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MSNBC's year in pictures: amazing.


Seattle skyline from Alki Beach on Thursday.





Saturday, December 31, 2005

I'm not normally a huge fan of the quiz/meme thing, mostly because the questions tend to run along the lines of "If you were a bar of soap, what would you smell like?" and "Gryffindor or Ravenclaw?", but I did fill this out last year - so for the sake of continuity, here goes:

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?

Had me a baby. Well! I can see already that this Riley business is going to be a prevalent theme in my answers.

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

I don't actually remember getting all official about making any resolutions last year, but if I had I most assuredly did not keep them, unless they were along the lines of "eat a full pint of Ben & Jerrys nearly every day for six solid months". My health-related resolutions this year are to go to the gym at least two, ideally three days per week and to fit back into my size 8 clothing. Pardon me while I issue a short, bitter bark of laughter at the complete lack of discipline that will doubtlessly undermine my goals five minutes into 2006.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Besides ME, you mean? ME ME ME? Oh. Um, let's see...no one I know in "real life", but at least a couple fabulous Internet Persons I can think of.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not really. JB's uncle's former wife died, but I had only met her once. She was a real nice lady and told some terrible, terrible jokes, one of which I will try and remember for you now.

A bear walks into a bar and sits down. He whaps on the bar with his paw and asks for a beer. The bartender comes up and says, "We don't serve beer to bears in bars in Billings, Montana." The bear gets angry, and once again asks for a beer. The bartender again says, "We don't serve beer to bears in bars in Billings, Montana." The bear gets really mad and says, "If you don't serve me a beer, I'm going to eat that lady sitting at the end of the bar." The bartender replies again, "Sorry, we don't serve beer to bears in bars in Billings, Montana."

The bear goes to the end of the bar and, and just like he threatened, eats the woman. He comes back to his seat, and again demands a beer. The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve beer to bears in bars in Billings, Montana, that are on drugs." The bear goes, " I'm not on drugs."

The bartender says, "Yes you are. That was a bar bitch you ate." 

5. What countries did you visit?

In April I went to Japan for a week.

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?

Less negativity about my job, more clarity about what my strengths are and how to elevate them.

7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 31: Riley's birthday.

And what happened then?
Why in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making it through the first hard weeks of being a parent. Not drinking for a full year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not getting a better handle on where my career is going.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Other than headaches, bloating, gas, heartburn, congestion, the jimmy leg, giant puffer fish feet, hemorrhoids, and the near-constant desire to dip salt n' vinegar chips in melted chocolate? Nope.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Nikon D-70, hands down.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Sean Penn, totally, for his brave, selfless rescue efforts post-Katrina! Also, I am just kidding. Honestly, I can't really think of any one particular person.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

People whose daily agenda includes ramming their personal belief systems and lifestyle choices down other people's throats.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Other than the basics like house payments, gas, savings, food, etc, probably baby-related items and Starbucks. Man, I don't even want to know how much we've spent on vanilla lattes in the last month alone.

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

This is kind of a no-shitter, but my answer has to be Riley. I spent the majority of 2005 awaiting his arrival with intense, drawn-out anticipation, now I get really, really, really excited over him on an hourly basis.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?

"Fake Palindromes", Andrew Bird. I listened to this album a lot when I was riding the bus in the early summer, it's inexorably woven with my memories of being pregnant and feeling the baby kick while on my way to and from work.

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

a) happier or sadder?
Happier, definitely.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter, or maybe the same but shaped somewhat differently.
c) richer or poorer? Monetarily speaking, probably a little better off.

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

Made more of an effort at keeping friendships going. Writing.

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

Worrying, although I don't know how I could have kept myself from it.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent Christmas at my home with JB and the Boy, having visited both sides of our families ahead of time. It was nice, but didn't really feel like Christmas, maybe because we'd already done presents and things beforehand.

21. Did you fall in love in 2005?

I sure did. From the time he was a swimming little uterine tadpole, even.

(God, that makes it sound like I'm talking about sperm.)

(Which I'm not.)

(Hey, if you say "sperm" a bunch it sounds really weird. Sperm. Sperm. Sperm. Sperm.)


22. How many one-night stands?

None. Bah, stupid question. Gryffindor? Or Ravenclaw?

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Six Feet Under, until it ended. Deadwood. The Office. The Daily Show. Oh, and who can forget Breaking Bonaduce?

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

No, I don't think so.

25. What was the best book you read?

Damn, now there's a hard question. I can't even remember what all I read in 2005, I should have kept lists like Chiara does. Instead of narrowing it down to one book, I'll just say that I found Elizabeth Berg this year and I love all of her novels very very much.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I have been thinking and thinking about this one and I can safely say that I made no musical discoveries in 2005. I just didn't listen to anything new, how lame is that? I checked my iTunes purchased music, and this is what I bought in the last year:

Gwen Stefani, L.A.M.B
The Dresden Dolls, The Dresden Dolls
Jack Johnson, In Between Dreams
Aimee Mann, The Forgotten Arm
Jem, Finally Woken
Weezer, Make Believe
Andrew Bird, The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Duran Duran, Arena
Bloodhound Gang, Hooray for Boobies and One Fierce Beer Coaster
The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
Missy Elliott, The Cookbook
The Smiths, The Smiths
Gorillaz, Demon Days
Juliana Hatfield, Made In China
They Might Be Giants, No!
Madonna, Confessions on a Dance Floor
Jarhead, Original Soundtrack

Out of those I'd say Aimee Mann's album was my favorite.

27. What did you want and get?

A small child with JB's eyes. A better camera. An extended maternity leave. A vacation.

28. What did you want and not get?

A magical fairy to drop railcars full of gold ingots in my backyard. Also, a new car.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

What is my problem, I can barely think of anything I watched prior to King Kong two weeks ago. Um, maybe the Aristocrats? Sin City? Seems like it wasn't the best year for movies.

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

I believe I ate both pizza and ice cream, despite being 31 years old. I was hanging out with my family and going crazy from not telling yet about the pregnancy.

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

Nothing. I can't think of a thing.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?

Ha. Sundresses That Can House The Actual Sun, maybe. Stretchy Waistbands "R" Us. Old Navy Yoga Pants Or Bust (Literally).

33. What kept you sane?

The internet, as usual. I especially loved reading about other people's pregnancies, it was considerably more useful and entertaining that what's being sold in bookstores on the subject.

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

Fancy as in "want to ride their sweaty body like a steel-thighed Texas cheerleader"? Can't think of anyone, actually.

Wait, maybe Timothy Olyphant from Deadwood. Something 'bout that mustache - me-yow.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

All the issues that threaten the separation of church and state.

36. Who did you miss?

Friends and coworkers, after going on leave.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

I have not in fact met this person, but I am so happy to have discovered Kristin's journal this year.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005.

That I have greater capacities than I ever would have guessed.

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

Oh, so cheesy. Well:

Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum
You came along and everything started to hum
Still it's a real good bet the best is yet to come
The best is yet to come and, babe, won't it be fine?


Happy New Year, everyone.

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