Time for the yearly look back at a year that was…well…let’s just look back.
Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
“Read a lot, write a lot” aren’t terribly hard goals for me to meet, but meet them I did. The Savior Worlds (The Song of Forgotten Stars, book 4) was much harder to draft than I had planned, and I only finished it two weeks before NaNoWriMo started–and that book had been my NaNo project the year before.
But I got a lot read, and I started writing articles for The Geekiverse, and I have a plan for writing in 2019. Yay!
Did anyone close to you give birth?
I…don’t think so? Several people I know casually did, so that’s cool.
Did anyone close to you die?
With each passing year I dread this question more and more.
What countries did you visit?
Real ones? I never left the US. False ones? Plenty!
What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
Half a Democratic Congress…and I’m gonna get one! Yay!
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Publishing The Chilling Killing Wind, finishing The Savior Worlds, and having a book signing were all happy accomplishments.
What was your biggest failure?
Aside from my highly inconsistent blogging (the correcting of which is another 2019 goal) in this space, I didn’t really fail at much in 2018. That’s good, albeit a bit cognitively dissonant in a time when much of the world had a horrible year.
What was the best thing you bought?
For myself? I got a new phone, after four years on my old (and, at the time, still serviceable) Sumsung Galaxy S4. Now I’m on the Galaxy S8 plus, and I like it a great deal. Hopefully I get four years out of this one, too!
Whose behavior merited celebration?
The American voters who started pushing back against the tide of racist, homophobic, transphobic, antirational, and antiscience thought in this country.
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Republicans. See above.
Where did most of your money go?
Books, booze, going to movies, food, gifts, and vintage overalls.
What did you get really excited about?
My book release, my book signing, seeing Die Hard on the big screen, and other things!
Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
About the same right now, but hopefully we’re laying foundations for even better things to come. The Wife is in the midst of changing careers, which is full of its own fears and challenges, but if it all works out as we hope, life should be better.
Thinner or fatter?
I’m probably a bit heavier. I need to reverse that in 2019.
Richer or poorer?
Jury’s out on that.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
As always, reading, writing, and walking.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Reading crap online. (As opposed to reading good stuff online.)
How did you spend Christmas?
As last year: With family, unpacking wonderful gifts, and eating and drinking way too much. In short, it was exactly what Christmas should be.
Did you fall in love in 2018?
I fall in love on a daily basis.
How many one-night stands?
Ha! I’m not telling you that!
What was your favorite TV program?
Probably Brooklyn Nine Nine, whose return on NBC we are now awaiting. We also discovered Blindspot, which is somewhat filling the hole left in our hearts by the conclusion a couple years back of Person of Interest.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nah, I think that the Republican Party has pretty much maxed out my ability to indulge this ugliest of emotions.
What was the best book you read?
See my 2018 Year In Books post, to come shortly after this one.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
No real “discovery”, but I listened quite a few times to Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, a piece which I already knew decently but which really captivated me this year for some reason. I may have to revisit this more in 2019.
What did you want and get?
Books! More Toby jugs! I put a couple of knick-knack shelves up on the wall in my Book Room! More vintage overalls, as well as a lovely pair of hand-made overalls by a guy I know in Ohio who does artisanal denim work!
What did you want and not get?
Tickets to Hamilton when it came to Buffalo. For various reasons I just couldn’t make it happen this time around, I’m sad to say.
What were your favorite films of this year?
I enjoyed Solo a lot, perhaps even more than I expected to (I could have done without its apparent need to fill in all the blanks in Han Solo’s early life, but that’s OK). Black Panther was amazing, and The Avengers: Infinity War was really good until its ending (I have no problem with cliffhangers, but this one was executed in very bleak fashion and then the film pretty much cut instantly to credits). And as I write this I am still basking in the afterglow of Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse, which is astonishing and everybody should see it.
What did you do on your birthday?
I likely worked, and then a few days later went on vacation for our yearly trip to Ithaca.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
As always: workwear chic, although I may be straying toward low-level “hipster” fashion on occasion. Mainly though my approach is usually “Can I pair THIS shirt with THOSE overalls?”
What kept you sane?
The increasing number of Americans who are slowly rising up to say, “We don’t want this.”
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
If for no other reason than her ability to get under the skin of dimwitted Republicans, I’ve taken quite a liking to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
What political issue stirred you the most?
Probably climate change, although this country’s ongoing inability to grow up when it comes to its fetish for firearms continues to annoy. And don’t get me started on The Wall, which may well be the single dumbest public policy proposal of my lifetime.
Who did you miss?
Who was the best new person you met?
The various people at The Geekiverse! I’ve had a great time over there.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018:
Read a lot, write a lot. Listen to music. Go for walks and look at sunsets. Take all the pictures you want. Learn new things and try new stuff. If you have a dog, take him for walks. Buy books for your daughter, even when she complains that she likes to pick her own books (let her do that, too). Nothing fits your hand so well as your lover’s hand. Eating out is fine, but learn to cook things, too. Have a place to go where they know you and what you order. Don’t be afraid to revisit your childhood passions now and again; you weren’t always wrong back then. Overalls are awesome, it’s OK to wear double denim, and a pie in the face is a wonderful thing!
If you take selfies, post your six favorite ones:
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Well, why not quote the lyrics from a teevee show theme song? Even though the show actually started on Netflix two years ago (I think), we discovered the newly updated version of One Day At A Time this year, and we’ve found it wonderful: funny, heart-felt, emotional, involving, and loaded with wonderful quirky characters. The new show takes the original set-up (single mom in the wake of break-up raising her two teenagers alone with her her own mother kinda-sorta helping, along with the attentions of the building’s repairman Schneider) and transfers it from Indianapolis to Los Angeles, and focuses on a Cuban-American family. And it’s great.
So, here’s my 2018 song!
This is it. This is it!
This is life, the one you get so go and have a ball.
This is it. This is it!
Straight ahead and rest assured you can’t be sure at all.
So while you’re here enjoy the view.
Keep on doing what you do
So hold on tight we’ll muddle through
One day at a time, One day at a time!
So up on your feet. Up on your feet!
Somewhere there’s music playing.
Don’t you worry none we’ll just take it like it comes.
One day at a time, One day at a time!
So, what’s next in 2019? Who knows. We’ll meet it head on, though.