Saturday January 10, 2004

2003 Year End Survey

[ There is no Friday 5 for this week. So we bring you a Year-End Survey,. Better a week late than not at all ]

I found this survey on the web and modified it slightly. If you like, copy the questions and answer them in your own weblog, journal, email, or here in the comments. There are 42 questions.


1. What did you do last year that you'd never done before?
I attended a Storytelling Festival.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for this year?
I didn't make any.

3. Did you (or anyone close to you) give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not really close to me; a good friend of my parents' died.

5. Did you (or anyone close to you) experience a major life-changing event?
Hiow about: Rich got a contract! It's an onsite contract, he's getting up at 7am and he's putting in 10-12 hour days! Work and income and a commute. Is that "life-channging" enough?
(If anyone close to me experienced a l.c.e. that I don't remember, just drop me a line and remind me what it was.)

6. What would you like to have this year that you lacked last year?
A job :/ (Well, paid income. It wouldn't have to be a job :)

7. What date from last year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 27. It's the day Raven flew from Houston Hobby airport to SFO to live with us.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I got a temporary (5-week) contract.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I only got one (temporary, 5-week) contract (and I didn't much care for that one while I had it).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No. Last year was pretty healthy as years go.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The best thing I bought last year was the plane ticket for Raven to fly to SFO.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
If I think of anyone, I'll let you know...

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
George W. Bush

14. Where did most of your money go?
Books. Always books.

When I get a little money I buy books,
If any is left I buy food and clothes.
    -- Erasmus

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The arrival of our new kitty!

16. What song will always remind you of last year?
Nothing comes to mind... (I only have one song/year memory combination I can think of and that one is for 1976).

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Probably a little happier.

18. ...thinner or fatter?
Thinner! Not a lot but noticeably.

19. ...richer or poorer?
Poorer :-(

20. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Read :-) Nap. More time with Rich, more playing with the cats. The usual.

21. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spent time looking for work.

22. What was your favorite book?
I'll pick The Eyre Affair just to pick one, but there were many good ones. (I read a lot).

23. What was your favorite movie (or TV program)?
It's a tough call. LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean ...

24. What was your greatest discovery?
Tree Squirrels in our backyard!!!

25. Did anyone come to visit you?
My sister, for the weekend before Thanksgiving. My parents, from the weekend before to the weekend after.

26. Did you travel anywhere?
An overnight trip.to Trinidad, CA for the storytelling festival.

27. Did you do anything really special and memorable?
Adopting a kitty from 2000 miles away is, of course, memorable!
2003 was the year I really started my weblog. That's memorable.
Attending the Wild Cat Adventure was something to remember (and to do again this month!)

28. Do you love (really like) anyone or anything now that you didn't love this time last year?
The Raven cat! (I hadn't yet met him this time last year).

29. Do you hate (strongly dislike) anyone or anything now that you didn't hate this time last year?
While I was at that temporary contract, I strongly disliked the co-worker who was sabotaging the project. But he's history now (and good riddance).

30. What did you want and get?
A new kitty.

31. What did you want and not get?
Enjoyable, long-term, decently renumerated employment.

32. What did you do on your birthday?
I don't really remember (my birthday is in January). I presume we went out to dinner. I probably bought myself a cake.

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Income. (Well, money. I'd be more than happy to win a sweepstakes or something :-)

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept for last year?
As it has been for two decades or more - "Techie Casual". Black Lee jeans or blue jeans (recently switched to grey Lee jeans), t-shirt or collared polo, denim shirt over that if it's cold, sneakers.

35. What kept you sane?
As always: The cats. Rich. Time at home.

36. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Johnny Depp (in Pirates of the Caribbean).

37. What political issue stirred you the most?
Stirred? Try interested. Political issues don't "stir" me.
I'd say the Texas Sodomy ruling and the California gubernatorial recall, I guess.

38. Who (or what) did you miss?
Warrl. Always and Forever.

39. Who was the best new person you met?
Who did I meet last year? Lots of people on the web. The best would have to be Bari, because through Bari, I found Raven. Bari and I met on line; we've never yet met in person.

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned last year.
If you can't work on a project while maintaining your own professional integrity, it's better to leave the project than to try to tough it out.

41. Quote a song lyric or poem that sums up your year.
For some reason, these just sprang into my mind. I have no idea why, but let's go with that for now.

So let's walk the road together, who knows what we'll find tomorrow.
Maybe good times, maybe sorrow will be waiting round the bend

[ Gravel on the Road, sung by John Denver, Words and Music by Debbie Hupp and Rob Morrison]

42. Add a question of your own and answer it.
(I added the one above to this survey. Does that count? :-)

How about: Why did you modify, post, and answer this survey?
I like doing things like this. I love questionaires of this type, the ones that ask who are you, what do you do, like, dislike, and why? I always have. And, a year-end survey is a good way to reflect on what happened, set some memories, and make plans for the future. What about you?


Jan 13, 2004

Additional Questions (added by Steve Brubaker)

43.Did you enjoy any good sunsets?
I can remember at least one peppermint striped sunset along the Stanford farm (prime sunset country). I was on my way from San Jose to Menlo Park to pick up Rich after work and hoping there would be some remnants of the sunset left to share. I also recall several spectacular sunrises.

44.Who did you meet and what did you like about them?
Bari du Bois. She's a neat lady and really cares for the kitties she rescues.

45.What did you experience for the first time?
Adopting a kitty from 2000 miles away; planning to have him sent on an airplane; picking him up at the airport; keeping him in a "quarantine apartment" for two weeks..

46.How do you know you are older?
My birthday is 4 weeks after New Years Day; I alwsy know I'm older at this time of year. I don't feel older, but I know it. :-)

47.How do you know you are wiser?
Am I? I hope so. I'm getting tired of making mistakes choosing jobs...

48.What are your regrets about last year?
Not getting the job I really wanted; accepting a job that turned out to be highly stressful, frustrating and disastrous.

49.Where did you go that you have never been before?
Trinidad California, north of Eureka on the coast.

50.Did you have any meetings that you find memorable?

51.Did you walk in the park, or at the beach, or in the woods, or by a mountain stream?
Park, woods, small ridgeline stream. No beaches last year, nor mountains, although we did see the ocean several times, we didn't walk beside it (we drove).

52.What would you do again?
Raven!

53.What would you do over?
I'd try to handle the disastrous contract differently. Make it even more clear, even earlier, that the project was in a world of hurt.

54.Why is your life better?
I have new friends (on the net). I've spent a lot of time at home with the kitties. I've read more books. I'm losing weight (slowly but surely). I have Raven.

55.Why is it not?
WE have less money. I have less money and significantly more debt.

56.What unique opportunities did you miss?
I missed the opportunity to work for a company I admire, whose product I like. I hope the opportunity will come again.

57.If you met yourself for the first time this year would you strike up a friendship? Where would you have met?
I think so. I like me. We get along, myself and I. We would have met online or at a conference or user group.

58.What flowers did you smell for the first time? What food tasted? What music danced to?
Did you know that Naked Lady Lilies have an odor? Quite a nice one.
Food? We had some delightful dark cherry sauce/compote with a desert at Pasta Pomodoro. And also, for some reason, I'd never actually tried tamarind chutney before this year (my, was I ever missing out!).
I don't dance. I don't recall if I discovered any new artists last year.

59.What will make this year different from last year?
Rich has steady employment. He also got a chunk of his inheritance, so our financial situation should improve somewhat.

60.Did you spend any time listening to yourself? What did you say?
Always! I talk to myself a lot ;-) I talked about work, about what I do and don't like to do, about what made the contract I had good (and also what made it awful). What I could (or should) have done differently. What I did that seemed wrong, but in retrospect was exactly right.

61. If you put this year in a food grinder and made sausages out of it, what would they taste like?
Like sausages...

62.In what respects was last year a pivotal year?
I really got my weblog going last year. Rich got employment again, I got a contract; maybe the job situation is looking up. I learned a few more things about myself in regard to work...

63.If time and events flow like a river, what was your relationship with that river this year?

  • drifting downstream with Huck Finn on a log
  • swimming upstream like a salmon to spawn
  • shooting the class IV rapids
  • up the creek without a paddle
  • the Zen monk moving deftly in the roiled pool at the base of the tall falls.

I started up the creek without a paddle; I drifted a lot. I was really up the creek for 5 weeks there in Oct/Nov, and the creek was, at times, the class IV rapids. I admire the monk.

2003 Year End Survey ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Sat, 10 Jan, 07:11 Pacific | «e»