After my blog colleague Avitable, here's a look back at 2010 in 38 handy questions.
1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I started doing freelance writing in earnest. I'm particularly proud of my restaurant and food reviews, which were more challenging than I expected. Seriously, just try and make entertainment out of hot dog toppings. Other than that, I did a few things that I wouldn't call new, but they occur infrequently enough that my life line intersects with their wavelength only every fifteen years or so: grew a beard, lost my job, took a serious stab at fiction.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make resolutions. Generally I can't remember my plans for more than an hour.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
More than a few people close to me got pregnant. I'm pretty sure that my proximity was unrelated.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
I visited the United States. But is that really a different country? It feels like a louder, bigger, angrier version of Canada. Like a crazy overweight neighbour with a gun who's really fun to hang out with if you catch him in the right mood.
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A steady job in a career path I want. More freelance work. More published work (which is coming).
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Early August, when we spent time in New York for the BlogHer conference. The end of October for Blissdom Canada, when I tried to pass on my wisdom to a roomful of bloggers and ended up talking about hungry Russian Jews.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Living with less. Living with myself. Doing something new, even when opening my eyes in the morning was difficult.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Being unable to ward off the misery of my last paying job, even after it was over.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
2010 was a refreshingly healthy year. I also drank a lot less when my spouse quit drinking.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I bought a leather jacket I like. And a nice scarf. I bought some great tea. I bought ridiculous amounts of tea.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
By and large everyone not engaged in genocide was on their best behaviour this year. Way to go, humans.
14. Where did most of your money go?
This was not a year of profligacy. I paid rent and bills, bought plane tickets to New York, and I probably spent far too much money on tea (see question 11).
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I got excited about going to BlogHer. The MamaPop authors party was a voice-destroying and liver-damaging evening in New York. When I was invited to speak at Blissdom Canada, that excited me even more than it terrified me. Hanging out all weekend with Schmutzie, Bon Stewart and Kate Inglis was excitement nearly past measure. And after all that, I got to hang out with various family members and introduce Schmutzie to the wonders of Niagara-on-the-Lake in fall. Being offered the dining column at Prairie Dog Magazine. Writing a chapter for a book of essays on Saskatchewan literature.
16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I have no idea. Hmm. New Pornographers “Crash Years” maybe. Or “Rill Rill” from Sleigh Bells. Or “Tightrope”.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier and more freaked out about the future.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner, I think. When you're working from home you don't eat out nearly as much.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer. Oh so poorer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I'd made more of each day. I guess that's what's 2011 is for.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Sit around depressed, blank-souled and dull at heart, fearful of the next few minutes but ardently wishing for its passage, just so I could get through the day and back to sleep. I spent a few too many days like that.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
My parents came to town on Christmas Eve and took us out to supper. The next morning they stopped by for breakfast, dropped off some presents, and left us to our day. Which consisted of movies and pizza. And Doctor Who. He came by for a while.
21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Already in love, thanks.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Terriers. The Red Riding Trilogy.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not at all. All the hateable bastards of Jan 2011 were just as hateable 365 days ago.
24. What was the best book you read?
Tom McCarthy's C was a bit uneven but it had some of the greatest passages I've read in years.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Harmony. That stuff makes all the difference. Also melody. And rhythm.
26. What did you want and get?
I wanted blueberry juice, and got it.
27. What did you want and not get?
I wanted ease, unity and grace, and received none of those things.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I think True Grit delivered more than any other film this year. Winter's Bone was straight-up fantastic.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Usually I cajole Schmutzie into taking me out to some awful fast food restaurant, like KFC or Taco del Mar. This time we went to the Creek in Cathedral bistro, and I had an excellent meal with friends. 39. A multiple of thirteen, and as such a harbinger of tumult. Not turmeric, tumult.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Incredible unearned success.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
32. What kept you sane?
My writing. Schmutzie. Friends.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I got nice and stirred up about the collapse of the housing crisis into the burgeoning mortgage fraud crisis. I always get stirred up about politics in foreign countries, where I have pretty much nothing at stake.
35. Who did you miss?
I didn't miss anyone. I never do. They're there, living their lives, whether I'm around or not. I'm here if they need me.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Between BlogHer, Blissdom and my freelance work, I met a heap of excellent people. A great big heap, piled up to the ceiling. To the person at the top of the heap I give a piece of chalk so that she may write 'This is how many great people Aidan met this year' on the ceiling.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Keep moving. And don't swallow your gum. That shit stays in your stomach for seven years.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
There just must be more to life than this
Careful 'cause you might just get your wish