This year's wrapup (what else does one do right before midnight on New Year's Day?) is ripped off from Deborah Birkett at Chicklit.

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
Visit half a dozen states I'd managed to miss up to now; mow the lawn in my underwear; mow the lawn out of my underwear.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I really didn't make any, and don't plan to for 2005.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Probably the closest was Father Kelly.

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave the States, though I did get within one block of the Canadian border.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Lots of money; more vacation time; the ability to sleep for eight hours without thrashing; lots of money; a sense of purpose that doesn't involve typing; oh, and lots of money.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Lots of small accomplishments this year, but no really big ones, so no really searing memories.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Either finally doing something about this trick knee or dropping around 30 lb; or, if Terry Teachout is to be believed, this.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I still haven't unpacked everything from my 2003 move.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Apart from the knee, there was that keister-related rupture.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I didn't buy much of anything memorable this year: got a few CDs, a couple of DVDs, some vinyl even, but nothing that makes me want to holler from the housetops.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Well, certainly not mine.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Well, not mine, though not quite as certainly.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Apart from the mortgage, it seems like taxes, interest, interest on taxes, taxes on interest, and gasoline.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My annual road trip, but then I always do that.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
I made a point of avoiding contemporary music this year; I don't have any memories from this year that relate to a particular song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? A smidgen happier, I believe.
b) thinner or fatter? About 30 lb thinner.
c) richer or poorer? My net worth has increased fivefold, which is less impressive than it sounds.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Tending the front garden; random useless flirtations. (On both counts, I need the practice.)

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Reading books for the specific purpose of putting myself to sleep.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
In bed as much as possible.

21. Did you fall in love in 2004?
Gawd, I hope not.

22. How many one-night stands?
Not a one.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
I didn't watch enough TV to make any kind of judgment call. If the set was on, I was most likely playing stuff from the tape/disc shelf, or watching the news or The Weather Channel.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No, but there are a few more people to whom, were they drowning ten feet offshore, I would throw two five-foot lengths of rope.

25. What was the best book you read?
Gabriel García Márquez' Love in the Time of Cholera.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The seemingly-lost soul recordings from Columbus' Capsoul label.

27. What did you want and get?
A third of my candidates in the November election won.

28. What did you want and not get?
Two-thirds of them lost.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Incredibles, believe it or not.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Not a damned thing. (I was fifty-one.)

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A visit from [fill in name of unattainable female].

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
"No one will ever accuse me of trendiness."

33. What kept you sane?
That's a legal term, and an arguable one at that.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I try to avoid fixations of this sort.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Judging by the sheer volume of writing I did about it, it has to be Oklahoma's perversely-difficult ballot access.

36. Who did you miss?
My kids, except for actual visits; Ray Charles; She Who Is Not To Be Named.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Well, he wasn't new, technically, but it's Dynamo Dave Sherman.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
You can spray-paint a turd and tell people it's gold, but it's still a turd.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"You can't hurry love / You just have to wait."

The Vent

  1 January 2005

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 Copyright © 2005 by Charles G. Hill