1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
2008 - got divorced for real, barehanded ice fishing, thought I flushed my own keys down the toilet, went paint balling, ate beondegi (yuck!), flew a plane.
2007 - Hahahaha. I've already been asked this one. The Hong Kong incident. Got divorced (I think, anyway!) Taught kindergarten.
2006 - went on holiday with my sister, bought a red bra
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
2008 - the 101 in 1001 List, maybe a couple more
2007- No and Yes. It's not the keeping of the resolutions that is necessarily important, I think, but the making of them. The taking stock.
2006 - I didn't make any last year. I will be making some this year, though. I like thinking about my goals and where I am and where I want to be. I was too depressed to want to think about my life last January.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
2008 - If they did, it's escaping me, but it's also very late at night.
2006 - My childhood friend, Shannon. My brother's girlfriend. A couple of other people I don't know as well.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
2008 - No.
2006 - No.
4. What countries did you visit?
2008 - Boracay, Taiwan, Bamboo/Tea Plantation trip, Canada, Japan, Dokdo, North Korea
2007 - Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada, North Korea, The Philippines.
2006 - Scotland, Canada, Korea, Thailand. Only Thailand was for the first time.
5. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
2008 - This one is going to remain secret, but there is something I'd like.
2007 - More of all the good things, less of all the bad, I guess.
2006 - I don't think there was much that I lacked entirely over the course of the whole year. There were lots of things I lacked during different parts of the year though. I guess I just want more of the good things, more often.
6. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
2008 - January 3rd - finally divorced!
Friday, August 8th - the Ferraro Rocher countdown ended on my last day of work at Poly
2007 - April 10th - I left Heritage, thank fuck!
May 18th - Surprise arrival back in Canada.
August 10th - Back in Korea once more.
December 14th - All my loose ends were finally tied up!
2006 - February 14th, when I finally, really knew that I had to leave Alan. April 10th, when I flew into Seoul.
7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
2008 - Well, I collected the entire set of Hello Kitty magnets. And found my own place in HBC.
2007 - Tying up those loose ends, perhaps.
2006 - Getting over the embarrassment of leaving someone only 5 months into marriage and doing it anyway because I needed to do it. Rebuilding my entire life all over again, in Korea.
8. What was your biggest failure?
2008 - Also will remain a secret. But it's related to the other one.
2007 - Perhaps being so stressed by the Korea/Hong Kong decision.
2006 - Not listening to my instincts and the warnings of other people.
9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
2008 - possibly I discovered I have a malformed eardrum, hairline fracture in my foot after dancing drunk in my apartment, Broken Toe Part I - The Sink, Broken Toe Part II - Martha's Dancing, recent sickness with is no fun, so we won't bother talking about it.
2007 - Nothing terrible. Did a transatlantic flight with a messed up ankle, did some North Korean hiking with pneumonia.
2006 - Yep. Some of the most notable - my first ever hickie and my now completely fucked up ankle. I'm a klutz, though, so there have been a few.
10. What was the best thing you bought?
2008 - new iPod, G-Whiz, North Korean honey
2007 - It wasn't what Oprah recommended ;) I'm not sure I've bought anything all that fabulous this year.
2006 - my laptop. my plane ticket out of Scotland.
11. Whose behavior merited celebration? Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
2008 - Martha has been a rock star in the last couple of months! The pricks at Phillies being homophobic assholes and everyone who voted for Prop. 8 and like-minded resolutions appall me.
2007 - Many people's merited celebration. I find that sometimes the most surprising people will do fantastic things. Based on some info I recently found out, my ex is on the appalled list.
2006 - my friends and family, who have been very supportive of me. appalled: alan's. my own
14. Where did most of your money go?
2008 - You got me! I guess the trip to Canada was the biggie, plus the shopping trip that resulted. The iPod.
2007 - Vacations!!! Clothes. Having fun in general.
2006 - into leaving Scotland.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
2008 - Seeing my nieces. Going to a city in North Korea. Moving to Haebangchon. Teaching teenagers. Leaving Poly.
2007 - Hiking in North Korea. Seeing my nieces.
2006 - being single again, meeting new people, teaching again, knowing that I made the decision to live my life the way I want to, full of travel and adventure.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
2008 - Whatever You Like, T.I. but in particular, that one the kids made about voting however you like. Made me cry.
2006 - The Mercy of the Fallen, Dar Williams
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
2007 - happier or perhaps about the same
2006 - happier
b) thinner or fatter?
2008 - same same
2007 - maybe about the same - I'm not sure, to be honest.
2006 - fatter, a bit
c) richer or poorer?
2008 - moderately less poor.
2007 - Hmmmm. Again, perhaps about the same.
2006 - maybe about the same
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
2008 - beach holidays, time at home with the family, coffee with Jenn
2007 - Exercise. Travelling. Decisive getting-stuff-done.
2006 - laughed
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
2008 - overreacting, stress with friends over silly things, dealing with Korean immigration, teaching at Poly.
2007 - I'm not sure I regret too much from the past year. Maybe the odd drunken moment, but nothing in particular.
2006 - beating myself up for things I couldn't change and things that weren't exactly my fault
20. How did you spend Christmas?
2008 - Eggs Benedict with Liz and Martha, Geckos with Brian, Cleo, Martha, Melissa, Rebekah, then Seoul Pub, then a taxi with a TV on the ride home!
2007 - Brian, Samarra and I went to see the Golden Compass, wandered around iPark, went to dinner at Geckos and then had drinks with people at Queen. Oh, and I got to talk to my adorable nieces :)
2006 - A turkey buffet at Geckos with friends and coworkers and later on some phone calls home.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
2008 - Yes.
2007 - Hahahahaha. No!
2006 - i thought i did, I'm as subject to rebound relationships as anyone, i guess. didn't last long, which was for the best!
22. How many one-night stands?
2008 - A few. They can be one hell of a lot of fun.
2006 - I don't kiss and tell.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
2008 - Big Love, My So-Called Life, Grey's and Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Brothers and Sisters
2007 - Grey's Anatomy, I think, though I am now equally into Private Practice. I've been watching the first season of Lost recently and been impressed since about halfway through. Flight of the Conchords is hysterical. Oh, and I finally got around to watching Buffy - it was really good.
2006 - America's Next Top Model in Korea, before that Alias/The L Word/Desperate Housewives
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
2008 - This year homophobia has upset me more than usual - but I hate the game, not the players. No point in hating the haters.
2007 - No. I don't hate anyone at all right now, though there are certainly those I don't care for.
2006 - perhaps my boss, though hate is far too strong a word. i can't bring myself to hate my ex, though sometimes I think that might actually be kinda a step forward.
25. What was the best book you read?
2008 - S: A Novel About the Balkans, by Slavenka Drakulic
The Little Friend, Donna Tartt
This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood by Hyok Kang
Dreams of My Father, Barrak Obama
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Maus, Art Spiegleman
Kafka on the Shore, Murakami
2007 - "The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank" by Ellen Feldman. It was maybe the best power read - one of those I-can't-put-it-down novels.
"Eva" by Peter Dickinson was the best children's book and it was a reread from the Poly library.
"Oscar and Lucinda" by Peter Carey for the best I-should-have-known-but-didn't ending.
“The Friar and the Cipher” by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone for best historical non-fiction.
“Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” by Christopher Moore was the funniest.
“The Brooklyn Follies” by Paul Auster for introducing me to my newest fav author.
"Lucky" by Alice Sebold for the best sad book.
"A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of A Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah for the most gut-wrenching emotional response.
"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert for personal resonance.
2006 - picking just one is so evil. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Everything is Illuminated, The History of Love and those are just the ones that come to mind...
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
2008 - The Genius button on iTunes.
2007 - Not sure. I love "Smile" by Lily Allen, and the new Alicia Keys album is pretty damn cool. Tons of stuff, really.
2006 - Jack Johnson. I had heard of him before, but never got around to listening until this year when I discovered downloading...
27. What did you want and get? What did you want and not get?
2008 - I'm not sure, but they are both wrapped up in the same thing.
2007 - I didn't get a job I wanted, though I suspect that worked out for the best, particularly from a financial point of view. I wanted a new wardrobe and I got that.
2006- What did you want and get? a computer, a job in Korea, out of a relationship, a trip to Thailand (I even got two!) What did you want and not get? an easy breakup
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
2008 - Juno, Children of Men, Kung Fu Panda were the best, but nothing really moved me.
2007 - The Golden Compass, I think. I don't actually see many films, in the cinema or out of it.
2006 - Everything is Illuminated, Tsotsi, The Constant Gardener, Hotel Rwanda
31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
2008 - A longer trip home.
2007 - A year long trip around Asia, with the magic ability to pop back in on the family for a couple of days at will.
2006 - if Alan had stayed in Scotland. if i had left him earlier.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
2008 - 30! I drank shots out of a porcelain penis. Then I skipped out on the big Saturday night extravaganza.
2007 - 29 in Hong Kong, went drinking and dancing.
2006 - I was 28. I went to TinPans and drank too much tequila, I went to Stompers and don't even remember being there, I met a cute boy.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
2008 - Many t-shirts, but I will have to wear something Martha hasn't stolen!
2006 - a concept implies I was thinking about this in some sort of orderly way. The same 7 or so outfits to work (with flip flops in summer and black shoes in winter), the same 7 or so low cut tops to bars, and my fave comfy socks whenever I'm home.
33. What kept you sane?
2008 - Martha and other friends. Pure stubbornness.
2007 - Who says I managed to stay sane? My coworkers, perhaps, when I was back in my old job. My friends. Lots of navel gazing.
2006 - a combination of good friends and too much booze.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
2008 - Hillary Clinton. Jennifer Beals.
2006 - i don't really fancy celebrities.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
2008 - Prop. 8, the Democratic Leadership Race, proroguement
2006 - i have been too busy navel gazing to really pay too much attention. Perhaps the possible nuclear weapons test by North Korea.
36. Who did you miss?
2008 - everybody, but especially Sarah, Emily and Chloe.
2006 - Most people. I live overseas!
37. Who was the best new person you met?
2008 - Martha
2006 - All the new people I've met have mostly been amazing, though in totally different ways.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008?
2008 - Be stubborn. Love.
2007 - When travelling, follow the noise.
2006 - No one will judge me as much as I will judge myself. Trust your gut. People you don't expect to will do little things that will make you believe in goodness again.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
2008 - 9 to 5, Lady Sovereign
I wake up late every morning
managers calling I'm still yawning
Get up wake up hair and makeups
Waiting for you don't be sawing
This performance is important
I don't think I can put my all in
Hold on I was drunk last night
Now its all kicking in and I don't feel right
Gave my number to a breh who wasn't my type
Now my phones on silent I'm being polite
Now private callers get no love from me
Just let me be...
Oh my gosh my days are getting longer
There's no turning back cuz I'm working da 9 to 5
To keep my contract did I say 9 was getting of 1:30
I'm no early birdy I'm lazy dats all dat I can say
So make sure you heard me
And deres no turning back cuz I'm working a 9 to 5
2006 - The Mercy Of The Fallen
"Oh my fair North Star
I have held to you dearly
I had asked you to steer me
'Til one cloud-scattered night
I got lost in my travels
I met Leo the lion
Met a king and met a giant
With their errant light
There's the wind and the rain
And the mercy of the fallen
Who say they have no claim to know what's right
There's the weak and the strong
And the bets that have no answer
And that's where I may rest my head tonight"