Sunday, January 01, 2012

Goodbye 2011

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

I ran my first half-marathon. I also ran my first Beer Mile. There were some less cheerful firsts, but let's ignore those, shall we?

2010 - Completed the Couch to 5K program and ran my first ever 10K race. It was amazing.

2009 -I went to Africa! And started hashing back in February. I also bought purple underwear.

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?

Yes and no. I mean, I was all set to read 250 books, and have one of them be War & Peace. That didn't happen at all. But I did go and run that half marathon, so there's always that.

2010 - I've kept a few, but not most. I will make more. Soon. Really. Plus, I'll need to make a new 101 in 1001 list at some point this year...

2009 -I'm still working on the 101 in 1001 List and I've rejigged a couple of them. I'd like to finish off those goals before I start any more. The biggest fail was the book ban (reinstated, let's hope I prove to have more willpower now.)

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?

Lots of people seem to be having babies lately.

2010 - While there are lots of baby pics floating around my FB feed, no.
2009 - My high school friend Vanessa and Andrea & David. Congratulations!
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?

My Nana died on Christmas morning. That was rough.

2010 - Yes, unfortunately.
2009 - No.
2008 - No.
2006 - No.

4. What countries did you visit?

England - Scotland - Germany - France (for dinner)

2010 - Korea, Toronto, Korea. Not very exciting at all.
2009 - Kojedo, Jeonju, Rome, Ghana, Togo, Toronto, Vancouver
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 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Less drama, more health. The guts to run a marathon.

2010 - The same as last year, I guess.
2009 - A zero balance credit card, the ability to run hashes, a plan to leave Korea.
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 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Two particular dates in March. October 10th - 13.1.

March 2nd - first day of my new job
September 23 - 38PH3 - for the hashing, and for something else, which we will leave off the internet.

2009 - Fourth Saturday in February - My first hash, the PMS MENstrual Run
August 22 - I started vacation!
October 5 - The day I started back at work.

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?

13.1 miles.

2010 - My 10K medal, for sure.
2009 - Going on vacation? I didn't really have any big achievements this 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?

I suppose similar to last year. I could have been a better friend, and a better granddaughter. I have some regrets about going out and having fun, without thinking about the consequences.

2010 - This year, my failures seem to have been legion. I failed as a friend, I suppose. I trusted the wrong person. It's been a rough year.
2009 - Financial.
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?

Bwahahahahaha. The least of my problems this year involved getting the cotton on a q-tip stuck in my ear. Then there was the hilarious ankle injury caused by deciding to wear heels to a drinking trail in Songtan on a winter's night. Oh, and I think I fucked up my back muscles for no reason for the first time - I'm getting old, clearly.

2010 - The rib. The suspected shin splints and other assorted aches that came with learning to run.

2009 - The mystery illness in Ghana & Togo - but Immodium cured that. Very nasty Yellow Dust cold. My toenail slowly growing back.

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 which 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?

Vibram Five Fingers. And I was given a Kindle.

2010 - A lot of books. Running shoes and winter running clothes.
2009 - Hair cut and straightening. New computer. Monitor which is also a TV. My students would claim it's my Transformers t-shirt.
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?

The Family, April, Samantha and Courtnie. The Pen - he gets both celebrated and appalled. Myself - maybe a bit of both too.

2010 - Samantha and April have become my rocks. Shar and Tim were a tough combo of fucked up to deal with, though Tim was also one of my mainstays.
2009 - Hashers are often pretty awesome and Ortencia was an awesome host. However, the two hashers running CHILD and their ridiculousness were fairly appalling.
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?

Books and the trip to the UK and Germany.

2010 - The trip to Canada and running clothes.
2009 - New computer, six week vacation, books.
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?

13.1, baby. German Nash Hash.

2010 - Running, hashing, reading.
2009 - Rome with Jen, Ghana and Togo with Ortencia, home!, and then Vancouver, with the chance to see Andrea & David, Orin, and Martha.
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 2011?

Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO

2010 - I'm on A Boat by The Lonely Island.
2009 - Slung Low, Erin McKeown; I Got a Feeling, Black Eyed Peas (listened to it constantly in Vancouver); and Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back), Eamon and Barbie Girl, Aqua because they played in Togo while I was travelling.
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?


2010 - The same?
2009 - Happier.
2008- happier
2007 - happier or perhaps about the same
2006 - happier

b) thinner or fatter?


2010 - thinner
2009 - Maybe a bit fatter.
2008 - same same
2007 - maybe about the same - I'm not sure, to be honest.
2006 - fatter, a bit

c) richer or poorer?

Same same, but different.

2010 - Same same, but different.
2009 - Moderately less poor.
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?

Travelling, making it to hashes, training, reading. Time with family.

2010 - Travelling, for sure.
2009 - Saving money. Reading books. Travelling. Hashing. Time with the nieces.
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?

Sleeping in for no reason. Internet escapism.

2010 - Wandering about on the internet.
2009 - Lazing around. Staying up too late. Social smoking. Negative self-talk.
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?

I had stayed over in Songtan after the Saturday night hash, so I went for all-you-can-eat Korean meat. Then we wandered over to Bulldog, found some hashers, and went to an all-you-can-eat Brazilian place for dinner. Had a hilariously inappropriate conversation about things like butt licking and then went back to the Bulldog, on to Pulse, over to Weses' and then some other place. Spent my whole evening getting drinks from everyone else - yay, piggybacking! Crashed with Cracka again.

2010 - I slept over at April's on Christmas Eve, popped back home on Christmas morning and then went back to April's for a fantastic Xmas brunch with her, Jeff, Samantha and Moniqa. Then I went over to Laura's for a turkey dinner around 3ish and finally, I went down to Songtan for a hash turkey dinner, a beer pong tournament (and no, I did not play), and stayed over in a hotel. Drove back to Seoul on Boxing Day for a Southside hash.

2009 - After dinner at Brian's on the eve, I ended up in HBC. When the bar closed, the random people still left, two people I knew, and I tried to go norae bang. When everywhere turned out to be closed, I invited everyone back to my place for a random party at about 6 a.m. Christmas dinner at Laura's was fabulous and we played pictionary, hilarious. I walked home with Christie and Lorraine, singing "White Christmas" as it flurried. Then I napped before calling home at 2 a.m. and chatting with the family. After, because of the nap, I stayed up to watch some episodes of The Big Bang Theory. On Boxing Day, the hashers had the "Santa's Sloppy Seconds" dinner and sat around singing to things WHAM DJed for us.

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 2010?


2010 - Yes.
2009 - No.
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?

None, I don't think. Huh. That's sort of surprising.

2010 - I had another one-night stand (or so I thought) that resulted in a lot more.
2009 - More than zero.
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?

Blue Mountain State, The Big Bang Theory, The Big C, Homeland, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, Grey's/Private Practice, Mad Men, Terra Nova, The Walking Dead

2010-Grey's, Private Practice, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, The West Wing
2009 - Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock, Big Bang Theory, NCIS (Don't ask. It's an obssession.), Six Feet Under
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?


2010 - No. But I'm hugely disappointed.
2009 - Nope.
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?

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
Intuition, Allegra Goodman

2010 - The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls

2009 - Kathy Reichs and Lynsays Sands books, obsessively
1984 & Lord of the Flies (at work)
Bridge to Teribithia
The Great Influenza
Subject to Debate, Katha Pollit
Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
Payback, Margaret Atwood
The Pollysyllabic Spree, Nick Hornby
Plainsong, Kent Haruf
Fox Girl, Nora Okia Keller
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
The Great Fortune, Olivia Manning
Pyongyang & Persepolis
The Omnivore's Dilemna, Michael Pollan
The Truth About Stories, Thomas King

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?

LMFAO, for the incredible pants off, dance offs.

2010 - Florence and the Machine. Mumford and Sons.
2009 - Since I spent most of my year with no functional computer or internet, I've listened mostly to the same 200 songs that were on my iPod before Chester died. I've been downloading like crazy since, though, so I hope to discover new stuff that I love sooner rather than later.
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?

To attend German Nash Hash and run a half marathon. The not get is something that is too personal to write about on the internet.

2010 - A new job - got it. A completed 10K - done. The last thing is still playing itself out.
2009 - I wanted a vacation to a new place and I certainly got that. I also wanted willpower (gym, financial, etc) and that didn't happen.
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?

Ha - I can never remember stuff like this. I can recall watching Contagion and Captain America with The Pen. They were both fine. And I managed to successfully find a movie The Pen hadn't seen and enjoyed, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I watched Grandma's Birthday at Golden Flow's birthday party and Beer Fest on Boxing Day at Sailormoon's. I've also seen a lot of documentaries - most of them interesting. Am watching Flammen & Citronen right now.

2010 - Shawn of the Dead
2009 - Amazing Grace, Hallam Foe, Milk, Frost/Nixon, Transformers (1&2)
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?

Having all the people I loved in one damn place! Especially more runs with Coop.

2010 - No Shar thing. No Tim thing. And a beach vacation at Christmas.
2009 - No debt.
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?

33 - spent it with Cooper and had dinner with April. Very low key.

2010 - I spent my 32nd birthday at a galbi restaurant and then at the Phillies Quiz with a great group of people - Nami, Gus and Gabby, Shar, Samantha, Tim, Ben. Ben got into an argument with Gus about those fish in the Amazon that swim up your penis.
2009 - 31. On the day of, nothing special. But I went out for dinner and dancing with friends the weekend before.
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 2010?

Kilts - both my hashing Sports Kilt and my OBH3 one, that makes me look like an American cheerleader. A filled up Happi coat. Lots of things that will be thrown out before the move. One awesome dress, that I really need to find occasion to wear.

2010 -A lot of pants that ended up being too big, a lot of hash shirts and hoodies, lots of new fancy running clothes.
2009 - Before vacation, I usually maintained a big divide between work clothes and home clothes. Since I've returned, I've been a jeans girl at work as well as at play. I have some cool panya purses and a skirt from my trip.
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?

Running. Cooper. Vacation.

2010 - Samantha and April. Chocolate ice cream.
2009 - Blogging.
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?

The doctor on the first season of The Big C is the only person who really comes to mind.

2009 - Katee Sackhoff (Captain Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace, Battlestar Galactica), Sasha Alexander (Agent Caitlin Todd in NCIS)
2008 - Hillary Clinton. Jennifer Beals.
2006 - i don't really fancy celebrities.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

Kim Jong Il's death hit the closest to home. It was interesting following the Occupy protests from afar.

2009 - The Democratic primaries in the States and gay marriage. You know, back when I was saying that Obama wasn't very lefty and I prefered Clinton, everyone told me that he was progressive. But I'd read his books and I knew he wasn't as progressive as people thought and now it turns out that indeed, he isn't.
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?

Samantha, April, Cooper.

2009 - Once again, everybody not here in Seoul, but especially the nieces. Oddly, lately also my dog.
2008 - everybody, but especially Sarah, Emily and Chloe.
2006 - Most people. I live overseas!

37. Who was the best new person you met?

The Pen

2009 - All the hashers!
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 2011?

If you finish all the training, it's really possible.

2009 - Just keep following the trail marks and you'll make it to the goal.
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.

Run This Town, Jay-Z

Feel it comin' in the air
hear the screams from everywhere
I'm addicted to the thrill
It's a dangerous love affair
Can't be scared when it goes down
Got a problem, tell me now
Only thing that's on my mind
Is who's gonna run this town tonight...
Is who's gonna run this town tonight...
We gonna run this town

Life's a game but it's not fair
I break the rules so I don't care
So I keep doin' my own thing
Walkin' tall against the rain
Victory's within the mile
Almost there, don't give up now
Only thing that's on my mind
Is who's gonna run this town tonight
(Is who's gonna run this town tonight)

2009 - Slung Lo, Erin MCKeown
I was slung-lo and
So gung-ho
For anything to get me to start
I had my rock
I had my roll
But I couldn't find my spark

2008 - 9 to 5, Lady Sovereign
Ok yo....
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
Dar Williams

"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"

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