Sunday, December 31, 2006

Taking Stock, 2006 Edition

More money or less?
Well, last year I earned a respectable sum over four months, and this year I also earned a respectable sum over four months. I worked a lot harder to get that money this year, but I think it was basically the same as last year, quantitywise. However, I am much further in debt this year... so I guess the answer is "less", yet another year in a row. However, I am confident that next year will be the year that I finally get to answer this question "more", if for no other reason than I won't be adding to my student loan debt for the first time in several years. Well, that and the fact that I expect to work the whole year instead of just a few months out of the year. I hope.

Biggest way to waste time?
Snuggling with Ash, falling asleep on the couch with Ash, hitting the snooze alarm four or five or ten times in a row...

Best use of time?

Every moment that I spent with Ash. Well, jeezum crow, y'all, didn't you see that one coming?? But no, seriously, I think I'd have to say learning to swim properly. It felt so amazing and empowering to take control and conquer one of my fears that way.

Best movie?
I've seen a lot more movies this year than I have in a long while, most of them with Ash. "Munich" was heartbreaking and gruesome. I thoroughly enjoyed "Thank You For Smoking". I laughed the entire way through "Borat", even the parts when I was thinking to myself "God, this is terrible! I can't believe I'm laughing at this!". I bet I also re-watched "Amelie" three or four times-- I love how it always makes me feel so optimistic and in love with life. But I think the best movie I saw this year was "Casablanca". What a magical evening that was!

Listened to?
All kinds of crazy stuff on Ash's iPod. Lots and lots of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. Luneray sent me the Arctic Monkeys CD, and I really loved it. It was on my mp3 player this summer, and whenever I hear anything from that album, it reminds me of running in the summer heat.


Lots and lots of bar review crap. Way too much of it was on Civil Procedure, a topic which was not tested at all. After the bar, I read a whole bunch of stuff with no substance to it whatsoever-- comics, magazines, some of my favorite children's books. Ash loaned me a collection of stories by Robert Heinlein, which I liked more than I expected to. Bouyed by the pleasure of that, I also agreed to read a couple of books by Dan Simmons, and both times I got really into the stories, staying up late to keep reading... and then got to the end and was enormously pissed at how half-hearted and unsatisfying the endings were. Most recently, I read Into Thin Air and Garlic and Sapphires, both of which I enjoyed immensely. I had a go at Fast Food Nation, but I'm finding it very pretentious and boring, so I doubt I'll bother to finish it. What I have not read yet, but intend to soon, is the final book in the Lemony Snicket series.

Fatter or Thinner?
Slighly fatter, since I did gain some weight while studying for the bar. I imagine it will start to go away again now that I've started working out in the company gym on a regular basis.

Smarter or stupider?
If Ash were here, he'd say "Definitely stupider-- you agreed to marry me!".

In a more serious vein (if answering a question like this can be said to be "serious", that is), I would have to say "smarter", if only by experience. This year was definitely one for re-evaulating myself and my life and the things that happened to me over the past several years, and I think I learned a healthy bit, some of it painful, some of it liberating, and I like how I've grown through that process. So, smarter.

Best buy?

My sweater shaver. I can't believe I've lived without one for this long. My favorite black sweater looks just as fabulous as when I first got it-- and I was totally thinking of getting rid of it because it just looked so old and worn.

Best bargain?

My new shower curtain. I love how it makes the whole room so warm and cozy.

Stupidest purchase?


Drank the most?
Blue Moon. Man, I drank a lot of Blue Moon this summer. That, of course, is because Blue Moon is a) mass-produced and domestic, so you can find it at a lot of places, b) cheaper than "real" Belgian beer, and c) very good. I was really disappointed that we never managed to try the Blue Moon pumpkin ale before it was gone.

Best drink?
Corsendonk, yum yum! And I love that I can get it on tap! And I also love that I can try all kinds of other wonderful (Belgian, mostly) beers right here in my very own neighborhood! No, wait! Those martinis that I had when I went out with N. before she left for California were really great. The little Thai restaurant we were at infuses its own flavored vodkas and the Asian Pear Martini was soooo good without being cloyingly sweet. And I cannot even begin to do justice to the Chocolate Martini.

Ate the most?
Cheese. I ate so much cheese. I mean, this is true every year, really, but it seems like I really went on a cheese binge this year. At one point recently, I had almost 5 lbs. of cheese in my refrigerator. And I live alone.

Worst food eaten?
Hmmmm. I can't think of anything I had this year that was truly atrocious. Though that one time that we went out with Ash's judge and the other clerks, the buffet was kind of grody. But they did have a few things that were pretty good, so I guess it wasn't terrible.

Best food eaten?
My 30th birthday dinner with Ash. I honestly couldn't tell you which part of the several courses was my favorite, but I can tell you how vividly I remember the mouth feel of the palate cleansing sorbet. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced before.

New friends found?
This year, I was very lucky to get to know the very dear and funny Krista. I am sad that we never get to see each other anymore now that I'm not in law school anymore!

Old friends lost?

Yes, but, much like last year, I've come to realize that it was no great loss.

Resolutions not kept?
I don't think I made resolutions last year. I was so busy being in the flush of falling in love and all that, I wasn't really thinking "self-improvement".

Missed chances?

Failing the bar... and then it happened, and it turned out not to be all that big of a deal. Also, I am still terrified of spiders.

Biggest success?
You know, the best thing that happened to me this year was getting engaged to Ash, but I'm not certain that I feel comfortable calling it a "success". It's not like I purposely set out to "snag him" or something. It just sort of... happened, you know?

Biggest failure?

Surprisingly enough, not the bar. I think my biggest failure this year was not running a 5K. I really wanted to do it, and I just let a thousand little things get in the way of it. Maybe that should be my resolution this year.

Heathier or Sicker?

Healthier, overall. I'm thrilled to announce that, unless I come down with it in the next five hours, I have officially gone two whole calendar years without catching pneumonia!

Best spontaneous fun?

Visiting the carillion players in Beaumont Tower.

Learned the most?
About myself. I like the person I've been rediscovering and I want to be the kind of person I know she is capable of being.

What I definitely don’t want to see in the next year?

The bills for our wedding. Dear Lord, this crap is expensive.

TV puke?
Now that I don't have TV at home, I just can't get worked up about most things. Ash subjects me to a fair amount of crap on the Sci-Fi channel, and recently he made me watch some movie about dragons that eat people or something. I complained about it a little, then shut up because I love him and he seemed to really want to watch this movie. Sometime later, I mentioned the horrible dragon movie in passing, and he said "Oh, yeah. That movie was terrible, wasn't it."
"Well", say I, "Why did you make me watch it then?"
"I thought I might like it."


Right now, I'm loving "Everest: Beyond the Limit". It is train-wreck fascinating, and is, in fact, the reason why I decided to read Into Thin Air ten years after the fact.

Biggest change?

Moving into the working world. It's been a strange sort of transition, and was harder than I expected, especially once I started working a regular day job instead of the waitressing and tutoring I'd been doing. It's not like this is the first time I've had a regular, full-time "real" job before, so I don't know why it's been so difficult to get into a good routine that doesn't leave me feeling like I have no time to do anything except sleep and go to work. I miss having time to cook and talk to my friends and blog, and I know there's got to be a way to fit this stuff in. But somehow, it seems like I get home from work, slap something to eat together, and it's already time to go to bed, you know? I don't remember feeling this way when I was working full time between college and law school.

Biggest loss for mankind?

Another year of horrible decision making by Bush and Co. I cannot wait until 2009. The continuing crises in Africa. The ever-widening gap between the rich and poor.

Biggest Disappointment?
Another year has gone by and neither I nor anyone close to me has won the lottery. No, really. That's the biggest disappointment I can come up with. This has been one of the best, happiest years of my life. I feel good about everything, and I feel like more goodness is just around the corner.


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