elizabeth lane lawley's thoughts on technology, academia, family, and tangential topics

Monday, 20 December 2004

40 questions about 2004: an end-of-the-year meme

Just in time for the holiday break, a new time-consuming, tell-all meme (via Molly) Only 40 questions (instead of 200 things), but it requires a bit of thought. Still, it seemed worthwhile to work through them and think about the wild ride this year has been. Peaks and valleys higher and lower than any I've had before. I don't regret any of it, though there are parts I wouldn't want to experience again.

More after the fold...

  1. What did you do in 2004 that you’d never done before?
    • Went to Japan, China, and Greece
    • Took a photo with a phone
    • Watched someone go through alcohol withdrawal
  2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    I made none--I was trying to survive the holidays, and that took all my mental energy last year. I have no plans to make any this year. They seem like pre-planned disappointments.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    My close friend and colleague Andy Phelps and his wife had a beautiful baby girl, as did my friend and fellow M2M author Clay Shirky and his wife, and my husband's nephew David and his wife.
  4. Did anyone close to you die?
    If you count the very end of 2003, four people. My brother-in-law Howard died in December of 2003. My father's companion of 25 years, Pat, died of cancer in March. Matthew, teenager who cut our lawn died in a car crash in July. Perhaps the hardest of all for me to handle was the news that my ex-husband, Dave Tudder, had died of Lou Gehrig's disease in August.
  5. What countries did you visit?
    Japan, China, and Greece. I passed through Germany, but I don't really count passing through an airport as a visit.
  6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
    Fewer deaths and serious illnesses in the people I love.
  7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory?
    • May 10th
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Personally, getting myself into recovery in Al-Anon. Professionally, launching the Lab for Social Computing.
  9. What was your biggest failure?
    There were a lot of challenges, but I'm not sure I see any of them as "failures." I seldom choose to label things that way, since all it does is reinforce negative self-images.
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    No. I was remarkably lucky.
  11. What was the best thing you bought?
    My cameraphone, coupled with my Flickr Pro subscription.
  12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
    My kids, who amaze and delight me on a regular basis. My husband, who made a decision to be a better person in a way that's helped our whole family. My students, who remind me regularly of why I chose the profession I did.
  13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
    More than half of the voting public.
  14. Where did most of your money go?
    Food and shelter. Clothes for growing kids. Video games (also for growing kids). Travel. Gas.
  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    • Building a new professional niche in social computing
    • A possible sabbatical opportunity for next year
    • An invitation to go to Dubai in the spring
  16. What song/album will always remind you of 2004?
    Ultra-Lounge Leopard Skin Fuzzy Sampler
  17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    1. happier or sadder? happier
    2. thinner or fatter? fatter
    3. richer or poorer? richer, in many ways
  18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Reading to the boys.
  19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
  20. How will you be spending Christmas?
    Christmas Eve at Weez's house, Christmas Day at home with my family.
  21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
    Gerald and the boys.
  22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
  23. How many one night stands in this last year?
    None. I think I'm over that phase.
  24. What was your favourite TV programme?
    Boston Legal. (Who knew Shatner could be that good?)
  25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    Nope. In fact, I no longer hate a lot of people that I did hate at this time last year.
  26. What was the best book(s) you read?
    I mostly listened to audiobooks this year. I particularly enjoyed "God Save the Sweet Potato Queens" by Jill Conner Browne.
  27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Eastmountainsouth (thanks, Simon!)
  28. What did you want and get?
    A promotion to associate professor.
  29. What did you want and not get?
    A bloggy award for
  30. What were your favourite films of this year?
    I didn't see many...we mostly rent movies, or go to see children's movies. A few I remember seeing and liking were The Incredibles, Shrek 2, and Spider-Man 2.
  31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I turned 42 (the answer to life, the universe, and everything) on April 16. I had a cocktail party at my house for a number of close friends (all of whom are also colleagues). We drank a *lot* of cocktails, and had a fabulous time.
  32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Getting the gym on a regular basis. I've lost the habit, and it's taking its toll on my weight and my sense of well-being.
  33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
    Lots of black. Because it hides some of the extra weight I put on. :)
  34. What kept you sane?
    Al-Anon, Lexapro, and lots of hugs.
  35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Fancy in the romantic sense? Hmmm. James Spader, maybe.
  36. What political issue stirred you the most?
    Civil liberties
  37. Who did you miss?
    My friends from college, Bob and MaryAnn, whom I've been dreadful about staying in touch with. If I were to make a resolution this year, it would be to try to repair those friendships.
  38. Who was the best new person you met?
    Too many to list. It was a good year for new friends.
  39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
    Grief really does make joy taste sweeter.
  40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
    "Cast me gently
    Into morning
    For the night has been unkind
    Take me to a
    Place so holy
    That I can wash this from my mind
    And break choosing not to fight"
Posted at 7:51 PM in:

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 40 questions about 2004: an end-of-the-year meme:

40 questions about 2004 from Knowledge Jolt with Jack on December 26, 2004 10:10 AM
Excerpt: Here is another end-of-year meme that comes via Liz Lawley of mamamusings (who got it from Molly).  A lot has happened, much of it revolving around our first child (pictures) - many references below.  I tend not to write about these...
40 questions about 2004 from Mathemagenic on December 26, 2004 3:53 PM
Excerpt: Following Liz Lawley
Another meme: 40 questions about 2004 from Coniecto on December 30, 2004 4:16 AM
Excerpt: via Mathemagenic (also checked Liz Lawley and Jack Vinson)- and this is how my 2004 looks like....
40 Questions about 2004 from the Pen on December 30, 2004 7:48 PM
Excerpt: The end of the year is usually time for reflection on the events of the past 364 days. Here is my attempt at closure before the New Year arrives 1. What did you do in 2004 that youíd never...
40 questions about 2004-Time to Think Back and Look Ahead from TIMELINE -- Dan Li's Blog on December 31, 2004 11:20 AM
Excerpt: Following Lilia Efimova, Liz Lawley and Jack Vinson. It is time to think back the past year with 40 questions... 1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before? 2. Did you keep your New Years resolutions,...
New Year Resolutions 2005. from tima thinking outloud on January 1, 2005 9:10 PM
Excerpt: It's that time of year again. While last year's attempt at public humiliation didn't have much of an effect on my motivation -- this year my ego ran away from home and is still missing -- I'm still compelled to think about the new year and (re)set some...
Comment from Eric on December 20, 2004 10:53 PM (Permalink to Comment)

Interesting list, Liz. April 16 is my daughter's birthday. I also took my first phone pic this year. My answers are the same on all three parts of #17, too.

Comment from tdogboy on December 21, 2004 7:30 PM (Permalink to Comment)

Congratulations on starting in Al-Anon this year. What a wonderful way to support yourself and your family.

I've been in Al-Anon for a little while and it's helped us so much.

Keep it up!

Comment from molly on December 25, 2004 10:29 AM (Permalink to Comment)

i'm glad to see you picked this up -- i was really curious what other people would say. thank you so much for sharing.

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

Liz sipping melange at Cafe Central in Vienna