...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Monday, December 27, 2004

2004 in review, meme style!

Anyone remember the episode of King of the Hill in which Dale tries to seduce Nancy "Monkey-style!!" all jumping on the bed in his tighty-whiteys, hooting like a monkey? No? Well, it's very funny, and I considered titling this post "2004 in review, monkey-style!" but I thought that no one would get it and it would be weird.

I promise to never use the phrase "tighty-whiteys" again.

Anyways, this meme is from Gwen. I enjoyed filling it out; I hope you enjoy reading it! (Warning: this is long. Like, really long.)

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?

I voted in my first presidential election. I got drunk. I went to a hockey game. I co-founded a club. I got a job. Those are all memorable things that I can pin down to one moment in time, but there were tons of little things that I’d never done before: spoken up in situations when before, I would have held my tongue and later regretted it; taken the initiative to meet new people; gone to movies by myself without feeling weird about it; taken a trip all by myself. Actually, I feel as though I’ve grown up a lot over the past year.

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

I didn’t make any actual resolutions, just a half-assed “Well, I guess I’ll try to get in better shape.” (Hee! I said “half-assed.”) I did lose some weight, so I guess I’ll try to do that again this year. My biggest resolution this year is to become better informed about world events and more literate/better read. Like, I should actually read the front section of The New York Times when I pick it up every day, instead of just reading the Arts and Leisure and Dining and Circuits sections then letting the old papers lay around my room for weeks because I feel guilty for not having read them and then sneaking out in the dead of night to recycle them. Also, I’m going to try to be nicer and less judgmental.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Jennifer, one of my professors from last spring, gave birth over the summer and I baby-sit her daughter Little C a couple times a week.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?

Canada—Vancouver, BC for spring break.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

A boy.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Hmm…I guess I’m not the date-etching type, because I can’t think of anything.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Probably working at the Migrant Summer School again. This year I felt like I was connecting with the kids in a way I never had before. That, combined with going down to Eugene to hear Gustavo Gutiérrez speak at the UO, cemented my desire to continue studying Latin American liberation theology, and recently I’ve begun to look at graduate programs in theology. That feels like a pretty big accomplishment, but I think my greatest achievements were individual relationships with incredible people. And ordinary people too, heh.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I didn’t do everything I could to preserve a troubled friendship, and now I’m not sure where the friend and I stand or whether we’re even friends any more.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had one horrendous period episode, conveniently on the morning of the first unit test for Biology 151, and I threw up a couple times from the Norwalk virus in the spring, but that was it. I had a few colds, but overall I’ve been pretty healthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Maybe my black wool peacoat that I got at the Buffalo Exchange in Eugene. I love it! In reality, though, the best things I bought were probably books.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

All the people who busted their asses working to get Kerry elected and to elect progressive politicians at all levels. Shout-out to LC Sarah, Matt, and Adam, my College Democrats/Students Against Bush/LC4Kerry compatriots!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Those who were apathetic about the election or did nothing to inform themselves about the candidates and the issues. People who voted for Measure 36. People who voted for Bush based on “moral values.” The friend I mentioned in question 9. My own behavior make me appalled and depressed sometimes.

14. Where did most of your money go?

God only knows.

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

Going back to school in late August (I know: geek). My birthday. Seeing school friends Ryan, Chris K, and Mattover the summer—four months is a long time! Taking tango lessons with Home Sarah and then going to the Oregon Country Fair with her. Seeing Gustavo Gutiérrez in November.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?

Ask me again in five years, when 2004 is far enough in the past that I need to be reminded of it.

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

a) happier or sadder? Happier in some ways and sadder in some ways. That’s a cop-out answer, but it’s the best one I can give.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner by about fifteen pounds.
c) richer or poorer? Probably richer, but I feel poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Dancing, going on roadtrips, watching movies, reading for fun, reading the newspaper, hanging out with friends.

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

The Three Ws: wasting time, worrying, and wallowing in self-pity.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I spent it in Eugene with my family: my mom, dad, and younger brother Andy. Christmas Eve we all went to the evening service at our church, watched A Christmas Carol at home (the George C. Scott version, not the Muppet one), then Mom and I went back for the 11pm service, and I performed with the bell choir. Christmas Day we spent at home, opening gifts, stuffing our faces, relaxing, watching DVDs, and playing games.

21. Did you fall in love in 2004?

Gwen’s answer is a good one: “I loved.” I didn’t fall in love romantically, but I nurtured relationships with those whom I love.

22. How many one-night stands?

None, ever.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Now and forever, The Amazing Race! Also, Freaks and Geeks, Joan of Arcadia, even though I don't get to watch it much, and King of the Hill. Also, um…America’s Next Top Model. There, I said it.

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

Hate is too strong a word. I dislike some people whom I didn’t hate at this time last year, but I try not to spend too much time actively disliking those people.

25. What was the best book you read?
Tough question. Actually, I’ve read more “best books” this year than any other year. An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum was the number one best book I read, just because of the depth of emotion, honesty, humanity, and spirituality contained within it. Other incredible books included The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (and everything else) by Milan Kundera, Letters to a Young Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke, the poetry of Rilke, and Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics by Sasha Cagen. I’m reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig, right now, and I have a feeling that that’s going to be a great book as well.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Velvet Underground.

27. What did you want and get?

An iPod! A nice haircut. Friends.

28. What did you want and not get?

Enlightenment.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

Maybe The Motorcycle Diaries. I also loved Mean Girls. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned nineteen on February 18. Cloe and I skipped Self Defense for Women and went out to dinner with Angela and Alyssa (Cloe and Alyssa’s birthdays were right around mine, so we celebrated together). Afterwards we went back to the dorm for chocolate fondue with Laurel (whose birthday was also the nineteen; she turned twenty), Jeannie, and a whole mess of other people. I had a great day. My birthday was on a Wednesday, and on Sunday, Matt dropped me off in Eugene on his way to the Coast with Chris L, Chris K, and Angela P, so that I could surprise my family. The weekend after, I bought a bunch of tickets for movies at the Portland International Film Festival and spent the day downtown by myself, as my own birthday present.

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

Falling in love.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

Despite the repeated allegations by family and friends that I’m a hipster (or, more realistically, a wanna-be hipster), I have no fashion concept. I buy clothes mostly at thrift stores and at your cheaper retail stores, with a healthy dose of shirts from Glarkware. I wouldn’t describe myself as fashionable, but I’m not aggressively unfashionable, either. I try to find things that I’ll be able to wear indefinitely, that won’t go out of style…clothes that exist in a kind of vacuum that fashion doesn’t bother to concern itself with. (I do, however, suspect that I may have been the one to bring argyle back into style.)

33. What kept you sane?

Solitude, friends, and faith.

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

Peter Saarsgard: I think he’s an incredible actor and not too bad-looking to boot. I loved Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries. I really like Lindsey Lohan: she’s a talented actress, and I want to root for her, but she’s making it hard with her constant presence in the gossip magazines. Girl looks rough, is all I’m saying. Like, lay off the sunless tanner, Lindsey, because no one looks good as a pumpkin. As far as public figures go: Václav Havel, now and forever, amen.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election and all it encompassed. Issues facing migrant farmworkers.

36. Who did you miss?

Everyone who was overseas this semester.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

There’s no way I can choose something like that. How about, if I met you in 2004 and you’re reading this page, you’re included in this answer. (If I met you before 2004 and you’re reading this, then you’re also awesome, because I only give out this website address to cool people. Or, alternatively, you are cool for seeking out this site.)

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.

It’s not very eloquent, but I guess I learned how to be more comfortable in my own skin and with myself.

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

“You’ve got to get yourself together / You’ve got stuck in a moment / And now you can’t get out of it / Don’t say that later will be better / Now you’re stuck in a moment / And you can’t get out of it.” And along the same U2 vein: “It’s a beautiful day / Sky falls you feel like / It’s a beautiful day / Don’t let it get away.”