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31 December 2008 @ 02:25 pm
First Sentence Redux  
Ah, the annual meme:

January: For the record: Ryuu should not spout Shakespeare. Just trust me on this.

February: While it puzzles me greatly, this site also amuses me greatly. (No, that's really not supposed to make much sense.)

March: Busy Mebius news week. Per the April Terebi-kun, we have which 8 Ultramen will be in the new movie.

April: Uh... Too tired to parse, much less translate, but... more info on Armored Darkness + other stuffs.

May: Finished Tiga. Pleased to say all those years ago when [info]hoshikage and I were right way back when we were watching the horrible US dub and saying that it looked like there was a good story in there somewhere behind all the awful kiddified dialog.

June:Inspired by [info]hoshikage, I started working through the rest of the aired season 3 episodes. (Y'know, it probably would have been useful if I'd mentioned what I was working through was Avatar)

July: SB folks and the fire, for those who are interested. Likely uninteresting to anyone who doesn't know Jan.

August: Hokuto the baker! Mirai-kun to no kiss scene! (Is it just me, or did practically every month this year start with an Ultraman-related post?)

September: I luffs the houseguests. They iz most friendly and cuddly and just too adorable for words.

October: I met up for dinner with a friend today. Upon being asked how I was doing I replied "not bad" -- and was somewhat surprised.

November: Looking at my final decisions on the initiatives, I find that three out of the four "yes" votes are for bonds.

December: The thing about having worked as a systems administrator at eBay is that I tend to giggle when reading job postings that say "must be able to manage environments supporting at least 3000 users and at least 30 servers."

So five of those aren't UM-related. (One of them is stealthy.)





I didn't do this one last year, since there were too many bitter things that I didn't want to say for fear of offending people. I should have done it anyway and just kept it locked. Oh well. This year at least is a good deal more calm.


1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?

Finished a Japanese pilgrimage (the Chichibu Kannon 34), most of it done walking. Oh! And I felt my first Japanese earthquake. ... Nothing else is coming to mind at the moment. I guess losing 24 pounds counts. I've never done that before.


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

Not so many resolutions per se as goals. I don't remember all of them, since most of them I did earlier in the year. The last one was to get rid of that awful table in my kitchen, and that's been done.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


A couple of friends of mine did. I don't see them that often.


4. Did anyone close to you die?

Happily, no.


5. What countries did you visit?

Just Japan. Low on the trips this year.


6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

*ponders* Not really sure. The garden redone? A new Mebi series? A clue on what my life's passion is?


7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

None come to mind.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Not sure. I'm very pleased with all the work getting done around the house. And I'm fairly proud of not falling into a funk over the unemployment thing.


9. What was your biggest failure?

Hard to say, largely due to a philosophical shift from thinking of things as failures. They're just experiences that didn't go the way I imagined they would.



10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

*pets all the pretty fabric*

I loves the fence.


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I think this is once again the part where I say thank you to all the support I've received from my friends this year.


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Best not discussed in public.


14. Where did most of your money go?

This has been an unexpectedly expensive year. Major expenses were furniture, a trip to Japan... There were others, but I'm not remembering them at the moment, though I know they're there.


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

Armored Darkness and the new UM movie. (Which, sadly, I haven't seen yet. Looking forward to it in 23 days!) I'm really looking forward to the next Japan trip, and yes, that's been keeping me excited since, like, July. (The last one was wonderful and I really enjoyed it, but I think I didn't get really jazzed about it before I went.)


16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Not sure. Probably (thanks to swtjemz's evil influence) DBSK's Mirotic or one of their other songs. And thanks to sakon76's fic, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".


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

i. happier or sadder? Generally happier, I think. Certainly better able to cope.
ii. thinner or fatter? Decidedly thinner. (Score!)
iii. richer or poorer? More money in the bank = richer, I guess.


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

More of the stuff that I always say "I wish I did that more." Playing video games and reading books for fun come to mind. I'm really enjoying doing Japanese needlework and plotting quilts, so I'm looking forward to doing more of that.


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

Being upset with people.


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Hm, bit late. Spent it at home, with the folks over. It was nice.


22. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Nope.


23. How many one-night stands?

No.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Avatar. Bloody Monday. Ryuusei no Kizuna was fun. What else have I been watching this year? I would swear there were more things. Liar Game? Eh, mostly foreign stuff.


25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Nope. I'm not big on the hating.


26. What was the best book you read?

Didn't read a lot this year. Probably Eat, Pray, Love.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Groups I've picked up this year include Kamelot, Epica, One Ok Rock, Moneky Majik, DBSK. >.>


28. What did you want and get?

GPS-chan! A new fence! New Mebi stuffs!


29. What did you want and not get?

Not to get laid off. :P


30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Dai-kessen! Chou Ultra 8 Kyoudai? No, wait. I haven't actually seen that yet, so it probably doesn't count. I can't remember what I saw this year, though I remember there were a bunch of good films out. I think I enjoyed Speed Racer the most, for all that it was totally cheestastic. (Because it was totally cheesetastic?)


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

I didn't do too much this year. Went out to dinner with my folks. And I'm one year short of the big 4-0.


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

Avoiding miscommunications with people? (Is such a thing possible?) Lately, I'd kind of like to have a job I really like.


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Dropping weight, so not changing the wardrobe.


34. What kept you sane?

Remembering that whatever it is, it's not going to last forever.

A friend introduced me to a new church, and listening to the sermons has really been cheering me up and re-orienting my thinking in ways that I'm finding positive. (Don't worry, I'm not going to turn into a rabid, obnoxious church goer trying to foist my religion on everyone else.)


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

I was just watching a show on Travis, and I continue to be impressed with his way of conducting himself.

On a more shallow level, I thought Mirua Haruma was very fetching in Bloody Monday. And Jaejoong is just too pretty for words.


36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The infamous Prop 8, of course. I'm currently still grumpy at the folks who contributed to the mortgage debacle with it's ongoing ripples.


37. Who did you miss?

This has been a fun year of getting back in contact with people, so I'm missing fewer folks. Lately I've been missing my former coworkers, and I miss my fish horribly. (Really most poke folks to let me in and say hi to them.)


38. Who was the best new person you met?

I've been meeting people this year? Hm, not that I'm remembering... (Apologies to anyone who I met this year that I'm forgetting about!)


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:

Whatever it is, it's going to change soon.


Sheesh, everything I was doing that I considered important isn't covered under the questions. This year I decided to get serious about losing weight, and have been really enjoying it. It's satisfying finding that there's less of me around and discovering muscles in places I didn't realize I had muscles. I've made huge changes in my living space this year,and I'm really enjoying that. I've picked up Japanese embroidery and am starting to try my hand at quilting, which has been relaxing. I've taken up daily meditation, and that seems to be helping to keep me calm and focused.

I've changed my approach on life a lot this year. Back in March I undertook to stop complaining completely. I won't claim to have been completely successful at that -- but I am focusing more on asking myself if something's really worth grumping about, and on letting go of stuff that's just not that important. I'm getting a lot better on focusing on enjoying the moment fully -- whether it's something fun or something that's not -- and for accepting that whatever happens it's just an experience. There are no disasters, just opportunities. It's a different way to live, and I'm seeing signs that it's a way that I'll like better than what I'd been doing previously. (Which, sadly, involved a lot of time being miffed that things weren't working out the way I would have hoped.)

For next year, I'm working on getting my Japanese up to the level where I feel I'm fluent. I have as a goal to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in December. I want to take the first level test if possible, but that's going to require a bit of studying on my part, so we'll see. I've also got as a goal to improve my technical skills on my own. Once a month I want to get to the library and pick up a book on a subject I want to learn more about, just to learn more. I've gotten lazy and been sitting back and waiting for work to just provide me with increasing experience. I think I need to be proactive and change that.

With encouragement from rhylar's lovely wife, I think I'm going to work on writing more. And hopefully I will get some experience with making a video game.

Goals for the year include finishing stripping and repainting the master bedroom and redesigning the garden.

I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Japan trip (at the end of April.) We're going to hit a couple of places that have been REALLY been annoying me with the unvisitedness, so that will be good. Plus, we are going to see some new flowers, since we're going at a slightly different time of the year.




Ah, Kouhaku, how you amuse me. This woman looks like she's got a dancing salad for her backup dancers. Most inscrutable.