveal any of my digits on a census form.

b. bed size – king, otherwise Rob would melt. I have reached the blast furnace stage of womanhood. I haven’t known personal body temps like this since I was pregnant. King is good. There is a great line about king-sized beds in one of Everclear’s maudlin “love” songs, Thrift Store Chair,

Yeah I wish we had never bought a king size bed
Yeah only damn thing that it’s ever been good for
Plenty room for the real good sex

c. chore you hate – I don’t like dance nights. Or anything much to do with dance. But it’s not a chore as much as it is one of those parenting “things” we all get ourselves into when we believe that children can’t be rounded properly without enrolling them in things. The worst thing about dance nights is sitting on the ground and listening to other moms out-mom me. Not hard to do if enthusiasm about kid’s hobbies and fascination with every detail of your kid’s life are criteria.

d. dog – no, but we have a “grand”-dog. His name is Loki. We’ve even babysat  him when his mother was away. Rob recoils from the whole thing. I buy Loki Christmas gifts and he rolls his eyes, but Loki knows it’s Christmas and that we are exchanging gifts and it would hurt his feelings to be excluded.

We have about five grand-cats and a grand-bunny. They do not get gifts. One of the grand-cats lives with us because his mother couldn’t take him along when she moved to the city. This cat lives in the garage. He is fed and watered and when no one has seen him for a few days, Rob does a sweep of the various nooks and crannies – but nothing that involves getting down on hands or knees … or even bending too deeply at the waist.

e. essential start of the day item – a cup of tea, it varies as to type. Right now, chai, but cranberry is one of my rotating favorites as is black tea. During asthma/allergy assaults, I drink a mixed blend that is soothing and clearing. I have special tea cups and Rob will ask me if he can use one if there are no other cups washed. Not that I get weird about people using my tea cups. I am fine. But, there are certain ones that I will drink from and I don’t touch the others. Two of them came with me from Iowa. Okay, that’s probably weird, but not in a screaming diva way.

f. favorite color – Grey. Grey is my favorite colour. Just like the song.

g. gold or silver – huh? I wear a wedding band and engagement ring. I also wear a double-heart with a diamond that Rob gave me the first time we met in person. I guess everything is mostly gold. I’ve never really noticed. I like them. They are pretty and Rob gave them to me.

h. height – 5′ 9″ish little more “ish” than just “9”. I am not tall enough to wear tall pants but too tall for what passes for the average inseam (between 30″ and 32″)

i. instrument(s) that you play – I was given piano lessons for about six years as a child but they didn’t really take. I played the bass clarinet in high school, mostly by ear. I would not call myself musical at all though I really like to sing. I sing alone in the truck with the radio blasting to drown me out.

j. job – I blog for the education channel at Care2. I would like to get the assistant book club editor thingy at SVM, but I sent an inquiry and haven’t heard anything, so I am not hopeful. It’s a paid thing, but more importantly, it is a chance to learn more. It would be fun to be an editor for a blog.

I am studying to become a yoga teacher. Someday I’d like to have a studio.

k. kids – yeah, I have some. They are all girls and they surprise and delight mostly.

l. living arrangements – We live in an old house that was moved to the country from the former prison site in town. It has history and ghosts.

m. mom’s name – Ruth. My dad’s friends called him Boaz, who was the husband of Ruth in the bible. Ruth has her own biblical book. She was a widow who eventually remarried though she was uncertain about leaving her late husband’s people behind to go off to live with the people of Boaz. Her MIL was the one who urged her to remarry. I always liked Ruth’s story. I first read it in a biblical coloring book I had when I was about eight or nine. I showed it to my dad who shared it with his friends. They loved to tease my mother that Dad had bought her for a shoe (Boaz had to give Ruth’s in-laws his sandal to show his good faith or something like that). Mom’s email address refers to her as “Mrs. Boaz”.

n. nickname – I have had so many, but none that really stuck beyond the person who gave it to me. I am not the type of person who earns nicknames or is adorned with endearments

o. overnight hospital stay – I stayed over a couple of nights when Dee was born and then again when she was nearly ten months old and I woke up early in the morning to discover her not breathing. She was sleeping with us. She pretty much slept with us from day one. The doctor wasn’t overly alarmed but wanted to monitor her overnight which had to be done in-patient.

The whole experience can probably be officially counted as the day I knew that Will was really ill. He wouldn’t break down completely for another two months, but the incident with Dee (which turned out to be something they called “breath-holding” which is not unusual they told me) stressed him to the point where he actually got lost driving to the hospital to meet us and then again when he went to the hospital cafeteria to get us something to eat. Stressful situations, I found out later, sent his adrenals into overdrive and they were already failing. It also aggravated the worsening situation with his white blood cells that were stripping his brain and dorsal nerve endings of their protective coating.

The night was horrible. A thunderstorm rolled in and triggered a migraine and I didn’t have anything in my purse to take and no way to slip off to get something because Dee was hysterical with fear. They had her hooked up to monitors and she barely let go of me. I thought about calling Will but it was pouring ass rain and he’d gotten lost twice already that day. I didn’t need the added worry and I was too focused on Dee to let myself speculate about Will. Speculation that was increasingly dark and unpleasant in outcome.

The next night I spent in a “hospital” setting was in hospice the night before Will died.

p. pet peeve – people who make assumptions about me that are really just projections of their own issues, which, I suppose, is what people do all the time pretty much without thinking.

q. quote from a movie

r. righty/lefty – righty though there are certain actions that my left hand seems to think are hers.

s. siblings – I have three and I have written about them quite a bit more than they would probably be comfortable with.

t. time you wake up – the alarm is currently set for 6:25 and on a good day, I don’t hit the snooze.

u. underwear – no, just no.

v. vegetables you dislike – I am not fond of the stalk part of asparagus just the part that looks like a pine tree. I don’t like reheated califlower. I am not fond of raw beets but cooked or juiced is okay. I don’t like cooked spinach, the texture alone is worlds of not right.

w. ways or reasons you are late – I was never late before I had a child. Rob runs a good half-hour late and therefore, so do I, but that is just when we are together. For some reasons that defies logic, when we set dates to meet each other – say for lunch – we are both on time (okay, I am early and he is on time). I hate being late, by the way. Being early is my most comfortable time-frame.

x. x-rays – the usual: teeth, suspected broken bones in wrist, foot and ankle with the first two confirmed. Upper GI’s and then the whole sonogram things for reasons that I am sure the gentlemen who are reading would rather I gloss over. I’ve never had an MRI or CAT scan. I was threatened once with something that would have required my swallowing something that sounded like it was simply nuclear waste – I declined, insisting that enough testing had been done and it was time for them to make like doctors and declare themselves yea or nay on the state of my gallbladder. I avoid doctors these days whenever possible.

y. yummy food you make – I make great desserts. From scratch. Scones of all flavors. Vegan cake – white, chocolate and spice. Oil-free cookies and breads: carrot, banana, and zucchini. According to Dee, everything I make is yummy.

z. zoo animals you like – I hate zoos. They smell. They are magnets for people who walk slowly and always three or four abreast. And the whole thing seems barbaric. I am glad I can’t talk to animals because I am sure that what they are saying as people stare at them includes the grizzliest of death threats.

Meme’ng is about the laziest blogging in the world, which suits me quite comfortably at the moment.

Rob found this at a site called The Gunfighter and posted his answers on Sunday. As it is in keeping with my “resolution” to list and review this week, I thought I would have at it too.

1.  What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

I traveled on a ferry, vacationed on an island and walked along the rocky shore of the Pacific Ocean. This was only the fourth vacation in my life that wasn’t family related and done just for the heck of it. The third such vacation was also this year when we spent a week at the timeshare in Fairmont Hot Springs, which also marked a first – swimming in a pool heated by a hot spring outdoors.

I also blogged for a paycheck.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I specifically did not proclaim any resolutions for 2009. I don’t believe there is anything magical about January 1st. Goals can be set whenever the need arises.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not close to me, but an old friend from my youth lost his mother just before Christmas. She was a lovely woman.
5. What countries did you visit?
Just the land of my nativity. My niece got married in October and we fly to Iowa for that.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

I don’t really lack for anything. Really. Oh sure, I could dream up a wish list of stuff, but nothing that is crucial for existence or even happiness. I have everything that is important and necessary. I am probably one of the luckiest people in the world in this regard.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Nothing stands out. I got my first paying writing job on Halloween, but  I don’t think I will remember that the way I do my wedding anniversary or my daughter’s birth. Just not in the same league.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting the job at Care2 was a big achievement and I had a piece that got syndicated from 50 Something Moms in November. I have progressed in my yoga to the point where I was accepted for teacher training this January and with hard work will have my accreditation in June. My current instructor has even told me that I am welcome to teach at her studio once I have my training completed. These are all big things.

But I think the most important things were personal. My relationship with Rob continues to deepen and becomes more amazing over time. I feel that the older girls and I have a closer bond and this pleases me a lot. I am starting to feel very at home in the community. I know people and they know me. Not that I would go so far as to say I have friends like I did back in Iowa (and let’s be clear – I have never had very many close friends. Just situational ones), but I feel like a part of things.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I haven’t finished the memoir or my novel. I am not sure this qualifies me as a failure however. Never get either one published would be more failure than simply taking forever to finish them.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My ears have given me fits all year. I have inner ear difficulties that are aggravated by allergies and sinus trouble. I had H1N1 in early November and between that and the sinus/ear infection I got three weeks later, I was sick more than not until about mid-December. It greatly affected my yoga practice and my writing. In fact, I pretty much took a writing sabbatical from anything that I was being paid to do for the last six weeks of the year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I basically bought groceries this year. Rob got me these great snow boats from MEC and a sweet little netbook that saves me from mommy hell on dance nights.

Oh, I did find a very nice pair of jeans at The Gap. Ashtanga yoga has really changed my shape (and it isn’t done yet). My bum is rounding and my hips are flattening and the jeans I had just were the wrong cut. As I don’t like to wear jeans that much anymore anyway, I was pleased to find this boyfriend cut that is soft and flexes like yoga pants. So, I guess I did spend on just me.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Within my family? Circle of friends? The world in general? I am confused, so I’ll pass.

13. Whose behavior appalled you?

I am disheartened by my countrymen who opposed anything that even smelled like nationalized health care. It would be so much better and simpler than the hodge-podge they might yet end up with.
The whole American attitude  towards those in need really stinks and the misery and uncertainty down south right now could almost be seen as divine retribution, if one believed in that sort of thing.
14. Where did most of your money go?

“Food, fuel, renovation supplies and materials, clothing.  Oh, and vacations.” is what Rob wrote and that pretty much sums it up.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I’m a Sagittarian with Sagitarius rising, so I get excited about everything. Getting my blogging job and yoga training jazzed me up. Our vacation in Victoria was a highpoint of bounciness. My netbook. I was selected for a poetry anthology. Being picked up for syndication. My niece getting married. My mom and aunt visiting over the summer.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

For a song to struck a memory chord with me it has to be tied to a person or event. The year doesn’t matter. Nothing like that came up this year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  I am happy. I was happy last year too.
b) thinner or fatter? Oh, I am much more toned and cut a far more svelte profile.
c) richer or poorer? Financially?
It’s relative, isn’t it? But I feel richer.

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


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


20. How did you spend Christmas?

At home with the kids and Rob

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

I just fell more in love with my husband.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I don’t watch TV.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

I read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a fantasy tome. His first work and it was wonderful. I delibrately friended him on Facebook so I can keep up with developments on the next book in the series. I haven’t been excited about a fantasy series in a long while, so this was quite the find.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

This was the year of the earworm. Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus. Nickleback. The Fray. O.A.R. David Cook. Ecetera, ecetera, ecetera…Insistent poppy melody. Nothing weighty or even semi-literate in a musical sense.

26. What did you want and get?

A netbook? I didn’t want that ferociously though. I just thought it made sense from a particular standpoint as my Macbook is showing its age. This seems more like one of those questions designed to elicit responses on deeply held dreams or life goals.

27. What did you want and not get?

Well, I didn’t win the lottery on Christmas Day. I even bought a ticket with the money Mom sent Rob and I for Christmas. She sent us a check for $5. We giggled about it and I decided to just blow in on the Lotto Max. I did win two free plays.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Star Trek prequel. It was popcorn and adrenaline and nostaglia.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Rob took a half day off and we spent it just the two of us at home. I will not elaborate futher. Later, we had dinner at Joey Tomatos in Sherwood Park. Got a sitter for Dee and braved the snow and cold. I was still recovering from my sinus thing though and wasn’t feeling all that well, but it was still lovely. Afterwards, Rob treated me to a chai at Starbucks. The next day, Dee and I made a cake and we mini-celebrated again.

Oh, and I got the coolest yoga gear and my amazing Kitchen Aid 7qt mixer.

The whole day rocked. And I turned 46.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

It would have been great if Rob had gotten the go ahead on his transfer because I want him to be happy with his work. Well, happier at any rate.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Fashion for me is yoga togs mostly

32. What kept you sane?

I never felt as though my sanity was a stake.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Fancy? In what respect? Confusion. Moving along.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

What political issue doesn’t stir me?

35. Who did you miss?

I don’t actually miss people. It’s a horrid personality flaw, but if I am happy in my reality, I don’t spend a lot of time wondering where people from my past are or what they are doing. I am glad to hear from people and see them, and I keep in touch with them, but missing seems to be an active longing, and I don’t feel that.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Jill, my yoga teacher. She has been inspirational.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Well, this is deep, but I believe I posted about realizing that I am not a guru. I know what I know in relationship to me and am happy to share it, but I don’t give advice.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

 Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb


Happy New Year, y’all!

Stealing meme’s is all I seem capable of which means this Monday ritual is probably played out, but let’s give it another week, shall we?

Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen films you’ve seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall. Tag 15 friends, including me because I’m interested in seeing what films my friends choose…or don’t and just comment. I like comments.

1) Gone With The Wind – because it cemented for me the idea that the novel is the best source for good story although I love the first half of this film. I even went to see it on an honest to goodness big screen when it was released for one of it’s anniversaries. It’s a must see on a real movie screen.

2) Moonstruck – I don’t know why I would have so strongly identified with the main character, Lorretta, when I first saw it. I was still in college and didn’t know anything about love, but her loneliness was something I understood. My favorite lines are from that movie:

Love don’t make things perfect. Love ruins everything.

Do ya love him, Lorretta? No, Ma. But I like him. Good, ‘cuz when ya love ’em, they’ll drive ya crazy ‘cuz they know they can.

Someday you’ll drop dead and I’ll come to your funeral in a red dress.

3) The Empire Strikes Back – not the best one of the six but I loved Yoda and movies I can remember lines from must be important.

This one long have I watched. Never his mind on where he was. What he was doing.

4) Much Ado About Nothing – my favorite Shakespeare film adaptation. I used to show it to my students and they loved it too. Emma Thompson is fabulous.

I cannot be a man through wishing, so I will dying a woman weeping.


Thus goes everyone to the world but I and I am sunburnt. I can sit in a corner and cry ‘hey ho’ for a husband.

I can get you one Lady.

Can you get me one of your Father’s getting? Your father made excellent husbands if only a maid could come by one.

5) LadyHawke – I remember taking a break from studying for finals my junior year to catch a matinee of this movie. I went alone. It was an old theatre in downtown Iowa City. Smelled like vaudeville with seats that sunk to the floor. This was another film I used when teaching folktales.

It’s like escaping mother’s womb. God, what a memory.

6) You’ve Got Mail – Better than that insipid Sleepless in Seattle but probably not the best of the romcom genre. Still I love Tom Hanks in his everyman romantic lead suit and the supporting cast is awesome.

The answer to all life’s problems is in The Godfather.

7) The Godfather I and II – I read the Puzo novel when I was in 7th grade. Sr. Marilyn was appalled to discover that yes, my parents not only knew but approved of the idea that I could read whatever struck my fancy. She had no idea that my parents weren’t moved to actually find out what any of the books I was reading were about. They were just happy to have at least one literate child and content to feed my hobby in whatever way they could – short of actually reading themselves. I first saw this on television. I believe both my folks watched too. They were part of a boxed set that Will and I bought when we got our first dvd player. They were his favorite movies.

8) Fight Club – I never saw it when it came out. I never read the book it was based on until I decided that doing so might help me better understand Mick, who is a Chuck Palahniuk reader. I am still torn about it, but I think it holds kernels of wisdom.

9) Cinderella – name a film version and I have probably seen it. My favorites are the Drew Barrymore version, Ever After, which tries to explain where the fairy tale originated and Disney’s musical version with Brandy and Whitney Houston. Yeah, corny and I don’t care. Cinderella has always spoken more to the core of me than any other of the princess tales and I am familiar with my versions of the different folk tales from my English teaching days. I used to tell my students that folk/fairy tales existed because they represented the commonality of human beings in terms of what we need and dream of, and I still believe that.

10) A Christmas Carol – I can watch just about any version of it, but my favorite is the George C. Scott television movie. Did you know that Dicken’s working title for this was “The Sledgehammer”? There is nothing about it I don’t love.

Okay, so this could easily be one of my last Monday meme’s, so I’d appreciate a comment from my normally reticent lurkers.

Today’s meme is via Rob’s blog. It is a “liberated” idea that is being freed all over the social media at present.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s harder than you think.


Are you male or female: I am Just a Girl

Describe yourself: Super Trouper

How do you feel about yourself: I Am An A

Describe where you currently live: Waterloo

The first thing you think of when you wake up: If It Wasn’t for the Nights

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Tropical Loveland

Your favorite form of transportation: Another Town, Another Train

What is the weather like where you are at: Summer Night City

Your best friend is: Like An Angel Passing Through My Room

Your favorite color is: Put on the White Sombrero

If your life were a TV show, what would it be called: My Love, My Life

What is life to you: Dream World

What is the best advice you have to give: Move On

If you could change your name, what would it be: Nina, Pretty Ballerina

Your favorite food is: Honey, Honey

How I would like to die: Burning My Bridges

My soul’s present condition: Free As a Bumblebee

What are you going to post this as: When All is Said and Done

Now it is your turn— or not. List a few in the comments or link back at your convenience.